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Japanese Special Attack Aircraft and Flying Bombs

Japanese Special Attack Aircraft and Flying Bombs Book Review

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review May 2009 Title Japanese Special Attack Aircraft and Flying Bombs
Author Ryusuke Ishiguro, Tadeusz Januszewski Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2009 ISBN 978-83-89450-12-8
Format 264 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £24.99

Review

Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) is based in Redbourn, Herts, UK. They are in partnership with Stratus Publications, who is based in Sandomierz, Poland. MMP has Stratus print their books in English.

This latest book from MMP describes the philosophy and operational demands that led to the introduction of suicide attacks by Japanese pilots late in WWII.  These were the so-called “Kamikaze” operations. Details of the operations and their effectiveness, the aircraft utilized, and the personalities of the major commanding officers directing these attacks, are all described and illustrated.

In addition, Japanese development of flying bombs, missiles and even balloon attacks on the U.S. mainland are described. Operations and aircraft of both the Japanese Imperial Navy and the Army are covered, both the normal aircraft adapted for suicide use and the novel designs planned specifically for such missions, plus the many programs underway or planned up to the end of the war.

Many years of research in Japan, and access to previously hidden material, has allowed the authors to cover the history of this remarkable campaign in fascinating detail.

The book is done in soft-cover format of 264 pages in 8 ¼” x 11 ¾” page size. This book has the most pages of any of the MMP books on aircraft that I have seen to date.

It contains 194 black and white wartime photos. Twelve of these are shots of Japanese officers that were involved in suicide operations. There is one shot of a Japanese flag that has been signed by all the pilots in a particular kamikaze group. There are 19 pages of data lists, 10 side-profile line drawings in 1/72nd scale,  5 1/72nd line drawings as 2-views, 6 as 4-views, 10 as 3-views, 2 as 5-views, 1 as a 6-view and 2 as 7-views.

There are 2 1/48th scale line drawing 2-views and a side-profile and a 4-view in 1/100th scale.

Finally, there are other line drawings to no particular scale: 10 of these are profiles, 3 are 3-views, 4 are 4-views, 5 are 5-views and there is one 6-view.

A illustration of the dashboard of the M6A1-K Nanzan’s instrument panel, with labels telling the names of the parts is included out of a technical manual. At the rear of the book, are 43 color profiles of aircraft, rockets and bombs used by the Special Attack groups.

This is one very definitive book about this subject. It will be a invaluable reference source for aircraft historians and enthusiasts, and scale modelers.

Very highly recommended.

I want to thank Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) and Casemate for this review sample.

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