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Ki-44 'Tojo' Aces of World War 2

Ki-44 'Tojo' Aces of World War 2 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2012 Title Ki-44 'Tojo' Aces of World War 2
Author Nicholas Millman Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2011 ISBN 978-1-84908-440-6
Format 96 pages, softcover MSRP (USD) $22.95


The Ki-44 was a highly capable interceptor that could quickly climb up to its target and usually catch its prey by surprise. This Nakajima fighter entered service in 1942 and would remain in front-line service through the end of the war (and beyond). Designed for the Imperial Japanese Army, the Ki-44 was perceived to be a handful for pilots upgrading into the type because of its higher stall speeds and lpwer maneuverability. Nevertheless, the Ki-44 was able to hold its own against the best of the allies own aircraft in the hands of experienced pilots. In the defense of Japan towards the end of the war, the aircraft was even armed with an innovative 40mm cannon system that packed enough firepower to engage the formidable B-29.

The author has provided an unbiased look at this aircraft and its crews, breaking through some of the historical and linguistic barriers that have previously kept this subject from receiving the attention that was long overdue outside of Japan. Coverage of this title includes:

  • Kingfisher Force
  • Debut in China
  • East Indies and Burma
  • The End in China
  • The Philippines
  • Defence of the Homeland

The title provides a nice look into the development and operational employment of this aircraft including combat accounts from both sides of specific events. The title is also nicely illustrated with period black & white and color photography as well 32 color profiles that illustrate the various color schemes worn by the aircraft through its service life.

With the recent releases of highly detailed Ki-44 kits into the hobby world, at last here is a book that can bring this subject into the light.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!