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SBD Dauntless vs A6M Zero-sen: Pacific Theater 1941–44

SBD Dauntless vs A6M Zero-sen: Pacific Theater 1941–44 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2022 Title SBD Dauntless vs A6M Zero-sen: Pacific Theater 1941–44
Author Donald Nijboer Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2021 ISBN 9781472846334
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.00


WWII’s “greatest dive bomber”, Donald Nijboer avers, squares off against Imperial Japan’s best-known naval fighter in the 115th installment of Osprey’s growing “Duel” range.

Subtitled “Pacific Theater 1941–44”, SBD Dauntless vs A6M Zero-sen follows the publisher’s familiar format.

Commencing with introductory notes and a chronology, author Nijboer outlines “Design and Development” and “Technical Specifications” details for both warplanes.

Comments on the “Strategic Situation” and “Combatants” come next. Then coverage hits crescendo with combat accounts.

There, Nijboer recounts both US Navy SBD and USAAF A-24 Banshee actions. The nimble Douglas design, the author claims, proved a tough opponent – even for the legendary Zero.

Two concluding “Analysis” and “Aftermath” sections balance victory claims against official records. Very illuminating.

Photos, color plates, cockpit interior details, and maps illustrate the account. Tables, expanded captions, and sidebars also supplement the study. And an index neatly wraps things up.

But why no selected bibliography for readers seeking further enrichment?

Still, enthusiasts of Pacific aerial combat will enjoy this succinct study. I certainly did.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!