Book by Thomas E. Doll
Entering service during the Sino-Japanese War, the Nakajima B5N (code-named “Kate”) excelled and went on to achieve surprising and dramatic successes in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It also contributed to the sinking of the U.S. aircraft carriers USS Lexington at the Battle of the Coral Sea, USS Yorktown at the Battle of Midway, and USS Hornet at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Its replacement, the Nakajima B6N “Jill,” while a marked improvement over its illustrious predecessor, was never able to achieve its full potential in combat due to advances in Allied aircraft, finding itself relegated to the dreaded Kamikaze strikes in the latter part of the war.
Using previously unpublished photographs as well as color illustrations, this book will cover the history of the “Kate” and “Jill” torpedo/attack bombers, including their design and development, as well as the combat highs and lows of the Imperial Japanese Navy's premier torpedo bombers.
This unique 'Classic Colours' format single volume covers the opposing air forces in the Spanish Civil War as well the intervention of the German, Italian, and Soviet air forces in their respective guises. The air campaigns fought during the Spanish Civil War prompted important technical and tactical developments for all parties – from the actual deployment of air power through to communications. The small and largely obsolescent Spanish Air Force of 1936 grew into an effective fighting arm, which, by 1937 had become a significant force thanks, in part, to German and Italian support. The Nationalists fielded Heinkel, Fiat, and Messerschmitt fighters and Heinkel, Caproni, Savoia-Marchetti, Junkers, and Dornier bombers. These forces entered into a grinding battle of attrition over the less-organized but fiercely motivated Republican air arm over Aragon, the Jarama, and Madrid Fronts and later over Brunete, Belchite and the final campaign over the Ebro in mid to late 1938. The Republicans were equipped with Soviet-built Polikarpov, Nieuport, Hawker, and Dewoitine fighters and Potez and Tupolev bombers. The aircraft were often colorful and adorned with vivid markings, illustrated in this book with color artwork as well as contemporary photographs. Twenty Nationalist pilots gained five or more victories, with the German and Italian contingents also scoring high kill numbers. The highest scorer was Joaquin Garcia Morato with 40 victories, while the future German ace, Werner Mölders left Spain with 14. On the Republican side, Capts. Jose Bravo Fernandez and Miguel Zambudio Martinez are reported to have scored into double figures.
At the beginnning of World War II, the Imperial Navy had created the finest naval aviation corps in the world. Japanese aircraft were at least the equals of anything then flying in the West, and in some cases (as with the legendary Zero Fighter) were substantially better. Japanese aircrews were superbly trained and had been battle tested in the conflice in China during the late 1920's. When war tore across the Pacific in December 1941, the IJNAF was more than a match for any of its opponents. It is not surprising, then, that Japanese aviators scored victory after stunning victory during the first six months of the war, from the attack on Pearl Harbor, through the sinking of the British men-of-war Prince of Wales and Repulse, to the fearsome raids on northern Australia and the IJN's rampage through the Indian Ocean in April 1942. Only after the defeat at Coral Sea and the debacle at Midway was thir force finally able to be engaged on nearly equal terms.
In 1922 the US Navy commissioned its first small experimental aircraft carrier. This was followed into service by two much larger and capable carriers in 1927 with five more being built prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor including three large Yorktown class. To take the offensive against the Japanese Navy, the American Congress funded by far the largest carrier building programme in history based on the Essex class, a larger version of the pre-war Yorktown vessels. Of the twenty-six ordered, fourteen were commissioned in time to see Second World War service. These were joined by many smaller classes of carriers, including light carriers and escort carriers. Post-war ever larger and more capable carriers were commissioned. Since 1975, when the first of a fleet of ten nuclear-powered Nimitz class carriers was commissioned, they have epitomized United States superpower status and worldwide power projection. These are due to be replaced in the decades to come with the even more sophisticated nuclear-powered Gerald R. Ford class. Compiled and written by Michael Green, Aircraft Carriers of the United States Navy contains superb images of all the different types of classes of carriers employed by the US Navy since 1922. These and its highly informative text and captions give the reader a broad overview of this fascinating subject.