S u m m a r y
||Osprey Duel #8 - P-40 Warhawk vs Ki-43 Oscar China 1944-45
by Carl Molesworth with artwork by Jim Laurier
||Soft cover, 80 pages
||GBP£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
||Direct comparisons between the machines; logically laid out; carefully considered conclusions
Osprey's Duel P-40 vs Ki-43 is available online from Squadron.com
The latest addition to Osprey Publishing’s new Duel series deals with the USAAF’s Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and the Imperial Japanese Army Air Forces’Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) or “Oscar” as it was dubbed by the Allied Code name system and the actions between them in China between 1944 and 1945.
I was keen to get a hold of this book as I have always had an interest in these two aircraft and I spent many, many hours in the jungles of Papua New Guinea trekking to and from and examining the wrecks and remains of both types. I’m happy to advise that the book satisfied my curiosity and confirmed some of my long held beliefs with regard to the many details of armament and the construction techniques employed to produce both aircraft.
The author is no stranger to the readers of Osprey Publications books either having authored unit histories for the USAAF fighter groups of the CBI as well as several other titles for Osprey including Very Long Range P-51 Mustang Units of the Pacific War (Aviation Elite Units 21), P-40 Warhawk Aces of the Pacific (Aircraft of the Aces 55), P-40 Warhawk Aces of the MTO (Aircraft of the Aces 43), and P-40 Warhawk Aces of the CBI (Aircraft of the Aces 35).
The book follows the same format as the other two books in the Duel series that I seen to date and is laid out as follows:
- Introduction. Setting the scene for the contents of the book.
- Chronology. Of both aircraft – from September, 1931 to the June of 1945.
- Design & Development. Of both aircraft – six pages for the P-40 and six for the Ki-43.
- Technical Specifications. Each sub type of both aircraft are covered listing the brief characteristics of each – the P-40/Tomahawk 1,
P-40B-C/Tomahawk II, P-40D-E/Kittyhawk 1, P-40F/Kittyhawk II,
P-40K/Kittyhawk III, P-40L/Kittyhak II, P-40M/Kittyhawk III, and
P-40N/Kittyhawk IV, the Ki-43-I, Ki-43-II, and the Ki-43-III.
- View from the cockpit. This section has colour artwork showing the cockpit layouts of both machines with numbered keys to identify each item as well as a chart that compares each type’s specifications.
- Strategic situation. This chapter deals with the operational circumstances of the Pacific war with, naturally enough, particular emphasis on the events in China including the involvement of the American Volunteer Group or “The Flying Tigers” as they were dubbed.
- The Combatants. This chapter details the pilot training regime adopted by both sides as well as a brief section on the organisation and tactics employed by both sides
- Combat. The “meat” so to speak! A 22 page chapter that relates the occurrences between March 1944 and July 1945. This chapter includes biographical details of some of the pilots involved as well as first-hand accounts of the actions (unfortunately the accounts are all by USAAF pilots!).
- Statistics and Analysis. Tabulated data that show the names of the USAAF pilots and the kills they scored over Ki-43s as well as the names and scores of the JAAF pilots and their P-40 kills.
- Aftermath. A wrap-up of the actions and the final P-40 kills of the Pacific war as well as a potted history of the P-40 and Ki-43 beyond the actions in China.
- Further Reading. This final section lists some 31 books and magazines as well as 18 websites should you wish to find out more about the events detailed in the book.
The book consists of 80 pages printed on glossy paper between thin cardboard covers. It is quite well illustrated with 49 black white photos, six colour “technical illustrations” cockpit layouts and armament layout as well as three view drawings of each machine, three maps, two maps and a further two diagrams showing the tactical formations flown by each side . The centre pages carry a larger version of the artwork borne on the book’s cover. All of the artwork is by Mark Postlethwaite and is truly well executed indeed!
This is excellent book as far as I am concerned. It not only relates the technical details and development of each aircraft it also informs on the actions that took part in this less than centre stage theatre of World War Two.
Osprey Publishing for the review sample
Review Copyright © 2008 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 29 May, 2008
30 May, 2008
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