Aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy: Land-based aviation, 1929-1945 Volume II

Published: December 8th, 2010     
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Author: Eduardo Cea
Reviewed by: David Goudie - IPMS# 6340
Company: AF Editions
ISBN #: 978-84-96935-24-2
Other Publication Information: Paper back, English text, 112-pages, 206 full-color profiles, 8.5 x 11”, March 2010
Price: $30.00
Product / Stock #: 9788496935242
Product provided by: Casemate Publishing

This is a very interesting publication. First of all, the title is misleading. This may be caused by the translation from the original Spanish and my lack of ability to do the same. If the word "Aircraft" is changed to "Aviation of the Japanese Imperial Navy" it would be more accurate.

Secondly this book is a continuation of Volume I. The interesting thing here is that the book apparently begins where the previous volume left off. By this I mean no preliminaries, such as a table of contents, publication data, or an index in the back. There is not even a prolog or introduction. It's like walking in when the movie is half over.

Thirdly, although totally illustrated with aircraft profiles (done by the author) of excellent quality, these illustrations are highly repetitive. This cannot be considered the fault of the author but really just the nature of the war in the Pacific. Differences within a type group are in the individual group and personal markings. For example, the Mitsubishi Type Zero and variations are almost without fail the standard green with grey underside. The monotony is broken by an occasional mottled green over base grey or silver or the all grey versions used. A plus is that each aircraft illustrated is accompanied by a very good, well written and detailed description of that particular machine and unit. There are neither photographs nor plan view illustrations in the volume.

An inventory of type listings would include everything used by the IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) from trainers (in orange) to medium and light bomber/torpedo aircraft and flying boats in their ubiquitous green.

With those comments out of the way I can move on to a description of the true worth of this book. The text of this book is where the real meat is. If you are a person with an interest in the history of IJN units in action during the war then this is the book for you. Each unit is described from activation to operational bases, general activities and operational highlights. These descriptions are very good, well researched and well written.

Whether you are a history buff with an interest in IJN aviation units during the war or just building a model of a particular machine and want to accompany it with a history, you will find this book worth its price. It is a quality publication both physically and in content.

Casemate Publishing should be commended for making this book available to the U.S. modeler of Japanese Navy aircraft from the war. It's an interesting read, a good historical reference and fun just browsing through, reading whatever parts take your fancy.

Thank you goes to Casemate Publishing for this review copy and to IPMS/USA for making it available to me for reviewing.

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