Axis Suicide Squads

Published: April 7th, 2019     
Product Image
Author: Justo Miranda
Reviewed by: 
Tim Hortman, IPMS# 19789
Company: Fonthill Media
ISBN #: 9781781555651
Other Publication Information: Available in e-book format, Hardbound book with 224 pages and many illustrations/line drawings. Published 2017
Price: $39.00
Product / Stock #: 9781781555651

Fonthill Media's Axis Suicide Squads - German and Japanese Secret Projects of the Second World War by Justo Miranda.

Author Justo Miranda has multiple books & publications out on Luftwaffe 'paper-projects' and late war designs. He is a tech drawer and Spanish Air Force Museum advisor.

This hardbound book is 224 pages and includes information on both actual aircraft used, and many "paper projects".

The cover flap reads "This book details the designs of all German and Japanese aircraft, examining the suicide bombers and aerial rammers deployed as desperate measures to counter the Allied advance. Axis Suicide Squads is an in-depth history of the tragic necessity for such drastic countermeasures; it contains comprehensive technical information relating to each machine and detailed, hand-drawn diagrams depicting the mechanics of how the aircraft functioned." This is a great summary of what this book is all about.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Aerial Ramming

  1. German Rammers
  2. IJA Suicide Aeroplanes
  3. IJN Suicide Aeroplanes
  4. Kokoku Heiki

Bibliography

Right from the start, I was impressed with this book. Not only because it is a very nice hardbound book that will hold up to repeated use; but also because of the Table of Contents. Not only does this list the major sections of the book, but it is broken down into each individual aircraft which is very useful when trying to go back to refer to specific details/aircraft as you are working on your modeling projects. You can go to the correct page without having to spend time leafing through the entire section to find what you are searching for.

The book starts with the practice of Aerial Ramming, with a short history in both the ETO and PTO; as well as drawings of the aircraft mentioned.

The book then moves to German WWII Luftwaffe aircraft and includes information on actual occurrences of ramming attacks in the ETO by German Aircraft. A super reference for the hobbyist, as it includes both the specific known Allied aircraft as well as the Luftwaffe aircraft involved. The author goes into detail as to the aircraft and their armament. Also included are the paper-projects - most with a nice drawing on what it was to look like.

The second half of the book is devoted to the Pacific Theater and the Japanese Aircraft involved with suicide missions. The sections are broken into the Army and Navy aircraft, and a third second devoted to the Kokoku Heiki (Empire Weapon) for use of aircraft against the Allied invasion fleets. Here again, the book is well detailed containing information on most Japanese aircraft used in WWII as well as their use as suicide aircraft. The drawings continue to be a strong suit in the book, showing the uncommon modifications to the common aircraft we are used to seeing on the show tables.

I'll admit I am partial to the Japanese aircraft used, and I was not at all familiar with some of the designs shown here. Perhaps my favorite example is the speculative Ohka Model 11 with both E13A1 "Jake" and A6M2N "Rufe" floats in the Kokoku Heiki Go.2 section.

The final strong point in this book is the Bibliography. There are five pages of references included that the modeler can go to for further information and research.

This book is very well done and I can certainly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject, or for those simply looking for a few modeling ideas that have not been seen before on the show tables.  There is just the right amount of history and information included to give the reader a brief background on a project without being overly technical. The drawings included are very well done and are a highlight of the book. The modeler can use those for virtually an unlimited number of future projects.

A superb reference that I will consult often in the future. Thank you to the Author himself, Justo Miranda, for the review sample & congratulations on an outstanding book.

Highly recommended!

  • Back cover
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  • Sample page
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