Japanese Anti-Submarine Aircraft in the Pacific War

Published: September 10th, 2018     
Product Image
Book Cover
Author: Ryusuke Ishiguro, Tadeusz Januszewsk; IIllustrators: Dariusz Karnas, Zygmunt Szeremeta
Reviewed by: 
Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Mushroom Model Publications
ISBN #: 978-83-65281-39-5
Other Publication Information: Hardcover, 248pp, 21 pages of color profiles, 1 page of color photos (many black and white photos throughout)
Product / Stock #: AC-123

MMP has brought out another large, hardbound book on a topic that has been underrepresented in the world of reference books on WW2 aviation.

This book is hardbound and comprised of just under 250 pages. Production quality is quite high, and there are photos and 3-view drawings throughout the book. At the end of the book are several pages in color, including 21 pages of color profiles, 1 page of color photos, and a few pages of cutaway drawings.

The first few chapters of the book describe the nature of the units involved in anti-submarine warfare from both the Japanese Navy and Army Airforces. There is a brief discussion of tactics used, equipment deployed (covered in more depth later in the book), and a listing of all units dedicated to this task. Within this text, there is also some interesting explanations of the markings used on aircraft in this role. For instance, the backwards "C" on the sides of certain aircraft was a formation flying aid (as long as the open portion of the C was visible, the formation was correct - if it appeared as a closed "O" to another pilot in the formation, then the aircraft was too widely spaced and thus could interfere with the magnetic anomaly systems onboard other aircraft in the formation).

What follows that "overview" are pages and pages of descriptions and operations of the specific aircraft types utilized, from the well-known to the obscure. No less than 112 pages cover the IJN aircraft, broken down into general aircraft used for patrol/detection, and dedicated anti-submarine aircraft as follows:

  • Aichi E13A (Jake)
  • Aichi H9A
  • Kawanishi E7K (Alf)
  • Kawanishi H6K (Mavis/Tillie)
  • Kawanishi H8K (Emily)
  • Mitsubishi G3M (Nell)
  • Mitsubishi G4M (Betty)
  • Nakajima B5N (Kate)
  • Nakajima B6N Tenzan (Jill)
  • Kyushu K11W Shiragiku
  • Kyushu Q1W Tokai (Lorna)
  • Mitsubishi Q2M Taiyo
  • Kyushu Q3W Nankai

Another 56 pages cover the IJA aircraft used for patrol operations as follows:

  • Kayaba KaGo
  • Kokusai Ki76 (Stella)
  • Kobeseiko TeGo
  • Mitsubishi Ki51 (Sonia)
  • Nakajima Ki49 Donryu (Helen)
  • Tachikawa Ki36 (Ida)
  • Tachikawa Ki54 (Hickory)

Each aircraft is covered with a thorough discussion of its developmental history, specific anti-submarine usage, and the text is interspersed with many good-sized black and white photos. Many of the aircraft are also depicted in 3-view line drawings. This may be some of the best information available on some of the more obscure types.

After the aircraft section, there are a few pages dedicated to coverage of the equipment they carried. Specifically, there are details about the Japanese Magnetic Anomaly Detection systems and airborne radar systems. Following this are about 8 pages covering aerial anti-submarine bombs and torpedoes. Wrapping up the 'equipment' section are several pages covering the escort aircraft carriers used by the Japanese.

At the end of the book, there are over 20 pages of large, well-illustrated color profiles of the various aircraft types. There are at most 3 profiles per pages, making the size of each quite generous. Within this color section, there is 1 page of color photos and 3 pages of cutaway interior drawings of the Kyushu Q1W1 "Lorna"

I very much enjoyed reading this book and was very pleased, specifically, to discover new (to me) information regarding some of the markings on these anti-sub aircraft. The text is quite descriptive, photos are plentiful (including many previously unpublished), and there are some nice color profiles and 3-views to boot. Anyone interested in Japanese aircraft of the Pacific War should have this one in his or her library. From the well-known to the more arcane, there is great coverage of the aircraft and systems dedicated to anti-sub warfare by the Japanese during WW2.

Thanks to MMP Books for providing the review copy, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it!

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