From a special interests publisher addressing the model engineers and model makers Mushroom Model Publications have expanded into the production of fine history titles. This new book, No 9101 in their White Series, is a fine example of their work.
NAME: Japanese Special Attack Aircraft and Flying Bombs
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: Ryusuke Ishiguro, Tadeusz
PUBLISHER: Stratus, MMP
BINDING: Soft back
GENRE: Non fiction
SUBJECT: suicide bombers, Kamikase, WWII, aerial warfare, cruise missles,
flying bombs, jet aircraft, Japan, rocket aircraft, 1939, 1945
From a special interests publisher addressing the model engineers and model makers Mushroom Model Publications have expanded into the production of fine history titles. This new book, No 9101 in their White Series, is a fine example of their work. The co-authors have conducted a painstaking research of a subject that has received little detailed investigation. They have followed the story of Japanese special attack aircraft and unguided missiles during the Second World War. In all armed forces there are selfless acts by individuals where the act is in effect suicide with the individual giving life to protect comrades, or to achieve an objective against the heaviest odds. Less commonly some armed forces deliberately employ suicide as part of their battle line. The Japanese Kamikase pilots of WWII were one of these suicide forces. Their actions have given them great prominence in history and at the time of their deployment they created a serious threat to the over whelming Allied forces closing in on the Japanese home islands. As with Britain in 1940 a strong enemy was sweeping opposition aside and eventual defeat looked probable. Although Britain did not deliberately establish suicide squads, it came very close to the concept and many individuals deliberately gave their lives in pressing home attacks on a stronger enemy. Where Britain was able to concentrate on blunting attack and preventing invasion, in the knowledge that eventually the United States would be brought into the war in support against Germany, Japan had no such prospect in sight, rather the number of countries ranged against the Japanese forces was increasing. Like Britain, Japan had few natural resources within the heavily populated home islands and the advancing enemy was restricting the flow of raw materials for aircraft, ship and arms production. This encouraged desperate attempts to construct aircraft without using rare materials that would normally be employed. The authors have captured this situation and detailed what must be the definitive study of Kamikase and missile design and production in the closing years of the war. Many readers will be surprised by the number of designs and modifications used to build a fleet of weapons of last resort. From the early efforts to modify fighters and bombers to carry heavy explosive loads on a one way flight to the target, Japanese engineers and airmen developed both very crude and simple aircraft that used few resources and could be flown with minimum skill to advanced jet and rocket powered machines. As in Britain and Germany, desperation encouraged an increasing number of designs at a time when concentration on a very small number might have produced more effective weapons. In the final event, the Japanese Kamikaze pilots were unable to provide a credible costly delay to an enemy that was able to deliver nuclear weapons, turning the targets into wastelands and reducing the need to land troops. The story is well told, the detail is excellent and the work is presented in A4 with the use of colour and mono images. There are detailed drawings for which MMP titles are admired and there is material for the model maker and the student of military history. This book provides some very novel subjects for modellers and a fascinating historical insight into an aspect of the air war that has not been covered adequately before.