BODY OF THE TEXT
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Ki-44 ‘Tojo” Aces of World War 2 as Number 100 in their Aircraft of the Aces series. It is a paperback book with 96 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, color illustrations, 1/72 scale line drawings and detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-440-6. The book examines and discusses the Ki-44 ‘Tojo” Aces of World War 2.
Nicholas Millman made the following dedication:
Dedication – In memory of all the young men who flew, fought and died for their countries in World War 2.
- Chapter One
- Kingfisher Force
- Chapter Two
- Debut In China
- Chapter Three
- East Indies And Burma
- Chapter Four
- The End In China
- Chapter Five
- The Philippines
- Chapter Six
- Defence Of The Homeland
- Color Plates Commentary
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice and spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Millman covers the Ki-44 ‘Tojo” and the “Tojo” aces during World War Two very well and goes into great detail in the various campaigns and the actions taken there and various related incidents. Anyone interested in the Ki-44 ‘Tojo”, Ki-44 ‘Tojo” aces or World War Two Japanese aviation will find this book very informative and interesting.
There are a total of 85 black and white photographs throughout the book. There are no color photographs featured in this volume. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images, however there are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the blurry photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain.
THE COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS
There are 10 pages of color aircraft illustrations by illustrator Ronnie Olsthoorn which cover a total of 34 aircraft and they are very well done. The color plates commentary at the back of the book provides detailed information about each aircraft shown. The front cover art was also done by illustrator Ronnie Olsthoorn.
The color illustrations are of the following aircraft:
- Pre-production Ki-44 (fifth prototype) of Maj Toshio Sakagawa, commander of the 47th Dokuritsu Hiko Chutai, Saigon, French Indochina, December 1941
- Pre-production Ki-44 (eighth prototype) of Capt Yasuhiko Kuroe, 3rd Hentai Leader, 47th Dokuristu Hiko Chutai, Kuantan, Malaya, early 1942
- Production series Ki-44 of the 47th Dokuritsu Hiko Chutai, Mudon airfield, Moulmein, Burma, early 1942
- Ki-44-I of the 33rd Sentai, Canton, China, early 1943
- Ki-44-II Ko of Capt Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu, 2nd Chutai leader, 85th Sentai, Hankow, China, summer 1943
- Ki-44-II Ko of Capt Yukioshi Wakamatsu, 2nd Chutai Leader, 85th Sentai, Tien Ho airfield, Canton, China, summer 1943
- Ki-44-II Hei of Capt Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu, 2nd Chutai Leader, 85th Sentai, Canton, China, summer 1944
- Ki-44-II Ko of 2nd Chutai, 85th Sentai, Hankow, China, summer 1943
- Ki-44-II of Capt Akira Horaguchi, 1st Chutai Leader, 85th Sentai, Wuchang, China, summer 1943
- Ki-44-II Hei of the 50th Sentai, Meiktila, Burma, 1944
- Ki-44-II Ko of Lt Shiro Suzuki, 4th Chutai, 64th Sentai, Rangoon, Burma, late 1943
- Ki-44-II Otsu of the 87th Sentai, Meiktila, Burma, May 1944
- Ki-44_II Hei of Lt Hideaki Inayama, 87th Sentai, Gloembang, Sumatra, January 1945
- Ki-44-II Ko of Sgt Tadashi Kikukawa, 85thSentai, Canton, China, late 1943
- Ki-44-II Otsu of the 1st Chutai, 23rd Sentai, Imba, Japan, 1945
- Ki-44-II Otsu of the 3rd Chutai, 70th Sentai, Anshan, Manchuria, August 1944
- Ki-44-II Hei of the Sentai Hombu, 29th Sentai, Clark Field, the Philippines, November 1944
- Ki-44-II Heiof the 29th Sentai, Hsiaochiang, Formosa, August 1944
- Ki-44-II Hei ‘Asakaze’ of the 2nd Chutai, 104th Sentai, Mukden, Manchuria, autumn 1944
- Ki-44-I of the 47th Dokuritsu Hiko Chutai, Kashiwa, Japan, late 1942
- Ki-44-II Hei of Capt Teiichi Hitano, 3rd Chutai/Hikotai and ‘Sakura’ leader, 47th Sentai, Narimasu, Japan, early 1944
- Ki-44-II Otsu of MSgt Isamu Sakamoto of Shinten Seikutai, 47th Sentai, Narimasu, Japan, late 1944
- Ki-44-II Otsu of Capt Jun Shimizu, 1st Chutai, 47th Sentai, Narimasu, Japan, 1944
- Ki-44-II Hei of Capt Yazuro Mazaki, 2nd Chutai, 47th Sentai, Narimasu, Japan, late 1944
- Ki-44-II Hei of the 246th Sentai, Clark Field, the Philippines, late 1944
- Ki-44-II Hei of the 246th Sentai, Taisho, Japan, winter 1944-45
- Ki-44-II Hei of Capt Yoshio Yoshida, 70th Sentai, Kashiwa, Japan, 1945
- Ki-44-II Hei of WO Makoto Ogawa, 70th Sentai, Kashiwa, Japan, 1945
- Ki-44-II Hei of the 3rd Chutai, 9th Sentai, Anking, China 1944
- Ki-44-I of the Akeno Army Flying School, Japan, 1943
- Ki-44-II Hei of Capt Ryotarao Jobo, 1st Field Reserve Air Unit, Singapore, 1944
- Ki-44-II Hei of Maj Yoshio Hirose, 1st Hikotai of Hitachi TAD, Mito, Japan, December 1944
THE 1/72 SCALE LINE DRAWINGS:
Illustrator Ronnie Olsthoorn has provided six 1/72 scale line drawings of a Ki-44-II Hei Shoki aircraft. The drawings are very well done and are very detailed. The fact that they are already scaled to 1/72 is very helpful to the aircraft modeler as this will eliminate the need to rescale them for use. The six views are in the following order:
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. It details the Ki-44 ‘Tojo” Aces of World War 2 very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.
This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
REFERENCES:http://www.pilotfriend.com/photo_albums/timeline/ww2/Nakajima Ki 44 Tojo.htmhttp://www.savagesquadron.com/JPpage/JPFighters/Ki_44.htmhttp://www.daveswarbirds.com/Nippon/aircraft/Tojo.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakajima_Ki-44http://japaneseaircraft.devhub.com/blog/660934-nakajima-ki-44-tojo-redux/http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/IJARG/ki44shoki.html