Sunday, 2 October 2011

Osprey Issue Harrier Units and Tojo Aces Books

Osprey Publishing have released two new aviation books this month.

First off is AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, "The AV-8B is the only tactical aircraft that can deploy with Marine forces on amphibious assault ships and provide air cover and close air support separate from large deck aircraft carriers. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, a coalition of nations launched Operation Desert Shield in order to defend Saudi Arabia, and the Harrier II was among the first tactical air assets to be deployed to the region. During Operation Desert Storm, the five units flying the AV-8B in-theatre became some of the top tactical squadrons of choice by air mission planners because of the pilots’ skill as well as the plane’s vertical take-off ability. The previously untold story of the AV-8B in this conflict is vividly brought to life by the author through first-hand accounts and period photography sourced from those that were there and official archives. This will be the first of three volumes on USMC Harrier IIs in combat, with follow-on titles covering the jet’s operations in Iraq in 2003–08 and Afghanistan in 2001–2009."

The second book is Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ Aces of World War 2, "The Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ epitomises JAAF air power in defence of the homeland, but was also used extensively in the skies over China. The introduction of the Ki-44 was noted with concern because of its departure from the performance and tactics previously associated with the JAAF. It was a fast-climbing, heavily armed point-defence interceptor that was used successfully in slashing hit-and-run tactics that caught Allied pilots by surprise. Amongst the numerous aces that flew Ki-44’s were Major Akira Watanabe of the 33rd Sentai, Captain Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu, the ‘Red Nose Ace’ of the 85th Sentai and Warrant Officer Rikio Shibata also of the 85th Sentai, a leading ace with claims for 27 aircraft. This book tells the complete story of all of Japan’s ‘Tojo’ aces."

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