Mikesh, Robert C.


Shrewsbury, 1st ed., 1993. 199 pp., profusely illustrated with photo-ills. D.j., 25 x 20cm. FINE. By the middle of 1945 the Second World War was in its final stages and the substance of Japan gutted by air raids. In the tradition of bushido some military leaders were dedicated to fight to the very end to defend their Emperor and country. In this endeavour nearly 11,000 aircraft were available for kamikaze crash dives. By the end of June 1945, thousands of suicide or special-attack aircraft had been converted for this purpose from 4,800 army and about 5,900 navy fighters, bombers, trainers, and reconnaissance aircraft that had survived the air battles. An additional 2,500 were expected to be converted by the late summer. It was this strength of surviving aircraft that the occupying forces found when they arrived on Japanese soil. Of those thousands of aircraft only a few remain today. Many were scrapped before their true value was recognised but others found their way to air museums. These survivors are listed and their locations given as a concluding chapter for this book. Many rare photographs show the aircraft as the arriving Occupation Forces found them, and illustrate in detail the destruction that followed. A photograph of each aircraft that survived is included.

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