Smith, Peter C.


The Crowood Press, Marlborough, 1st ed., 1999. 192 pp., frontis., + photo-ills., + diagrams. D.j., 29 x 23cm. FINE. The Aichi D3A1/2 Val began production in December 1939 and was soon in service in operations against the Chinese mainland during September 1940. On 7 December 1941 Vals led the dive-bombing attacks on Hickham Field, Fird Island and the anchored fleet in Pearl Harbour, bringing the United States into the war. Vals were also used to attack Darwin successfully, sinking six ships including an ammunition ship on 9 February 1942. Throughout the rest of the war the Val was the principal dive bomber of the Japanese fleet, scoring considerable success against American and British warships. Despite some increase in power from the Nakajima engine the Val was at a disadvantage against superior Allied aircraft but carried on until the last days of the war. Vals were also used in considerable numbers as Kamikaze aircraft, causing considerable damage to the Allied fleet. Previously unseen, rare photographs and interviews with surviving crew members help to tell the full story of the Aichi D3A1/2 Val.

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