Academic journal article Air Power History

Japanese Experimental Transport Aircraft of the Pacific War

Academic journal article Air Power History

Japanese Experimental Transport Aircraft of the Pacific War

Article excerpt

Japanese Experimental Transport Aircraft of the Pacific War. By

Giuseppe Picarella. Haverford Penn.: Casemate, 2012. Photographs, Illustrations. Tables. Appendices. Bibliography. Pp. 248. $69.00 ISBN: 978-0-8130-3800-1

Over the last half-century, Western knowledge and appreciation of Japan's aeronautical heritage has increased steadily thanks to a small band of scholars who have mined corporate and governmental records find the recollections of various participants. Chief among them have been Rene Francillon, Robert Mikesh, Eiichiro Sekigawa, and Shorzoe Abe. To this august cadre may now be added the name of Giuseppe "Joe" Picarella.

While articles and books on Japan's various warplanes--the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0 "Zero" foremost of all--have consumed unnumbered trees, if not forests--studies on less glamorous types, particularly transports, have received far less attention. This is now remedied by Picarella who has written a thoroughly researched and remarkably detailed history of Japan's wartime military transport effort.

Picarella's book follows a standard format for such works, with detailed technical descriptions accompanying numerous photographs and line drawings. However, what separates it from run-of-the-mill aircraft histories is the wide-ranging research he has undertaken--the breadth of coverage, and, of course, the largely unexamined and untreated nature of the subject.

The book is somewhat mistitled, as there is far more to this volume than merely a collection of what-might-have-been experimental prototypes and proposals. …

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