By the time the Americans began their aerial bombardment of Japan in 1944, both the JAAF and IJNAF were spent forces. What the Japanese did have though was the Ki-44 "Tojo". Armed with two 40 mm cannon, it was the most heavily armed and feared single-seat fighter to see action against the new American bomber, the B-29 Superfortress. For the bomber crews, they had what they believed was their `ace in hole': a fully armed B-29 carried four remotely operated gun turrets and a tail gunner's position, making it the world's most advanced self-defending bomber.
In every respect the Ki-44 pilots were fighting a desperate battle. Many who made their mark did so using suicidal ramming attacks or "taiatari". Illustrated with full colour artwork, this volume examines why the Ki-44 was unable to break up bomber formations conventionally during the Pacific War, and how its ramming tactics, while terrifying, graphically revealed Japan's inability to stop the B-29.
This is the fully illustrated story of the desperate struggle between the world's most advanced self-defending bomber and Japan's most heavily armed single-seat fighter interceptor of World War II. It will appeal to any enthusiast of the Pacific War, especially those interested in Japanese "taiatari" tactics.
Donald Nijboer lives in Toronto, Canada and has written about World War II aviation for Osprey since 2009. His other four books, Cockpit: An Illustrated History of World War II Aircraft Interiors, Gunner: An Illustrated History of World War II Aircraft Turrets and Gun Positions, Cockpits of the Cold War and Graphic War - The Secret Aviation Drawings and Illustrations of World War Two have been published by the Boston Mills Press. He has also written articles for Flight Journal, Aviation History and Aeroplane Monthly.
Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives in New Hampshire. He attended Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, from 1974-78, and since graduating with Honours, he has been working professionally in the field of Fine Art and Illustration. He has been commissioned to paint for the US Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon.
Introduction /Chronology/ Design and Development /Technical Specifications /The Strategic Situation /The Combatants /Combat /Statistics and Analysis /Aftermath /Further Reading /Index