Air Collection's Special Units of the Imperial Army
$42.95 SRP from
Scott Van Aken
ISBN 978-84-96935-36-5, 135 pages, 8 x 11.5
inches, over 210 full color profiles.
This is the
second book in this series that I have read and I have to say that I am just
as impressed with it as I was of the first. The author has obviously done a
lot of research on compiling the information presented here, something not
easily done as the Japanese military destroyed a great deal of their records
at the end of the war so information has to be sifted from what has survived
as well as privately held materials.
The result of all that work is an excellent look at the special units put
together by the Japanese Army Air Force. Now some of these units are indeed,
short term units the were formed for a specific, and limited time, such as
the unit which took prototype and pre-production Ki-44 Shoki aircraft into
combat in late 1941 and early 1942 to see how well they performed their
Others are some of the lesser known Headquarters units, Transport units or
Training units, that were just as vital to the air services as the standard
fighter and bomber units. Frequently, these special units were made from
extant units so there was no real change in markings, while other times this
was not the case.
As in previous books, it is segregated into unit types and each unit is
given a short synopsis of its operation, when that is known. Then there are
the superb full color profiles that really make this book stand out from
others. I guess that for most of us, this is the real meat of the book.
Despite being well translated from Spanish, I did find a few errors,
something that would be common if the translator was not an enthusiast. Nothing major,
but it does happen from time to time.
In all, it is an outstanding book that is very much a 'must have' for those
who have an interest in Japanese WWII types, and especially modelers who
might be seeking something a bit different from the norm. This
one is most highly recommended.
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