Kagero's Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa Vol II


Dariusz Paduch




$37.00 from Casemate Publishing


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 3085. ISBN 978-83-66673-93-9, 80 pages

This latest volume in Kagero's Monograph series complete's the story of the Ki-43 Hayabusa. Arguably the most important Japanese Army fighter of the first years of the Pacific war, the Hayabusa was light, nimble, and easy to fly. It also lacked decent fire power and had no protection for either the pilot or the fuel tanks. As a result, they were at a general disadvantage compared to better armed and better protected Allied planes.

The Ki-43 entered service a bit later than the Navy's A6M and fought its first combat in Southeast Asia at the start of the war. Though it was constantly upgraded, eventually getting the armor, fuel cell protection and heavier armament that it should have had from the start, it was never really capable of defeating the then-current Allied fighters and continued to have great difficulty defeating B-17 and B-24 bombers. It was in service until the very end of the war in home island defense squadrons.

This book covers the combat history of the Hayabusa. This is basically divided into major sections. The first covers its operations in Southeast Asia and Burma, where it was used the most. The second provides a look at its service in the South Pacific that started in very late 1942 with deployments to Rabaul and New Guinea. Then its operations in China followed by the Philippines and then home defense. The final section is on its foreign use by countries such as Thailand, France, China and Indonesia. As usual there are a lot of nice period photos as a section that provides full color profiles. As is usual with books in this series, it is nicely written, a very nice reference and is a book that I know you will find interesting. Highly recommended.

May 2022

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