Chinese Air Power in the 20th Century

...from Harpia Publishing, via Casemate

Title: Chinese Air Power in the 20th Century
Author: Andreas Rupprecht
Publisher: Harpia Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-9503940-0-5

A 253-page soft-cover book, I am a fan of this series from Harpia Publishing. They have done previous title on the modern Chinese Air Force and the modern aircraft they operate. This one takes us back and explains how that Air Force was developed over the course of the 20th Century. In particular, it was prompted by the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Air Force, following on from the successful Communist revolution in China in 1949.
The Introduction sets the scene for what is covered in this new book. The fist couple of chapters give us the background of Chinese military aviation prior to the revolution, with the first 2 chapters dealing with the pre-revolutionary period. Chapter 1 is Prequel, 1911-24 and then chapter 2 are The Early Years 1924-49, which of course includes the period of the Second World War. This leaves the other 4 chapters to bring us up to date. These start with Founding Period, Jan 1949 to Dec 1953. Chapter 4 is Overall Development, Jan 1954 to April 1966. Chapter 5 tackles the effects of the Cultural Revolution, May 1966 to October 1976. The last chapter takes us through Modernisation, Oct 76 through to the Present. That isn't the end of things as there are 3 appendices, detailing the history of the final 7 Military Region Air Forces; a Brief History of the Chinese Air Divisions and lastly the History of the PLAAF Serial Number system.
Each chapter has detailed text and is supported by a number of maps and data tables while all thoroughly illustrated by some really good quality photographs of the many aircraft types they have operated over the years. From WW2 aircraft such as the American built Mustang, through the Cold War era machines which were largely copies of Soviet aircraft, but after the 2 Communist nations 'fell out', so China has advanced significantly and they have their own modern aircraft designs which are comparable with other leading air forces around the world.
The aviation enthusiasts, historians and modellers will all find lots to enjoy in this new book, bombers, fighters and trainers alike. Harpia do produce some interesting titles in a good quality format and this is a good addition to their listings.
Thanks to Harpia, and to Casemate, their UK distributor for our copy.

Robin