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Tokyo 1944-45

...Air Campaign 40 from Osprey

Title: Tokyo 1944-45
Author: Mark Lardas
Publisher: Osprey
ISBN: 978-1-4728-6035-4

Number 40 in the Air Campaign series from Osprey, covering 'The destruction of Imperial Japan's capital'. A 96-page soft-cover book with artwork by Edouard A. Groult.
An introduction sets the scene, then a Chronology listing the key dates in the story. As usual in this series, it explores both the Attacker's and the Defender's capabilities. For the Americans, this sets out the aircraft of the USAF, the B029 Superfortress and the long range P-51 Mustang which provided high altitude fighter escort and the various island bases they operated from, in range for attacks on Tokyo. The other advantage in the late stages of the war were the number of fleet carriers and lighter escort carriers which all carried a capable variety of fighters, bombers and torpedo bombers. For the Japanese defenders, their aircraft types, their bases, weapons, defensive radar and tactics are all included. This is followed by Campaign Objectives, as Tokyo was not only a high profile target, but it was a vital industrial area in Japan. The bombing campaign did not start until November 1944, the first raid since the symbolic Doolittle raid by B-25s earlier in the war. Both USAF and USN raids continued into 1945, until getting to the highly destructive fire bombing raids which killed a huge number of people in Japan, the largest number of casualties in any raid during the war. It leaves a final chapter for Aftermath and Analysis to round things off, as coupled with the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war came to an end.
An interesting read, and I learnt a lot I hadn't known before, as while we study so much on the allied bombing of Germany in WW2, these huge raids on Tokyo are talked about much less frequently. Add the archive photos throughout the book, and some excellent artwork as we expect from Osprey, this makes a good addition to the Air Campaign series, and good value as well.
Thanks to Osprey for the review copy.


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