The Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ represented a radical departure from the Japanese Army Air Force’s emphasis on maneuverability and aerobatics, being designed from the outset to fill the role of a fast-climbing, heavy hitting point defense fighter. In the hands of experienced pilots prepared to take advantage of its qualities it was a formidable air weapon. The teething troubles of its debut in the optimistic days of early 1942 were soon forgotten as it began to play a key part in defending occupied territories from the ever-increasing Allied air offensive. The relatively low number of ‘Tojos’ produced was belied by its appearance on every front except New Guinea, and its unique position as the best gun platform amongst Army or Navy aircraft.

Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ Aces of World War 2

Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ Aces of World War 2

This volume provides coverage of the role of the Ki-44 in JAAF campaigns in South-East Asia, China and the air defense of Japan from 1942 to 1945, from the first elite deployment of pre-production aircraft in the attack on Malaya to the last desperate air-to-air ramming sorties against B-29s over the Home Islands.

The book is divides in an introduction, six chapters and appendices.

• The introduction gives a short history of the Ki-44 that was nicknamed ‘Shoki’ by the Japanese, so named for the semi-mythical Taoist temple deity who could destroy or frighten away demons and devils.
• Chapter one: Kingfisher Force. How the Japanese learned about the War in Europe, and the first pilots to fly with the Ki-44.
• Chapters two to six: Debut in China; East Indies and Burma; The End in China; The Philippines; Defence of the Homeland: description of the use of the aircraft of the different theaters of operations.
• Appendices: Japanese Army Aircraft Nomenclature; Leading Ki-44 Aces and Ki-44 B-29 Killers; Drawings; Colour plates legend.

As always with Osprey books, “Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ Aces of World War 2” is a rich source of documentation on that aircraft; the pilots who flew it and has lots of actual photos. 32 colour profiles are included in the book.

Highly recommended!!! Direct buy here!

Daniel Clamot

Sample book is provided by Suzannah Brooksbank, Marketing Administrator, Osprey Group