The Imperial Japanese Army Air Force’s most numerous fighter aeroplane was the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa. It fought from the early days of the war until the end of the war. One its opponents was the US heavy bomber Consolidated B-24 Liberator. One of the latest books from Osprey series Duel is dedicated to these two aeroplanes.

Liberator vs Oscar

Liberator vs Oscar

The Duel volume 41 B-24 Liberator vs. Ki-43 Oscar describes the story of these two aeroplanes in combat over China and Burma in 1943. The first combat encounter took place on January 26, 1943 when B-24s from the 493th BS/7th BG were intercepted by Ki-43s from the 50th Sentai but the Ki-43 did not score against this bomber until March 13. The B-24 had long range and heavy bomb load but on the other hand it was not particularly resistant to battle damage. The Ki-43 had excellent maneuverability but poor armament so a single Ki-43 could hardly do anything against B-24, so only a group attack with repeated firing runs could be effective.

The book is excellent in presenting both types by first analyzing each type and the continuing with the overall combat situation, prominent pilots who flew them, and combat itself. And all of this is very well illustrated by a number of archival images, maps and excellent graphics and illustrations. In total B-24 lost 31 machine and Ki-43 lost 20 machines.  Book info: Paperback; April 2012; 80 pages; ISBN: 9781849087025

This book provides a nice insight about the combat as well technical aspects of the aircraft types and it is recommended! You can get your book here!

Srecko Bradic

Big thanks to Osprey for sample publication