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Japanese Aircraft of World War II: With Colour Photos
By Basil Collier
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson 1981 144 Pages
JPG 39 MB
When Japan opened hostilities against the Western Powers in December 1941, she was in no position to sustain a long war or to gain an outright victory over her opponents. Her productive capacity was far smaller than theirs. She had never been rich in raw materials. Her oil reserves, after reaching a peak at the end of the 1930s, had begun to fall off as a result of increased consumption and restrictions imposed by her suppliers. Her merchant fleet barely sulliced for peacetime needs. Her army was well trained and well equipped, hut forty of its fifty-one divisions were committed to a wearisome struggle in China and defensive tasks at home and in Korea and Manchuria. She had ten battleships and six fleet carriers in commission, but on paper Britain and the United States were still the strongest naval powers. Her statesmen, when they decided in November that war was preferable to acquiescence in American proposals, did not aim at annihilating her enemies or bringing them to their knees by a long-drawn process of attrition. They gambled on the hope that spectacular achievements by relatively small forces with strong air support would soon put them in a position to negotiate a settlement on favourable terms.