Imperial Japanese Navy Aces Of World War 2 (Men and Legends 4)
By Henry Sakaida
Publisher: DEL PRADO 1999 64 Pages
PDF 15 MB
When Japan unleashed the might of its military forces against the Americans at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines, it did so with the most modern aircraft and highly-trained pilots that it possessed at any time in its history. While some units in the Japanese Navy Air Force (JNAF) were still flying Type 96 'Claudes', all of the fighter aircraft committed to the Pearl Harbor and Philippines missions were A6M2 Zeroes, many flown by veterans of the China War. The conflict in the Pacific grew out of economic and political discontent felt in Japan against 'Western Imperialists' - namely the United States and Britain. Japan's successful forays into Manchuria and China had allowed its military to test and perfect its arsenal of offensive weapons, especially its fighters and bombers. It also allowed JNAF and Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) aircrew to perfect tactics that would give them the advantage over the air arms of the Western powers in the first critical months of war. Success on the Chinese mainland throughout the 1930s led Japan's military leaders to grow overconfident in their forces' ability to wage war on a much larger scale in Asia, an illusion manifesting itself in the dramatic upsurge of fanatical nationalism that swept the nation.
By the summer of 1941 Japanese leaders knew that conflict was inevitable, and so ordered their forces to prepare for war whilst the politicians still it carried out diplomatic negotiations in Washington DC.