This book describes in considerable detail the people, events ships and aircraft that shaped the Air Service from its origins in the late 19th century to its demise in 1945. The formative years began when a British Naval Mission was established in Japan in 1867 to advise on the development of balloons for naval purposes. After the first successful flights of fixed-wing aircraft in the USA and Europe, the Japanese navy sent several officers to train in Europe as pilots and imported a steady stream of new models to evaluate.
|Publisher:||Pen & Sword Books Limited|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Peter Edwards was commissioned into the Northamptonshire Regiment (previously the 48th Foot). Subsequently he commanded the Officer Training Corps at Bristol University. He is the author of Talavera [Crowood 2005].
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Edwards' work goes well beyond the dramatic images of the Japanese World War II air power unleashed at Pearl Harbor, the infamous Zeros, and desperate bravery of the kamikazes which have become an indelible part of popular history. Although the "rise and fall" phrase of the title denotes the bulk of the content, the book is a history of Japanese air interests and air power from their origins and early developments preceding World War II. The growth of Japanese air power both paralleled and interacted with the growth in European countries and the United States. In close cooperation, Japanese engineers, military planners, politicians, and industrialists--and Japanese royalty too--pursued their country's path of development as they were also taking what they could from Western aircraft design, manufacture, and tactics and sometimes working directly with Westerners. Like Western military aviation, Japan's began with balloons. About the time when these were first employed in warfare in Western nations, Western countries already had diplomatic missions in Japan. The British opened a diplomatic mission in the 1860s. And in World War I, Japan was an Asian ally of Britain and the Allies which used early war planes to bomb German warships in Chinese harbors and disrupt German naval activity in the Pacific. After World War I, Japan participated in aviation testing programs in the United States while keeping up with the most advanced aviation developments in England and Germany. At the outbreak of World War II, Japan had an advanced, well-trained, formidable air force as a part of its Imperial Navy. The air force was closely associated with the Imperial Navy because it had concentrated on building aircraft carriers since these were not covered specifically in the global disarmament following World War I. Edwards weaves together a variety of material for this engrossing history not only recounting the development of Japanese air power--a topic which has not received much attention despite the perennial keen interest in World War II--but also deepening understanding of the nature of the warfare and surrounding political, technical, etc., matters bearing on it. The reader encounters deliberations of Japanese wartime leaders, Japan's strategy for taking militaristic rule over large areas of Asia and the Pacific, the role of its air power in this, technical specifications of war planes, the turns of specific battles, and Japan's changing dependence on its air power in relation to its fortunes in World War II, among much else. For its material ranging from panoramic perspectives of WWII in Asia and the Pacific to listings of specifications of air plane parts, the history is a distinctive and engaging work filling a gap in any military history library.