Sunday 12 March 2017


 Title: NANKAI NO UMIWASHI-TACHI - The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Groups in the Southwest Pacific Theater
Authors: Sato Nobuhiko, Yoshino Yasutaka
Published by: Dainippon Kaiga, Nov. 2014, pb
Pages: 127, Size: 21X26cm, Photos: 118
This DNK publication features the photo collection of Abe Tetsuo who visited Indonesia between January and November 1940, working for Mainichi Shimbun. The original photos are of great importance as they show the IJNAF forces in action in the South Pacific.
The first chapter entitled "The water birds of Halong base" is a photographic record of the 934Ku at their Halong seaplane base on Ambon Island. An excellent set of 22 photos with A6M2-N "Rufe" but also F1M "Pete" and N1K "Kyofu" seaplanes.
The second chapter entitled "The Zero fighters in Southwestern Pacific" features 26 amazing photos of Zero-sen of the 381Ku.
Chapter 3 "The struggling of 732nd NAG in operations Z1 and KON" deals with the 732Ku with 25 fantastic photos of Mitsubishi G3M "Betty" bombers. The chapter also includes a few photos of IJAAF aircraft that shared with Navy units the Waile base on Halmahera island and three photos of G3M3 "Nell" of the 2nd Kanoya Kokutai based at Digos, Mindanao island.
The 4th and last chapter "The air operations over Okinawa, seen from Kushira base" features 18 photos of B6N2 "Tenzan" and B5N1 and B5N2 "Kate" bombers operating as the title suggests from Kushira base on Kyushu island during the defence of the Okinawa.
The publication is complimented by 16 color profiles illustrated by Nishikawa Yukinobu and very helpful (but of dubious quality) English translations for all the captions and some of the text.
This was a highly anticipated publication by DNK, similar to the IJAAF photo collection of Kikuchi-san. Unfortunately there are two things that take away most of the fun; horrible lay-out with some extremely interesting photos spread on two pages damaged by the inevitable "valley" and excessive noise on most photos damaging the details.
Nevertheless it is a most valuable publication full of interesting information and images rarely seen in print that indeed could have been published better.
The book is available from our on-line store, HERE


Jacob said...

Hi George,
Thanks for your review of this very interesting book!
yes-the quality of the photos could/should have been better but indeed-
they are one-of a-kind, but leave me with a lot of questions about the number of operational fighter floatplanes of the 934Ku
One remark- not 1940 but 1944.

best regards,
Jacob Terlouw

David Brizzard said...

I too thought the book was well done overall. A most welcome addition.
But, please explain what you mean by "dubious quality profiles".

D. Chouinard said...

Looks interesting. I know all too well about the "valley", it irritates me when publishers do that.

Arawasi said...

David: "very helpful (but of dubious quality) English translations", not profiles.

David Brizzard said...

Oops. My bad. Should have looked twice. Sorry about that.

Arawasi said...

David: no worries.
Question: when you overdo something, you do it too much. When you overload your car, you put too many things. When you oversleep, you sleep too much. How come overlook doesn't mean to look too much?

David Brizzard said...

Now that is a good question.