Osprey's Big Reveal: Combat Aircraft

In Military History, Featured

To navigate your way through the Big Reveal please use the links in the bar above.

Next up in our Big Reveal is the Combat Aircraft series, which sees four new books landing in 2017.

Nakajima B5N ‘Kate’ and B6N ‘Jill’ Units

Entering service during the Sino-Japanese War, the Nakajima B5N (code-named ‘Kate’) excelled and went on to achieve surprising and dramatic successes in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Its replacement, the Nakajima B6N ‘Jill’, while a marked improvement over its illustrious predecessor, was never able to achieve its full potential in combat due to advances in Allied aircraft, finding itself relegated to the dreaded Kamikaze strikes in the latter part of the war. This book will cover the history of both aircraft, including their design and development, as well as the combat highs and lows of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s premier torpedo-bombers.

Ju 52/3m Bomber and Transport Units 1936-41

The all-metal Junkers Ju 52/3m enjoyed a solid – indeed, revered – reputation amongst its crews and the troops and paratroopers who used and depended on it. For more than ten years, it saw service as a successful military transport, with its distinctive, three-engined design and corrugated metal construction becoming instantly recognisable. This, the first of two books, details its service as a bomber in Spain and in South America, followed by its pivotal role in early war operations during the invasions of Poland and France, the airborne invasion of Crete and the early stages of Operation Barbarossa.

A-6 Intruder Units 1974-96

In the three decades after Vietnam, the veteran A-6 Intruder remained the most powerful strike aircraft available to the US Navy and Marine Corps. Engaging in operations over Cambodia, Lebanon and Libya during the 1970s and 80s, the A-6 maintained its reputation as the ‘Main Battery’ of carrier aviation, remaining in service through the First Gulf War up until 1996 when its duties were taken over by the F-14 Tomcat. Filled with first-hand accounts from pilots and navigators, and fully illustrated with profile artwork and photographs, this is the complete story of the US Navy's main medium attack aircraft in the latter part of the Cold War.

Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units

Initially developed by Savoia-Marchetti as a transport aircraft, the aircraft had evolved into a dedicated medium bomber by the time the S.79-I made its combat debut in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. During World War 2, it became Italy’s most successful bomber, and the most produced, with around 1370 built between 1936 and early 1944. Although initially hampered by poor tactics, the S.79 bomber crews nonetheless scored sunk a number of Allied vessels. The bombers patrolled ceaselessly over the Mediterranean providing a constant threat to Allied sailors in the early stages of the war. This volume chronicles the history of the S.79’s war in the Mediterranean, North African, Balkan, and East African theatres.

Which of these will you be adding to your collection next year? Let us know in the comments section below.

Post Comments

MichaelFelixKazich posted on 10 Nov 2016 12:12:09
Hello everybody

Obscenely excited for the Nakajima books, long overdue I feel. I wonder if there might also be scope to update the Aichi D3A COM with late war Val units and the Yokosuka D4Y dive bomber.

Carl(Sweden) posted on 17 Aug 2016 09:36:20
3 great Axist books upcoming, especially the Savoia Marchetti! Always nice to have a book on a relatively sparesly (in english) covered area.
Thumbs up!
Daitengu posted on 13 Aug 2016 00:40:51
How very axis. I'll take the three. Would like to see a well written book on Ju52 units. The SM79 one would also be interesting.
Kolya posted on 11 Aug 2016 19:21:15
Definitely the SM79. I would like to see a few more books on the Italian armed forces.
AdamC posted on 10 Aug 2016 09:08:38
So - Combat Aircraft!!! Another compact but very interesting list here! Again, as with MAA, all these sound like valuable additions to the series as a whole and not overly dominated by US themes either which is nice. Still no Short Stirling title to complete the series coverage of the British heavy bombers of WWII but still a decent list. You can put me down for a copy of Ju 52/3m Bomber and Transport Units 1936-41 (and indeed the second part when it appears - I assume 2018). Bring on the next series!!!!
PS. Some interesting points there Pete. I look forward to the "new" aviation series and the Website upgrades!!!
KenA posted on 10 Aug 2016 03:00:57
Many thanks for the heads up OspreyRich. Most appreciated. I look forward to seeing what you have in mind for the new aviation series. I understand commercial imperatives but I’m afraid that I’ve had an overdose of Americana (not helped by Tronald Dump’s various outrages). I find that there are much more interesting things in other parts of the world, particularly those countries whose armed forces and conflicts are much less known and where Osprey can fill a real gap in readers’ knowledge.
OspreyRich posted on 9 Aug 2016 15:27:28
Hi KenA. Sigh. No there is no winding down planned. Speaking for myself after almost 11 years with Osprey, 4 of them as MD I’m still as enthusiastic about series titles as I ever was. They are the beating heart of the company and the team that create them are a tremendously committed bunch of people.

This is what is going on.

Osprey Games are a growing and successful part of our programme but they are run by a completely different (and smaller) team sitting in an overcrowded office just off the main compound where the main team are incarcerated.

Numbers and dates are coming soon. We are just very, very busy putting out a lot of books.

Both COM and MAA are mature series that have covered a lot of ground, which means that subjects become more niche and a harder sell. As such we’ve eased back on the numbers a bit to give the books we’ve actually commissioned some room to breathe and do well.

In aviation we’ve been thinking a lot about what we can do, because we are still hugely committed to publishing in the area. Air Vanguard, X-Planes and a soon to be announced new series are all evidence of the renewed effort that we have put into our aviation publishing.

We are always working on the website. It has been a bit slow over the last two days because we are moving it to a new server. We are a victim of our own success and need to upgrade. It should be better soon.

As to the US or UK debate we do our best. In part decisions are based on what will sell. It has to be. We are a commercial company that needs to thrive. At the same time we also history enthusiasts who are all secretly (or not so secretly) convinced our own specialist subject will be huge. We try to combine this enthusiasm with commercial sense so we are still here in another 11 years, still publishing series titles.

KenA posted on 8 Aug 2016 23:05:10
Only four COM titles in 2017 compared with five in 2016. This follows a similar drop in MAA titles to five in 2017 from seven in 2016. What is going on Osprey? Are Osprey Games and Adventures taking over or is it part of a general wind down?

Still no book numbers and scheduled publication dates for the proposed new 2017 titles. I’m starting to detect a tired feel at Osprey, aided by its now mandatory web site foul-ups.

As for the COM titles, they look interesting enough, though given the number of titles being produced I think planes from countries other than the US should be given more attention. The US has had more than its fair share of COM titles.
ASM posted on 8 Aug 2016 13:47:41
Interesting titles. Just too bad they are not Air Vanguards. The finest "X-plane" ever built never to reach full production status :-)

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