P-47D Thunderbolt vs Ki-43-II Oscar

P-47D Thunderbolt vs Ki-43-II Oscar

New Guinea 1943–44

Duel 103
  • Author: Michael John Claringbould
  • Illustrator: Jim Laurier, Gareth Hector
  • Short code: DUE 103
  • Publication Date: 23 Jul 2020
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About this Product

Although New Guinea's Thunderbolt pilots faced several different types of enemy aircraft in capricious tropical conditions, by far their most common adversary was the Nakajima Ki-43-II Hayabusa, codenamed ‘Oscar' by the Allies. These two opposing fighters were the products of two radically different design philosophies. The Thunderbolt was heavy, fast and packed a massive punch thanks to its battery of eight 0.50-cal machine guns, while the ‘Oscar' was the complete opposite in respect to fighter design philosophy - lightweight, nimble, manoeuvrable and lightly armed. It was, nonetheless, deadly in the hands of an experienced pilot. The Thunderbolt commenced operations in New Guinea with a series of bomber escort missions in mid-1943, and its firepower and superior speed soon saw Fifth Air Force fighter command deploying elite groups of P-47s to Wewak, on the northern coast. Flying from there, they would pick off unwary enemy aircraft during dedicated fighter patrols. The Thunderbolt pilots in New Guinea slowly wore down their Japanese counterparts by continual combat and deadly strafing attacks, but nevertheless, the Ki-43-II remained a worthy opponent deterrent up until Hollandia was abandoned by the IJAAF in April 1944.

Fully illustrated throughout with artwork and rare photographs, this fascinating book examines these two vastly different fighters in the New Guinea theatre, and assesses the unique geographic conditions that shaped their deployment and effectiveness.

Biographical Note

Michael John Claringbould was raised in Papua New Guinea, where he became fascinated by the Pacific air war. During an extensive career in the Australian Foreign Service he undertook six postings within Asia and the Pacific. He is the author of four books on the USAAF Fifth Air Force, including Osprey Duel 87 - P-39/P-400 Airacobra vs A6M2/3 Zero-sen New Guinea 1942, and co-author of several others. Michael has also been a long-standing associate editor of the Australian historical aviation magazine Flightpath. He lives with his wife in Australia's capital city, Canberra. Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives in New Hampshire. He attended Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, from 1974-78, and since graduating with Honours, he has been working professionally in the field of Fine Art and Illustration. He has been commissioned to paint for the US Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon.Gareth Hector is a digital artist of international standing, as well as an aviation history enthusiast. Gareth completed the battlescene and cover artwork in this title. He lives in Perthshire, UK.

Contents

Introduction
Chronology
Design and Development
Technical Specifications
The Strategic Situation
The Combatants
Combat
Statistics and Analysis
Aftermath
Further Reading
Index
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