A fully illustrated study of the Nakajima Ki49 'Helen', the twin-engined bomber of the Pacific War, from Japanese aviation expert George Eleftheriou. The Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu ('Dragon Eater'), codenamed 'Helen' by the Allies, was a twin-engined Japanese bomber designed to undertake daylight attacks without the protection of escort fighters. Consequently, while it was officially known as the Army Type 100 Heavy Bomber, its formidable defensive armament and armour were so heavy that they restricted the Ki-49 to payloads comparable to those of smaller medium bombers.
While only five heavy bomber sentai (regiments) were equipped with the 'Helen', the over 800 Ki-49s built between 1941 and 1944 saw extensive action in Burma, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, northern India and north Australia.
In an act of desperation, a small number of 'Helens' were even employed, unsuccessfully, as kamikaze aircraft against US Navy warships operating off the Philippines and Okinawa.
In this fascinating book, George Eleftheriou provides a comprehensive account of the units that saw action flying the 'Helen', based on original Japanese sources. Also featuring high-quality photographs never published before, specially commissioned colour profile artwork, official unit histories and veteran accounts, this title is a must-have for Japanese aircraft enthusiasts.
Read an extract of Nakajima Ki-49 ‘Helen’ Units
Table of Contents
Table of Contents (Subject to Confirmation) Contents 1. Ki-49 Design and Development 2. Organisation of IJAAF heavy bomber units and pilot training 3. Battle of Burma 4. Raids against Darwin and northern Australia 5. Papua New Guinea 6. Battle of the Philippines 7. Final 'Helen' Missions Appendices: - Unit listings - Comprehensive plate commentaries Index
25 May 2023
Colour artwork plates and maps; black & white and colour photographs and illustrations.