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The Japanese Aircraft Carriers Soryu and Hiryu


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About the Author

Miroslaw Skwiot is an author and historian.


A hard cover book from Kagero this time, with the history of the development and service history of two of the famous Japanese aircraft carriers of WW2, both of which took part in the raid on Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Essentially sister ships, they did turn out to have some differences by the time both were completed. I found it interesting to read about their development in the context of the pre-war period, when the limitations of the Washington Treaty on warships had an effect on warship design, and when the very creation of full deck aircraft carriers was still in its' infancy. Experience with operating earlier carriers (Akagi and Kaga in particular) as well as lessons learnt from vulnerability to a variety of ships when caught in very bad storms led to changes in building both Soryu and Hiryu. Soryu was slightly delayed in completion and Hiryu by as much as 2 years, though both were in service by the outbreak of WW2. On top of the development story and details of the design, the aircraft they flew and even diagrams of how aircraft were to be stowed in the hanger. Well illustrated throughout with archive photos this goes on to tell the operational stories of both vessels, both of which ended in their sinking. Filling 100 pages the story ends with the sinking of both carriers at the Battle of Midway in 1942, where they in turn had managed to sink one of the US carriers, the Yorktown. -- Robin Buckland Military Model Scene

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