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Osprey Modelling the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Osprey Books

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Product Description

Great Book by Osprey Publishing. 80 pages
The A6M Rei Shiki Sento Ki, or Rei-sen (meaning Type Zero fighter), commonly known as the Zero, was the result of an order by the Imperial Japanese Navy for a low-wing monoplane with superior speed, range, climbing powers, and manoeuvrability. The aircraft performed so well that the military leadership in Japan insisted on its use in combat before performance trials had been completed. The aircraft thus began its long and distinguished career as fighter cover for bombers attacking Chungking in August of 1940. On September 13, during another bomber escort mission to Chungking, the Zero finally met the enemy, shooting down 27 Russian made I-16s without loss. Further embellishment of the Zero legend came from an American observer in China, Claire Chenault, leader of the famous 'Flying Tigers'. He was so impressed with the new type that he sent off urgent messages to Washington, warning them of the abilities of the new fighter. Washington largely wrote off Chenaults warnings as hysteria and exaggeration, but was to be proven wrong in a most embarrassing way on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese Navy sent waves of bombers and torpedo planes escorted by Zeros to attack Pearl Harbor. Interestingly, it is likely that the superior performance of the Zero played heavily in Japans decision to go ahead with the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the course of the war, the Zero proved itself to be a versatile and deadly adversary. None of the early Allied fighters could match the combat performance of the Zero. However, with the development of newer, more powerful fighter types by the US, as well as new tactics, the Zero began to show its age. Engineers tried to improve the speed and performance of the Zero by redesigning the wings and fuselage, and by selecting newer, more powerful engines. In the end, the Zero was fodder for the waves of American fighter planes swarming over Japan, though in the hands of a skilled, experienced pilot (which was rare by war's end) it was still lethal. Ultimately, with Japan facing certain defeat, the final solution selected by the Japanese military leadership to defend their honour and stave off final defeat involved the use of suicide tactics. Throughout the kamikaze campaign at the end of the war, the Zero was the most common aircraft type used. This book provides a detailed guide to modelling this popular aircraft across a variety of scales, and features an A6M2-N Rufe, a kamikaze A6M5c, an A6M2 model 21 at Pearl Harbor, and a captured A6M5b of TAIC #7. A Zero gallery, a walkaround section, and a detailed painting guide round of this colourful treatment.

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