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F4F Wildcat vs A6M Zero-sen: Pacific Theater 1942 (Duel)

F4F Wildcat vs A6M Zero-sen: Pacific Theater 1942 (Duel) [Kindle Edition]

Edward Young , Gareth Hector
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


In a sentence this is a truly authoritative and greatly pleasant book. --Aerospace Magazines

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It's packed with information and photos the aircraft modeler will love. --Ipms/USA

I am very impressed with this title. It expands the knowledge base available of the A6M and F4F fighters. I certainly recommend it. --AeroScale

Product Description

The Grumman F4F Wildcat and the Mitsubishi A6M Zero-sen were contemporaries, although designed to very different requirements. The Wildcat, ruggedly built to survive the rigors of carrier operations, was the best carrier fighter the US Navy had available when the USA entered World War II, and it remained the principal fighter for the US Navy and the US Marine Corps until 1942-43. With a speed greater than 300mph, exceptional manoeuvrability, long range, and an impressive armament the slick Zero-sen could out-perform any Allied fighter in 1941-42. The battles between the Wildcat and the Zero-sen during 1942 represent a classic duel in which pilots flying a nominally inferior fighter successfully developed air-combat tactics that negated the strengths of their opponent.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 16126 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HDD455S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #226,796 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but flawed. 10 Oct. 2014
By Hawkfan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The comparison between the two aircraft and opposing pilots was good. But there wasn't much about the actual duels from the opposing pilots, (for example, the series "Dogfights" on the TV). But I would recommend this book, to anyone with an interest in just straight comparisons between the two opponents.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Comparison and Contrast 12 Sept. 2013
By M. Starke - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've always had a fondness for the Grumman Wildcat. It's certainly not the most attractive aircraft with its pudgy, barrel-like design, and it certainly has none of the visual appeal or striking looks of other WW II aircraft, but there is something about its unassuming "underdog" nature that I find endearing. The fact that American pilots did as well with the Wildcat as they did against the Japanese Zero makes its story all the more interesting and this book does an excellent job telling that story in its brief 80 pages.

This is a well edited book, full of photographs, comparison charts, full page three-view drawings and aviation art. I found the cockpit diagrams for the Wildcat and the Zero with keys to the instruments and controls clearly presented and interesting as is the presentation of all the technical data for both the fighters and their variants.

Also interesting is the section on combat tactics for the planes which are demonstrated by historical accounts from pilots from each side. There are short biographies of some of the major aces including Joseph Foss, Marion Carl,Saburo Sakai, Junichi Sasai and others.

This is not a book for historic research, but rather a concise overview of the air war in the Pacific up to 1942 and how these two planes were pivotal weapons for that time. It's one of those books you can pick up and start reading anywhere when you have a few minutes. The pictures are sharp and the layout is very attractive.

I found nothing to dislike about this book other than I wish there were more of it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, Informative Comparison of Two Legendary Warbirds! 20 Sept. 2013
By Michael OConnor - Published on
I've always found the battles between the Mitsubishi Zero and Grumman Wildcat among the most fascinating air combats of all time. On one hand you had a tubby if rugged bulldog. On the other, a superlative dogfighter that had vanguished any Allied fighter that opposed it. Yet, in their combats in 1942, it was the F4F that triumphed. Edward Young's F4F WILDCAT VS A6M ZERO-SEN, PACIFIC THEATER 1942 explains how that came about.

Part of Osprey's DUEL series, Young's book is the usual, fascinating mix of aircraft description, training details, pilot bios, combats, stats and analysis, etc. In the end, effective tactics devised by innovative fighter leaders like Thach, Flatley and John Smith coupled with the F4F's better armament and sheer ruggedness triumphed. In truth, Wildcats pilots did not score that many more kills over the Zeros, the kill-loss figure being 129 Zeros vs. 111 F4Fs. The important point was that most F4F shootdowns survived while almost all of the Zero pilots did not...and they were irreplaceable.

F4F WILDCAT VS A6M ZERO-SEN is an excellent addition to the DUEL series. It engagingly captures the dynamic and history-changing combats fought in 1942 between two widely-differing fighter aircraft. Recommended.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb comparison of two classic warbirds. 6 Oct. 2013
By navynut - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an example of the Duel series at its best. Mr. Young takes the two leading edge naval fighters at the start of the war in the Pacific and runs them thru their paces. We get a thorough understanding of each plane's strengths and weaknesses, especially in terms of the design compromises made for the Zero to achieve the requested performance. What we also see is how tactics and training can trump performance. The Wildcat's success against the Zero is in fact reminiscent of the early Israeli army's success using less than stellar westernd tanks against superior Soviet designs. Skill and tactics can beat a superior machine when coupled with team work as the USN did with its fighter squadrons. One thing that stands out is that the Wildcat when upgarded late in the war with a bigger engine and a slightly modified airframe could still hold its own. According to the author, the FM-2 Wildcat achieved a 23 to 1 kill ratio over late war Japanese aircraft. While this is obvisouly due to the decline in Japanese pilot training, it still is a compelling point in favor of the Grumman design. I highly recommend this title to anyone seeking more knowledge on air combat in the Pacific.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard duels in the Pacific skies 29 Oct. 2014
By Marco De Montis - Published on
The Osprey's Duel sereis is enriched by this title on the hard fightings between the US and Japanese pilots in the first years of the WW2's Pacific campaign.
Estimated Author Young vividly describes the scenario. The USA were still shocked after the deadly Pearl Harbor attack and were under a huge pressure from the power and effectiveness of the IJN. Spearhead of the IJN aviation were the fighter squadrons equipped with the compact, agile and fast Mitsubishi A6M Zero Sen. At the forefront of the technology, this beautiful monoplane fighter with retractable gear and closed cockpit was indeed a truly war machine thanks to its superb pilots, well trained veterans of the China campaign. Due to these factors, IJN Zero Sen became immediately a nightmare for the USN and USMC pilots: faster, lighter and exceptionally maneuverable the Mitsubishi fighter stimulated American pilots to quickly develop new and imaginative tactics to counter its many qualities. The American pilots at the controls of the underpowered but tough F4F Wildcats demonstrated a wild ingenuity, exemplified by the “Thach weave” conceived by Lt. Col. John Thach, CO of the VF-3. This tactic implied two weaved and coordinated split S to be executed by the two pairs just to entangle the enemy plane.
Other winning clues were listed in the “8 rules” devised by Col. Jimmy Flatley, who put an emphasis on the famed “hit and run” tactic, since form WW1 period the best one to counter a more agile opponent.
Thanks to these effective tactic and to a training focused on the gunnery techniques American pilots since Midway succeeded on catching many victories against an opponent ever and ever wear out by a painstaking deadly and hard fight. After the initial phase during which the Japanese pilots were members of an exceptionally trained elite the IJN training system fell to pieces and IJN squadrons were overcome by a huge stream of good trained American pilots.
The book describes the two planes (emphasizing the respective pros and cons), main battles (from Coral Sea to Santa Cruz) and the aces with the useful aid of detailed maps, drawings and wonderful artworks drawn by the famed and popular Gareth Hector and Jim Laurier.
In a sentence this is a truly authoritative and greatly pleasant book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When we were losing the War in the Pacific 13 Sept. 2013
By Michael Reese - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good book for Osprey's "Duel" series. The F4F was the primary aircraft used by the USN in '41 up into '43 in the Pacific as a fighter aircraft. It was not as good as the Japanese Zero. Book nicely describes the development of both aircraft and the shock to the U.S. pilots and our allies at just how good the Japanese Zero and the pilots flying them were. The book then goes on to describe how the U.S. Navy and Marines developed tactics to exploit the weaknesses in the Zero and the strengths of the Wildcat. Very good. Recommend.
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