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Japanese Paratroop Forces of World War II (Elite) [Paperback]

Gordon L. Rottman , M. Chappell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

13 Sep 2005 Elite (Book 127)
While not as numerous as other nations' airborne forces, Japan's separate Army and Navy paratroop units reached a strength of approximately 18,000 men. They carried out several pioneering operations in Sumatra and Burma during the invasions of 1942 and in Leyte and Okinawa during the defensive fighting of 1944-45. Nothing authoritative has been published on this subject since a reprint, in 1973, of a US Military Intelligence booklet of 1945. This title corrects and expands on that information, covering formation, training, organization, doctrine, tactics, aircraft, uniforms, weapons and equipment, as well as the actual operations that were fought by these elite forces.

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Japanese Paratroop Forces of World War II (Elite) + Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces: Uniforms and Equipment 1937-45 (Men-at-Arms)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (13 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841769037
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841769035
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 18.1 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 826,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"The book concisely encompasses the paratroops' organization, equipment and operations ... The history includes the parachute-trained units' first tirals, their first successful assaults in early 1942, and raids and battles of 1944-45. Color illustrations of the Japanese troops and their equipment are accompanied by rare photographs." -Tony Little, "Toy Soldier & Model Figure "(April 2008)

About the Author

Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments, retiring after 26 years. He was a special operations forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Centre and is now a freelance writer. Mike Chappell comes from an Aldershot family with British Army connections stretching back several generations. He enlisted in the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1952 and retired in 1974, as RSM of the 1st Battalion The Wessex Regiment (Rifle Volunteers). He began painting military subjects in 1968 and has gained worldwide popularity as a military illustrator. Mike has illustrated many books for Osprey.

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5.0 out of 5 stars top notch 4 Feb 2009
Some of these Osprey titles are very poor. Happily this one is excellent, very detailed in uniforms, arms and equipment. A welcome addition to the monotonous british/american special forces titles.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference material 27 Jun 2010
By James D. Crabtree - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This Osprey book looks at the airborne forces employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Imperial Japanese Army. The IJN and IJA both competed for resources and primature in certain typs of missions and like other aspects of the Japanese military at this time this led to unnecessary competition and confusion. Also, of all the major combatants of WWII Japan entered with the smallest resources available to it to prosecute the war. Thus Japan only dedicated resources to airborne forces after their German allies proved their worth. Even so, they could not commit to creating entire airborne divisions since they did not have the necessary lift. The few airborne operations actually carried out used aircraft largely inappropriate for the delivery of paratroopers. Some other operations were planned but not carried out.

As with all books by Osprey it is well-illustrated with paintings, maps, photos and other resources. It is a useful reference for this chapter of the airborne experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction 24 Dec 2009
By Nick Dowling - Published on Amazon.com
This book provides a very useful overview of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy's airborne units. It provides good coverage of how these units were raised, organised and equipped and the battles they took part in. I was, however, disappointed that the doctrine which governed how the Japanese employed their airborne units is only covered in passing and the logistical arrangements for supporting airborne operations isn't really addressed. The many photos and drawings of the airborne soldiers' equipment and dress are excellent, and I imagine that they would be useful to model makers.

I was pleasantly suprised by the in-depth coverage of the battles Japanese airborne troops took part in - these are clear and well illustrated with maps and photos. The book would have been stronger though if it had discussed why the role of the paratroopers evolved from seizing strategic objectives in 1942 to performing suicide missions in 1944-45, though this isn't a major issue as the changed role is clear from the accounts of the battles. I was disappointed that the caption to a photo of the commander of the Yokosuka 1st SNLF on page 24 states that he was executed in 1948 for war crimes his unit committed, while what these were wasn't covered in the section on the relevant battle.

All up, Rottman and Takizawa have succeeded in writing a good overview of these units which should be valuable to people with an interest in the Pacific War.
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked Aspect of Pacific War 17 July 2014
By Michelle C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book gives the reader an overview of these elite soldiers. Almost all of their missions have been overshadowed by Marines and United States Army battles against the average Japanese soldiers. These soldiers were suicidal and fought tenaciously throughout the whole entire war. The author has great picture and artwork, and there are interesting details about their battles.
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