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An illustrated exploration of the dramatic aerial combats between the US Navy's long-range bomber and Japanese flying boats in the Pacific War. Edward M. Young explores these rarely written about combats, examining the aggressive and strategic tactics deployed by both US Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force and analyzing the technical improvements installed throughout the war. The PB4Y-1/2 Liberator/Privateer was the US Navy's first four-engined, land-based bomber, adapted and allocated to fight the U-boat menace in the Atlantic and protect the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean. The long range, speed, armament and bomb load of the PB4Y-1 enabled the US Navy's Pacific squadrons to adopt more aggressive tactics. The PB4Y-1, and its follow-on PB4Y-2, engaged in dangerous bombing missions against Japanese installations, shipping strikes, and air combat. On the other side, with its doctrine of making the first strike against an enemy fleet, the Imperial Japanese Navy recognized the vital importance of maritime reconnaissance, relying on carrier-based reconnaissance aircraft, ship-borne floatplanes and, for long-range maritime patrol, flying boats. The Japanese would continue to develop their aircraft throughout the war, resulting, among others, in the H6K 'Mavis' and the H8K2 'Emily', which despite never achieving a victory, was regarded by the Allied pilots as the most difficult Japanese aircraft to destroy. Enriched with specially commissioned artwork, including armament and cockpit views, battlescenes, and technical diagrams, this title analyzes technical specifications in detail. By including first-hand accounts, aviation expert Edward M. Young provides a detailed account of these one-sided yet dramatic and aggressive combats.
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