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Elite 127: Japanese Paratroop Forces of World War II

by Gordon Rottman and Akira Takizawa, illustrated by Mike Chappell and Adam Hook

Published by Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84176-903-7, 64 pages.

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Here’s something really unusual! Yes, the Japanese did have parachute and glider forces, both Army and Naval paratroops in fact, and the Army organisation even included a tank unit with two Type 2 Ke-To light tanks – one is in a photograph here. They made combat parachute landings in the Dutch East Indies in 1942, and also fought in 1944-45 in the Philippines and on Okinawa. Taki is of course well known to Missing Links for his armour website as well as his contributions to discussions here, and his expertise is clear in the book.

The Japanese airborne forces had their birth in 1940 following the success of Germany’s Fallschirmjaeger attacks. Their selection and training is described, followed by their Army and Navy unit organisations and the weapons and equipment of both forces. Then comes the combat history of each unit, with plenty of details. The period photographs show much of their special dress as well as their weapons, and the colour plates expand on this to give all a modeller could ask for.

Highly recommended!

John Prigent

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