Book Review: Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ Aces of World War 2 by Nicholas Millman

Nicholas Millman has written a great volume about the Ki-44’s combat record in World War II. Navigating through an area of history replete with holes and misinformation, he has put together a concise narrative that both makes sense and is enjoyable to read. I was surprised to read that both the AVG and the CATF encountered the Ki-44 in combat long before it was recognized in the summer/fall of 1943. What I most like about the book is that Millman does solid research on both the Japanese and Allied sides, leaving the reader with a sense that the subject was treated fairly. He does not attempt to oversell the aircraft or its combat record. It is apparent, however, that the Japanese suffered for producing this formidable aircraft in such small numbers and for not having a more robust pilot training program throughout the war. Despite a rude shock to the Americans when the Ki-44 dominated the skies over China during the summer and fall of 1943, these deficiencies eventually spelled the downfall of the Japanese air forces.

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