Batailles Aeriennes - Les Kamikaze # 002, Fall, 2016

Reviewed June 2017
by Dan Kaplan
Lela Press, the publisher of Navires & Histoires magazine, has a new magazine devoted to famous aerial battles and campaigns, titled, Batailles Aeriennes (Aerial Battles). Like the highly regarded naval magazine, it is a large format magazine with exceptionally high quality photographs and text in French. Each issue runs over 100 pages. While the language barrier can leave one deprived of some information, I find that the text and captioning well matched to the placement of the photographs, so itís not particularly difficult to get the gist of the article. 
This particular issue (120 pages) covers the Kamikaze (Divine Wind) campaign of late 1944-1945, in which Imperial Japanese military aviators devoted themselves (though not always voluntarily) to suicide attacks upon US and allied warships using all manner of aircraft with a maximum or specially designed weapons load.  It was a campaign borne of desperation, to allow for more effective attacks than those conducted by conventional attack, so as to turn back the tide of war in favor of the Japanese.  This issue was written by Michel Ledet, a noted French military aviation author.
After the introduction covers the origins and rationale for these tactics, the events are laid out in chronological order, on an attack by attack basis. The attacks, participants, and equipment are particularly well documented with Japanese and American photographs.  There are also a great many color plates of various Japanese aircraft used in the attacks.  Plus, several tables denoting the different Kamikaze units involved in various actions.
There are also three appendices devoted to a few select Kamikaze weapons: the Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka rocket powered, human guided missile, the Yokosuka D4YA Model 43 Susei dive bomber as modified for Kamikaze use, and other Kamikaze weapons, such as the Shinyo suicide speedboat, Kaiten manned torpedo, the Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi aircraft specifically designed for Kamikaze attack, and the Aichi M6A1 Seiran, a submarine based floatplane designed for attacks against targets in the Western hemisphere, notably the Panama Canal.
Conclusions:
It appears to be highly comprehensive volume.  While the use of the Kamikaze at warís end is well known, and many instances and individual events well documented, Iím not aware of that many history or reference books that approach their use from an overall campaign viewpoint. Highly recommended to those interested in this campaign.   
I would encourage you to go to their website LELA Presse and peruse their many publications, as well as this magazine.. 


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