Known for the distinctive "sharkmouths" decoration on their noses, P-40 fighters first saw combat in China during World War II.Their most common adversary was the Japanese Nakajima Ki-43, nicknamed "Oscar." Carl Molesworth describes and explains the design and development of these two foes, the products of two vastly different philosophies of fighter design. The P-40 was heavily armed and sturdy with armor protection and self-sealing fuel tanks, but paid for this with the loss of speed and a sluggish performance at altitude. The Ki-43 was a rapier to the battleaxe P-40 and the Ki-43 was immensely nimble, though with less firepower and durability. This book examines these two different fighters, and the pilots who flew them over China, with an action-packed text, rare photographs and digital artwork.
Carl Molesworth is an editor and writer for Reed Elsevier. He has been researching and writing about fighter operations in World War 2 for more than 25 years. His seven previous titles include four books for Osprey, P-40 Warhawk Aces of the CBI, P-40 Warhawk Aces of the MTO, P-40 Warhawk Aces of the Pacific and Very Long Range P-51 Mustang Units of the Pacific War. In 2004, he won a Gold Award for his writing in the Trade Association Business Publications International's annual competition. The author lives in Mount Vernon, WA.