Mitsubishi Ki-51(?): One of those days…

This shocking photograph has been identified as the imprint a Kamikaze left on the British heavy cruiser HMS Sussex off Phuket, Siam (Thailand) July 26, 1945. The aircraft seems to be a Ki-51, and someone has created a pretty neat GIF to prove it.

There are some doubts about the veracity of this document, but it sure resumes this jinxed day of mine quite nicely.


Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (II).

Magnificent piece of traditional Japanese watercolor artistry. This delicate drawing has usually been heralded as a propaganda interpretation of the Pearl Harbor raids. The variant and the colour of these Zeros seem at odds though; no Green Zeros over Pearl Harbor, all mainly Light Grey. The Green appeared later in widespread service.

Property of the Marshall Cavendish Library.

“Boeing B-29”: The Japanese and their nice toys.

At first sight nothing out of the ordinary in this quite well-made “B-29” wooden mock-up. Looks just like another airfield decoy, don’t you think?…,wrong. Taken at the Irumagawa AB (Japan), this was one of the three full-size B-29 mock-ups constructed in Japan during the war. Another, the one at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy at Saitama, was employed as a demolition trainer to develop the tactics to be employed for the “Operation Gi-gou” on Okinawa.

Nakajima B4N1: Incom T-65’s Ojiisan.

The B4N1 was an unsuccessful Nakajima entry in an Imperial Japanese navy (IJN) 1932 carrier attack bomber contest. The IJN wanted the usual biplane, and Nakajima produced this stunning aircraft characterised by its drum-shaped welded steel tube fuselage and a bizarre backwards folding wooden “X-wing” structures. Two prototypes appeared in 1933. Their performance proved to be poor, thanks to their asthmatic and troublesome Hikari II engines, and they also suffered stability problems produced, it seems,  by the straight  outer sections in the lower pair fo wings. In the end neither the B4N1 nor its Mitsubishi competitor gained acceptance into service.

It was really something, don’t  you think so?