This is the latest edition of books on aircraft by the prolific Osprey company. It is in their established 9 3/4" x 7 1/4" format with a soft cover.
The author is very well versed in the subject, seeing as he is the son of a former officer in the Japanese Naval Technical Arsenal (OSAMU) and he has already written several books on Japanese aircraft. He is currently working on a book on the Japanese Aichi D3A Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber, model 11, better known by the Allied code name "Val". This book is to appear in Osprey's Combat Aircraft series in the summer of 2002. I look forward to it.
This new "Betty" book has a great cover painting, showing a "Betty" attacking the battlecruisers HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse off the coast of Malaya on Dec. 10th, 1941 by artist Lain Wyllie.
The book contains 112 pages, with 85 black and white photos and no less than 40 color profiles of "Betty's". Each profile is numbered and these numbers are listed in the back of the volumn with a short discription of the particular aircraft and its color scheme. "Bettys" were pretty PLAIN JANE'S by the way... with most of them appearing in overall green over bare metal bottoms or light gray bottoms. Most of the changes in markings were relegated to the tail codes.
The book gives us a running history of the different types of the aircraft: M4M1, M4M2, M4M3 and their subtypes, including the ones that carried the MXY-7 "Baka" suicide bomb aircraft. Unit operations are told to us also.
The "Betty" was probably the most recognizable bomber that the Japanese used during the war. It was used from 1941 till the very end of hostilities. One of them brought the surrender delegation to El Shima on August 19, 1945 and I'm sure that most students of WWII Japanese aircraft know that Admiral Yamamoto was shot down and killed aboard one (a profile of his aircraft is included in the book).
The book also includes a nice Appendices that lists all the outfits that flew the "Betty" during WWII. Several pages, in the back of the book, give us no less than 21 line drawings of the various types of "Betty's" in 1/144th scale. There is also a bibliography and an index.
This is a must book for any modeler who does Japanese WWII aircraft. I believe it has the most profiles I have seen to date in any of the Osprey aircraft books too.