Serving as a sequel to Kaigun, the prize-winning study of the surface and sub-surface forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy, this work illuminates the rise of Japanese naval aviation from its genesis in 1909 to its thunderbolt capability on the eve of the Pacific War. It provides the most detailed account yet available in English of Japan's naval air campaign over China from 1937 to 1941 and concludes with a revealing chapter on the utter destruction of Japanese naval air power by 1944, in the process explaining its essential strengths and weaknesses.
Author Mark Peattie traces the development of the Navy's land-based air power as well as the evolution of its carrier forces. He also treats all the salient aspects of the naval air service: training, personnel, tactics, doctrine, technology, and industrial base. In doing so, he combines data found in previous handbooks with important new information derived from Japanese language sources. The book's appendixes include biographic summaries of important personnel mentioned in the text, detailed drawings and data on Japanese carriers and naval aircraft, and information on Japanese naval air bases and land-based air groups as of 7 December 1941.