Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces; Uniforms and equipment 1932-45
Authors: Gary Nila & Robert A Rolfe
Illustrator: T Chong
Series: Men-at-Arms * 432
Length: 48 pages
Format: Softcover, PDF, ePub
IntroductionJapanese Special Naval Landing Forces; Uniforms and equipment 1932-45
is the 432nd title of the Men-at-Arms series. As well as an overview of that Imperial Japanese force and their history and war record, it features black-and-white and color photographs, full color artwork, and detailed descriptions of their uniforms and equipment.
Imperial Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces were not “Japanese Marines” yet they were ferocious fighters that gained a reputation that exceeded their small numbers. This book explores the foundation of their concept and formation; first action in China; employment in Japan’s early World War Two successes and final Banzais
across Pacific battlefields. While small in number, SNLF units appeared at most island battles. The authors include a full page listing known SNLF units.
Modelers, historians and re-enactors should be interested to know that the majority of the book – 34 pages – focuses on SNLF uniforms and equipment. The book is arranged in standard Osprey format, with subject plates interspersed through the text, with commentary in the back. The subject is brought to us through 48 pages in six chapters:
a. Naval landing parties during the Russo-Japanese war
b. the SNLF in China from 1932
c. the SNLF in World War II
d. SNLF units
a. Headgear: China, 1932-41: sailor caps; blue wool field caps; green wool field caps; neck flaps; steel helmets. Pacific campaign, 1941-45: enlisted men’s field caps; petty officers’ field caps; officer’s field cap; navy type 3 steel helmet; helmet camouflage, cover and nets; tropical pith helmets
b. Clothing: enlisted men and petty officers; officers
c. Insignia: ratings patches, 1920s-1940s; shoulder and collar insignia
d. Identity labels and tags
3. Field equipment
a. Haversacks; canteens; first aid kits; belts & ammunition pouches; bayonets & frogs; knapsacks; gas masks
b. Weapons: handguns; rifles; light machine guns; grenade discharger; grenades; swords; daggers
4. Select bibliography
5. The plates
artwork, photographs Fortifying the text are dozens of quality and clear photographs. Furthermore, 18 color photographs are included; coauthor R. A. Rolfe is a collector of Imperial Japanese uniforms and equipment, specializing in the SNLF. Artist Tony Chong supports the text with two pages of color illustrations:
a. Officers' Rank Insignia
b. Helmet, liner, chin strap, SNLF badge; puttees, tapes, puttee label
Furthermore, a table of Japanese kanji characters, numbers, useful terms, and calender dates is included.
ConclusionAs an enthusiast of all things Pacific War, I am very happy with this book. While relatively short at 48 pages, it is packed full with exceptional color photographs from an impressive collection. The authors do a great job of identifying Imperial Japanese equipment, i.e., Type 94 pistol,Type 99 ammo pouch, Type 30 bayonet, and other equipment. The colors and other differences between SNLF uniforms and IJA uniforms is very useful for modelers of Imperial Japanese subjects. Mr. Chong's artwork is excellent, as are the black-and-white photos that support the text.
The minor faux pas of the typo is meaningless in light of the excellent reference this book provides.
Modelers, historians and re-enactors should find this book to be very useful. I heartily recommend this book.
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