Osprey's B-25 Mitchell Units of the CBI

Author:

Edward Young

Publisher/Distributor

Osprey Publishing

Price

$23.00 MSRP

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 96 pages, 7 x 9 inches, softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2036-5

During WWII, the major warring powers each had their workhorse twin engine bomber. The British had the Mosquito, the Germans the Ju-88, the Soviets the Pe-2 and the US had the B-25 Mitchell. The B-25 saw combat is all theaters of operation, both in use by the US and by other Allied nations. Aside from Antarcica, no continent did not have B-25s on it at one time or another.

One of the lesser known combat areas that operated the Mitchell was the CBI. This was probably the least well provisioned war zone for a number of reasons, but the biggest one has to do with logistics. It was simply very difficult to provide supplies, especially to China. China was locked out of an easy way to get things to them as the coasts were held by the Japanese and the routes through Burma and Indochina were also Japanese held. Everything had to be flown in as there was no land route through the Himalayas. 

However, supplies did get through and some of those were B-25s. While quite limited in number, and weather permitting, these aircraft were able to wreak havoc with the Japanese. There were not a lot of hard target for bombers but there was infrastructure that could be damaged or destroyed. This was especially true of bridges and rail lines so the B-25 crews became adept at interrupting the flow of traffic by rail, denying supplies to the Japanese Army. They were also fairly effective against shipping in the areas where the planes could reach.

In this book the author fully covers the use of these aircraft as well as the tactics employed. This is all further enhanced by great period photos as some super art work and maps that let us follow the progression of the war in these areas. The book also covers the Mitchell's use by the Chinese American Composite Wing, a unit that gets very little press but which contributed quite a bit to the war effort in China. A book that is another fine addition to this series and a great read on its own. One that know that you will enjoy reading as much as did I.

January 2019

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