On July 7, 1937, the Lugouqiao Bridge incident near Beijing started the Second Sino-Japanese War.
From the first days of the invasion, Japanese naval aircraft played a major role in the attack, forcing its air force to increase its supply of aircraft. In 1938, the Ki-27a fighter saw the light of day, whose combat qualities, advanced with respect to its Chinese counterparts, together with the good training of its pilots, allowed the Japanese air force to obtain air superiority over the Chinese Air Force. In air battles, the fighter successfully fought against Soviet-made I-15 and I-16 aircraft.
In 1938, Ki-21-Ia bombers appeared in the skies over China, and the 60th Sentai was the first to receive them. The aircraft were immediately engaged in active combat operations, and their crews managed to develop an extremely effective tactic: they maintained a close combat formation in the target area, which allowed them to concentrate their firepower significantly, The Ki-21-Ia bombers also proved to be highly resilient, being able to withstand damage caused by a large number of conventional caliber bullets.
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