The A5M was introduced in 1936 and was the worlds first low wing monoplane shipboard fighter. It was assigned the Allied reporting name “Claude”.
The Claude first saw combat during the 2nd Sino-Japanese from 1937.
It proved greatly superior to opposing bi-plane fighters.
It was also an opponent to Chinese operated Boeing P-26 fighters and battles against these were the first with both sides operating monoplanes.
During battles in 1938 the Claude came up against Polikarpov I-16 fighters which were a competitive match.
Battles in Feb and April were the largest air battles fought at that time.
By the time of Pearl Harbour, the A5Ms were in the process of being replaced by the Zero.
The last combat for the A5m came at the battle of Coral Sea in May 42.
After that time the A5M was used for training.
In the last months of the war remaining aircraft were used for Kamikaze attacks.
Fuimi 1/72 kit completed by Steve Pulbrook in 2017.