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Osprey Combat Aircraft 71


Il-2 Shturmovik Guards Units of WWII




S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Combat Aircraft #71 - Il-2 Shturmovik Guards Units of WWII
ISBN: 9781846032967
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 80 pages
Price: GBP£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: An enlightening account of the deeds performed by the Guards units that flew the Il-2. Superb colour profiles with a useful range of scale drawings.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by
Rob Baumgartner

Osprey's Il-2 Shturmovik Guards Units of WWII is available online from Squadron.com





The Ilyushin Il-2 “Shturmovik” was one of the best attack aircraft of WWII.

It was built in huge numbers, at least 36,000, and gained a reputation as a robust aircraft. These machines were not particularly sophisticated but could absorb a lot of battle damage. Thus it was ideally suited to the ground attack role.

The VVS RKKA (Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily Raboche-Krestiyanskoy Krasnoy Armii-Air Force of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army) trained and sent hundreds of aircraft attack regiments to the Front.

Many of these performed extraordinary feats. For those efforts in combat they earned the coveted Guards title. Within the soft card covers are 96 pages which detail all aspects of the aircraft’s deployment within these units.

We learn about the development of the Il-2, the organizational structure of the formations and also the tactics used.

With over 80 black and white photographs, this publication follows the standard format of the series. They are well chosen for their relevancy and compliment the text very well.

The story starts a mere five days after the Germans attacked the Soviet Union. Various aspects of the air war are covered and importantly the author provides the background information that puts the deeds into perspective.



Andrey Yurgenson takes care of the colour profiles and he provides 32 in total. They are wonderfully drawn and display a wide variety of types and camouflage schemes.

Six pages of general arrangement drawings show the various forms that the Il-2 took. These plans give a good insight into the development of this aircraft and how it was adapted for the different roles it took on.

Rounding out the publication is a list of the Regiment, Division, and Corp attack units that attained the elite Guards title.





This is an interesting book that gives the reader a solid understanding of the role played by the Il-2 within the Guards units.

The layout is logical and the accompanying artwork inspiring. Thus we have an excellent introduction to the tale of one of the most important aircraft of its type.



Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample

Review Copyright 2008 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 8 June, 2008
Last updated 8 June, 2008

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