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Soviet Air Power In World War 2

By Yefim Gordon

Specialty Press


S u m m a r y

Title and Author:

Soviet Air Power In World War 2
by Yefim Gordon
Midland Publishing

Media: Hardcover, 528 pages, 9" x 12"

ISBN 10: 1857803043
ISBN 13: 9781857803044

Price: MSRP: US$79.95 available online from Specialty Press
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Covers all major topics of the area; hundreds of hitherto unpublished photos;
Disadvantages: Some omissions and gremlins; no index
Conclusion: Reflecting latest research, Yefim Gordon’s convenient compendium deserves a place in every World War II modeler’s library.


Reviewed by David L. Veres

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Rarely has human conflict matched the scope and savagery of World War II’s Eastern Front.  Locked in an apocalyptic clash of totalitarian ideologies, German and Soviet forces slaughtered each other with ruthless abandon.

Carnage extended to air combat.  And now Yefim Gordon offers a superb, one-stop summary of Soviet military aviation in the Great Patriotic War.

Gordon requires no introduction.  Few authors have so illumined Russian aviation history for English-speaking enthusiasts.  And Soviet Air Power In World War 2 doesn’t disappoint.  It’s splendidly entertaining and informative.

Gordon’s précis clearly aims at hitting all major topics in one handy, hefty tome.  Coverage seamlessly moves from warplane production, through organizational structures, to aircraft types – including American and British Lend-Lease assistance.  A concluding chapter even highlights personalities.

Modelers will especially value the hundreds of aircraft photos – many hitherto unpublished.  Supplementing these are dozens of well-executed color profiles of Soviet warplane livery – many with unit and special insignia.  Dozens more tables and charts support Gordon’s annotated account.

The routine and rare often reside in pleasing proximity.  Coverage of Yak-6 utility machines, for instance, closely trails that of ubiquitous Yak-3 interceptors.  And the Curtiss O-52 Owl nests near luminaries like the B-17 and AT-6.  Monotonous hardly describes this volume.

Gremlins nonetheless lurk about.   That’s a P-40 on page 143 – not a Yak-1.  The middle photo on page 303 depicts an A-20 – not an “early production IL-10”.  Side views of the same aircraft – 32nd GvIAP Yak-9 white “08” – inexplicably appear on successive pages.  And did “white 08” and sister ship “white 10” really sport identically hand-painted fuselage inscriptions?

Curious omissions likewise occur.  C-47’s understandably enjoy modest coverage in the Lend-Lease chapter.  But license-built Lisunov Li-2 variants – including operational night bomber versions – merit two meager mentions!  And given the sheer wealth of Gordon’s information, why not include a modest index for rapid reference?

Absolutely none of this detracts from the total value of Soviet Air Power In World War 2. 

Reflecting latest research, Yefim Gordon’s convenient compendium deserves a place in every World War II modeler’s library.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Specialty Press for the review sample

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North Branch, MN  55056


Review Copyright 2008 by David L. Veres
This Page Created on 10 November, 2008
Last updated 10 November, 2008

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