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Old 10th February 2005, 13:46
Kjetil Aakra Kjetil Aakra is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: North-Norway - Top of the World!
Posts: 156
Kjetil Aakra
Bets history books

Well, there are some to chose from, but the one book that has impressed me the most in recent times is Erik Pilwaskii's "Soviet Air Force Fighters 1941-45";

This books deals with the technical development of all the major Soviet fighter types (I-153, I-16, Yak-1, -3, -7-, -9, LaGG-3, La-5, -5F. 5FN, La-7,. MiG-1/-3) as well as their colouration. What is really impressive about this book is the level of scholarship and in-depth research that has gone into it. Te bibliography is very interesting read, as is the sections on camouflage and colours. It is simply a masterpiece.

In fact, I think it is one of the very few books where a lengthy presentation of the technical evolution of a plane has been combined with an equally in-depth look at the evolution of colours and markings. It also has very good profiles, line drawings as well as numerous side and plan-views of various camouflage patterns.

I know the book has been critizided in some quarters as being too "revisionist" and pro-Soviet, but don't listen to that. It is simply because we Westerns, who often find ourselves in support of either Western Allied or Luftwaffe fighters, are not used to Soviet GPW (Great Patriotic War) fighters being dealt with in such flattering terms! We are undeniably biased in our views, we have grown up with our western books telling us how great the Mustang, Spitfire and T-bolt were, while Soviet fighters have often been described as rudimentary, simplistic, primitive and hastily put together "emergency" programs. That is simply not true. I still believe Luftwaffe fighters (especially the Fw 190) are some of the finest figehtrs of WWII, but there is simply no denying that the La-7 and Yak-3 (to mention two) were superior fighters, in many ways also to the Spitifre and Mustang. Read the account of the Yak-3U - or any of the other examples of what these Russian fighters could do!

All in all masterpiece and one of the best aviation books to be published in recent years. Highly recommended.

Kjetil Aakra
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