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  #21  
Old 16th June 2019, 01:03
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

The first part of Black Cross/Red Star, Volume 4 has now been sent to the graphic designer for layout.

Volume 4 contains about 200,000 words, which is about twice as much as any of the previous volumes. There will be several hundred photographs, many of which are from pilot veterans’ private albums and have never been published before, color profiles by Jim Laurier, and excellent maps by Samuel Svärd (it is my ambition that each place mentioned in the text shall be easily found in the maps in the book).

Anyone interested in pre-ordering a personally signed hard-cover copy - and get it before it has reached the book stores - is welcome to e-mail me at forlag[at]vaktelforlag.se (replace “[at]” with an @ )

If you pass by a military or aviation specialist bookstore, please ask them if they’d be interested in taking the book.

This time, the book is published by my own publishing house, Vaktel förlag/Vaktel Books.

After Volume 4, the next volume (5) will follow, about this time next year.

Here are the contents:

Author’s introduction

Glossary and Abbreviations

Table of equivalent ranks


PART I: THE TURN OF THE TIDE

Chapter 1: Into the Fog
Chapter 2: The Luftwaffe and the VVS by Late 1942

PART II: SEALING OFF STALINGRAD

Chapter 3: A Continued Airlift Operation
Chapter 4: "Winter Storm" and "Little Saturn"

PART III: WIDENING THE OFFENSIVE

Chapter 5: The Luftwaffe’s Decisive Contribution during the Retreat from the Caucasus
Chapter 6: Operation “Mars” and Velikiye Luki—the “Little Stalingrad”
Chapter 7: The Soviet relief of Leningrad
Chapter 8: The End in Stalingrad

PART IV: THE LUFTWAFFE STRIKES BACK

Chapter 9: Von Richthofen’s Decisive Intervention
Chapter 10: An Army Group Saved by the Luftwaffe
Chapter 11: Stukas and SS Against Kharkov

PART VI: OVEREXTENSION

Chapter 12: Air Battle over the Salients
Chapter 13: The Battle for the Leningrad Corridor
Chapter 14: Ace Duel over Demyansk

PART V: IN THE NORTHERN SKIES

Chapter 15: Over the Dark Sea

PART VI: PREPARING FOR THE GREAT AIR BATTLES

Chapter 16: Kuban Bridgehead February – March 1943: Build-Up for the Big Battle

PART VII: CONCLUSIONS

Chapter 17: Chapter 17: Air Power - The Key to Victory


Appendix I: Luftwaffe 4 Order of Battle, November 19, 1942

Appendix II: VVS KA and PVO Order of Battle in the Volga – Don Area November 19, 1942

Appendix III: The aircraft on the Eastern Front in the Winter of 1942/1943

Appendix IV: The Structure of the Luftwaffe

Appendix V: The Structure of the Soviet Air Forces in Late 1942

Appendix VI: Luftwaffe Aircraft Combat Losses on the Eastern Front November 1942 – March 1943

Appendix VII: Soviet Aircraft Combat Losses January–March 1943

Appendix VIII. Aircraft color profiles by Jim Laurier


MAPS

The Eastern Front mid-November 1942
The Southern Combat Zone November 1942
The Stalingrad Cauldron
The Stalingrad Air Blockade Zones
The Don – Donets area
The Rzhev – Velikiye Luki – Demyansk area
The Leningrad area
The Southern Combat Zone February-March 1943
The Kuban Bridgehead
The Far North


SOURCES


INDEX
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Christer Bergström

http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/
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  #22  
Old 16th June 2019, 01:16
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Count me in, as I already have all of your BC - RS and related books. Will your new offerings be available through Amazon? It has gotten very expensive for someone living on the other side of the Atlantic to buy books from shops in the EU as the mailing charge is often more than the book.

L.
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  #23  
Old 16th June 2019, 01:20
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry deZeng View Post
Count me in, as I already have all of your BC - RS and related books. Will your new offerings be available through Amazon? It has gotten very expensive for someone living on the other side of the Atlantic to buy books from shops in the EU as the mailing charge is often more than the book.

L.
Hi Larry, please e-mail me at forlag[at]vaktelforlag.se
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Christer Bergström

http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/
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  #24  
Old 17th June 2019, 18:24
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Mr. Bergström,


It was a pleasure to read your post. I hope it serves as an example for other author/publishers.


Regards,
Ed West
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  #25  
Old 17th June 2019, 18:26
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry deZeng View Post
Count me in, as I already have all of your BC - RS and related books. Will your new offerings be available through Amazon? It has gotten very expensive for someone living on the other side of the Atlantic to buy books from shops in the EU as the mailing charge is often more than the book.

L.
Larry,

I do believe that economic warfare is occurring regarding the post. My company lost virtually all of our foreign mail order customers when the US Postal Service decided to end Surface Mail.

Regards,
Ed
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  #26  
Old 17th June 2019, 23:17
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

You are right on target, Ed. It has worked in the other direction, too. I reduced my book purchases from EU book dealers and bookshops by 80% as a result of the unexplained immense increase in mail/postal rates over the past 15 to 20 years. The USPS used to have a very reasonable "book rate", but no more. It's almost as if there was an international conspiracy, and some Supreme Postmaster somewhere suddenly jacked prices by 300% to 500%.

L.
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  #27  
Old 23rd June 2019, 06:55
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Yes, it will be available via Amazon.
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Christer Bergström

http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/
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  #28  
Old 23rd June 2019, 15:44
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström View Post
Yes, it will be available via Amazon.
Thanks, Christer. I did e-mail you on 15 June at forlag@vaktelforlag.se . Being available through Amazon will make things much easier for those of us living in North America.

L.
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  #29  
Old 23rd June 2019, 18:01
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry deZeng View Post
Thanks, Christer. I did e-mail you on 15 June at forlag@vaktelforlag.se . Being available through Amazon will make things much easier for those of us living in North America.

L.
Hi Larry, I'm sorry; I have been working about 15-18 hours a day to get BCRS4 finished. It is at the graphic designer right now. Chapter by chapter is made. I have fixed the photos and everything to the first chapters, and have seen the first chapters in layout, and I think they look terrific.

Here's a very small excerpt straight from the manuscript, from Chapter 6:

The surrounded Soviet garrison at Belyy was in desperate need of supplies and support from the air, so the single-engine biplanes had to be used to fly in supplies. Kapitan Viktor Grubich of 615 NBAP flew six such nocturnal supply missions to Belyy with an R-5 on December 9 and 10 alone.
The Soviets now responded to the reinforcement of Luftwaffenkommando Ost with a stronger emphasis on airbase raids. On December 10, three of III./JG 51’s Bf 109 F-2s were destroyed on the ground at Dugino Airdrome. Still, it became increasingly difficult for the VVS to fulfill its tasks over the Rzhev salient in daylight. This was due both to the fighter reinforcements on the German side (not least the presence of two entire Jagdgruppen with Fw 190s—an aircraft with no peer in the Soviet air force) and a shortage of aviation fuel on the Soviet side. The available aviation fuel was used mainly to bring as many Shturmoviks into combat as possible. The ratio of Shturmovik sorties to fighter sorties during the first stage of the winter offensive was 2:1. Against fewer than twenty own combat losses, Luftwaffenkommando Ost claimed to have shot down 105 Soviet aircraft between December 1 and 11, and seventy-six of the latter were Il-2s. The situation was often different when the Il-2s were provided with fighter escort. On December 12, when Oberleutnant Hans Beisswenger’s Schwarm of 6./JG 54 attacked a group of six Il-2s with an escort of 21 GIAP La-5s and LaGG-3s in the Demyansk area, the Soviets managed to prevent the Germans from reaching the Il-2s—at a cost to themselves of three fighter planes with their pilots, including the Eskadrilya commander Mayor Viktor Goncharov, and the deputy Eskadrilya commander Kapitan Ivan Bakal. One of these LaGG-3s was filed as Beisswenger’s 112th victory.
On December 14, 169 IAP had the opportunity to pay back I./JG 51 and Hauptmann Heinrich “Gaudi” Krafft when its La-5s pounced on the German pilots in the air near Belyy. Although his identification of the Soviet aircraft leaves much to be desired, the account by I./JG 51’s Unteroffizier Gerhard Schwarz of this combat is quite interesting:
“Suddenly a Kittyhawk emerges from out of a cloud at my altitude and attacks [Leutnant Joachim 'Achim'] Brendel. He is so close that I could almost have spat on his tail. He obviously has eyes only for the dark aircraft in front of him and doesn‘t notice me. Before I can warn Achim, the voice of the Technical Officer shrills through the radio: 'Achim, watch out, Indians behind you!' I call Achim to turn left. That the Stabsrotte [Hauptmann Heinrich Krafft and the Gruppen-T.O.] is already there gives me security. I look back—the sky is empty! Then I slip in behind the Curtiss and give him a burst from a distance of only 40 meters. A sheet of flame immediately breaks out of the fuselage and the Russian disappears with lightning-speed into the clouds.
A MiG-3 attacks me from the left and below. Achim warns me. I kick the rudder pedal, placing my plane on its left wing, pull the stick into my stomach and shove the throttle fully forward. The bird moans and groans, but I'm already in firing position. I take a lead of about 3 aircraft lengths and open fire. The hits are scored in the engine area, the cabin and the left wing. The MiG shakes and shivers under my cannon hits. The canopy flies off, the pilot has collapsed in the cockpit.”
Hauptmann Heinrich Krafft, I./JG 51’s commander, failed to return from that combat. Gerhard Schwarz recounted: “When I look around, behind me there is a cloud of black smoke in the air. The commander's aircraft has been hit and blew up. Later, Hauptmann Krafft is found with a smashed skull, without clothes. Only the Knight's Cross had been left on him.“
With seventy-eight victories on his account, Knight’s Cross holder Krafft was among JG 51’s top scorers. Krafft was shot down by either Leytenant Ivan Berezutskiy or Mladshiy Leytenant Burkin from 169 IAP, or by both in cooperation. He was the only German fighter to get lost on that occasion. On the other hand, 169 IAP lost the La-5 of Serzhant Sergey Levsha, while both Leutnant Brendel and Unteroffizier Schwarz claimed one Soviet fighter each.
With a sudden thaw setting in again on December 14, thick fog kept most of the German aircraft grounded. Although the weather also hampered Soviet aviation, the VVS proved to be better suited to handling these harsh conditions. German Ninth Army complained: “The Russian Air Force has become very active in recent days, despite unfavorable weather conditions, while the German aviation is not able to dispatch more than single aircraft at a time, according to 1. Fliegerdivision. The heavy enemy air activity is increasing the threat against the vital railway Vyazma – Sychyovka – Rzhev from day to day. Interruptions of the line by bombs and artillery hits are the order of the day. It is an extraordinary achievement of the transport services that up to six trains can be passed through to the south and to the north within 24 hours!”
The commander of the Ninth Army, Generaloberst Model, met Ritter von Greim of Luftwaffenkommando Ost on December 15 in order to discuss this situation on behalf of the Army Group. "A personal reproach is not my intention,” said Model, “but I have to concentrate on the fact that our own air force must intervene more if we want to survive this winter battle." He suggested that some units could be shifted forward to airfields located closer to the front-line. Von Greim retorted that due to the constant fog, his own aircraft were unable to take off, “and a relocation of individual Staffeln to other airfields (Dugino, Olenino) is not possible because of a lack of service facilities.”
Owing in great part to the effective air support from the VVS, a Soviet relief offensive toward the troops in the Belyy pocket succeeded in extracting a large proportion of the surrounded troops. However, 200 tanks had to be abandoned. On December 15, the entire Soviet penetration in the area south of Belyy was eliminated. Soviet sources confirm the loss of 120 aircraft over the Rzhev salient (i.e. not including the Velikiye Luki region) from November 24 through December 16, 1942.
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Christer Bergström

http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/
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  #30  
Old 23rd June 2019, 19:12
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Black Cross - Red Star. Air War over the Eastern Front, Vol. 4: Stalingrad to Kuban 1942-1943.

Hi Christer,

Your sample is an example of what makes your BC/RS series a truly unique standout work. Your ability to weave the German and Russian side of the history together is quite remarkable. I just wish more were interested in this style of history instead of the endless monographs on individual aircraft and aces. Yawn. You are the only one who has covered the history of the air war over the Eastern Front comprehensively in English (or any other language for that matter). You deserve high praise and hearty congratulations!

Larry de Zeng

P.S. Please let us know when distribution of this latest volume takes place so we can get our orders in.

Last edited by Larry deZeng; 23rd June 2019 at 21:41.
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