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Books on Soviet aircraft of WW2?


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I've recently become aware that there is a gap in my WW2 aviation library.

I have books on British aircraft, American aircraft, Axis aircraft, but I don't have any books on the aircraft of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War.

I'm thinking of books like the Putnam or Harborough series, or even the Hamlyn books.

Can anyone recommend any books that are readily available at prices that aren't too extortionate?

Other than looking for generic "Soviet Aviation" I wouldn't even know what books to look for!

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8 minutes ago, Fifer54 said:

I wouldn't even know what books to look for!

Depends what you would like,   one of out members @Learstang AKA Jason Moore is an author of several books on VVS types,  Il-2, Tu-2, Lavochkin fighters, Soviet bombers.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jason-Nicholas-Moore/e/B015NFZ44I

 

 

I have a few book in the Red Star series by Yefim Gordon,  which are reasonable guides.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=yefim+gordon+red+star&i=stripbooks&adgrpid=54832509042&gclid=CjwKCAiAwrf-BRA9EiwAUWwKXqh4Qg5HFe0HJLCSxA3bcsj54tqJXVi4nkGY_kl_TjZnv8Nuo5pslBoCsQAQAvD_BwE&hvadid=259044222668&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1006871&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=b&hvrand=8078141635168849948&hvtargid=kwd-301633120495&hydadcr=12123_1840970&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_6yeicg67n4_b

 

But, again, depends, what you want.    

 

This place has A LOT of information, and is especially useful for information on colours  and a forum.   

http://massimotessitori.altervista.org/sovietwarplanes/pages/

 

 

 

this one I don't recommend, the site author is 'famous' for his book on VVS fighter colours

http://www.redbanner.co.uk/History/history.html

 

or his books

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=pilawskii&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

Amazon links just as they show what's available, not a recommendation of them.

 

HTH

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Well, of course I would absolutely encourage everyone to buy all my books! On a more serious note, look at what you're interested in; you might want to hone it in a bit. Soviet aviation is a huge subject, as I have found out. Even limiting yourself to one OKB's (Design Bureau's) fighters during the Second World War covers quite a bit. I would like to think that my book on Soviet WWII bombers is a good general introduction to that subject, as is my book on post-war strategic Soviet bombers (I'm also completing a general guide to Soviet WWII fighters, but that's not out yet). At any rate, best of luck in finding out more about what I obviously believe to be a fascinating subject - Soviet aviation. I agree with Troy that Massimo Tessitori's site on Soviet aircraft is an excellent resource, especially for Soviet aircraft colour and markings of the Second World War.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

Edited by Learstang
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There was a Putnam book, entitled something like "Russian Aircraft since 1940", and also a Harleyford one. They both date from the 1970s or perhaps the late sixties. I used to have them but I let them go as although they were good for their time they were very dated. The same goes for the two volumes in the Macdonald & James WW" Aircraft Fact File series, though you could probably find them cheaply. As a general rule (I don't claim to be an expert and I'm sure there are exceptions), I'ld suggest that it's not worth buying anything on Soviet aircraft that was published in the pre-Glasnost era as despite the best efforts of the author it's likely to be full of errors, omissions and misconceptions.

 

I certainly recommend Jason's WW2 Soviet Bombers book as an excellent and detailed overview, and also his books on individual types. For the record, the following are also highly recommended but I'm afraid they don't meet your criteria on availability and price - I got my copies when they were new:


"Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War", Vol 1 on fighters and Vol 2 on bombers, by Yefim Gordon and Dmitri Kazanov.

"Soviet Air Power in WW2", again by Yefim Gordon.

 

And another vote for Massimo Tessitori's site!

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The History of Soviet Aircraft from 1918 by Vaclav Nemececk, the original work was published in Czech in 1970 then later in German, the English version is dated to 1986 and updated as much as they could.  Think of it as the Soviet version of Warplanes of the Third Reich, great introduction to the breadth of the topic, but be careful believing the details.

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Thanks to all who have contributed to this topic. Your input has been very useful to me. I now know what to look for!

Soviet Air Power in World War 2 appears to be exactly the book I'm looking for, but I'm afraid it's price is beyond my reach.

Learstang's books look very interesting, and I will definitely be investing in some of those.I I'll have to wait for his "Fighters" book!

The Red Star series look to me like "Скопа" (Russian Ospreys!) to me, and I'm sure that some of those will be very useful to me.

My library will be richer for your contributions.

I'll make good use of Massimo Tessitori's website too, looks packed with good info!

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The Red Star series are far superior to Ospreys!  And the author is Finnish.  They are excellent collections of photographs printed clearly in large formats.  Lovely books - although not perhaps general enough to meet your immediate requirements they will certainly be worthwhile - particularly the early ones.  The later ones are perhaps too specialised for the moment.

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Graham, you're thinking of a different Red Star series to the one that Troy flagged up. Those are the old Midland Counties Publications softbacks on (e.g.) WW2 Yakovlev, Lavochkin and Polikarpov fighters. The Finnish Red Stars series are these ones. The only one I have is this hardback, which as you say is excellent and I'm sure will be representative of the quality of the others.

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OK ,you ae dead right thanks, but similar comments apply.  The MCP are proper A4 books with large clear photos and post-Soviet texts.  Having just finished (well, nearly) an AModel I-17, and am now wondering why I didn't find the Polikarpov one when I went looking for references.  I ended up with the original William Green pocket book from Macdonalds, which was enough to raise questions about the kit!

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I've ordered a copy of The History of Soviet Aircraft from 1918 by Nemecek, to be going on with. Other purchases will have to wait until after Christmas (13 grandkids, you know!).

I've also had a kind offer from a fellow BMer in connection with Russian aircraft books.

Thanks again to all who have contributed.

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It may be more specific than what you're looking for but I found Osprey's MiG-3 Aces of World War 2 an interesting read. It also includes 32 colour plates each showing an aircraft with different markings, including a couple of camo schemes I wasn't previously aware of so particularly useful from the modeller's perspective.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MiG-3-Aces-World-War-Aircraft/dp/1849084424

 

Edited by -Ian-
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Thanks for those links, Kari & Ian!

Type-specific books are very helpful, once I've got more general references, the more "focussed" books will help me "drill down" to the information I need.

I hadn't heard of the MBI series, and only have a few Ospreys, most of them more general, or on more modern subjects

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There's also the MiG-1/MiG-3 Mushroom Model Publication by Massimo Tessitori, I can also recommend Jason's books and Massimo's website.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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Thank you everyone for the kind words regarding my books! As far as Soviet Air Power in World War 2 being too expensive, that is a shame as it really is an excellent overview of the Soviet air effort during the Second World War. After I publish my Soviet WWII fighter book, I'm sure I'll eventually combine that with my bomber book to come up with something like Mr. Gordon's book on Soviet Air Power, but I'm afraid that lays some distance in the future.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

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here's what I recommend if you are primarily interested in the aircraft themselves. (other books are available about pilots, units and battles/campaigns)

 

Soviet Combat Aircraft of the second world war

volume two : twin-engine fighters ,attack aircraft and bombers

by Yefim Gordon ,Dmitri Khazanov with Alexander Medved

ISBN 1-85780-084-2

$39.99 USD

 

Volume one is about single engine fighters and is

ISBN  1-85780-083-4 and is also

$39.99USD

 

they are both from:

Midlands Publishing Limited

24 The Hollow , Earl Shilton

Leicester , LE9 7NA  England

 

 

after you have whetted your appetite with these I (and others) can recommend books on specific aircraft you may have further interest in. :thumbsup:

 

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For the Yak fighters, I suggest you take a look at "Yakovlev Fighters of World War Two" by Gordon, Komissarov, & Komissarov, Hikoki Publications, 2015 (ISBN 9 781902 109466).  Hundreds of photos, drawings, color art work, and best of all, a detailed development history for each of the types, including some pretty obscure experimental models.  Really good stuff on a very important family of a/c.

 

Best,

 

Chris

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