Barbarossa & the Retreat to Moscow
Contributor: Dan K.
Review Date: 22 Apr 2008
Full Title: Barbarossa & the Retreat to Moscow, Recollections of Soviet Fighter Pilots on the Eastern Front
I picked this book up at Borders. I had only glanced at a couple of pages in the store and was impressed with what I saw and bought the book. It was little pricey, but worth it in the end.
This book is about the Soviet Airforce and what happened to them right at the beginning of the war; the title of the book says it all.
There are 6 chapters and 4 Appendices in 155 pages. Each chapter covers 1 person. There are 5 pilots and 1 technician whose stories are told from their beginnings in the Airforce, why they joined, and their training, right up to the battles of Moscow. They described what happened to them at the end of the war, too.
All of their stories are told in person, as they survived the war, however some did not see the book published as they had passed on before printing.
A strong feature of the book is the brutal honesty of most of the pilots. They talked about the dogfights, the losses, and the heavy losses in materials. They also mentioned the good and the bad of the new airplanes they were receiving: the Mig, Lagg, and Yak. They shared what they thought of the Aircobra, Hurricane and P-40 planes as part of the Lend-Lease; for instance, while one pilot loved the Aircobra, another did not, they each shared persuasive reasons why. They also talked about being shot down and of one or two of their "kills".
I wish the book was longer with more interviews. There are a few photos of which have not been seen before.
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944