Geust, Carl-Fredrik.


Airlife, Shrewsbury, 1st ed., 1993. 168 pp., photo-ills. D.j., 26 x 20cm. FINE. This fascinating book looks at a little-known aspect of World War II aviation history : the testing and use of captured Luftwaffe aircraft in the Soviet Air Force. During the war a number of German reports indicated that captured aircraft were turned against their former masters - these reports seem, however, soon to have been forgotten, as no hard evidence was ever to be published by the Soviet side. It has been generally known among the specialists on Soviet aviation history that a number of German aircraft were purchased by the USSR after the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact on 23 August 1939. For long the fate of these aircraft remained unknown. Recently, however, some details have been published which show the significant impact these aircraft had on Soviet aircraft design and production. The author has consulted hundreds of Soviet books and articles, memoirs and biographies of Air Force commanders, pilots, engineers and designers and wherever possible the details have also been cross-checked against German accounts and documents. The result indicates clearly that an astonishingly rich first-hand experience of German aircraft was accumulated in the USSR, before, during and after the Second World War. With its many photographs, most of them previously unpublished in the West, this book fills an important gap.

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