Operation Barbarossa, 1941

Operation Barbarossa, 1941

by Christer Bergstrom, Andrey Mikhailov


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780935553482
Publisher: Pacifica Military History
Publication date: 08/28/2000
Series: Black Cross/Red Star Series
Pages: 3340
Product dimensions: 8.77(w) x 11.32(h) x 1.14(d)

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Operation Barbarossa, 1941 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An air war people never hear about, and this is only the first part of the story. It was easy reading and extremely interesting. It looks like it will only get better as the series goes on. The second volume is due out in August of 2001 (we can only hope).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Black Cross-Red Star is an excellent book, both in content and appearance. The text is well written, and the graphics, with a very few exceptions, are well done. The book covers Operation Barbarossa from the viewpoint of the Luftwaffe and the Russian Air Force. It nicely ties in the roles of both airforces with the tactical plans of the ground forces. It has a number of quotations from diaries and flight books of pilots of both sides. Descriptions of aerial combat are very vivid. You can almost feel the ordnance striking your own plane. I would recommend Black Cross-Red Star to all aviation enthusiasts interested in this long overlooked theater of World War Two. I am looking forward to volume 2.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Authors, Bergstrom and Mikhailov make their North American debut with an exhaustive (and what promises to be a definitive) treatment of the airwar on the Russian front. The sheer breadth of the subject matter is staggering; yet Bergstrom and Mikhailov carry the reader along on a fast paced journey into the very center of the conflict. The text is exceptionally well researched and features invaluable passages translated from unpublished works such as Hannes Trautloft's diary and flight book entries of both Russian and German airmen. The detail provided is impressive and the book presents a carefully scrutinized look at the full scope of the conflict courtesy of balanced reporting from both the Soviet and German perspectives. From close-up in-cockpit tactical accounts to the broader strategic picture including orders of battle, Black Cross Red Star is an absolute must buy for anyone wanting to know more about the air war on the Eastern front. Even better, this book represents only the first entry of what will be a 4 volume set! I was particularly struck by the absolute scale of events in this theatre of war and the unfathomable levels of destruction unleashed by both sides. Of note...the book dispels the veil of propaganda that has tainted most of the West's understanding of the Eastern front and successfully humanizes its combatants. Indispensible contribution to our understanding of the air war on the Eastern front...An absolute must have!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The beginning chapter states: 'Although the largest air war in history was fought on the Eastern Front during World War II, this is one of the least known chapters of aviation history.' An opening sentence never rang so true. Millions of pages have been written about the aerial conflict over Western Europe over the decades since the war. Given the number of units and aircraft involved over the Eastern Front, this part of aviation lore has been sadly neglected. Part of the reason has to due with the availability of the records. Only with the recent fall of the Iron Curtain have researchers been allowed more than limited access to Soviet records. Christer Bergstrom and Andrey Mikhailov are two such men who spent years interviewing the pilots who fought and suffered in the skies of Eastern Europe. The book begins with a comparison of the two air forces involved which includes their relative experience prior to June 22, 1941, training standards, tactical doctrine and aircraft. The effect of Stalin's purges on leading airmen and aircraft engineers and its effect on the Russian Air Force is also detailed. Of interest is the German fighter pilot's 'hunting' philosophy that stressed individual achievement through aerial victories. The beginning of the book takes the reader from the early morning dawn of June 22, 1941 to the first intense struggles for air supremacy during those first, fateful weeks. Testimonials and first-hand accounts from participants, on both sides, give humanity to the plentiful and detailed facts and figures. Many future and high scoring aces of the Luftwaffe and VVS describe their first missions during the opening battles. One of the overall strengths of this work is that information from the antagonists is presented. Most of what we now of the air war on the Eastern Front are from the Luftwaffe point of view. Rarely did a reader know what was happening on the 'Other Side of the Hill'. Bergstrom and Mikhailov have made it a point to give a balanced account and include as much detail about the VVS and its pilots, as with the Luftwaffe. After the initial stages of the air war, the authors walk the reader through the intense battles in the Ukraine, Kiev, and the desperate defense of Moscow and Leningrad. Interestingly, the VVS air raids against Berlin are documented. This is just another example of the obscure events of the war above the Eastern Front chronicled in this book. A weakness of the book is the quality of the maps. Most of the geographical place names are blurred, making them difficult if not impossible to read. Several of the photographs have the same problem with blurring. Overall, the quality of the maps and photos do not detract significantly from the work. I would recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest interest in the battles between the Luftwaffe and VVS. The book closes a large gap between the air war on the Eastern Front and the other theaters of war that have been heavily documented.