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Book Review
11
Soviet Hurricane Aces
Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]

Introduction
Following the destruction wrought on the Red Army Air Forces during the first days of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the Soviet Union found itself desperately short of fighter aircraft. In an effort to rectify this situation, from late 1941 the British government supplied the first of 3360 Hurricanes that would be handed over to the Soviet Union under a lend-lease agreement. Specifically requested by the USSR, the Hurricanes were quickly thrown into action. Virtually all the British fighters were issued to Soviet fighter regiments in the northern sector of the front. The Hurricane proved to be an easy aircraft to master, allowing the Red Army to hastily form a large number of new fighter regiments in the polar area. Hurricanes provided air cover for the vital Murmansk-Belomorsk section of the Kirov railway, while pilots of the Northern Fleet Air Force endured bloody dogfights with the Bf 109-equipped Jagdgeschwader 5, protecting both Soviet shipping and the port of Murmansk. Despite being obsolete by the time it was supplied to the USSR, the Hurricane remained on the frontline until late 1943, during which time it became the mount of more than a dozen Soviet aces.*

*Quoted from the back cover of the book.

Osprey Publications Ltd has released Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2 as Number 107 in their Aircraft of the Aces series. It is a paperback book with 96 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, black and white and color illustrations and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-741-4. As the titles states the book examines and discusses the Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2.

THE CONTENTS
1. Chapter One: Hurricanes In Soviet Service
2. Chapter Two: On The Karelian Front
3. Chapter Three: Northern Fleet Aces
4. Chapter Four: Arctic War Hots Up
5. Chapter Five: Battles Over The Ocean
6. Appendices: Colour Plates Commentary
7. Index

THE TEXT
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. Author Yuriy Rybin covers the Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2 very well and goes into great detail. Anyone interested in Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2, World War Two aviation or the British Hurricane and other period aircraft will find this book very informative and interesting. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the text other than the title of Chapter Four, “Arctic War Hots Up”. I do believe that it is supposed to read, “Arctic War Heats Up”. Other than that I didn’t notice any other errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS
There are a total of 89 black and white photographs throughout the book. There are no color photographs featured in this volume. As the title of the book suggests the majority of the photographs are of the Hurricane aircraft as well as key Soviet Hurricane aces. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images, however there are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the blurry photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. On page 30 I did find a flaw in the book. There is a photograph that shows several trees and has a caption referring to a hastily camouflaged Hurricane IIB. The problem is that the photograph does not contain an aircraft. I thought I was missing something until I looked at the photograph shown on pages 2 and 3. This is the same photograph that should have been shown on page 30. Due to some editing error the photograph on page 30 was cropped down to just show the trees. This was a mistake that should have been easily caught and corrected. The photographs will be of interest to the aviation and military aviation enthusiast as well as the military historian. The scale aircraft modeler will find value in the color plates as they provide a visual reference to the various aircraft color schemes and markings that were used.

There are photographs of aircraft other than the Hurricane shown and discussed. Some of these are:
- Bf 190F-4
- Bell P-39 Aircobra
- Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk
- Yakovlev Yak-1
- B-I-153 Biplane
- Fokker D.XXI
- Brewster 239 Buffalo

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS
There are 8 pages of color aircraft illustrations by illustrator Aleksander Rusinov which cover a total of 32 aircraft and they are very well done. The color plates commentary at the back of the book provides detailed information about each aircraft shown. The front cover art was done by illustrator Mark Postlewaite.

The color illustrations are of the following aircraft:
- Hurricane IIB Z5205 of No 134 Sqn, No151 Wing, Vaenga-1, October 1941
- Hurricane IIB Z5205 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, late 1941
- Hurricane IIB Z3768 of No 81, No 151 Wing, Vaenga-1, autumn 1941
- Hurricane IIB Z3768 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, 1941-42
- Hurricane Z5252 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, October 1941
- Hurricane IIB BN297 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, spring/summer 1942
- Hurricane II Z3458 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, June 1943
- Hurricane IIB HW370 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, spring 1943
- Hurricane IIB KX333 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, May 1943
- Hurricane IIB JS280 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, 1943
- Hurricane IIB BD863 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, summer 1943
- Hurricane IIC KX452 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, spring 1943
- Hurricane IIC KX471 of 78th IAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-1, summer 1943
- Hurricane IIB of 2nd GKAP, Northern Fleet Air Force, Vaenga-2, summer 1942
- Hurricane IIB Z2585 of 152nd IAP, 103rd SAD, Karelian Front Air Force, Boyarskaya, February 1942
- Hurricane IIB BM959 of 609th IAP, Karelian Front Air Force, USSR, April 1942 (port)
- Hurricane IIB BM959 of 609th IAP, Karelian Front Air Force, USSR, April 1942 (starboard)
- Hurricane IIB BH250 of 17th GShAP, Karelian Front Air Force, USR, summer 1942
- Hurricane IIC BN687 of 760th IAP, Karelian Front Air Force, USSR, 1942-43
- Hurricane IIB Z2751 of 147th IAP, 14th Army Air Force, Murmashi, February 1942
- Hurricane IIB Z3326 of 147th IAP, 14th Army Air Force, Murmashi, February 1942
- Hurricane IIB BN668 of 837th IAP, 14th Army Air Force, Murmashi, September 1942
- Hurricane IIB AP570 of 767th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Arktika, summer 1942
- Hurricane IIB AP569 of 767th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Arktika, May 1942
- Hurricane IIB Z3312 of 767th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Arktika, May 1942
- Hurricane IIB BE558 of 767th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Poduzhemye, April 1942
- Hurricane IIB Z3227 of 767th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Poduzhemye, March 1942
- Hurricane IIB AP671 of 768th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Arktika, spring 1942
- Hurricane IIB Z3030 of 769th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Shonguy, March 1942
- Hurricane IIB BN416 of 769th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Poduzhemye, April 1942
- Hurricane IIB BG933 of 769th IAP, 122nd IAD, Air Defence Force, Arktika, July 1942
- Hurricane IIB Z5689 of 730th IAP, 104th IAD, Air Defence Force, Kegostrov, February 1942

There are 2 black and white illustrations shown throughout this volume. Some of the black and white illustrations are of:
- How Snr Lt Sergey Kurzenkov despatched a Bf 109 on 4 March 1942
- A diagram showing a battle between 78tj IAP pilots and seven German Ju 87 dive-bombers

There also 2 pages of scale line drawings of a Hurricane aircraft. The views are of the:
- Front view
- Right side profile
- Left side profile
- Overhead view
- Underside view

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.

THE MAPS
There are 2 black and white maps throughout the book and they are of:
- Karelian Front airfields, 1941-43
- Hurricane regiment airfields defending Murmansk and Kandalaksha, 1941-43

THE CAPTIONS
As with the text, the captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations well. They provide information such as the aircrafts location, variations shown, aircraft markings, pilots and key individuals and other such valuable information. As with the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.

CONCLUSION
All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains many useful photographs and illustrations as well as detailed captions. It details the Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2 very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.

This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.

REFERENCE
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/hurricanes/index.htm
SUMMARY
Highs: Well written and detailed text and captions. Nice photographs and useful artwork.
Lows: Some of the photographs are of poor quality.
Verdict: This will make a nice addition to anyone’s personal library and will also be a benefit to the military aviation enthusiast, historian and scale modeler.
Percentage Rating
94%
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-741-4
  Suggested Retail: US $22.95
  PUBLISHED: Sep 07, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.22%

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Great review i will definitely be buying this asap. Shame i can't read and build models at te same time.
SEP 17, 2012 - 04:46 AM
Thank you Matty. I am glad that my review of the book was helpful. I know the feeling. If I could model, read, write reviews, watch television and play a video game all at the same time I would quite happy!! Thanks again, Randy
SEP 21, 2012 - 01:45 AM
   

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