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Book Review
Arab MiGs
Arab MiGs, Volume 5, October 1973 War: Part 1
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by: David L Veres

The Review
Harpia Publishing’s brilliant Arab MiGs series remain among aviation history’s most vital – and vibrant – research quests. And newly released Volume 5 categorically confirms that.

But whereas previous parts spanned years, this one essentially details days: “Part 1” of the October 1973 War.

As before, “Addenda/Errata” initially adjust, amend, explain and expand the first four volumes. Contents then segue to illuminating notes on ongoing replenishment efforts, final “War of Attrition” actions, Soviet involvement and combat, and Egypt’s massive anti-aircraft umbrella to shield attacking forces from Israeli air superiority.

Wartime accounts of the Egyptian and Syrian fronts begin the afternoon of 6 Oct 1973. And once combat coverage commences, the authors competently course through the conflict’s first 48 hours – including commando operations and Iraqi participation.

As before, Harpia’s dramatis personae include more than “MiGs”. Sukkhois, Skyhawks, Hips and Phantoms – among others – take bows. And Iraqi Hunters play parts. But MiG-17s and MiG-21s clearly seize center stage.

Some nitpicks intrude. My rusty Arabic aside, I’d transliterate Operation Badhr as “Badr”. What exactly is an “old baby” on page 144? The unit key is incorrect for the map on page 170. The acronym “HAS” might baffle novitiates. And defining “Fall of the Third Commonwealth” and the “Day of Judgment” might better illumine Israel’s visceral panic.

But Harpia’s reliance on eyewitness testimony remains my core concern. With no official Arab records available, however, the authors frankly admit the risks of calibrating Arab anecdotes against Israeli and other sources. And they openly “welcome additional information”.

Air orders of battle, tables, sidebars, abbreviations, annotations, selected bibliography, index and five appendices ably augment the account. Color and B&W photos, diagrams, and maps further support Harpia’s study.

Over 50 of co-author Cooper’s unfailingly excellent color profiles – many with corresponding dorsal schemes and paint matches – superbly sample the sumptuous swath of Arab warplane camouflage.

Title:-Arab MiGs, Volume 5, October 1973 War: Part 1
Author Tom Cooper and David Nicolle, with Holger Müller, Lon Nordeen and Martin Smisek
Illustrator Tom Cooper (profiles)
Publisher Harpia Publishing
Published 2014
Format 256 pages, soft bound

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Highs: ·Marvellously researched ·Superbly written ·Profusely illustrated
Lows: ·Somewhat pricey
Verdict: ·Packed with revelations, Volume 5 of Harpia’s brilliant Arab MiGs series superbly surveys the run-up to – and first few days of – 1973’s October War. It’s worth every pence, penny and Pfennig!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 978-0-9854554-4-6
  Suggested Retail: $69.95 from Casemate
  PUBLISHED: Dec 18, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Egypt / لعربية

Our Thanks to Harpia 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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Copyright ©2020 text by David L Veres. 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.


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