"Red Phoenix Rising – The Soviet Air Force in World War II" by Hardesty Grinberg

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by vikingBerserker, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    #1 vikingBerserker, Aug 31, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
    Red Phoenix Rising – The Soviet Air Force in World War II
    By Von Hardesty and Ilya Grinberg
    University of Kansas – 2012
    ISBN 978-0-7006-1828-6

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    In 1982, Von Hardesty published a book entitled “Red Phoenix: The Rise of Soviet Air Power, 1941-1945”. This book was published mainly based on information from former German adversaries and the American British allies. After the fall of the Soviet Union, their achieves became available to the rest of the world. 30 years later after being updated and corrected from Russian resources, the book was issued under a new title. “Red Phoenix Rising – The Soviet Air Force in World War II” This book documents the Soviet Air Force’s almost complete annihilation in Operation Barbarossa to the fall of Berlin in which the Soviets fielded the largest tactical deployment of aircraft to several years after the war.

    The book totals 428 pages divided into 7 Chapters with 8 Appendices, Notes, Bibliography, an Index and 114 pictures and maps, most from Russian sources.

    I was excited to finally a book with detail on the otherwise obscure Soviet air operations on the Eastern front and this book did not disappoint me! It does a wonderful job detailing the issues that plagued the VVS throughout the war from the prewar Stalin purges, to obsolete equipment and tactics to the post war Stalin purges. It also addresses how the Soviets solved the problem of building a Strategic Bomber of carry nuclear weapons – the very impressive backwards engineering of the B-29.

    However there were some issues with the book. It really did not go into the detail of the operations of the Naval Air Arm, the authors have the tendency to repeat a couple of facts such as the almost complete destruction of the VVS and the lack of aircraft equipped with radios, and finally there was absolutely no description of the air activities the Soviets launched on the Empire of Japan at the end of the war.

    It is one of the better books on the VVS available so far and
    a great read. I give it a solid 8 rounds out of 10.
     
  2. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    Good review, I've read this also and liked it, but found it a bit dry in some spots. The author seems to go overboard with showing some Soviet successes in 1941, and then later in the book while discussing the Soviet supremacy, kind of glosses over the severe losses the VVP was taking in 1944. I would have liked to read more about the exploits of Pokryskin (sp), Kozedub, etc., but that is outside the scope of the book.
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Well said, and I do agree with you.
     
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