Editor: This publication is also available from publisher as a downloadable PDF.
This is number 39 in the “duel,” series from Osprey in which two well-known opposing aircraft types compared to each other in every way imaginable. This time the Lavochkin 5/ 7 series is compared to several versions of the FW 190.The focus of this clash is this book is on the eastern front between 1942 and 1945. The opposing aircraft are compared in the following categories: Chronology, Design and Development, Technical Specifications, The Strategic Situation, The Combatants, Combat, Statistics and Analysis and aftermath. The first thing that caught my attention was one of the authors; Dmitriy Khazanov is a co-author “Soviet Aircraft of the Second World War volume 1 & 2.” I have both volumes of this pair and this gentleman knows his stuff when it comes to aircraft of the Great Patriotic War. The story told through is one of incredible courage on the part of the Soviet airmen who faced an enemy with years of combat experience. The losses sustained by the Soviet Air Force in the initial phases of the war were staggering. It’s not hard to fathom the extraordinary scores of the greatest German aces when you read of the poor training and tactics employed by the Soviet AF compared to seasoned veterans and excellent equipment of the Luftwaffe. Much like their allied counterparts in the west, the Soviets turned the tide with better training, tactics and most importantly production. Using personal narratives from the antagonists’, the story of this hard fought campaign to push the Nazi armies out of the Soviet Union is described in words, maps and pictures showing the extent of the movement between 1942 and 1945.
From a modeler’s perspective, this book is a valuable resource on several levels. First the differences in the various marks of each aircraft are described in words and illustrations. A high point of this series for me are the full color cockpit renderings, These are supplemented in this volume with color illustrations of the armament of each type and color three views for the Fw 190 A6 and the La-7. However the best by far in this volume is the two page painting of Capt. Ivan Kozichs’ encounter with Fw 190s of JG54s “Green Hearts,” in which the Capt. downs two. Add to this 48 B&W and 2 color photographs including some I’ve never seen published before.
In conclusion, this is a well-rounded treatment for those not familiar with this theater of WWII. Better still, with the recent output of excellent Fw 190s and La 5 models this book would make a good companion for building them. I feel a double build to mirror the theme of this fine publication coming on!
Thanks to Osprey for another great read and to IPMS for allowing me the opportunity to share it with you.