Soviet Strategic Bombers: The Hammer in The Hammer and Sickle

Published: October 3rd, 2018     
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Author: Jason Nicholas Moore
Reviewed by: 
Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Casemate Publishing
ISBN #: 978-1-78155-597-2
Other Publication Information: 272 pages, 150 Color and B&W photos including 27 color profiles
Price: $50.00

This book details Soviet strategic bombers development, use history and experimental bombers as well. Beginning with The Tu-4 "Bull" an aircraft reverse engineered from interred B-29s during WWII on until modern day.

The book is broken down into 15 chapters, beginning with post war development of strategic bombers. The next seven are devoted to the main bomber types in service with the USSR. These include the aforementioned Tu-4 as well as the Tu-95 Bear, M-4 Bison, Tu-16 Badger, Tu-22 Blinder, Tu-22M Backfire and the Tu-160 Blackjack. Each aircraft is given in-depth coverage of service of both active and retired aircraft and those that were used by client states outside of the USSR. You will find each of these chapters to be very interesting and packed with information.

Chapter 9 briefly touches on three more modern designs. The Russian version of the stealth bomber known as the PAK-DA, which due to economic issues in Russia may or may not be progressing. The Sukhoi T-60S which is so secret a final configuration is not even known.  Lastly the Tu-160M2 which will be new built aircraft of an improved version of the Tu-160 but it is believed the older ones will be brought up to this standard.

Chapter 10 covers all post war Soviet bombs and missiles, which Chapter 11 covers Soviet/Russian missile carrier tactics.

Chapter 12 covers the various experimental bombers in brief. Some of these are the 150, IL-22, 46 and 54, the M-50 Bounder, Su-10, Tu-98, along with a bomber version of the T-4 Sotka supersonic airliner and paper designs.

Chapter 13 is one that I found most interesting as it compares the Soviet strategic bombers with those of the Western powers. Especially the comparison between the B-52 and the Tu-95 is very informative. Both are long serving and should fly well into the 2040s. The B-52 is still the only production combat aircraft with longer range than the Tu-95s.

The last two chapters are a pilot interview with General Vasilii Ivanovich Minakov which provides direct insight into the aircraft and times covered.  The final chapter, number 15 lists survivors throughout the world.

The book concludes with Appendices covering aircraft specifications, production numbers and aircraft available in plastic model kits.

This is a good read. There is a lot of information within these pages. Many interesting photographs, profiles and a nice coverage of kits produced and available all to please both the historian and the modeler. The only thing I would change is that this book, to me at least it cries out to be a bigger volume. Not in content but in actual size, it deserves to be much larger than its 7 inch x 10 inch size. But that is the only thing this reviewer would change! I recommend this book to all with an interest in Soviet aircraft, strategic bombers and aviation history as well as modelers worldwide!

Our thanks to Casemate Publishing for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity

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