Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Air War over Russia

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Air War over Russia

Article excerpt

Air War over Russia by Andrew Brookes. Ian Allan Publishing (http://www.ianallan.com/publishing), Riverdene Business Park, Hersham, Surrey, KT12 4RG, United Kingdom, 2003, 160 pages, $26.37 (hardcover).

With Air War over Russia, aviation writer Andrew Brookes attempts to provide a thoughtful and reliable operational history of the German-Soviet aerial contest for the enthusiast and general reader. The product of this effort is uninspiring. This copiously illustrated survey rehashes familiar matters: the smashing success of the initial Barbarossa attacks, the debacle of the Stalingrad airlift, and the lastditch bombing campaign in 1944. These are woven together in a sparse narrative of major operations.

The author, like so many, is captivated by German operational virtuosity. Indeed, most of the mere 160 pages are devoted to Nazi operations. The book ends with the summer 1944 defeat of the Luftwaffe, as though the subsequent march of the Red Army to the gates of Berlin is not worth mentioning. Although the book begins by noting the significance of the air war to victory in the East, it makes no effort to explain the relationship of triumph and defeat in the air to the outcome on land, except in vague terms. On the rare occasions when analysis is inescapable, the writer resorts to stock interpretations of the baleful influence of Stalin or Hider in military decision making. …

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