Red Phoenix: The Rise of Soviet Air Power 1941-1945 - Von HardestyLondon & Melbourne: Arms & Armour Press, 1982, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with a couple of short, closed, tears to both panels.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Maps; Tables; Maps to the endpapers and blanks; Glossary; Title page vignette; Appendices ;
From the cover: “Here for the first time is the full story, grippingly told, of the epic four-year conflict between the Soviet Air Force and Hitler’s vaunted Luftwaffe — a little-known aspect of what has been described as the “Unknown War”. Against a backdrop of brutal ground combat during World War II, air battles raged along the vast Eastern front as the adversaries struggled for mastery of the air.
Caught woefully unprepared by the sudden German onslaught, on Sunday, June 22, 1941 the Soviet Air Force was all but annihilated at the outset. It was the most devastating pre-emptive air campaign in history. German aircraft were able to strike at will against critical targets, while Soviet pilots bravely struggled to fly into action from burning airfields. Once airborne, the Soviets faced an enemy with vastly superior training and equipment.
Red Phoenix goes on to chronicle in dramatic fashion how the Soviet Air Force was eventually able to rise, renewed and triumphant, from its ashes. At Moscow in 1941 and 1942 at Stalingrad, and over the Kuban and at Kursk in 1943, the Soviets fought on. After staggering losses and with herculean effort, they managed step by step to overwhelm the waning Luftwaffe and seize the strategic initiative by the end of 1943. In the final days of the war, in the skies over Berlin, the Soviet Air Force achieved the seemingly impossible and emerged victorious — the largest tactical air force in the world. Readers will be caught up in Von Hardesty’s exciting reconstruction of the broad sweep of aerial war in the east. A series of maps and almost 150 striking photographs — many of them rare and never before published — add greatly to the book’s appeal.
The author carefully researched the many Russian-language memoirs and histories that have appeared since 1960, and incorporates significant highlights from them in his text. He also examines such aspects of the Soviet war effort as air force leadership and tactics, pilot training and life at the front, the role of the Communist party, the concept of the “air offensive”, aircraft design and production, and the functions of fighter, ground-attack, and bomber aviation.
From Operation Barbarossa to Berlin, an achievement of heroic scale is rescued from obscurity by Red Phoenix, which is a much-needed addition to a largely neglected area of World War II literature.”