Anthony Tucker-Jones

The Eastern Front Air War 1941–1945

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This selection of over 150 photographs provides a visual guide to the desperate air war fought over the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1945. Most of these black-and-white wartime photographs have never been published before. They show Stalins Red Air Force and Hitlers Luftwaffe, their equipment and the role they played in supporting the war on the ground. Although it was a major aspect of the struggle on the Eastern Front, aerial combat has long been neglected, and Anthony Tucker-Joness photographic history is a vivid introduction to it. Just before Hitlers invasion of the Soviet Union the leadership of the Red Air Force was decimated by Stalin in a series of purges. Although it had thousands of fighter aircraft these were not capable of taking on the Luftwaffe and were swiftly destroyed in the German blitzkrieg. But a remarkable recovery followed as the Red Air Force slowly but surely turned the tide against the ravages of the Luftwaffe to wrestle back air superiority by 1944. The photographs and Anthony Tucker-Joness text give a fascinating insight into this decisive reversal of fortune. They also record, in a series of memorable images, the principal Soviet and German aircraft that featured in the aerial fighting and the pilots who flew them.
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274 printed pages
Original publication


    Uroš S.shared an impression5 months ago
    👍Worth reading
    💡Learnt A Lot


    Uroš S.has quoted5 months ago
    Throughout the summer of 1944, the Red Air Force harried the Wehrmacht all the way back to the very gates of Warsaw. When the Red Army launched its attack from Warsaw towards Berlin it was supported by ten air armies with 15,815 aircraft; the Luftwaffe could only oppose them with 2,000 aircraft.
    Uroš S.has quoted5 months ago
    The Ju 88 bomber was used to try to stop the Red Army’s advance through Byelorussia, Ukraine, Poland and then Germany itself. Such tactical ground support operations inevitably came at a cost thanks to the response of Soviet fighters.
    Uroš S.has quoted5 months ago
    The Bf 109 was one of the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 airframes being built from 1936 to April 1945. It was flown by three of the top scoring fighter aces, who claimed 928 victories. It was also widely flown by Germany’s wartime allies, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Italy, Hungary and Romania
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