Swastika in the Gunsight: Memoirs of a Russian Fighter Pilot 1941-45

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9780750922401: Swastika in the Gunsight: Memoirs of a Russian Fighter Pilot 1941-45
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Igor Aleksandrovich Kaberov was a World War II Soviet fighter pilot revered for bravery and valour of the highest order. This book contains his graphic account of war on the Eastern Front against the German invaders, based largely on personal diaries he kept while serving with a fighter squadron. Previously unpublished outside the Soviet Union, his story concerns the efforts of his squadron to repel German forces and is focused particularly on the desperate siege of Leningrad, one of the greatest feats of endurance in the history of warfare. There are vivid descriptions of dogfights with German fighters, the dreadful conditions that prevailed in Leningrad during the siege, and a rare insight into how a Soviet fighter squadron lived and fought.

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The number of Soviet aviators in World War II who survived it is small, and the number who lived long enough to write reasonably frank memoirs is smaller still. In this abridged translation of his 1976 memoirs, Kaberov, a 28-kill ace and Hero of the Soviet Union, focuses on his year and a half with Soviet Naval Aviation, defending Leningrad from the war's opening and through the murderous siege, of which he provides several nightmarish vignettes, until it was broken in early 1943. He faced all the standard perils and pleasures of flying fighters--confused superiors, faulty intelligence, the loss of comrades, equipment failures, scoring kills, and meeting his family--and also some things outside the Western fighter pilot's usual experience, such as improvised grass airfields and paranoiac commissars and, above all, the sure knowledge that he and his comrades were fighting off the extinction of their country and people. A book that adds usefully to World War II aviation history, at least for sophisticated readers. Roland Green

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Kaberov, Igor
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Kaberov, Igor
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Igor Kaberov, Peter Rule (Translator)
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