Text is in English. For the first time in the world, this lavishly illustrated book of over 200 vintage photographs, mostly unpublished, traces the history of the beginnings of military and pre-military paratroopers in the Soviet Union. The result of twenty years of research and contacts across Russia, this book presents an outstanding collection of badges and documents relating to the structure and the rise of the first airborne units. With rich biographies and portraits of the major players of this development, this book addresses both the military aspects (precursors, equipment, doctrine, commando training and the role of special services) and the societal dimension (cultural and artistic, the mobilization of youth, techniques, and patriotism). This book does not ignore the tragedies that resulted from accidents and purges or the successes of the Soviet Airborne unit during the Second World War.
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