The air war over the Eastern Front from 1941 through 1945 saw victories and defeats on both the Soviet and German sides. During the beginning of the conflict in the east the Germans enjoyed early victories over their Soviet enemies partially due to the success of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. However the Soviets were eventually able to finally met, match and counter their German enemies with their Lavochkin La-5 and the later Lavochkin La-7 fighter aircraft.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released La-5/7 vs Fw 190, Eastern Front 1942-45 as Number 39 in their Duel series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations, information charts, maps and detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-473-4. As the title states, the book covers the Russian La-5/7 vs the German Fw 190 over the Eastern Front during 1942-45.
- Design and Development
- Technical Specifications
- The Strategic Situation
- The Combatants
- Statistics and Analysis
- Further reading
The text in the book is well written and contains many excellent details of the Soviet La-5/7 and the German Fw-190 use during World War II. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Dmitriy Khazanov and Aleksander Medved have gone to great lengths to research the Soviet La-5/7 and the German Fw-190 use during World War II and provide a very well written and accurate history of them. The text and the accompanying photographs are in a correct chronological order and are well written. The text covers aspects of both aircraft such as the design, development and technical specifications of each. Also covered is the use of the aircraft in combat, their statistics and the analysis after the fact of both aircraft. Anyone interested in the Soviet La-5/7 and the German Fw-190 will find the text very detailed and informative.
There are a total of 57 black and white photographs and 2 color photographs. Most of the photographs are well done, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark which is typical for photographs of that period of time. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. One thing that I was appreciative of with the photographs is that a good majority of them are not the same old overused photographs that tend to turn up. It is always nice to see the lesser known photographs.
There are 16 color illustrations by illustrators Jim Laurier, Gareth Hector and Andrey Yurgenson that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:
- Fw 190A-6
- La-5FN cannons
- Fw 190A-5 wing guns
- Fw 190A-5 cowling guns
- Typical engagement of Fw 190s and Soviet La-5s over the Eastern Front, 1942 – 1945.
- La-7 cockpit
- Typical La-5 formation 1943-1945
- Soviet fighter six aircraft formation
- Soviet “binding four” and “striking pair” formation
- Typical Fw-190 fighter formation 1942-43
- Fw 190A-6 cockpit
- Combat between Soviet La-5Fs and German Fw 190s on 28 August 1943.
- Tactical formation of La-7 regiments during the final months of the war.
- La-7 “binding four” and “striking four” formation.
- Engaging the enemy
There are also 2 black and white illustrations from the 1944 German publication “Tally-Ho! A shooting Primer for Fighter Pilots”.
- Cover illustration.
- Illustration of a female nude explaining the principles of “leading a target”.
THE COLOR MAPS:
There are 2 color maps included in this volume.
- Disposition of Soviet (VVS-KA) and Luftwaffe fighter units on the day of the battle of Kursk.
- Frontline 23 June 1944
THE INFORMATIONAL CHARTS:
There are 6 informational charts throughout the book that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:
- La-5FN and Fw 190A-4 Comparison Specifications
- La-7 and Fw 190D-9 Comparison Specifications
- Leading Fw 190 La-5/7 killers
- Leading La-5/7 Fw 190 killers
- US/Metric conversion table
- German ranks and the Soviet equivalent
There are 2 individual profiles included that detail and cover Soviet and German Aces:
- Ivan Kozhedub (Soviet)
- Walter Nowotny (German)
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors.
This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It examines the Russian La-5/7 vs the German Fw 190 over the Eastern Front during 1942-45 very well. This publication will not only benefit the aircraft and military enthusiast but the military aircraft modeler as well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.