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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare source on the Soviet Hurricane operations and the associated aces, 20 Sep 2012
AK (London) - See all my reviews
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As stated in the description, the Hurricane came to be one of the most important Lend-Lease planes delivered to the Soviets from late in 1941 on - over 3300 being handed over in total - and it soldiered on in frontline units well into 1944, by which time it was hopelessly outdated.

The book has a clear focus on the individual aces - pilots who scored five or more victories with the Hurricane (as opposed to in total - but other aspects of the Hurricane operations in the Soviet Union filter through from the individual assessments and the respective operations described.

As with other books in the series, the author mixes individual careers with a description / listing of battles and their results, which makes it a bit unwieldy - you can read it from cover to cover to get it all, but it will be hard to separate the pilot and the overal actions taking place. A separation the author does make, which divides the book into fronts (Karelian, Naval Aviation...) is helpful as an organizing mechanism but gets you over the same timeline several times as a result.

In spite of this the book is quite useful - you will get a multitude of pictures (admittedly many of them of the aces and of other equipment from the area, such as Me-109s, 110s, Il-2s...) and some nice colour drawings of the paint schemes of Hurricanes in Soviet service. The author also provides a table with all the Soviet Hurricane aces and the main data on them in the end, which is helpful for a quick reference.

While it would have been helpful to have a summary of all of the losses by unit / month, and of the strengths of Hurricane forces by area / unit over time, this goes beyond the scope of the book.

So you will get some interesting pictorial material, a summary of the battles where the Hurricane aces shot down opponents, some individual battle descriptions in more detail, brief summaries of the aces' individual careers, an assessment of the strengths (firepower, ease of flying and robust construction) and weaknesses (lack of speed, climb rate, lack of sand filters initially, obsolescence, etc.) of the plane in Soviet service, some tactical information, the difficulties in obtaining 'reliable' kill ratios (the author often resorts to German archives of losses in comparison), and an overall feel for the operations with the type in the Soviet Union. As such it is definitely a worthwhile addition to the library of a WW2 aviation enthusiast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars consider adding this one to your library, 1 Sep 2012
N. Page (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces) (Paperback)
..if you have any interest in the Hurricane in Soviet service. The Hurricane was one of the first types supplied to the Soviets under Lend-Lease, the RAF's 151 Wing flying off the carrier HMS Argus on 28 August 1941 and landing near Murmansk. These first aircraft were followed by nearly 3000 further examples and the type saw most of its service in the Far North. Although not endowed with sparkling performance or adequate armament in Soviet pilots' eyes, and generally out-moded compared to the latest Bf 109s, especially the Friedrich, they did recognise that the British fighter was a rugged machine which could take plenty of punishment. I found Russian author Rybin's text to be well written and detailed and the artworks are impressive. Certainly I can think of no other work with as many fine Soviet Hurricane profiles. The book loses one star though for the rather indifferent photo coverage - there are plenty of photos of Bf 109s, Bf 110s, Buffaloes, P-39s, Il-2s and other types; just not quite so many as I was expecting of Soviet Hurricanes...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A revelation, 27 Mar 2014
B. C. Lowry (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces) (Paperback)
The Hurricane will always be associated with the Battle of Britain: less well known is that approximately one quarter of UK production of the fighter went to the USSR, at great cost to the men who sailed in the Murmansk convoys from Liverpool and Glasgow. The Hurricanes were operated by Soviet naval aviation in the polar climate of the far north under conditions of extreme hardship: short and extremely cold winter days and hot and dusty conditions in the summer. We are told that under the latter conditions engines wore out very quickly and the Soviets had to devise their own sand filters. The Soviets also made the sensible move of re-arming the Hurricanes with their own excellent 20mm and 12.7mm aircraft cannon as well as RS-82 air to air rockets.
The rugged Hurricane, although obsolete, was forgiving of novice pilots and its ability to absorb battle damage was appreciated, but this could not overcome the superiority of the enemy's equipment and tactics. Of the 13 highest-ranking Hurricane aces less than half survived the war..

An interesting section in the book compares the Hurricane with other Soviet and imported fighters and the Hurricane, despite its slow speed, seems to have been the best of the bunch. It must have seemed sophisticated in comparison with Soviet fighters such as the LaGG. However, its radio equipment, which should have been a boon, was often not employed by its proletarian pilots.

So, an interesting read. I have marked down because editing seems a little sloppy: with possibly few suitable pictures available there is one howler (p.30) where the aircraft is omitted entirely: you have to go to the frontispiece for the full picture! The plan of aerodromes also appears to omit the important Vaenga-2
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Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces)
Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces) by Yuriy Rybin (Paperback - 20 Aug 2012)
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