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Dénes BERNÁD, Dmitriy KARLENKO, Jean-Louis ROBA
From Barbarossa to Odessa - The Luftwaffe and Axis Allies Strike South-East: June-October 1941 - Volume 2

Dénes BERNÁD, Dmitriy KARLENKO, Jean-Louis ROBA

From Barbarossa to Odessa - The Luftwaffe and Axis Allies Strike South-East: June-October 1941 - Volume 2

ISBN13 / EAN: 9781857802801
ISBN10: 1857802802
The book can be ordered at the Publisher:

Written by acknowledged experts, led by Dénes Bernád, on this important but often overlooked theatre of operations, the two volumes of From Barbarossa to Odessa: The Luftwaffe Strikes South East, represent a major contribution to the available literature on the subject.

New, and often unexpected and controversial information continues to emerge on the massive air campaign fought over the Russian Front during World War 2. The books are the result of lengthy and meticulous study, on the air combat that took place on the southern flank of the Eastern Front following Operation Barbarossa. The period covered in these volumes saw the capture of Bessarabia and southwest Ukraine and concludes when the area’s regional capital, Odessa, was captured by the Rumanians on 16 October 1941. This was one of the most bitter and intensive air campaigns fought in the east due to the fact that local Soviet commanders dispersed most of their air assets in time, preventing their destruction on the ground. Thus, in this little-studied campaign, the Soviet Air Force was able to respond effectively to the Axis onslaught and achieved some of its greatest successes of 1941.

The often overlooked involvement of aircraft from Axis states other than Germany, such as the Romanians who claimed a total of over 600 air victories, the Hungarians, the Slovaks and even the Bulgarians, is covered in the book. Their involvement makes this campaign of great interest because of the large variety of aircraft types employed by both sides. Aided by a large number of previously unpublished photographs, the book tells the story of the campaign from both sides and provides detailed eyewitness accounts from individual pilots who were involved in the fighting. Besides day-to-day operations, appendices contain comprehensive victory and loss lists.

The books are essential reading for historians of the air war in the east, and of the Luftwaffe and its allied air forces and aviation modellers.


Here's an extract from one of the daily entries in From Barbarossa to Odessa:

"At 0705, four Soviet aircraft bombed the railway station and barracks at Ramnicul-Sarat. An intruder, shot down by anti-aircraft fire, crashed near Vulturul, the crew escaping by parachute. Buzau airfield and railway station also suffered an attack by four bombers, dropping 22 large calibre bombs of which two did not explode, but only little damage was recorded, along with two wounded civilians. At 0735, bombs were dropped by four Soviet bombers near Bivolari, without result. At 0820, nine Soviet bombers attacked Jassy, their bombs falling on a field near Probota, without causing damage. At 0920, while returning from a patrol over the front line, a Schwarm from II./JG 77 met four DB-3s engaged probably in one of the many Soviet intrusions of the day over Rumania. All were reportedly shot down.
Contrary to the previous days, Axis aircraft did not target the airfield of 67 IAP this day. Alongside the bomber crews of 299 BBAP, pilots of 67 IAP strafed a large concentration of enemy vehicles at Oancea. Lt. Butsenko and Ml. Lt. Shlyachov each set on fire a fuel tanker. At 0740, nine SBs of 45 SBAP carried out a bombing attack on the river crossing over the Pruth, 3-4 km south of Tover. One of the SBs was shot down by enemy fighters near Chistelnita, all crewmembers being killed.
At 0750, pilots of 69 IAP on readiness, sitting strapped into their fighters, were alerted by forward ground observers of the PVO that an enemy bomber formation was approaching. They quickly took oft and attacked the bombers, not realising that they were SBs. As a result of 'friendly fire', one of the three SBs was shot down. The engine of Major Shestakov's fighter was also hit eleven times, thus the pilot had to make an emergency landing. Another Soviet bomber was also lost in error, most probably to pilots of 69 IAP. The SB of 317 RAP was shot down by MiG-3s during a reconnaissance flight.
At 0925, eight I-153s and three MiG-3s of 4 IAP flew to the Kuhnesti-Sculeni area, where they were attacked by four [Rumanian] Hurricanes. In the ensuing dogfight, Kpt. Tereshkin claimed to have shot down one Hurricane, but in turn one MiG-3, flown by St. Lt. Gridnev, was lost. No Rumanian fighter is recorded as being lost this day. Later in the day, pilots of 4 IAP attacked Bacau airfield, where they claimed two Blenheims destroyed by Lt. Nosov, Ml. Lt. Baydov and Ml. Lt. Avdeyev. No Rumanian Blenheim, or any other two-engine aircraft, is recorded as being destroyed on ground this day.
Six Ar-2s of 132 SBAP dive-bombed the river crossing near Sculeni. Enemy fighters identified as 'SET-15s' attempted to attack them, but their efforts were unsuccessful. However, one Soviet gunner was killed during combat. Later in the day, seven Ar-2s and 25 SBs of this regiment transferred to Tsebrikovo. At 1005, seven Ar-2s bombed the same river crossing for a second time. Over the target area, the bombers were surprised by a summer downpour. While leaving the storm clouds, the Soviet formation was suddenly attacked by six Bf 109s east of Jassy (lasi). They pursued the retreating Soviets over the border, eventually shooting down two Ar-2s. Only one pilot survived, the rest of the crew being killed.
In the morning, probably during a strafing attack, the Bf 109 E-4, W.Nr. 5365, flown by Fw. Rudolf Schmidt of 5./JG 77 was hit by Flak and had to make an emergency landing. The fighter was destroyed but, after a few hours, the future Ritterkreuztrager returned back unhurt. A few hours later, he is reported to have shot down two DB-3s."

The authors round out the book with ample photos and a few color aircraft profiles, but this is a solid, serious, text-heavy approach despite the glossy, oversized format. The volume lacks indication of sources for the material (despite footnotes, which mostly add more to the descriptions) and does not include a bibliography (although that's promised for the second volume).

Bernad and his colleagues have performed admirable work, and their detailed chronological account deserves wide recognition by everyone with an interest in the air war on the Russian Front.

Scopul acestei rubrici este de a informa vizitatorii noştri de apariţia, în decursul timpului, a unor cărţi cu subiect aviatic. Vom încerca totodată să oferim în acest cadru toate detaliile pe care le deţinem pentru procurarea acestor titluri, însă nu ne implicăm în (nu intermediem) comercializarea cărţilor prezentate.

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