Bagration to Berlin

The Final Air Battles in the East 1944-1945
By Christer Bergström
Classic Publications, ©2008
ISBN 978-1-903223-91-8
Hardbound, 144 Pages
Available from Specialty Press for $52.95

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

The final volume in the definitive series on air battles on the Eastern Front, Bagration to Berlin covers the advance of Soviet forces and the ultimate collapse of the German forces. This was not an easy victory for the Soviet Union, though, and while the VVS improved their aircraft technology and pilot skills, the Luftwaffe changed their tactics to provide a powerful defense. Still, the VVS proved superior over the Luftwaffe in these final years, and the result was a constant retreat by the Germans towards Berlin.

Operation Bagration makes up the majority of this book, as the author wanted to provide a thorough analysis of this major event on the Eastern Front. As one of the few events on the Eastern Front to penetrate through the veil of Cold War propaganda, the actual events of the destruction of Heeresgruppe Mitte have never been told in a balanced fashion. This book aims to change that, providing information from both sides that illustrate why this battle eliminated any hope of a stalemate from which Germany might have established a truce. Instead, the Russians rode the wave of success from Bagration and pushed the Germans out of Eastern Europe back to Berlin.

Like the other titles in this series, the author draws heavily on archival information from both sides to provide a balanced analysis that is further enhanced through extensive photographs and maps. With many advances taking place across a broad front, the maps are particularly useful in keeping track of the progression of the battle. The photos, many of which are new, illustrate the changing technology of both sides.

This is an essential series to anyone interested in the history of the air war on the Eastern Front. The exhaustive research is well presented, and the supporting information is outstanding. My thanks to Specialty Press for the review copy.

Roll Models

Sandle Hobbies

Profile Art EN Banyai-Riepl Illustrations