MMP's Russian Aviation Colors 1909-1922

Author/Artists: Boris Stepanov & Marat Khairuin


MMP/Casemate Publishing


$75.005 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 200 pages, ISBN 978-83-65281-00-5

This is the second volume covering this subject and starts with chapter 4 at the height of the Great War. In fact, the whole book seems to be chapter 4 as there is a lot of material covered.

The book is formatted in a rather different way from what we have normally come to expect from books. This one goes through all of the various otyrad's (which in this context means squadron). It covers their various aircraft as well as a their unit history during the time frame of the book.

In addition to the above, it goes into the unit markings and camouflage of the aircraft within the unit. There are side-stories in most of the various sections that delve more deeply into some of the particular aircraft and their manufacture. Each unit section is absolutely filled with superb color profiles as well as truly remarkable period photographs, none of which I have ever seen before. Face it. Imperial Russian aviation history is something that few outside the country have really researched and so little is actually known my most Western aviation enthusiasts.

Well, this book certainly takes care of that as you will find a wealth of superbly researched information on the units and some of the men who flew with them during this time.

For a more precise rundown of what is in here. There are the three independent squadrons from the Siberian Corps, then the Grenadier Corps squadron, and then the Special Combat Aviation Group of the Southwestern Front.

This became a rather unwieldy way of organizing the growing air force so it was then reorganized into four combat aviation groups, each with 3-4 different squadrons. These could be anything from bombers to recon aircraft or even a mix. There were 12 separate fighter squadrons, and while most flew the same type of aircraft, this was not always the case.

A neat section is on various charms and souvenir inscriptions, finishing up with various factory emblems. There are eight different places at this time which made aircraft and each provided their own markings on the planes, these often changing with time.

In all, we have what every enthusiast wants in a book. It is well written, superbly researched, has lots of great photos and includes a bevy of superb color profiles based on the photos in the book. It is one that I am sure you will find just as fascinating to read as did I and is most highly recommended.

December 2016

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Review book courtesy of  Casemate Publishing, where you can order your copy of this and many other superb books and DVDs.

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