Helion's Air Battles over Hungary 1944/45

Author/Artists: Dmitriy Khazanov


Helion  Publishing


$45.00 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 150 pages, softcover, over 250 images
ISBN 978-1-913336-20-2

One of the areas that had a lot of combat during the last year of WWII in Europe was in Hungary. Western readers do not hear all that much about it as they tend to concentrate on operations in western Europe. Not surprising is that a fair percentage of the Luftwaffe was concentrated in southern Germany, Austria and Hungary. Of course Hungary had a decent air force as well, one that was quite capable of taking on the Soviets. One thing that helped was their use of current Luftwaffe types.

Of course, by this time of the war, the Soviet air force was more capable, but their tactical training wasn't as good as that of their Axis foes. The result was fairly large losses in comparison to what was dealt out to the Germans and Hungarians. Still, war is not won in the air, but on the ground and one thing that the Soviets had was superior numbers in troops and equipment.

This book does not concentrate on the ground war, but it is impossible to not cover that aspect when dealing with the air war. Much of the fighting in Hungary was over the capital city of Budapest and the attempts of the Soviets to encircle the city. Hungary was also the focus of the last major campaign of the German Army, one which almost worked, but was simply unable to overcome the lack of troops, equipment and supplies.

As you would expect, there are a lot of 'there I was' stories from both sides of the conflict. There are also a lot of great period photos as well as full color profiles, Each of the chapters starts with prose about the specific time period covered, followed by several pages of period photos. Not surprising is that the majority of the images are from the Soviet side of things though there are a goodly number of images from German and Hungarian sources. However, the bulk of the book is about the air fighting and the stories are fascinating.

It is quite obvious that the author has put in a lot of research on this one and it shows. It makes for an excellent read on an interesting subject. It is a book that I can easily recommend to you.

April 2021

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