Kagero's Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3


Dariusz Paduch




$33.95 from Casemate Publishing


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 3080. ISBN 978-83-66673-71-7, 72 pages

This latest volume in Kagero's Monograph series is on the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3. This aircraft could reasonably be called Nikolai Polikarpov's last single engine fighter design and many will see the similarities of this aircraft's shape when compared to his I-17. It was designed during a time when Polikarpov was basically forced out of own design offices by his subordinates with help from the upper brass. These offices then took the name of the two engineers who completed the work on the aircraft, Mikoyan and Gurevich. 

Soviet aircraft design cannot be separated from the politics of the time. The requirement to do well was constantly hanging over the head of designers and failure was not well tolerated at all. One time, perhaps; more than that could easily lead to removal, banishment, imprisonment, or worse. Such was the atmosphere in the Soviet Union under the paranoid leadership of Josef Stalin.

Few Soviet fighters performed as requested once military equipment was added and production started. The MiG-3 was no exception. While the design and construction flaws were generally corrected, what was not was the fact that the fighter was designed and built for a role it rarely got to perform. The MiG-3 was a high altitude fighter and so its performance was based on that assumption. It was expected that masses of enemy bombers would come in at a high altitude to devastate Soviet cities. That simply did not happen as the Germans were basically operating aircraft that functioned at lower altitudes. While the MiG-3 was able to produce some successes at the lower altitudes, it was not that effective. Relatively few were produced (at least compared to the Yak and Lavochkin fighters) and those that were carried on as best as possible.

The author has done a fine job researching this book. The development of the aircraft is particularly interesting and you are provided a history of its use in major battles.  Kagero books have always provided a nice selection of full color profiles and this one is no exception. In addition there are a ton of period photos as well as 14 pages of plans in both 1/72 and 1/48 within the book. A book that is well worth picking up. 

March 2022

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