MMP Books' Finnish Aces


Kari Stenman & Karolina Holda


Mushroom Models Publications


$75.00 from 


Scott Van Aken

Notes: #9150  ISBN 978-83-66549-59-3
432 pages, hardbound, Hundreds of photos and color profiles, 11.8 x 8.2 inches

Subtitled 'Their Planes and Units 1939-1945, this is by far the best book ever published on the subject. Finland was one of many nations that was scrambling to update their air force in the years prior to WWII. As such, they purchased aircraft from a variety of nations including the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United states. There were some local designs manufactured, but these were mostly trainer and liason types.

Finland was quite capable of license building aircraft and had excellent repair facilities, but was reliant on others for the top of the line equipment. Though Finland remained neutral at the start of the war, it wasn't long before they were fighting thanks to the invasion of the Soviet Union in late 1939. This brief war cost the Soviets dearly and was ended after three months. This was the impetus for Finland to join with Germany later on in the fight against the Soviets and this provided the impetus for Finland to obtain not only captured French aircraft (like the Curtiss Hawk), but also the Bf-109, which became Finland's most capable fighter.

This is mostly a photo book and I base that on the sheer number of quality period photos within. These photos also provide the bases for some superbly done color profiles. The book opens with a brief description of how victories were tallied and the updates to the official post war totals as a result of the ability to go through Soviet archives after the fall of the Soviet Union. Pilots and air gunners are notorious for over-claiming with some nations being worse than others. Finland was one of the better in terms of accuracy and the comparison of records from both sides of a conflict are often the best way to assure that modern historians can provide the most accurate record.

Each pilot is listed alphabetically with a very short piece of information on his career and fate along with a table that provides details on each of his victories. The book then goes into a fairly extensive history of each of the fighter units and this alone makes for some fascinating reading. There are multiple appendices that include a listing of unit commanders, a complete list of aces, victories by foreigners, landing fields, etc.  

When you add to the mix that this book is authored by THE expert in the field of the Finnish AF during WWII, then you have the best book written on the subject. Get it now.

May 2022

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