This is the extraordinary story of Vasily B. Emelianenko, the veteran pilot of one of the Soviet Union's most contradictory planes of the Second World War - the I1-2. This heavily armored aircraft was practically unrivaled in terms of fire power, but it was slow to maneuver and an easy target for fighters. I1-2 had to attack enemy flak columns at extremely low altitudes, which led to enormous tolls both in equipment and personnel.
It is no wonder then that, having flown 80 combat sorties against the Germans, Emelianenko was awarded the highest decoration - the Hero of the Soviet Union. He went on to complete a total of 92 sorties. His plane was shot down three times, and on each occasion, he managed to pilot the damaged aircraft home, demonstrating remarkable resilience and bravery in the face of terrifying odds.
Emelianenko's vivid memoirs provide a rare insight into the reality of fighting over the Eastern Front and the tactics of the Red Army Air Force. With remarkable clarity, he recalls what it was like to come face to face with a skilled, deadly, and increasingly desperate enemy. Hair-raising encounters with fighters, forced landings on enemy territory, and the death of friends are all brought dramatically and movingly to life in this rare firsthand account.
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- Verena Leporin
Rare and detailed report from Russian veteran
You'll find endless numbers of books about the air war during WW2 in the different regions of the world, must mostly from British, American and German points of view. Reports from other countries, as Russia, Japan, France or Italy, are pretty rare in the English (or German) literature.
This audiobook gives a detailed personal report of the Russian-German air war 1941 - 1945, describing the experiences of the ground attack pilot Vasily Emilianenko who flew mostly the IL-2, the legendary aircraft with the highest production number of all time. Emilianenko survived the war as a highly decorated heroe.
The story appears to be precisely told, and even though this war was enormously brutal, rather fair concerning the enemy.
The narrator did a wonderful job and lets his listeners immerse into the gripping report.