Wings over the Hindu Kush: Air Forces, Aircraft and Air Warfare of Afghanistan, 1989-2001 Book Review
|Date of Review||September 2021||Title||Wings over the Hindu Kush: Air Forces, Aircraft and Air Warfare of Afghanistan, 1989-2001|
|Format||88 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$29.95|
Let’s cut to the quick: if you seek a primer on military aviation in Afghanistan between the Soviet departure and 9-11, grab this handy handbook from Helion.
Wings over the Hindu Kush: Air Forces, Aircraft and Air Warfare of Afghanistan, 1989-2001 – available in North America from Casemate – recaps the total tale over 88 picture-packed pages.
Author Lukas Müller clearly milked and mined worldwide sources for simply stunning details of actions and aircraft, personalities and politics during the period.
Five informative chapters in this 15th edition of in Helion’s superb “Asia@War” range chronicle the conflicts:
- The Geo-Political Background
- The Najibullah Government versus the Mujahideen, 1989-1992
- All Against All, 1992-1996
- The Taliban’s Conquest of the North, 1996-1998
- Further Advances of the Taliban and their sudden fall, 1999-2001
Illustrations alone justify the price of admission. And hobbyists will love it.
Dozens of rare photos augment the account. And dozens more color profiles – 44 aircraft plates and insets by Tom Cooper and four military vehicles by David Bocquelet – provide potent project possibilities.
Confused about Afghan warplane insignia? Cooper handily depicts 29 marking variants “following every major political shuffle”.
Extended, explanatory captions accompany most images. Maps add geographical perspective to commentary. And an abbreviations glossary, appendices, references, and annotations conclude contents.
But given the book’s complex cast of characters, a dramatis personae would have helped, too.
Müller himself calls this study a “research work in progress”. And the Biden Administration’s reckless, ruinous abandonment of Afghanistan to Taliban torment tragically augurs further installments.
After all, the author reminds us, “Upon their arrival at the capital [Kabul in 1996], the Taliban … destroyed the Afghan Air Force archives”.
Efforts like Müller’s will help prevent the barbarous brutes from erasing all history.
Judge for yourself. Grab this vital volume.
My sincere thanks to Casemate for this review sample!