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Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Africa

Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Africa Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review June 2013 Title Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Africa
Author Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov Publisher Hikoki Publications
Published 2013 ISBN 9781902109275
Format 272 pages, hardcover MSRP (USD) $56.95


Another terrific title says it all.

Available from Specialty Press, Hikoki's lavishly illustrated Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Africa recaps "Air Arms, Equipment and Conflicts since 1955".

Using previously classified sources, the matchless team of Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov tell the whole terrific tale in 272 image-packed pages.  And they wend alphabetically through all African countries except Egypt.

But that doesn't mean you have to.  I happily hopped from Uganda to Guinea to Angola to Zimbabwe – then to everywhere else.  So go ahead: stray from the safari.  This encyclopedic effort utterly abets rambling and roaming.

The full cast of colorful combatants appear.  Frescoes, Fishbeds, Hips and Hinds naturally take center stage.  But supporting players like An-12s and Su-24s share spotlights, too.  And some will really rouse your modeling muse – like Mali's gaudy MiG-17s.

That's because dozens of color photos and profiles sweeten Hikoki's scrumptious study.  Nothing monochrome mars this marvelous monograph!  Inset images illustrate national insignia.  And chapter charts list known serials of every African warplane of Soviet and Russian origin – including Chinese derivatives.

But don't let Egypt's absence trouble you: it's part of the authors' pending project on Soviet and Russian aircraft in Mid-East service.  So stay tuned.

Some gremlins nevertheless haunt this otherwise able effort.  Ethiopians probably flew F-86Fs in 1978 battles with insurgents – not F-86Ds.  Ugandan MiG-21MFs sported yellow codes during Israel's 1976 Entebbe rescue mission – not black borts.  A photo in Fanatique de l'Aviation shows Guinean MiG-17AS "Red 513" in overall gray livery – not "dark green" camouflage.  And that's "pan-Arab" – not "pan-Arabic".

But I quibble.  Savor this informative overview as much as I did.  Then with, say, Eduard's MiG-21MF as canvas, grab Afterburner's decals and add African accent to your shelf!


My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!