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MiG-3 Aces of World War 2

MiG-3 Aces of World War 2 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2012 Title MiG-3 Aces of World War 2
Author Dmitriy Khazanov and Aleksander Medved Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2011 ISBN 978-1-84908-442-0
Format 96 pages, softcover MSRP (USD) $22.95


The MiG-3 was the Soviet Air Force's leading high-altitude fighter when Germany launched Operation Barbarossa to invade the Soviet Union. While a significant number of Soviet Air Force aircraft were destroyed by the Luftwaffe in the launch of that invasion plus sustained combat operations in the months that followed, the Soviet Air Force was still able to muster enough MiG-3 survivors to mount a defense of the skies over Mother Russia. While MiG-3 production ceased in October 1941, the aircraft remained in front-line service through 1942 and in regional air defense units though 1943.

Pilots like Stepan Suprun (Twice Hero of the Soviet Union), Aleksandr Pokryshkin (Thrice Hero of the Soviet Union), and Lev Shestakov (Hero of the Soviet Union) were able to become aces in the MiG-3. Pokryshkin was the second-highest Soviet Ace with 59 victories in a variety of fighter types, but he gained that initial ace status in the MiG-3.

The author has provided a good look at this aircraft and its crews, breaking through some of the political and linguistic barriers that have previously kept this subject from receiving the attention outside of Russia. Those of you who do read Russian will recognize many of the events and topics covered here that have been published in a wide range of historical Russian-language monographs. Coverage of this title includes:

  • Development and Deployment
  • Baptism of Fire
  • Gaining Experience
  • The Defence of Leningrad
  • Heroes of Moscow
  • Naval MiGs

The title provides a nice look into the development and operational employment of this aircraft including combat accounts. The title is also nicely illustrated with period black & white photography as well 32 color profiles that illustrate the various color schemes worn by the aircraft through its service life.

With the recent releases of highly detailed MiG-3 kits into the hobby world, at last here is a book that can bring this subject into the light.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!