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Bf 109E/F vs Yak-1/7

Bf 109E/F vs Yak-1/7 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review June 2015 Title Bf 109E/F vs Yak-1/7
Author Dmitriy Khazanov, Aleksander Medved Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2015 ISBN 9781472805799
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


Osprey outlines early Eastern Front aerial combat in Bf 109E/F vs Yak-1/7 – 65th installment in its popular "Duel" series.

Dmitriy Khazanov and Aleksander Medved recount key 1941–42 developments in technology, tactics and training through the lens of Messerschmitt's and Yakovlev's legendary designs.

Facing a largely obsolescent force of Soviet Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 variants, Hitler's Luftwaffe initially won overwhelming victories.

But those triumphs proved essentially illusory. Next-generation Soviet fighters – like the Yak-1 – were just entering service. And massive training programs vastly increased VVS-KA aircrew numbers.

Authors deftly distill those changes in just 80 pages. After introductory notes and convenient chronology, authors recap design, development and technical details for both subjects.

The careers of Willi Messerschmitt and Aleksander Yakovlev ironically paralleled. Both "started with small aircraft" – and forged relationships with leaders who "helped them to attain their ambitious goals". Both also "established complicated cooperation between [sic: among] the different factories producing the vast variety of components required" for their respective fighter designs.

Following a "strategic situation" summary, coverage then courses through opposing:

  • pilot training
  • combat tactics
  • organizational structure and
  • combat

Biographic sidebars and maps augment the account. B&W photos visually flavor text. Color 3-views, cockpit layouts, formation schematics and action illustrations further spice the study. And a selected bibliography and index conclude contents.

In the end, qualitative and quantitative improvements to fighter designs eventually helped the Soviets defeat Nazi German invaders. Follow that terrific tale through the prism of Yak-1 and Yak-7 fighters – and their Messerschmitt adversaries. Get this neat little book.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!