Cybermodeler Online

Celebrating 24 years of hobby news and reviews




The appearance of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense, or NASA imagery or art does not constitute an endorsement nor is Cybermodeler Online affiliated with these organizations.


  • Facebook
  • Parler
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • YouTube

Pe-2 Guards Units of World War 2

Pe-2 Guards Units of World War 2 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2013 Title Pe-2 Guards Units of World War 2
Author Dmitriy Khazanov, Aleksander Medved Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780960654
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95


With over 10,000 manufactured, the legendary Pe-2 remains – numerically – the most important Soviet bomber of World War II.

Affectionately known as "Peshka" – "chess pawn" – the potent Petlyakov equipped elite Soviet formations.  Now Pe-2 Guards Units of World War 2 recaps their activities in a handy new title from Osprey.

"Guards" formations routinely enjoyed – qualitatively and quantitatively – priority in equipment and personnel.  And coverage chronologically courses through unit origins and service history – by Guards regiments, divisions and corps.

Every section of the authors' exciting account includes absorbing anecdotes of Pe-2 Guards units and personnel in action.  Like General Ivan S Polbin, legendary 2nd GvBAK commander and twice Hero of the Soviet Union, who developed innovative "rotation" dive-bombing tactics.  And HSU Marina Raskova, who formed the all-female Peshka-equipped 587th SBAP – part of the 1st GvBAK.

Nuggets of fascinating facts also flavor this savory stew.  Stalin's "dreaded order number 227" decreed so-called "punishment" squadrons – like one established within the 261st SBAP.  Trouble is, "not a single airman was ever sent" to that unit – and none was found "'guilty of cowardice, selfishness or sabotage'!"

Osprey sketches the scope of Soviet war efforts through the whole prism of Guards Pe-2 exploits.  And core coverage concludes with actions of Pe-2s and Pe-3s in Guards reconnaissance and naval units – including the Pacific Fleet's 34th GvBAP against Japan.

Dozens of photos, tactical schematics, and 30 beautifully rendered profiles by Andrey Yurgenson adorn this illuminating effort.  A helpful appendix plots Pe-2 Guards units in transition from 1941 through 1945.  And captions, aircraft plans and index complete contents.  I just wish the authors added annotations and references!

Robustly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!