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  Black Cross Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front Volume I Operation Barbarossa by Christer Bergström Please see the link below for my r...

Black Cross Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front: Volume I Operation Barbarossa by Christer Bergström Black Cross Red Star  Air War Over the Eastern Front: Volume I Operation Barbarossa by Christer Bergström

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Black Cross Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front: Volume I Operation Barbarossa

 Black Cross Red Star

Air War Over the Eastern Front

Volume I Operation Barbarossa


Christer Bergström

Please see the link below for my review of Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle Volume I

 Mr. Bergström has started a new company called Vaktel Books. This company will be publishing new books from him and updated versions of some of his classic books. Lombardy Studios is the distributor for these books in North America. Black Cross Red Star is definitely in the classic category when it comes to books about warfare on the Eastern Front in World War II. This edition is listed as both updated and expanded. So, you can imagine my glee when I was able to get this book into my hot little hands. It seems the first time the book was printed was in 1999. The passing of twenty-two years is more than enough to uncover more information about the campaign.

 This is a blurb about the book from Lombardy Studios:

"The original first volume in the Black Cross * Red Star series began in 1999 and quickly sold out. The new 2021 BC*RS volume one has been updated and expanded – it has more than double the word count and 300+ photos, many from the personal albums of veteran pilots. It is similar in format to Stalingrad with links to film clips of the air war on the Eastern Front plus 6 downloadable maps and a huge downloadable index listing aviation units, pilots and other key personalities. BONUS: 15 color aircraft profiles! (See the Kickstarter banner above for two of these profiles.)"

 Here are some color prints from the series:

The above is a Lend-Lease P-40 (from another volume), and the plane below is a BF-109 F-4


Yermolayev Yer-2

 This is a link to a large excerpt from the book:

 These two volumes shown above are already here in the U.S and are available for purchase. There is a Kickstarter campaign for the other books in this series, plus other books. The Kickstarter is only to measure how many of these fine books to import. The cost of international shipping has skyrocketed, as you know, so this is just so Lombardy Studios does not end up with a warehouse full of books.

 Okay, so now onto the book itself. If you already own the first publication, good for you. If you do not have it already, what are you waiting for? I can see that owners of the previous printing might be a little hesitant. So, let us look at the differences:

 The book is now over 380 pages! (It has more than double the word count)

 It comes with 300+ black and white pictures, some of these from the pilots' own collections.

 There are fifteen color aircraft profiles.

 It comes with fourteen QR code videos.

 The downloads that you can receive with the book are absolutely enormous in quantity. 

Stuka Divebombers

Werner Mölders on the left

 As for the book itself, it has long been considered the bible as far as the air war during Operation Barbarossa. The book is large, almost like a coffee table book, and has 384 pages. Most of the pages have a photograph on them. The photographs are all in black and white. There are numerous maps to follow the actual campaign. The book follows Operation Barbarossa from June 22, 1941 until right before the Soviet counterattack before Moscow on December 6, 1941. 

 The author shows us how and why the Germans had almost total air superiority throughout the first few months. He also shows us how quickly the Soviet air service (VVS) was able to bounce back and become a problem to the Germans in the latter months of 1941. 

 There are a total of nine appendices. Some of these are:

Luftwaffe Aircraft Combat Losses on the Eastern front June 22 - December 31, 1941

Luftwaffe Order of Battle, June 21, 1941

VVS Order of Battle, June 21, 1941

The Structure of the Soviet Air Forces in June 1941

The Highest Military Awards (for both countries)

Shturmoviks - These were a large reason for the Soviets' eventual victory

Soviet Airmen

 I mentioned earlier that if you do not already have the original printing of the book, this is an excellent time to add this much needed history to your library. There are also more than enough reasons to buy this new edition. 

 Hitler was correct; the world did hold its breath when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. He was also completely wrong about the rotten structure collapsing. The Germans found out once more how resilient the Russian Army could be on the defensive.  With surgical precision, the Luftwaffe de-taloned the Russian eagles. The Soviet Air Force was caught just as asleep as its Army. Even Göring doubted the claims that his Luftwaffe destroyed 2,000 Soviet airplanes on the first days of the campaign. The author shows us that in actuality new information shows it was around 3,000 planes that were destroyed on June 22nd and 23rd. The losses in airframes and pilots were staggering. 

 The book is separated into Parts I - VII and then into chapters. These are some of the chapters of the book:

The Machines

The Men and the Methods

The Greatest of all Air Battles

Stopped at Kiev

The Blitzkrieg is halted

Under the Polar Sun

In the Crimean Skies

Operation "Typhoon": The Most Decisive German Victory

Shturmoviks in Defense of Moscow

 To sum it up, the book is both beautifully produced and full of as much information and history that you can handle (and probably then some). Thank you, Lombardy Studios for allowing me to review it. I cannot wait for the further volumes. If you owe yourself a present or for any reason whatsoever, click on the links below and pick it up. You will not be sorry.

 Below are all the links that you need.

Lombardy Studios:

This is the link straight to the Kickstarter for Black Cross Red Star:

The Kickstarter for Mr. Lombardy's new wargame: Streets of Stalingrad, reborn or Streets of Stalingrad IV:

This is my review of 'Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle: