Friday, February 2, 2007

Red Star Airacobra by Evgeniy Mariinskiy

The book is more or less a typical memoir from the Eastern Front. I read it in one day and enjoyed it for the most part. Unlike another memoir which I read by a pilot, the losses that Mariinskiy's regiment suffered were not at all as bad as they could have been. He definitely served in one of the better formations and had one of the highest scoring aces, Gulayev, flying in the same regiment.

Now, the real reason I give this book 4 stars is because of the horrible editing job. Mistakes are quite numerous! On one page you will read about the 29th Guards Fighter Regiment, on another the same regiment is now the 129th. Gulayev is spelled at times as Gulaev. Sandomir is spelled as Samdomir. And so on and so forth, it becomes quite annoying and definitely takes away from the pleasure of reading this book!

The translation is also rudimentary at times, it could have been a much better read if time was taken to correct these two problems. Otherwise some of the stories are very interesting although from time to time I found it hard to believe the numbers the author quotes, both those planes he and his squadron encountered and those planes that were shot down, although you never know. Suffice it to say, if you can get by with the lousy editing and crude translation, you might just enjoy this book.

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