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This is the extraordinary story of Vasily B Emelianenko, the veteran pilot of one of the Soviet Union's most contradictory aircraft of World War II - the Ilyushin IL-2. This heavily armoured aircraft was practically unrivalled in terms of firepower; but it was slow to manoeuvre and an easy target for fighters. The IL-2 had to attack enemy flak columns at extremely low altitudes, which led to enormous tolls both in equipment and personnel.
It is no wonder then that, having flown eighty combat sorties against the Germans, Emelianenko was awarded the highest decoration - the Hero of the Soviet Union. He went on to complete a total of ninety-two sorties. His aircraft was shot down three times, and on each occasion he managed to pilot the damaged aircraft home, demonstrating remarkable resilience and bravery in the face of terrifying odds. Emelianenko's vivid memoirs provide a rare insight into the reality of fighting over the Eastern Front and the tactics of the Red Army Air Force. With remarkable clarity, he recalls what it was like to come face-to-face with a skilled, deadly and increasingly desperate enemy. Hair-raising encounters with fighters, forced landings on enemy territory, and the death of friends are all brought dramatically and movingly to life in this rare first-hand account.
  • AUTHOR: Emelianenko, V
  • FORMAT: 240pp 30 Bw 240x159 Hb
  • Code: 22411

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