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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 23 : Finnish Aces of World War 2

Always outnumbered by their Soviet counterparts, the small band of Finnish fighter pilots who defended their Scandinavian homeland from the 'communist hordes' in three separate wars between 1939 and 1945 amassed scores only bettered by the Luftwaffe's Jagdflieger. Initially equipped with a motley collection of biplane and monoplane fighters garnered from sources across the globe, the Finnish Air Force was thrust into combat through the invasion of its eastern border in November 1939. Given little chance against the massive Soviet force, the Finnish fighter pilots confounded the sceptics and proceeded to decimate the attacking fighter and bomber formations to the extent that the Russians had to call a halt in March 1940. This scenario was repeated in the Continuation War beginning 25 June 1941, when Finnish Buffalo, Fiat G.50 and Curtiss Hawk fighters again proved superior. By 1943 the Finns had become uneasy allies with the Germans, who supplied them with Bf 109Gs. Consequently, aces like Juutilainen and Wind proved unbeatable in the final months of conflict prior to the Finnish armistice with the USSR of 4 September 1944. Text by Kari Stenman and Kalevi Keskinen with illustrations by Mark Styling.

    Contents
  • Winter War
  • Finnish Offensive of 1941
  • Fighting Lend-Lease
  • Gulf of Finland
  • Soviet Offensive of 1944
  • Top Aces
  • Appendices

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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