Air World | Stalin's Falcons

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Air World
Author(s): Dmitry Zubov
Publishing date: 2024
ISBN: 978-1-39909-567-9 (Hardbound)
Pages: 275

I actually have very little data on WWII Soviet aircraft, so this book initially looked rather promising to me.

Being dedicated specifically to exploring much of the Soviet WWII propaganda/untruths that were pumped out in an attempt to convince the naive Soviet populace as to the superiority, and perhaps even invincibility of Soviet aircraft of the time (notions that persisted well beyond the end of the war), this book seeks to shred those "facts", and reveal the factual, and perhaps somewhat sad truth of the matter.

Propaganda, from pretty much all of the major powers, at least to one degree or another, was commonplace during WWII, so it should come as no shock that the Soviets did the same thing, in order to bolster public morale during the horrible wartime years.

It's all here; from design philosophy to test flights, and onto production. I should point out that this is a text-heavy volume, so if you're looking for lots of aircraft photos, you'll not find them here, which to be honest, is a bit of a surprise to me. With so many Soviet companies churning out fighters and bombers; Polikarpov, Mikoyan, Lavochkin, Ilyushin, Petlyakov, Sukhoi, LaGG, etc., I would have assumed they'd be covered better. If, however, you're interested in the massive disinformation by the Soviet powers that be during the War, this book will certainly fill the bill for you. I will also say that what the Soviets lacked in technical expertise, they more than made up for in massive numbers.

Obviously, kits do exist in our scale, of several of the players mentioned here, though there are certainly voids, nonetheless there do exist a fair number of samples that will allow the modeler some choices in depicting Soviet WWII fighters in particular.

Photo Samples

The text alone of this volume is rather extensive, taking up a large percentage of the book. The photos & illustrations, where present, combined with the text, obviously form the backbone of this book. Not a walk around type of publication, but as a general overview of the types, still manages to offer up some interesting reading.

For any and all who seek out history, data, facts and figures, this book may well satisfy your requirements.


On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a solid 10, no question about it. Topping out at over 275 pages of facts, anecdotes and history, all combined in a nice hardbound edition, while using good quality paper, it is recommended.

(Note: In my opinion, this Schiffer book on the Aces of Stalin's air force, would make a marvelous companion to this volume.)

My review copy compliments of Casemate Publishers. Thanks a ton to Casemate, it's an interesting piece of reference on the subject.

© Kevin Williams 2024

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This review was published on Monday, June 17 2024; Last modified on Sunday, June 23 2024