Seventy years have passed since the Second World War yet the books and articles still keep coming in a never-ending stream discussing the question of what role the deliveries of arms and materials by Soviet allies played in the victory of the Red Army. In Russia, the American Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter along with the Studebaker US6 truck and canned stewed meat became the symbols of Allied help to the USSR during the Second World War. Other aircraft which arrived to the country under the Lend-Lease program are less known but also made a valuable contribution to the victory.
The author of this book for the first time has assembled a huge volume of information related to the delivery of aviation equipment from UK and USA. Based on documents from Russian and foreign archives, museums, and veterans' recollections, the author has made a qualitative and quantitative appraisal of the influence of these deliveries upon the Soviet war effort and airpower during the conflict. The book details the routes of the aircraft deliveries to Russia, the modifications which were done in order to suit the demands of the Russian climate and specifics of their front-line use, as well as the process of the new aircraft being mastered by the units of the Red Army Air Force. The first foreign aircraft arrived in the Soviet Union with No. 151 Wing RAF in 1941, and their use expanded rapidly - they took part in the counteroffensive near Moscow, the battles for Stalingrad and the Kursk salient, and operations of the war up to the battle for Berlin and the capitulation of Japanese forces in the North China.
The author includes the results of the combat assessments of the aircraft, which were done at the Scientific Testing Institute of the Air Force, as well as reports from front-line regiments, and multiple combat episodes, detailing the views of the Soviet designers and pilots on the British and American aircraft.
A separate chapter provides information about the aircraft which were not officially delivered but appeared in the Soviet Union accidentally. For the first time an attempt has been made to assess the influence of the deliveries of material and equipment upon the Soviet aviation industry and war effort. The author's impressive text is supported by nearly 700 colour and b/w photographs, 100 colour aircraft profiles, plus maps, charts etc.
Vladimir Kotelnikov was born in Moscow on 9 December 1951. He graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute (University) in 1975 and was engaged in research and development in the area of high-temperature strength. Vladimir was awarded an academic degree as Candidate of Science in 1981 and read lectures on aircraft piston engine design at Moscow Aviation Institute. Since the 1980s Kotelnikov has conducted archival research on the history of Russian aviation during the inter-war and WWII period. He has paid specific attention to the history of foreign aircraft testing and operations in Russia. As the result of his work he has published several hundred articles and dozens of books in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, UK, France, Germany, Spain, and US, among them - Americans in Russia, Russian Piston Aero Engines, Early Russian Jet Engines, Air War Over Khalkhin Gol, Le Petlyakov Pe-2 and others. Being an aviation historian, he has received a diploma as Professor of the Academy of Aviation and Aeronautics Science and currently acts as consultant on piston aero engines design to Russian aviation museums as well as to different aircraft restoration groups. Since 2003 Vladimir has held the post of an editor of the Aviakollektsiya aviation history magazine, published in Moscow.