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Book Sample  

Below is a sample page from my book.

Preface

First and foremost, this book is designed for the plastic modeller who wishes to create accurate representations of the Il-2 Shturmovik in 1/72nd scale, 1/48th scale, and 1/32nd scale, and who also wishes to know some of the history behind the aeroplane they are representing.  I have attempted to make this book as comprehensive as possible as regards to Il-2 kits and accessories, but there will no doubt be omissions and items mentioned that are no longer obtainable.  In addition, new models and accessories appear from time to time.  With this book I have also attempted to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that surround this important warplane without, hopefully, spreading old ones or creating new ones.

Some basic background on the Il-2 may be useful, which will be covered in more detail in the History Section below.  That the Il-2 Shturmovik contributed greatly to the eventual triumph of Soviet arms over the Nazi war machine is indisputable.  However, the Il-2 remains a controversial aeroplane to this day and many misconceptions and oft-repeated inaccuracies still exist.  As mentioned above, hopefully with this book I can dispel some of these inaccuracies.  Was it a deathtrap that succeeded only because it was produced in great numbers, or was it a well-designed machine that suffered great losses in the first two years of the GPW (Great Patriotic War) because of an initial lack of a rear gunner, poor tactics, inadequately-trained pilots, and poor or non-existent fighter escort? 

            Perhaps not surprisingly, and probably as a leftover of Cold War attitudes that downplayed all Soviet contributions to the defeat of Nazi Germany and viewed all VVS (Red Air Force) GPW aircraft as substandard, the former view is more prevalent in the West than in the East.  In the former Soviet Bloc, the Il-2 was treated with something approaching reverence in official Soviet documents and other published works.  Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, there has been some revisionism concerning the Il-2, but the fact remains that the Soviet Union was largely responsible for defeating Nazi Germany (75% of Wehrmacht casualties overall occurred on the Eastern Front), and numerically the single most important aeroplane in the Soviet Red Air Force was the Il-2.  This alone makes the Il-2 a significant aeroplane historically.  To the Soviet/Russian people it was (and is) as iconic as the Supermarine Spitfire is to the British people.