Although the Russian Imperial Army Air Service consisted of no more than four BAGs (Boevaya Aviatsionniy Gruppa - battle aviation groups), each controlling three or four smaller AOIs (Aviatsionniy Otryad Istrebitelei - fighter aviation detachments) equipped with a variety of aircraft types, its fighter pilots nevertheless gave a good account of themselves. Indeed, during three years of war they claimed more than 200 Austro-Hungarian and German aircraft shot down, creating 13 aces - these elite aviators accounted for around half of the victories claimed on the Eastern Front. Pilots flew a variety of fighter types, with French Nieuport scouts and SPAD VIIs proving to be the most popular, and effective, aeroplanes to see service on this front. The exploits of these aces are detailed here, with information based on material newly sourced by the author from Russian military and private archives. Many previously unpublished photographs are used to illustrate this book, supported by full-colour profiles that reveal how striking some of the aces' fighters were in this often-forgotten theatre of World War I.
About the Author
A history teacher living in St Charles, Iowa, Greg VanWyngarden has had a lifelong interest in World War I aviation and has been particularly active in researching the colors and markings of German fighter aircraft. Greg has served on the Board of Directors of the League of World War I Aviation Historians and has been both art director and issue editor for that society's journal "Over the Front," He is a long-time member of Cross & Cockade International, and has authored many articles in specialist publication and contributed to several monographs dealing with his favorite subject. This is his tenth book. The author lives in St Charles, Iowa.
"In this small compendium Victor Kulikov presents those Russian Army Aviation Service pilots who were considered aces. This volume provides the relevant facts, dates, and locations of the aces’ actions and their eventual personal outcome if they outlived the war and revolution. In some cases there are narratives in the pilots’ own words, which always provide interesting vignettes of the historical events."
- Over the Front (Summer 2013)
"...what a ripping read! Make this exciting effort your introduction to these forgotten heroes."
- David L. Veres, www.cybermodeler.com (June 2013)
"This narrowed focus details the planes, the aces, their strategies and their key battles of the times, using information based on material newly sourced by the author from Russian military and private archives. The result is an outstanding analysis suitable for any aviation history or World War I military holding."
- The Midwest Book Review (July 2013)