Finnish Air Force 1939-1945, by Karlevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1998, 64 pp, $9.95 US.
The battles waged by the Finnish air force against the considerable might of Soviet air service are well known among modelers and historians. Between 1939 and late 1944, Finland fought a series of conflicts with Soviet Russia in an attempt to maintain its independence. The air service that this small Scandinavian nation could muster was almost entirely equipped with obsolescent fighters and bombers obtained from foreign sources. While Finland managed to obtain some more modern equipment during the conflict, almost none of it met modern standards.
Because Finland operated such a variety of aircraft types during WW2, its air service has remained a popular modeling topic for several years. While a number of books have covered this topic before, many of these are either currently out of print or foreign and difficult to obtain. The authors in fact collaborated in 1996 to produce a comprehensive volume on camouflage and markings, published in Finland. But those who have it needn't worry. There is little overlap between the Squadron/Signal volume and the earlier work. Finnish Air Force 1939-1945 is thus a very welcome addition to the literature on this subject.
The text concisely summarizes the organization and equipment of the Finnish air force during each stage of its involvement in WW2. The authors are obviously expert in Finnish air-force history. There are 8 pages of color profiles by Don Greer, all very well rendered. Several WW2-vintage color photographs are included as well. All the photographs are remarkable for their quality, and the quality of reproduction in the book is first rate.
To sum up, the combination of authoritative text, rarely seen photographs, and high production standards make this book an excellent value.
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Text © 1998 by Charles Hart. Used by permission.