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by Vladimir Kotelnikov
SAM Publications  2010
128 pages
Photos, Maps, profiles, index
ISBN: 1906959234
Cover Price: £19.99
plus shipping
Language: English

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Air War Over Khalkhin Gol
The Nomonhan Incident

This book summarizes the air war during the Nomonhan Incident / Battle of Khalkin Gol over the border between Mongolian and Manchuria. Translated from Russian, the book summarize the air war in five chapters that span the air war from May until September 1939.

Chapter 1 covers the background of the conflict and state of aviation assets in both Mongolia and Manchuria, the first combats and arrival of ace pilots from the Soviet Union. Chapter 2 explores combat during June, including Japanese bombing raids against Tamsagbulak and transportation. Chapter 3 covers the July period of relative inactivity, but highlights the role of Mongolian aviators and night raids by the massive but outdated TB-3 heavy bomber. Chapter 4 describes the combat during August including the Soviet offensive that defeated the Japanese. Chapter 5 covers September and end end of the air war, including the final Japanese raid into Mongolia and the cease fire. The claims of both sides are scrutinized and the author concludes the Soviets over claimed 4 fold and Japanese 6 fold for aerial victories.

This book is the most readable English language account to date, but lacks depth of Nedialkov's Japan Against Russia: In The Skies of Nomonhan. Several often repeated errors about the battle are repeated in the text.

Lavishly illustrated, the book includes some full page black & white photographs plus many half and quarter page photos from Soviet and Japanese sources depicting aircraft, wrecks, pilots and locations. The book ends with two page descriptions of each aircraft type used in the battle, with representative photos and flight specifications, plus an index. The maps were adapted from Soviet sources and not very detailed.

The strength of the book are eighteen pages of full color profiles, displaying three planes per page, with descriptions. Profiles include Soviet TB-3 heavy bomber, SB-2 medium bomber, R-5 light bomber plus I-153, I-16, I-15 fighters and DC-3 transports. On the Japanese side, Ki-10light bomber, BR.20, Ki-21 medium bomber, Ki-27 fighters. Overall his book is an excellent addition to your library.

Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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