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by Henry Sakaida
Osprey Publishing 2004
Cover Price: $17.95
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Heroes of the Soviet Union 1941-45
This book details the Soviet Union's highest award for valor: the Hero of the Soviet Union. The book begins with the history of the award, list of recipients by ethnicity and nationality and privileges for recipients. The award could be earned by any branch of service, including Generals for planning campaigns, pilots, aircrews, soldiers, sailors, partisans or spies. Some, even were awarded the medal several times.
Many were awarded posthumously, and most of the recipients earned the award for actions against the Germans, several profiled were earned for actions or activities in the Far East against the Japan.
Profiled are Viktor Leonov who attacked a Japanese airfield at Port Vonsa at the end of the war, earning a second Hero of the Soviet Union.
Also, Mikhail Malik who cleared mines from Yuki, Raisin, Seisin, Odentsin and Tenzan, developing a technique to depth charge them during August 1945.
The famous spy, Richard Sorge based in Japan was a valuable wartime spy. Among many revelations, he confirmed that the Japanese did not intend to attack the Soviet Union, thus allowing them to focus their attention on the eastern front. Captured and tortured, he was hanged on November 7, 1944 at Sugamo Prison, Tokyo. He was awarded the Hero medal in 1964 by Nikita Khrushchev.
See also Sakaida's Heroines of the Soviet Union 1941-1945 about women who earned the Hero of the Soviet Union.
Interview with Henry Sakaida
Review by Justin Taylan
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