...JG 52 Aces over Hungary 1944-45, from Helion & Co
Title: Verified Victories
Author: Daniel & Garbor Horvath
Publisher: Helion & Co
Top JG 52 Aces over Hungary 1944-45, a recent release from Helion & Co. A 215-page soft-cover book that is simply packed to the rafters with some fantastic research into a specific aspect of the air-war over Hungary in 1944-45. It examines in detail the claims recorded by the top 8 aces of the German unit, JG 52.
Following an Introduction which sets the scene for the book, the rest is divided into 3 sections. The first has the opening 3 chapters. These open with an examination of What is a Victory?, talking through the various aspects of victory claims in air combat and whether they were accurate or not. That is followed by looking at the Situation, Organisation and Location of both German and Soviet air units, including their aircraft types, operating in Hungary. Chapter 3 then provides a summary of the main military campaigns in Hungary during 1944.45. After this, a bit of an interlude as there is a colour section, which includes some excellent colour profiles of both German and Soviet aircraft, more detailed artwork showing unit markings on various aircraft types, some colour photos of an assortment of relics which have been recovered from the battlefields plus some helpful maps.
Next comes the largest element of the book, where using wartime Soviet records, the authors have examined in detail the multiple claims by 8 German aces of JG52, comparing them to the Soviet records which became accessible after the end of the Cold War. Chapters 4 - 11 are in section II of the book, each one detailing the 8 pilots, Gerhard Barkhorn, Wilhelm Batz, Peter Durtmann, Heinz Ewald, Friedrich Haas, Erich Hartmann, Helmut Lipfert and Heinrich Sturm. Incredible detail and a host of data tables where their individual claims have been compared to the actual losses recorded in the Soviet records.
This is very clearly a passion of the authors to examine the wartime history of Hungary, and the detailed examination and comparison of these records from both sides must have been a real challenge to work through. Add the date tables to a good variety of archive images throughout the book and this makes for an excellent record of this very specific topic.
Thanks to Helion & Co for our review copy.