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Swastika in the Gunsight: Memoirs of a Russian Fighter Pilot, 1941-43, by Igor Kaberov, translated and abridged from the original Russian edition by Peter Rule, Sutton Publishing, Ltd., Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K., 1999, $34.95.

Autobiographies by fighter pilots of World War II are not uncommon, but one by a Soviet fighter ace is unusual. One of the relatively lucky few to survive the early air battles of 1941, Igor Kaberov flew Polikarpov I-16s and LaGG-3s with the Baltic Fleet Air Force in defense of Russia’s northern coast and Leningrad, flying 476 sorties, engaging in 132 air battles and being credited with 28 German aircraft, for which he was awarded the Gold Star of a Hero of the Soviet Union. Military History readers will be interested to know that Kaberov’s story, originally written in 1975, appears in English here for the first time. In addition to describing the nature of aerial combat over the Eastern Front, Kaberov’s perspectives on every aspect of the conflict yield interesting insights into the Soviet mindset of his time. In both respects, Swastika in the Gunsight is an important historical document worth adding to one’s World War II aviation library.

Jon Guttman