Just as when one thinks of American bombers the iconic B-52 comes to mind, when thinking of Russian bombers, the same can be said for the Tu-95 Bear. The Allies had done much to prove the success of and need for long range strategic bombers in their defeat of the Nazis and Japan. The Russians (then Soviets) like many countries, had not developed much in the way of long-range bombers prior to and during WWII. The success of the British and American long-range bombers during the war would change that for the Russians.
With a few American B-29s making emergency landings in Russia during operations against Japan, the Soviets were given an engineering opportunity to not only study the B-29 but per Stalin’s direction to completely reverse engineer it to become the Tupelov Tu-4.
The book is broken down into eight chapters. Chapter one is a look at WWII Russian bombers and their efforts to reverse engineer the B-29 as well as early turbo-prop development. Chapter 2 covers the development of the jet engine in Russia and the challenges they faced until the sale of some Rolls-Royce Derwent engines helped them overcome problems with their own engines and developments of captured German jet engines. Chapter three covers the early post war period where the UK and USA were making great strides in long range jet bomber development, this led to the first Soviet jet powered strategic bomber, the Tupelov Tu-16. Chapter four covers the Soviet search for a supersonic bomber. Chapter five covers the iconic Tu-95 bear. Chapter six covers the development of Soviet high yield nuclear devices. Chapter seven covers developments of the Tu-22 and the Tu-160.The final chapter covers the various bombers in service and a very brief coverage of Russian stealth bomber development.
This is an informative volume with good information and pictures. It would be a good edition to any modeler, aviation enthusiast or anyone with and interest in Soviet/Russian aircraft’s library. I can recommend it to all the above!
Our thanks to Casemate Publishers for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity.