Dragons on Bird Wings: The Combat History of the 812th Fighter Air Regiment

Volume 1: Liberation of the Motherland

Vlad Antipov, Igor Utkin

Date Published :
October 2006
Publisher :
Illustration :
12pages of line drawings, 56 color illustrations, over 120 rare photographs
No associated books available.


Follow the 3rd Fighter Aviation Corps along its Combat Path during the Liberation of the Motherland through the experiences of one of its units – the 812th Fighter Aviation Regiment.

Drawing on a comprehensive range of archives, memoirs, and photographs, the authors describe this unit’s daily combat activities in detail from its formative Rzhev - Vyazma days on the doorstep of Moscow, into the pivotal Stalingrad battles, and on through the hard-won victories along the shores of the Sea of Azov – Kuban, Myskhako, Molochnaya – and beyond.

In this volume, part one of the 812th regiment’s combat history reaches its climax with the ejection of the Luftwaffe from its remaining bases near the besieged fortress city of Sevastopol, while the Red Army liberates the Crimea from the grip of the Wehrmacht. We leave the 812th – General Savitskiy’s “Dragons on Birds Wings” – as it regroups and prepares for the great drive through Europe where it will end the war in Berlin itself...

This is the one of the first primary source derived, and by some accounts foremost, English-language histories of an operational regiment-sized VVS (Soviet Air Force) unit during the Great Patriotic War.

Forward by Von Hardesty.

Expert translation from an original Russian manuscript by James Gebhardt in consultation with Dr. Ilya Grinberg.

Useful appendices and comprehensively indexed.


"Considerable amounts of care have gone into this volume, both in the research and writing by Antipov and Utkin and in the translation, editing, and production work by the team in Canada. While it should come as no surprise that a Soviet air regiment could have such an scintillating existence leading to a high quality unit history, it does seem rather remarkable that we've had to wait so long to see this kind of work from the Russian side of the Eastern Front become available in English."

- Stone & Stone Second World War Books