Camouflage, Insignia and Tactical Markings of the Aircraft of Red Army Air Force in 1941

Mikhail Timin

This unique work is devoted to the camouflage and application of identification marks and tactical designations on the aircraft of the Red Army Air Force in 1941.
Date Published :
March 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
880 b/w photos, 470 color ills
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804512562
Pages : 400
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The Soviet Red Army command attached great importance to the camouflage of military objects and equipment. After the Civil War of 1918–1920 the issues of camouflaging were carefully studied, which led to a number of real measures that involved all armed forces of the country. Of course, military aviation was not left out. Along with the development of forms and methods of camouflaging airfields and various buildings, attempts were made to make airplanes as invisible as possible both on the ground and in the sky by applying the camouflage painting, the requirements for which were regularly changed. However, despite the theoretical research, camouflage was not widely used until 1941. Only after the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War were the standard black-and-green camouflage and the scheme for applying the color spots approved. In the meantime, in various units and formations of the Air Force, as well as at aircraft production factories, the camouflages were often applied without observing the prescribed scheme and approved colors.

The red five-pointed star insignias were applied on the Soviet airplanes in 1920s–1930s, but the shape, dimensions and locations of the insignias changed several times throughout 1941.

Tactical markings on the Red Army airplanes were to be applied in accordance with the Rules for application of identification marks and ciphers on military aircraft of the Red Army Air Force – but those rules were not followed either, and the principles of tactical markings differed along the units and formations of the Air Force.

The work presents more than 880 unique photos from Soviet and German archives and private collections, which allowed to reconstruct 470 color side views featuring camouflage, insignias and tactical markings of the aircraft of Red Army Air Force in 1941.

About The Author

Mikhail Valeryevich Timin was born on 30 July 1979 in the city of Ulyanovsk, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He attained a higher education - graduating from Ulyanovsk State Technical University - and currently lives in Moscow, Russia. Married with two sons, he is a researcher specialising in the history of the Air Forces of the USSR and is the author of approximately 50 publications in the following journals: Aviatsiya i Kosmonavtika, AviaMaster, AviaPark and Flypast, as well as on the internet portal For more than 10 years, he has been engaged in researching documents on Soviet military aviation in the Russian Archives: The Central Archive of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation (in Podolsk), The Russian State Military Archive (Moscow) and The Russian State Documentary Film and Photo Archive (in Krasnogorsk).

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