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Merilentjat Sodan Taivaalla

By Karhunen, Joppe
(Sea Aviators in the Sky of War)
1980, Otava Oy, Helsinki
book is in Finnish language

Descripton: Colonel Joppe Karhunen (Knight of the Mannerheim Cross) is a Finnish wartime fighter ace (over 30 victories), postwar jet pilot and author of about 60 books, the latest one published in 1998. He has written mainly about Finnish military aviation in WWII (fighters, bombers, etc.), but also about sailors and radio intelligence. The first part of the book tells about WWII aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific theatre and in the North Atlantic U-boat war. This is based on discussions Karhunen had with his foreign colleagues. Then there is a short section describing Finnish Air Force Sea Reconnaissance Squadrons in the 20's and 30's. The rest of the book tells about FAF submarine hunting operations in 1941 - 45. Again, this is based on Karhunen's discussions with his wartime colleagues. The FAF was a pioneer in using depth charges from aircraft and managed to sink several Soviet submarines. One of the pilots, Captain Birger Ek, was awarded the highest honor -- the Mannerheim Cross. Many stories in the book are based on Ek's experiences. FAF flew the last sub-hunting sortie in March 1945. Despite many combat situations it did not lose any aircraft on these sorties from enemy fire, but there were several accidents due to weather and technical problems. This is a very good and interesting book about a rather less-known area.