Just few days ago in Finland was released a book under name ‘Havitajalentolaivue 26’ and under this Suomi named book is held a great publication about the 26. fighter escadrille of the Finland Air Force. Author of the book is no else but the former pilot from this unit Carl-Erik Bruun. As lieutenant or luutantti, he fights in this unit during the hard WW2 days and score some aerial claims. He was searching for 10 years in the War Archive in Helsinki and interviewed many of the old personnel of the 26th escadrille and published the original edition of the book in 1991. Now the text has been scanned and transformed into digital format. With new production methods we have at last been able to publish a new version of the book with more material and pictures. Carl-Erik Bruun also started many aero clubs in Finland. He died on the 9th of October 2001 in Turku in an age of 81 years.
So what we have about this book? First at all and what I like is the black book cover which gives powerful look on the same book. Of course, this is just basic color and most of the face is cover with the old black and white image of the pilots seating on the Fiat G. 50 wing (Carl-Erik Bruun sitting in the middle). This is just one of the airplane which served in the unit and was used in defense of Finland from the Soviet invasion. This book have even 33 chapters and it have in total 302 pages!!! The book start with the history of the unit in the early ’30 when the unit was established with the list of the commanders as well types of airplanes used. In the chronological order is presented whole pre war unit development as well as events. For us living much southern, Finland is the land of snow and it is well known that they operated many of airplane types equipped with skis but… in this book is nicely presented that much of other airfield equipment is also equipped with skis including of fuel barrels!!!
Great attention is given to the Fiat G. 50, first modern fighter plane in the unit equipment. This plane comes in right moment when the hostilities start with Soviet Union. In the first war it was still in the unit training phase and soon after that its operational use has started. In general Finland used airplanes with performance below the top fighters used in that moment by other forces but this is definitely covered with great skill and courage of the Finnish pilots. But Finland was not so alone and in their formations many of the volunteers have fought and well know are ‘Black Hawk’ (black pilot from USA) but also many others. One separate section of this book is about one of the volunteers, Diego Manzocchi from Italy.
What gives a real charm to the book is the great number of the original scans of the wartime documents, manuscripts as well newspaper pages and this give full view to the reader into the subject of the book. Every chapter has that type of material and the author of the book gives much more than could be seen in any other book. But there are not just the original documents available, book is heavy loaded with great numbers of the original archive images and maps. Nice add to the overall content is the color profiles of the airplanes and reader could have very good impression about the same machines used.
But what is the real special feature of the book is the DVD packed inside back cover of the book. It contains computer simulation of some of the most interesting battles held by the unit and the same idea is excellent and final result outstanding! From my personal point of view this is way to go and in very close future we could not be credit some book as ‘good’ without available that kind of digital document!
Maybe you guess how much this amazing book cost? I don’t know and to be honest I am not interested to know and be sure that if I could see this title in the book shelf that I would take it without questioning about the price! This publication is worth every single coin paid for it so do not hesitate about it! For the book order please contact one of the editors of the book, Mr. Goran Bruun:
Mr. Goran Bruun is the son of Carl Erik- Bruun and he is a very interesting person for conversations! Book is highly recommended!
Archive photo- Goran Bruun 3D simulation- Jyrki Toivanen
Sample book is provided by Goran Bruun.