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Cobras over the Tundra 2nd Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0963457813
ISBN-10: 0963457810
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Everett A. Long, was a founding member of the Interior and Arctic Alaska Aeronautical Foundation, which established the Alaskaland Pioneer Air Museum in Fairbanks. In June 1990, he became the first American pilot to fly his own airplane (Cessna 172), along the ALSIB route from Fairbanks to Yakutsk. Since 1980, he has been actively writing articles on the air pioneers of Alaska and the Arctic for his own weekly column in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, aviation news publications, and magazines. He directed two searches for the Soviet airplane, N-209 (Commander Sigizmund Levanevsky) which had been missing since August 12, 1937 during the flight from the USSR (Moscow) to the USA (Fairbanks). One search was north east of Old Crow, Northwest Territories, Canada, and the other was through the ice pack off shore of Oliktok point on the North Coast of Alaska. His article concerning the searches for Levanevsky's plane was published in the "Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Arktika Pub; 2nd edition (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963457810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963457813
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,329,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The story of the LendLease aircraft program, this book has a unique dual-language format. The first half of the book consists of text, in both English and Russian (on opposite-facing pages). I have a personal interest in this history of the Alaska-Siberia (ALSIB) Ferrying Route, since my mother had served as a civilian air-traffic controller for the program. The second half of the book contains numerous black-and-white photos, with dual language captions, of American and Soviet pilots and personnel at Fairbanks (Ladd Field) and Nome. I hoped to be surprised by a glimpse of my Mom as a beautiful young woman! (Alas, that didn't happen.) In 1999, when I worked for the "World War ll Through Russian Eyes" Exhibit, I met a Russian man whose parents had been ferry pilots for the ALSIB. It was a poignant moment for both of us, to realize that his parents and my mother had likely met on base! And poignant, for me, are the photos in this book of ALSIB personnel -- our parents' colleagues -- at work, or playing music and dancing during off-duty hours! Although not exposed to combat, a ferry pilot's duty was dangerous. Largely unknown to most Americans and Russians were the losses. My aquaintance related to me a tale of tragedy over the tundra. His father, flying a C-47 (Li-2), received the final transmissions from a pair of accompanying Airacobras. Caught in a sudden blizzard, their wings had iced up and they could no longer maintain altitude. The two LendLease warplanes, so precious to the Allied cause, were last seen descending into the inhospitable wilderness. "Cobras Over the Tundra" verifies that this was not an isolated incident. Sixty-eight planes were lost over Alaska, forty-one over Siberia. The book pays tribute to the dozens of courageous aviators who simply disappeared in the treacherous storms over the tundra, taiga, and sea routes. "They sacrificed to the altar of the Great Victory the most priceless thing -- life."
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Format: Paperback
This books tells a relatively unknown story, the story about how American Lend-Lease aircraft were transfered to Russia. From the 14.500-odd planes that went to the Russians during WW2, almost 8.000 went by the ALSIB route (Alaska-Siberia). 2.618 of these were Airacobras, 2.397 of them Kingcobras. This book describes how it was done and by whom, both in English and in Russian. The focus is not on the planes, but on the people from those two great countries who helped each other against their common enemies: the cold and the Germans. Apart from the text, there are also many photo's describing the harsh conditions which both Americans and Russians had to face, most of the depicting the people, but there are some good shots of Airacobra's and Kingcobra's as well, though not as much as I hoped there would be. There is also room enough for other types, you'll find B-25's, A-20's, C-47's, P-40's as well. Good background material for the serious WW2 aircraft historian, giving a look behind the scenes and insight that not many other books about WW2 aviation can hope to match.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in this book. The P39 and P63 were my favorite fighter planes during WWII. I have been interested in getting more information about combat performance of these planes. It was interesting to read about the experiences of the ferry pilots but not much about the actual flying characteristics of the planes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
During WWII the United States provided the USSR tons of war material as part of its lend-lease program. Some of what the Soviet Union needed the most was aircraft, and so a route was created from the Pacific Northwest to the center of the USSR, by way of Alaska and Siberia. History books make it sound like a simple matter but like many things that look simple when written on a page it turned out to be a lot more complicated on the ground.

U.S. and Soviet pilots flew in terrible conditions, unbelievably low temperatures, ice and snow. Those who survived going down in the subarctic had to survive in empty areas dozens or perhaps hundreds of miles from human settlement.

This book is unique in that it looks at the topic from both U.S. and Soviet standpoints, with first-hand stories of courage and survival written from their respective views and in their respective languages. It also has some great photos from that period and pictures of modern monuments on both sides of the Bering Straits to the brave pilots who flew for the Allies.
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