Forgotten Heroes...

...Aces of the Royal Hungarian Air Force in the Second World War, from Helion Books, via Casemate Books

Title:  Forgotten Heroes

Author: Csaba B. Stenge

Publisher:  Helion Books

ISBN:  978-1-911512-68-4

This book from Helion is one I can only admire. As a modeller and military history enthusiast now in my 60's, this is one I could never have dreamt of if I think back to those Cold War days. Eastern Europe opened up and now we get to see some amazing pieces of work/research which expand our knowledge of the history of WW2 in particular.

In this case we share the benefits of over 25 years of research since the author interviewed the first veteran pilot. He faced the challenge of all the wartime records having been destroyed and had a mix of challenges in gathering the information which has made up this book. Since the first edition was published in Bulgarian back in 2006, even more detail has been added and we get the benefit of that in this new English language edition.

The chapters cover a wide variety of detail topics, such as the history of the Hungarian Air Force, Air Combat Tactics, along with the biographies of 38 Hungarian Aces, split into categories of More than 20 Victories; Over 10 Victories; and 5-9 Victories, plus Reconnaissance, Bomber and Ground Attack Aces. Add detail such as Comparative Table of Ranks, Decorations and more.

Filling over 400 pages of marvellous detailed research and including over 350 wartime images, most of which have not been see before in an English language book, this must surely be the prime reference for the Hungarian Air Force and its' pilots of WW2. Much of the information was gained from veterans back in the 1990's, and they were the source for many of the photos. As the author acknowledges, there are still gaps to be filled but that still remains for the future.  In the meantime, this is I think the prime source for detail on the Hungarian air Force and it's pilots of WW2.


Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.