Publication Date: June 2001
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Finland's premier fighter squadron during World War 2, Lentolaivue 24 (Flying Squadron 24) first saw action during the bloody Winter War of 1939-40, when the Soviet Red Army launched a surprise attack on the small Scandinavian country - the squadron enjoyed great success against numerically superior opposition. LLv 24 was once again in the thick of the action following the outbreak of the Continuation War in June 1941. Easily the air force's most successful fighter unit, LLv 24 claimed 877 kills, and its pilots won five direct and two indirect Mannerheim Crosses (Finlands highest military award) out of a total of 19 presented to all Finnish soldiers. Most top aces also scored the bulk of their kills flying with this unit.
About the AuthorKari Stenman in undoubtedly the most knowledgeable authority on the Finnish Air Force in World War 2, having written over a dozen books on the subject since the late 1960s. He runs his own publishing company in Finland. Kalevi Keskinnen is an expert on Finnish aviation of World War 2. He works full time as an aviation author and lives in Finland.
John Weal is Osprey's primary Luftwaffe author and artist. He possesses one of the largest private collections of original German-language literature from World War 2 and his research is based on this huge archive. Fluent in German, Weal has spent much time establishing contact with ex-members of the Luftwaffe, from General Staff Officers of the RLM to frontline aircrew. A freelance airbrush artist since the days of the monthly RAF Flying Review, he has illustrated some of the finest Luftwaffe profiles to date. He has written three previous volumes in the Combat Aircraft series. The author lives in Berkshire, UK.