The Blurb On The Back:
In October 1943, with the outcome of the Second World War hanging in the balance, the Allies needed a new plan. The Americans’ audacious suggestion to the Soviets was to open a second air front, with the US Air Force establishing bases in Soviet-controlled territory. Despite Stalin’s obvious reservations about the presence of foreign troops in Russia, he was persuaded, and in early 1944 Operation Baseball and then Frantic were initiated as B-17 Flying Fortresses were flown from bases in Italy to the Poltava region in today’s Ukraine.
Award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy tells the gripping, little-known story of this encounter between American and Soviet soldiers and how their collaboration quickly fell apart, anticipating the transition from the Grand Alliance to the Cold War. Soviet secret policemen watched over the Americans, shadowing their every move. A catastrophic air raid by the Germans revealed the limitations of Soviet air defences. As their initial enthusiasm turned into disappointment, the American soldiers started calling themselves the Forgotten Bastards of Ukraine. Ultimately, no common purpose could overcome their cultural and political differences.
Drawing on newly opened KGB and FBI records, Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front offers a riveting bottom-up history of one of the Second World War’s most unlikely alliances.
Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):