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Kris' Books.

Female. Slavic mind. Avid reader.

 I read across a broad range of book genres, with an emphasis on Aus/NZ lit, Russian and Ukrainian literature, Latin-American literature and European history.


Stuka Pilot - Hans-Ulrich Rudel,  Lynton Hudson I have been fascinated by the legend of Rudel ever since I was a child- a man who at the start of the Second World War was often disparaged by his colleagues for his love of milk and thus was considered by them to be incapable of flying bombers, and by its end had made his name as the Soviet Union's most despised German airman. Only now I have begun to acquire a taste for World War II related literature, which propelled me towards reading this book.

To be honest, I was somewhat disappointed. It's not surprising that Rudel was more noted for his sport/physical abilities than mental abilities as a schoolboy- the writing was more like that of a diary rather than a biography, in need of quite a bit of editing work. The structure was not logical and historical as I would have expected from a biography/memoirs book- everything was scattered (though they were connected) all over the book. In addition, the writing lacked introspection and thorough retrospection of events past, something I find is done at regular intervals in successful books of this genre. This contributed to the overall impression of excessive arrogance as I was progressing through it, and increased as I was approaching its end. Though perhaps I'm making too harsh a judgement- a man like Rudel should be entitled to arrogance. They've earned it. Though I still feel that a motor failing at -40 degrees Celsius is not the only reason his Stuka group's performance was hindered…

I did enjoy the parts when Rudel described his aerial combats- they all very vivid and crisp, giving the reader frame by frame snapshots of how the experience looked and felt like. If for anything, the book is worth reading for those descriptions. It could have been a much better book, all the same.