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Black Cross/Red Star, Volume 5


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Black Cross Red Star: Air War over the Eastern Front, Volume 5:

The Great Air Battles: Kuban and Kursk April-July 1943


This book is being printed right now, and I will receive the books in around two weeks.


This book is based on:


- a profound research into both German and Russian archives, both official archives and archives of veterans organizations

- interviews with a large number of veterans from both sides

The historical account is lavishly illustrated with eye-witness accounts from aviators from both sides.

Absolutely balanced between both sides


* 384 pages

* Hardcover

* Large format (A4)

* Over 300 photos

* Aircraft color profiles by Jim Laurier

* Appendices

* Full list of all Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front, month by month, unit by unit, in the period in question


For a personally signed copy of the hardcover edition with aircraft color profiles etc:

Transfer US $ 60 to Christer’s Paypal account vaktelforlag@gmail.com

and send your address to Christer at vaktelforlag@gmail.com

Plus postage:

27 USD outside of Sweden

Sweden 105 SEK





(Volume 4, published in October 2019, is also available at the same price.)


Contents of Black Cross Red Star: Air War over the Eastern Front, Volume 5:


Author’s introduction 7


Chapter 1 Air Combat Over Krymskaya 9 

Chapter 2 Ahead of Two Great Air Battles 15


Chapter 3 Ten to One in the Kuban Skies 25 

Chapter 4 Soviet Air Offensive over the Kuban 51


Chapter 5 “The Russian Air Force is doing whatever it wants over Krymskaya” 79 

Chapter 6 German Air Offensive over the Kuban 97 

Chapter 7 The Turning Point in the Kuban Air Battle 121


Chapter 8 Shturmoviks Against Luostari Airdrome 143 

Chapter 9 Mounting Hardships 153


Chapter 10 “The power of the German aviation was sapped away” 163 

Chapter 11 Trying to Stem the Tide 179


Chapter 12 The Onslaught 201 

Chapter 13 Panzerjäger and Shturmoviks: The Southern Flank July 6 to July 9 223 

Chapter 14 On Toward Prokhorovka 241 

Chapter 15 Victory in the Air, Defeat on the Ground: The Northern Flank 251


Chapter 16 Operation “Kutuzov” 271 

Chapter 17 “The Russians manage everything, and we manage nothing at all!” 287 

Chapter 18 The Luftwaffe’s Decisive Intervention: The Orel Bulge July 16-31 293


Chapter 19 The Spell is Broken 315

Appendix I Luftwaffe Order of Battle at Kursk on July 5, 1943 324

Appendix II VVS Order of Battle at Kursk, July 4, 1943 328

Appendix III Luftwaffe Aircraft Combat Losses on the Eastern Front April 1943 – July 1943 332

Appendix IV Aircraft Color Profiles by Jim Laurier 333

Appendix V Table of Equivalent ranks 349

Appendix VI The Structure of the Luftwaffe 350

Appendix VII The Structure of the Soviet Air Forces in 1943 351


Eastern Front April 1943 8, 162

The Kuban Bridgehead 24, 78

The Far North 142

The Battle of Kursk 200, 270

Eastern Front July 31, 1943 314





Next volume in this series is a completely new and expanded edition of Volume 1.

The first edition of Volume 1 (published 20 years ago) contained a maximum of 100,000 words. The second edition not only has much higher quality as far as the research is concerned but also contains twice that word count, a very large number of absolutely new photos (many of which are from pilot veterans’ photo albums and have never been published before), printed in the same high quality as in Volumes 4 and 5.


The second edition of Volume 1 is so heavily updated and expanded that it more or less is a completely new book as compared with the 20-year-old first edition.


I am publishing this book by myself, so that I can keep full control of the product. In this way, I can have many more photographs and twice as much text in each volume as I was allowed when other publishing companies produced it. (By then I had a limit of 100,000 words per volume; now Volume 4 has over 200,000 words and Volume 5 has even more.)


I have no real budget for marketing. Although unique and groundbreaking in that it tells the full and detailed story of the air war on the Eastern Front from both perspectives, it is not particularly well-known, and therefore has not been as much read as I had hoped it would be. There are too many that don't know about it. So if you could help me by spreading the word, it would be of great help.


All the best,


Christer Bergström




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  • 3 weeks later...

Guys latest exciting update from Christer .......



"Dear friends and supporters,

Very great news:

Black Cross Red Star Volume 5 has arrived from the printer!
I have hired two people to pack and post the books as quickly as possible for you, so all books have been sent to all of you who have pre-ordered the book!

I thank all of you very much! The printer has made an excellent work – the photos are even better than in Volume 5. I was very happy with Volume 4, but I am even happier with Volume 5.

For those of you who still have not ordered it, if you wish to obtain a personally signed copy of the book before it arrives at the book stores (which will be about one month from now), please email your postal address to me at vaktelforlag@gmail.com


Volume 4 was published last year. See:


A very much updated and expanded edition of Volume 1 is planned to be published in the winter of 2020/2021.

A very much updated and expanded edition of Volume 2 is planned to be published later in 2021.

A very much updated and expanded edition of Volume 3 is planned to be published in 2022.

However, my next book will be STALINGRAD – AN EPIC BATTLE REVISITED is nearly completed. It will be published in late 2020. It is of the same large size and printing quality as Black Cross Red Star, and hardcover.

Based on decades of research work in both German and Russian archives, as well as interviews with a large number of key figures and veterans, Stalingrad – An Epic Battle Revisited brings our knowledge on this turning point of World War II several big steps forward. It brings forward many hitherto unknown facts and dispels many myths and misconceptions of the battle.


This account of mainly the ground war during the Battle of Stalingrad is the continuation of my previous book Operation Barbarossa 1941 : Hitler against Stalin and supplements his Black Cross/Red Star series about the air war on the Eastern Front. See:

I am publishing this book by myself, so that I can keep full control of the product.

In order to bring about a quick release of this book, I consider a crowdfunding-solution.  I propose a crowdfunding with USD $100 (or more). The crowdfunders will receive a personally signed copy of a special, numbered edition, and have their names printed as an acknowledgment in the book.

Or if you would like to pre-order it at the ordinary price, it is USD $70.

You don't have to pay anything yet - I will tell you when it is time to pay. But of course, if you wish to pay now,  you are welcome to transfer the payment to my Paypal account:

If you prefer it, I can also send an invoice with IBAN numbers, etc.  

Please email me a confirmation of your order if you wish to order it.

I attach an excerpt from the raw and unedited manuscript of my Stalingrad book.

If you can help me by spreading the word about this book in Internet communities, on social media, and to your friends who share the same interest, it would be highly appreciated! If so, you could copy in what I wrote in red above.

Thank you so very much and all the best,

Christer Bergström"

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This is a good read.

Each of the books is getting better and better and I am very much looking forward to the re-prints of 1-3. 


von Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mine just arrived today all the way from the UK. Can't wait to start reading after work, hefty, beautiful volumes. The nice cover art, glossy paper and hardcover really make them feel special, and I dig the new black background. Here they are in good company, my small collection.




@ChrisBergstrom absolutely thrilled to see the next volumes! I know that the air war on the Eastern Front quieted down after the summer battles of 1943 up to the Soviet push in East Prussia in late 1944 but this latter period is so haphazardly and poorly researched, I just can't wait to see it in done properly researched in BC/RS. 


Cheers from Bulgaria!

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