Warplanes of the Great Patriotic War: A Visual Reference (No Spoilers!)

A visual aid for readers of Aelita’s War (Post 1 of 2)

In Sparrow Squadron, Raven’s Shadow, and now the upcoming Wounded Falcon, my trilogy following Soviet fighter pilots in World War II, I’ve included glossaries of terms that may be unfamiliar to readers. Even so, some readers like visualizing the different vehicles and equipment they come across in the story. To help with that, I’ve put together a visual reference of various military equipment in use during the Great Patriotic War, also known as the Eastern Front of World War II. All of these entries appear in the novels, and I’ve included some brief notes that might be pertinent to their appearance in the story. If you want more more detailed definitions, you can check out the glossary here.

Don’t worry, I’ve made this spoiler free (okay, maybe a few, very minor, spoilers)!

You can skip ahead to Part 2, Weapons & Vehicles, here.

The Real: Sophie Blanchard

Sophie Blanchard broke many of the first gender barriers in aviation, only for them to go up again after she was gone

Last month, I had the opportunity to write a couple of guest posts for Women’s History Month. I’d originally wanted to highlight pioneering balloonist Sophie Blanchard as an overlooked subject for historical fiction. But her life story begged for a longer piece and she does in fact have a couple of books based on her life. So I saved my post for here instead.

This is also part of a new feature I’d like to try. The Real is where I’ll highlight a real-life historical personality and make book recommendations (particularly fiction based on their lives.)

Sophie Blanchard was one of history’s earliest aviators. In the early 19th century, she became the first woman to pilot her own balloon and also became the first female military aviator, appointed by Napoleon himself!

Outpost: Unsung Heroes of Women’s History Month

I was invited to write a guest post for P.K. Adams’s history blog to help celebrate unsung women heroes for Women’s History Month.

In the course of researching my novel, I came across many stories of women who fought for the Soviet Union. Since my story focuses on fighter pilots, I was especially interested in those who flew in combat. Other historical fiction writing highlights the night bomber crews, the famous “Night Witches.” For my post, I thought it would be good to highlight three other women pilots who deserve more recognition: one was an air ambulance pilot celebrated on propaganda posters; one flew ground attack planes and survived a German death camp only to be persecuted by the Soviets after the war; and one commanded a regiment of male pilots and has a monument to her in Moscow.

Many thanks to P.K. Adams for giving me this opportunity at writing this guest post, or “outpost,” as I’d like to call it, to avoid confusing with guest posts on my own blog ?. Don’t @ me!

You can read the post here:

The Forgotten History of Soviet Women Pilots