Aviation Elite Lentolaivue 24 Osprey Books

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Great Book by Osprey Publishing. 128 pages
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. Flying 35 obsolescent Fokker D XXIs, the squadron enjoyed great success against numerically superior opposition. Re-equipped with the much-maligned American Brewster B-239 Buffalo during the temporary ceasefire, LLv 24 was once again in the thick of the action following the outbreak of the Continuation War in June 1941. Now allied to the Germans, the Finns received far more effective equipment in the shape of the Bf 109G in 1943-44, and LLv 24 transitioned to the Messerschmitt fighter in April 1944. It operated this aircraft through to the signature of the armistice with the USSR in September of that same year. 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 (Finland?s highest military award) out of a total of 19 presented to all Finnish soldiers. Most top Finish aces also scored the bulk of their kills flying with this unit.