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- Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
- Location: United Kingdom
In 1974 with interest in Vlasov etc rising he tried again with this book The Illusion. In theory it should be a first class account but Thorwald was a journalist and maybe thought that a dry factual account was unlikely to sell well. Unfortunately he seemingly decided to spice it up perhaps to try and capture the drama of the times. For example you get long word for word dramatic conversations which leave you wondering how anyone could have remembered them six odd years later. Lines such “Keiling gazed into the eyes of Sveryev’s woman and he was struck by the intensity of hatred glowing in them” of course no source is given. However, as he apparently had access to everything available in Germany on the Russian volunteers when he sticks to facts and figures may be a source. The following comes from page 262.
“In Jager, just to the west of Karlsbad, General Aschenbrenner, the former German air attaché in Moscow, along with his adjutant Buschmann and Russian Air Force Colonel Malytsev, had set up a mixed air division composed of former Russian air and anti-aircraft officers, non coms, and enlisted men. The majority had previously served in German air units, many as ground personnel at airports and on flak batteries, but some had done actual flying, either delivering planes or in squadrons engaged in combating partisans. In Jager there now took shape a flak regiment, a parachute troop battalion, a communications regiment, an air force transport regiment, a reconnaissance echelon with readied planes, and a pilot’s school. The division was officially subordinated to the German Luftwaffe, not to Vlasov”.
That the air division was subordinate to the Luftwaffe and not Vlasov may help explain why it has been so difficult to trace. Presumably it was never officially part of the KONR air force and was always known as the ROA air division or maybe had a German designation. Apart from the recon echelon there is no mention of any planes though you would expect some training planes if there was a pilots school. If only “some had done actual flying” it is hard to believe the Luftwaffe would have been handing over much in the way of modern planes.