AN ARRAN-BASED author has brought out his latest book on the former Soviet Union.

Red Star at War, Victory at all Costs is the latest work from social historian and keen motorcyclist Colin Turbett – author of Motorcycles and Motorcycling in the USSR 1939-1990 (Veloce) and Playing with the Boys – Olga Kevelos Motorcycle Sportswoman.

Russia’s losses during the Second World War were beyond imagination and touched the lives of an entire population caught between a brutal and murderous invader and a ruthless leadership at home.

Soviet victory over the Nazis, which effectively won the war, was the end result of effort and sacrifice by the ordinary millions who were totally committed to saving their ‘motherland’.

The humanity of the ordinary Soviet citizen in uniform is often forgotten because of later Cold War narratives propagated East and West for differing ideological reasons. This book seeks to redress these imbalances. In its pages the tragedy of war and loss are captured in the faces of those who lived through some of the most momentous years in human history. Many of the pictures show the women who fought alongside men in the front line – a unique feature among the belligerent nations.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Red Star at War is centered on photographs taken before, during and after the Second World War, which illustrate the human face of the immense Soviet war effort.

These show soldiers, sailors, airmen (men and women) not in battle, but in photographs taken for their families and friends, and the messages that often went with these images.

A number were taken in the knowledge that they might be the last image of a loved one as death was almost a certainty for many. The photographs and captions are backed up by text that provides both context and baseline - drawn from writings of the period as well as more recent historical accounts and research.

These previously unpublished photographs offer a poignant, fascinating and unique insight into that period of history. Red Star at War presents a visual insight to life in the Soviet Union.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: