When hundreds of bomb-loaden German aircraft crossed the air above the border shortly before 03.00 hours in 22 June 1941, they found the Soviet territories sleeping innocently, totally unprepared. Leutanant Max-Hellmuth Ostermann of Luftflotte 1’s 7./JG 54 later wrote: “ AS we flew above the enemy’s country, everything below seemed to be asleep. No anti-aircraft fire, no movement, and above all no enemy aircraft were present to confront us….” The German invasion of Russia in June 1941 "Operation Barbarossa" is widely seen and recorded as a great land offensive. Yet equally important to German war aims during the early phases of the attack was the quick establishment of air supremacy over a vast 800 kilometre front. Without the elimination of the threat posed by the Soviet Air Force, it would have been impossible for the Wehrmacht to have made its rapid advances of the summer and autumn of 1941. This book provides an in-depth and highly balanced account of the massive aerial campaign fought in the skies over de Soviet Union in the months following the German invasion. Unlike many recent histories, this account features newly discovered information from both Russian and German sources. The strength of the author’s writing lies in its detail, his ability to tell the story strategic and tactical context. His research includes unique eye-witness material accompanied by rare photographs, biographies of key pilots, plus data tables, technical assessments and appendices.