Pilot Defectors
in the Cold War

                                        A Research Project  ©  Dick van der Aart                  www.air-intel.nl


See Aeroplane June 2017
for an 8-page article about
the MiGs on Bornholm


Click on the frontcover for
the first 15 pages of
the book (PDF)

(click on name for links)

Aviation Megastore
Flash Aviation Shop
ECI.be /

Bornholms Lille Boghandel
Bornholms Museum

The Aviation Bookshop

and many other webshops
and regular Dutch and Belgian

ISBN 9789402153521







Just published !


The Secret MiGs of Bornholm
The Covert Intelligence Operation to examine the
First Soviet MiG-15 Fighters in the West

Based on numerous declassified Secret and Top Secret documents, The Secret MiGs of Bornholm tells in fascinating detail the intriguing story of the covert intelligence exploitation by the West of the most advanced Soviet jet fighter of the time. In one of the hottest periods of the Cold War three Polish Air Force pilots escaped with their MiG-15s to the small Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic and gave Western military intelligence organizations, especially those of the USA and Great-Britain, the opportunity to uncover the secrets of this much-feared communist aircraft. And Denmark, a somewhat reluctant NATO ally, was put under great political pressure to allow the examination by the foreign experts.


On 5 March 1953, the very day Soviet dictator Stalin died, a young Polish Air Force pilot defected with a brand-new Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter to the small Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic. It was the first MiG-15 in the hands of the West. The incident offered an unique and long-sought opportunity for a detailed study of the much-feared Soviet combat aircraft. Denmark, fearing a raid on Bornholm by Polish or Russian special forces to recapture the MiG, wanted to ship the precious jet back to Poland as soon as possible. But its NATO Allies - especially the United States and Great Britain - demanded a full-scale examination of the MiG and pressed Copenhagen to keep the Polish fighter or at least delay its return.

In a tense political give-and-take the Danish government reluctantly accepted the help of foreign experts, but insisted that the intelligence exploitation was kept secret for the rest of the world. To the dismay of Denmark, the first MiG-15 to Bornholm was followed by two others from Poland. All these MiGs were covertly examined by foreign experts. But London and Washington wanted more. Denmark was repeatedly asked by American and British intelligence organizations to allow test flights with the MiGs and behind closed doors even de possibility of 'stealing' one of the MiG-15s was raised. The US Air Force in Europe proposed to give Copenhagen money to replace the short grass strip on Bornholm with a long concrete runway. The Americans saw the island, so close to the Iron Curtain, as an ideal location to lure communist military aircraft to the West. But they were disappointed. No more East European pilots fled to Bornholm.
A fourth Polish pilot did escape with his MiG-15 to Sweden. Other Soviet MiG fighters crashed in Finland and Yugoslavia. All became targets for secret intelligence operations - as disclosed in this book.

The Secret MiGs of Bornholm
is published for the author by BraveNewBooks

ISBN 9789402153521
146 pages, paperback with photos, drawings and maps
Format 9x240x170 mm
Weight 368 gram
Price in the Netherlands 21.50 euro

Completely rewritten and updated English translation

The Secret MiGs of Bornholm is in part a translation of several chapters of the Dutch language book MiG's op de vlucht. But it is also much more. Completely revised and rewritten, I have added new details from recently declassified documents, new maps of the MiG-15 flight profiles, additional photos and several new chapters.

MiG's op de vlucht -
Vliegtuigdeserteurs in de Koude Oorlog

(MiGs on the Run - Pilot Defectors in the Cold War)
was published in December 2009 by
Boom in Amsterdam.

Click on cover for more information and
description of chapters in English

© 2009 - 2017 DICK VAN DER AART                    www.air-intel.nl                    LAST UPDATE   25 May, 2017