Daring British flyers steal Nazi planes--and discover a Russian plot to fin the power vacuum left by a collapsing Third Reich in the last days of WW II. Vast numbers of fake Soviet tanks fill the streets of a Czechoslovakian town near the German border. It's a very Russian tactic designed to confuse the Germans about the direction of the final Soviet charge into Nazi Germany. But whose plan is it? Is it Stalin's? Stalin's loyal generals'? Renegade Russians'? Is the goal Berlin or the rest of Europe? Two British spy pilots stumble into the thick of this elaborate and complex charade. Wing Commander Robert Fleming and Rhodesian expatriate Piet Kruze--working for brilliant, fanatical Air Vice Marshal Algernon Staverton, who has masterminded the hands-on study of Nazi warplanes--become the front line in the effort to defuse the Russian scheme. The complications in the flyers' already thoroughly complicated lives are Fleming's battle-induced mental instability; Kruze's passion for Fleming's rejected wife; Staverton's tendency to take national strategy into his own hands; and an enforced cooperation with an English deserter from Hitler's S.S. who seems to hold all the secrets. While the English work on their anti-Soviet plan, the Soviets are trying to find out for themselves who are the good guys and who are the bad. Fiendishly complicated WW II intelligence thriller wrapped around a romantic melodrama. An entertaining but occasionally talky debut novel.