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The Air War Over Russia & Germany 41-45...

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  • #16
    Originally posted by 17poundr View Post
    (note, the 'straight' swastik, was an old Finnish symbol from over a thousand years ago, and was called the 'sun wheel', 'Aurinkokehrä', in Finnish. And old symobol of indo-european origins, as in hindu symolism where the same symbol, being straight not 'tilted as the nazi emblem', is called simply a 'swastik', and is at least a two thousand year old symbol, which has connotations to eternal movement, and sun energy...
    Some trivia:

    The Finnish 'hakaristi' was first used in 1918, on a Thulin D, the first aircraft to enter the inventory of the Suomen Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force). It was adopted in respect for Count Eric Von Rosen, who donated the aircraft to Finland. He used the 'harakristi', or swastika, as his personal insignia.

    Some years later, a young airplane salesman ended up stranded in rural Sweden because of a winter storm. The other passenger on the aircraft, Count Von Rosen, invited him to stay as his guest until the weather lifted. After dinner, they retired to the sitting room, and over brandy the guest commented on the brass firedogs ajacent to the fireplace, adorned with large swastikas. He also met the Count's daughter, and was smitten by her. They later married, and the salesman became the Count's son-in-law.

    The daughter's name was Karin Von Rosen, and after they were married, the salesman, who had achieved some degree of success in politics, built a large estate for her which he named Karinhalle. The salesman was Hermann Göring, and he brought the recollection of the harakristi back to Germany with him. After rotating it 45º, it became the symbol of the NSDAP and appeared on the Nazi flag.

    So the Finnish harakristi had only a coincidental connection with the German Hakenkreuz, and actually preceded it by several years.

    Cheers
    Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

    A contentedly cantankerous old fart

    Comment


    • #17
      Nice story Scott. Finlands relationship to the Nazis is like a normal person's relationship to their white trash criminal cousin - they don't really like them but "can't go against family" .

      Comment


      • #18
        Are there any good resources on the air operations of the eastern front? I am curious as to operational levels of activity and not individual air battles. How many fighters vs bombers were available each month on the eastern front etc.

        I'm working on a redesign of an older war game and need some details on air operations.

        Thanks in advance!

        Comment


        • #19
          A few interesting facts:

          Operation Rumiantsev, August, 4th of 1943 (the Kiursk Battle)

          2 FW-190 attacked an IL-2 of pilot Davydenko (the 91st Guards Assault Air Regiment of the 4th Guards Assault Air Division) that had been damaged by flak fire. The losing height IL-2 was a very good victim for the Germans. But during the second attack Davydenko suddenly reduced throttle and both the FW-190 passed by him. One of them was hit by two bursts from IL-2, took fire and collidded against ground. Davydenko shot 3 bursts in the direction of the second FW-190 before his plane completely lost speed and fell on ground. According the words of the pilot both FW-190 were shot down and burned in ground nearby. The ground troops wrote a paper with the confirmation of his victories and the pilot returned to his unit.

          According the data from the German side in that time in that place 2 FW-190F-3 from II/SchG1 were lost.

          August 7th

          17 IL-2 of the 235th Assault Air Regiment 264th Assault Air Division attacked 27 Ju87 and 5 Bf109. According Soviet data they shot down 5 Ju87, their casualties were 3 IL-2.

          August 18th

          6 IL-2 of the 90th GAAR 4th GAAD attacked twice a group of 10 Ju87. According the Soviet data they shot down 2 Ju87

          7 IL-2 of the 809th AAR 264th AAD attacked a group of German fighters. According the Soviet data they shot down 2 FW-190 and lost 1 IL-2.

          August 19th

          12 IL-2 of the 241st and 617th AAR with covering of 3 Yak-1 of the 737th FAR attacked 30 Ju87. According the Soviet data 3 Ju87 were shot down. 3 IL-2 force-landed.

          August 22nd

          6 IL-2 of the 451st AAR 264th AAD attacked 12 Ju87. The leading pilot Captain Protsenko fired a few bursts and shot down a Ju87. Junior Lt. Gorin shot down one more JU87. After that the IL-2s attacked one more group of Ju87 from which Protsenko shot down one more bomber. According the German data the Soviet pilots attacked Ju87 og I/StG77. A German pilot from a shot down plane, Steibert Kurt, was captured.

          August 7th

          12 IL-2 of the 800th AAR attacked 18 Ju88 and Ju87 with escort of 8 Bf109. In the result 3 Ju87 were shot down (according Soviet data).

          12 IL-2 of the 673rd AAR of 266th AAD and 12 Yak-1 attacked 30 Ju87 and 18 Bf109. In the result 3 Ju87 were shot fown. 2 IL-2 were damaged but landed on own territory.

          EDIT: It was during only one operation. I was amazed that IL-2 pilots fought as fighters.
          Last edited by Andrey; 17 Mar 08, 18:14.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by EastFrontFan View Post
            Are there any good resources on the air operations of the eastern front? I am curious as to operational levels of activity and not individual air battles. How many fighters vs bombers were available each month on the eastern front etc.

            I'm working on a redesign of an older war game and need some details on air operations.

            Thanks in advance!
            Hardesty's book is a good place to start. Much of what you asked has to be pieced together from diverse sources. There is an extensive annotated biibliography in Red Phoenix.
            Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

            A contentedly cantankerous old fart

            Comment


            • #21
              Look

              www.iremember.ru

              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ght=pokryshkin

              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ght=pokryshkin

              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ght=pokryshkin

              and especially this
              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ght=pokryshkin

              here is some info about normandie-neman, very famous in russia De Gaulle's Frehch fighter unit that fought in the Soviet-German Front
              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ighlight=neman

              Comment


              • #22
                About women

                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...hlight=Litviak

                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...hlight=Litvyak

                Here is about "The Unknown War" documentary. One of its parts is called "War in the air" and describes the air war in the Soviet-German Front. A little of description of air actions are in the other parts as a descriprion of different battles.
                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...hlight=unknown


                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...hlight=unknown

                Comment


                • #23
                  I have read a book about the air actions during the kursk battle. It is in Russian. "Nad Ognennoi Dugoi" ("Over The Fired Arch") by V. Gorbach..

                  If to use simply the actions of German fighters.

                  They tried to shoot down as more planes as possible but avoided from dog-fights. They used
                  "bite and run away" tactics often.

                  The result was following:

                  Bu the end of every operation (there were 4 soviet operations from July 5th till August 23rdin the Kursk Battle) the Soviet air units were eghausted and had VERY large casualties. So by the end of operation the ability of Soviet air units to fight was very limited. Some air divisions contained 3-5 planes as ready-to-action.

                  But in the initial phase of the operations and in the middle the German ground forces suffered from Soviet planes very much because the German fighters didn't try to prevent the Soviet attacks against German ground forces "at any price".

                  Also the Germans used their planes in concentrated powerful fists that wandered between "hot" points of the Soviet-German Front. As result many directions were absolutely uncovered by German fighters.

                  For example, during operation "rumiantsev" (counteroffensive in the southern part of the Kursk Arch in August 1943) for a few first days powerful groups of IL-2 and Pe-2 crushed German ground positions and moving along roads reserves again and again without any resistance in air. It let to Soviet ground troops to capture many important objects including Belgorod.

                  For German ground forces it was a hell.

                  Fot example,

                  The movement of the Stepp Front met hard resistance in powerful fortifications to north from Belgorod. The attacking Soviet infantry was supported by practically constant actions of IL-2 which operated in groups of 12-24 planes. But it was not enough in that time.

                  Supporting the ground forces the aircraft o the 5th Air Army made one more mass blow against the german resistance regions in 8:30 - 8:45 AM. 100 Pe-2 under the coverage of 80 fighters took part in it. In the result 110 tonn bombs were dropped on the region of German defence with equare of 7 square kilometers (it meant 17 tonn per 1 km). The flak artillery was neutralized during the first air strike.

                  In the same time in the region of Visloe where the e nemy also resisted very hard 60 IL-2, operating in groups of 12-15 planes, inflicted heavy casualtires to enemy infantry and artillery. It let to capture Visloe with minimal casualties.

                  The same blows were done against enemy in 4km to west from Visloe. The advancing ground forces collided against powerful fire fist of 15 artillery and mortar batteries. Also the German defence was supported by large mobile forces. The decisive part of the success there was done by aircraft. Two strong groups of IL-2 and Pe-2 neutralized completely all the fire system of the enemy. Especially good were actions of the 23 IL-2 of Major Lavrinenko which attacked the group of 70 trucks and 7 enemy artillery batteries. As result 4 heavy tanks, 20 trucks were destriyed and 4 batteries were neutralized.

                  And so on...

                  And here what is written in documents of the Soviet 5th Fighter Air Corps in August 3rd (the first day of the operation). "For the currect day the German fighter aircraft was not active. Only the groups of enemy fighters that had superiority in amount went into dog-fights. Separate groups of 2 or 4 enemy fighters avoided from combat in the most cases when they met with our fighters"

                  Especially it is interesting to read if to know who operated against the Soviets in that day in that part of the frontline. Those were fighters of famous III/JG52 of Gunter Rahll ! In that day (August 3rd) both Berthold Korts and Erich Hartmann (!!!) shot down there 4 Soviet planes. Karl Steffen shot down 5 planes.

                  Here what Gorbach wrote about the German fighters on August 5th.

                  "The actions of JG52 were very effective but couldn't influent the situation on the ground. On August 5th the following famous Grman aces had victories - Erich Hartmann (5), Gunter Rahll (3), Gerkhard Barkhorn (3). But those famous aces didn't break up any important air strike against the positions of German ground forces. It is confirmed by the fact that from 28 their victories of August 5th only 6 planes were assault planes IL-2 and Pe-2"

                  Only a few days later the German command saw what was going on and began to gather there the most of Luftwaffe units from the whole Soviet-German Front.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Andrey View Post
                    About high ratings of German experts:

                    1. Nobody checked their clams, often it was impossible to define what happened with the plane been attacked. Simply, the Nazi propaganda machine needed heroes and the fighter experts were those heroes.

                    To get true level of their victories check the German and British data about RAF casualties during Battle for Britain.

                    2. the ussr had to send in fight green novices. the ussr had no time to prepare new pilots for a year like the usa had. so their losses were high especially in 1941-43.

                    3. in 1941 the most of the soviet air forces consisted of archaic planes.

                    later better planes began to arrive.

                    4. for the germans to shoot one more enemy plane often was the primary target of a mission. they often did it independently from the interests of ground forces. for example, if a large group of soviet planes attacked a german ground position a couple of experts ("free hunters") didn't try to prevent it but hunted for damaged planes which went away from the formation and were easy victims. of course in such case the score of those hunters increased very much but the ground forces suffered.

                    in the soviet air forces the personal score never was so important, they tried to fulfil their task at first. If the task of a group of pilots was to defend an important bridge they ought to do it at first and not to shoot as more as possible enemy planes. So Soviet fighter often began to fight at any conditions but the gErmans tried to fight only in the conditions favourable to them.
                    Also, in many Soviet airforce squadrons, the pilots might 'give' their kill of the day, to the squadrons main tally, so that often the squadron, or the larger formation would have tens or hundreds of kills more, than were listed as the individual pilots victories combined!

                    This was done on occasion in the RAF too... Also the Red Airfoce and RAF had in common, was that aircraft kills were not always displayed on aircraft. This not only because they were having a different plane every time, but it wasnt considered 'proper', in many RAF circles, as they felt that the squadron had earned the kills as a group effort... This kind of mentality or something similar, was also prevalent in the Red Airforce... And the Japanese fighter squadrons, ofcourse every side had some great individualist aces, who displayed their kills, this is only natural, especially after their country's media got hold of them!

                    But, then again, the propaganda value of the ace was undeniable, and all sides wanted to shoot down the enemies famous aces (it has been said, that once Hans Joachim Marseille, the great ace of the desert war, was killed, the RAF pilots noticed that the morale of the Lufwaffe pilots had went down, they didnt press on as hard as before, this was the downside of the worship of the 'experten', that was full blast especially in the Lufwaffe).

                    The Germans offered somekind of prise to the pilot who would shoot down the woman ace who'm the Germans knew as 'the rose of Stalingrad', this female pilot had 'only' 8 kills under her, (some female pilots were well over 20, but I guess this woman was the first female, thus the big deal), anyway, she actually didnt have a rose on her plane, it was a lilly, but the germans thought it was a rose.

                    Soviet ground troops saw her end, when two units of the opposing airforces clashed, once the 'red rose of Stalingrad' had been identified, it was as if the whole German squadron had gone mad, they sent somewhere arround 7-10 ME-109s after her, just for one plane, and ofcourse with those odds, she was hit, but managed to crash land her plane inside Russian lines, she even managed to get out of the plane, but then succumbed to her wounds and died. She got a hero's funeral.

                    But the behaviour of the Germans when they identified her, told something of their fixation on the 'experten', it was if the whole rest of the Russian planes had stopped to exist! They only saw this one plane, and I'm shure it cost them a couple fighers of their own... I wish I could remember the woman's name... I could try Wikipedia, but her knickname for the Germans was the 'rose of Stalingrad', and I suppose the Russians called her 'the Lilly of Stalingrad', after it had become a thing, like with Vasily Zaizev, in the film 'Enemy at the gates', starring Jude Law as the young sharpsooter from the Urals, who became one of the most famous snipers ever...
                    "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

                    If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Andrey View Post
                      I have read a book about the air actions during the kursk battle. It is in Russian. "Nad Ognennoi Dugoi" ("Over The Fired Arch") by V. Gorbach..

                      If to use simply the actions of German fighters.

                      They tried to shoot down as more planes as possible but avoided from dog-fights. They used
                      "bite and run away" tactics often.
                      Hi Andrey,

                      The books "Black Cross/Red Star" also reference these tactics. It drove the german bomber pilots crazy, as you might imagine.

                      Have you seen/read "Black Cross/Red Star". If so, I was wondering what your opinion of them was? They've been a great read and seem fairly well researched but I can't say if they've had access to Soviet records or not. They don't seem to have any particular biases, but then I'm not german or russian.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by DingBat View Post
                        Hi Andrey,

                        The books "Black Cross/Red Star" also reference these tactics. It drove the german bomber pilots crazy, as you might imagine.

                        Have you seen/read "Black Cross/Red Star". If so, I was wondering what your opinion of them was? They've been a great read and seem fairly well researched but I can't say if they've had access to Soviet records or not. They don't seem to have any particular biases, but then I'm not german or russian.
                        Are these books in english by any chanche? If so, who is the author, and which time period in ww2 do they cover???
                        "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

                        If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Main author is Christer Bergström and yes they are in english. Each volumes covers 6 months. As the series have only reached Volume 3, they cover June 1941 - December 1942 so far.

                          They seem pretty unbiased in their descriptions of battles, giving about equal space for describing both German and Soviet pilots and their background and eyewitness stories.
                          I also like the fact that he usually gives both sides claims and loss reports, so you really get an idea of the actual losses instead of often exaggerated claims:

                          "The clashes with the Soviet fighters confirmed to the Germans that their adversaries had learned much during the past months; nine JG 51 Bf 109s were downed (of which three were totally lost) against only ten Soviet fighters claimed shot down. 3 VA's fighter units reported a total of 44 victories that day - 20 by 209 IAD alone."

                          Vol. 3 p.113, about August 2nd, 1942.
                          Snefens

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 17poundr View Post
                            Also, in many Soviet airforce squadrons, the pilots might 'give' their kill of the day, to the squadrons main tally, so that often the squadron, or the larger formation would have tens or hundreds of kills more, than were listed as the individual pilots victories combined!
                            I think you are not right.

                            The pilots didn't give their "kill" to their unit. The Soviets had the terms of "personal" and "group" victories.

                            A "group" victory means a victory done by a group of planes when it was impossible to define exactly who from the pilots shot down the enemy. It is not the same to give your "kill" to your air unit. The victory was divided between the pilots who really took part in the dog-fight.

                            In Luftwaffe in such cases the victory was counted to the leading pilot of the group.

                            There were cases when Soviet aces gave their "kills" to young pilots. They spoke for example: "Hey, we both hitted that plane, you also hitted it and it is only my luck that it fell after my burst. so take the victory, I'll get more later."

                            This was done on occasion in the RAF too... Also the Red Airfoce and RAF had in common, was that aircraft kills were not always displayed on aircraft.
                            As I know the Soviet pilots painted red stars on their planes for every shot down enemy plane.

                            But, then again, the propaganda value of the ace was undeniable, and all sides wanted to shoot down the enemies famous aces (it has been said, that once Hans Joachim Marseille, the great ace of the desert war, was killed, the RAF pilots noticed that the morale of the Lufwaffe pilots had went down, they didnt press on as hard as before, this was the downside of the worship of the 'experten', that was full blast especially in the Lufwaffe).

                            The Germans offered somekind of prise to the pilot who would shoot down the woman ace who'm the Germans knew as 'the rose of Stalingrad', this female pilot had 'only' 8 kills under her, (some female pilots were well over 20, but I guess this woman was the first female, thus the big deal), anyway, she actually didnt have a rose on her plane, it was a lilly, but the germans thought it was a rose.

                            Soviet ground troops saw her end, when two units of the opposing airforces clashed, once the 'red rose of Stalingrad' had been identified, it was as if the whole German squadron had gone mad, they sent somewhere arround 7-10 ME-109s after her, just for one plane, and ofcourse with those odds, she was hit, but managed to crash land her plane inside Russian lines, she even managed to get out of the plane, but then succumbed to her wounds and died. She got a hero's funeral.

                            But the behaviour of the Germans when they identified her, told something of their fixation on the 'experten', it was if the whole rest of the Russian planes had stopped to exist! They only saw this one plane, and I'm shure it cost them a couple fighers of their own... I wish I could remember the woman's name... I could try Wikipedia, but her knickname for the Germans was the 'rose of Stalingrad', and I suppose the Russians called her 'the Lilly of Stalingrad', after it had become a thing, like with Vasily Zaizev, in the film 'Enemy at the gates', starring Jude Law as the young sharpsooter from the Urals, who became one of the most famous snipers ever...
                            I think it is about Soviet woman-fighter ace Lilia Litviak. Her name Lilia means "lily". I cann't confirm your story is correct or not. Here story was described in one of the threads been linked above.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by DingBat View Post
                              Hi Andrey,

                              The books "Black Cross/Red Star" also reference these tactics. It drove the german bomber pilots crazy, as you might imagine.
                              i haven't read it

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Great posts!!

                                So, what did the Russians really think of the German air force, did it change much over the war as the years went by, more lack of German pilot skill, less planes, but more concentrated? Also, were there a lot of Russian air raids on German airfields, and vise versa throughout the war?

                                Cheers, good reading here, I'm learning a lot!!

                                Tom

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