Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
peker

Russian Air Force ww2: would they was so bad ?

Recommended Posts

With regard to the Air War on the Eastern Front in World War II


 


Is the Russian Air Force really was so bad that the Luftwaffe pilots arrived to hundreds of  russian aircraft shot down


 


As a Personal  achievement ?


 


For example:


 


Erich Hartmann


http://acepilots.com/misc_hartmann.html


 


Gerhard Barkhorn


http://acepilots.com/german/barkhorn.html


 


Was it because the worst of the Russian aircraft ?


 


Was it because the " Human material" -  bad pilot ?


 


 


And finally it just masses of planes created by Russia brought her the victory in the air ?


 


thanx 

Edited by peker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You risk opening a can if worms here, but I'll try giving you an honest answer:

 

The massive succes of the Luftwaffe fighter force (I emphasize 'fighters', because the overall LW war effort in the East was a collossal failure from a very early point) can be put down to a number of factors:

 

1. Quality of equipment. This was a relatively big factor in the first 2 years of the war, but from Summer 1943 there was more of a technological parity between the LW and the VVS. This is not only a question of having the 'best' planes, but other factors such as the quality and availability of radios and ordinance effectiveness play a huge role.

 

2. Fighter tactics. The Luftwaffe fighter tactics were among the most advanced in the world and emphasised personal initiative, very unlike the tactics employed by the VVS, which focused squarely on the mission itself. This doesn't necesarilly mean, that LW tactics were 'better' (though that often was the case as well) but that LW fighter tactics focused strongly on the destruction of enemy fighters, which was always secondary in VVS tactics.

 

3. Quality of pilots: The LW was a small air force in numbers, but had exceptionally well trained and experienced pilots by the start of Barbarossa. The VVS on the other hand had a wildly varying set of pilots ranging from well trained and experienced veterans of Spain and the border wars with Japan to completely raw recruits with adequate pilot training but virtually no combat training. In 1941 the VVS was in the middle of transitioning to a new generation of fighters (three different types to further complicate things) and pilots often had little or no training on these new aircraft. During the first years of the war losses were so tremendous, that VVS training programs had to be cut short to get pilots ready for the frontline further degrading the quality of their training (the LW found itself in a similar situation from 1944 onwards) Pilot quality started to improve from 1943 in the VVS and at the same time LW recruits went to the front with poorer training, but the field never leveled completely.

 

4. Policies. The Jagdwaffe held to a doctrine that actively encouraged its fighter pilots to be 'hunters' and rewarded personal achievement a great deal. In the VVS even an ace pilot could be court martialed for diverging from a mission to pursue an enemy. This led to German aces racking up those ridiculously high scores, while even the best Soviet aces only crossed some 50 kills, despite flying in combat throughout the war.

In the end it's hard to say, which policy was more effective in terms of war effort. It may have been, that the VVS's focus on the mission was actually better in the long run, but there's no denying that the Germans sure wrecked havoc on enemy squadrons on all fronts with their 'hunter' doctrine.

 

In the end the VVS never really 'won' the air war over the Luftwaffe, the destruction of LW forces should be credited more the USAAF and RAF (the numbers don't lie), but the VVS manged to stay in the fight after the initial onslaught and maintained a constant and growing presence keeping pressure on the German ground forces and thus contributing greatly to winning the war on the ground (a fight the Soviet Union absolutely did win) and even reached some degree of parity with the LW along the way.

 

Hope this clears up a few things.

Edited by Finkeren
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your response

 

I just want to understand a bit of  history.
 
To try to understand how a single pilot managed to knock over 100 aircraft - This is something that logically understandable
 
Your explanation gives some reasonable directions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An important part of understanding how the German aces got those insane scores is to understand just how greatly the VVS outnumbered the Luftwaffe. At no point in the war did the Luftwaffe ever field more than 1500 serviceable single-seat fighters (and they only reached those numbers late in the war, in 1941 it was less than 1000, and that's the entire Jagdwaffe on all fronts)

 

Opposing them were Soviet airforces often outnumbering them 3:1 or more, but crewed mostly by inexperienced crews using obsolete and inflexible tactics (especially in '41 and '42) and flying planes of inferior performance (again mostly in '41 and '42)

 

The net result was, that the skilled, experienced LW pilots were presented with a target-rich environment, flying high-performance fighters that rendered them practically untouchable if flown right and on top if that they were actively encouraged to pick a fight and destroy as many enemies as posible.

 

The result was akin to letting an experienced big game hunter loose in a petting zoo with an elephant rifle and lots of ammo.

In the end though, it made little difference. The VVS fought on and was for the most part far too big to be taken completely out of action by the few Luftwaffe fighters, and the rest of the Luftwaffe generally failed to deliver both as a tactical strike force and in running supplies to encircled troops (the two areas, where the LW could really have made a difference in the war - fighter aircraft don't win battles)

Edited by Finkeren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2. Fighter tactics. The Luftwaffe fighter tactics were among the most advanced in the world and emphasised personal initiative, very unlike the tactics employed by the VVS, which focused squarely on the mission itself. This doesn't necesarilly mean, that LW tactics were 'better' (though that often was the case as well) but that LW fighter tactics focused strongly on the destruction of enemy fighters, which was always secondary in VVS tactics.

 

3. Quality of pilots: The LW was a small air force in numbers, but had exceptionally well trained and experienced pilots by the start of Barbarossa. The VVS on the other hand had a wildly varying set of pilots ranging from well trained and experienced veterans of Spain and the border wars with Japan to completely raw recruits with adequate pilot training but virtually no combat training. In 1941 the VVS was in the middle of transitioning to a new generation of fighters (three different types to further complicate things) and pilots often had little or no training on these new aircraft. During the first years of the war losses were so tremendous, that VVS training programs had to be cut short to get pilots ready for the frontline further degrading the quality of their training (the LW found itself in a similar situation from 1944 onwards) Pilot quality started to improve from 1943 in the VVS and at the same time LW recruits went to the front with poorer training, but the field never leveled completely.

 

4. Policies. The Jagdwaffe held to a doctrine that actively encouraged its fighter pilots to be 'hunters' and rewarded personal achievement a great deal. In the VVS even an ace pilot could be court martialed for diverging from a mission to pursue an enemy.

 

All true. In addition to this also purges of latter half on 30's contributed a lot to general attitude inside of soviet armed forces, meaning that keeping your head down and not drawing attention was considered to be a good idea. This caused a serious delay in adapting better fighter tactics and soviet air force lost an opportunity to take in lessons learned in Spain. As why Luftwaffe failed in it's own part, I recommend reading Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler's Defeat in the East 1942-1943 by Joel Hayward for starters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Libau 28 October 1944

 

(110831100130)_rudorffer_28_10_44.jpg

 

Around 12:00, there was an attack of Il-2's of 47 ShAP KBF and 8 GvShAP KBF. 

Seems, that 47 ShAP made its attack from SW of Libau, while 8 GvShAP - from NW of Libau.

 

8 GvShAP lost one Il-2 with crew:

Pilot Gv. Ml. L-t Viktor N. Karev (MiA)

Gunner Gv. St. Krasnfl. Petr I. Gavrilov (MiA)

 

This crew "failed to return from combat mission", location of loss is unknown. This loss almost for sure goes to Hugo Broch, who claimed ths and 1 more Il-2. 2nd claim is not confirmed by VVS losses, but I dont know how many there were damaged Il-2's during that raid.

 

47 ShAP lost 2 crews:

 

Pilot Ml. Lt. Fedor V. Turin (or Gurin), KiA

Gunner Ml. S-t. Vasili S. Pikanin (KiA)

 

Pilot Ml. Lt. Vladimir I. Zakharov, KiA

Gunner Ml. S-t Ivan I. Pryakhin, KiA

 

47 ShAp logbook states:

 

8 Il-2 came under attack of 8 Fw190 and lost 2 a/c. Both Il-2 were shot up by fighters, and crashed in flames in the sea 8-9 km SW from Libau. Both crew killed.

 

This two losses almost for sure were victims of Stabsswarm (Stab II./JG54) - claims at 11:46-11:48, ~10km SW from Libau, both Rudorffer and Tangermann claimed 2 Il-2 each, in almost same time and location. So, it could be shared victories to both pilots, or 2 confirmed to Tangermann (and 0 to Rudorffer), or 2 confirmed to Rudorffer (and 0 to Tangermann).

 

After that, Rudorffer and Tangermann continued chasing Il-2 formation and claimed 9 more Il-2 shot down, with actual loss = 0 (number of damaged Il-2 is unknown, but some Il-2 could be damaged by AAA). So, all those 9 claims are pure overclaim.

 

Note: second claim at 11:53, wich "jumped" far to west, is probably typo of staff cleric.

 

At 11:54 (when Rudorffer claimed his almost last victory) Lt. Thyben claimed Il-2 (not painted on the map below) in location of first Tangermann+Rudorffer claims. But it is for pure overclaim, as we knowm that both Il-2 were lost during first engagement.

 

Also, 2 Il-2 were claimed by Obfhr. Ludwig Böes of 2./JG54, a half-an-hour later, and far to west from location. I have no idea, who were those Il-2 (no losses or even other operations in that area on that day). So, seems that both claims of Böes are pure overclaim.

 

And 1 more example from my research:

 

 

Kiev 6 November 1943

 

v5WSu.jpg

 

Rudorffer

 again. With pictures.

 

So, on 6th November Kiev, beautiful capital of USSR, was liberatred.

Soviet army pushed retreating gremans to the west from sity.

 

Luftwaffe tried to hold the line, and Yak fighters of 256 iad were ordered to patrol west frim Kiev (marked red on map). 

 

Germans involved:

 

- II./JG52 (Bf109G, Uman)

- II./JG54 (Fw190A, Shitomir)

- Stab/St.G.77 (Wasilkov, Ju87D)

- II./SG77 (Kalinowka, Fw190A/F, ex-I./Sch.G.1)

- III./SG77 (Kalinowka, Ju87D, ex-III./St.G.77)

- III./SG10 (Wasilkov, Ju87D, ex-II./St.G.77)

 

Soviet forces:

 

- upr. 256 iad

0 claims

Losses:

Yak, Kolesnichenko (KIA).

 

- 728iap

12 claims

7 FW-190, 

4 Ju-87

1 He-111 (confirmed He 111H-16 of II/KG 53, s/d by k-n Ignatjev). 

Own losses

Yak of l-t Khalatjan, slightly damaged on c/m and bellylanded on friendly territory, pilot returned unhurt.

 

- 91iap

20 claims:

10 Ju87

8 "fighters"

Fw189 (FW 189A-2 (265) M4+CR from 7.(H)/32 (NAGr.6) shot down by Ml.l-t Vatagin)

Ju52.

Losses:

3 Yaks - Romanenko (was shot down by AAA - possibly Friendly fire), Grevtzov, Shilov.

 

- 32iap

1 claim:

Bf109 (confirmed - Bf109G W.Nr.410082 from 6./JG52, s/d by L-t A.N.Konyaev)

Losses:

-no

 

Ground attackers lost: 6 Ju87 in air to fighters and AAA (shot down, damaged and crashed et.c.) and 1 damaged Ju87 was destroyed on Wasilkov airfield when retreating.

 

Fw190 losses not known for me, unfortunatly.

 

Anyway, VVS lost 5 YaK to all reasons (AAA, fighters and Ju87 gunners), while Rudorffer claimed 13 in one mission, + 5 claimed his wingman. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×