As Yu-88 fired from “Parabellum” from LAGG - 3 fought off, injuring the pilot
An amazing case of successful use of a pistol in aerial combat is recorded in the memoirs of C.N. Ikonnikova. At the time of the described event, he served as a weapons engineer in an air defense fighter regiment equipped with LAGG-3 fighters. Here is what happened to one of the young pilots:
“6 of April 1942 of Mr. A. Bomko flew in alarm to intercept an enemy intelligence officer paired with Sergeant A. Zaitsev. In the pursuit of the enemy due to the weak engine thrust driven behind. Bomko had to fight alone. According to the pilot's story, he, having overtaken the fascist scout from behind, opened fire on him from a cannon and machine guns from close range. Continuing to come closer, he gave a few more bursts from the gun. As a result, damage to the left plane of the enemy plane was clearly visible, and the shooter knocked off a cap-fairing from the cockpit. Shooter ceased fire. But even our pilot stopped shooting a ShVAK gun, and then a large-caliber machine gun of the BS. Recharge recover weapons failed. The pilot gives the enemy several more bursts of quick-fire ShKAS machine guns of caliber 7,62 mm, but the destruction of the enemy's aircraft cannot be achieved. Then Bomko decides to ram the scout, strike him with a propeller on the tail plumage. He makes a slide and, with a decrease, rushes at the enemy, but slips one or two meters from the tail of the scout. No, it is necessary to come closer slowly and strike neatly with the end of the propeller blade. In the cockpit shooter no one was visible. When, before the enemy plane, there were only meters 12 ... 15, according to the pilot, a healthy red-haired German appeared in the gunner’s cabin and fired several pistol shots at the fighter. One of the bullets, breaking through the glazing of the fighter cockpit lantern, wounded the pilot in the neck. The pilot has weakened attention to the management of the aircraft. As a result, the fighter fell into the air stream of the reconnaissance engines and was thrown down to the side. The plane almost fell into a tailspin. The altitude was lost, the engine was shaken, the fuel remained only to return to its airfield, the pilot had to stop the pursuit. When inspecting the aircraft, damage was detected by a bullet of one propeller blade, which caused the engine to shake. Four bullets hit the plane of the aircraft, was interrupted by the attachment of the air cylinder. The bullet that pierced the cockpit cannon hit the pilot's armored seat and ricocheted. ”
Fear has big eyes?
It is clear that the report of the young pilot about such an extremely peculiar fight caused certain doubts in command:
“The regiment commander, Lieutenant Colonel F.A.Pogreshaev, received the pilot’s report But he didn’t believe in “red German”:
“What do we get,” he said, “the fighter, having a cannon and three machine guns, one of them heavy, cannot knock down a fascist reptile, and the winner is a red German with a lousy gun. Quite surprising. Correctly they say - fear has big eyes. Apparently you, Athanasius, started shooting from a kilometer distance, uselessly spent all the ammunition. Here the weapons engineer will look at the PCF film and report exactly what the distance was when firing. I will have to remove you from combat duty, until the shooting test for an engineer is dealt with. And there was no worse punishment for the pilot. It was easier for the pilot to get the most severe disciplinary action than to see his comrades on combat duty, how they were sent to fly, and he was forced to remain on the ground. ”
The commander of the regiment ordered the author of the memoirs: "Ikonnikov, figure out what happened to the weapon." And the weapons engineer began to carry out the order: “The plane was turned in a safe direction, the engine hoods were removed. I inspected the gun and machine guns with the weaponry outside, checked the traction and cable wiring. Few ammo still left. Having taken a seat in the cockpit, I try to reload the gun with a pneumatic recharge. But it does not work. We begin to look through the entire recharge circuit, and find the cause of the failure - one of the bullets hit the plane touched and crushed the air tube. Air did not enter the reload cylinder. Having moved the control stick of the plane to the side and put my feet on the pedals of the control of the plane, with two hands, leaning back, vigorously tugging and releasing the cable with the reload handle. A clear blow of the bolt from the cannon is heard, which has sent a cartridge into the barrel. The mechanic reports that the cartridge that was previously in the barrel, as it should be, fell to the ground through the sleeve and passes it to me. I look around. Nakol caps briskly. So there was a misfire in the air.
I give the command "From the aircraft" and click on the gun trigger. A short line shook the plane. There is no blame for the pilot. The reloading pneumatic system was put out of action in combat, and it was very difficult to reload the gun in the air manually while operating the aircraft. I opened the lid of the BS machine gun. The cartridge twisted and jammed. The pilot in the excitement of air combat too briefly pressed the reload button. Air, to throw back the moving parts of the machine gun completely, was not enough.
Mechanics removed from the aircraft weapons for cleaning and inspection. Ammunition to the parking lot already delivered. FKP cassette shot. An hour later, the film will be shown. Made on epidiaskopepe interpretation film FKP. The young pilot, trying to quickly bring down the hated enemy, opened fire not from "close range", as he claimed, but from 400 m, firing first directly into the tail, when the area hit was minimal. Later, the queues were given from a distance 50 ... 60 m, when the pilot performed a small slide. Aiming was carried out correctly - first in the direction of the air gunner, and then on the left engine of the scout. The last few shots showed that Bomko approached the enemy's plane almost closely. "
Everything turned out to be true
And a few days later it turned out that the part of Pilot Bomko’s story about the German pistol shooting that had caused the greatest doubts was quite true:
“Yevgeny Postyko, a technician of the plane on which Bomko flew, approaches me,“ Comrade engineer, when replacing the control cable of an airplane, I, removing the armored seat and the seat of the pilot, look at what I found. ” And shows a flattened bullet. Oh, I know such a bullet well. This is undoubtedly the bullet of the German Parabellum pistol. To explain the reasons for such confidence, must make a digression in his story. During the formation of the regiment, we received a small number of revolvers "revolver", and the rest were "parabellums", as there were not enough domestic weapons. Before handing out revolvers and pistols to personnel, the armament equipment was re-activated, inspected and tested in a dash. Domestic "revolvers" were trouble-free and their battle was much better than the trophy "parabellums". Therefore, all the revolvers issued to the pilots. Among the pistols, three turned out to be faulty. I took them to the apartment and in the evening I started debugging. Two pistols corrected, and the sleeve was not thrown out of the third one. In the process, the sleeve was wrinkled, but I did not have a spare one. Oholost war cartridge could not - there was no vice to pull a bullet. And early in the morning tomorrow, the weapons must be handed over to the officers of the regimental headquarters. Well, I will carefully debug a weapon using a live cartridge. When reloading, the barrel of the pistol is sent, just in case, towards the Dutch oven. And suddenly the shot slammed. The bullet, having made a deep dent in the iron lining of the stove, ricocheted and bounced into the corner of the room. How many times the teachers at the academy warned us, the listeners, about caution when handling a weapon, that even an “unloaded” weapon could fire, and I made such a mistake !. .
And yet, to finally make sure that the technician found a bullet from the captured gun in the cockpit, I decided to conduct an additional check. On the outskirts of the airfield, they installed an armorpiece from a LaGG-3 written off. On the sides reinforced anti-richer wooden shields. On the Bomko plane, the angle of its meeting with the surface of the armored backboard was determined from the hole in the visor of the cockpit and the mark of the bullet on the armored backrest. From the same angle from different distances in the presence of the deputy commander of the squadron, Captain A. Okunev, and several other pilots, I fired a series of control shots. Picked up and inspected the bullets. The closest collapse of the bullet, compared with the mechanic found, occurred at a distance of 15 ... 20 meters. It was confirmed that indeed, Bomko was injured not by a bullet from a machine gun of an air gunner, but by a bullet from a “parabellum” pistol. Perhaps the "red German". Considering the distance from the gunner’s cabin to the reconnaissance aircraft’s tail, the propeller of the Bomko plane cut the air already a few meters away from the U-88 tail tail (The Germans used this reconnaissance bomber). A few millimeters separated the pilot from death. Saved Bomko that his neck was thin. The squadron foreman was always tormented by picking up his tunic. And all exactly had to take the gate. If you were in the cockpit of a fighter, the pilot would be of medium build, the carotid artery would probably be affected. Bomko also got off with a slight burn and a wound to the neck with two small pieces of a pistol bullet that bounced off when she was hit in an armored seat. ”
We are accustomed to memories of how our soldiers and officers improvised in the most seemingly hopeless situations. But it must be remembered that the Germans were also capable of such. Air gunner machine gun does not work - it means that the “parabellum” will be used. And in fact he achieved his “red German”, saved himself, the crew and the car. Not clowns with weapons were defeated in the end - the warriors - the victors in the Great Patriotic War, but formidable, skillful and very persistent enemies.
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