Military Review

Unknown ram: feat Nikolai Zinoviev

In July, 2016, on the slopes of the Markotkh Ridge in the Neberdzhayevsky reservoir area, discovered the site of the fall of the Soviet fighter LaGG-3 on the slopes of the Neberdzhayevsky reservoir and the search engines from Novorossiysk. But the concept is discovered, right, too loud. The fighting machine, apparently began to fall apart even in the air, sowing debris a whole slope. The only parts of the once formidable fighter that had come down to us were engine fragments.

That was how the long journey began to find the name of an unknown pilot of the war hero - Nikolai Kondratievich Zinoviev. But let us return to the methodical work of search-enthusiasts, thanks to whom they have regained the name of thousands of soldiers.

The LaGG-3 single-engine single-engine fighter, which got its name thanks to the names of its creators - Semyon Lavochkin, Vladimir Gorbunov and Mikhail Gudkov, is considered ambiguous. What is emphasized by the nickname “varnished guaranteed coffin” stuck to it, but let us leave these disputes aside. There are a lot of disputes, and the habit of criticizing is too strong now to endure at least some shred of truth.

One of the LaGGs in the Caucasus

The only thing that is important to highlight is the material of the LaGG-3 case. Namely, the so-called delta-wood, a very modern composite material by pre-war standards. Delta wood is produced by hot pressing veneer impregnated with alcohol resins. Therefore, taking into account the fact of the scattering of parts and, apparently, the burning of the aircraft still in the air, it was necessary to count only on the establishment of the number of the aircraft only in parts of the engine scattered along the slope, since there was simply nothing left. In this case, the remains of the pilot were found fairly quickly, so the establishment of the aircraft number (respectively, and the name of the pilot) was a matter of honor.

Markotkh Ridge - two sides

At first, thanks to the dates found on the nameplates, it became clear that this combat vehicle was born in May-July 1942. It was also possible to find out that during this period a series of LaGGs was being assembled at aircraft factory No. 21 in Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod). And since the search unit "Bridgehead" a lot of knowledge in aviation field of search and even created its own database, quickly found out that this machine was part of the 62nd fighter aviation regiment of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet, based on July 2, 1942 at the airport in Myskhako.

Finally, already in the summer of 2016, a fragment of an engine with an embossed number was found on the slopes of the ridge, which became the last refuge for the fighter and its pilot. And since all the engine numbers of the planes that were part of the 62-IAP, were known, it was a small matter.

The slopes of the Markotkh ridge from Novorossiysk

The engine was installed on the fighter LaGG-3 №3127 62-IAP, which, judging by the archive data, did not return from the battle 10 July 1942-th year. At the helm of the dead aircraft sat Senior Sergeant Zinoviev Nikolai Kondratievich. Nikolay was born in 1916 in the village of Berezovka, Dolinsky district, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukrainian SSR.

The tasks of the pilots of the regiment, in which senior sergeant Zinoviev served, included the cover of Novorossiysk, Tsemess Bay and the Novorossiysk port, so vital for fleet, from raids by enemy aircraft. After the loss of Sevastopol, Novorossiysk remained one of the few ports with the necessary infrastructure for the functioning of the fleet.

On July 10, Senior Sergeant Nikolai Zinoviev, together with his leading lieutenant Grigory Gokinaev, flew from the Myskhako airfield to patrol. In the area of ​​the village of Abrau-Durso, our pilots noticed three German U-88 bomber. Due to the thick clouds when performing the maneuver for the attack, the master and the slave lost each other. In the end, Zinoviev joined the battle alone. Later from the published data it will become clear that on that day, in a raid on Novorossiysk, before the 5 bombers Yu-88 participated under the cover of the Me-109 fighters.

The bombers were faced with the task of destroying the floating dock in the Novorossiysk port and port infrastructure. Apparently, the battle that erupted between Zinoviev, who was left alone, and the enemy aircraft, was serious. None of Yu-88 was able to dump the deadly cargo over the target.

According to the information of the air forces of the Black Sea Fleet, having shot the entire ammunition, Zinoviev went to ram one of the "Junkers", knocking him down with his own life. Machines collapsed in difficult mountainous terrain. In fact, the territory behind the Markotkh Ridge is difficult even now. It is a mountain region, speckled with beams, ravines and rocks, covered with dense thickets of oak, hornbeam, maple, etc. Moreover, according to the Novorossiysk search engines who participated in stories finding the name of the pilot, engine parts entered the ground more than a meter. Therefore, the fact of detection is already incredible.

All this to the fact that the Germans themselves did not indicate the destruction of their war machine in their reports. And since it became fashionable to believe in the word of the Hitlerites, despite the fact that Goering himself Colonel General Udet was accused of falsifying his own military results, the fact of the ram was easily doubted by many. I hope I will forgive my confidence in the reports of the Soviet Air Force. And also my disbelief in the fact that only a couple of bursts and a dashing kind of lonely LaGG-3 senior sergeant was able to scare away five U-88 and at least a couple of fighters to such an extent that they were unable to inflict almost any damage on the port infrastructure.

Unknown ram: feat Nikolai Zinoviev

Nikolay Zinoviev

Moreover, even before the discovery of the remains of a brave pilot, his name and surname were immortalized at a military memorial in two cities at once - in Novorossiysk and Sevastopol, according to the detachment of the Kuban bridgehead and the Novorossiysk prospecting center (NTSPR).
Finally, almost 75 years later, the remains of Nikolai Zinoviev, who died in the battles for Novorossiysk, were reburied on December 20 on 2016 by the NCPR. By tradition, the soldiers who fell in the Battle of Novorossiysk are buried in the same land, and local search engines are directly involved in the burial.

Thus ended the battle begun by Sergeant Nikolai Zinoviev almost 75 years ago.
21 comment
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  1. XII Legion
    XII Legion 16 November 2017 07: 46
    Interesting stuff
    Did not know thanks
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 16 November 2017 07: 46
    Well done search engines, another soldier of the Great Patriotic War is buried .. Eternal glory and memory ...
  3. CentDo
    CentDo 16 November 2017 12: 37
    Everything would be fine, but if you look for information from the search engines themselves, the picture appears somewhat different: firstly, the ammunition was not fully used up, secondly, the bombers reached the target, but the bombing was inaccurate, and thirdly, nobody saw the ram itself, fourthly, the lantern of the cabin is pierced by bullets. Most likely, the sergeant made several approaches to the enemy, not allowing accurately to drop bombs, but in the end he was shot down by the arrows of the bombers.
    In no case do I want to offend the memory of Sergeant Zinoviev, especially since the very fact of the battle with the five U-88, also covered by fighters, makes him a Hero.
    1. Curious
      Curious 16 November 2017 13: 30
      Just wanted to insert a link to the "Kuban bridgehead".
      1. burigaz2010
        burigaz2010 17 November 2017 11: 12
        Curious and you better go to Shpakovsky to comment! No offense! Your element is history !!
        1. Curious
          Curious 17 November 2017 11: 24
          Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 7: 1. “Do not judge, let not you be judged ..." "Do not send, let not you be sent ..."
    2. verner1967
      verner1967 16 November 2017 14: 00
      Quote: CentDo
      but in the end it was shot down by the arrows of the bombers.

      Yes, most likely, because the junkers were also not found debris, but there are two engines and in general it is made of metal. A ram, not a ram ... the pilot died, having entered into an unequal battle, completed the task, and he died. Honor and glory to him!
      1. Luga
        Luga 16 November 2017 15: 29
        Quote: verner1967
        Quote: CentDo
        but in the end it was shot down by the arrows of the bombers.

        Yes, most likely, because the junkers were also not found debris, but there are two engines and in general it is made of metal. A ram, not a ram ... the pilot died, having entered into an unequal battle, completed the task, and he died. Honor and glory to him!

        I agree.
        No need to invent feats that were not there, you need to remember those that were. The real Zinoviev, who foiled the air raid at the cost of his life, is more valuable than the invented Zinoviev who rammed the "Junkers".
        1. Zug
          Zug 16 November 2017 19: 04
          precisely, the Hero-attacked the enemy until most likely he was either killed by a gunner or seriously injured, maybe the car was damaged, it would be nice to find out what series of LagG readers would know about the weapons on it (the first versions had (a solid supply of trunks on board)
          Glory to the Hero, from now on he does not lie nameless !!!!
          1. CentDo
            CentDo 17 November 2017 16: 32
            LaGG was most likely the 31st series. One ShVAK, one UBS. I don’t remember the ammunition for memory.
            1. Zug
              Zug 17 November 2017 19: 19
              alright, a bit weak for a bomber, these were no longer from a delta wood ..
              1. CentDo
                CentDo 20 November 2017 09: 50
                I’ll correct you a little: LaGGi were built from the delta wood, the Germans did not use it.
                And about weapons: it seems to me that on Aerocobra, with its 37 mm arguments, it would be problematic to shoot down at least one German in this battle, you’ll come up with them when 5 barrels hit you. Of course, you can shoot about five hundred meters, but it’s rather a lottery.
  4. eleronn
    eleronn 16 November 2017 21: 30
    This suggests that the pilot shot the entire ammunition and was never able to complete the combat mission! Taran, this is not a feat of heroes, this is the swan song of squinting air fighters.
    1. Nova3054
      Nova3054 17 November 2017 10: 43
      I haven’t written for a long time, but I could not resist here.
      Your conclusions are exclusively for you, something, maybe, they say.

      Personally, how do you know the combat mission of this pilot? The fact that he did not bring down a single Junkers does not mean that he has not completed his combat mission.
      An indicator of the success of a combat mission for a fighter pilot of the USSR during the WWII period was definitely not the number of enemy aircraft shot down. Based on this case, the task was to cover ground or surface infrastructure. Objects did not receive significant damage, so the TASK IS COMPLETED. And it doesn’t matter how many bombers were shot down, but how many are not.
  5. Head Physician
    Head Physician 17 November 2017 10: 02
    Our LAGGs were stationed nearby during the war
    Good car
    Although there were questions
  6. burigaz2010
    burigaz2010 17 November 2017 11: 05
    I’m wondering who is spreading the myth of the varnished guaranteed coffin ???? I read the memoirs of our pilots for some reason, not a single mention of such a nickname !!!
    1. Zug
      Zug 17 November 2017 19: 26
      then they began to dignify him like that ... at 42 nobody dignified him like that, the car was heavy, the maneuver was mediocre, then they mainly flew on the northern front, in Karelia, when there were more other cars
  7. burigaz2010
    burigaz2010 17 November 2017 11: 08
    Sergeant Zinoviev GLORY to you, and eternal memory !!!
  8. burigaz2010
    burigaz2010 17 November 2017 11: 47
    Quote: Curious
    Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 7: 1. “Do not judge, let not you be judged ..." "Do not send, let not you be sent ..."

    I said no offense! Although who as you understand!
    1. Curious
      Curious 17 November 2017 13: 00
      So I have no offense. Just thanked for the advice.
  9. Nemesis
    Nemesis 18 November 2017 05: 39
    And how many more are there, such heroes who fought to the end and did not return from the battle ?! We can say without a doubt - There are a lot of them ... and not only among pilots. The film ,, Tank Klim Voroshilov-2 '' he is practically from life ... just like the film ,, Chronicle of a diving bomber '', I'm not talking about the film ,, Torpedo bombers '' ...