The 70th anniversary of the publication of the book, which was read by many generations of Soviet people, could also be focused accordingly, but somehow forgotten. Three anniversaries in Russia celebrated more or less with dignity. Russian militaryhistorical back in 2015, the company organized a search for the “real man” plane that was shot down in an air battle in Valdai forests, which fell in April 1942 — and this place was found in 2016, with an accuracy of a dozen or two meters! And in the small homeland of the Hero of the Soviet Union - in Kamyshin - festivities were held in his honor with the participation of the Russian Knights aerobatic team. Plus, over the past few years, previously secret archival materials about Maresyev have been released.
However, in the series of materials about him one cannot fail to notice a series of, in our opinion, annoying discrepancies in the actual data concerning the front-line period of the Hero's activities. It is surprising that so far no professional military historian has paid attention to them and has not tried to get to the bottom of the truth.
This is all the more important because even in the Soviet era these facts were distorted in academic publications and moved from there to numerous “brokgauz and efrony” of the present time, claiming “the whole truth on the basis of newly discovered information”. These distortions, as it seems, did not appear as a result of ideologically-propaganda practice that was widely used in those years, but because of elementary dishonesty not just individual doctors of historical or military sciences, but entire teams of scientists headed by prominent academicians.
There are at least three questions.
The first. On what day at the beginning of April 1942 of the year did the "hard landing" on the wood on his Yak-1 fighter jet-damaged in aerial combat, Junior Lieutenant Alexei Maresyev?
Second. The exact number of aircraft shot down by them - what is it? For the numbers vary - 7, 10 and 11.
Third. How many sorties did the hero fly?
HERO, ESCAPED BLANKING
Before we begin to explain the questions posed and brainstorm the answers to them, we clearly stipulate this. The name of Alexei Petrovich Maresyev, who made a truly unparalleled great military action, in the memorable years of frantic debunking of everything and everything Soviet was almost the only one that was not attacked. Let us recall: repeatedly got - and continues to fall - to all the most famous, to put it in the present, cult heroes - to the unshakable symbols of the Victory. Namely: Nikolai Gastello (“Was there a fire ram?”), 28 panfilovtsam (“They were simply invented!”), Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (“She was shizonuta, did not know what she was doing”), the Young Guard (“What did they have they did it - they just glued the flyers ?! ”), Alexander Matrosov (“ He just slipped in front of the embrasure ”),“ Marshal of the Victory ”Georgy Zhukov (“ cannibal ”,“ butcher ”,“ sergeant ”).
As recently as last year, on the 75 anniversary of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya’s heroic deed, two contemporary notorious “stars” of the media once again very savagely walked by her name. Here is an example of the first (it was immediately easily exposed that he under no circumstances could supposedly read “the history of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya’s illness, which was stored in the archive of the P.P. Kashchenko psychiatric hospital, where Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya had been lying more than once before the war, she suffered from schizophrenia ”):“ When Zoya was brought to the podium and was about to hang up, she was silent, she kept a partisan secret. In psychiatry, this is called "mutism": she simply could not speak, as she fell into a "catatonic stupor with mutism" when a person moves with difficulty, looks frozen and silent. " Well, these "gadgets" of the former psychiatrist, who had made up his mind to draw the Petrovichs, but what it was like, "when they brought Zoe to the podium to hang up!" He would try to say “Models have come to the scaffold” - one does not have to guess how Valentin Yudashkin or Vyacheslav Zaitsev would react. And the once-famous TV presenter in January of this year, developing the “Zoe theme” on the notorious liberal radio station, called the heroine’s feat “a cranberry myth” and determined the place that said “We are millions, don’t outweigh everyone!” - “in a pantheon full of elves, Panfilov’s and aliens ”:“ Arkol banners are fluttering in it, the gnomes are laughing and Anna Karenina is poking under the locomotive. Kosmodemyanskaya is a citizen of this particular dimension. Patriots should reassure this circumstance. To cause any damage to the Komsomol member is now as impossible as to offend Isis or Madame Bovary. ” It is significant that the Internet community, as they say, and without bureaucratic initiatives, with a decisive outburst of indignation reacted to these "vile attacks" and suggested that "both representatives themselves need psychiatric help, or they are idiots."
So, fighter pilot retired colonel Alexei Petrovich Maresyev happily avoided this kind of attack. Perhaps because, unlike Zoya and the others, he was alive and, if anything, he could stand up for his honor, not only in court, but also speak with men of "Victory slanderers." Therefore, I would not like this publication to be regarded by someone as an attempt by its authors to somehow “cast a shadow” now on the feat of Maresyev, and there to classify the Hero to the “Soviet pantheon of mythical characters outlined above.” On the contrary, the purpose of the article is, if possible, to lacquer (in a good way, how they take care of the graves of the fallen) the great act of the “real Man.” In order to contribute to finally eliminating the "strange" discrepancies in the publications about Maresyev.
NOT 4, APRIL 5
Briefly recall the essence of the feat 26 – 27-year-old pilot. Having fallen in the deep forest, he 18 days, feeding only on snow, went out to his feet, froze his legs, which had been amputated to him, but, getting up on dentures, he returned to combat air work and continued to shoot down enemy aircraft.
The publication of the Hero featured two dates for the fall of the Maresyev aircraft - April 4 and April 5 1942. Which one is correct?
“4 of April” is listed in the seemingly authoritative, verified original source - the two-volume book “Heroes of the Soviet Union”, published by the Military Publishing House in 1988 on the basis of documents mainly from the General Directorate of Personnel and the Central Archive of the USSR Ministry of Defense with the involvement of the Institute of Military History in this work. Recently, the transcript of Maresiev’s own oral story about his robinzonadas in a snow thicket and their subsequent return to the front was declassified. It was recorded in mid-July 1943 by two employees (a “research officer” and stenographer) created by the Commission on the History of the Great Patriotic War of the USSR Academy of Sciences in the summer of the same year and published for the first time in 2015 in the journal Rodina No. 6. The document Maresyev calls the date 4 April, which, apparently, operated in his subsequent interviews.
Most likely it was from his words that it was recorded in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, after which it became “unshakable”. Subsequent academic publications, including the two-volume book “Heroes of the Soviet Union,” simply mechanically reprinted it.
However, in the “Personal list of irretrievable losses of the commanding personnel of 6 Shock Air Group of the Supreme Command Headquarters from April 20 to May 1 1942”, it is clearly stated that the Yak-1 flight commander Jr. Lieutenant Maresyev Aleksey Petrovich “5.4.42 was not returned from the combat mission”.
April 6, 1942 "adjutant 2 AE ml. Lieutenant Karasev A.T. reported to “the commander of 580 aip major [y] Mukhin”, “that 5.4.42 g. ml. [adish] lieutenant commander of the unit A. P. Maresyev was the leader of a group of fighters accompanied by attack aircraft at the Istoshino airdrome ”and personally shot down two enemy transport aircraft Yu-52 in this sortie. “Since Jr. [Lead] lieutenant Maresyev did not return from the mission that day, I ask that the planes he shot down be credited to his personal account,” the said author of the memorandum requested. Three pilots of the 74th assault air regiment, accompanied by the “four” Maresyev, confirmed these two trophies in writing on the same date - April 5, 1942. (Above and below: AE - aviation squadron; AIP - Aviation Fighter Regiment - Auth.).
Based on these documents, the 5 day of April 1942 of the year is also recorded in the presentation of the command of the 580 th Fighter Aviation Regiment (IAP) of Junior Lieutenant Maresyev to the Order of the Red Banner. It should be noted that the regimental commander, Major Vladimir Sergeevich Mukhin, and the battalion commissar Stepan Yarichesky, put their signatures on this sheet on April 9 - four days after Maresyev did not return from a combat mission.
Therefore, it is rather strange to read, say, such a message in one of the “anniversary” essays: “The flight commander Alexei Maresyev recorded three transport aircraft Ju 52 - the first was destroyed on April 1, two more - on April 5 (so in the documents - Maresiev April 1942 was shot down, but April 4 was listed as missing). ” The question is, where is the logic: April 5 was shot down, and the next day he shot down “two more” U-4 ?! And why, according to the author’s vision, with the fact that for April 52 there are no documents, you should not trust the archive records for April 4?
Some meticulous "maresevedy" replicate of inserted someone information that, according to German sources, "April 4 1942 years Oberleutnant W. Brouwer, commander of Squadron 9-3-th Fighter Squadron of the Luftwaffe on the Bf-109F-4 brought down the Soviet pilot - presumably it was he who shot down the Yak-1, which was piloted by A. Maresyev. " It always surprises how the writers mechanically transfer such things into their articles without bothering to double-check the data that is publicly available. In the area of the Demyansky bridgehead, where the “real man” fought, it was not the “Luftwaffe 3 Fighter Squadron” (which did not exist at all), but the III group of the JG51 squadron (designated III. / JG51), which actually included 9- I'm a squadron. But based III. / JG51 at that time in Dugino (Smolensk region, in 250 km north of the “Maresyev” places). And against 580, the Soviet IAP worked mainly I. / JG51 (Soltsy, in 35 km west of Lake Ilmen - 130 – 150 km to the active fighting area in the Demyansk region). Ober-Lieutenant Victor Brower 4 on April 1942 of the year really hit two Red Star planes at once, recorded as “I-61 14: 30” and “I-301 3 km E. Parfino: at 1000 m 17: 42” (that is, in 3 km east of Parfino at an altitude of 1000 m in 17 hours 42 minutes elapsed time). At that time, as I-61 and I-301, the Germans designated our fighters, respectively MiG-3 and LaGG-3 (as they were for some time referred to in the Soviet documentation - I-61 and I-301). As a Hitler ace from the 9 Squadron III. / JG51 turned out to be over Parfino, that in 60 – 65 kilometers southeast of the battlefield, where 5 of April operated the Yak-1 Maresyev link, is another matter.
4 April Luftwaffe fighters did not shoot down a single Yak-1. Just like the 5 number. But 6 in 11: 27 one Yak-1 at his own expense recorded Feldwebel Richard Quante (by the way, the big success in these fighters: from 22 in June 1941 in August to 13 in August 1942 of the year - until his death in air combat 14 in August - he "cracked" them already 11 from the general trophies 30). This we checked in case pedantic Germans suddenly made an exception and recorded the Yak-1, shot down on April 5, a day later (which, of course, is more than unlikely). In addition, in the "List of famous victories" of the German ace it is not noted exactly where this Yak was shot down.
What follows from this? The German pilot, who attacked Xresz Maresyev on April 10, for some reason did not begin to write it down on his Yak-5. And he did not finish off the puffy Red Star fighter - he let him go. Why? And what if the whole ammunition had been used up - this happened often in the skies of both our pilots and the Luftwaffe flyers. The German probably did not see the Maresyev fighter shot down by him, who was able to fly 1 km from the front line, collapsed into the forest, and thought that he had not shot him down. That's why this 12 of April was not recorded among the 5 victories that the German aces won that day on the Eastern Front.
Killed "TOTAL" 7 PLANES
Now - to the number of trophies of the Hero. In addition to the above-mentioned confirmations about the two “Junkers” of Maresyev who did not return from the flight, his own report of the officer was attached to his award report about the shooting down of one of the same 1 transporters in April. That same day a brother-soldier and a friend of Alexei, Senior Lieutenant Andrei Nikolaevich Dekhtyarenko, the future Hero of the Soviet Union, confirmed in writing before the assignment of the title to him was missing in the same demyansk meat grinder. That is, it can be clearly seen: Maresyev was represented to the Order of the Red Banner for the three U-52s shot down by him (23 of June 1942 of the year, already de-multiplied, the pilot received this award).
However, the 4 figure appears in all descriptions of his combat path as the number of enemy planes he struck before he was shot down over the Demyansk bridgehead. And it is completely unclear where this “four” appeared from. Because in the submission to such a high regalia (second in importance after the Order of Lenin), another trophy of the regiment command would obviously not fail to indicate: three is good, but four are completely convincing that a pilot deserves such an award! But no, they did not. Recall that in fighter aircraft, according to the order of the USSR NKO No. 0299 from 19 August 1941, the fighter pilot presented himself as a command to the government award for three downed enemy aircraft. To which one, it was not specified.
The award list for awarding the title of Hero of the Soviet Union is short - a two-line paragraph - is noted (here and below the spelling is preserved): "For 20 attack and three personally shot down enemy aircraft were awarded the Order" Red Banner ".
Here is what else is described in this document, which is dated 23 July 1943 of the year:
“He has been on the fronts of World War II since August 1941. During this time, 77 made combat missions and destroyed 6 enemy planes personally in air battles.
[...] During his stay on the Orel direction of the Bryansk Front, he made 7 sorties and personally shot down three fascist aircraft ...
20.7.43 rescued two pilots during an air battle with superior enemy forces, including the commander of a neighboring fighter aviation regiment. In this unequal battle they destroyed the German fighter 2. The fact of the shooting down of 3's enemy aircraft is confirmed by the crews of the aircraft that observed the fall of the latter, and by parts of the ground forces of the 63 army. ”
As is clear from the foregoing, before the appearance of Maresyev in the 63-th Guards Iap (Giap), operating over the Kursk Bulge, the command recognized him only three trophies.
But what was shaded by the words of Maresyev himself in the middle of July 1943, by scientists from Moscow regarding how he fought 5 before April 1942 (we give this passage without abbreviations, retaining all the features of the document):
“6 August 1941, several people flew us to the front. I got into the 296 Fighter Regiment and began to fight from Kirovograd. Then, as our troops retreated, we went to Nikopol, Zaporozhye. As soon as we arrived at the front, we began to conduct combat work. The work was very hard. Our group had to work for the technicians themselves, as the technology was a little behind us. Had to do on 7 – 8 sorties per day. We worked on the "I-16" solely on ground attack. Once we only had a couple meeting with the Messerschmitts, but, as usual, they did not accept the fight.
After we went to Kuibyshev to form, they transferred me there to another regiment as a flight commander, and we fought on the Yaks. The pilots were young. With this regiment, we stood a little near Moscow, here we worked as if on air defense and at the same time trained flight personnel. Then we were in the 580 regiment. And then in March 42, we went to the north-west direction, when the German 16 army was surrounded by St. [Aroy] Russo. We then worked for a demyan group.
When I came directly to the front, I was appointed an assistant to the komeska. On the North-Western Front, I had to war 7 or 8 days. Here, our task was to destroy transport planes that threw 16 armies and food to the army. We shot them down for 8 for three days. And then they hit me myself. ”
"Three jokes". It is clear that these are the same Yu-52, which were recorded on the account of Maresyev in the award lists cited above. As you can see, from 6 August 1941-th to, as you should understand, the very end of March 1942-th Maresjev not hit a single aircraft. Indirectly, that before 1 April 1942, Maresiev fought “dry” in terms of air trophies, confirms the fact that he, who served in the army from the memorable 1937 year, did not have a single award. But it's not that. Here it is worth emphasizing in passing how modest the young pilot was in the conversation with the research assistants: he didn’t even give women the courage to boast of some purely military results, but he said: “We shot them down three days for 8”. “We” is not “I”! He remained like this all his life, hesitated even the privileges relying on him as an invalid. "I have that, no legs ?!" - was indignant when he was offered a car with manual control.
So, "three things." Where did this “extra” trophy unit come from in numerous publications about the legendary ace, recorded even in very serious works?
By the time of this writing, its authors could not reach a reliable source, on the basis of which this could be asserted for sure. The same two-volume book “Heroes of the Soviet Union” cannot be considered as such, in which, in the article “Maresyev”, two actual mistakes “crept in” into one very short sentence! Here they are: "Pilot 580 th istr [ibetivnogo]. Aviation [Ion]. regiment (Sev [ero] -Zap [hellish]. front) lieutenant M [areres]. By the end of March, 1942 [of the year] in air. battles shot down 4 aircraft pr [otvenni] -ka. The compilers of this “Short biographical dictionary”, firstly, raised the “Stalin's falcon” in rank, while in 1942, Maresyev was a junior lieutenant, who remained until 1943. Someone will say that this is "a trifle, not playing a role." We will not agree - we will explain below why. And secondly, he shot down at least three “pro-ka aircraft”, judging by the data from the above archive records (they are freely available in electronic copies from the originals displayed on the Memory of the People website) by no means “by the end of March 1942 , Specifically 1 and 5 of April. And if we consider that the “4 of the aircraft is pro-ka” (instead of three) is taken from the ceiling, which is also clearly confirmed by the archive indicators, then we must say “and thirdly ...”.
All this is all the more striking because, as noted at the very beginning of the preface to the two-volume book, “this is the first work of this kind, based on documentary sources,” the main ones of which, we repeat, were the funds of three military archives. And emphasizes: “In necessary cases, clarifications of previously published data were made if they diverged from documentary sources and materials. In order to more fully authenticate the biographies placed in the work, the editorial board engaged regional, regional, city and regional military commissariats to check and clarify them. ” They clarified it ... after all, if they so casually wrote about Maresyev himself, then what was “tricked” about other, not so famous Heroes of the Soviet Union ?!
Why are we talking about it now? Because in the 1988 year, when the two-volume book “Heroes of the Soviet Union” was released, such publications were highly trusted (and continue to be trusted at this time). They were sources referred to as the “one hundred percent argument." Check the same was not possible. After all, the same documents "for" Maresyev, overwhelmingly (dare to hope), were declassified only in the last 10 – 12 years.
We go further by the results of the military work of the Hero. “The undisputed axiom” roams from publication to publication, “during the war, Maresyev made 86 combat missions, in which he shot down 11 enemy aircraft.” Wikipedia states without any reference that he "shot down the enemy's 10 aircraft: three before being wounded and seven after being wounded."
Significantly differ with these conventional versions, except that the data given in the truly documentary encyclopedia “All Aces of Stalin. 1936 – 1953 ”(2014) under the authorship of a meticulous researcher on the topic of Mikhail Yuryevich Bykov. It could be called “Vladimir Dalem of the combat national aviation”. Suffice it to say that the compiler spent many years in the Central Archive of the RF Ministry of Defense, collecting and systematizing information about the combat activities of the Soviet fighter aircraft. Therefore, there is no doubt about the uniqueness of this work and the good quality of the figures cited in it. The article about Maresiev in “All Asas ...” states: “Total made 87 combat missions, in air battles I personally shot down 7 enemy planes (of which 4 - with amputated legs)”. And a graphic “List of famous air victories by A.P. Maresyev. The columns contain three U-52, 1 and 5 of April 1942 of the year, two “Fokkers” recorded on his account on July 20 on 1943, and two U-87 bombers, which were set on fire in July and July 19 and 15 attacks of the same of the year. Opposite each victory it is indicated where exactly the enemy aircraft was hit. Therefore, it seems that this is the most reliable, scrupulously verified data.
Where, then, is the enemy's 11 aircraft? And it turns out that all this roams from the same article “Maresyev” in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE), published in 1969 – 1978. In its 15 volume, we read in the right place: “At the beginning of the war I shot down the enemy's 4 aircraft ... After amputation of the legs of both legs, I mastered the prostheses and at my own request was sent in June 1943 to the 63 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. In aerial combat, he shot down another 7 of enemy aircraft. ” 4 + 7 = 11. Someone once folded "once and for all," and went for a walk.
Following the TSB, these data are one in one not missing (and who would have dared to suspect that the TSB itself was inaccurate?) Borrowed all the “Big” dictionaries - one-volume and two-volume encyclopedic (a number of editions), the Military Encyclopedic (also not one issue), “Aviation. Encyclopedia "(1994) and others, and others, including countless all sorts of" newest "encyclopedic one-, two-and multi-volume, published a quarter of a century after the collapse of the USSR. In the Great Russian Encyclopedia (issued by presidential decree from 2002 onwards) in the 19 volume (released on 2012), we read about our Hero: “In total, during the war years, 86 made combat sorties, conducted 26 air [ear]. battles in which 11 personally shot down enemy planes, incl. 7 after amputation. " Walk, inaccuracy, more! By the way, this "newest" reprint from TSB and the author is - someone "Shchukarev S.Yu.", according to some data, he is an aviation colonel in the reserve, associate professor.
Is that the “Heroes of the Soviet Union” in 1988 slyly clarified that “guv [ardii]. older]. Lt. M [areres]. during the fighting on the Kursk Bulge, he shot down an 3 aircraft of the avenue [otynni], ”and, as it were, forgot to let down“ total ”. Then with those four shot down "by the end of March 1942 [of the year]", it turns out 7 ...
It is no longer clear whether Alexey Petrovich himself saw this encyclopaedic tsifir, and if so, how he, a very modest man, related to these “superfluous registrations” about him. Guessing makes no sense. And it makes sense to ask in the spirit of the wicked satirical newsreel “Wick” popular in its time, addressing the question to both individual scholars and academic communities: it lasts for a long time, because such encyclopedias are published “for centuries” and are traditionally perceived by descendants as “Truth in the last resort” regarding one or another fact of a particular epoch?
After all, Maresyev’s great feat willn’t lose even one iota if 11, “only” 7, of the Hitler vultures brought down by him is recorded in his next encyclopedic novelty, which, as we have shown, has been repeatedly confirmed by archival data.
"LISTED" 12 COMBAT DEPOSITS
Finally, about 86 sorties from TSB and 87 from the author’s folio “All Aces of Stalin. 1936 – 1953. The difference seems to be insignificant, only one, but ...
But here is what is found in archival documents. In the already cited petition of the command to award the “real man” with the Order of the Red Banner from 9 on April 1942, we read (spelling and punctuation are preserved): has 23 combat sorties. " And in the submission for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the commander of the 1941 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Guards Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Pavlovich Ivanov 1941 July 31 of the year writes: “He has been on the fronts of the Patriotic War since August 42. During this time, he made 82 combat missions ... During his stay on the Orel direction of the Bryansk Front, he made 63 combat missions ... ". 23 – 1943 = 1941.
That is, with the arrival in 63, Giap Maresyev, for some reason, was “written off” as many as a dozen combat missions, which he carried out on the South-Western and North-Western fronts! How could this happen ?! On the other hand, “come” Maresyev to this airborne regiment with 82 combat missions, he would have to make all 86 airborne “passes” for the enemy vultures, according to TSB, before 4 sorties. That is, in each of the sorties, he would have to shoot down one winged crusader. This also needs to be explained by specialists, because a typo in the documents is not visually visible.
And about such a delicate moment, as the amputation of the legs of Maresyev. Frankly, you have not the kindest feelings towards the authors, who “cut off” the pilot's lower limbs, everyone who is in that much. One is “both around the lower leg”, the other is “both above the knee”, the third is “one leg over the ankle, the other above the knee”. But there is clear information about this. According to a number of archival medical certificates, one frostbitten leg was taken from the legendary ace to the knee, and on the other part of the foot was amputated.
And, by the way, in Sergey Prokofiev’s opera of the same name written by Boris Polevoy (1948, the first public production of 1960) there are no words: “Cut, cut, Maresyev's leg! / - Don't, don't - I have to fly! / - Your gangrene is alarming to me, / Prepare the scalpel, it's time to start. To do this, simply look at the source - the libretto of this musical work. The authors who cite this stanza are not confused even by its parody style. Maresiev himself, according to the recollections of his son, Viktor Alekseevich, treated this with humor ...