Soviet attack aircraft Il-2 in flight
The truth is hidden so deeply that a non-specialist has no opportunity to comprehend it. And it lies in the fact that, in contrast to the Western individualistic view, in tactics it is always superior to those who competently use collective actions, in accordance with the available means. This principle has always been followed and taught by Alexander Suvorov, and therefore he himself did not lose a single battle.
By the 1941 year, the Germans, already having cannon armament on fighters, sometimes used this superiority to bombard fighters with ground targets that did not have anti-aircraft cover. When attacking ground columns (which was not a primary task for fighters, the Yu-87 “pieces” were doing this) were usually used to go along with the possibility of maximizing the time and area of target bombardment with small arms and bomber weapons, and were simply amazed that the Russians were often “irrational »Attack and bomb columns across their movement, taking it as evidence of Russian tactical illiteracy. However, in reality, if you turn to reality and professional aviation calculation, everything is not so obvious.
German dive bomber Junkers U-87A one of the German flight schools in flight. By 1939, the U-87A dive bombers were withdrawn from German combat units and transferred to training units.
Assault vehicles, armored vehicles and enemy manpower in a convoy, from the position of a specialist, are quite a complex object from the point of view of aviation exposure weapons for three main reasons.
First, column mobility necessitates quick re-targeting aviation. This is not a static object.
Secondly, military columns, for the most part with proper guidance, are quite well covered with ground-based anti-aircraft fire weapons, from specialized anti-aircraft installations on a mobile base to mass infantry fire from individual weapons to a height of up to five hundred meters. Plus a fighter cover from the air.
The Red Army soldiers near the shot down German dive bomber Yu-87D (Ju-87D), Kursk region
Well and, thirdly, the very form of the columns - the Long Narrow Target (DAA), according to the aviation classification of ground objects - is the most complex of the list of ground and surface targets according to the methods of its attack by aviation means of destruction. Based on the above conditions, it becomes obvious that a specialized "air fighter" is needed to solve such a combat mission. That is, a sufficiently maneuverable aircraft, satisfying the possibility of attacks from low altitudes in the canopy of a dive (with the possibility of a sudden attack from a strafing flight), with a sufficiently powerful by those standards (from 200 to 400kg) bomb and rifle weapons and vital important points of the aircraft from ground fire. It is clear that a heavy bomber for this purpose is impractical. And even a light dive bomber that works well for point and group targets (airfields, railway stations, static positions, concentrated armored groups, etc.), but does not have sufficient protection and maneuverability, is too vulnerable for such a task.
Soviet convoy destroyed by German aviation at the crossing
The first six months of the war, with a shortage of Il-2 attack aircraft in the Red Army, which at that time were ideally suited to combat the Wehrmacht's motorized columns, fighters were used in large numbers. They could carry a pair of bombs on the external sling (up to 200kg), several RS missiles ("Katyushas"), and sometimes had cannon armament (20-mm aircraft cannons). These were, for the most part, fighters of outdated by that time designs: the I-16 monoplane of various modifications, the I-15, and 153 "Chaika" biplanes. The lack of protection of the pilot in plywood construction was largely compensated for by the maneuverability of the aircraft and the competent actions of the pilots themselves. The imperceptible approach to the goal, the suddenness of a group attack, the thoughtful departure from the enemy’s fire zone — these are the three main factors that saved the lives of pilots in the target area. But at the same time, without the correct calculation of the bomb-assault impact on the columns, the nazis who exploded into the depths of the Russian land would be frenzied and any attacks from the air would look like a performance. Nobody was going to produce such a performance from the Soviet leadership for the fun of the Wehrmacht. Therefore, I will consider some theoretical and, more importantly, practical aspects of this issue that either do not know or deliberately overlook the “singers” of the logical thinking of the Luftwaffe aces.
A high-explosive aerial bomb (the main type of freely dropped ammunition used on both sides in that war) when used from low altitudes in horizontal flight or canopy of a plane dive has an area of damage caused by the blast wave and debris relative to the direction of the drop wider than it is long . Speaking in aviation, the ellipse of dispersion of high-explosive fragmentation action is extended across the direction of attack. After all, a bomb hits the target area not in an upright position, but at a decent inclination to the vertical. Since the main rupture of an elongated bomb body, provided that the fuse is blown up from an impact (without a moderator) and an instantaneous detonation of explosives (explosive) occurs in the weaker center of the cast-iron shell, it turns out that the explosion does not occur spherically, but rather disc-shaped. Tilt the disk with the axis of forty-five degrees. You will receive what you are looking for. Ellipse scattering. Hence the conclusion: with a fairly accurate hit in the axis of the column, the maximum damage to the target area causes the bomb during low-altitude bombing, if you go across the RCA across, and not along.
The attack aircraft IL-2 is preparing for a sortie. On the back of the photo the inscription "Cherich". 502 th assault aviation regiment, North-Western Front. Photo from the personal album of the navigator 502 th SHAP Ivan Antonovich Timokhovich
Soviet pilots often used slow-motion fuses for a couple of seconds in a low-altitude attack to get away without falling into their own fragments and shock waves. And the bomb, stuck in the soil with its head, exploded almost in a horizontal position, increasing the gap ellipsoid. I would like to add only that, unlike civilized Europeans, we have never used vile methods of killing, such as dropping the mass of small-caliber time bomb bombs that are more “effective” to use along the road, streets, trenches. Almost watch mines. The adversary flew away, having bombed, fighters or civilians left the shelter, then the bombs and worked!
Further. To work alone in a convoy or even as a couple, having a lack of bombs and ammunition, plus weak defense and low speed of flight, is ineffective, unless it is a demonstration or an attempt to disrupt the movement of the column, intimidating (it’s also silly to intimidate the forty-first German was the most impudent on the planet). The results are frail, the danger is maximum. Well, they fired from the heart, dropped the bomb - well, if you hit one or two or three. After all, the effectiveness of the pair is meager. There is no one to add! What's next? Yes, it is necessary to dump! The whole column was pummeled by fire, the calling of fighters begins. The second run on the shelf, even with the most cunning maneuvers, is not just ineffective. He is doomed. The enemy is not depressed, does not panic. Just angry and ready to repeat. Is waiting.
German 37-mm ZSU (anti-aircraft self-propelled gun) "Möbelvagen" on the chassis tank Pz.Kpfw. IV (Flakpanzer IV Mobelwagen), from the 509th heavy tank battalion, destroyed by the Soviet IL-2 attack aircraft
This is for you, gentlemen Gering “chicks”, not to defenseless women with children in June forty-first on Odessa beaches to bombard with a strafing flight, which you loved so much for the sake of training and entertainment to do! And not even for a lonely lorry in the field to chase, when you can "porazmyatsya" to the last bullet. A troop mechanized column, unlike a truck, is usually protected - for the most "do not indulge"!
The Soviet command, not from a good life, but to reduce the pace of the German strategic offensive, was forced to use fighters to storm the German columns. Armed and arrogant enemy must be beaten, not angry. To beat to death, to squeal, to panic, to horror and brain vomiting. So that was untapped. So that all or even half, at least a third remained on the road and was unable to use the excellent skills of the killers in the future. And those who remained, by chance or our flaw in the living, turned into cowardly troglodytes, and did not commit atrocities on our land, knowing that this land and heaven would take revenge. And so that there will be no future among them, and their followers who have not learned anything, an excuse to reproach us in the absence of "elementary" logic.
Photo control of a bomb attack attack of the Il-2 group on the Kazlu-Ruda (Kozlova-Ruda) railway station in Lithuania. Left is the shadow of the aircraft
Because the logic of a specialist should not be elementary! Especially if you have to use unusual, forced measures to save the motherland.
In the hopeless forty-first, our pilots used many effective and previously unknown ways to fight the enemy's steel columns advancing towards the heart of the country. And if you look at the urgent need to use unarmored, weakly armed, fighters against the columns, then the usual tactics of bombers or attack aircraft to use them would be inefficient and illiterate.
At that time, there was no fashion for various effective formulations like today's. And it would be possible to call such an unconventional use of the aviation family as an “asymmetric” answer to the German practice of “steel snakes”, which, in fact, was the answer. And because in the existing fighter units began to be born, to reduce losses and increase efficiency, a new tactic of application.
A sudden group attack from a low altitude across the column, when each of the group pilots in their sector from combat order seeks out the nearest convenient target. Fire from cannons and machine guns on the petrol tanks of cars open for a side attack, more lightly armored sides of tanks, then a simultaneous dropping of bombs at a safe height. And leaving according to a predetermined pattern, with scattering by height and in depth, in order to knock down the German anti-aircraft gunners from the sight, making it difficult to choose a retaliatory strike on the principle of “following two hares.
IL-2 attacks German transport aviation airfield
And while the “Erlikons” are trying to reach someone from the main attacking group and together look at the Red-tailed Falcons (due to the red color of the tail often used at the beginning of the war to simplify the recognition of their own), add a sudden strike with missiles at them another reserving group suppression and finishing. So that the land fertilized by the ashes of the enemy will give birth well in the future ...
Approximately such tactics were followed by the “Stalin falcons” in the heavy forty-first year, and with a catastrophic lack of armored Il-2 attack aircraft, the actions of the “shelves”, with all the minuses, can be called effective. A lumbago along a military column of "three lines" - machine guns are ineffective in results, if there are vehicles and tanks in it. Yes, and to beat on everyone means not to hit anyone, except at random.
Of course, psychologically strong. On the unstressed. But for refugees, women with children who are unable to hit back - this method of attack, of course, is quite effective! It becomes clear what the German “aces” tactically prepared for, and for what, actually, tactically prepared. Many Russian people remember these air hunts. But remember something alive! For some reason, the attack objects for the most part are silent about the group attacks of the Russian “bookshelves”. Most likely because of the inability to speak. After all, "from there" can not tell anything. And rightly ...
The dead Soviet soldiers, as well as civilians - women and children. Bodies are dumped in a roadside ditch, like household rubbish; dense columns of German troops are quietly moving along the road. (Photo: Summer 1941)
The tactics of storming tank columns by groups of obsolete fighters did not exist, and could never exist, in any combat statute of the armies of the world. With the change of technology, the statutes also change. This tactic was invented by our pilots on their own practical experience. Here is a description of the first departure for the attack of the enemy’s column in July, forty-first pilot AL Kozhevnikov in his “Fighter Notes”:
“The leader of the group rocking from wing to wing announced that they were approaching the goal. Another minute - and below us the road. A green column of fascists is crawling along the road - vehicles with infantry, guns, tankers.
... The first link went on the attack. Behind him the second. I go to the attack as part of the third link. In the sight, tarpaulin-covered cars, people running to the side, locked motorcycles arise. I click on the trigger, I hear the dry crackling of machine guns. Traces of tracer bullets are lost in the column. Truck engines smoke, flare up with bright tank flames. We beat on the head and tail of the column in order to deprive the enemy of the opportunity to disperse.
I get out of the attack on a low-level flight. I notice that during aiming our battle formations crumbled: individual aiming in tight formation along the narrow target turned out to be impossible to accomplish. All stormed on their own.
I make a new call. The column turned into chaos.
Cars are burning, gasoline tanks are exploding, flooding everything around with a red flame. Gasoline burns in cuvettes.
When the ammunition ran out, the presenter signaled a collection.
The group, settling in, lay down on the opposite course.
And here we are at our airport. Mission accomplished! Everyone wants to talk about the attack. Everything that happened a few minutes ago on the road reappears in the hot stories of the fighters: “I immediately saw black crosses on board the car” ... “And I hit the tank in the tail of the column” ... “And I hacked the head truck” ...
Column of German tanks Pz.Kpfw. V "Panther" is moving to the front in East Prussia
Impressions will be enough until the morning. The commander suggests the conclusions to be drawn from the battle.
The experience obtained is still small, but it has already been received.
Why did not the enemy anti-aircraft guns shoot? Apparently, because we appeared suddenly. So, we must seek a sudden blow. It seems, everything is simple, but for us all this is practically new.
We unanimously rejected the dense battle formations. Not only I, but many other pilots thought about the constraint of maneuver in tight formation during the flight. ”
Notice: “The battle formations crumbled. Everybody is storming on their own ... ”It was precisely because the attack of the target was carried out instinctively along, and not across. At the same time the simultaneous impact, maintaining order, is not achieved. Can be encountered in the air. In general, porridge and disgrace from the position of an air specialist in the destruction of ground adversary. The guys are very lucky, and we can be proud of their courage and courage. But an experienced regiment commander would have broken all the similar “instinctive” practice of self-attack, and scolded the comheskete for poor tactical training. Fortunately, in this case, the winners are not judged. Neither the cover group, nor the thoughtful scheme of attack. A pair of suddenly appeared "Messers" hunters - and write to relatives. And the enemy is obliged to write funerals for relatives! ..
A squadron of Soviet Pe-2 diving bomber bombed targets on the Karelian Isthmus. The archive RGAKFD different data on the time of this picture - 08.06.1944 and 21.06.1944
Why are they lucky? Described one of the first days of the war. There was no such experience with the use of light fighters, neither we, nor the Germans, nor other armies of the world. For the Germans, the use of Russian fighters to strike the columns was an incredible surprise, from the field of idiotic delusions. Remember: “Why didn’t enemy enemy anti-aircraft guns fire?” It was precisely because they didn’t shoot that they waited for the bombers, as was common in all modern armies of those years, competently retaining their ammunition. And Russian fighters accepted, based on their "European" experience, as "air cleaners", so they did not attach any importance until the attack began! Do not have time to put a barrage. “Professionally” they missed, intending to act “according to science”. In such situations, anyone who deceives the enemy and attacks first will win most often. But if the blow had been struck on the column also tactically deliberately, then repeated visits, most likely, would not have been necessary. Save power, money, fuel. Reducing the risk to the lives of their pilots. Also not the last things in the war. Because a real soldier is not the one who “honestly sheds” his blood, but the one who can competently, with minimal risk, defeat the enemy, destroying it or forcing it to surrender.
By mid-July, German columns had already opened barrage on everything that was flying at an effective range of fire, and at fighter heights in 2-3 their advanced fighter groups began to cover their km. Until then, the almost unprecedented, sharply increased number of erroneous shelling by German mobile anti-aircraft weapons of their own fighters, this is in fact, in fact, dominance in the air on the main lines! Even indirectly, it speaks of the sensitivity of Russian fighter strikes against the columns, since then we did not yet have a sufficient number of attack aircraft. It is worth adding that it was from this period that our fighters, who were carrying out the attack of the columns, began to incur the greatest losses from anti-aircraft fire. The Germans also knew how to learn quickly. Still, the best Western army!
It was then that the Russians began to massively use group attacks across the movement of the columns. Perhaps it is about these tactically literate and heroically hopeless attacks that they remember, still unable to calm down, and the former pilots of the Luftwaffe trying to seem smarter by cheating their winners. And their enthusiastic fans repeat, thereby exacerbating their own stupidity.
After the battle of Moscow, the use of Russian fighters on land columns almost goes to zero.
German Junkers U-87D (Ju-87D) dive bombers fly accompanied by Messerschmitt fighters Bf.109. Eastern front.
The factories evacuated to the Urals earned in full force. Appears enough specialized attack aircraft "IL-2", not for nothing that the Germans called the "black death". Excellent cab and engine booking. Machine-gun armament, in terms of the amount of ammunition on one machine, is comparable to the fighter link. Missiles on the external suspension of various caliber and purpose, 400 kg of bombs, sometimes for quite specific purposes, carried both on the external suspension and in the internal container. What are only worth PTAB! Small-sized bombs of cumulative action, nearly a hundred Il-2 alone poured out along the column of tanks, or a container tank from which a special burning mixture was poured at extremely low altitude could turn a dozen of armored monsters into charred scrap metal! The tactics of storming the columns with “flying tanks”, naturally, was modified, as applied to the wearable weapon, and had no relation to the fighters. Therefore, to consider it here does not make sense.
For the sake of justice, it is necessary to add that in the second half of the war, our aces-fighters, taking off for the so-called “free hunt”, did not disdain to walk along the German column in a pair, firing at it from a strafing flight. I can imagine how now, after my confession, living by the help of a misunderstanding, the lively Hering chicks, who have become a black crow over Russian roads, overflowing with refugees in the early forties, will rejoice. “Here, they say, look! It was the Russians who adopted us! ”They adopted them. Yes, not for refugees used. And on the cowardly retreating "supermen" in the fucking breeches. And not on the "shelves", but on the new generation of aircraft, at speeds under 550-600 kilometers per hour, booking cabs and cannon armament. And then, they used one sudden approach, and did not climb on the rampage. You can read about this in the memoirs of G. G. Golubev, who, until the end of the war, flew under the wing of an air ace Alexander Pokryshkin. I will retell shortly in my own words.
We went along the column. Once. Embedded from guns and machine guns. Set fire to a couple of cars. And - go.
Why along the column? There are two notable differences in addition to the above.
Fighter pilots of the 3 Squadron of the 39 Guards Aviation Regiment. Third right - Ivan Mikhailovich Gerasimov. Already after the war, the guard lieutenant I.M. Gerasimov died in a plane crash in the area of Belaya Tserkov near Kiev in the autumn of 1947. The names of the others and the place of filming are not known The photo was taken against the background of the Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter (“Air Cobra”), which was supplied to the USSR from the USA under a lend-lease. Aero Cobra was in service with the 39 th air defense assault squad from 1943 to May 1945.
First of all, the Air Cobra. The plane, on which the American and British pilots refused to fly, because it did not get out of the "corkscrew". He had such a feature. But Russians are pilots from God. And they do not care. You can not "spin", and do not! The main thing - to fight. And to fight on it could have been very cool! Had a good speed, more than 600 km per hour. 37 gun millimeters. From above, behind the back, they easily burned through light T-II, T-III and even medium T-IV Wehrmacht tanks from a distance of two hundred Russian fathoms. The anti-tank guns of the beginning of the war, the Germans had the same caliber. Two large-caliber machine guns "Browning" 12,7 mm. Plus, if necessary, four more machine guns of normal caliber in three lines. The possibility of suspension of one bomb to 250 kg under the fuselage. Just an air slaughterhouse! And the cabin, by the way, is armored against bullets and splinters in front and behind. So from where to enter the column with such artillery on board, if not from behind-from above, given that the column is unable to withstand the whole mass of fire simultaneously with a single high-speed, low-altitude target (sectors of fire are overlapping)?
Secondly. Pokryshkin did not have the task to deliberately storm the columns. And this task is for “IL-2”, which was already enough. Just fighters returned from a successful aerial reconnaissance, failed to shoot, full of ammunition boxes. Well, why not “nailing” the accidentally turned-up Aryans? And if you destroy the column with a pair of unreal, and even in one run, then you need to at least make the most of the mess, preferably “dropping” everything that is in the barrels on it (this, I will note, is not rude, but it is said that the Browning machine guns, due to the low rate of fire, when shooting, they make audible, audible, interrogative "how-how-how?"). The maximum firing time is achieved when attacking from behind-the-top, taking into account the movement of the column. That's the whole difference!
Soviet fighter I-16 in flight
And so it’s just silly not to use a couple’s entry along the column, having a salvo on board that is superior in quality and quantity to the I-16 'donkey' squadron or I-153 'gulls'. Notice a pair, not a squadron! At the same time, taking into account the battle order "pair of bearings" with the slave lagging 100-200 meters from the leader (taken in the second half of the war), the possibility of accidentally pushing in the air during an attack is reduced to zero.
Summing up, it should be noted that the attack of German avtobronekolonn plywood Soviet fighters in the first six months of the war, dictated by harsh necessity due to the insufficient number of attack aircraft, led to the need to work out a new tactic of group use of weapons. When attacking in battle order, it was necessary:
- to create conditions for safe maneuvering in the group in order to prevent airplanes colliding with each other,
- to achieve practical simultaneity of the strike along the entire length of the column (in order to prevent its dispersal),
- take into account the shortage of gun armament on used outdated Soviet fighters I-16, I-15, I-153 (the presence of, in most, machine-gun),
- to compensate for the lack of radio communications on most aircraft (battle control is visually in the line, dropping bombs “according to the lead”),
- use the possibility of shooting at the maximum area of moving individual objects in the column (cars, motorcycles, armored personnel carriers, tanks), in order to increase the number of effective hits,
- hit the most vulnerable and fire hazardous places of technology (gas tanks of cars and motorcycles, less armored sides of the turret of tanks),
- make full use of the effective area of destruction by bomb weapons (small bomb load, and in general - the lack of bombs in the first half of the war).
All these conditions are most suitable attack in the order of battle "bearing" from the direction perpendicular to the movement of the column. At the same time, the following attack targets are achieved:
- the impossibility of coordinating the actions of the ground-based anti-aircraft barrage of the column, concentrating it on one or two attackers because of the wide sector of the group attack, respectively, the density of counteraction of anti-aircraft guns per each pilot is reduced,
- the possibility of observing the maneuver and actions of the lead in a fairly dense bearing (driven from the rear-side), while attacking in his own sector, highlighted by the general scheme,
- guaranteed defeat of objects, without erroneous simultaneous attacks on one target (the rear see the front target, and choose the next one for themselves),
- by dropping bombs together with the leader, a more dense and simultaneous coverage of the attack area is achieved, and so on.
IL-2 attack aircraft return from the mission. On the fuselage of the nearest aircraft - the inscription "Avenger". The aircraft IL-2 with the hull number 25 "Avenger" was built at the expense of the chairman of the collective farm. Of Stalin of the village of Avdalar of the Kotayk district of the Armenian SSR Grigor Ayrapetovich Tevosyan, who had two brothers killed in the war. He contributed 100 000 rubles for the purchase of a combat aircraft. On this IL-2 was flying the Hero of the Soviet Union, also an Armenian Nelson Georgievich Stepanyan (1913 — 1944). N.S. During the war, Stepanyan made 239 successful combat missions, destroyed the enemy's ships in person and in the 53 group. Killed in battle 14 December 1944, near the city of Liepāja, the Latvian SSR. Posthumously March 6 1945 re-awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union
By the way, in the military aviation schools of the whole world, and to this day, a bomb attack by a group of aircraft of a long narrow target is taught from small and medium altitudes, and in modern aviation it is carried out in almost the same way, partially modified by many additional factors (such as weapons, the system used by guidance, etc.). Because, no matter how the air weapon used by the ground opponent changes, the principles of tactics based on competent calculation and accounting for a complex of factors always prevail over the instinctive thinking of amateurs.
So, followers and praisers of the "Gering" thinking, as well as the "Hitler", should not try to prove obvious nonsense, relying on their speculative philistine "elementary" logic. Perhaps, then it will become clear to them, why did they still lose that Great War ...