Military Review

Aerial battle of the Great War. Wings over East Prussia

11

"War in the air." Great war in images and paintings. B.4.


We are starting a series of articles "Air battle of the Great War", the subject of which will not be a full review of the state and actions of the Russian military aviation in the First World War, and the most interesting, in our opinion, moments of application of the latter.

But first, we characterize the specifics of the application and tactics of Russian aviation.

The emergence of a new kind of weapon


At the very beginning of the confrontation, the technical capabilities of aircraft and aviation weapons significantly limited the combat capabilities of aviation. At the beginning of the war, aviation was used on the Russian Front mainly for reconnaissance and adjustment of artillery fire.

But after 2 of the year, aviation solves the widest range of combat missions.

Manual on the use of aviation in war (Kiev, 1916.) called its following functions: 1) reconnaissance, surveillance and aerial photography; 2) artillery assistance; 3) fight against enemy aircraft; 4) actions on ground targets; 4) communication; 5) special assignments.


For example, aerial reconnaissance had a particularly big impact on the outcome of ground operations in preparation for the 1916 Southwest Front Offensive. Intelligence aircraft were used centrally, which, in particular, allowed for the first time in stories Russian aviation to take aerial photographs of the fortified positions of the enemy at the front several hundred kilometers (to a considerable depth), providing the troops with photoplans (the latter received officers from the offensive up to the company commanders).


During the offensive, air reconnaissance provided surveillance of both the battlefield and the operational rear lines and maneuvering of the enemy. So, it was she who informed about the preparation of the counterattack of the German troops on the flank of the 8 Army.

Aviation proved to be in the fight against ground targets.

So, 19 — 20 on July 1915 The 31 corps squadron launched the first assault strike in the history of Russian aviation, firing 3 thousand rounds of ammunition and dropping pounds of bombs to 250 — and solving tasks of operational strategic importance. Moreover, a complex reconnaissance and assault task was solved: 1) the front command was warned in time (with photos attached) about the movement on the front of the 3 army of the enemy’s attack group and 2 on the above days, assisting the 3 army in counterattacking the attacker at Wlodawa’s adversary, the air squad thwarted the advance of the Germans, who suffered heavy losses at the ferries across the Western Bug, who ceased forcing and went on the defensive.

The aviation was also effectively supporting the advancing forces during the Offensive of the South-Western Front of 1916 - bombing attacks were made on artillery reserves and firing positions. Groups of up to 20-type aircraft in the Lutsk direction bombed enemy airfields.


German anti-air guns in anticipation of an air enemy

In the course of this campaign, an active struggle was waged in the air - and to ensure dominance on the most important combat sites, armies of the South-Western Front were given, merged and used massively fighter squads.

Army fighter units, providing the actions of spotters and scouts, successfully fought with German fighters. The latter, taking advantage of speed superiority, as a rule, escaped from attacks of Russian aircraft by flight. It is worth noting that the struggle for air supremacy on the Austro-German front, actively unfolding in the spring of 1916, escalated in the summer. The German command, counteracting the successful offensive of the South-Western Front, transferred significant aviation forces to the Russian Front. The Germans sought to gain air supremacy - in particular, by transferring selected fighter units armed with high-speed modern fighters from under Verdun to Kovel. Qualitative superiority, as well as the overwhelming numerical superiority of the enemy, significantly complicated the situation for Russian aviation.


But in July - August 1916 g. Began active combat work 12 Russian fighter squadrons. A special front-line fighter air group also appeared - the 1-I Combat fighter air-group (BAG), which included the 2, 4 and 19 corps squadrons. The group included pilots who had experience in air combat. Having gained air supremacy near Lutsk, the group pilots carried out 14 air battles until mid-August, in which (without loss) they shot down one and damaged several enemy aircraft. And when 13 of September 1916 of 16 of the Austrian biplanes again tried to break through to Lutsk, they were met by 8 crews of the 1 BAG. Despite the double numerical superiority, after a fierce battle, the Austrians were scattered and retreated.


The group coped with its task successfully.

As the front aviation inspector noted, the dashing actions of the air group made the enemy forget about Lutsk [Kulikov V. The beginning of the journey: Russian fighter aircraft in the First World War // Aviamaster. 2002. No. 4. C. 12.].

Only in September 1916, pilots of the 1 BAG, having made 88 sorties lasting more than 150 hours, conducted more than 40 air battles - and shot down 3 enemy aircraft, seriously injuring several more. Russian losses - 1 aircraft.


Thus, through the massive use of fighter aircraft in the most important sector of the front, air supremacy was first won.

The fact that the Russian pilots opposed a superior enemy was not an exception, but the rule. So, during the Moonsund operation 1917, the German air group consisting of 102 aircraft opposed only 36 Russian aircraft. The situation was aggravated by the fact that Russian pilots had to act in difficult not only tactical, but also organizational, as well as moral and psychological conditions of the collapse of the army. Nevertheless, they worthily opposed a more powerful enemy. Having lost 10 planes (which almost all were either destroyed before the enemy approached, or captured by German paratroopers), they shot down German cars in 5 air battles.


From the reconnaissance means of the army (the beginning of the war), aviation turns into a branch of the army. Various types of aviation appear (reconnaissance, fighter and bomber). Although a special type of attack aircraft was not created during the war, existing types of aircraft were used for assault operations. Aviation played an important role during the preparation of a breakthrough in positional defense, in correcting artillery fire, and bombed enemy troops, headquarters and supply bases.


Now, after a general review, we will see how Russian aviation acted on the East Prussian theater at the very beginning of the First World War - in August 1914.

Samson Army Aviation in August 14


As you know, by the beginning of the war, the main higher organizational unit of aviation was the aircraft company (including 3 - 5 squadrons of 5 - 6 airplanes in each). In the aviation company, administrative issues were concentrated, as well as technical and economic supply. Squadrons were combat units that solved operational and tactical tasks across the entire spectrum of aviation functions. The technical park was motley (even at the level of one aircraft). By the beginning of the war, there were 6 aircraft carriers (I-Petrograd, II-I Warsaw, III-I Kiev, IV-I Lida, V-I Bronnitsy, VI-I Odessa) and several separate air units (serf and Siberian).


Aircraft detachments were deployed as part of the army deployed with the outbreak of war. So, the aviation group of the 2 Army of the North-Western Front was provided by the I-I (1 Corps air squadron assigned to the 1 Army Corps on Farman XVI aircraft), II (15 corps air squadron assigned to the 15 Army Corps the corps on Newpor IV aircraft and the 23th squadron assigned to the 2th army corps on the Farman XV planes, the 4th (21th squadron assigned to the army headquarters) and the Vth (13th squadron, assigned to the 13th the army corps on Newpor IV aircraft) aircraft - total of 5 squads of 5 aircraft in each.


As we wrote earlier, the 2 Army entered the war with incomplete corps and with a badly organized rear. There was almost no corps cavalry (secondary Cossack units had not arrived yet) - which greatly impeded close military intelligence.

It could be supplemented by aviation intelligence. Moreover, as we noted above, at this stage the reconnaissance function was key for aviation. And at the stage of strategic deployment and the first crucial operations, aerial reconnaissance could play a particularly significant role.


And indeed, during the 4 - 15 period of August, the army squads tried very hard, giving the army and corps commands quite detailed information. A. Chekhutov reports on the most significant milestones in the actions of aviators.

Thus, the 1 air squad made 4 flights only on 4 on August, detecting movements of German troops in the Soldau-Mlawa region. Only during the 15 - 5 period of August did the 7 air squad carry out 6 air reconnaissance, exploring the Neidenburg - Vilenberg - Ortelsburg section. The 13 and 23 air squads, finding out the enemy’s grouping, carried out 5 reconnaissance operations during the 7 - 4 period of August.


German aircraft also acted actively these days, looking closely at the flank corps (especially the 6).

Russian aerial reconnaissance 8 - 9 of August brought the most important information. In particular, the landing of German troops in Allenstein and Hohenstein was discovered - 3 reserve divisions arrived to strengthen the 20 Army Corps.

The enemy did not doze off either. During this period, he carried out 15 air reconnaissance, and without any difficulty he was able to detect the advance of the Russian units - since they absolutely did not take measures to disguise and marched in the afternoon.

Russian pilots did not slow down.

Aerial battle of the Great War. Wings over East Prussia

So, on the 10th of August, the 1th corps air squad conducted 3 reconnaissance (Mlawa - Soldau - Gilgenburg region), 15th corps air squad - 2 reconnaissance (Neidenburg - Hilgenburg - Hohenstein region), 13th corps air squad - 2 reconnaissance ( Wilenberg - Jedabno - Allenstein) and 23-th corps squadron - 1 reconnaissance (Ortelsburg - Passenheim - Bischofsburg). Aviators of the 2 Army discovered movement of units, artillery movements, landing of troops on railway platforms, bivouacs and convoys.

Reconnaissance on the 10 of August was especially important, having discovered the concentration of large enemy forces against the left flank (Lautenburg region) and the center (Hilgenburg region) of the 1 army corps. The enemy, having conceived the encirclement of the core of the 2 Army, began to concentrate forces on sections of its flank formations.

But…

The reports of the pilots caused skepticism and the irony of the command, which did not believe the information of air intelligence. Indeed, where can the Germans get such a large number of troops, which was reported by air intelligence, if it was believed that the main forces of the German 8 Army are concentrated on the front of the 1 Army, and against the 2 Army the Germans have only up to two corps?

Stretched out on the 100-kilometer front, putting its flank corps in an isolated position, the Samson army continued to move forward. The operational association was waiting for victory at Orlau-Frankenau, Mühlen-Waplitz and Allenstein, but its central group was increasingly entering the mousetrap, while the inactive flank corps practically did not take part in the operation.

During the 11 - 12 period of August, army aviation reported the concentration of German troops on the flanks of the 2 Army - in the areas of Uzdau - Soldau and Bischofsburg. The encirclement of the core of the 2 Army was preceded by operations against its flank corps - the 1 and 6 Army. So, the pilots recorded the movement of the 2 divisions at Uzdau and the 1 divisions (parts of the German 17 Army Corps) to Bischofsburg.

Information did not work. Moreover, the observer pilot transmitted information to the 6 Commander personally and on receipt. General from infantry A. A. Blagoveshchensky doubted and did not trust. Komkor preferred to fulfill the task set by the Nashtarm (on the movement of the corps to Allenstein), than put his rear under attack from a suitable German group.

Aerial reconnaissance 13 - 14 on August revealed increased enemy operational activity - both on the flanks and in the center of the army. The Germans were tightening the bag. During the battle in the boiler, aircraft of the 13 and 15 corps were used inappropriately, and indeed during this period, an example of how to handle communications was given by the 2 commander himself, who voluntarily deprived himself of communication with the front command and left for the troops .

As a result of the death of a part of the central group of the 2 Army 16 - 18 in August in the boiler, its aviation was also seriously affected. The 13 corps squadron fell into the hands of the enemy. Half of the planes from the 15 corps squadron (the remaining machines managed to fly away) and all the technical equipment also fell into the hands of the enemy.

The squadrons attached to the buildings that didn’t fall into the boiler partially lost their planes and technical property - with the hasty departure of their formations. As a result, it took time to bring them into a combat-ready state.


After analyzing the work of aviation during the offensive of the 2 Army, we see that it completely coped with the assigned tasks - and through a series of reconnaissance it provided the command with almost exhaustive material for the successful conduct of the operation. If the command had confidence in aviation intelligence data (it is worth noting that there was no experience with the use of such data as the culture of processing air intelligence data), the result of the operation could be different. And the fact that the offensive of the 2 Army ended in grave failure was not the fault of aviation.

It was possible to avoid the encirclement, because the command was timely notified of the accumulation of large enemy forces against the flanking corps. If it treated the reports of the pilots with great confidence and took the necessary measures in a timely manner, we can safely say that the catastrophe of the 2 Army could have been avoided.

To be continued ...
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  1. lucul
    lucul 27 November 2019 19: 07
    +3
    The right article.
    The aviation confrontation on the Western Front of World War I is widely covered. And the Eastern Front is completely forgotten.
    1. 1970mk
      1970mk 27 November 2019 20: 40
      0
      In fact, in the West there really was a large-scale air war .... On our front — by orders of magnitude (really by orders of magnitude) it was less than that .... But ... to know what was needed ...
      1. Adjutant
        Adjutant 27 November 2019 20: 57
        +2
        On our front ...
        Given the more significant front
        A more responsible and heroic fight in the air
  2. Adjutant
    Adjutant 27 November 2019 20: 58
    +4
    Russian aviators excelled, through thorns to the sky
    1. cost
      cost 27 November 2019 21: 45
      +3
      KOZAKOV Alexander Alexandrovich -
      the most productive Russian pilot of the 1st MV


      Alexander Alexandrovich Kozakov was born on January 2, 1889 in the Kherson province.
      In 1906 he graduated from the Voronezh Cadet Corps, then until 1908 he studied at the Elizavetgrad Cavalry School.
      From 1906 to 1908 he studied at the Elizavetgrad cavalry school.
      05.06.1908/12/XNUMX g. Released in the XNUMXth Lancers Belgorod Regiment.
      23.01.1914/XNUMX/XNUMX was sent to the Aviation Department of the Officer Aeronautical School for flight training.
      From January to November 1914, Alexander Kozakov studied at the Military Aviation School. Upon its completion with the rank of “military pilot”, he was sent to the 4th corps aviation detachment.
      From 15.12.1914/4/XNUMX - in the army, junior officer of the XNUMXth corps aviation detachment.
      18.03.1915/XNUMX/XNUMX in the area of ​​the estate Volya-Shydlovskaya shot down a German apparatus type "Albatross", having made the first successful ram in the history of military aviation.
      Since 20.08.1915/19/XNUMX - the head of the XNUMXth corps aviation detachment.
      On February 25.02.1917, 1, he served as commander of the XNUMXst Combat Aviation Group of the South-Western Front.
      March 14.03.1917, XNUMX was approved in this position.
      14.06.1917/XNUMX/XNUMX was wounded in aerial combat with four bullets in the arm, with damage to the elbow joint and was evacuated.
      On November 24.11.1917, 7, he temporarily performed the affairs of the commander of the 1th Aviation Division, with the resignation of the commander of the XNUMXst combat aviation group of the South-Western Front.
      09.12.1917/1/19, removed from the post of commander of the XNUMXst Combat Aviation Group of the South-Western Front. Elected at the detachment council by the commander of the XNUMXth corps aviation detachment.
      In the spring of 1918 it was registered by the Soviet government as a flight specialist.
      In June 1918, with the mediation of one of the members of the British diplomatic mission in Moscow - Captain Hill, with a group of aviation officers, Alexander Kozakov left for Murmansk, to the location of the expeditionary allied forces.
      At the suggestion of the English Colonel Mound, he began the formation of the Slavic-British Aviation Corps. He received the rank of lieutenant of RAF (Royal Air Force of Great Britain).
      02.08.1918/XNUMX/XNUMX, with the occupation of Arkhangelsk by the troops of the Entente, Kozakov moved there with all the flight specialists.
      By August 15.08.1918, 1, he formed the 123st Slavic-British Aviation Detachment in Arkhangelsk, and led it, and went to the front in the area of ​​the Obozerskaya station, XNUMX versts south of Arkhangelsk.
      In October 1918, military pilot Kozakov acted with a detachment in the Selts area, 70 miles south of the Obozerskaya station.
      At the end of October 1918, during the offensive of the Red Army in the area of ​​the village of Bolshie Ozerki, he was cut off along with the detachment and the English column of Colonel Haggelton. For two weeks he defended himself in complete encirclement, taking refuge in the List monastery.
      Having organized aerial reconnaissance, and identifying the weakest section of the enemy, Kozakov broke through the encirclement and joined forces with the Allies. Then he was transferred with the detachment to the area of ​​Dvinsky Bereznik. He took command of the Dvina Aviation Division of the Slavic-British Aviation Corps.
      24.01.1919/1919/XNUMX wounded with a rifle bullet in the chest right through the area of ​​the city of Shenkursk during reconnaissance and until the end of February XNUMX was cured.
      In April 1919, a military pilot Kozakov voluntarily surrendered the command of the Dvina Aviation Division to the British Major Carr, remaining in the post of military pilot of the 1st Slavic-British Aviation Unit. Produced in RAF Majors
      In May 1919, Kozakov participated in the operation to destroy the airfield of the RKKVVF in the area of ​​Puchega station, on the Northern Dvina.
      In July 1919, in connection with the planned evacuation of the allied forces from Russia, he received an offer from the British command to move to England, but refused. He participated in the breakthrough of the Red Front in the area of ​​Kurgomel - the last operation involving allies in the North of Russia.
      19.07.1919/XNUMX/XNUMX, during a sample of a newly repaired Sopvich-Snipe aircraft, at a detachment airfield in Dvinsky Bereznik, it crashed. “With a full turn to the right, the plane went over to the nose and, with the engine running, crashed into the ground near one of the tents.” He died on the spot from a fracture of the spine in the fall. Some sources put forward the version that it was the suicide of the famous Russian ace of the First World War.
      22.07.1919/XNUMX/XNUMX The most successful Russian pilot ace of the First World War Kozakov was buried on the edge of the airfield.

      Ranks and ranks

      Cornet - 05.06.1908/XNUMX/XNUMX
      Lieutenant - 10.09.1911/XNUMX/XNUMX
      Military Pilot - 29.04.1914/XNUMX/XNUMX
      Headquarters-captain - 28.06.1915/XNUMX/XNUMX
      Rotmister - 10.04.1917/XNUMX/XNUMX
      Lieutenant Colonel - 08.09.1917/XNUMX/XNUMX

      Awards

      Order:
      Order of St. Stanislav 3rd degree - VP from 18.08.1913/XNUMX/XNUMX;
      Order of St. Anne of the 3rd degree - VP of 02.04.1915/XNUMX/XNUMX for graduating from the Military Aviation School;
      Order of St. Anne of the 4th degree with the inscription "For Bravery" - VP dated 27.01.1916/1915/XNUMX "for military intelligence on the Ravka River in February and March of XNUMX";
      Order of St. Stanislav of the 2nd degree with swords - Order of the 5th Army No. 659 of 04.07.1916/XNUMX/XNUMX;
      Order of St. Vladimir of the 4th degree with swords and bow - Order on the armies of the Northern Front No. 757 of 07.09.1916/XNUMX/XNUMX;
      Order of St. Anne of the 2nd degree with swords - PAF dated 21.04.1917/1916/XNUMX "for aerial reconnaissance near Dvinsk in January-February XNUMX";
      Order of St. George, 4th degree - PAF dated July 31.07.1917, 8 “for the fact that, being in the rank of staff captain, on December 1916, 2, having taken off on a Nieuport aircraft, such as fighters, to pursue German aircraft appearing above our location, drove off 5 Germans in the Gorokhov area, attacked the third plane near the village of Zaborol, XNUMX versts west of Lutsk, and killed the pilot with two bullets in the head. The apparatus, somehow controlled by a slightly wounded observer, the Austrian lieutenant, fell in our position and was captured by our troops. "

      St. George’s weapons - VP of 28.07.1915 "for the valiant feat of March 18, 1915, expressed in the fact that he took off at his own initiative at the village of Guzov on his own device, chased after the German airplane, which was reconnaissance in our rear and who threw bombs at the Guzovsky airfield, overtook him near the Volya-Shidlovskaya estate, and although he didn’t have time to overturn the enemy with a special anchor, he shot him down, with a clear danger to his own life, by hitting his device on the enemy’s upper plane, resulting in the enemy ceasing to reconnaissance and throwing bombs ".

      During the Civil War, he was awarded:
      English Officer Order "For Military Distinction" - 1918,
      English Order of the Military Cross - 1919,
      English officer cross "For Combat Flight Merit" - 20.03.1919/XNUMX/XNUMX,
      Knight's Cross of the Legion of Honor,
      French "Military Cross" with one palm.
      1. Adjutant
        Adjutant 27 November 2019 21: 46
        +6
        Well done uncle
        1. XII Legion
          XII Legion 28 November 2019 08: 49
          +5
          You are absolutely right.
          Domestic pilots operating on less high-quality equipment are preferable to western ones.
          In the campaign of 14 years, reconnaissance is the main thing on all fronts, and then aviation begins to solve an increasingly important range of tasks
          Not too lazy to bring an interesting text
          By the summer of 1917, by the end of the third year of World War II, the appearance of the Russian army had changed markedly. The troops received steel helmets, hand grenades. More and more bombs and mortars appeared in the trenches. And at the field airfields, lines of brand new fighters were lined up. Fighters. Four sorties per day Fighter aircraft units appeared in Russia by mid-1916. But these were dwarf squadrons, which usually had 3-4 cars, including faulty ones. Only in August, the Combat Air Group of three detachments began to fight in Volyn. The aircraft fleet was also motley. A considerable part of it consisted of vehicles converted from unarmed reconnaissance aircraft. But in the spring of 1917, the detachment's staff was increased from 6 to 10 vehicles. There are already four fighter units - combat air groups. The detachments and groups were equipped with specially built fighters - French biplane "Nieuport", and in July, French, less maneuverable, but faster "Recessions" began to arrive - one of the best fighters in the world then. And the fight in the air became a constant and noticeable feature of the war on the Russian-Austro-German front. Fighters patrolled over the front line, driving off enemy air reconnaissance and artillery spotters, accompanied their scouts, and engaged fighters. On especially busy days, pilots made up to four combat missions. Fourteen became aces - this is how the pilots who shot down at least five planes were called in France, Russia, Italy, the United States. Who were these Russian aces of 1917? Alexander Kazakov (Kozakov) - 19 confirmed aerial victories, Vasily Yanchenko - 16, Ivan Smirnov, Grigory Suk - 10 each, Vladimir Strizhevsky (Strzhizhevsky) - 7 Evgraf Kruten, Ivan Loiko - 6 each, Konstantin Vakulovsky, Yuri Gilscher, Nikolai Kokorin, Alexander Pishvanov, Ernst Lehman, Mikhail Safonov and Pavel Argeev - 52 each. (Historians continue to specify the list of Russian aces and the number of their victories.) It would seem that there are very few aces, not a very impressive number of victories - especially in comparison with opponents and allies. In England with its dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa), five or more victories in that war were counted to more than 536 aviators, in Germany - 360-370, in France - more than 150, in the USA - not less than 108, in Italy - 43, in Austria-Hungary - 303. But ... Western pilots who fought longer than Russians had many times more chances to find a target in the air! Even in the directions of the main Russian strikes in the 1917 campaign - in the southern part of Galicia - there were only 2 Russian and 0,8 German and Austro-Hungarian planes per kilometer of front. But in the period of the British offensive in Picardy in April 1917 - 9 English and 4,5 German; in the French attack zone on the River En and in Champagne in the same month - 25 French and 16 German 5 ... In general, it was much more difficult for Russian pilots to shoot down at least 5 aircraft to Russian pilots than to the western ones. And they were boys by today's standards! Dreamers. Nobles, bourgeois, peasants of the Nine Russian Aces - 21-23 years. By the way - from 25 to 30. And this is quite natural. Ace is a non-standard pilot, and the pilot is a non-standard person. Young people have more strength to perform non-standard actions. Both physical and moral. After all, in flight then they risked their life every second.
  3. Flooding
    Flooding 27 November 2019 22: 44
    0
    It would be interesting to read about the use of flash drives by pilots.
  4. XII Legion
    XII Legion 28 November 2019 08: 49
    +5
    The life path of these 14 clearly demonstrates how far the process of erasing estate partitions has gone in Russia by 1917. Silver or gold officer epaulets with the emblem of military pilots were worn by: - ​​the hereditary nobleman Kazakov and his one-year-old Kokorin, a native of peasants who had only graduated from a parish school; - hereditary nobles Strizhevsky and Vakulovsky, immigrants from intelligent families Gilscher and Suk and peasant Smirnov; - the sons of officers Argeev and Kruten, petty-bourgeois children Yanchenko and Leman, the son of the Cossack Pishvanov, a native of the merchant class Safonov, the son of the Belarusian peasant Loiko. What united them was that everyone came to aviation voluntarily. And all but Argeev (more on that below) - with a passion for flying! "I beg you not to appoint him to the post of chief of the air combat school. I want to be only in [1st battle. - Auth.] Group. Thank you very much for the suggestion. Captain Kazakov "" I love my work, I enter the battle with a bright soul, but I am far from planning. Who knows, if I’m alive, I’ll probably stay in military service, it really got me involved. And I cannot be non-volatile, like a crow without a tail "(from the letter of the warrant officer to his mother dated March 25, 1917)" I believe that I can prove myself on the positive side if I am allowed to start flying training ", - such reports were submitted for a year and a half minder senior non-commissioned officer Kokorin. Warrant Officer Strizhevsky, having crashed in a plane crash in March 1916, asked from reconnaissance aircraft to an even more life-threatening fighter plane. Warrant officer Safonov - "written off" as an adjutant after he barely reached the airfield on September 25, 1916 with a shot in his leg, took off and attacked German seaplanes at every opportunity! After a plane crash in May 1916, Cornet Gilscher was taken off his left leg to the knee, but he obtained permission to continue flying! And he won four of his five victories by pressing the pedal with a prosthesis. Virtuosos. Technique of "falcon strike" The vocation of a pilot was not felt only by the oldest of the fourteen - 30-year-old staff captain Argeev. But after a serious wound in the infantry on the French front, he was taken only to aviation. (The medicine of the time did not yet know what physical and psychological stress the pilot was experiencing ...). Well, in aviation, so in aviation! And all his free time Argeev diligently developed options for his actions in the air. With his signature technique, he made something like a "falcon strike", which was used a quarter of a century later by Alexander Pokryshkin. Do not waste time maneuvering in a horizontal plane, but go ahead! At high speed, furiously attack the enemy from above and, without allowing him to come to his senses, beat at point blank range! But the 22-year-old warrant officer Strizhevsky, on the contrary, maneuvered for a long time and skillfully in order to occupy the most advantageous position for shooting. He was generally famous for his refined piloting technique. This technique clearly helped the 22-year-old warrant officer Smirnov. After all, the first two victories he won on the monoplane "Moran-monocoque" (as they called in Russia "Moran Saulnier I") - very difficult to control ... The 23-year-old warrant officer Yanchenko skillfully worked in the group, repeatedly bringing the enemy under fire from a comrade. The youngest of them - the 21-year-old warrant officer Suk - often flew in tandem with Strizhevsky, but acted more like Argeev. Behind the lines of his letters stands an impetuous schoolboy, deliberately in a careless tone, emphasizing his adulthood. “The boss appreciates me, after today's flight he offered me an asterisk [ie production in ensigns. - Auth.], But I will wait for this luxury yet, and first I will try to hang the Zhorzhik battery ... He, then a 20-year-old junior non-commissioned officer, called the St. George crosses "Zhorzhiki". And he rejoiced at them like a schoolboy: "Today I received" Zhorzhik "- so beautiful! In July 1917, flying daily on combat missions, the schoolboy turned into an experienced air fighter, but he did not get it easily. "I would very much like to go home, to rest my soul a little, otherwise I was very worn out" He would never come home again. Like many of his friends and commanders. Commanders Kazakov's aerial ram 26-year-old Captain Kruten - a small officer in a cap always pushed to the back of his head - on June 6, 1917, having used up fuel, still attacked and shot down the Austro-Hungarian Brandenburg reconnaissance aircraft! Planned it from above with the engine off ... But he was a man of not only energy and will, but also of continuously working thought. He tirelessly summarized the experience of battles. Developed tactics of fighter aircraft. He wrote brochures, transforming from a calm and reserved officer into a passionate fighter for "Russian utility". The correctness of the basic ideas of the commander of the 2nd combat air group was confirmed by the experience of the Second World War. Tactical instructions were also developed by the commander of the 1st combat 28-year-old captain Kazakov, whose modesty made one forget that on March 18, 1915, he repeated the feat of Staff Captain Peter Nesterov - by ramming the German Albatross on an unarmed Moran-J. That it was he who managed to shoot down several "Germans" with a machine gun attached to the fuselage of the Nieuport IX at an upward angle - in order to fire over the propeller rotation disk. If other pilots fired at the enemy plane with him, Kazakov repeatedly gave victory to these others ... Preparing for air victories on the ground and the commander of the 7th fighter squadron, 22-year-old Cornet Gilscher, who designed a simulator for training in air shooting. Commanders and their students were able to lead fighters out of the steepest pique. But four of the 14 aces did not live to see the catastrophic peak of the Empire. Warrant Officer Kokorin died on May 28, 1917 in an unequal battle over Podgaytsy (between Tarnopol and Stanislav - which is now Ternopol and Ivano-Frankivsk). Captain Kruten - most likely wounded in a dogfight - crashed on June 16, 1917 when landing. Cornet Gilscher died July 20, 1917 in an unequal battle over Tarnopol. Warrant Officer Suk crashed on November 15, 1917 during landing. Three weeks have already passed since the October Revolution in Petrograd, but its wave has not yet reached the Romanian Front ... Superfluous. The last flight Ensign Lehman had enough of the first fruits of October. Shocked by the rudeness of "comrade soldiers", he shot himself in December 1917. Ensign Pishvanov clearly believed in the same way as Colonel Vyacheslav Tkachev, the chief of aviation of the active army: one cannot "take part in the state destruction that the invaders of power are carrying with them" - the Bolsheviks. And already in December 1917 he joined the Volunteer Army. Ensign Yanchenko, Lieutenant Loyko and Senior Lieutenant Safonov left there. The ensign Strizhevsky mobilized by the Reds in November 1918 also flew over to the White. Nothing is known about the fate of staff captain Vakulovsky. Staff Captain Argeev returned to France, where he lived before the war, and continued to fight with the Germans. The ensign Smirnov also tried to do this. After a difficult odyssey, Kamenetz-Podolsky - Vladivostok - Singapore - Suez, he was credited to the British Air Force, but then World War I ended ... Lieutenant Colonel Kazakov began to serve in the Red Aviation. But by the summer of 1918 he left for Arkhangelsk, where the British troops landed, so that the Allies sent him to beat the Germans. The British, however, identified him in the Slavic-British air corps, who fought in the Arkhangelsk province with the Reds. And on the eve of the withdrawal of their troops, they suggested joining the British Air Force. But on August 1, 1919, over the Bereznik airfield, Kazakov's "Sopvich-Snipe" went up sharply, hovered and collapsed to the ground. Most witnesses believed this was suicide. Such a grave mistake of piloting the ace could only be made consciously ... Epilogue. Air Carriers Only one of the fourteen Russian aces of the year ended up in their native land after the Civil War: Ivan Loyko returned to the USSR from Yugoslavia in 1923 (where he settled after the defeat of the whites). But the former Wrangel colonel was not given a long job at the flight school. In 1929, Loiko was convicted under article 58, after his release in 1934, a donkey in the Arctic, and then its traces are lost ... Mikhail Safonov hired the aviation of the Manchu dictator Zhang Zolin, and in 1924 died in the Chinese Civil War. Three became "air cabbies": Pavel Argeev - in the French airline, Vladimir Strizhevsky - in the Yugoslavian, Ivan Smirnov - in the Dutch. The first crashed already in 1922, the second - in 1940m, and Smirnov, who flew to Indonesia for many years, shot down by the Japanese off the coast of Australia in 1942, survived until 1956. Alexander Pishvanov worked in the USA as an engineer at firms founded by Russian emigrants. Having survived all the Russian aces of 1917, he died in 1966. A.A. Kazakov and V.I. Yanchenko I.V. Smirnov and G.E. Suk V.I. Strizhevsky and E.N. Kruten I.K. Loiko and K.K. Vakulovsky Yu.V. Gilscher and N.K. Kokorin A.M. Pishvamnov and E.K. Leman M.I. Safonov and P.V. Ageev Tarnorudy District (Galicia), September 9, 1917. Lieutenant Alexander Sveshnikov, commander of the 7th corps squadron of the 2nd combat air group, fights with the German fighter Roland D.II. at Newpore XXII. Novogeorgievsky fortress aviation detachment.
    1. Olgovich
      Olgovich 29 November 2019 07: 31
      -1
      Quote: XII legion
      The life path of these 14 clearly demonstrates how far the process of erasing estate partitions has gone in Russia by 1917. Silver or gold officer epaulets with the emblem of military pilots were worn by: - ​​the hereditary nobleman Kazakov and his one-year-old Kokorin, a native of peasants who had only graduated from a parish school; - hereditary nobles Strizhevsky and Vakulovsky, immigrants from intelligent families Gilscher and Suk and peasant Smirnov; - the sons of officers Argeev and Kruten, petty-bourgeois children Yanchenko and Leman, the son of the Cossack Pishvanov, a native of the merchant class Safonov, the son of the Belarusian peasant Loiko. What united them was that everyone came to aviation voluntarily. And all but Argeev (more on that below) - with a passion for flying! "I beg you not to appoint him to the post of chief of the air combat school. I want to be only in [1st battle. - Auth.] Group. Thank you very much for the suggestion. Captain Kazakov "" I love my work, I enter the battle with a bright soul, but I am far from planning. Who knows, if I’m alive, I’ll probably stay in military service, it really got me involved. And I cannot be non-volatile, like a crow without a tail "(from the letter of the warrant officer to his mother dated March 25, 1917)" I believe that I can prove myself on the positive side if I am allowed to start flying training ", - such reports were submitted for a year and a half minder senior non-commissioned officer Kokorin. Warrant Officer Strizhevsky, having crashed in a plane crash in March 1916, asked from reconnaissance aircraft to an even more life-threatening fighter plane. Warrant officer Safonov - "written off" as an adjutant after he barely reached the airfield on September 25, 1916 with a shot in his leg, took off and attacked German seaplanes at every opportunity! After a plane crash in May 1916, Cornet Gilscher was taken off his left leg to the knee, but he obtained permission to continue flying! And he won four of his five victories by pressing the pedal with a prosthesis. Virtuosos. Technique of "falcon strike" The vocation of a pilot was not felt only by the oldest of the fourteen - 30-year-old staff captain Argeev. But after a serious wound in the infantry on the French front, he was taken only to aviation. (The medicine of the time did not yet know what physical and psychological stress the pilot was experiencing ...). Well, in aviation, so in aviation! And all his free time Argeev diligently developed options for his actions in the air. With his signature technique, he made something like a "falcon strike", which was used a quarter of a century later by Alexander Pokryshkin. Do not waste time maneuvering in a horizontal plane, but go ahead! At high speed, furiously attack the enemy from above and, without allowing him to come to his senses, beat at point blank range! But the 22-year-old warrant officer Strizhevsky, on the contrary, maneuvered for a long time and skillfully in order to occupy the most advantageous position for shooting. He was generally famous for his refined piloting technique. This technique clearly helped the 22-year-old warrant officer Smirnov. After all, the first two victories he won on the monoplane "Moran-monocoque" (as they called in Russia "Moran Saulnier I") - very difficult to control ... The 23-year-old warrant officer Yanchenko skillfully worked in the group, repeatedly bringing the enemy under fire from a comrade. The youngest of them - the 21-year-old warrant officer Suk - often flew in tandem with Strizhevsky, but acted more like Argeev. Behind the lines of his letters stands an impetuous schoolboy, deliberately in a careless tone, emphasizing his adulthood. “The boss appreciates me, after today's flight he offered me an asterisk [ie production in ensigns. - Auth.], But I will wait for this luxury yet, and first I will try to hang the Zhorzhik battery ... He, then a 20-year-old junior non-commissioned officer, called the St. George crosses "Zhorzhiki". And he rejoiced at them like a schoolboy: "Today I received" Zhorzhik "- so beautiful! In July 1917, flying daily on combat missions, the schoolboy turned into an experienced air fighter, but he did not get it easily. "I would very much like to go home, to rest my soul a little, otherwise I was very worn out" He would never come home again. Like many of his friends and commanders. Commanders Kazakov's aerial ram 26-year-old Captain Kruten - a small officer in a cap always pushed to the back of his head - on June 6, 1917, having used up fuel, still attacked and shot down the Austro-Hungarian Brandenburg reconnaissance aircraft! Planned it from above with the engine off ... But he was a man of not only energy and will, but also of continuously working thought. He tirelessly summarized the experience of battles. Developed tactics of fighter aircraft. He wrote brochures, transforming from a calm and reserved officer into a passionate fighter for "Russian utility". The correctness of the basic ideas of the commander of the 2nd combat air group was confirmed by the experience of the Second World War. Tactical instructions were also developed by the commander of the 1st combat 28-year-old captain Kazakov, whose modesty made one forget that on March 18, 1915, he repeated the feat of Staff Captain Peter Nesterov - by ramming the German Albatross on an unarmed Moran-J. That it was he who managed to shoot down several "Germans" with a machine gun attached to the fuselage of the Nieuport IX at an upward angle - in order to fire over the propeller rotation disk. If other pilots fired at the enemy plane with him, Kazakov repeatedly gave victory to these others ... Preparing for air victories on the ground and the commander of the 7th fighter squadron, 22-year-old Cornet Gilscher, who designed a simulator for training in air shooting. Commanders and their students were able to lead fighters out of the steepest pique. But four of the 14 aces did not live to see the catastrophic peak of the Empire. Warrant Officer Kokorin died on May 28, 1917 in an unequal battle over Podgaytsy (between Tarnopol and Stanislav - which is now Ternopol and Ivano-Frankivsk). Captain Kruten - most likely wounded in a dogfight - crashed on June 16, 1917 when landing. Cornet Gilscher died July 20, 1917 in an unequal battle over Tarnopol. Warrant Officer Suk crashed on November 15, 1917 during landing. Three weeks have already passed since the October Revolution in Petrograd, but its wave has not yet reached the Romanian Front ... Superfluous. The last flight Ensign Lehman had enough of the first fruits of October. Shocked by the rudeness of "comrade soldiers", he shot himself in December 1917. Ensign Pishvanov clearly believed in the same way as Colonel Vyacheslav Tkachev, the chief of aviation of the active army: one cannot "take part in the state destruction that the invaders of power are carrying with them" - the Bolsheviks. And already in December 1917 he joined the Volunteer Army. Ensign Yanchenko, Lieutenant Loyko and Senior Lieutenant Safonov left there. The ensign Strizhevsky mobilized by the Reds in November 1918 also flew over to the White. Nothing is known about the fate of staff captain Vakulovsky. Staff Captain Argeev returned to France, where he lived before the war, and continued to fight with the Germans. The ensign Smirnov also tried to do this. After a difficult odyssey, Kamenetz-Podolsky - Vladivostok - Singapore - Suez, he was credited to the British Air Force, but then World War I ended ... Lieutenant Colonel Kazakov began to serve in the Red Aviation. But by the summer of 1918 he left for Arkhangelsk, where the British troops landed, so that the Allies sent him to beat the Germans. The British, however, identified him in the Slavic-British air corps, who fought in the Arkhangelsk province with the Reds. And on the eve of the withdrawal of their troops, they suggested joining the British Air Force. But on August 1, 1919, over the Bereznik airfield, Kazakov's "Sopvich-Snipe" went up sharply, hovered and collapsed to the ground. Most witnesses believed this was suicide. Such a grave mistake of piloting the ace could only be made consciously ... Epilogue. Air Carriers Only one of the fourteen Russian aces of the year ended up in their native land after the Civil War: Ivan Loyko returned to the USSR from Yugoslavia in 1923 (where he settled after the defeat of the whites). But the former Wrangel colonel was not given a long job at the flight school. In 1929, Loiko was convicted under article 58, after his release in 1934, a donkey in the Arctic, and then its traces are lost ... Mikhail Safonov hired the aviation of the Manchu dictator Zhang Zolin, and in 1924 died in the Chinese Civil War. Three became "air cabbies": Pavel Argeev - in the French airline, Vladimir Strizhevsky - in the Yugoslavian, Ivan Smirnov - in the Dutch. The first crashed already in 1922, the second - in 1940m, and Smirnov, who flew to Indonesia for many years, shot down by the Japanese off the coast of Australia in 1942, survived until 1956. Alexander Pishvanov worked in the USA as an engineer at firms founded by Russian emigrants. Having survived all the Russian aces of 1917, he died in 1966. A.A. Kazakov and V.I. Yanchenko I.V. Smirnov and G.E. Suk V.I. Strizhevsky and E.N. Kruten I.K. Loiko and K.K. Vakulovsky Yu.V. Gilscher and N.K. Kokorin A.M. Pishvamnov and E.K. Leman M.I. Safonov and P.V. Ageev Tarnorudy District (Galicia), September 9, 1917. Lieutenant Alexander Sveshnikov, commander of the 7th corps squadron of the 2nd combat air group, fights with the German fighter Roland D.II. at Newpore XXII. Novogeorgievsky fortress aviation detachment.

      Thank you for a wonderful interesting comment. hi
  5. Olgovich
    Olgovich 29 November 2019 07: 39
    0
    Ah, what a necessary, interesting topic and article, our aviation in the skies of WWII!

    I really hope that in the series of articles the little-studied topic of Russian naval military aviation will be reflected.

    After all, Russia is the WORLD leader sea aviation of that time and that war: the world's first naval fighter, bomber, the world's first AUG, one of the most powerful carrier fleets in the world - Russian, etc.

    The author never ceases to amaze! hi
  6. The comment was deleted.