Aviation component of the Battle of Kursk


One of the most difficult battles of the Great Patriotic War was the Battle of Kursk. In its course, the question was actually decided whether the enemy, who was defeated in Stalingrad, would be able to regroup his forces and again go on the offensive in the territory of the Soviet Union. The Soviet troops did everything to ensure that the Nazis suffered another major defeat and no longer thought about any serious offensive operations.


When it comes to the Battle of Kursk, many Russians associate it first with tank the battle at Prokhorovka. Often overlooked aviation component of the battle at Kursk. And this component was more than significant. Six air armies took part in the Battle of Kursk. Defensive operation - three air armies: the 16th Army of the Central Air Front, the 2nd Air Army of the Voronezh Front and the 17th Air Army of the Southwestern Front. Offensive operation - the 15th Air Army of the Bryansk Front, significant forces of the 1st Air Army of the Western Front of General Mikhail Gromov, and the 5th Air Army of the Steppe Front were added.

Historian and writer Vitaly Gorbach tells in all the details about the aviation component of the Kursk battle. His story on the Tactic Media channel reports on the total number of aircraft involved, on the organization of the aviation phase of the operation by the Soviet and German commands, and on the pilot training system.


Photos used:
Wikipedia / Mike1979 Russia
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  1. prior 31 July 2020 12: 22 New
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    There was not and could not be such a "parrot" coloring of combat aircraft in the Red Army, as in the photo published for the article.
    Maximum stars for knocked down, on the fuselage.
    This is an unfortunate imitation of the Americans.
    1. Insurgent 31 July 2020 12: 26 New
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      When it comes to the Battle of Kursk, many Russians associate it first with the tank battle at Prokhorovka. The aviation component of the Battle of Kursk is often overlooked. And this component was more than significant. Six air armies took part in the Battle of Kursk. Defensive operation - three air armies: the 16th Army of the Central Air Front, the 2nd Air Army of the Voronezh Front and the 17th Air Army of the Southwestern Front. Offensive operation - the 15th Air Army of the Bryansk Front, significant forces of the 1st Air Army of the Western Front of General Mikhail Gromov, and the 5th Air Army of the Steppe Front were added.

      In the sky, over the field of the Battle of Kursk, the Star of the famous ace of the Great Patriotic War - Kozhedub I.N.
    2. AU Ivanov. 31 July 2020 12: 27 New
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      In Alelyukhin's GIAP there were grinning predators on the fighters. On the plane of Kostylev - shark mouth. This is not imitation - a psychological impact on the enemy.
      1. Insurgent 31 July 2020 12: 30 New
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        Quote: AU Ivanov.
        In Alelyukhin's GIAP there were grinning predators on the fighters. On the plane of Kostylev - shark mouth. This is not imitation - a psychological impact on the enemy.

        yes
        La - 5F of the Guards Major G.D. Kostylev 4th Guards IAP KBF, summer 1944.

      2. Liam 31 July 2020 12: 31 New
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        Quote: AU Ivanov.
        In Alelyukhin's GIAP there were grinning predators on the fighters. On the plane of Kostylev - shark mouth. This is not imitation - a psychological impact on the enemy.

        Did they come close to fight at arm's length to see all these scribbles and be impressed?
        1. AU Ivanov. 31 July 2020 12: 34 New
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          They were getting closer. Pokryshev taught the young to open fire on the enemy when the rivets were already visible. That is, from the pistol distance.
          1. Liam 31 July 2020 12: 42 New
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            ))))
            Read from which side they had to converge for this.
            People who kill every day and risk being killed every day cannot be impressed with drawings either.
            1. AU Ivanov. 31 July 2020 12: 43 New
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              There are no experienced aces, but it will turn out to drive the young into a stupor. The sirens on Stukas were set for a reason.
              1. Liam 31 July 2020 12: 47 New
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                A pilot who falls into a stupor because of the scribbles drawn on the plane, which in 999 cases out of a thousand he will not see in battle, will be shot down long before he approaches the enemy plane.
              2. Train 31 July 2020 18: 12 New
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                There were no sirens
                1. AU Ivanov. 31 July 2020 18: 45 New
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                  There were sirens on the Ju-87. The siren impellers were in the landing gear. The siren turned on together with the release of the brake grids and signaled their release, so that if the dive machine fails, the pilot does not forget to remove them at the output. And everyone who came under the attack of dive bombers could tell about their psychological impact.
                  1. Train 1 August 2020 17: 51 New
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                    Well, let's say it's not sirens as such then.
              3. Siberian54 2 August 2020 06: 37 New
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                The siren on pieces - the pilot by tone determined his speed and the moment of exiting the dive, the rest was secondary.
            2. Insurgent 31 July 2020 12: 47 New
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              Quote: Liam
              People who kill every day and risk being killed every day cannot be impressed with drawings either.

              Did everyone manage to become real pilots (on both sides), because very many had only a few combat missions, and sometimes the first flight before death ...
            3. saigon 31 July 2020 17: 16 New
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              Have you heard about camouflage?
        2. Viktor Sergeev 31 July 2020 13: 03 New
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          Effective fire in WWII: 50-100 meters, and sometimes they came even closer if the pilot was an ace, and even in battle, fighters generally walked a few meters away.
    3. Viktor Sergeev 31 July 2020 13: 01 New
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      You are completely wrong, it was a similar coloring that was done: the bottom is blue, from the top is the color of the earth, for spring it is the most. In general, there were no colorings, sometimes bright colors were better than green, which was perfectly visible at high altitudes.
    4. svp67 31 July 2020 13: 12 New
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      Quote: prior
      There was not and could not be such a "parrot" coloring of combat aircraft in Krasnaya

      Read the memoirs of our military pilots of that time ... and nothing like that. Kozhedub's regiment flew on "La" with bright red noses, so that in air combat it would be better to distinguish their planes from German ones ...
      The stormtroopers carried various drawings, one depicted a boiling cauldron and the devil holding Goebbels, when turning the rudder it seemed that Goebbels was being dunked into the cauldron, and there was a lot.
      And on account of the "shark muzzle" on Soviet fighters ...

      Look at this photo carefully, especially at the fighter behind them, a piece of this "muzzle" is clearly visible
      1. Insurgent 31 July 2020 13: 22 New
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        Quote: svp67
        And on account of the "shark muzzle" on Soviet fighters ...

        "Reconstruction" and real photographs of graphic art on the aircraft of the USSR Air Force during the Second World War.







        1. AU Ivanov. 31 July 2020 18: 54 New
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          There is such a book-album: "The planes of the Soviet aces. The war paint of the" Stalin's falcons "Everything is clear there.
      2. prior 31 July 2020 13: 31 New
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        Kozhedub became Kozhedub after the Battle of Kursk, in these battles he shot down the first fascist.
        Before the Battle of Kursk, I think, there was no time for aircraft painting.
        They began to paint decals after the Normandy-Niemen, in order to distinguish their own, and also, looking at the Americans, in the process of their bombing raids from Poltava.
        But maybe I'm a little mistaken, I haven't seen it myself, but the newsreels of those years are black and white.
        1. svp67 31 July 2020 13: 34 New
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          Quote: prior
          They began to paint decals after Normandy-Niemen, in order to distinguish their own,

          They began to draw when they believed in their own strength. Any such "painted" plane became the first target for the enemy, so the one who applied such a coloring to himself challenged the enemy
        2. saigon 31 July 2020 17: 18 New
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          In Safonov's regiment, they painted the same before Normandy - the Niemen, right in 1941.
        3. Doctor 31 July 2020 19: 08 New
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          Kozhedub became Kozhedub after the Battle of Kursk, in these battles he shot down the first fascist.
          Before the Battle of Kursk, I think, there was no time for aircraft painting.
          They began to paint decals after the Normandy-Niemen, in order to distinguish their own, and also, looking at the Americans, in the process of their bombing raids from Poltava.

          Maybe. Here is a photo of the La-5 monument in Urazovo, Belgorod region, where Kozhedub began his journey. The coloring is historically accurate and simple.

    5. tihonmarine 31 July 2020 13: 22 New
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      Quote: prior
      Maximum stars for knocked down, on the fuselage.
      This is an unfortunate imitation of the Americans.

      Well why, look

      1. prior 31 July 2020 14: 01 New
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        I agree. But judging by the number of stars, this is not on the eve of the Battle of Kursk, but much later.
        1. tihonmarine 31 July 2020 14: 32 New
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          Quote: prior
          I agree. But judging by the number of stars, this is not on the eve of the Battle of Kursk, but much

          I don't know, maybe after the Battle of Kursk. But in the photo at the beginning of the article, it looks like this is the plane of the Hero of the Soviet Union Georgy Dmitrievich Kostylev.

          Kostylev G.D. shot down, according to official figures, from 46 to 54 enemy aircraft. Flying since the beginning of the war, in 1944, he was appointed an inspector of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet Air Force, had no right to combat flights, but he managed to fly out and shoot down the enemy, but he gave these shot down planes to his partners. A very interesting fate is a man and a pilot from God. Little has been written about him, and now if any of our aviation historians on the website could do it and write an article, it would be very correct not to forget the memory of such an air fighter.
    6. Doctor 31 July 2020 18: 43 New
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      There was not and could not be such a "parrot" coloring of combat aircraft in the Red Army, as in the photo published for the article.
      Maximum stars for knocked down, on the fuselage.
      This is an unfortunate imitation of the Americans.

      Real La-7 Kozheduba. The camouflage is visible, but not as sharp.

    7. hohol95 31 July 2020 21: 27 New
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      LaGG-3 of the 66th series 9 guiaps!
      Look at the photographs of the wartime and see all the variety of camouflage colors used in the Red Army Air Force!
    8. Revival 31 July 2020 22: 10 New
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      I agree, but I will note that at least one with a "shark mouth" was, but in the "Normandy Niemen".
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  3. Pavel57 31 July 2020 12: 27 New
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    It would be interesting to see the breakdown by aircraft type.
  4. Cyril G ... 31 July 2020 12: 31 New
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    Why didn't the authors of the article attach links to the third and fourth parts of Gorbach's interview? Laziness?
    1. Igoresha 1 August 2020 18: 52 New
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      it would be better for his book, there are different details
  5. novel66 31 July 2020 12: 43 New
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    tank battle at Prokhorovka
    , which in fact was the beating of the tank army by the pre-prepared anti-tank positions of the Germans, and the aviation did not work so hot. there is evidence that the 87s literally hunted for single guns and tanks, with the connivance of our
    1. alexey alexeyev_2 31 July 2020 13: 14 New
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      Well, about the work of aviation, you are wrong. Most of the German tanks near Kursk were destroyed by aviation. Before the battle, anti-tank bombs PTAB entered service with the Red Army. The small dimensions allowed them to take dozens of aircraft on board. A squadron of silt will fly over the heads of the Germans with these bombs and looking at the heels of tanks And these bombs poured almost a million on the Germans .. The armor on top of any tank is weak ..
      1. novel66 31 July 2020 13: 25 New
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        I mean fighters, the cover was bad
        1. sevryuk 31 July 2020 18: 04 New
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          Everything was bad. It is unclear why the Germans retreated. Some fools, right now they would drink Bavarian crying
      2. Free wind 31 July 2020 14: 12 New
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        Official data 2-3 percent of the loss of armored vehicles of the Germans, from the actions of our aviation.
        1. Cyril G ... 31 July 2020 15: 14 New
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          Like about 5 percent? Although at the beginning and in the middle of the war with the defeat of tanks, we generally had a full Achtung, so the percentage of tanks destroyed during the Battle of Kursk could have been slightly higher
        2. saigon 31 July 2020 17: 21 New
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          Well, only after the attacks by PTABs, the tank units of the Wehrmacht switched to more dispersed battle formations.
          1. alexey alexeyev_2 31 July 2020 23: 35 New
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            Dispersed battle formations? Do not flatter the Wehrmacht ... The level of training of the generals of the Wehrmacht was not very different from the graduates of the AGSH RKKA. After the Battle of Kursk, the Red Army got as trophies more than 500 tanks of various modifications awaiting repair in German tank repair units. And the Germans had it at their best. after the battle near Prokhorovka, the SVG commission was unkemptly struck. Not a single knocked-out German tank was found. Hans evacuated all the knocked-out tanks overnight and within a day more than half were put into operation
            1. saigon 1 August 2020 06: 55 New
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              The transition to dispersed orders is directly indicated in the German manuals for tank and motorized units.
              Let me tell you a little secret, the Germans did not have anything like our officers' schools and academies, they did not exist at all.
  6. Train 31 July 2020 18: 20 New
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    Excellent lectures - give an idea of ​​the scale and the battle for the sky over the Kursk Bulge itself
  7. Zaurbek 1 August 2020 09: 17 New
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    I recently watched the movie "Midway" ... Why not make our normal film about battles in the air? Moreover, there is something to shoot about.
    1. Narak-zempo 1 August 2020 18: 53 New
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      Quote: Zaurbek
      I recently watched the movie "Midway" ... Why not make our normal film about battles in the air? Moreover, there is something to shoot about.

      "Midway" in 1976 is just something very similar to the Soviet films about the war of the same years.
      1. Zaurbek 1 August 2020 20: 13 New
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        2019 ....