Aces in the Red Army


In the Red Army, the command of the Air Force was categorized as aces-pilots rather contradictory: on the one hand, they were supported, because they were the pride of the Air Force, the whole country, "Stalin's falcons." They were financially encouraged - the pilots were paid cash bonuses for each shot down plane, for a certain number of shot down planes were presented for awards. On the other hand, the command was rather indifferent to the process of counting downed enemies and personal accounts of the pilots. Although reporting in the army flourished and became more and more complicated, the process did not touch the pilots, the pilots still wrote about the air battles in the freestyle.


When the statistics looked absolutely fantastic, the command "threw lightning." That is, for the command of the pilot’s account, their victories were not the main thing - the main thing was to complete the task, to support the ground forces. In the Field Charter of the Red Army was spelled out: "The main task aviation is to contribute to the success of ground forces in combat and operations. ” That is, the main thing was to support ground forces, and not destroy enemy aircraft in the air, at airfields, conducting individual "hunting." In general, it was the right strategy - supporting their troops, covering strike aircraft.

Therefore, quite often the first victories of future aces were later not confirmed. The first shot down aircraft (or shot down "in mind") gave the pilot psychological certainty in the following battles. He was already a “predator”, he was not afraid, but he was looking for the enemy, maneuvered with more confidence. Yesterday's cadet became an "old man." Naturally, the command understood this.

Help: Ac - master of air combat, from Fr. as is an ace; first in its field. This word was first used in the First World War, so began to call the pilots, exceptionally well mastered the art of piloting and air combat, shot down at least 5 enemy aircraft. According to another version, the word As comes from the ancient German-Scandinavian mythology - from the word Asa, the gods who lived in the heavenly city of Asgard. The best ace, according to the number of victories, of the First World War was the German Manfred von Richthofen - 80 victories.

The Soviet command chose the right strategy - this confirms the war and its outcome. In 1944-1945 years, the Soviet bomber, assault aircraft made thousands of sorties, could almost with impunity bomb the positions of the Wehrmacht ground forces. It happened that German fighters did not even appear. The German tactics were flawed - they lacked neither airplanes nor pilots to close all directions, their fighter squadrons were thrown from place to place. The Luftwaffe did not solve the task of covering their troops, carrying out a shock impact on the enemy’s forces. Small groups of aces simply physically could not solve these problems. They could quickly score bills, acting on the principle of “hit and run” (the favorite principle of the most successful German experts in the number of E. Hartmann planes shot down), but the losses of the Soviet Air Force, due to their mass character, were higher from piloting errors and technical malfunctions, than from the effects of the aces of the enemy.

Naturally, in the mass air forces of the USSR, the average level of training fell. In addition, mass-produced airplanes, unlike piecework for aces, lost the high performance of experimental machines, their quality declined. Due to the shortage of materials, it was necessary to replace parts with wood and steel (the famous “Russ-plywood”). The need to provide a large amount of fuel to the equipment led to a reduction in fuel requirements, if the test vehicles flew 100 octane gasoline, then the octane number 78 was supplied for production cars. This fuel further reduced engine power, the aircraft's flight qualities fell. But mass production gave the elite of the people (and the pilots are the elite of the nation) a good means of warfare. They could defend ground troops, strike at enemy positions, got a chance in the end to become aces.

By the way, this is a feature of the Russian civilization - a priority of the common over the individual, personal. The strategy was based not on groups of aces pilots, but on massive air forces. They are more resistant to the loss of technology, people. The creation of the superas is a matter of several years, but there is no time in the war. In the Soviet mobilization plan 1941, the loss of the pilots was rightly assumed to be the highest among the combat arms. Therefore, the command and paid so much attention to create mechanisms for effective and rapid replenishment of losses of the Air Force in personnel and materiel.

Aces in the Red Army

Vitaly Popkov, personal victories: 47. Amazing man, one of the victories was won by Vitaly Ivanovich ram. Facts from the biography of V. I. Popkov formed the basis of the film by Leonid Bykov "Only some" old men "go into battle."
Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Lieutenant General Aviation.

Koldunov Alexander Ivanovich, 46 victories, Twice hero of the Soviet Union. Chief Marshal of the USSR Aviation.

Skomorokhov Nikolai Mikhailovich, 46 wins, twice Hero of the Soviet Union. Air Marshal.

Sources of:
Bodrikhin N. G. Soviet aces. Essays on Soviet pilots
Isaev. A. Antisuvorov. Ten myths of the Second World War. M., 2006.
Emir Usein Chalbash. Forge fight! Soviet Aces vs Luftwaffe. M., 2010.
http://www.airwar.ru/history/aces/ace2ww/skyknight.html
http://www.allaces.ru/
http://wio.ru/aces/ace2rus.htm
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11 comments
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  1. datur 3 June 2011 17: 24 New
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    yes there were heroes.
    1. plotnikov561956 1 January 2012 13: 15 New
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      A.I. Pokryshkin, personally shot down by 59, raised more than 30 Heroes of the Soviet Union, 2 of them Heroes twice. He developed tactics for fighter aircraft, the elements of which are still used today. He was named President Roosevelt the greatest pilot of the 2nd World War, fought from 1941-1945, was not shot down, did not lose a single wingman. The Pleiad of Heroes whom he raised destroyed more than 400 enemy aircraft. In 1945, the colonel three times Hero of the Soviet Union, the commander of the air division.
  2. Order 7 November 2011 21: 55 New
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    I could be mistaken, but I read somewhere: the most productive Soviet pilot, the last name seems to be Fedorov, I don’t remember the middle name, the commander of the aviation penalty unit. Following the results of three wars; Spain, Patriotic, Korea, personal winning score for a hundred ...
    1. His
      His 7 November 2011 21: 58 New
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      Kozhedub three times Hero of the Soviet Union
      1. plotnikov561956 1 January 2012 13: 21 New
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        I. Kozhedub - three times Hero of the Soviet Union, personally shot down 62, fought 1943-1945, major deputy commander of the Proskurovsky regiment
    2. Banshee 1 January 2012 13: 46 New
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      What is an aviation penalty unit?
      Never heard of such.
      On the contrary, in the memoirs of pilots, he often read that it was useless to threaten them with a penal battalion, every day they went under death.
  3. Banshee 1 January 2012 14: 21 New
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    In general, the article is correct, but I would challenge a couple of points.

    in the mass air forces of the USSR, the average level of training dipped.

    Quite the contrary, the average level was at the proper height. The Soviet Air Force did not need a handful of aces that could not be replaced. The training system took place both before the war and during. ZAP for what existed?

    We didn’t have hartmans and similar “athletes”, but there was just enough trained pilots for if not destruction, then at least to repulse these aces. Therefore, by 1944, the aces of the Germans began to "end".

    Yes, the loss of a commander / ace is a difficult thing when Boris Safonov died in 42, for some reason his regiment did not dissolve the snot, but began to avenge his beloved commander. And the performance has not deteriorated. Unlike the same Green Asses JG-54. When the best green ace Otto Kittel (257 victories) was taken away by Major Stepanenko (30 I victory, by the way). the phrase was said by Heinz Cordez, "We are now without Otto's end." Yes, of course, the end would have come anyway, both with Kittel and without. One megaas would not have pulled the whole group, one hell.

    Or JG-52. Yes, tough guys, no words. Hartman (352), Barkhorn (301), Rally (275), Count (212), Lynnert (202). There is no dispute, in battles over the Prut our people were very badly hit. BUT: to "pacify" the JG-52 threw the 9 guards air division. Pokryshkina. So what? Exchange (official) 6: 1 is by no means in favor of the Germans. Lynert, poor thing, later complained in his memoirs how hard they had to. And who of our Barkhorn shot down, did not find out at all. Shot down - and okay.

    And our did not shout in the radio "Schuher, Hartman in the air !!" This was yelled by the Germans about whom? Here it is ...
    Ours did not care who hangs out there. "Air workers wars." It was necessary to do the thing, and the thing was done. And not aces.
  4. Kaetani 7 January 2012 16: 06 New
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    Banshee I agree completely !!!
  5. akkash
    akkash 2 December 2012 19: 32 New
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    The article is completely incorrect on the following points.

    1. The Air Force Command has always been positive about aces. They were given bonuses for shot down enemy planes. Gratitude was announced and awards were presented for fulfilling the back.
    2. The accounting process was very serious. In the memoirs of Pokryshkin and Skomorokhov (Kozhedub’s memoirs have not yet been read) it is said that in order to record the enemy’s downed plane in his personal account, he needed exposure from the ground forces or other military personnel. Confirmation of a downed aircraft over enemy territory was very complicated. Therefore, each of our aces missed a dozen victories in the official account.
    3. Unlike the German Air Force, the Soviet Air Force set tasks in support of troops on the ground. It was necessary to bring down the bombers before striking, and not to catch them on one of the crumbling system when returning after striking. It was necessary to cover their attack aircraft from fighters, and not to look for individual fighters returning to the airfield with empty tanks. It was necessary for fighters in the interests of the troops to conduct reconnaissance and storm the enemy’s troops, and not to fly on a free hunt.
    4. Low-octane gas was due to the fact that metallurgists could not make spalva that could withstand higher temperatures. After all, the greater the octane number, the more heat is released. And without special alloys, designers are only "free artists" and creators of victory.

    5. And the last. After receiving the rank of senior officer of all Soviet aces, the command immediately relocated from the seats of the fighters to the tables of the regimental headquarters. To further realize their talent and ability, commanding and training young and future aces, and not engage in individualism.

    In general, the article is raw and superficial. The author is a big minus. I ask visitors to join.
  6. December
    December 11 September 2013 15: 27 New
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    Yes, the arguments are correct, but I would not say that it is necessary to minus it. the main idea of ​​the article is conveyed correctly.
  7. Ivan Zorin 4 January 2020 02: 29 New
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    Quote: Banshee
    In general, the article is correct, but I would challenge a couple of points.

    in the mass air forces of the USSR, the average level of training dipped.

    Quite the contrary, the average level was at the proper height. The Soviet Air Force did not need a handful of aces that could not be replaced. The training system took place both before the war and during. ZAP for what existed?

    We didn’t have hartmans and similar “athletes”, but there was just enough trained pilots for if not destruction, then at least to repulse these aces. Therefore, by 1944, the aces of the Germans began to "end".

    Yes, the loss of a commander / ace is a difficult thing when Boris Safonov died in 42, for some reason his regiment did not dissolve the snot, but began to avenge his beloved commander. And the performance has not deteriorated. Unlike the same Green Asses JG-54. When the best green ace Otto Kittel (257 victories) was taken away by Major Stepanenko (30 I victory, by the way). the phrase was said by Heinz Cordez, "We are now without Otto's end." Yes, of course, the end would have come anyway, both with Kittel and without. One megaas would not have pulled the whole group, one hell.

    Or JG-52. Yes, tough guys, no words. Hartman (352), Barkhorn (301), Rally (275), Count (212), Lynnert (202). There is no dispute, in battles over the Prut our people were very badly hit. BUT: to "pacify" the JG-52 threw the 9 guards air division. Pokryshkina. So what? Exchange (official) 6: 1 is by no means in favor of the Germans. Lynert, poor thing, later complained in his memoirs how hard they had to. And who of our Barkhorn shot down, did not find out at all. Shot down - and okay.

    And our did not shout in the radio "Schuher, Hartman in the air !!" This was yelled by the Germans about whom? Here it is ...
    Ours did not care who hangs out there. "Air workers wars." It was necessary to do the thing, and the thing was done. And not aces.

    Exactly!!!