In World War I, Kaiser Germany armed its airplanes with machine guns and horrified humanity first. weapons mass destruction - bomber aviation, from which hundreds of people died and crippled in an instant, collapsed at home with its residents.
“Everything was burning - amazing picture! - with barbarous enthusiasm, German ace Manfred von Richthofen recalls his bombardments on the Eastern Front in his book The Red Fighter by the bloody color of his Fokker. - The Russians were planning an offensive, and the station (station Manevichi. - L.ZH.) was packed with trains. There came a joyful anticipation of the bombing ... "
How could Russian pilots who flew on unarmed French “moraines” and “Newpores” could protect the troops and civilians? Received from the military department of Russia an inexplicable denial of armament of Russian aviation - "according to the instructions are not allowed"? They drove bombers away with pistols, frightened them with a collision, threatened with fists in powerlessness ... Back in August 1914, headquarters captain Peter Nesterov, world-famous for his dead loop, first in the world decided on a deadly risk - the Austrian "albatross" who dropped the bomb on the aerodrome ram punch. And - he died ... But the tragic seal of death from the perilous reception was removed by 1 of April (according to the new style) 1915 of the year, the captain Alexander Kazakov: “albatross” dumped from the sky with the “nesterov” strike of the wheels from above and landed on his airfield.
The Soviet official history kept silent about this second, victorious ram, as captain Kazakov in 1918 passed from the Red Army, from the beginning of Leon Trotsky, to the British-Slavic Corps, formed by the British in Arkhangelsk, to be redeployed to France for war with the Germans. But he was thrown against the Red Army.
Soviet history was silent about the very name of Kazakov, on whose account - 32 victories in the sky of the First World War and 1-place among the Russian aces. Foreign - described the outlandish device, how he shot down, even before the ram, the 5 of Russian enemy's airplanes. At the same time making mistakes in the names, reducing the number of victories. Thus, in the mini-encyclopedia by James Prunje "Great Pilots" it is reported:
“Alexander Kazabov. Russian ace 1915 (later the owner of 17 victories), who invented an original way of sending his enemies to the ground: from his “moral” he dropped an anchor on a rope, which he tore off the wings of the enemy's airplanes ”.
Aleksei Shiukov, a Russian pilot and aircraft designer, only at the end of World War II, in the battles of which more than 500 Soviet falcons defeated the enemy with a battering ram, could publish in the journal Vestnik Vozdushnogo fleet»Their memories of the fearless and inventive Kazakov, of his first air battle:
“Having caught up with the German plane, he released the cat and hooked it with the paw of the wing of an enemy machine. But against expectations, the cable did not immediately fall off, and both cars turned out to be connected as it were. The German pilot with a "cat" in the body began to fall and pull Kazakov's plane behind him. And only self-control helped him to wreck the cable in several movements, to unhook from the enemy and go to the landing. ”
In the memoirs of the commander of the squadron, Esaula Vyacheslav Tkachev, published only in the post-perestroika period, the report of Captain Kazakov about the sixth duel ended with a ram was reproduced:
“But the damned“ cat ”got hooked and dangles under the bottom of the plane. Two fronts - forty thousand eyes, Russian and German, watching from the trenches! Then I decided to hit the "albatross" with wheels from above, - the calm Kazakov continued the report. - Without thinking twice, gave the wheel down. Something exploded, pushed, whistled ... hit a piece of the wing from the wing of my "moral" in my elbow. The Albatross leaned to its side first, then folded its wings and flew down like a stone. I turned off the motor - there was no single blade on my screw. I started planning ... I lost my orientation, and only from the shrapnel breaks did I guess where the Russian front was. He sat down, parachuting, but turned on the ground. It turns out that the impact of the wheels was so strong that the chassis was concave under the wings. "
The effect of ram attacks, adopted only by Soviet pilots for two cases: if the ammunition ran out or if the onboard weapon failed, it had a striking psychological effect on the enemy. Hitler's ace, for example, from the autumn of 1941, was recommended not to approach our hawks closer than 100 m - in order to avoid a ram. And in 1915, after the ram of Kazakov, the German command appointed a special prize for the destruction of the “Russian Cossack”. One of the German pilots shot down by him reported that, returning from captivity, he would be proud to tell: he was struck down by the “Russian Cossack himself”.
The captain Kazakov was promoted to staff captain for a ramming battle, rewarded with the highly esteemed cross of the Order of St. George the Victorious and the St. George weapon - a blade with the inscription “For Bravery” in Russia. The orders are supposed to be washed, but the ace experts, as the hero came to be called, surprised their colleagues with their refusal to drink alcohol: “The head of the pilot must be clear, especially in war.”
... The detailed biography of Alexander Kazakov was recreated for the first time by Vsevolod Lavrynets-Semenyuk, Lenin Prize winner, Hero of Socialist Labor and many other high awards, "for outstanding achievements in creating models of rocket technology and ensuring the successful flight of Yuri Gagarin into outer space." A fan of the fearlessness cult, in his advanced years he began to publish essays about the first Russian pilots. There were a lot of feedback. From Estonia, a package was received from Edgar Meos, a graduate of the Gatchina Aviation School, who fought in the First World War in France as part of the famous Aist Air Group and shot down the famous German expert (in French and Russian - ace) Karl Menkgof. It turns out that Meos published his essays about Kazakov on the materials of the book “Broken Wings” written by his colleague Kazakov on the British-Slavonic Corps Alexander Matveev in Estonia in the 30 of the twentieth century.
“Alexander Kazakov flew a lot ... boldly, confidently and, as the soldiers used to say, always happy,” Alexander Matveyev recalled in his book. - He was idolized. When our commander passed, everyone parted, giving way, and arresting a tall, thin staff captain ... A blue-eyed blond man with a handsome Cossack mustache and the gentle face of a young man. A leather jacket, a cap with a colored band, golden shoulder straps with black signs of a pilot ... "Tell the truth!" - he demanded from his subordinates ... Before taking off, he made himself a sign of the cross and confidently commanded: "From a screw!". At the time of the Brusilov breakthrough, the Cossacks became the commander of a small but courageous first squad of fighter pilots who flew on new ones, armed, finally, with machine guns, "Newpores". ”
“The actions of Kazakov’s first combat group in September 1916 put the STARTING OF ORGANIZED APPLICATION OF FETUSING AVIATION ONLAND,” writes V. Tkachev, further formulating the tactics of the Russian destructive group. - Here the group tactics first appeared and the meaning of air superiority was determined. It is interesting to emphasize that, in September 1916, near Lutsk, something like what happened in February of the same year near Verdun was repeated: our fighter aircraft completely secured the rear of the Russian troops in the Lutsk area from air strikes. ”
The tactics developed by Kazakov, for decades to come, determined the priorities of the Russian fighter aircraft: unlike the German ones, which prefer personal victories over enemy aircraft, our falcons considered it their priority to cover the troops and their rear lines from the raids. Kazakov, according to Matveyev’s memories, frustrated with congratulations for another victory: “I don’t understand anything! What kind of congratulations? For what? You know that I am prejudiced: I don’t like to count my victories. ”
Ace Asov taught young people to calculate the approaches to an armed airplane from the ground from a favorable position, to lead attacks from the sun, despite the fire of the enemy. He was wounded, but every time it was easy - fate kept.
“Usually Kazakov went to the enemy with a firm decision not to turn anywhere to the side,” testifies A. Shiukov. “At the maximum speed of convergence, he gave a short machine-gun fire and most often hit the pilot ... repeated the attack until the enemy was shot down or forced to flee.”
... The morale of the troops, which creates victory, was exhausted on both sides by the end of the summer 1916 of the year. Through the trenches flew from one side to the other and back to the question: what are we fighting for? Why kill each other? The answer was known to the ruling persons, but kept secret. Kaiser Wilhelm only slightly opened the curtain, letting it slip: "If the peoples knew the causes of wars, they would hardly have fought."
After the forced abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the Kazakov air group continued to fight. Although aviation suffered a fall in military discipline from the well-known orders of the Provisional Government, the election of commanders introduced ...
Many front-line soldiers, from the highest ranks to the lower ones, are moving to serve in the newly created Red Army. Around the former chief of staff and commander-in-chief of the Northern front, General Mikhail Bonch-Bruyevich, who became the chief of staff of the Supreme Commander of the Red Army, are hundreds of military officials who have heard about the famous Russian ace. He, who arrived in Petrograd, is determined by the military expert to help in the organization of the Red Air Fleet. And he wants to fly, as his comrades fly: Mikhail Babushkin, Nikolai Bruni, conqueror of the corkscrew Konstantin Artseulov ...
“But the“ demon of the revolution ”L. Trotsky did not trust the former officers, writes Alexander Matveyev, believed that“ these eagles ”want to make the“ red fleet ”white, and in an offensive form refused to Kazakov to return to the sky.” And soon, the pilot Sergei Modrakh, who had announced himself in St. Petersburg, announced that the English pilot Sir Gil was recruiting Russian pilots to the British Slavic Corps, which was being formed in Arkhangelsk, to be transferred to France in order to continue the war with the Germans. “Kazakov hesitated,” recalls the words of Aces Ases Matveyev, “but Modrakh persuaded him.”
When asked by the Russian aviators when they were sent to the European theater of war, the corps commander Colonel Moller answered: “Where the Bolsheviks are, there are Germans. Why should you go looking for them? Fight here. ” Identified the airfield - in the town of Bereznik. Quickly retrained to fly on sea boats - "sotvich". In the battles suffered heavy losses. A sad cemetery of dead pilots with propellers on graves grew near the airfield.
In January, 1919, Kazakov met the formidable flying boat of the Russian aircraft designer Dmitry Grigorovich over the Northern Dvina, a “nine” who poured lead over the sopvich. Alexander Kazakov habitually responded - and shot down ... Edgar Meos from Alexander Matveyev’s words explains: “After knocking down the flying boat of the Red Air Fleet, he finally blocked his way back to Soviet Russia. But the lieutenant Anikin, who had run to the krasvoenlet, was received, flies ... ”
In the summer of 1919, the intervention was exhausted; the Russian air group received an offer to leave for England as part of the corps. Few agreed, starting to learn English urgently. Others decided with the expedition of Boris Vilkitsky, equipped by the Soviet government to study the Northern Sea Route, but received an order from the White Guards to deliver the goods to Alexander Kolchak, to move with polar explorers.
1 August 1919, Sergei Modrakh and Nikolai Belousovich went to the pier. “I take you to the“ copic ”, - as if illuminated by some thought, said Kazakov. A mechanic in a new leather jacket was busy at the flying boat. “New thing again?” Asked the commander. "Alien, the British gave before leaving."
Witness of this conversation, Alexander Matveev, sounded in memory the last words of the commander: “Someone else ... Yes, everything is alien here. Airplanes, hangars, even the form on me ... Only here the land is still our ... Get it! ”.
He tore off a stalk of grass, biting him, thought hard about something. I crossed over as usual. Took off. From the steamboat sailing away with the battle friends, smoke flowed thin snake. The Cossacks rose even higher ... Suddenly a sharp turn ... The “sopwich” flew down with a stone. Crack ... Dust ... Silence ... Only you can hear grasshoppers crackling in the grass. "
Not believing in the suicide of an Orthodox pilot, friends felt that his heart was torn from desperate despair. He was buried in the cemetery in Bereznik, under two criss-cross propellers. With an inscription on a white plate:
“Colonel Alexander Alexandrovich Kazakov. 1 August 1919 of the Year. "
The graves with propellers in Bereznik have not survived. However, some unknown force does not erase the names of the heroes from the tablets of history ...