Real-life Sturmovik aces/VVS questions

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Multimetal, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Multimetal

    Multimetal New Member

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    Hello all, I've been lurking on these forums for some time now and thought I'd finally make use of the vast knowledge of the contributors to this site-I've been trying to determine for some time if any real-life IL2 pilots made ace, and if so how common was this? I know that IL2's took heavy losses from Luftwaffe AC, especially in the early years of the war, and it stands to reason that some IL2 pilots managed to fight back successfully. Also, does anyone know the standard length of tour for a VVS pilot, were they rested or rotated back to training duties, or were the in for the duration like the Luftwaffe? I've done some searching on this topic and can't come up with much, any info would be appreciated, Thanks!
     
  2. mudpuppy

    mudpuppy Member

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    #2 mudpuppy, Jul 22, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
    Welcome to the forum; there some resourceful history buffs and great modelllers here...and then theres guys like me. :)

    ß Ïîìíþ. Ãåðîè âåëèêîé îòå÷åñòâåííîé âîéíû. Ó÷àñòíèêè ÂÎÂ. Êíèãà ïàìÿòè. - Ëåò÷èêè-øòóðìîâèêè. Õóõðèêîâ Þðèé Ìèõàéëîâè÷. Ïðîåêò ß Ïîìíþ. Ãåðîé ÂÎÂ

    This is the personal account of Yuri Khukhrikov, an IL2 pilot of the Great Patriotic War. There are many other links on listed on the left but most are in Russian and I'm not sure how successful Google may translate them.
    I pulled the link above from the Mission4Today webiste and their list of links. I could have sworn there was a whole website dedicated to flight history of the IL2 but I'm at work still so I'll check more when I get home.

    If you are looking for a good book to start with; I'd suggest the Osprey book called IL2 Sturmovik Guards Units (or something like that). The author is Oleg Rastrenin and he's written other pieces on the IL2, I believe.

    Regards,
    Derek
     
  3. steve51

    steve51 Member

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    Multimetal,

    I'm also a first time poster here. I would suggest you acquire a copy of "Stalins' Eagles' by Hans Seidl. The information is all from Soviet sources and I don't know how well it's been researched independently. At any rate, the book identifies M. F. Ryabchevskij as the top Shturmovik ace with 15 claims.
     
  4. Multimetal

    Multimetal New Member

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    Thank you for the replies guys, Mud Puppy that site is an incredible resource-I wish more of it was in English! Interesting to learn in the interview that you linked to that there were female gunners on IL2's, I had never realized that. I knew the stories of Litvak and others but never knew that there were mixed crews on 2-seaters.
    Steve, that book has been on my list for a while, soon I hope to get a copy. If only I could afford all of the aviation books that caught my eye.....
     
  5. mudpuppy

    mudpuppy Member

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    You're quite welcome. I wish knew why the url I posted went all wacky like that. I've looked but couldn't find any other handy resources but be sure to post any you may come across.
    When it comes to buying books, it does get expensive but try some online used book services like abebooks.com for titles you have on your "must-get" list.

    ...and its Friday!
    Derek
     
  6. VG-33

    VG-33 Banned

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    #6 VG-33, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
    Welcome Multi

    Hard to say, since in the victory lists of soviet shturmovik aces, plane destructions are mixed both from air and on ground.
    A. N Efimov for instance was a famous dogfighter with 58 aerial dogfights with the enemy and 7 victories plus 85 other destroyed planes on the ground. For 288 "successeful" combat missions.
    http://airaces.narod.ru/all7/efimov_a.htm


    Moreover, soviet units often practiced "collective ie shared victories" so it's difficult to say what part is due to a particular pilot. Sometimes in old sources Nelson G Stepanian (259 war missions) was credited with more than 15 kills with his 47th ShAP, but himself never claimed more than 2 Ju-88, personal victories....
    http://www.allaces.ru/p/people.php?id=6553

    Some confusions i would say...

    They would if they could, but the mid soviet pilot had only 3-5 flyable hours of training in 1941 before being engaged in combat. Life expectancy of an Il-2 was small, only 13 missions in 1941, some 3-4 on some particularly disputed sectors: no time to become a big as. There were some exceptions as the col Vitrook's 4th ShAP, but many combat records were lost during the retreat.
    Note that the plane itself was not a sitting-duck, the first serial Il-2 batches reached 423 km/h on SL (~450 with over boost) in clean condition, and turned a full circle in 20-21 seconds only. It was much better than the 3 soviet tested Bf 109E-3 (26,5 – 29 s, and 440 km/h at SL). Unfortunately, the Bf-109E was soon replaced by the 109F, and the Il-2 performance on other hand quickly degenerated due to mass-serial effect and low quality production standards.

    There were frequent rotations in 1941-42, but not for pilots rest and comfort, there were mainly due to heavy losses, but from mid 43, mainly Il-2 regiments were recompleted directly on the front and sometimes hed some rest.
    In 1945 life expectancy of an Il-2 was about 93 missions.
    Due to the soviet homologation system; only successful missions (that hit the main target or the secondary one) were in count, and some blank in operational diaries the real rate of loss is lower. How much lower, 5% -25%? Nobody knows...
    Nevertheless it gives a good order of idea. From Romanenko memories his Shturmovik over the Carpathian mountains was hitted/ damaged each 3-4 flights, and knocked-off (immobilised on ground for repairs or crashlanded) every 9-10 missions. This was a typical case in 1944.

    All from airforce ru site and Perov-Rastrenine books.

    Regards
     
  7. Nikademus

    Nikademus Member

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    During the fighting around Stalingrad in sept would see the development of new tactics vs. enemy fighters. Instead of relying on the heavy armor (which was countered in part that summer by Gondola equipped 109's) some Stormovik pilots began counterattacking the 109's actively vs. the traditional passive response. Probably the most famous incident involved Kaptain Vinogradov who turned the tables on a 109 piloted by Oberfeldbwebel Alfred Frank of II/JG-53 while Zhukov and 16 VA's acting CO, Major S. Rudenko.

    Such feats were not wide spread but it certainly made things more "interesting" for the Germans in the future as the tactic would be incorporated and improved on in the IL-2 toolbox of tactics.
     
  8. VG-33

    VG-33 Banned

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    here is an uncomlete list of Shturmovik/bomber aces...in russian:rolleyes:

    Soviet Fighter Aces of 1936 - 1953 years

    Name, total victories, (personnal + shared), combat missions, aerial fights, remarks

    Regards
     
  9. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    did the translation thing on one of the previous postings, detriot red wings gets a mention!
    (Hard to say, since in the victory lists of soviet shturmovik aces, plane destructions are mixed both from air and on ground.
    A. N Efimov for instance was a famous dogfighter with 58 aerial dogfights with the enemy and 7 victories plus 85 other destroyed planes on the ground. For 288 "successeful" combat missions)
     
  10. VG-33

    VG-33 Banned

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    #10 VG-33, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
    For Efimov it'is easy to ask him questions, he's still living now and all regimental and personnal diaries are available with him.

    К концу войны штурман 62-го Гвардейского штурмового авиационого полка Капитан А. Н. Ефимов совершил ещё 122 боевых вылета. Всего им лично и в составе группы уничтожено 85 самолётов врага на аэродромах и 7 в воздушных боях, много живой силы и техники противника ( в том числе 126 танков ).

    At the end of the war, the navigator (leader) of the 62th Guards Shtoormovik regiment A N Efimov made another 122 combat mission ( 222 attack and recognition in all). Personnaly, and in group composition (shared) he destroyed 85 ennemy planes on the ground, and 7 in aerial dogfights (all personnal from his flyingbook, and regimental diaries), a lot of ground forces, comprising 126 tanks.
    Historians Perov and Rastrenine have founded some 66 more missions that were "forgotten" in his official list established for the proposal to "hero of soviet union" medal by the authorithies.

    For the other less known pilots, we have in general only fractionnal service accounts, when they were proposed for medals and awards. There is not special accuracy in destruction/victories lists inside theese documents. It does not mean that personnal pilots docs and unit war diaries does no exist, for more precise datas (where, when, how ...) the're just have to be re-founded and collected. Don't forget russian archives are open only since 1993 for some of them (global accounts in RGAFD), and 2008 for others (personnal accounts in TsAMO).
    A lot of job has to be done.

    Regards
     
  11. Multimetal

    Multimetal New Member

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    Thanks again everyone for all the information, there is a lot of really interesting reading out there! 250-300 missions is an awful lot for anyone, much less a ground attack pilot, obviously these guys had a great combination of luck and skill going for them.
    Another question-for group victories, was everyone who fired on an enemy aircraft awarded a victory, or was an individual victory shared among all pilots on the mission? I've also heard of senior VVS fighter pilots "gifting" victories to younger and less experienced pilots in their regiments, perhaps this happened in ground attack squadrons too.
    It's been really interesting reading the interviews on the I Remember site, it's interesting that the Shturmovik attacks near the front line were directed from the ground by forward observers.
     
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