Second half of 1942: what fighter for VVS?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by tomo pauk, Mar 18, 2011.

?

Lavothcka, krasavyets, or MiG

  1. La-5

    61.1%
  2. Yak-1

    27.8%
  3. MiG-3

    11.1%
  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Thinking about 3 contenders: La-5, Yak-1, MiG-3. Please vote/say what would you pick :)
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    You can pretty much scratch the MiG-3. It was done by the second half of 1942.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The MiG-3 was a high altitude interceptor. Not much need for that on the Russian front.

    Go with the YaK-1. Already in service by June 1941. More or less comparable in performance to the German Me-109. Plywood construction was a good thing as the WWII Soviet Union was critically short of aluminum.

    The Yak-1 had numerious manufacturing quality control defects but so did a lot of other Soviet equipment such as the T-34 tank. Leaky fuel tanks, plywood panels ripping off the wings, defective magnetos, engine oil leaks, unreliable radios and a jammed cockpit canopy did not receive the same attention in the VVS as they would receive in most other air forces. :(
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    IMO, this is an easy decision and that being the La-5. Beloved by the pilots and easy to maintain for the ground crew, it was an excellent dog fighter at low altitudes. Dave is right in that, what I would call low production standards, almost all the Soviet equipment had flaws of some type.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    sorry guys, but just another germanic invincibility myth i am afraid. or if one want to be more accommodating, perhaps better described as a half truth. I have no information on production faults, but logically thats probably true, and therefore the coments on build quality i cannot refute. however, this is a vastly overblown effect. at the end of the day, on the eastern front, what counted most were serviceability rates, and this regard, the VVs compared extremely favourably to the germans. The best month for the germans, according to hayward (Stopped at stalingrad - the Luftwaffe and hitlers defeat in the east 1942-3 ), was in June, where richthofen was able to achieve a serviceability rate of just over 70%. thereafter it fell back rapidly, hovering between 40-55% for most of the summer, before plummeting to under 25% during the winter of 1942-3. Soviet serviceability rates are not as well documented, however according to von hardesty (Red Phoenix), they were generally and consistently above 50% in the summer, and fell to about 35% in the poor weather of the winter. The exception to this, was over sevastopol, where the VVS displayed a very poor serviceability rate, probably because the fortress had been cut off and under siege sincce 1941.

    one could argue that the soviets would list something as airworthy, though by western standards it was not fit to fly....still they managed to turn the battle around and win control of the skies, or at least challenge the luftwaffe, by the end of the year over stalingrad
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The La-5 simply because it was armed with 2 x Shvak 20mm cannon, had a radial engine and on paper seemed to have had slightly better performance.

    Oh and it looks better :lol:
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The Soviet Degtyaryov light machinegun was designed for a quick barrel change. However I have read that Soviet LMG sections typically weren't issued a spare barrel. As if they didn't expect a LMG crew to live long enough to need one.
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Once again, such statements have to be taken with a great deal of circumspection. I have no doubts the Soviets suffered their equipment and spares shortages, especially in the first half of the war, but then both armies suffered this sort of logistical problem. My opinion was during 1941-2, the german army suffered from shortages to a far greater extent than the russians. The russians were falling back onto their supply sources, whilst the germans were relying on ever increasing tenuous ones. An excellent example of the effects of this can be found in their issue of winter clothing in 1941. winter issue clothing was there 9within the OKH zone of operations)....apparently stuck enroute during the winter. There were also severe shortages of spare parts, everything from toothbrushes through to such things as tank engines, tank tracks, artillery shells, artillery recuperators, aero engines. This was due mostly to poor planning rather than the breakdown of the supply system. Germany had not planned for a long war, couldnt plan for a long war, because of her poor financial position at the beginning of the war. A disproportionate fraction of german production went into "the shopfront".....they tended to concentrate on whole units with only limited supply of spares. Most aero-engine production went into constructing whole planes for example, rather than spares, which affected their serviceability rates. Sanme thing for tank production.

    The soviets with their command economy structure were much better organized than the germans in this regard. There were always plenty of spares produced, well at least after the initial shock of invasion wore off in the second half of '42. Where the Soviets failed repeatedly was in their logistic arrangements, getting the spare parts from the point of production, to where they were needed they were needed. but even here, thanks in no small part to the allies, things improved as the war progressed. The US supplied MT greatly assisted in this regard, as did also the provision of trains, both rolling stock and prime movers. Soviet logistic support from the second half of 1943 was vastly improved, and was one of the major reasons they were able to sieze and hold the strategic inititiative.
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    La-5 is my candidate too, for decent performance, good maneuverability, firepower radial engine being less susceptible to battle damage.
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's true only for some equipment. For instance the YaK1 which was produced at Saratov. For other equipment such as T-34 tanks the opposite holds true. One of the most important T-34 manufacturing complexes was captured by Germany at Kharkov. Another T-34 plant was located at Stalingrad. I believe the KV-1 tank was manufactured in Leningrad, a city that was economically isolated by the fall of 1941.

    So a realistic answer to this poll requires an examination as to where the various Soviet aircraft and their major components were produced. It's pointless to order an increase in production if Germany has just captured the pre-war factory complex.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    no, you are wrong. soviet re-equipment passed through its training centres, which invariably were concentrated around their major cities in particiular moscow. so even though major factories were located in the west of the country, these seldom provided re-equipment directly to the front. this has to do with soviet policy on rest replacement and retraining. usual policy was to allow air and ground formations divisional sized and smaller 9including air formations) to be run down to typically about 10% of its strength, then this hardened cadre, would be withdrawn to a rear area, some hundreds of kilometres behind the front for rebuilding. typically this rebuilding occurred around their population nodes....the so-called mlitary district training centres, where they would receive their new equipment, and an infusement of fresh manpower. The new manpower was considered expendable, the trained cadres were not. Soviets would go to extraordinary lengths to save those seasoned cadres.

    Because the retraining and resting occurred in the home military districts, it was irrelevant where the production centres were. what was important was where the retraining and re-equipment took placce, invariably, as i indicated above, this occurred around places like Leningrad, moscow, Stalingrad, Kirov, Tblisi (in the far south).

    So the important determinant was the proximity of the production centres to the retraining centres, not the proximity to the front. In the initial 6 months there was an enormous strain on the soviet rail system as fully 35% of its industrial complex was picked and moved often more than 1000km east. This had largely been completed by the end of 1941, so that from the beginning of 1942, there was a massive amount of spare rail capacity (although some was of dubious condition, and was replaced and expanded by massive amounts of lend lease rolling stock). point is, that Soviet re-equipment and strategic movement of its reserves was largely covered by the second half of 1942 .

    Germany didnt capture a lot of the strategic factories from the soviets, though its capture of manpower centres was a serious impact on soviet industrial output. Allied lend lease largely overcame this by providing huge quantities of foodstuffs, thereby releasing huge numbers of men (and women) for work in the factories and for the military.

    So, by the second half of 1942, far from having a negative effect on Soviet production, by dint of huge sacrifices by the soviet population, and good planning by its central comittee, soviet production was actually powering ahead of that of its german rivals, there was no shortage that I know of of most weapons, including aircraft, by the latter part of 1942. Soviets were beginning to feel the manpower pinch, so were spending more time training their formations to higher levels of proficiency. The divisions used to destroy the germans at stalingrad were already in existence at the beginning of 1942, but the long summer of that year was spent getting these formations properly equipped and trained, whilst the germans were kept busy with whatever was at the front at that time. It was a strategy for ultimate victory, and the russians played it to a tee
     
  12. danjama

    danjama Member

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    La-5 for me.
     
  13. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Yak1 for 1942.
    In 1942 the La5 still had considerable teething problems.
    Yak 1 had already been in combat for over a year, faults and flaws had been corrected and they were just starting to use the M105PF engines. Yak 7's had been in service almost as long, Yak 9's coming into service about same time as La5's, but the Yaks were already a combat proven design. La5 had a slightly faster top speed, but Yak 1's had a lower wing loading and better power loading (PF engine late 42). Yak was most produced Soviet fighter.

    That being said, both types were needed. Different engines provide diversity for production. Eventually tactics were devised using La5 variants for fighter sweeps and Yaks for close escort, which worked perfectly for the Soviet Unions tactical doctrine.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree that both types are needed but my reasoning is a bit different.

    Fighter aircraft are cutting edge technology. Without the benefit of hindsight you don't know which airframes and engines have the best development potential. During peacetime you can build a single fighter type and hope the design ages gracefully. During wartime you cannot take that chance. So you need at least two different fighter airframes and at least two different fighter engines.
     
  15. essexalan

    essexalan New Member

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    La-5 for me especially the La-5FN which I believe entered service late 1942. Yak-1 was not really competitive until the Yak-1M, VK-105PF engine, was produced followed by the Yak-3 which was a superb aircraft. Both aircraft were produced in large quantities but of course the VVS were somewhat lacking in skilled pilots by this time due to attrition. Mig 3 was not in contention this late in the war. Not sure how much armour any of these aircraft carried but their armament was sufficient for their roles ie they did not have heavy bombers to shoot down.
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    La-5FN was from late 1943, so not very much for this thread. As for Yak-1M with better engine, again too late for this. What period of war 'this late in the war' phrase cover?
    About the armament, Soviet 20mm was firing one of the lightest shell, and the wide usage of 37mm in small fighters signals us that it was needed.
     
  17. essexalan

    essexalan New Member

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    Book I have states service production for LA-5FN was from late 1942. Yak-1M first flight Spring 1942 service delivery I do not know, Yak-3 first flight Spring 1943, service delivery approx July 1943. I really meant the first part of the conflict with the VVS fighting with inferior aircraft was coming to an end and soon they would be flying aircraft with at least equal performance to the Luftwaffe. Certainly too late for a lot of VVS fighter pilots. You do not need many hits from a 12.7mm machine gun to put down any fighter let alone hits from a 20mm cannon. I would have thought a high rate of fire was preferable. I did read somewhere that the VVS liked the P-39 for its 37mm cannon for ground attack purposes. Don't know of any Russian built fighter aircraft with 37mm cannon so I do not know where the wide usage in small fighters comes from. In fact I would think that the rate of fire and the number of rounds carried would make a 37mm cannon totally unsuitable for air combat. I believe the RAF replaced the 37mm with its 15 rounds (later 30 rounds) in their P-39s with a 20mm Hispano plus extra Brownings
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Im not any sort of ballistics expert, but the amount of hitting power for any projectile is the amount of energy it possesses, is it not. The formula for calculating Kinetic energy is E= 0.5 x mv2, whereE= Energy M= mass of the projectile and V= velocity of the projectile. A heavier mass travelling at slower speed, will have less kinetic energy and therefore a lot less hitting power. I would have thought that the 20mm shvak round would travel at a slighter higher velocity than say a Hispano Suiza round. If so, it is going to have relatively more hitting power.

    Whether a small projectile travelling at high speed does as much damage, is a different matter
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's how armor penetration works. For soft targets (including aluminum aircraft skin) the amount of HE filler delivered on target is more important. German 3cm autocannon are an obvious example.

    3cm Mk103 cannon. Muzzle velocity = 2,822 feet per second. 380 rpm.
    3cm Mk108 cannon. Muzzle velocity = 1,770 feet per second. 650 rpm.

    Both cannon fire the same 3cm Minengescho├č ausf C projectile which contains 72g of PETN filler. When shooting at soft targets from a WWII fighter aircraft at a distance of 100 meters the Mk103 velocity advantage is more then outweighed by the Mk108 cannon having a higher rate of fire. Being lighter in weight and having less recoil is icing on the cake for the Mk108 cannon.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Except it doesn't travel at a higher speed. It travels either 20m/s slower or 10m/s faster depending on the barrel length of the Hispano. Actually that is close enough to call it the same depending on the barrel wear of the individual weapon and a few other variables, we are talking around a 2% difference after all. The projectile weight at 97 grams to 128-130 is much larger though and those heavier shells will tend to retain velocity better.

    The Shvak gun, with it's higher rate of fire and lighter weight than the Hispano was an effective weapon but each round was not as powerful no matter how it was measured.
     
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