Soviet aircraft for the RAF?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by alejandro_, May 27, 2016.

  1. alejandro_

    alejandro_ Member

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    A few years ago I read that the United Kingdom considered acquiring Soviet aircraft before WW2 and Winter War. The decision was driven by the need for modern aircraft. Western countries were increasing production and signing huge contracts in the US. For this reason Soviet aircraft were considered, but Winter War stopped all possible interest.

    I am not sure if it was only a suggestion or there was an actual effort to evaluate and import Soviet aircraft. I have not been able to find any more information.
     
  2. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    I have never heard even a whisper of this ... :) ... and the USSR was a Hitler-alley after September 1939 .... well before the invasion of Poland or the Finno-Russian1 war .... In 1939, the USSR had nothing that the UK didn't possess themselves ... and wouldn't until 1941 when Il-2 Sturmoviks first entered service -- hands down the most effective Soviet AC.

    So I'm skeptical about UK interest ... other than general intelligence.
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it's the other way around?

    The Soviet Union was NOT in a good position with aircraft prior to the start of the war.

    The I-16 was a mainstay of the VVS by 1939 and they had just introduced the I-153.
    The LaGG-1 was still on the drawing board and it would be several years before they introduced a formidable fighter to challenge the Luftwaffe on equal terms.

    On the otherhand, by 1939, the British had the Hurricane and the Spitfire.
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That's a fascinating thought, and the Japanese did supply aircraft to allies, but don't you suppose they would have been actually hesitant to export to a commonwealth nation, especially in light of the growing tensions?
     
  6. alejandro_

    alejandro_ Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    There was quite a list of buyers for the Spitfire and Hurricane before the war. I have not come accross any data regarding Soviet import but I would not be surprised either. The Soviet Union did import quite a number of German aircraft in the 1930s, and a few Italian ones as well (Breda).

    Very interesting. The link is not working though, I would love to read more on this. Japan also imported Italian bombers which were used against the Soviets.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #7 Shortround6, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    I can certainly understand somebody bringing up the idea in a meeting or memo during the panic of Sept/Oct of 1939 but having it go much further seems a little far fetched.
     
  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I can't seem to link directly to the article. Go to Welcome to ADF Serials then click on the "Articles, research & other pages" where you'll find the PDF in the right side column.
     
  9. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Why would the Soviets buy Spitfires and Hurricanes when they knew they could get lots of them ... for free
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Timing.

    Up until Sept 1st 1939 the Soviets might have been interested in buying British aircraft. The British might have been interested in buying Russian aircraft. Depends on what each thought they might get and what advantages it might bring. Russians get better aircraft than I-15s and I-16s for instance. British get I-16s instead of Gladiators?
    After Sept 1st both countries may have gotten desperate but sales are now balanced even more against needs at home.
    After Nov 30th 1939 and the start of the winter war any sales of aircraft between Britain and Russia become much more difficult, even more difficult than after Sept 17th and the Russian invasion of Poland.
    Russia will NOT get free Spitfires and Hurricanes until after June 22nd 1941. The 3 modern Russian fighters don't fly until the winter/spring of 1940 and don't go into production until after the BoB is over which cuts down the need for panic buying of strange aircraft by the British,( besides which the summer/fall of 1940 sees all the ex-french contract aircraft start showing up). Soviets have pretty much pissed off the west and won't get much in the way of help until invaded by Germany and then fall into the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" category.
     
  11. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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