Soviet fighter tactics in 1943-44

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Amsel, May 8, 2009.

  1. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Texas
    The Luftwaffe and the Focke wulf seemed to dominate many confrontations and battles on the Easern front. It seems that German aircraft was probably superior at higher altitudes and the Soviet aircraft much better down low. What type of tactics and formations did the VVS use to counter the Luftwaffe and where was the Soviets successful as far as fighter to fighter battles. I am not much interested in using superior numbers as a tactic but what would a La-5n sqadron do when fighting the Fw-190's on a numerically even scale?
     
  2. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    Hello Amsel
    I have some material on Soviet fighter tactics but I’ve not now time to consult them and it’s a while ago than I read them but some general IIRC comments on Finnish experiences. Some of these things happened earlier further south were main battles were fought. One was “Kuban bookshelf” developed by A. Pokryshkin, partly thanks of the arrival of P-39s with its good radio, and put in use during the Kuban airbattles in Spring 43. The sqns were sent to front stepped to different heights.

    On Finnish front, tactically Soviets became dangerous in 43 but still tended to be poor shots and opened fire far too far. In 44 they were really dangerous because many of them had learned air gunnery skills. Many times Yaks operated as close escorts and La-5s/-5Fs/-5FNs as top cover. Of course there were also numerous fighter sweeps. Sometimes Soviets sent small radar directed “hunter groups” to catch lonely Finns by surprise.

    Sometimes Finns noted in their combat reports that Soviet 4-planes formations and pairs kept well together and worked nicely as teams.

    Not much but probably as least La-5FNs would try to maintain dive and zoom tactics against 190s if possible.

    BTW contrary to many Western pilots Soviet pilots clearly thought that 109 was more dangerous opponent than 190. They saw 190 being too heavy and so not as good as their newer fighters in vertical combat. As good points of 190 they mentioned powerful armament and sturdy structure which could take much more damage and still stay one piece than Soviet fighters.

    Juha
     
  3. claidemore

    claidemore Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    682
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
  4. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Interesting subject.
     
  5. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Bf-109 was considered a real handful for any Soviet fighter, much more so than the Fw-190. That is until the introduction of the Dora-9 which swepped aside all opposition it came across with apparent ease, including the La-7.

    The latest Bf-109s were superior in turn climb performance to the latest contemporary Lavockhin Yak fighters and faster at all alts with MW50 boost. This is according to Rechlin tests and combat reports.

    You can read about a thurough test of a captured La-5FN in Hans Werner Lerche's book, Luftwaffe Test Pilot.
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    Soren
    there was probably something wrong with the La-5FN Lerche flow, compare his performance figures to those Soviet figures got from tests of randomly selected production a/c.

    Juha
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,987
    Likes Received:
    432
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Thanks for the link, Claidemore.
     
  8. TheMustangRider

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    United States
    I have read accounts which claim that the La-7 could handle efficiently the FW-190D-9 and the BF-109G/K so it would interesting to know which source is the most accurate.
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Under 5000 feet the Soviet aircraft generally held the advantage. So I imagine the Soviets would try for a turning fight, in the horizontal.

    Conversely Soviet fighters were under strict orders to not get into swirling melees. The idea was to protect the Sturmoviks, and then get the hell out of Dodge. If you outnumber your opponent by more than 20:1, why give them the time to bring up their reserves. You get in, support the breakthrough, and get out, Fighters were there to facilitate that basic mission, nothing else
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Accoriding to"Combat Aircraft of WWII" by Bookthrift, pg 194

    "Indeed by 1944 a general directive had gone out to the Luftwaffe units on the Eastern Front to 'avoid combat below 5,000m with Yakovlev fighter's lacking an oil cooler under the nose (ie Yak-3)!' "
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Claidmores link is very illuminating as to what the Soviets were thinking and doing to overcome the German advantages
     
Loading...

Share This Page