VVS recovery

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    At what point could we say that the VVS made its recovery from the disaster of 1941? It seems to me that the shift to the Mediterranean and the Stalingrad disaster finally gave the VVS the breathing room to stage a recovery and start to become the juggernaut of 1944-45; without that I don't think the VVS could have achieved its full proficiency and size without the LW being distracted and drawn off from late 1942 on. Assuming that the US wasn't in the war after 1941 could the VVS have rallied at all? As it was the USAAF is purported to have destroyed some 35,000 LW aircraft in addition to smashing up German industry; had the 1942-43 draw down to confront them, in addition to the lack of need to develop special aircraft for high altitude operations and heavy bomber killing that compromised fighter design for medium/low altitude anti-fighter combat, it seems that the VVS would have continued to be slaughtered in the air for years.
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/luftwaffe-defeated-33291.html
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The turning point in the air war probably began over the Kuban, more specifically phase III or the so called assault on the blue line. On May 26th, 1943, the Soviet ground offensive was renewed along the fortified German “Blue Line” with a powerful armored infantry thrust. Within hours of the Soviet assault, the Germans launched a determined counterattack that soon stalled the Soviet drive. As a result, more than 100 Soviet tanks were lost on the first day. In the air, the response from both sides was immediate and uncompromising. The VVS had launched a preparatory raid of 338 aircraft. The Germans responded with up to 1,500 sorties on the same day. German sources state that the VVS lost 350 combat aircraft on May 26th alone, but overall air losses to the Luftwaffe were so severe that they discontinued active air engagements in the area on June 7th. This was the first time that the LW had thrown the towel in because of soviet air activity. During this third phase of the campaign many reputations were made: the Glinka brothers, Dmitrii and Boris, scored 21 and 10 victories respectively in the Kuban , A. L. Prukozchikov-20, V. I. Fadeyev-15, N. E. Lavitsky-15, D. I. Koval-13, V. I. Fedorenko-13 and P. M. Berestnev-12.


    However, parity was far from achieved for the remainder of the front. at Kursk, the average hours for VVS airmen was about 20-40 hours, compared to the LW 250+. but the LW was heavily outnumbered and overworked, and from Zitadelle to the end of the year, VVS kept up tremendous pressure on the LW despite the most horrendous losses. Importantly it was at about this time that the Soviets realised they couldn’t, and didn’t need to, achieve air superiority over the LW in order to win the air battle. The qualitative superiority of the LW was such that this was never an achievable goal. But they could prevent the LW bombers from having much effect, whilst keeping the LW fighters at bay whilst the VVS went to work with its sturmoviks.


    It never was about winning air superiority. The frontages were just too great for that to make much difference to the air battle. It was always a question of numbers, serviceability rates and mobility, and by 1943 the scales in these respects had tipped firmly towards the VVS. It has been estimated that by December 1943, the average hours per VVs pilot was about 100 hours, to about 150 hours in the LW. By the end of 1944 LW hours had dropped to about 50 hours, whilst Soviet hours had increased to about 150. After that it becomes academic aas the LW was shot at like target practice and so overwhelmed as to be irrelevant even on the eastern front.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Add to that the fact that the VSS was operating on days that grounded all other aerial activity.

    The VSS could fly in the harsh Russian winter when everyone else could bot even get their planes started, much less airborne, because they were very familiar with cold-weather operations. They also knew where and how to locate airfields so they would not turn into solid mud in the spring.
     
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  4. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    The VVS was unable tp prevent Luftwaffe airsupply into both, the Tcherkassy and the Hube pockets 1944 despite having all advantages in numbers, support, coverage and assembled AAA. They did made some exaggerated kill claims, however (ranging between 10:1 and 20:1 in the ratio claimed kill to german losses)
    I therefore am inclined to consider the recovery as incomplete until mid 1944.
     
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