At the beginning, the Soviets struggled as the majority of their Air Force was made up of Polikarpov I-16’s and I-15 biplanes. . Let’s take a look at the recovery of the Soviet Air force, although the German losses were way lower than the Soviet ones, the Luftwaffe also had far fewer aircraft available in the beginning. Unlike the British the Soviets lacked a proper early warning system, which resulted in a total surprise combined with Stalin’s reluctance to prepare properly to the upcoming German attack. Alone among World War II combatants, the Soviet Air Force initiated a program to bring women with existing flying training into combat air groups. Thus, within a mere 18 months the Soviet Air Force was able to recover and deal a severe blow against its enemy.  Fifteen of sixteen total army commanders were executed; more than three-fourths of the VVS senior officers were arrested, executed, or relieved of duty. Tags: ww2 eastern front, russian air force, ww2 soviet air force, all female fighter fighter squadron, all female bomber squadron, 588th night bomber regiment, 46th taman guards night bomber aviation … I think that really depends on when you are referring to. This was a Bolshevik aerial headquarters initially led by Konstantin Akashev. The Yak-1 was a modern 1940 design and had room for development, unlike the mature 1935-origin Messerschmitt Bf 109. The VVS soon learned established Soviet air defence procedures derived from the Spanish Civil War, such as forming defensive circles when attacked, did not work well against the Finns, who employed dive-and-zoom tactics to shoot down their Soviet opponents in great numbers. List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS This page was last edited on 18 May 2020, at 12:55 (UTC). Preparations for creation of the air defence forces started in 1932, and by the start of the war there were 13 PVO zones located within the military districts. A Krasnaya Zvezda military schools list of 17 January 1980 included 24 Air Forces schools. The greatest Soviet fighter ace of World War II was Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub, who scored 62 victories from 6 July 1943 to 16 April 1945, the top score for any Allied fighter pilot of World War II.  Literature including poems, short stories, and novels emerged celebrating the feats of the aviator-celebrities. WWII - AIR FORCE OF SOVIET UNION The Soviet military had three air arms, the Red Army Air Force, Long-Range Bomber Aviation, and the Naval Air Forces. By using folklore rhetoric, Stalin and Soviet propagandists connected aviation achievements to Russian heritage, making aviation seem more accessible to the Soviet population. The primary source for this list is the Boevoi … Bergman, Jay (January 1998). In: Russian Aviation and Air Power in the Twentieth Century. Here's a comparison of the US Soviet Air Force (VVS) WWII color standards before and after 1943. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994. To start browsing, please select a photo album below.  Domestic aircraft production increased significantly in the early 1930s and towards the end of the decade, the Soviet Air Force was able to introduce Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 fighters and Tupolev SB and SB-bis and DB-3 bombers. The successful achievements in Soviet aviation also came during the worst days of the Great Purge. MiG could not afford to develop both the MFI and LFI, so their LFI entry was eventually withdrawn. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Later, Bf 109s delivered to Franco's Spanish Nationalist air forces secured air superiority for the Nationalists, one they would never relinquish. After neglecting the MFI competition, Sukhoi decided to submit a design for the LFI called the S-37 (unrelated to the heavyweight forward-swept wing fighter). At the time of the German attack the force consisted of about 400 000 personnel, and 10 000 to 15 000 aircraft, of which 7 500 were deployed in the Soviet’s Western theatre.  Poor planning and lack of organization left planes sitting on the tarmac at airbases, allowing the Luftwaffe to destroy 4,000 Soviet planes within the first week. With each new success, Soviet press trumpeted victories for socialism, popularizing the mythology of aviation culture with the masses. When Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, it quickly became apparent that the Soviet Air Force was not prepared for war. (p. 279), After Hitler denied the 6th Army to break out of Stalingrad it was supplied only by the Luftwaffe, the Soviet established a so called “aerial blockage” and after two months of intensive fighting the Luftwaffe’s air superiority was finally lost. 281) During the Spanish Civil War the German Bf 109 outclassed the Russian planes like the I-15. The groups were also involved in the Korean War, and dissolved along with the Soviet Union itself in 1991–92. more information Accept.  The disorganized Soviet defenses and technologically deficient aircraft were no match for the Luftwaffe. Women pilots flew 24,000 sorties. This of course had a severe impact on morale and effectiveness, because the Air force consisted of to a large degree of purge survivors, promoted inexperienced young officers and fresh recruits. Along with a general postwar military reorganisation, the collegium was reconstituted as the "Workers' and Peasants' Red Air Fleet" (Glavvozduhflot), established on 24 May 1918 and given the top-level departmental status of "Main Directorate". Mar 28, 2015 - This Pin was discovered by Bernhard A Kats MD. Not only did aviation records and achievements become demonstrations of the USSR's technological progress, they also served as legitimization of the socialist system. At its peak in 1980, it could deploy approximately 10,000 aircraft, making it the world's largest air force of the time. On 19 November 1939, VVS (("Voenno … There is also a list of Soviet Air Force bases listing the various air bases of the force. In one strategic operation alone, the Yassy-Kishinev Strategic Offensive, the 5th and 17th Air Armys and the Black Sea Fleet Naval Aviation aircraft achieved a 3.3 to 1 superiority in aircraft over Luftflotte 4 and the Royal Romanian Air Force, allowing almost complete freedom from air harassment for the ground troops of the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts. A Soviet Air Forces Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft Following is the organization of the Soviet Air Forces ( Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily ) on May 1, 1945. , Chief Marshal of Aviation Alexander Novikov led the VVS from 1942 to the end of the war, and was credited with introducing several innovations and weapons systems. The reasons for the disaster are many, some of them were the result of ongoing processes, some were structural shortcomings and others were definitive failures in leadership. Whereas in end of September (30th) 1941, the Russians could oppose the 1000 Luftwaffe air planes with only 550 (545) of their own. All these changes and the continuous Luftwaffe losses, allowed the Soviet Air Force to break the air superiority of the Luftwaffe and subsequently force it into the defensive role. Followed by another 5600 (5616) in 1940. In Mid July 1941 the Soviets admitted to the destruction of almost 4000 (3985) aircraft, whereas the German air force claimed around 6900 (6857) planes destroyed. They played a key role in … Aerial warfare branch of the Soviet Union's armed forces. Soviet radio jamming resources recognize that our Army-Air Force operations require joint planning and synchronized employment—that in the main battle, the synchronized employment—that in the main … Like the Red Army, the Red Air Force had a disastrous start to WW2: in the first couple of days, it lost > 2000 airplanes while the Germans lost only 20 due to combat. The first two were administered by directorates of … , On 1 January 1941, six months prior to Operation Barbarossa, the Air Forces of the Soviet Red Army had 363,900 serving personnel, accounting for 8.65% of all military force personnel of the Soviet Union.  The title was conferred on the regiment for its actions on the Leningrad Front in November–December 1941 during defensive operations and the Soviet counterattack near Tikhvin. In preparation for Operation … , The official day of VVS was the Soviet Air Fleet Day, that often featured notable air shows meant to display Soviet air power advancements through the years, held in Moscow's Tushino airfield.  Even the story of each aviator suggests roots in old Russian storytelling and narratives—virtuous heroes striving to reach an end goal, encountering and conquering any obstacles in their path. The Red Air Force began the war with …  Lend-Lease aircraft from the U.S. and UK accounted for nearly 12% of total Soviet air power.. Additionally, since the Japanese were no longer a threat, more than 1000 aircraft from the Far East arrived, all this helped to slowly tip the balance. The transpolar flights in summer 1937 occurred following the arrest and execution of a large body of the Red Army officer corps. "Valerii Chkalov: Soviet Pilot as New Soviet Man". The other main VVS types were Lavochkin fighters (mainly the La-5), the Petlyakov Pe-2 twin engined attack-bombers, and a basic but functional and versatile medium bomber, the Ilyushin Il-4.  On 5 November 1940 these were reformed as the Long Range Bombardment Aviation of the High Command of the Red Army (until February 1942) due to lack of combat performance during the conflict with Finland.  Instead of focusing on developing tactical aircraft, the Soviets engineers developed heavy bomber planes only good for long distance—in other words, planes that would be used for record-breaking flights like those of Chkalov's. , Some practical combat experience had been gained in participating in the Spanish Civil War, and against Japan in the Far East. Palmer, Scott (2005).  The LFI (Lyogkiy Frontovoy Istrebitel, Light Frontline Fighter) project was intended to develop a lightweight fighter with respectable air-to-ground capabilities. The media called the pilots "Bolshevik knights of culture and progress. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Gradually its influence on aircraft design became greater. Furthermore, the narratives emphasize the aviators' selflessness and devotion to a higher socialist ideal, pointing to Soviet leaders as inspirers and role models. A squadron of Soviet P-63s based near Vladivostok was accidentally strafed by U.S. Air Force P-80 jets during the Korean War. While there were scores of Red Army divisions on the ground formed from specific Soviet republics, there appears to have been very few aviation regiments formed from nationalities, among them being the 1st Latvian Night Aviation Regiment. ), "Советские Войска ПВО в последние годы Союза ССР. In 1937 the Air Force had 13000 officers, of those 4700 (4724) were arrested. Soviet Air Force Red Army Officer's visor hat cap military communist USSR CCCP £24.03 to £29.37 £5.88 postage SOVIET MIG PILOT PRESSURE BKK-6M FLIGHT SUIT USSR - COLLECTABLE £500.00 Click & … , The Air Force was hit hard by the Red Army purges in 1941. " Instead of glorifying socialist collectivism as a means of societal advancement, the Soviet Communist Party began uplifting individuals who committed heroic actions that advanced the cause of socialism. , Two programs were initiated, one of which was proposed to directly confront the United States' then-projected Advanced Tactical Fighter (that was to lead to the development of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Northrop YF-23).  The Il-2 became (at 36,183 built) the most produced military aircraft of all time, with the four main versions of Yak fighters (the Yak-1, −3, −7 and −9) being slightly more numerous, at a total of 36,716 among them. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. , At the outbreak of World War II, the Soviet military was not yet at a level of readiness suitable for winning a war: Joseph Stalin had said in 1931 Soviet industry was "50 to 100 years behind" the Western powers. Russia received the plurality of these forces, approximately 40% of the aircraft and 65% of the manpower, with these forming the basis for the new Russian Air Force. Two air regiments were equipped with Spitfire Mk.Vbs in early 1943 but immediately experienced unrelenting losses due to friendly fire as the British aircraft looked too much like the German Bf 109. The Soviet Air Force, officially known in Russian as Военно-воздушные силы or (in the Latin alphabet) Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily (literally, "Military Air Forces") and often abbreviated VVS (ВВС in Cyrillic) is the official designation of one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. However, these experiences proved of little use in the Winter War against Finland in 1939, where scores of inexperienced Soviet bomber and fighter pilots were shot down by a relatively small number of Finnish Air Force (FAF) pilots. RAND analyst S. Enders Wimbush said, "Soldiers are clearly recruited in a way that reflects the worries of society. The other was the Soviet Air Defense Forces. (Greenwood: p. 67/ p.88) Yet, only 50 % of these losses were combat losses. These … Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily (VVS), literally "Military Air Forces") were one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 the aircraft and personnel of the Soviet VVS were divided among the newly independent states. Why the Imperial Japanese Air Forces Failed in World War 2, Arado Ar 234 – The First Jet Bomber and some special Variants, Battle Of Britain – Setting and the British Defense Organization, Soviet Air Force 1941/1942 – Defeat & Recovery. Former Soviet Air Forces' assets were subsequently divided into several air forces of former Soviet republics, including the new Russian Air Force.  All fighter units in the PVO were transferred to the VVS, the Air Defence Forces only retaining the anti-aircraft missile units and radar units. , The public reaction to the transpolar flights was euphoric. The 6th independent Air Defense Army was disbanded, and the 15th Air Army became the VVS Baltic Military District. ISBN 1-55750-770-8. By 1938, the Soviet Union had the largest air force in the world, but Soviet aeronautical design distinctly lagged behind Western technological advances. It’s difficult to give some general evaluation - along with the Red Army as a whole the Red Airforce was in the middle of reorganisation and rearmament when the war started and … In July 1937 Mikhail Gromov, along with his crew Sergei Danilin and Andrei Yumashev, completed the same journey over the North Pole and continuing on to Southern California, creating a new record for the longest nonstop flight. Pilots such as Valery Chkalov, Georgy Baydukov, Alexander Belyakov, and Mikhail Gromov—as well as many others—were raised to the status of heroes for their piloting skills and achievements.  News coverage of the arrests was relatively little compared to treatment of aviation exploits, deflecting attention away from the arrests. The early 1930s saw a shift in ideological focus away from collectivist propaganda and towards "positive heroism. Although the Soviet Air Force was successful in the Far East in 1938 and 1939. 273). March of Stalin's Air Force - ww2 air combat footage - march of the soviet air force lyrics - Duration: 2:26. Some 157,261 machines were produced during the Great Patriotic War, 125,655 being of combat types. The Yak-9 brought the VVS to parity with the Luftwaffe and eventually allowed it to gain the upper hand, until in 1944, many Luftwaffe pilots deliberately avoided combat with the last and best variant, the out-of-sequence numbered Yak-3. There were three aircraft …  When recounting stories of meetings between Stalin and Chkalov, for example, Soviet newspapers spoke of Stalin's paternalism towards the young pilot. In May 1937, Stalin charged pilots Chkalov, Baydukov, and Belyakov with the mission to navigate the first transpolar flight in history. Furthermore, Soviet media idolized record-breaking pilots, exalting them not only as role models for Soviet society, but also as symbols of progress towards the socialist-utopian future. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms … , 1930s Soviet aviation also had a particular impact on the USSR's military failures in the beginning of World War II. Logistics of the Luftwaffe in World War 2, Imperial Roman Army – Organization & Structure, Jones, David R.: From Disaster to Recovery: Russia’s Air Forces in the Two World Wars. Marina Raskova, one of very few women in the VVS prior to the war, used her influence with Stalin to form three all-female air regiments: the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment, the 587th Bomber Aviation Regiment, and the 588th Night Bomber Aviation Regiment (a.k.a. Military Transport Aviation included six separate regiments, and five divisions with a total of 18 military transport aviation regiments in 1988. PROUDLY SPONSORED BY: Notice: The appearance of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine … A groundbreaking account of the Soviet Air Force in World War II, the original version of this book, Red Phoenix, was hailed by the Washington Post as both "brilliant" and "monumental." Although some of the arrested officers were later released it were only around 15 % (about 900 (892) or 16 percent of those in 1940). "Technology and Legitimacy: Soviet Aviation and Stalinism in the 1930s". (the Germans could only field 350 fighters vs. 510 (509) Russian fighters in November 1942 (19th)), Let’s take a look at the major factors that contributed to the resurrection of the Soviet Air Force. Furthermore, the logistical system of the Luftwaffe was unsuited for a long war in Russia, something I discussed already in one of my previous videos. The kill claims were probably a bit higher than the real ones, but the official war time number probably lower. , One of the main reasons for the large aircraft losses in the initial period of war with Germany was not the lack of modern tactics, but the lack of experienced pilots and ground support crews, the destruction of many aircraft on the runways due to command failure to disperse them, and the rapid advance of Heer troops, forcing the Soviet pilots on the defensive during Operation Barbarossa, while being confronted with more modern German designs. With most of their obsolete planes destroyed on the ground at the beginning of the war, the VVS, or Soviet Air Force attainedincreasing strength and quality as the war progressed. Furthermore, the successful creation of a talented command staff and successful reorganization, which was supported by Stalin. (75 % of the most senior and experienced commanders were among those.) Already in October and November the Russians ordered attacks against Luftwaffe airfields. Already in October and November the Russians ordered attacks against Luftwaffe airfields. Although no Lancasters were supplied to the Russian military under the lend lease scheme in WW2 two examples were in fact used in Russian Air Force markings. Amazon.de (affiliate link): Jones, David R.: From Disaster to Recovery: Russia’s Air Forces in the Two World Wars. These attacks also inflicted significant damage and chaos on the logistical side. your own Pins on Pinterest I guess Stalin would have been a huge Beastie Boys fan or maybe the other way round, that would at least explain all those moustaches… Oh, well I digress. ), and Leland Fetzer (trans.). The most important fighter of the Red Air Force at this time was the Polikarpov I-16 Rata. Air army (Soviet Union) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia An air army was a type of formation of the Soviet Air Forces from 1936 until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. The Soviet Air Defence Forces (Voyska protivovozdushnoy oborony or Voyska PVO), which focused on air defence and interceptor aircraft, was then a separate and distinct service within the Soviet military organisation.  Soviet fliers in P-39s scored the highest individual kill totals of any ever to fly a U.S. aircraft. In 1935, attempts at navigating a transpolar route ended in failure. "Icarus, East: The Symbolic Contexts of Russian Flight". Between 1933 and 1938, the Soviet government planned and funded missions to break numerous world aviation records. By June 1941, the Red Air Force was still heavily understrength, with Luftwaffe … At the outbreak of war, air defence forces were in the midst of rearmament. Soviet Aircraft and Aviation, 1917–1941. The numbers especially for newer models increased in 1941, yet the training on the new aircraft was kept to a minimum due to fear of losses caused by accidents, which could also lead to “sabotage” or other charges. Soviet Air Force in 1939. Military History Visualized – Offical Homepage for the YouTube Channel. Ok, since you didn’t specified what exactly do you want “interesting”, I will provide you with some assorted facts and myth debunking that I myself find interesting. For aviation, Stalin's propagandists drew on Russian folklore. From this effort came the world's only two female fighter aces: Lydia Litvyak and Katya Budanova. Bailes, Kendall (January 1976). The force became one of the best services of the Soviet Armed Forces due to the various types of aircraft being flown and their capabilities and the strength and training of its pilots, and its air defense arm became an independent component of the armed forces in 1949, reaching full-fledged force status in 1954. Developed into Mikoyan LMFS. , As with many Allied countries in World War II, the Soviet Union received Western aircraft through Lend-Lease, mostly Bell P-39 Airacobras, Bell P-63 Kingcobras, Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks, Douglas A-20 Havocs, Hawker Hurricanes, and North American B-25 Mitchells. The use of familial metaphors not only evoked traditional hereditary pride and historic Russian patriotism, they boosted Stalin's image as a benevolent leader. Most importantly, paternalism served to promote the message of individual subordination to authority. The German side lost a total of 2500 (2505) combat aircraft and 1900 (1895) damaged. In: Higham & Harris: Why Air Forces Fail, Amazon.com (affiliate link): Greenwood, John T.: Soviet Frontal Aviation during the Great Patriotic War, 1941-45. The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible.  In the first few days of the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Luftwaffe destroyed some 2,000 Soviet aircraft, most on the ground, at a loss of only 35 (of which 15 were non-combat-related).. London: Jane's, 1986. , During the Cold War, the Soviet Air Force was rearmed, strengthened and modern air doctrines were introduced. Soviet Air Forces in WW2, Военно-воздушные силы (Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily) Subfolders.  Women pilots, navigators, gunners, mechanics, armament specialists and other female ground personnel made up more than 3,000 fighting members of the VVS. "March of the Pilots" was its song. the Night Witches.) Now according to post-war Soviet and German records between the beginning of the operation and the end of the year 1941 ( 22nd of June 1941 and the 31st of December 1941), the losses were approximately as follows: In 1945–46, the WPKA Army Air Forces became the Soviet Air Forces once again. Additionally, the use of on-board radios grew, which allowed better coordination with ground stations for warning and command-and-control. Although a knowledgeable user indicated that German losses were usually total losses, whereas Russian losses seemed to include damaged vehicles. , Paternalism was also a theme that Soviet propagandists exploited in aviation culture. In mid-November the situation was quite different with 670 Luftwaffe planes versus 1140 (1138) Russian planes. It became the Directorate of the USSR Air Forces on 28 March 1924, and then the Directorate of the Workers-Peasants Red Army Air Forces on 1 January 1925. 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