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Aerial combats of the civilian war in Spain

Who Sent What

Germany26 500650200700
Italy80 0001000150162000
other35 000320

Pre-WW2 Aerial clashes in Spain Spanish Civil War

USSR sent to Spain:

800 planes (25 I-15/M-22 and 171 I-15/M-25), I-152; UTI-4, I-16 type 5, type 6, type 10; R-5; R-Z; SB-2)
350 tanks (~300 T-26; 50 BT-5)
120 (80 BA-6; 33 FAI; 7 BA-I)
1500 guns (45mm, 76mm etc.)
20000+ MGs (DT, Maxim) ; ~500000 rifles (Mosin), trucks, radiostations, searchlights, ammunition, fuel, and so on.

InterBrigades (31000 men):

9000 French, 3000 Germans, 3000 Poles, 3500 Italians, 2500 Americans, 2000 British, 1000 Chehoslovaks, 1000 Autsrians, also Yugoslavians, Hungarians, Scandinavians, Canadians, Belgians, Romanians...

German fighter Bf109-B1 foto

Germany used in Spain:

650 planes (He51, He112, Ar69, Bf109B, Bf109C, Bf109E, Ju52, Ju86, Ju87, He45C, He46C, He59B, He60D, He70F, He111B, HS123, HS126, Do17E, Do17P, ..)
200 tanks (Pz.IA and Pz.IB)
military ships; over 700 guns (37mm PAK36, ..), infantry weapon and so on.

Italian fighter Fiat CR.32

Italy sent to Spain:

1000 planes (CR.32. CR32bis, Ro.37, G.50, SM.81, SM.79, CANT Z.501, CANT Z.506, BA.65, BR.20, CA.310)
150 tankettes (CV-3/33, CV-3/35, CVLF-3)
16 (17M)
about 2000 guns (20mm, 47mm, 65mm, ..),
infantry weapon (incl. 240 000 rifles),
2 submarines and 4 destroyers,
8000 cars,
ammunition and so on

Also, German, Italian and even British fleets supported the rebels.
France acted against the law-voted Spanish republican goverment, stopping the weapon transit aid.

Some aerial combats

4th November 1936: the first I-15 combat. 11 Chatos led by P.V.Rychagov attacked 9 He51 and shot down 4 of them. (It's the one of few examples when the Republicans had number superiority. In most cases that was on the contrary, especially in the end of the war - because of huge German and Italian help to the Nationalists.) In the same day, I-15s downed and damaged some Fiats. Soviet planes had no combat losses, but 2 pilots mistakenly sat to an enemy airfield. The fascists killed them and cut one of them and drop his body parts in a box to Republican positions - what a chivalry...

6th November 1936: the first air combat over Madrid. Junkerses and Fiats tried to bomb the capital again. But this time the Republicans have Soviet fighters and shot down 9 nationalists planes.

November 1936: The big melee over 200 planes (I-15, I-16, R-5 vs He51, CR.32). the Republican losses: 4 planes ; the Nationalist losses: 15 planes

15th May 1937: the 1st downed Messerschmitt-109, the victory of Leopoldo Morquillas Rubio.

29th May 1937: German brand-new heavy cruiser "Deutschland" was attacked by two SB bombers (commanded by Ostryakov) which achieved two direct hits and one point-blank explosion. There were destroyed: the 3rd 150mm turret, the one of boilers, a hydroplane; 23 men killed and 77 wounded.

14 June 1937: 14 I-15 along with I-16 engaged big group of enemy planes (Ju52/3m, He46, He51, CR-32). Nationalists losses: 1 Junkers and 6 ftrs, Republican losses two I-15 and two I-16.

8th July 1937: the 1st Messerschmitt combat over Madrid. It was initiated as I-15's (10 planes) combat vs bigger number of Fiats (20..30). Three CR.32's were shot down; and one I-15 was flamed, but managed to ditch. Then 10 I-16's arrived and 8 Bf109's appeared too. In result two brand new German planes were shot down.

27th July 1937: the 1st night victory (a Junkers by Soviet pilot M.Yakushin). 1st September 1937, Belcite area: During the day Republicans managed to shot down at least 26 (downed to Republican territory) Nationalist planes by cost of only 2 own planes. 19 nationalist pilots were POWed, including famous Carlos Bayo.

15th October 1937: ground strike to Garapinilios. It was the preventive and well-planed action which had great success. I.Eremenko was the flight leader of 64 ftrs. Two I-15 sqds led by Serov and Chindosvindo attacked the airfield by MG fire and little bombs. Four I-16 sqds led by Zarausa, Pleschenko, Devotchenko, Gusev wasted time in close escort, then strafed some ground targets too. Meanwhile 16 bmrs (SB-2's led by A.Senatorov) hit military targets of Saragossa. About 60 Nationalist planes (which were almost ready to take off to hit Republican airfields) were destroyed and damaged; AA batteries were caught at surprise and suppressed; 2 109's were flamed when they tried to scramble; fuel tanks and ammo storages blowed up; personnel barracks and just arrived buses with pilots were strafed. The Republicans had no losses.

5th September 1938: Intercept (I-16 vs Bf109, CR.32, Ju86).
the Republican losses: 2 Moscas ; the Nationalist losses: 6 CR.32's + 2 Bf109's + 2 Ju86's

The best mission of the time. In 1938, Sergey Gritsevets shot down 7 (seven!) Nationalist planes (incl. 5 Chirries) during one half of hour. The Soviet ace flew I-16 type 10, which one was badly damaged, but the talent pilot was able to land even in such situation. It was the best record until famous combat of Alexander Gorovets in 1943.

18th September 1938: 1st combat of I-16's type 10 equipped with instandart F-54 engine with improved hight-alt capabilities. In company with regular I-16's type 10 and I-15's eleven Bf109's were shot down with no Republican losses.

Aces of Spanish Civil War

Aviation in Spanish Civil War

Republican Aviation Nationalist Aviation
Republicans Fighters - delivery Nationalist Fighters - delivery
Republican Bombers - delivery Nationalist Bombers - delivery

Materials presented by Santiago Vidal

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