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Aviation of World War II

Some data about the air forces of the decisive WW2 front (where ~75% of German air and ground forces were destroyed)

During the war at the east, the Russian pilots gained more experience and their planes became the excellent ones. Our planes have become heavier and heavier, but the Russians chose another way and built the planes with better climb and maneuverability. The Russians indeed created the planes with the great aerodynamics.
Friedrich Obleser
, Luftwaffe, JG52


Oath: a new Guards' aerial unit MiG-3
Oath: a fighter unit receives Guards' status.

the Structure of the Soviet Air Forces

the World Best Mission

The drawings from Pokryshkin's notepad

WW2 warplanes production

The colors of the traces by pilots memoirs

Russian and German nicknames for WW2 Planes

Soviet Fighter and Bomber Aces

Victory scores of different countries

Il-2: the Flight Manual

Yak-3: the Manual for a Pilot , Cockpit

Russian and Soviet aircraft symbols

Lend-Lease

Fighters' tactics and technical characterictics

the Myth about Luftwaffe Chivalry

Romanian , Polish warplanes

Ships sunk by Soviet avation at Baltic Sea


Structure of the Soviet Air Forces

nameVVSPVOADD (DBA)Fleets' units
task common missions: escort, patrol, cover of ground troops, attack, short-range bombing and recon,... defense (intercept of bombers/recons) of assigned areas long-range bombing and recon naval missions for BF (Baltic fleet), ChF (Black sea fleet), TF (Pacific fleet), SF (Northern fleet)



Soviet fighter Lavochkin
fire THE WORLD BEST MISSION

On 6th June 1943, Soviet pilot of 88IAP Alexander K. Gorovetz attacked a big group of the Stukas. His alone La-5 shot down 9 (nine!) Ju87s in single combat and forced all other bombers to chaotically drop bombs and to retreat. Unfortunately, he was out of ammo. And when four FW190s arrived, the hero was killed. So 9:1 during one mission is the world best score for a single fighter. These results were confirmed by ground troops which watched this bloody battle in the sky.


Soviet bomber WW2 aces Soviet fighter WW2 aces Foreign fighter aces in VVS and PVO

Kozhedub photos and victories list
Rechkalov photos and victories list
Pokryshkin photographies
Safonov photographies
Female fighter Aces photos
Female attack bomber Aces photos
Female night bomber Aces photos

Fighter Aces photo gallery (3)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (4)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (5)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (6)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (7)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (8)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (9)

Fighter Aces photo gallery (12)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (13)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (14)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (15)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (18)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (19)
Fighter Aces photo gallery (20)

Bomber Aces photo gallery (1)
Bomber Aces photo gallery (2)
Bomber Aces photo gallery (3)
Bomber Aces photo gallery (4)
Shturmovik Aces photo gallery (1)
Shturmovik Aces photo gallery (2)
Shturmovik Aces photo gallery (3)
Shturmovik Aces photo gallery (4)


MiG-9 USSR WWII
260-th SAD. Russian fighter pilots after an aerial combat.

WW2 aerial victory counts

During world war II, different countries used different score systems and victory criteria for arieal kills count. So results comparison of different nations pilots isn't simple task.

  • USSR and Italy. These countries used "collectivist" principle, especially during Spanish Civil War and the begin of WW2. The plane which was shot down by a group of pilots counted as shared kill (group victory). And, of course, Individual kills (personal victories) were here too. So total score of a pilot is a summ of two figures: personal+shared
    Also, it was hard for the Soviet pilots to confirm theirs claims. Before 1943, planes downed to enemy territory weren't count.

  • USA and Great Britain. The mathematic principle. A kill divides by a number of pilots, and each pilot gets a part of a kill (0.25 , 0.33 , 0.5 and so on). And, of course, no-fractional figures are for individual kills.

  • France. Any kill (individual or shared) counts as individual. Also, it was easy for a pilot to confirm any his claim. Many probable kills counted as sure kills.

  • Romania used "greed" principle. From 1944, pilots were awarded 3 victories for downing a 4 or 6 engined aircraft, 2 victories for downing a 2 or 3 engined aircraft, and 1 victory for downing a single engined aircraft.
    Example: Cantacuzino has 56 confirmed kills, but this actually represents a total of 43 planes shot down.

  • Japan units used no individual scores. So most of info is taken from pilots' personal diaries and logs. That's unreliable and exaggerated.

  • Finland. Some aces has strange claims. For examle: Juutilainen has P51 Mustang and P38 Lightning in the kills list. Amazingly enough, because the opponent had no such planes...

  • Germany - the most classic case. "One pilot - one victory" principle declared. However, occasions are known, when the German pilots claimed number of victories, much bigger than actual Soviet losses and even bibber than number of Soviet planes engaged.
    Example: On 4th July 1943, 7 Soviet planes (2 Hampden, 3 DB-3F of 9GMTAP and 2 Il-2 Shturmovik) attacked a German ships. They were intercepted by 6 Bf109 leaded by commander of 7/JG5 Theodor Weissenberger. One Il-2 was shot down, and one Il-2, two Hampdens and one DB-3F had to ditch at a return route because of the combat damages. Only two torpedo bombers managed to land to a airdrome. German pilots claimed 16 (sixteen!) "victories", including 7 "kills" by Weissenberger.


    Photography and drawings galleries:

    Historical B&W Pe-2 Pe-3 Pe-8 photos
    Il-2 Il-2 Il-2 Il-2 Il-10
    Historical B&W Yak Yak-9 photos
    Historical B&W bombers Su-2 Il-4 photos
    Modern color I-152 I-153 I-16 photos
    Modern color U-2 photos
    Yak-1 drawings
    Yak-1B and Yak-3 drawings
    Yak-9T and Yak-9K drawings
    La-5 drawings
    I-15 and I-152 drawings
    I-16 type 6 and 10 drawings
    B&W British aid warplanes photo gallery
    American Lend-Lease planes B-25 A-20 P-40 photos
    Historical destroyed fighters FW-190 photo gallery
    Historical destroyed bombers Ju-88 photo gallery
    Historical destroyed transports photo gallery
    Historical captured airplanes photo gallery
    Historical captured piston fighters photo gallery
    Historical captured jet fighters photo gallery
    Specifications of the Soviet planes
    VVS USSR. The preflight briefing

    Specifications of the Soviet planes

    Biplane bombers Level bombers Attack planes Naval recon planes SPB flight
    Polikarpov fighters Mikoyan-Guryevich fighters Yakovlev fighters Lavochkin fighters


    Also, it was hard for the Soviet pilots to confirm theirs claims. Before 1943, planes downed to enemy territory weren't count Sovetia aerarmeo * shared kill (group victory)
    Soviet pilots near the bomber after a combat flight, Leningrad, 1942

    Tactic of Soviet fighter pilots in 1943 : Characteristics of 1943 fighters Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (Russian text & drawnings)

    Air combat instruction of 1945 : Intro Observe Attacks 'Scissors' (Russian text & drawnings)


    The myth about Luftwaffe chivalry

    Oh yes, the German pilots were the knights of the knights! They shot to an enemy pilots which had to bail out (the habbit from Spanish Civil War times). And they shot to a helpless civilian columns which tried to escape the invasion. Medical trucks and trains were the excellent targets for Luftwaffe pilots: it so was easy to aim the big red cross.
    I read so many memoirs about that...

    W.W.2 military airplanes information and facts

    USSR had not especial army recons, only recon modifications of linear warplanes. The "R" char is for "разведка" (Razvedka = recon) Pe-2R and Pe-3R, Yak-9R, Il-2R, also few lend-leased O52 Owl. Navy recon hydroplanes and flying boats: MBR-2, KOR, MDR-6, lend-leased Catalina.

    Sovetia aerarmeo

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