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> Spitfire with Red Stars, Spitfire in Soviet Union service
Iamandi
Posted: December 13, 2005 07:13 am
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How about this subject? I have in mind a lot of questions, about this subject.

For example: romanian fighters against russian pilotes Spitfire, how manny Spitfire an what types have VVS, how was the Spitfire in eyes of russian pilots, etc. ??

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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 13, 2005 08:14 am
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I do recall reading in some pilots memoires about meeting the Spitfires flwon by russians. Mostely - of what I read - the russians were glad to fly allied planes since they were more reliable then the russian built ones (and also had better performances). Not so sure about the hurricanes though :D The russians had many types of allied planes (Spitfires, Hurricanes, P40, P39, A20, and others) - a handfull of P40 being present at Stalingrad :) well, they weer left with 2 or 3 and only made airfield protection East of Vozlhsky during the battle for Stalingrad.

Here is a table (called Pirx's table) - it contains data about plane types and numbers (actually not exact numbers) used on the eastern front. However the numbers you see are not the exact numbers but rather a proportionality. It also has some flaws (especially with romanian planes) but it will give you a quick ideea of what was going on: http://www.d13-th.com/user/mytzu/pirx-table.xls
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Victor
Posted: December 13, 2005 11:05 am
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There were a couple engagements between the 7th Fighter Group and VVS fighters identified as Spitfires on 26 and 29 June 1943. However, it is possible they may have misidentified them.

As for the supposed better performances of the Western built aircraft received through Lend-Lease, I would't generalize Mytzu. The Soviet designers created some very good aircraft during the war, superior in many respects to some of the types they received from abroad.
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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 13, 2005 11:10 am
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Hehe, yes they did look good on paper, or the prototype - but frontline fighters untill late 1943 were of poor quality compared to the allied ones. I read some soviet pilots statements, they were really happy to fly a P40 or a P39 instead of their LaGG3 or Yak1, even if on paper the russian ones looked better. Late war russian birds were better - that is very true, but through most of the war it was not the case.
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Iamandi
Posted: December 13, 2005 11:18 am
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Well, if i was a russian pilot at the Stalingrad... P-40? Sounds like horror! I think they used P-40 for straffing missions. Nice looking plane, anyway.


But, how russians feel the Spit? Sure, was superior to theyr birds in the first part of the war, like almost all leand leased equipments. I remember about some modifications on Hurricane, at the weapons level. Did they changed weapons of the Spit?

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Iamandi
Posted: December 13, 2005 11:24 am
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QUOTE

Fighter Aircraft

          P-39                    5707 (4719 reached the USSR)

          P-40                    2397

          P-47                      195
          P-63                    2397 (21 lost in transfer)

          Hurricane                2952

          Spitfire                1331

          total:                  14982 (own production: 74740)


Bomber and Attack Aircraft

          A-20                    2908

          B-25                      862

          B-24                        1

          Hampden                    23

          Albemarle                  14

          Mosquito                    1

          total:                  3809 (own production: 65008)



Source: http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/gust...ry/lendlse.html

1331 Spitfire? A lot of them!

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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 13, 2005 11:29 am
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I don't have the data on my HDD anymore, but there was a squadron equiped with P40 at the start of Stalingrad, if I remember right they came from north of Stalingrad and later settled near Stalino, after few weeks only a handfull of them were left to fly, so they only did airfield protection missions. However I do not think russians used P40 for strafing missions, might be wrong though.
I didn't have a chance to read russian pilots impressions about the spit, I am also curious what they thought of it.
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Victor
Posted: December 13, 2005 12:43 pm
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QUOTE (D13-th_Mytzu @ Dec 13 2005, 01:10 PM)
Hehe, yes they did look good on paper, or the prototype - but frontline fighters untill late 1943 were of poor quality compared to the allied ones. I read some soviet pilots statements, they were really happy to fly a P40 or a P39 instead of their LaGG3 or Yak1, even if on paper the russian ones looked better. Late war russian birds were better - that is very true, but through most of the war it was not the case.

That's exaclty my point. You can't say that Western aircraft delivered to the USSR were superior to local designs, especially since the West usually sold them aircraft that their own air forces didn't like too much (like the P-39).

The difference was the fact that the Western aircraft were better manufactured, had radio sets, were safer and, why not, more conformtable. But it terms of actual combat perfomances they weren't superior to most of the Soviet built aircraft.

Also, I wouldn't go as far as to say that until late 1943 Soviet aircraft were of poorer quality. 1942 would be a better estimate, but then again, at that date, the Western aircraft were in small numbers in the VVS, as Lend-Lease just started to function.
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Jeff_S
Posted: December 13, 2005 08:38 pm
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QUOTE (Victor @ Dec 13 2005, 12:43 PM)
That's exaclty my point. You can't say that Western aircraft delivered to the USSR were superior to local designs, especially since the West usually sold them aircraft that their own air forces didn't like too much (like the P-39).

The difference was the fact that the Western aircraft were better manufactured, had radio sets, were safer and, why not, more conformtable. But it terms of actual combat perfomances they weren't superior to most of the Soviet built aircraft.

Also, I wouldn't go as far as to say that until late 1943 Soviet aircraft were of poorer quality. 1942 would be a better estimate, but then again, at that date, the Western aircraft were in small numbers in the VVS, as Lend-Lease just started to function.

I'm certainly no authority on the Soviet planes, but both the P-39 and P-40 were considered hopelessly outclassed by the Japanese fighters. They were too slow and not maneuverable enough. The sucess of the P-40 in China against the Japanese depended on very specific tactics, you certainly could not get into dogfight with a Type 00 and expect to come out alive. My understanding was that the attraction of the P-39 in Soviet service was due to the value of the 37mm cannon in attacking ground targets. (The P-63 was just an upgraded P-39, so probably the same thinking applies).

Of the American planes in the table, the P-47 and the bombers were all useful types. I would not want to fly against modern aircraft in the others.
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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 13, 2005 09:05 pm
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I think russian pilots would rather take a P40 in 1942 against an me109 then a russian LaGG3, Mig3 or Yak1/7b :) why ? see what me and Victor wrote. However in the PTO, things were different (also the quality of pilots was different). Russians built in big numbers in detriment of quality, japanese did not ;)
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Jeff_S
Posted: December 13, 2005 09:40 pm
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QUOTE (D13-th_Mytzu @ Dec 13 2005, 09:05 PM)
However in the PTO, things were different (also the quality of pilots was different).

Can you be more descriptive?

Also, while the quality of the Japanese pilots started high, it did not stay high. It was the pre-war trained pilots who were so good. After Midway and the fighting in the Solomons it declined significantly, and at just the wrong time, because the Americans were getting much better.

QUOTE
Russians built in big numbers in detriment of quality, japanese did not ;)


I've read the argument that the superiority of the Type 00 actually worked against the Japanese. They felt they were the best, so there was no need to improve. Consequently, they were still flying the same planes at the end of the war that they were at the beginning.

Not that I would rather be flying a Brewster Buffalo than a Zero. :P

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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 13, 2005 09:58 pm
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Well, the PTO had different needs and tactics then the eastern front, also the soviets had to face different planes then the allied in Pacific did, thus the planes russians got from US (which were not regarded as good planes in PTO) did their job very well on the eastern front - same thing happened with the buffalo: US pilots considered it a crap plane while the finns kicked major arse against the soviet pilots. Different fronts, different needs (could say the same about Fw190: on the western front it kicked arse, on the eastern front it had poor performances - different fronts, different needs/tactics).
About the Zero - they did not fly the same type from start of war untill the end :) they did use different models with various improvments (from speed, manouvrability and amrament).

As an example: lets take the P-400 used by US pilots in Guadalcanal, it could not use oxygen mask and it did not have supercharger to fight very high altidues, so when zeros and betties came at 7 - 8k they could only look up to them while the wildcats were able to engage. On the eastern front however, the P-39 did not have to fight at such altitudes. Also the P-40's that in Pacific had to engage the EXTREMLY manovreble Zeke, on the eastern front had to face the Me109 and not at very high altitudes - it could perform better then most of own soviet fighters of the era (1942).

This post has been edited by D13-th_Mytzu on December 13, 2005 09:59 pm
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Victor
Posted: December 14, 2005 12:47 pm
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QUOTE (D13-th_Mytzu @ Dec 13 2005, 11:05 PM)
I think russian pilots would rather take a P40 in 1942 against an me109 then a russian LaGG3, Mig3 or Yak1/7b :) why ? see what me and Victor wrote. However in the PTO, things were different (also the quality of pilots was different). Russians built in big numbers in detriment of quality, japanese did not ;)

Maybe instead of a LaGG-3 or MiG-3, but surely they would take the Yak-1B instead of the P-40 any day against a Bf-109F. As far as I know the Yak-1 was highly regarded by the Soviet pilots and this idea is clearly illustrated in Black Cross/Red Star vol. 1.
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D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 14, 2005 01:50 pm
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And how many Yak1b did they have in '41 - '42 ? :) Unfortunatelly for them, they had to fly the simple Yak1 or worse - the Yak7b. Yak1b came in numbers only starting '43. Most of russiant frontline squadrons were equpied with poor quality planes, I guess that is why they were glad to see some US or brit planes once in a while :]

PS: poor quality to be read not only as in poor performances planes - but poor quality of work when creating plane parts and assembling them (as I already said, they looked very good on paper, but not on the front).

This post has been edited by D13-th_Mytzu on December 14, 2005 01:51 pm
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Zayets
Posted: December 14, 2005 02:07 pm
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QUOTE (D13-th_Mytzu @ Dec 14 2005, 01:50 PM)
And how many Yak1b did they have in '41 - '42 ?

You can safely consider all(or almost all) Yak-1 until October 1942. There were few 1b, but only after October 1942 ALL 1's were built to "B" standard. First flight (aircraft No.3560) took place in June 1942, with aircraft entering production in August 4th.
At least that's the info I could extract so far.
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