Winter war [1939-1940]
Fighter Aces Winter War 1939-40 - Finns
Fighter Aces Winter War 1939-40 - Soviets
It is amazing what our small country has in common with Finland. Both countries arose as a result of a four-year bloody conflict that forever changed the established order in Europe and caused the disintegration of several monarchies. After the post-war consolidation, both countries survived a short period of calm between the wars, but directly and indirectly threatened by stronger or more ambitious neighbors.
At the very end of the Winter War (it raged from November 30, 1939 to March 13, 1940 ), Soviet pilots reported reports of clashes with " Spitfires ." Relatively often, pilots riding Polikarpov's I-153 competed with such marked aircraft. These were both pilots of the Baltic Air Force ( VVS KBF ) and members of the Air Force ( VVS RKKA ), especially members of two fighter regiments of a special air group ( OAGp ) operating from Estonian bases. Soviet reconnaissance and intelligence, however, made a serious mistake in identifying enemies, as the Soviets identified the machines as " Spitfires ."
The American fighter Curtiss Hawk 75A is known mainly from the French skies in the spring of 1940. In the cockpit of this elegant machine, however, a year later successfully fought other, perhaps unexpected pilots - the Finns. With their successes, they did not compete with their Western colleagues. A total of 15 of them gained the status of ace - the most successful was Allto Kalevi Tervo.
Biography of a Soviet fighter and test pilot, a veteran of several conflicts from the Spanish Civil War to the fighting in Korea, in which the reported total number of victories in some sources reaches 135. The fact attempts to reveal this article.
The Russian fighter of the 1930s was one of the best in the world in its category at the time of its creation. She successfully fought not only in the Spanish Civil War, but also in the Kuomintang Air Force, in the 1939-Russia-Russia border conflict and the 1939-40 Winter War with Finland, and even in the early days of the World War II, including defending Moscow and Leningrad, until enough more modern aircraft.
Anti-aircraft guns fired and the glass in the windows of Helsinki's houses rumbled. It was November 30, 1939, and silver twin-engine machines marked with red five-pointed stars flew over the Finnish capital. Only a few hours ago, without declaring war, Stalin's communist empire launched an attack on its much smaller neighbor, the Republic of Finland.
On November 30, 1939, the Red Army launched an attack on Finland without declaring war. The winter war has begun. There were immediate initial raids on Finnish cities. The most tragic course was the afternoon bombing of Helsinki by bombers of the 1st MTAP ( 1st Mine and Torpedo Air Regiment ) of the Baltic Air Force. 91 civilians lost their lives and 236 other inhabitants of the Finnish capital suffered injuries. It was just the beginning of the Soviet Air Force's bombing campaign against Finnish targets in the rear, which continued throughout the Winter War. The perpetrator of the inaugural massacre in Helsinki - the crew of the Ilyushin DB-3, belonging to the 3rd Squadron of the 1st MTAP mr. NA Tokareva - they returned over the metropolis the very next day, December 1. They dropped 17 FAB-250 bombs on a target identified as military warehouses. This time there were no casualties on the part of Finnish civilians.
Russia's plan was to crush the Finnish resistance by occupying the country and cutting it in two in the narrowest part, while the air force was to demoralize civilians and dismantle the state machinery. No surprises took place, nothing deviated from the scope of blitzkrieg tactics except the reckless application of bombs. With the bombing of civilians and the deployment of incendiary bombs against them, the Soviets recalculated.
On December 23, 1939, at 6:30 in the morning, the Finns launched a fresh counterattack with a fresh head of the 6th Division (still in reserve) in which all units on the Karelian Neck participated.
At the beginning of 1940, the Russians did not have a rosy position in Finland. They stopped a large part of the actions started in mid-December along the entire length of the Eastern Front. She also held the Karelian neck. There were enormous losses in the onslaught of the Mannerheim Line, and the coldest period of the winter was yet to come.