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Miroslav Šnajdr

Miroslav Šnajdr

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Against the flood - Sedan 13th of May, 1940

If the French infantry crouching in the forts, trenches, and cannon positions on the south bank of the Meuse River near Sedan on May 13, 1940, looked at the spring sky, they would see only enemy aircraft.
🕔︎ 10.11.2011 👁︎ 22.819

Assalto! British Blitzkrieg

In the summer of 1940, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini watched with growing dissatisfaction the inaction of Italian troops stationed in Libya. After the death of Marshal Italo Balbo (killed in a S.79 bomber, accidentally shot down by Italian anti-aircraft artillery near Tobruk on June 28), Marshal Rodolfo Graziani became the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in North Africa. He tried to gather the necessary forces for the offensive required by Rome against Egypt. Finally, under threat of appeal, he reluctantly launched an attack on September 13, 1940.

🕔︎ 12.02.2015 👁︎ 23.874

Assalto! Italian assault air force

"Modern Italy, which rightly calls itself 'Winged Italy', has a powerful military air force, whose war value is remarkable, especially nowadays. The construction of a massive air force was accepted as one of the main points of the program already during the construction of a new fascist state by Mussolini himself, who - himself a pilot-airman - pays more and more attention to the air force ... " wrote J.B. Bláha in an article in the June 1936 issue of Aviation. That it was not so famous with the fighting force of Regia Aeronautica, despite the massive fascist propaganda, can be documented on the example of the combat air force.
🕔︎ 01.02.2015 👁︎ 24.880

Battles over Sedan

The actual day of judgment came for the crews of Fairey Battle light bombers from the Advanced Air Assault Army (AASF) on May 14, 1940. British pilots in obsolete aircraft and without proper security with their own fighters were uncompromisingly thrown directly into the epicenter of the ongoing battle, the Sedan area. The result was one of the largest massacres of RAF bombers during World War II.

🕔︎ 08.03.2018 👁︎ 15.267

Beaufighters and Operation Crusader - part 1

The operational activities of Beaufighters outside the Home islands are thus somewhat out of the interest of aviation historians and the general reading public. That this is not entirely justified is shown, for example, by the deployment of the 272nd RAF Squadron during Operation Crusader on the North African desert battlefield (Western Desert Air Force) in November and December 1941.

🕔︎ 05.09.2019 👁︎ 7.965

Beaufighters and Operation Crusader - part 2

November 19, 1941. The second day of Operation Crusader , an Allied offensive on the North African battlefield aimed at releasing besieged Tobruk. At the murmur of powerful engines, four Beaufighters Mk.Ic of the 272nd Squadron of the RAF took off from the LG.10 Gerawla field base in the morning at 6.40 am. The weather was unfavorable, as few would have imagined when saying the word "desert."

🕔︎ 05.09.2019 👁︎ 8.681

Blackburn Skua (1)

In 1934, the Ministry of Aviation (Air Ministry) issued specification O.27 / 34 for a multi-purpose on-board aircraft, combining the role of a fighter and a dive bomber. The result of the development was the Blackburn Skua aircraft, which at the time of the entry of the United Kingdom into the war with Germany formed the armament of two FAA squadrons. The following article deals with the construction of this unique aircraft.
🕔︎ 17.05.2010 👁︎ 31.098

Blackburn Skua (2)

The Blackburn Skua was a somewhat non-standard combination of fighter jet and dive bomber. In addition, designed for operations from the decks of aircraft carriers. You will find out how this "hybrid" proved itself during combat deployment during the Second World War in the following lines.
🕔︎ 17.05.2010 👁︎ 35.083

Buffalo Mk.I versus Zero

The American fighter Buffalo has become a real synonym for failure in the history of air battles in World War II. The characteristically shaped monoplane was developed by Brewster as an onboard aircraft for the US Navy. The only clearly successful deployment was the service of the Model 239 version in the ranks of the Finnish Air Force. In the British RAF, which together with the USN was one of its largest users, it completely failed.

🕔︎ 30.09.2012 👁︎ 30.642

Buffalo of the British Naval Air Force 1

The bulging Brewster Buffalos were the first fighter monoplanes aboard American aircraft carriers. However, the ships did not warm up for a long time on the ships and were quickly replaced by the more modern F4F Wildcat. The aircraft thus began its combat career in the air forces of Finland, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The following lines will introduce you to the work of the "buffalo" in the RAF.
🕔︎ 11.01.2010 👁︎ 40.383

Buffalo of the British Naval Air Force 2

The bulging Brewster Buffalos were the first fighter monoplanes aboard American aircraft carriers. However, the ships did not warm up for a long time on the ships and were quickly replaced by the more modern F4F Wildcat. The aircraft thus began its combat career in the air forces of Finland, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The following lines will introduce you to the work of the " buffalo " in the RAF.
🕔︎ 11.01.2010 👁︎ 37.644

Descendants of the Aztecs against the U-Boots

The half-forgotten episodes of World War II include the actions of the Mexican Air Force against the German U-Boots. As part of the Fuerza Aérea Mexicana, the originally training North American AT-6 Texan training aircraft took part in the anti-submarine campaign.

🕔︎ 24.02.2013 👁︎ 20.866

Embarrassed entrée - combat baptism of Bomber Command RAF

3 min. after noon on 3 September 1939, at a moment when the state of war between the United Kingdom and Germany lasted only an hour, took off from the airfield at Wyton Blenheim Mk.IV serial number N6215 from the state 139. Sq. RAF. The aircraft, piloted by F/O A. M. McPherson, was given a truly historic role - to make the first RAF combat flight over enemy territory in the new war. Instructions instructed the crew to reconnoitre Wilhelmshaven and airfields in north-west Germany.

🕔︎ 26.09.2012 👁︎ 25.004

Falca in the service of the Luftwaffe

On the night of March 11-12, 1944, five German pilot-operated Fiat CR.42LW biplanes from the Nachtschlachtgruppe 9 took off to attack Allied positions on the Italian front. More than three years after the night fighters Arado Ar 68 disappeared from the first-line armament of the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force began to use fighter biplanes again in combat. Of course, no longer in their original fighter role, but for night battles.

🕔︎ 05.09.2011 👁︎ 28.902

Fighters and the Abyssinian crisis

When asked what the Italian fighter Fiat CR.20 and its British counterpart Bristol Bulldog Mk.IIA have in common, perhaps every more informed reader will come up with a simple answer: the classic bi-plane concept and service life. A lesser known fact is that both types operated for the same time in the same operational area - East Africa. This is during the international crisis caused by the Italian attack on Abyssinia.
🕔︎ 19.05.2011 👁︎ 24.827

First Liberators of His Majesty - Part 1

During World War II, a total of 18,481 copies of all versions of the American four-engine Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber were created. The type has indelibly written into aviation history not only by the impressive number of machines built, but also by the extent of its combat deployment, not only within the USAAF, but also the British RAF. The Royal Air Force acquired more than 2,000 machines, which it used in the first line in 1941-1947. The Liberators became famous in British colors mainly as an effective anti-submarine weapon, but they also served in a bombing role, in special operations, in electronic warfare or in air transport. However, the beginnings of their service with the RAF were relatively modest.
🕔︎ 04.01.2016 👁︎ 21.971

First Liberators of His Majesty - Part 2

The initial Liberator, which flew across the North Atlantic from the United States to Britain, became the LB-30A machine serial number AM259. A pair of pilots: S / L Waghorn and F / L Summers, landed a four-engine machine at Squires Gate Airport in Blackpool, UK on March 14, 1941.
🕔︎ 09.02.2016 👁︎ 23.251

Forgotten warriors of the famous battle

In connection with the well-known air battle of Britain, Fighter Command pilots are most often mentioned when describing the activities of the RAF. It is logical, it was a battle of the United Kingdom defensive and its weight lay on the shoulders of pilots and aircraft of the Air Force Command. However, pilots and aircraft of other RAF headquarters also intervened in the ongoing fighting.
🕔︎ 09.11.2012 👁︎ 22.597

French bombers over Sedan

On the evening of May 13, 1940, the French command finally began to realize the seriousness of the situation on the front held by Sedan by the 2nd Army. Based on the order of Gen. Vuillemin was to be thrown into battle the next day the 1ère Division Aérienne ( 1st Air Division ), operating in the ZOAN and concentrating the core of the French bombing units. The extent of the Armée de l´Air armament crisis is evidenced by the fact that the entire French bomber air force operating at the front (units of the 3rd Air Division, operating in the Eastern Air Operations Area of the ZOAE, subordinated to the 1st Air Division after the German offensive) had only 65 combat-ready machines. Of these, only 27 were machines of modern design LeO 451 and Bre 693. It was the acute shortage of modern machines that forced the French to deploy the obsolete Amiot 143 on a daily attack that day, called " Amiot Bus " for its unsightly square shapes. With their low performance, they were only suitable for night events, which also formed their exclusive combat content until now.
🕔︎ 19.11.2011 👁︎ 23.756

Grumman FF-1, SF-1 and GE-23 Dolphin - part 1

During the Spanish Civil War, a number of types originally from the United States served in the Republican Air Force. Due to the US embargo on the export of military equipment to the Iberian Peninsula, these were almost always civilian aircraft and, in a few cases, individual pieces of military aircraft. The only exception was the Grumman GE-23, called the "Dolphin" in the Republican Air Force. This two-seat fighter and fighter aircraft was an export version of the Grumman FF-1, built for the US Navy. The Spanish Government Air Force acquired a total of 34 copies, produced under license by the Canadian manufacturer Canadian Car & Foundry Company. They included them in the regular service in the spring of 1938.
🕔︎ 21.09.2018 👁︎ 9.436

Grumman FF-1, SF-1 and GE-23 Dolphin - part 2

The emissaries of the Spanish Republic, searching in the USA for suitable types to strengthen the government air force, encountered a biplane two-seat fighter Grumman FF-1 in the fall of 1936. This probably happened in September, when the United States held a cap. Augustín Sanz Sainz. And so it is most likely to be said that the decision to manufacture these aircraft at the Canadian Car & Foundry Company (CC & FC) factory in Fort William was from the very beginning the interest of the Spanish Republicans.
🕔︎ 05.09.2019 👁︎ 6.200

Gulls against the "Spitfire"

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 ."
🕔︎ 22.02.2015 👁︎ 28.890

Heinkel biplane fighters in the USSR

When Soviet specialists from the NII VVS thoroughly examined the captured He 51B-1 fighter in Spain in 1937, it did not surprise them significantly. It appeared to be a logical outcome of the development of older biplane fighter types of the German company Heinkel, with which the Soviets had considerable experience. In previous years, they bought and tested two copies of the HD 37 and HD 43, and even included the modified HD 37 in the RKKA VVS armament under the designation I-7.
🕔︎ 01.02.2015 👁︎ 16.987

In the Spanish sky - Avia BH-33

The first aircraft of Czechoslovak construction, which appeared in the sky of civil war-torn Spain, became the fighter Avia BH-33E. The only specimen arrived on the Iberian Peninsula at the end of August 1936. It can serve as a textbook example of how the Republican Air Force gained combat aircraft after the outbreak of hostilities. In addition, it can also be used as an example of the sad fact that the effort made did not match the final effect. The famous saying " For a lot of money, little music " is suitable for the Avia BH-33E.
🕔︎ 02.10.2012 👁︎ 25.277

In the Spanish sky - Bellanca 28-70 and 28-90

Among the interesting and today almost forgotten aircraft constructions that flashed through the history of the Spanish Civil War are the American types Bellanca 28-70 and 28-90.
🕔︎ 07.03.2013 👁︎ 14.803

In the Spanish sky - Blériot-SPAD S 51 and S 91

Long after the end of the Spanish Civil War, there were reports that the Republican Air Force had actively deployed Blériot-SPAD S 510 biplane fighters of French origin in the fighting. Machines of this type were also among the victories of insurgent fighters.
🕔︎ 26.09.2012 👁︎ 26.895

In the Spanish sky - Bloch MB 210

The position of the most modern Republican bomber before the arrival of the Soviet Tupolevs SB was acquired by the French twin-engine type Bloch MB 210. Compared to another French design, the Potez 54 high-altitude aircraft, it was an all-metal aircraft with a classic layout, a self-supporting low-flying aircraft. The good impression was somewhat spoiled by the then angularity of the then Société des Avions Marcel Bloch products. Unfortunately, the small amount of MB 210 delivered from France did not allow this bomber type to play a more significant role in Spain.
🕔︎ 21.02.2013 👁︎ 22.973

In the Spanish sky - Breguet 460 M5 Vultur

The aviation actions of the Spanish Civil War fascinate with the presence of a large number of different aircraft structures. Types flew over the Iberian Peninsula, which then played a significant part during World War II. And also here it was possible to see really rare aircraft. Undoubtedly, this second group included the only prototype of the French twin-engine multi-seat combat aircraft Breguet 460.
🕔︎ 18.02.2015 👁︎ 14.471

In the Spanish sky - Bristol Bulldog II

During their career, the Bulldogs II only got into real combat in a single air force, at the very end of their life. A total of eight fighters of this type were sold by Estonia to Republican Spain, in the colors of which biplanes in 1937 intervened in an encounter in the Asturian sky. The predominant nationalist aircraft faced here, including the much more modern machines of the German Legion Condor .
🕔︎ 13.05.2011 👁︎ 26.324

In the Spanish sky - Dewoitine D.371

In the second half of the Spanish Civil War, the armament of the fighter component of the Republican Air Force relied almost exclusively on the Soviet Polikarp I-15 and I-16. Other types of single-seat fighters were usually available in only a few copies and served outside the main combat areas, mainly to cover the long Mediterranean coast. These included the French Dewoitine D.371 high-altitude fighters.
🕔︎ 01.09.2011 👁︎ 23.605

In the Spanish sky - Dornier Do 17

Requirements for new German bombers of modern concept, which appeared in the form of He 111E-1, Ju 86D-1 and Do 17E-1 in February 1937 on the Spanish battlefield, arose in the first half of the 1930s. That is, at a time when Germany was still formally complying with the arms restrictions resulting from the Treaty of Versailles, imposed on the Weimar Republic by the victorious powers of 1919. The aircraft were therefore originally declared as civilian types; in reality, however, they were created in such a way that their construction could be used in both civilian and military roles without major problems.
🕔︎ 10.02.2015 👁︎ 18.602

In the Spanish sky - Douglas DC-2

"Planes were approaching trucks. Darras could not see the bombs flying to the ground in the sun. But he saw them explode like rosary beads in the fields. He was beginning to feel pain in his bandaged leg. He knew that one of the Douglases didn't have a sight, and that he was bombing through an enlarged toilet opening. Suddenly part of the road stopped: the column was interrupted. One of the bombs hit a truck, and it collapsed across the road. The bombs have landed so far… "
🕔︎ 12.02.2015 👁︎ 16.006

In the Spanish sky - Fiat BR.20 Cicogna

The combat value of Italian aircraft from the late 1930s and the initial period of World War II is usually viewed with a certain amount of skepticism. However, this is not entirely appropriate - at least when evaluating the bomber types deployed by Aviazione Legionaria on the Spanish battlefield.
🕔︎ 04.11.2012 👁︎ 18.282

In the Spanish sky - Fiat CR.20

Some planes really intervened in the Spanish Civil War. Other air types only touched on the events on the Iberian Peninsula. The second group includes an older sibling of the famous Fiat CR.32, CR.20 aircraft.
🕔︎ 19.05.2011 👁︎ 23.252

In the Spanish sky - Hawker Spanish Fury

The British Hawker Spanish Fury has become one of the most remarkable fighter types of the initial phase of the Spanish Civil War. Although only three specimens arrived on the Iberian Peninsula, and in September 1936 the last of them remained in regular service with the Republican Air Force, but the type gained an excellent reputation in the Aviación Militar. He confirmed his value in the heavy fighting on the approaches to Madrid in the summer and autumn of 1936.
🕔︎ 09.11.2012 👁︎ 20.837

In the Spanish sky - Heinkel He 111 B

The elegant twin-engine medium bomber Heinkel He-111 was one of the most successful German types from the 1930s and early 1940s. Especially in the first half of World War II, it formed the basis of the Luftwaffe bombing unit. However, his successful operational career began in Spain, where, according to Sonderstab W documents, a total of 97 He-111B and He-111E were delivered with a total value of 39,512,485 Reichsmarks.
🕔︎ 28.05.2011 👁︎ 25.948

In the Spanish sky - Heinkel He 112 B

Spanish pilots were given the opportunity for the first time to test the German fighter He 112 in flight in the summer of 1938. At that time in the Iberian Peninsula, Ernst Heinkel AG under operational conditions demonstrated the prototype He 112 V9 ( W.Nr.1944, D-IGSI ).
🕔︎ 03.11.2012 👁︎ 21.920

In the Spanish sky - Heinkel He 112 V6 and V9

During the Civil War, the Spanish battlefield served Nazi Germany as an ideal polygon for testing tactical procedures and military equipment. Among the aircraft, which in the state of the famous Legion Condor really only blinked for testing in operational conditions, was also the only prototype of the fighter Heinkel He 112 V6. It occurred in Spain from the end of November 1936 until the crash on July 19 of the following year.
🕔︎ 24.02.2013 👁︎ 20.054

In the Spanish sky - Heinkel He 51

In August 1936, an introductory pair of German aircraft, the Junkers Ju 52 / 3m transport and bomber, and the Heinkel He 51 B-1 fighter, appeared on the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War.
🕔︎ 27.10.2012 👁︎ 21.814

In the Spanish sky - Henschel Hs 123 A

The Henschel Hs 123 A biplane was one of the first types sent to Spain for combat combat after the decision to expand Operation " Feuerzauber " ( German intervention in the ongoing civil war on the side of the insurgents ).
🕔︎ 21.02.2011 👁︎ 24.232

In the Spanish sky - Hispano-Nieuport 52

The most important fighter type of the first weeks of the Spanish Civil War was the obsolete Hispano-Nieuport 52, forming in the summer of 1936 the standard armament Aviación Militar. It was used intensively mainly by the Republican Air Force, a smaller number were also gained by the insurgents after the coup. The first air victories of the tragic civil conflict were won by the pilots of both opposing parties in the cabins of these fighters.
🕔︎ 10.11.2011 👁︎ 42.327

In the Spanish sky - IMAM Ro.41

Italian light fighters IMAM Ro.41 in Spain received only limited combat service. In the first line, the insurgents used them only very briefly in 1937 and did not encounter the enemy in the air at all. However, aircraft played a very important role in the training of new generations of fighter pilots of the Spanish Nationalist Air Force.
🕔︎ 20.02.2015 👁︎ 16.865

In the Spanish sky - Junkers Ju 86 D-1

During the Civil War, the Germans tested all three types of the Luftwaffe bombing unit at the time during the Civil War: Heinkel He 111, Dornier Do 17 and Junkers Ju 86. If the deployment under real combat conditions confirmed the quality of the first two structures, Junkers Ju 86 D- 1, tested on the Iberian Peninsula in five copies, failed. The not very successful deployment in Spain foreshadowed the further fate of this aircraft, the children of the well-known company Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke AG.
🕔︎ 25.09.2012 👁︎ 23.162

In the Spanish sky - Letov Sh-231

Czechoslovak Letov Š-231 fighter biplanes left a relatively significant mark in Spain's civil war. Machines of this type served in the Iberian Peninsula in the ranks of the government air force from spring 1937 to February 1939. Even with the Republican defeat " Spanish " history of the Š-231 flights did not end, as three captured machines continued to fly in the Frankish Air Force after the Civil War.
🕔︎ 11.02.2015 👁︎ 23.595

In the Spanish sky - Loire 46

In the autumn of 1936, the French Loire 46 were among the most powerful fighters of the Republican Air Force.
🕔︎ 17.02.2011 👁︎ 23.704

In the Spanish sky - Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard - Fighter who missed the Great War

When the nationalist uprising began in Morocco on July 17, 1936, which resulted in a bloody civil war, the Spanish naval air force Aeronáutica Naval still had several copies of the Martinsyde F.4 biplane fighter. The word "still" is correct, because this archaic type was created during the First World War!
🕔︎ 31.01.2015 👁︎ 14.785

In the Spanish sky - Messerschmitt Bf 109 C

Only five Bf 109C-1s, delivered to Tablady in April 1938, became the least represented variant of the 109 operating in Spain during the Civil War. They strengthened the armament of the J / 88 Legion of the Condor Legion.
🕔︎ 19.09.2017 👁︎ 15.997

In the Spanish sky - Messerschmitt Bf 109 E

The first Messerschmitt Bf 109 E appeared in the Spanish sky at the very end of 1938. They brought a completely new quality to the Iberian Peninsula in the category of fighter aircraft.
🕔︎ 08.10.2014 👁︎ 22.978

In the Spanish sky - Polikarpov I-15

The true legend of the air battles of the Spanish Civil War became the Soviet biplane fighter Polikarpov 1-15, in the ranks of the Republican Air Force called Chato.
🕔︎ 28.02.2013 👁︎ 19.662

In the Spanish sky - Polikarpov I-15bis

At the very end of the Spanish Civil War, Soviet fighter biplanes Polikarpov I-15bis appeared on the Iberian Peninsula. Under the name Super-Chato, it was not enough to intervene significantly in the ongoing fighting. The time of the Spanish Republicans was relentlessly short, and there were only weeks left until the complete defeat of the government forces.
🕔︎ 16.05.2011 👁︎ 21.572

In the Spanish sky - Polikarpov I-16 type 5

Polikarpov I-16 undoubtedly ranked among the most important aircraft structures operating during the Spanish Civil War. The characteristically shaped monoplane gained over time ( at least in the Soviet Union and later also in the then socialist Czechoslovakia) as a kind of icon of this conflict. It was an aircraft in its time undoubtedly remarkable concept and high performance, with a fairly significant impact on the course of air encounters. However, his operational career in the Spanish Republican Air Force did not lack enough problematic moments and was certainly not as dazzling as was presented for decades by Soviet propagandists.
🕔︎ 21.02.2015 👁︎ 18.325

In the Spanish sky - Polikarpov I-16 type 5 and type 6

After its baptism of combat on 10-13. November Polikarp's I-16 continued further actions in the Madrid sky. Together with the biplane I-15s, they dramatically changed the situation in the air over the Spanish central battlefield for a time. Pilotos rusos (Russian pilots) in their powerful aircraft quickly became literally darlings of the people of Madrid and had a great influence on the rise of republican morale.
🕔︎ 25.02.2015 👁︎ 18.503

In the Spanish sky - Polikarpov R-5 Rasante

Deliveries of Soviet military aircraft to Republican Spain began on October 15, when the steamer Staryi Bolshevik, carrying the first ten Tupolev SB-16 type 5 bombers, 30 Tupolev SB bombers and 31 battle Polikarpov R-5SSS, anchored in the port of Cartagena. The latter machines remain a bit in the shadow of the other three types.
🕔︎ 21.11.2011 👁︎ 23.748

In the Spanish sky - Polikarpov R-Z Natacha

The basic tactical aircraft of the Spanish Government Air Force, used from 1937 until the bitter end of the Civil War for bombing operations near the front, became the Soviet Polikarpov R-Z. It was a very outdated construction for the conditions of the second half of the 1930s.
🕔︎ 09.02.2016 👁︎ 23.244

In the Spanish sky - Polikarpov UTI-4

During the occasional war, the fighter monoplane Polikarpov I-16 became famous in the Spanish sky. The Soviets delivered a total of 276 Polikarpov I-16 types 5, 6 and 10 to Spain during the conflict. Deliveries began in early November 1936 with the arrival of the first 31 machines. The planes became known in Spain on the Republican side under the name Mono or Mosca (Fly) and in the nationalist camp as Rata (Rat).
🕔︎ 01.02.2015 👁︎ 17.326

In the Spanish sky - Potez 25

The most widespread French aircraft of the interwar period was the Potez 25 multi-purpose biplane. In addition to the French Air Force, Potezy 25 served in the air forces of 21 states. One of them was also Spain, where planes intervened in the fighting during the Civil War on the Republican side.
🕔︎ 03.05.2016 👁︎ 16.965

In the Spanish sky - PWS-10

The military constructions of the Polish aviation industry were represented in the Spanish sky during the Civil War by PWS-10 fighters. In 1936, the insurgents bought a total of 20. Immediately after delivery, it turned out that this was not a profitable investment. Outdated, unreliable and difficult-to-operate machines could not offer much positive to their new users. The Spaniards had to whistle an attempt to arm the fighter squadron almost immediately and transferred the machines straight to the second line.
🕔︎ 14.11.2011 👁︎ 40.186

In the Spanish sky - SIAI Savoia Marchetti S.79 Sparviero

During the Spanish Civil War, the world 's public learned to fear bombers. The so-called terrorist raids, ie attacks aimed at the civilian population, were mainly associated with the actions of aircraft of the German Legion Condor. Even more active players in raids on urban agglomerations, however, were the Italians, who gained a dubious reputation through indiscriminate attacks by fast Savoia-Marchetti S.79 bombers stationed in Mallorca against ports on the Mediterranean coast.
🕔︎ 08.09.2011 👁︎ 22.078

In the Spanish sky - SIAI Savoia-Marchetti S.81 Pipistrello

Among the successful types of aircraft of the Spanish Civil War was the Italian bomber SIAI Savoia-Marchetti S.81 Pipistrello ( Bat ). It represented the most important Italian bombing structure of the mid-1930s, in the period before the advent of the new S.79 and Fiat BR.20. He intervened in the Italian campaign in Abyssinia and successfully in the fighting in civil war-torn Spain.
🕔︎ 01.10.2012 👁︎ 19.578

In the Spanish sky - Vultee V-1A

An article on the deployment of a modern Vultee V-1A transport aircraft as a light bomber during the Spanish Civil War. For the Czech reader, the V-1A is also interesting in that at the end of his Spanish engagement, the Czechoslovak pilot Jan Ferák flew on it.
🕔︎ 05.09.2011 👁︎ 21.802

Incident in Krosno, April 15, 1941

Fighting air battles over Britain were still raging over the British Isles when Adolf Hitler turned his attention to the east, against his temporary ally, Stalin's Soviet Union. Hitler had no sentimental relations with the Bolshevik Empire and saw in the campaign to the east an opportunity to resolve the stalemate in his struggle with the defiant United Kingdom.
🕔︎ 01.09.2011 👁︎ 28.486

Italian attack planes over the sea of sand

In June 1940, the Italian Air Force was in serious crisis. This is best seen in the units serving in North Africa within the Comando Aeronautica Libia ( Libya Air Command - since July 4 it was redesignated the 5th and Squadra Aerea or "5th Air Force" ).

🕔︎ 11.02.2015 👁︎ 19.531

Junck's special commando

The spring of 1941 was one of the most successful war periods for the Luftwaffe . German bombers crushed British cities with night raids and delivered hard blows to Royal Navy vessels in the Mediterranean. Luftflotte 4 aircraft effectively supported the lightning victory of the Wehrmacht in Yugoslavia and Greece. German fighters triumphed in air battles over Malta and vigorously entered the North African battlefield. A single minor tone was lost in the symphony of success: the embarrassing result of a special Luftwaffe action to help Iraq's anti-British insurgents.
🕔︎ 13.02.2015 👁︎ 21.974

Liberators for the Chinese battlefield

On 4 May 1943, the 14. AF to that time the largest offensive action of the USAAF on the Chinese battlefield. Thirty bombers and 24 P-40 fighters took off from airfields in Chenggung, Yenkai, and Kunming in the morning.

🕔︎ 04.11.2012 👁︎ 24.452

Man against man, machine against machine

This book is devoted to selected episodes of air battles taking place during World War II. The individual chapters describe the events that took place on the air battlefields in Western Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Eastern Front and Southeast Asia.
🕔︎ 17.05.2010 👁︎ 16.842

Messerschmit Bf 109 E vs. Fokker D.XXI

Nazi Germany launched its West European offensive, Westfeldzug, on May 10, 1940. More specifically, its first phase, Fall Gelb (the "Yellow" plan) involving an attack on the neutral Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and northern France. The offensive included massive Luftwaffe attacks on French, Belgian and Dutch airports.
🕔︎ 27.10.2012 👁︎ 33.398

Mosquitos vs Gestapo

British de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito aircraft became actors in a number of special aviation events during World War II. Operation Jericho - ie the attack on the German prison in Amiens, France, on February 18, 1944 - became the most widely known, as is another article in this MR special. However, it did not remain an isolated shot. The RAF Mosquitos carried out a series of similar actions aimed at helping the resistance in the occupied countries. Some of them were aimed specifically at the dreaded Nazi secret state police.

🕔︎ 15.02.2015 👁︎ 37.476

Naval airmen of His Majesty against the Blitzkrieg (1. part)

Hitler's Germany on May 10, 1940 launched its Western Offensive ( Westfeldz), leading to the occupation of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the collapse of France and the expulsion of the British from the continent. The critical phase of the fighting was intervened in many accounts of the events of the time by the wrongfully neglected men of the British Fleet Air Arm - His Majesty's naval pilots.
🕔︎ 15.02.2015 👁︎ 19.526

Naval airmen of His Majesty against the Blitzkrieg (2. part)

On the evening of May 20, the first soldiers and vehicles from the German 2nd Panzerdivision, belonging to the Heeresgruppe A, penetrated the coast of the English Channel near Noyelles-sur-Mer. Only 11 days have passed since the start of the German offensive on the Western Front, and the fatal rupture of the French defense on the Meuse near Sedan took place just a week ago. Allied troops fighting in Belgium, as well as their rear, based in northwestern France, now remained cut off from the rest of the French army in the south.
🕔︎ 19.02.2015 👁︎ 16.365

Naval airmen of His Majesty against the Blitzkrieg (3. part)

The order to launch Operation Dynamo, the famous evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Flanders, was issued at 6.57 pm on May 26, 1940. As early as midnight, the first evacuation ship, the mail steamer Mona's Isle, docked in the French port. A total of 1420 British soldiers boarded the vessel. At dawn on May 27, Mona's Isle set out on its return journey. The operation, which was also covered by His Majesty's naval pilots, began. By the night of June 3-4, Royal Navy vesselshad evacuated 308,888 men; The vessel of the French Marine Nationale rescued another 48,474 soldiers. The operation thus ended in unexpected success, although, as Winston Churchill recalled, "evacuations do not win wars ."
🕔︎ 21.02.2015 👁︎ 16.769

Operation Meridian I

World War II was a real global conflict for the British Royal Navy, straining the limited resources of the proud Albion Navy to the very limit. The match was tough, accompanied by many victories, but also a number of failures. Since 1944, the attention of the Royal Navy has increasingly turned from Nazi Germany and the European operational area to Southeast Asia and the Pacific, against Imperial Japan.
🕔︎ 12.05.2011 👁︎ 27.630

Operation Meridian II

Due to the worsening weather, the British were able to proceed with another strike of Operation " Meridian ", a raid on the Songei Gerong refinery (" Meridian II "), until January 29, 1945. The task force, meanwhile, moved in radio silence near Sumatra and refueled from TF.69 tankers.
🕔︎ 16.05.2011 👁︎ 26.423

Paris-London line

In the initial period of World War II, in addition to the Armée de l'Air and Aéronautique Navale fighter jets, French transport aircraft also appeared at British airports. They flew mainly on the route connecting Paris with London. So on a truly exceptional airline of extraordinary importance at the time. Paris and London both represented the political heart of the then Allied coalition, which, after a long period of reconciliation, finally found enough strength to oppose Nazi Germany. The state of war between the United Kingdom and Hitler's Germany prevailed from 11 a.m. on September 3, 1939. After further hours of torturous procrastination, France joined at 5:30 p.m.
🕔︎ 01.02.2015 👁︎ 15.770

Predators of the night sky

The night activity of the insurgent bombers posed an unpleasant problem for the Republicans in the summer of 1937. Among other things, because within reach of the bases of the nationalist Junkers Ju 52 / 3m, Madrid was not too far from the Brunette front.
🕔︎ 01.09.2011 👁︎ 23.687

Red shadows of the Estonian sky

Soviet military planes appeared on Estonian bases in the autumn of 1939, at a time when Stalin's empire was moving west for the first time after the outbreak of World War II. During the famous Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland, which broke out on November 30, 1939, the Soviets also conducted combat operations from Estonian territory, although it was formally an independent neutral state, not participating in the war. Bombers and fighters taking off from Estonian airports repeatedly attacked Finnish targets. Combat operations were accompanied by several incidents in which aircraft marked with red stars played a role, and in one case also the Estonian fighter Bristol Bulldog.
🕔︎ 18.02.2011 👁︎ 41.329

Sedan May 13, 1940

If there is talk of air battles accompanying the famous battle of Sedan in 1940, then it is almost always the action of 14 May. That day, there were literally suicide bombings by British bombers against German pontoon bridges over the Meus River.
🕔︎ 07.09.2011 👁︎ 32.179

Stalin's "Dexterous Biplanes" - I-15bis above Chalchyn Gol

In 2010, a Russian expedition searching the battlefield in the area of the Chalchyn River for the remains of Soviet soldiers found fragments of the wreck of a Polikarpov I-15bis fighter. The machine was identified as an aircraft serial number 3934. It belonged to the 4th Squadron of the 70th IAP and was shot down on June 22, 1939 as one of more than 60 machines of this type, written off by the Soviet Air Force during the known conflict. The found remains of the fallen pilot, k.-n. V.I. Jurecký, were buried in Chojbalsan, Mongolia on August 2, 2010.
🕔︎ 02.11.2012 👁︎ 25.814

Stalin's bombers are attacking - the first day of the Winter war

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.
🕔︎ 07.03.2013 👁︎ 28.312

Stuka Hunters

During the first 24 hours of operation Overlord (from 21.00 5. June 1944 to 6. June), the Normandy landings, the aircraft of the USAAF and the RAF made a total of 25.275 sorties, of which 15 004 accounted for the direct support of the ongoing invasion. Only thing the all-powerful Luftwaffe was able to do during the first 24 hours of the landing was only 319 sorties carried out by aircraft of Luftflotte 3. In addition, only a smaller part of them was directed directly over the invasion beaches.

🕔︎ 18.05.2011 👁︎ 43.054

The Emperor's Air Force

In the mid-1930s, Abyssinia ( Ethiopia ) with Liberia was the last independent state on the black continent. At the head of this inland country, cut off from the Indian Ocean by the French, Italian and British colonies, was Emperor Haile Selassie I. He ruled an area 2.5 times larger than what was then Germany, with 10-12 million people.
🕔︎ 28.02.2013 👁︎ 20.989

The French from British airports

The initial phase of the alliance between France and the United Kingdom in the turbulent times of World War II ended with the signing of the Franco-German armistice on June 22, 1940. France, crushed by German troops, broke away from the alliance and the fates of the two powers split. During this first war period, a large number of British RAF aircraft operated from French bases. By contrast, the presence of French aircraft at British airports was relatively rare at the same time.
🕔︎ 31.01.2015 👁︎ 19.191

The Horten Brothers - Part 1

Brothers Walter and Reimar Horten were among the most interesting aviation figures from the time of the Great German Empire. They combined a dose of unadulterated aviation enthusiasm with a rare ability to use to their advantage the specifics of their country's administrative apparatus. Nazi Germany is rightly blamed for the rampant bureaucracy and almost Byzantine ties within the regime, based on a complex web of protectionism and group interests (just to recall the informal "brotherhood" formed by former veterans of the Condor Legion in the early years of the Luftwaffe war). However, this climate helped the Hortens outside the established airlines during their wars in their work. Walter, who maintained good relations at the Reich Ministry of Aviation (RLM) and also with the chief armourer of the Air Force, Ernst Udet (his secretary, Miss von der Groeben, later married in 1943), was a valuable contribution here. Reimar, as a talented self-taught designer, in the pair represented the creative spirit behind the technical solutions of aircraft of a specific concept, which both brothers literally subscribed to the soul - the self-wings.
🕔︎ 04.01.2016 👁︎ 20.440

The Horten Brothers - Part 2

While Oblt. Walter Horten served in 1940 as a technical officer in the ranks of the fighter group I./JG 26 and the eldest sibling Oblt. Wolfram Horten died on May 21 during a Western campaign as a member of the bombing group I./KGr. 126, the youngest Reimar worked in a deep background.
🕔︎ 19.09.2017 👁︎ 20.625

The pursuit of the steamer Watussi

The South African Air Force (SAAF) was a numerically small force at the start of World War II, mostly armed with obsolete aircraft. It gained its military spurs symbolically in the pursuit of the German steamer Watussi in December 1939.

🕔︎ 03.10.2012 👁︎ 20.913

The shadow of a bomber over the Winter War

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.
🕔︎ 25.09.2012 👁︎ 26.662

Thundebolt Pilo Col. Neel Kearby

American pilots of the 5th Air Force USAAF, fighting during World War II against the Japanese air force over large areas of the Pacific, recorded a total of 511 kills on Republic P-47D Thunderbolt planes. The 348th Fighter Group achieved its greatest success, with its pilots reporting 326 kills on Thunderbolts. The group grew a total of 20 aces, including the most successful pilot of the Republic P-47D Pacific battlefield Lt.Col. Neel Kearby. This man shot down 22 enemies on a massive fighter and finally went to the fighter heaven in her cabin.
🕔︎ 12.11.2011 👁︎ 22.137

Tomahawks over Moscow

In mid-September 1941, members of the 126th IAP appeared at Kadnikov Airport. The base was located 140 km from the city of Vologda, near the railway line connecting this agglomeration with the port of Arkhangelsk. At the airport, pilots from the 126th IAP were awaited by, for the Soviets at that time, very unusual aircraft: American fighters Curtiss Tomahawk. They were provided by the new allies of Stalin's Soviet Union - the British. A special-purpose alliance was formed less than three months ago, after the German attack on the USSR. Fighter jets perched around the airport's runway were one of its first practical implications.

🕔︎ 27.05.2011 👁︎ 33.975

Tuskegee Airmen

At the end of World War II, black members of the United States Armed Forces could be found on every battlefield. About half a million served overseas during the war. However, only a small group of them were allowed to be among the real elite of the American armed forces of the time, among the pilots. Thanks to this, they also received the most attention among black American soldiers of World War II. According to the place where they underwent flight training in the USA, they were nicknamed "Tuskegee Air men" ( Tuskegee pilots ). And the top among them were fighter pilots from the 332nd Fighter Group.

🕔︎ 16.02.2011 👁︎ 56.140

Two combats of carrier-based fighters of His Majesty

During World War II, fighters of the British Naval Air Force ( FAA ) fought about 400 victories. Another 50 casualties were accepted by the command as probable. A large part of these victories were fired by fighters in the critical phase of the conflict, from 1940 to 1942, with weapons of such inferior aircraft types as the Blackburn Skua multi-purpose aircraft or the two-seater Fairey Fulmar fighters. The conditions under which British naval fighters faced German and Italian aircraft will help bring two of the many battles of the time closer.
🕔︎ 21.02.2013 👁︎ 22.888

USAAF Thunderbolts over Burma

The robust Republic P-47D Thunderbolt fighters began to operate in American colors in Southeast Asia only during 1944, much later than in Europe, the Mediterranean or the Pacific. Since the summer, they have intervened in fierce fighting against the Japanese on the Burmese battlefield.
🕔︎ 08.10.2014 👁︎ 16.965

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