Soviet air force

Port

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
2,100
portland maine
I have had difficulty finding information on the effectiveness of the soviet air force. I am guessing they did not need heavy bombers but what role did they play?
 
May 2019
289
Northern and Western hemispheres
The Soviet air force in WWII was called the VVS. The bombing of German cities was mostly an RAF/Commonwealth and USAAF thing although some Soviet aircraft did raid Berlin in August '41. After Operation Barbarossa a lot of the aircraft that the USSR fielded like the Polikarpovs and the early MIgs were decimated by the Luftwaffe. I imagine light/medium bombers like the Pe-2 and Tu-2 were used in the close air support role supporting ground troops as was the Il-2 tank-busting aircraft. The VVS got more up to date fighters like the kind Ivan Kozhedub(the highest scoring allied flying ace) flew and was able to successfully take on the Luftwaffe. Also many Usaaf aircraft were supplied to the USSR by the Americans over the Alaska-Siberian air ferry route. The majority of Luftwaffe losses were against the western allies.

I hope this helps.
 

Port

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
2,100
portland maine
The Soviet air force in WWII was called the VVS. The bombing of German cities was mostly an RAF/Commonwealth and USAAF thing although some Soviet aircraft did raid Berlin in August '41. After Operation Barbarossa a lot of the aircraft that the USSR fielded like the Polikarpovs and the early MIgs were decimated by the Luftwaffe. I imagine light/medium bombers like the Pe-2 and Tu-2 were used in the close air support role supporting ground troops as was the Il-2 tank-busting aircraft. The VVS got more up to date fighters like the kind Ivan Kozhedub(the highest scoring allied flying ace) flew and was able to successfully take on the Luftwaffe. Also many Usaaf aircraft were supplied to the USSR by the Americans over the Alaska-Siberian air ferry route. The majority of Luftwaffe losses were against the western allies.

I hope this helps.
thank you. Was the YAD fighters used during this time? How did they differ from the MIGs?
 
Jan 2020
13
Seattle
thank you. Was the YAD fighters used during this time? How did they differ from the MIGs?
Do you mean Yakovlevs (YAK)? I assume you do so yes there were several different YAKs, model 3, 7 and the YAK 9 was the last version made in those times. They were comparable to MIGs and Lavochkins such as the LAGG-5. The Soviet airforce was not that great, it suffered from the usual logistical, command and control challenges and the fact that while they had some very good pilots there was not a lot of them. An experienced pilot flew his plane until he died. When this happened his knowledge and experience was lost with him and younger pilots would not gain any benefit from him. In the US airforce it was different, after so many missions a pilot was put to training other younger pilots and passing on his experience to them. The Soviet airforce was mainly meant for ground support of the army and towards the end of the war was very good at it. The cluster bomb was invented by the Soviets. The also made high explosive bombs with 4ft steel pipes screwed into the nose. What this does is cause the bomb to detonate above the ground (about chest height) greatly increasing the lethality of the bomb blast.

My wife is Belarussian, her family has a lot of history from the great war. Her great uncle was in the VVS. He started as a gunner in an IL-4 and worked his way (more accurately survived) to become a co pilot. He was shot down 4 times and the last time over Poland he bailed out and broke his ankle on landing. He missed the final battles. I guess the IL-4 was tough. I was told his plane got shot up regularly, not always by the Germans either. This is according to family lore.

There's a lot of stuff out there on the Soviet air force. It's really quite interesting if you want to dig into it.
 
May 2019
289
Northern and Western hemispheres
thank you. Was the YAD fighters used during this time? How did they differ from the MIGs?
I take it you mean Yak, and yes the Yak fighters were used during this time period. The Yak 1 and Yak 7 were on par and slightly better than the MIGs. The later Yaks especially the Yak 9 were fairly good and could match the Luftwaffe's ME 109 and FW 190. This is based off of a WWII aircraft book that I've got.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,667
Sydney
The soviet Air force fate in June 41 has been described as an infanticide , it was simply destroyed as a fighting force
the Luftwaffe had air supremacy until late 41 when bad weather , operational attrition and supply problem blunted it's dominance
The VVS even had some success over Crimea ,
by 42 production of planes had been relocated and started to appear in numbers ,training was had oc
but the North and Center Army groups were static enough to allow some rise in competency
the Southern army group had received the bulk of air reinforcement and repeatedly crushed the Soviets effort at some resistance
the air battle was over Stalingrad ,with the German having a constant advantage but loosing planes and pilots all the same
the most useful planes were the Stukas but it became evident they were too vulnerable to Soviet fighters and ground fire
toward the end Soviet planes got better and gave as good as they got
the next trial was over Citadel in july 43 , while everybody talk about the tank battles the air battle was very fierce
Soviet losses were much larger than the German but by the end of the battle the Luftwaffe had to concede the sky to the VVS
they just couldn't afford this level of losses and protect the homeland against the waves of bombers

By mid 1944 and operation Bagration , the Luftwaffe on the eastern front was a poor thing ,
outnumbered 20 to 1 in fighters at the start of the offensive , it allowed Soviet ground attack planes to roam at will
like the Stukas at the start of the war , the Sturmoviks hunted artillery position and cut a swath of fire on retreating Germans columns

this remained the situation up to the fall of Berlin
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,357
The Russians had small numbers of large bombers like the obsolete TB3 or the more modern Pe8. However, strategic bombing was not that really attractive to them as they struggled to counter the German invasion. They needed fighters and ground attack aeroplanes. The RAF left a handful of Hampden and Lancaster bombers for Russian use but these didn't last long without spares or suitable fuel. There was of course a few 'shuttle' missions where allied bombers attacked deep into Germany and used Russian territory to land, refuel and re-arm, attacking the other way going home. 617 Sqn, the RAF famous as the 'Dambusters', also did this when preparing to attack the Tirpitz in Norway.
 
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At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,132
Bulgaria
This BBC transliteration VVS simply means Air Forces literal translation Military Air Forces. One must specify to what country these Air Forces belong, in this case ВВС СССР, BBC Cоветского Cоюза etc / Soviet Air Forces, because this acronym is used by other countries.
 
Mar 2018
981
UK
This BBC transliteration VVS simply means Air Forces literal translation Military Air Forces. One must specify to what country these Air Forces belong, in this case ВВС СССР, BBC Cоветского Cоюза etc / Soviet Air Forces, because this acronym is used by other countries.
Yes, and Luftwaffe also just literally means air force, but if I say Luftwaffe when speaking English I think everybody and their dog knows who is being referred to.
 
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Jun 2015
1,309
Scotland
Yes, and Luftwaffe also just literally means air force, but if I say Luftwaffe when speaking English I think everybody and their dog knows who is being referred to.
The literal translation is actually 'Air Weapon'.