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Csaba B. Stenge 10th September 2005 09:46

Executed Soviet fighter pilots
 
Gentlemen,



A question to our Soviet aviation experts.

The Hungarian combat reports, remebrances mentioned generally, that the Soviet fighters were brave, eager and warlike flyers. But in one case, something strange happened. On 7 October, 1943, over Soviet territory, the Hungarian Messers met with some La-5’s. Lt. Szeverényi, a future ace was behind a Soviet fighter in perfect firing position, when the Soviet pilot baled out before he started to firing, so Lt. Szeverényi claimed his first air victory without a single shot. I found few some stories in German remembrances also.


I found in one remembrence (Mikhaylik), that in his unit one pilot was executed, because he turned back, when the German planes appeared.

Well, what happened with these poor fellows if any ground or air witnesses confirmed, that they baled out before the enemy started to firing? Was it enough to execute them ’because of cowardice’?

Thanks in advance,

marsyao 11th September 2005 05:31

Re: Executed Soviet fighter pilots
 
It was more likely that they would be sent to penal batalian

Franek Grabowski 12th September 2005 19:50

Re: Executed Soviet fighter pilots
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Csaba Becze
Lt. Szeverényi, a future ace was behind a Soviet fighter in perfect firing position, when the Soviet pilot baled out before he started to firing, so Lt. Szeverényi claimed his first air victory without a single shot. I found few some stories in German remembrances also.

There are such stories concerning Italian pilots in NA or German ones over the Reich in 1944. Frankly, I do not believe them, pilots are rarely eager to use a parachute, especially if there was a high risk of unfortunate descent. I suppose those were cases when the aircraft in sight was hit by another one, not seen by claiming pilot.

Mirek Wawrzynski 13th September 2005 11:22

Re: Executed Soviet fighter pilots
 
Hi

I remeber one similar story but I do not know where I have found it (it was some time ago and was small remark in one article or a book) about one Soviet gunner, which balled out in June/July 1941 (over Western Front if I am right) to rescue his life (plane was shotr down) and he returned to the bomber regiment only to be shot by fire squad for cowards!

Over Yugoslavia one Italian pilot in Fiat G.50 had balled out too after several pass made by 2 VVKJ pilot on Me 109 E on 22 II 1941. Yugolsvian pilots (102, 103 Eskadrila) did not opened fire only making mock attack on G.50 and the pilot decided to better leave own plane (he returned to Italy).
Going back to Soviet order I think this is always period and reasons. Soviet commands were not very human towards Soviet/Russian soldiers and they many times did not take care about their subordiantes. So such a pilot for even smaller faults like not funy stories about Soviet military power could be sentenced on penalty comapny or other sentence improson by NKVD and send to Gulag (Solzenitsyn case from 1945 for example)
In Soviet regiments also pilots who made damage on the plane could be heavly sentences too (suc orderes were given before the end of 1941). This is specific Soviet/Russian mantaly where material equipment are more improtant the human life (like Kursk Sumbmarine case perfectly showed).


Regards
Mirek Wawrzyński


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