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Old 29th May 2019, 09:22
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Re: Air War Above Rzhev - Zubtsov

As promised a revised update.

19 August 1942

At 15:12 (MT) took off LaGG-3 (# 3234) flown by Kapitan Pavel Emel’yanov of 21 IAP as a wingman for two LaGG-3 of 5 GIAP led by Kapitan Laveykin. In the area of Burkovo at 15:30 (MT) at an altitude of 1300 m, they met in battle two Bf 109. A second pair of Bf 109 were seen above at 300-200 m but did not engage. The Soviet pilots reported 1 Me-109 as damaged but Kapitan Emel’yanov was listed as missing after the battle. From the German side, Oberfeldwebel Heinz Klöpper of 11./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (61) at 14:25 at 18 km to the northwest of Rzhev.

At 17:07 (MT) took off LaGG-3 (# 3237) flown by Serzhant Mikhail Mintrakov of 21 IAP as a wingman for 5 LaGG-3 of 5 GIAP in the area of Rzhev. At 5 km northeast of Rzhev at an altitude of 3000 m the Soviet LaGG-3s met in battle with 6 Bf 109. After 5 minutes, another 4 Bf 109 entered into the fight bringing the total to 10 Bf 109. The battle lasted a total of 30 minutes and the altitude fell to an altitude of 1500 m. The Soviet pilots reported damaging 2 Me-109. On returning to the Soviet airfield was missing the LaGG-3 of Serzhant Mintrakov from 21 IAP. Also missing were two LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP flown by Guards Leytenant Dmitriy Shtokolov and Guards Serzhant Ivan Lavrenko (Both of these future Soviet aces would return to their unit on the 20th). From the German side there was only one claim, Gefreiter Erich Hilbein of 8./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (2) at 16:40 in that area. The Germans had no reported damage to their fighters. Unless it was less then 10%. (TsAMO f. 22020, o. 044524, d. 0006, l. 1 page 63 Journal of Combat Operations of 21 IAP and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 111 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD)
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