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Old 23rd April 2020, 08:18
Carl-Fredrik Geust Carl-Fredrik Geust is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 95
Carl-Fredrik Geust
Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940


for your question 1 - see my post #8 of April 20, 2020.

Question 2 - a general remark (which I think all readers will note) is the huge imbalance of number of aircraft and bombs dropped by the opposing sides (which is now even more pregnant than before): when the Finnish Air Force could dispatch a a half dozen aircraft (at most) for any mission, while the Soviet Air Force was correspondigly able to operate with HUNDREDS of combat aircraft!

Fortunately this imbalance was to a certain extent compensated by the fighting spirit and tactical skill of the Finns (who after all were fighting for the freedom and independence of their motherland). The Soviet Union lost approx 1000 aircraft, of which only half in combat - thus some 500 aircraft were lost during the long ferry flights (even from the Far East and Pacific Fleet, accidents, loss of orientation, pilot errors etc.

Some 900 Soviet aviators were lost (of which the Red Army Air Force lost some 800 aviators, and the Naval Air Forces lost some 100 aviators), including over 100 aviators who became POWs in Finland.

The Finnish AF lost correspondingly 50 aircraft (of which two thirds in combat) and 70 aviators (of which five became POWs in USSR).

The Winter War was - and will forever remain the GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR of FINLAND!

Question 3 - I have not exactly counted the photos, but the number of photos in the new book are considerably bigger than in RS 7, partly because the material of RS 5 (Soviet naval AF) is now integrated in the new book. Furthermore several (some 50) new photos are added (both portraits of Soviet AF officers and also several a/c photos), many already existing photos are replaced by prints of higher quality, and many earlier unidentified photos are now identified.

Another general observation is that very many (maybe most?) Soviet AF officers (including fighter aces) with prominent careers in the (Soviet) GPW got their combat baptism in the Winter War against Finland! Today several Russian military historians admit that the Finns teached the Russians how to fight against a (formally) superior enemy in an Arctic environment. Without this lesson the outcome of war against Germany 1941-1945 could well have been have been different...

Last edited by Carl-Fredrik Geust; 23rd April 2020 at 21:09.
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