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Old 19th January 2007, 16:57
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Hi Folks,

I am wondering if the Luftwaffe made any difference between the older LaG-5 ('LaGG-5') and the later La-5F, La-5FN (with bubble cockpit) fighters in their victory claims during 1944-45? In 1945, for instance, most of the Lavochkin units used newer La-5FN, La-7 fighters, but the German victory reports still very often talk about the old LaG-5 planes... Any opinion?

Cheers,

Gabor
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Old 21st January 2007, 12:05
yogybär yogybär is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

IMHO, nobody was really able during a DF to distinguish between these subtypes. Afaik, there were even a lot of La5FN-airframes equipped with ASh82F-engine in late 43 and 44, because of production problems wit hthe FN.

The only possibility to find out what type it actually is/was, would have been to check the remains of a crash on the ground.

IMHO, the difference La-5 / LaGG-5 is just different naming. There are even many claims for "LaGG" w/o a number . Similar can be found for IL-2. In 44, virtually all IL-2's had a reargunner = Heckschütze. Nevertheless, only some claims are "IL-2 m.H." = mit Heckschütze = with rear gunner, although definitely >90% must have had one.
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Old 24th January 2007, 17:23
kalender1973 kalender1973 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Hello,

but in experience report, written by JG6 in spring 1945, the authors claims, that the pilots in La-5 figthers perform poor in comparement with pilots La-7 figther, not agressive etc. I would ask, how average german pilot was able to differ both type and this during the fight ??? And the JG6 have before 1945 no engagement with soviet figther, there pilots could know only theoretical about different soviet types...

Even more, many soviet figther regiments at that time have a mix of La-5F/5FN/-7 plane and they could fly in mixed formation.

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Old 24th January 2007, 20:27
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Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Hi, Igor.

Well, I do not know where you get your information from, but even if parts of the JG 6 had not been in action on the eastern front from their formation, pilots in the unit had definitely had experience from the eastern front.

Some of them enough to fill their scorecard back and front...

Also, which 'average german pilot' filed this report? Barkhorn? In my opinion he would by then have more than theoretical experience with soviet aircraft and opposing soviet pilots in aerial combat.

And maybe german pilots even discussed the situation, and the experiences they made once they got to the eastern front and tried to use this to better their otherwise by then hopeless situation?

I agree that there would be difficulties in discerning La-5's and La-7's by looks only, but there is a small difference in performance isn't there? And this would maybe be the reason for guessing or making a valid assumption that you opposed one or the other aircraft type?

Best regards,
Andreas B
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Old 24th January 2007, 22:50
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Andreas
Performance's envelope overlapping for both types makes such distinguishment impossible. Lavochkins required a lot of manual adjusting that caused the less experienced pilot to achiewe worser performance. That said I believe it is virtually impossible for a pilot to distinguish both aircraft, especially as the main difference between La-5FN and La-7 was in internal structure.
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Old 25th January 2007, 10:27
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Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Ok, I stand corrected.

Best regards,
Andreas B
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Old 25th January 2007, 10:33
kalender1973 kalender1973 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Hello Andreas,

from the Holm homepage we can see that JG6 did't partipiate in air war in the east until january 1945. And the units, from which the JG6 was established (I,II/ZG26, I/JG5) didn't have also "eastern history".
For me the "average german pilot" from west front(or from German Air Home Defence) at that time is somebody who survive some fligths in the west and has a very little experience.
About Barkhorn. I don't know, if even he could differ both types. He was wounded on 31. May 44 and return back in october 1944 and has relatively few kills at that time. The La-7 was only introduced in that time in few number, therefore I don't belive, he could see one of them.
IIRC, Barkhorn didn't fly as commodore of JG6 in 1945, at least he has not kills...
What the performance of LA-7 concern, the La-7 was faster 50 km/h then La-5FN and could faster climb
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Igor
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Old 25th January 2007, 18:28
yogybär yogybär is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Surely there was a remarkable difference in performance between La5F and La7. The performance of La5FN and La7 is another thing, prototypes always have peak performances while mass production A/C might lagg behind.

I think (!), that the differentiation kalender mentions (from Barkhorn's units report) was based mainly on stuff like "Red nose" of Guards units etc. Definitely it was not possible for a fighter pilot to differentiate between La5FN and F during a normal fight. La7 is a bit easier because of cooler-inlet-position.

OT: Franek, just as a reminder: Lavochkins are not the only A/C which had problems like this. Think about Me109F's breaking apart, DB605's killing guys like Marseille etc. ENd of OT .
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Old 25th January 2007, 20:04
Kjetil Aakra Kjetil Aakra is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Franek, you are way off in your suggestions that difference in performance between the La-5FN and La-7 was masked by inadequate pilot capabilities.

The difference between sea level speed is about 30 km/t (approx. 574 vs 615 km/h), at altitude some 40 km/h (635 vs 677). Climb is also very much better, 1215 m/min for the -5FN vs 1310 m/min for the -7. This is something you would notice and there is no way the La-7 would be delivered to novice pilots who did not know how to handle it to get the best out of their new aircraft.

That is performance, there are also considerable differences in external appearance. Most importantly the oil cooler was moved from a ventral nose position to a ventral mid-fuselage position and the the engine cowling was virtually circular without the dorsal scoop of the La-5F/FN. Not always easy to distinguish in combat of course, but it is certainly not corect to say that "the main difference between La-5FN and La-7 was in internal structure". As a matter of fact, there are virtually no internal differences between the two, only external.

I suspect your derogatory characteristics of this remarkable Soviet fighter is yet another attack on Soviet hardware, and of course, not based on facts.

Regards,

Kjetil
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Old 25th January 2007, 20:15
kalender1973 kalender1973 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe reports on downed Lavochkins

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogybär View Post

I think (!), that the differentiation kalender mentions (from Barkhorn's units report) was based mainly on stuff like "Red nose" of Guards units etc. Definitely it was not possible for a fighter pilot to differentiate between La5FN and F during a normal fight. La7 is a bit easier because of cooler-inlet-position.
Jörg, this "red nose" story is another nonsence from JG6 report.
First, we can not really established the discrepancy of quality of soviet figther in dependency to which unit they belong, guard or not. E.g. in 2nd Air Army most units was guard, but in 16th air army they wasn't.

Second, not all guard unit has the "red nose" and vice versa, not all "red nose" was guard. In the same regiment the 1st squadron could painted the nose in red, the 2nd squadron in yellow and the 3rd in blue...

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