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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 22nd June 2005, 04:57
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Identification of VVS units based on their 5-digit codes (Fall 1944)

Il-2 units: 10359, 26316 & 49730
La-5 units: 35561, 36608, 42160 & 42185
Po-2 units: 06902, 49730, 49733 & 74522
Yak-1 units: 21815 & 64189

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Old 23rd June 2005, 01:37
kurlannaiskos kurlannaiskos is offline
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Re: Identification of VVS units based on their 5-digit codes (Fall 1944)

I know of no such identifyers.
I've never seen anything like that.
would you care to elaborate?
(sources,photos.etc.)
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Old 23rd June 2005, 13:03
Carl-Fredrik Geust Carl-Fredrik Geust is offline
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Re: Identification of VVS units based on their 5-digit codes (Fall 1944)

The exact names and number of all Soviet military units (all arms included, Army, AF and Naval forces) were secret (like of of most, if not all armies!) in WW II (and to a big extent still is…).



Instead a 5-digit numerical code was used; up to and including the Winter War 1939-1940 the code consisted of 4-digits, but as a big number of new units were set up in the GPW, the code had to be expanded.



This 5-digit code was for security reasons apparently allocated at random, although it seems that some blocks were reserved for certain directions, fronts, Air Armies etc. This code was used as field post address, in official documents (ID books, flight diares, party membership books) etc. In particular soldiers and lower ranks did not even know any other unit designation than the 5-digit code (this is apparent from POW questioning protocols).

In some cases the 5-digit codes were expanded by a suffix letter (indicating eg. separately operating and/or located escadrilles or other subunits).


The relationship between the 5-digit code and the exact unit designation was ALWAYS TOP SECRET; consequently enemy (and allied, as well!) intelligence tried continually to compile lists of the identified unit codes. Some code lists (naturally mostly related to the Northern and NW directions) compiled by the Finnish Military Intelligence can be found in the Finnish military archive, from which some examples concerning aviation units:



10208 – 257 SAD, 7 VA

21290 – 773 IAP, 257 SAD, 7 VA

26212 – 102 AP DD, 1 AD DD, ADD

32635 – 109 AP DD, ADD

35513 – 197 IAP, 260 SAD, 7 VA

35526 – 828 ShAP, 261 SAD, 7 VA

42101 - 58 BAP, 276 BAD, 13 VA

42906 – 12 GPBAP VVS KBF

49375 – 4 AP GVF

64233 – 566 ShAP, 277 ShAD, 13 VA

66319 – 121 BBAP, VVS SF



Similar 5-digit codes are apparently still in use in the Russian army (”voyennaya chast´, B/Ch”).

Carl



PS. All codes listed by Denes are new to me!

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Old 23rd June 2005, 22:25
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Identification of VVS units based on their 5-digit codes (Fall 1944)

Thanks, Carl, for the informative post. It appears that these 5-digit codes were of similar concept to the German Wehrmacht's Feldpostnummern.

I found these codes recently, in a list discovered accidentally when looking through some wartime documents of the Rumanian airplane factory, I.A.R. Brasov. The mentioned list detailed the work done for the (by then) allied Soviets by the said factory in late 1944.
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