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  #1  
Old 7th November 2015, 21:50
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Lev Shestakov

Hello,

how come Lev Shestakov is associated with 8+31sh kills in the Spanish Civil War ? Is this a total hoax ?

Michael
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Old 9th November 2015, 15:38
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: Lev Shestakov

The big number of shared air victories (31) may reflect the total of air victories of the air unit in which Shestakov served in the Spanish Civil War during his service time. If he was a active pilot and took part in many air combats it is not all strange if his "shared kills" score is high. However it is difficult to tell how big his part was in those air combats in which he was credited with a "share kill". He might have actually contributed something to the "unit kill" or he may well have been just flying around without contributing anything significant to the kills credited "officially" as "shared kills" to him.

The system of shared air victories was very generous in Spanish Republican Air Force as well as in some other air forces - compare for example the French Air Force in WW2. Pilots of patrullas (swarms) or even whole escuadrillas (squadrons) could be credited by downing the one and same enemy aircraft. Thus many pilots could be credited by shooting down a enemy aircraft in a combat in which actually one enemy plane was shot down. I remember to have read about one French case in which as many as 8 pilots were credited with a "share kill" from a combat in which just one enemy plane was shot down. In that case there were pilots of two units involved so it produced 2 "unit kills" which even that was overclaiming 2:1. From the Soviet-Finnish Winter War I have read about one case in which as many as 12 Soviet pilots were credited with a "shared" air victory from the combat in which just one Finnish aircraft was shot down (claims of 25 IAP on 2.2.1940, IIRC). Later these shared claims were "upgraded" to the highly exaggerated claim that as many as 12 Finnish planes were shot down in that single combat!

With the shared claims it is difficult to tell if the pilot actually contributed to some significant way to the combat or was just flying around without getting a single shot on enemy aircraft claimed to be shot down. The generously given group/shared "kills" are known to lead to confused and often highly inflated air victory records.
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Old 13th November 2015, 10:11
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Re: Lev Shestakov

Hello GuerraCivil,

thanks for your answer. However, is there any hope of ever finding out the decimal value of these 31 shared kills ?

Have a nice weekend,

Michael
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Old 14th November 2015, 03:07
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: Lev Shestakov

I guess that any attempt to verify the decimal value of Lev Shestakov´s shared aereal kills in Spanish Civil War is hopeless task. There is even disagreement about his individual score. Some literary/web sources claim that his "full individual" claim score in Spanish Civil War were only 2 confirmed + 1 probable, others put it up to eight "confirmed" and some argue that it might have been as many as 11. So when even his "invidual score" is somewhat a puzzle it is even more difficult to find out how accurate the "shared score" actually was.

If you are really interested, you can try to browse Håkans Aviation Page about the airwar in Spain - see http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/scw.htm - there might be some details on Shestakov. There are also some good books about Soviet pilots and air advisors in Spanish Civil War - these surely have something on Shestakov and probably tell also something about his "kill score" in Spain.

Anyway I would not compare Shestakov´s score with those of real top aces of Spanish Civil War. For example J. García Morato´s 40 air victory record was based on indivdidual claims and is therefore more clear stuff than Shestakov´s 2½/8/11 individual (?) + 31 shared (?).

There is also the further issue of comparing the claims with recorded enemy losses. In that case J. García Morato´s score would be easier and more thankful individual case study than trying to find any "true" decimal value to Shestakov´s shared kills.
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Old 17th November 2015, 19:01
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Re: Lev Shestakov

Hmm, the Morato issue is rather easy I think.

Has Shestakov's Spain score ever been officially confirmed or published by Soviet authorities, newspapers, communiqués ?

Michael
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Old 5th December 2015, 12:14
Urusut Urusut is offline
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Re: Lev Shestakov

Hello Michael,

In total Lev Shestakov in Spain made more than 100 fighting departures, I participated in 36 air fights, personally I brought down 2 fighters (Me-109 and Fiat-32) and together with other pilot of 1 Me-109:
00.08.1937 1/2 Ме-109
22.12.1937 1 Fiat-32 Teruel
00.12.1937 1 Ме-109 Teruel

Oleg Kaminski
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Old 1st January 2016, 12:10
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Re: Lev Shestakov

Hello Oleg,

2,5 [2+1] SpCW kills sound very reasonable to me.

For completeness, these are the figures in my books:
-Morgan (1997): 22+36
-Polak (1999): 8+31 in SpCW, 15+11 in GPW
-Mellinger (2005): 15+11
-Maslov (2010): 23+44 (5+8 in I-16)

I'm wondering especially about the Polak figures because they have been widely spread. I wish I knew what his sources were.

Have a splendid new year 2016 !

Michael
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  #8  
Old 2nd January 2016, 13:06
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Re: Lev Shestakov

This counts what has been done by M. Bykow and his fundamnetal book "All Stalin's Aces", Moskwa 2014, p. 1336, the rest books are simple more or less mumbo-jumbo material about Soviet aces.

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mw
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Old 2nd January 2016, 15:48
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Re: Lev Shestakov

Hello Mirek,

hmm, "All Stalin's Aces" by Bykow ain't available in Germany.
Which Shestakov score does it indicate ?

Michael
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Old 2nd January 2016, 17:16
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Re: Lev Shestakov

100 % Russian, very simple, easy

mw
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