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  #11  
Old 10th January 2007, 11:14
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Apologies Yogi!

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  #12  
Old 10th January 2007, 11:21
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

I can't think of a source that directly quotes the performance change: it would show in terms of inability to achieve higher boost pressures. I have a feel it is of the order of 10% maximum power, but that's not to be taken as definitive. The other effect was of decreased reliability, roughness of running and loss of power due to damaged valve stems and the like. I have read something of this in RR publications, dealing with support and repair of Merlins in Russia - probably in one of the RR Historical Trust books, but I'd have to look it up.

The Russians found the Hurricane less agile than their own designs, and didn't like the Browning machine guns, though these were often replaced with their own superior weapons. However, such a Hurricane in decent condition would not be significantly slower than an average LaGG 3 or Yak 1 with half the firepower, even though being three years older in design and having an engine only 2/3rd the size. However, by 1942 the Hurricane was certainly outclassed by the fighters it had to face, and had no development potential left. The RAF was able to make use of it as a fighter-bomber and FR aircraft, but this didn't fit the Russian doctrine of slow armoured assault aircraft.

The Russians put particular effort in maintaining a supply of 100 octane fuel for their Airacobras. With only limited amounts of the additives, it is understandable that it was restricted to the later, more popular, type.

I'll just make one comment on the wider issue: soaking up 75% of the German Army must have been moderately helpful to the Western Allies.
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  #13  
Old 10th January 2007, 12:36
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Hi
There is some information, which could be helpful in your's deeper discution. One remakr, this is a thext, which I had done 6 years ago and now I would put some new, fresh data, when I would like to make it again.


During WWII the USSR received 3082 Hurricanes as part of aid from Britain. According to British sources 2,952 aircraft were delivered. The difference resulted from the fact that the Russians have assembled some aircraft from incomplete machines delivered for cannibalisation.

The first Hurricanes in the USSR were those of no. 151 Wing RAF. This comprised two squadrons, nos. 81 and 134. A total of 39 Hurricane IIB Trop fighters with British air and ground crew arrived to provide air defence of Murmansk.

As early as 22 September 1941 a committee of the NII VVS (Air Force R&D Centre) headed by Col. K.A. Gruzdev received the first aeroplane (22899). The reception report stated that the aeroplane was not new, and lacked some instruments. Several subsequent Russian reports pointed out that the aircraft were suffering from numerous faults, and were worn. In their reports the Russians assessed these aircraft as being between the I-16 and the Yak-1. The Hurricanes were allocated to 72 SAP of the Northern Fleet and the 78 IAP (formed in October 1941, based on the staff of 72 SAP). Throughout 1941 the USSR received a total of 484 Hurricanes.


Greater numbers of Hurricanes appeared over the Eastern Front in the spring and summer of 1942. At that time the aircraft entered service with the Northern Fleet, Baltic Fleet, VVS units at the Karelian, Kalinin, North-Western, Voronezh Fronts, and to PVO (air defence) units. Throughout 1942 the USSR received from the British 932 Hurricanes.

Hurricane Modifications in the USSR.

As early as December 1941, workshops of 72 SAP started to modify the armament, replacing Browning guns with two 12.7 mm (0.5 in) UBK guns with 100 rounds per gun, or with ShVAK cannon. Some aircraft were converted to carry a single FAB-50 bomb under each wing. The latter modification was first suggested by Capt. Boris Safonov, OC 78 IAP. Another variant of armament modification consisted in replacing 4 Browning guns with two UBK ones. Apart from changes in armament, Safonov also had the pilot's seat armour replaced in his aeroplane, using one from a crashed I-16.
Apart from conversions made on an individual basis in combat units, the VVS HQ decided to replace armament and cockpit armouring in all Mark IIA and IIB aircraft. In March 1942 a national level decision was made to re-arm all Hurricanes with more powerful domestic armament. Three variants of the new armament were considered: the first consisted of four 20 mm ShVAK cannon; the second of two ShVAK cannon and two 12.7 mm UBT guns; and the last of four UBT guns. The latter proved the best solution. As the Russians did not have enough of the UBT guns, the second variant was introduced. During this conversion, Hurricanes were also fitted with rails for RS-82 rocket missiles and with bomb racks.
Conversion started at the Moscow-based Factory no. 81. Pilots delivered the aircraft directly to the factory airfield. Apart from the Factory no. 81, conversions were also made at Podmoskove, Podlipki - 6 IAK PVO repair workshops. Apart from conversions made behind the lines, teams of workers from the Factory no. 81 were sent to the front line, where they would make the conversions in field, almost under combat conditions. The work was carried out at airfields of Kubinka, Khimki, Monino, Yegorevka. In all the Russians fitted their armament to some 1,000 Mk IIAs and IIBs.

Fighter-Bomber Version.

In the Soviet Union, not unlike in Britain, the Hurricane found wide use as a fighterbomber. During armament modification bomb racks and rocket rails were fitted. The Russians would use a single 50 or 100 kg FAB-50 or 100 bomb and/or RS-82 rocket missiles. Hurricanes were allocated to attack regiments during shortages of Il-2 Shturmovik aircraft, to perform the same duties. That was the case in 65 SNAP which fought north of the Polar Circle. On 9 April 1942 25 Hurricanes were delivered to the regiment. From 26 April the unit entered combat. Hurricanes continued to serve there until October 1942, in a number of roles.
Other modifications. The aeroplane was subject to numerous modifications, some rather far-going. In one of the modified batches the Hurricanes were equipped with additional post for a rear gunner with a ShKAS machine gun. These aircraft were used for long range artillery spotting (with a range of 25 km). The gunner was also a spotter to correct the artillery fire. In order to facilitate his task, a port was cut out in the bottom of the aeroplane. Some 20 aircraft were converted that way. They flew in Leningrad, Volkhov, Kalinin Fronts. Some aircraft were converted for photo reconnaissance. An AFAI camera was fitted in the fuselage behind the pilot. These machines went to special reconnaissance regiments.
In the Paratroop Academy at Saratov Hurricanes were used for towing of transport gliders (Antonov A-7 and G-11) to carry both equipment and men. Such aeroplane-plus-glider teams were used to provide supplies for partisan units. Hurricanes were used at Saratov until 1945. Some aircraft were converted to two-seater trainers (HL665, for example). One of such aeroplanes was used in 39 CAM of the Northern Fleet. Some went to flying schools. No less than 6 aircraft of the 14th Army were modified this way.
In the tactical and naval aviation. Soviet Hurricanes first entered combat in the northern parts of the Soviet Union, in Murmansk area. Between October and December 1941 72 SAP, 78 IAP of the Northern Fleet Air Force, and 152, 760 IAP of the Leningrad Front (later Kalinin Front) entered fighting. These units started combats over Karelia and Kola Peninsula. In late 1941 the Northern Fleet alone had 70 Hurricanes.

A Division of Hurricanes in the Battle of Stalingrad.

In early June 1942 a whole fighter division equipped entirely with Hurricanes, 235 IAD became part of 8 VA (8th Air Army). The unit was commanded by Lt. Col. I. D. Podgomiy. It comprised 46, 191, and 436 IAP. On 25 June it was joined by 180 IAP equipped with 20 Hurricanes. All those regiments, apart from 191 IAP, have been trained at Ivanovo. In order to facilitate rapid conversion to the British equipment, 3 British pilots and 16 fitters were present at Ivanovo. When moving to the front line, the division was largely equipped with aircraft fitted with the Soviet armament, or Mk IIC aircraft. In heavy fighting, with constantly changing unprepared landing grounds, the Hurricanes started to wear out rapidly. For example 436 IAP changed airfields no less than 12 times within 2 months. On 22 July 1942 two surviving Hurricanes of 191 IAP were handed over to a neighbouring unit. Two days later also 46 and 180 IAP were sent back for replenishment at Ivanovo. All the surviving and serviceable aircraft were assembled in 436 IAP. On 1 August 1942 8 VA had a total of 11 Hurricanes, of which only 3 combat-ready. During the rapid retreat of the Russians, all remaining Hurricanes were destroyed by own ground personnel at Kalch-on-Don airfield.

In the Baltic Fleet Air Force.

In the naval aviation, apart from the Northern Fleet, Hurricanes were used by the Baltic Fleet. The only unit to fly Hurricanes in the Baltic Fleet VVS was 3 GIAP. In July 1942 it was withdrawn from the front at Leningrad, to Novinki airfield. Previously its pilots flew I-16s, LaGG-3s and Yak-1s. At Novinki they were awaited by new Hurricanes. After short conversion training, in late July 1942 the unit flew to Factory no. 81 in Moscow in order to convert to Soviet armament and cockpit armouring (that from the LaGG-3 was used

Tank Buster - the Mk IID in the USSR.

The aid to the USSR also included the Mk IID. The story behind these deliveries had it roots in correspondence between Churchill and Stalin in mid-1943. Churchill mentioned the excellent results of using Hurricane IIDs against German armour in North Africa. Stalin liked that idea and asked Churchill to send Mk IIDs to the USSR. These came from RAF units in North Africa. Disassembled aircraft were shipped by sea from Bizerte to Basra, where the crates were unloaded. The aircraft were reassembled and checked. Then they were handed over to pilots of 6 PIAP. From Basra they were ferried by air via Tehran to Kirovabad. There the aircraft were handed over to 11 ZBAP.
First Hurricane IIDs arrived on 4 September 1943. Of the promised 60 aircraft the Russians received only 46. In addition the Soviets received several dozen (most probably 30) Mark IVs.
Some Mk IIDs and Mk IVs were allocated to 441 IAP in 106 IAD PVO, based near Bolovoye. The aircraft were used operationally there in 1943/44.


This part of English text is taken from my book:
"Hurricane w obcej służbie" (Hurricane in Foreign Service; Belgian, Finnish , Yugoslavian: VVKJ, NOVJ, German, Italy, Romanian and Soviet Union users), Mirosław Wawrzyński, published by AJaKS - Warszawa 2001.
Polish text with English summary. Soviet part is much reduced , when you compare it with Polish version.
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  #14  
Old 10th January 2007, 14:48
Andrey Dikov Andrey Dikov is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Yuriy Rybin is finalizing the book about Hurricanes used in northern part of Russo-German front. The book is very detailed, contains combat actions and combats service (maintenance, technical kaspects) questions as well. The individual stories of most Hurries are traced including information about English codes and combat history. Yury paid main attention to VVS SF, PVO and army regiments near Murmansk and Northern Karelia.

I offered him and wrote for this book a chapter about Hurricanes of 3 giap KBF (apart 26 iap PVO that was the only regiment which used Hurries near Leningrad). Chapter contains 20 A4 puretext pages with a full and detailed combat history, based on archive information: all claims and losses with comparison with German and Finnish sources etc.etc.

I haven't seen the whole Yury's book, but I know it was roughly ready last spring, when I sent him my chapter. I don't know, when it will be publised in Russia.
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  #15  
Old 10th January 2007, 16:30
yogybär yogybär is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Brian, no prob .

Graham, let me check Hurri_II vs. Yak1... my guess would be that the Yak is more agile and the LaGG has a higher v_max.

Thank you, Mirek! The part about 235 IAD is very interesting!

Alltogether, all your inputs help (me) to get quite a better picture about the Hurries life in the USSR. Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 10th January 2007, 17:06
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

BTW

First
I have forgotten to add, that there is also quite good book made a few years ago by C-F Geust, Red Star 4, (the Leand-Lease planes in VVS RKKA service). There are some interesting details about Soviet Hurricanes (small part but there is). Rather general, not so focused on combat's use, anyway useful + plenty photos of Allied planes including Hurricanes one.

Second
In the end of 2005, I had made such "comparnision" about air combats fought between FAF's Brewster and Soviet's Hurricanes on the "Northern Front" in 1942-1943 - including Karelian Front and over Baltic against 3. GIAP VVS KBF too.

This story is only in Polish, photos have English captions. The title is:
Brewster Model 239 (F2A-1) kontra/versus Hawker Hurricane Mark II, p. 7 (14 b&w, 4 colour sides: 2 Berwster Model 239 BW-371, BW-364 and 2 Hurricane Mk II), [in:] Militaria XX wieku 6(9)/2005.
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  #17  
Old 10th January 2007, 19:33
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

I believe that both the Yak 1 and the LaGG outperform the Hurricane on paper - as indeed they should, being 3 years later in concept. However, the LaGGs as delivered in 1941/42 suffered badly from poor building standards, and fell well below the design intentions.

Plus, of course, it does rather depend upon the altitude at which the speed is measured: I would expect the Hurricane to be the faster performer above 20 000ft: which is not where the Russians wanted to fight.
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  #18  
Old 10th January 2007, 22:36
Andrey Dikov Andrey Dikov is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirek Wawrzynski View Post
In the end of 2005, I had made such "comparnision" about air combats fought between FAF's Brewster and Soviet's Hurricanes on the "Northern Front" in 1942-1943 - including Karelian Front and over Baltic against 3. GIAP VVS KBF too.
Interesting,
What the archive sources from Russian side you used for the article?
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  #19  
Old 11th January 2007, 00:08
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Andrey Dikov- nice info, how could be possible to get a sample of the book you have mentioned?
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  #20  
Old 11th January 2007, 04:20
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Graham
I believe you will find detailed 87/100 Octane performances comparisons in the reports that must have been filed before the conversion done by the RAF.
Concerning the technological advantage, I would say there was none and even Soviet fighers were a step backwards due to their heavy wooden construction. On the other hand, Hurricane aerodynamics was far from perfect, and I am surprised it was never improved. It must be not forgotten that several critical comments about Western aircraft were of pure Soviet propaganda nature.
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