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  #11  
Old 21st April 2020, 19:25
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Three short and easy questions, :-)

Three short and easy questions.

Carl, congratulations on the new edition of the book, :-).

Each author, a few years after the previous edition, has a variety of new thoughts, additions and corrections that he would do in the new version.

1. What's new in this last version?

2. What new thoughts / reflections have you introduced after these few years (what you forgot about, you missed in previous books)?

3. How much old photo material did you remove, and how much did you give new?

All in all, questions are so simple that they are easy to answer. Thank you in advance...


Best regards
mirekw
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  #12  
Old 23rd April 2020, 08:18
Carl-Fredrik Geust Carl-Fredrik Geust is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

Mirek,

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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  #13  
Old 23rd April 2020, 17:15
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

What Carl (rightfully) wrote reinforces what I keep mention for a couple of decades now: World War Two for the USSR started on 17 September 1939, not on 22 June 1941!
I am looking forward to reading the book.
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  #14  
Old 24th April 2020, 16:48
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

Thank you for the answer.

However, I will push you down with questions.

I wonder if you have also included the activities of the northern fleet in the last book. In fact, it was not large (72 SAP VVS NF and reconnaissance squadrons), had made few combat flights. This aviation did not suffer any combat losses, except non-combat losses, when it burned in a hangar of 15 MBR-2 during this war.

Have you included the participation in the war of the NKVD border protection squadrons?

Did you also consider the participation of civil aviation, which became transport and liaison aviation.

Did you describe long range flights without visibility in DC-3 by Aleksandar Golowanow?

"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..."

Interesting view but not true. A large proportion of senior officers (actually older commanders) who fought in the Winter War (earlier over Poland or Spain), but unfortunately fell victim to Stalin's purges from May to July 1941.

In this case, the main teacher was Germany (LW), who had a significant technical advantage (for example, radio equipment in each Me 109, etc.). Tactical German advantage, coordination of activities between tank and air units allowed Germany to gain and maintain an advantage in the air until 1944.

The Winter War taught the crew of Soviet bombers to fly combat operations without escorting fighter - they began only from February 1940. Then they very fast forgot about it.

In 1941, a few thousand crews of bombers paid for it with their lives. Apparently the Russians did not exactly do their homework from the Winter War.

The second thing the Russians began to introduce radio stations to their all produced fighters only from 1943 as standard equipment. It is difficult to talk about any advantage, learning when pilots cannot communicate during a combat flight.

The Russians suffered a lot because most of their own fighters (MiG-3, Łagg-3 Yak-1, Yak-7B, etc.) did not have radio stations for a long time. The radio was often only on the commander's plane.

However, the Germans taught them that a radio station in their own fighters is necessary. And that it happened after 2 years of the Great Patriotic War, is another matter of the length of learning about it.

After all, in May 1945 the Russians captured Berlin, but the overall cost of victory turned out to be terribly great.

In fact, this victory cost the entire Soviet nation enormously much.

In the case of such terribly huge losses, what lessons are these, what important experiences of the Winter War can the Russians talk about?

Regards

mirekw
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  #15  
Old 24th April 2020, 17:52
Carl-Fredrik Geust Carl-Fredrik Geust is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

Mirek, thank you for your interesst in book. First your new questions:
- yes, VVS SF (Air force of the Northern Fleet) is included (and the 14 MBR-2 amphibians of 118 MRAP destroyed by hangar fire 14 January 1940 are mentioned). Also included are the Air components of the Ladoga and the White Sea Flotillas - all these Naval AF units were already dealt with in the old Red Stars Vol.5),
- likewise there is a 10 page section (with 23 photos) describing the units of the mobilized Civil Air Fleet, and Aleksandr Golovanov is naturally mentioned (with portrait),
- but I doubt whether the NKVD Border Guards really had any "own" aircraft in the Karelian border regions - there is no mentioning of such in the recent detailled history of the Soviet Border Guards 1939-1941 (Пограничныйе войска на западном направление в предвоенные годы 1939-1941, Граница 2018)

Concerning the Soviet "learning process" after the Winter War - this process started in the post-mortem conference led by Stalin in Kremlin in April 1940 (the protocols of which have been published in Russian and in Finnish), and had not reached intended results at the German attack in June 1941.

The Russian current opinion which I mentioned in my previous answer was expressed by several prominent Russian historians during a Finnish-Russian Winter War seminar at the Finnish Embassy in Moscow in December 2019, where I gave a lecture about the Finnish Air Force in 1939-1940.

Mirek, I do agree in general with your view, but although the discussions during the reception after the formal seminar were very open-minded, this was in my view not the correct venue for a debate about the meaning of these interesting statements, which the Finns present accepted at face-value.

The main Russian participants included the Head of the Russian National Archive Administration (and several Heads of various local archives) and the former Head of FSB´s Archive.

Last edited by Carl-Fredrik Geust; 24th April 2020 at 19:39.
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  #16  
Old 25th April 2020, 18:38
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

Carl,

At that time, NKVD air units of the frontier forces already existed. Although they did not have modern equipment, which they got after the Winter War (SB 2s, Neman R-10s), but something had to stand, defend and guard a long border like R-5, U-2 and MBR-2. There were definitely no combat flights, and as for some liaison and courier flights. That is why this type of aviation is not visible in such a conflict. It was similar with the attack on Poland in September 1939. NKVD aviation flew but as an auxiliary force.

While Finnish fighter pilots have benefited greatly from the German experience of the civil war in Spain. The issue of combat tactics, the issue of Soviet equipment, how to deal with I-16, which was very useful during the Winter War. However, the Russians were unable to generate such experience and introduce it to their squadrons during the first two years of the Great Patriotic War.

I fully understand the official position of Russian professional and military historians. At the same time, I know their official publications.

Their low professional competence is evidenced by the fact that they placed in a very dignified, very thick publication published on the 100th anniversary of Russian aviation a photo of the destroyed British fighter Hurricane Mk I from the 1940 war and signed as their own fighter destroyed in 1941.

We both know that formal and titled historians have little relative knowledge on the subject. Instead, they often like empty phrases of low value on a given topic.

One Oleg Kiselev has more knowledge, more wise he wrote about the Winter War than this whole esteemed group of official historians with many long academic titles.

By the way, did you manage to determine what the overclaiming ratio of the victories of Finnish pilots looked like compared to the real losses of the Soviet Union? Is the ratio of two to one right here?

This is probably how it looked from the research that Oleg Kiselev did several years ago.

Regards

mirekw
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  #17  
Old 26th April 2020, 11:33
Paul Frawley Paul Frawley is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

[Moderated for apparent belligerence] just buy the book [Moderated for apparent belligerence]. I've just ordered it from Book Depository [Moderated for apparent belligerence]. Never judge a book until you've read it.

Regards

Sid

Quote:
At that time, NKVD air units of the frontier forces already existed. Although they did not have modern equipment, which they got after the Winter War (SB 2s, Neman R-10s), but something had to stand, defend and guard a long border like R-5, U-2 and MBR-2. There were definitely no combat flights, and as for some liaison and courier flights. That is why this type of aviation is not visible in such a conflict. It was similar with the attack on Poland in September 1939. NKVD aviation flew but as an auxiliary force.

While Finnish fighter pilots have benefited greatly from the German experience of the civil war in Spain. The issue of combat tactics, the issue of Soviet equipment, how to deal with I-16, which was very useful during the Winter War. However, the Russians were unable to generate such experience and introduce it to their squadrons during the first two years of the Great Patriotic War.

I fully understand the official position of Russian professional and military historians. At the same time, I know their official publications.

Their low professional competence is evidenced by the fact that they placed in a very dignified, very thick publication published on the 100th anniversary of Russian aviation a photo of the destroyed British fighter Hurricane Mk I from the 1940 war and signed as their own fighter destroyed in 1941.

We both know that formal and titled historians have little relative knowledge on the subject. Instead, they often like empty phrases of low value on a given topic.

One Oleg Kiselev has more knowledge, more wise he wrote about the Winter War than this whole esteemed group of official historians with many long academic titles.

By the way, d[d you manage to determine what the overclaiming ratio of the victories of Finnish pilots looked like compared to the real losses of the Soviet Union? Is the ratio of two to one right here?

This is probably how it looked from the research that Oleg Kiselev did several years ago.

Regards

mirekw
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  #18  
Old 26th April 2020, 13:02
Carl-Fredrik Geust Carl-Fredrik Geust is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

Mirek,
Thank you for your comment, which indicates that I did not phrase my answers exactly enough, why I would like to underline some points:
I am naturally aware that the NKVD Border Guards included an aviation component, but I want to repeat my previous statement:
”I doubt whether the NKVD Border Guards really had any "own" aircraft in the Karelian border regions” (in the Winter War).

Mirek, if you have exact information about NKVD Border Guard aviation units, bases, aircraft and crews in Karelia, please tell me!

I have known Oleg Kiselev for some 20 years, and he is one of 18 Russian colleagues mentioned with gratitude in my foreword, and his assistance has been very welcome. Oleg has ia. pointed out that practically all Soviet AF units north of Lake Ladoga were urgently ordered to drop supplies to the encircled Soviet divisions (”external garrisons” in Soviet terminology), which apparently saved some divisions from total annihilation.

The Winter war conference at the Finnish Embassy in Moscow December 2019, which I mentioned was NOT a aviation history conference, but dealt with the Winter War in general. Thus the military and political history of the Winter War was presented by both Finnish and Russian speakers (only I spoke about AF activities).
- I was very happy to see meet at the conference two of my long term friends and well-known aviation historians: Dmitriy Khazanov (withe several books already translated into English, and whose forthcoming book on the air war in Hungary was already mentioned in this forum) and Marat Khairulin (specialist on air warfare in WW I, whose remarkable three-volume book Russian Aviation Colors 1909-1922 has recently been translated into English).
- The statement ”the Finns teached the Russians how to fight against a superior enemy in an Arctic environment. Without this lesson the outcome of war against Germany 1941-1945 could well have been have been different...” which I mentioned, was duly received and noted by the Finnish conference participants. To my knowledge the Winter war has never before been referred to in this manner by Russian historians at a semi-official occasion.

Some of the lessons learned by the Soviet high commands after the Winter War (see the protocol of the Kremlin conference 14-17 April 1940, published in Russian, English [Stalin and the Soviet-Finnish War 1939-1940; Routledge 2014] and Finnish) include:
- The strong steel-beton bunkers of the Mannerheim-line (which was broken only on 10 February 1940) were thoroughly analyzed, and the experience later utilized when the Soviet KaUR -defence line north of Leningrad was constructed in 1940-1941.
- Subzero-hardy gun oil and other vital substances (both infantry weapons, artillery and aircraft) was urgently developped
- Winter adapted ski- and tent-equipped units were set up
- PPS-Submachine guns (similar to the famous Finnish Suomi-submachine gun) were introduced

- See attached photo of the heavy equipment left by the 44th Division on the Raate-road (on Finland´s narrowest part, east of Oulu) in early January 1940. This Division belonged to the Soviet 9th Army, commanded by Vasili Chuikov (future Stalingrad hero, who however does not mention the Winter War in his memories). The Commander of the 9th Army AF was Pavel Rychagov (fighter ace from Spain, Soviet AF Commander 1940-41, but after the big AF losses 22.6.1941 sentenced to death and executed 28.10.1941). The 44th Division command (Commander A. Vinogradov, Chief of Staff O. Volkov and Chief Political Officer I. Pakhomento) were sentented to death by Lev Mekhlis, one of Stalin´s most feared Political Officers, and executed in front of the troops 11 January 1940.

Some specific Red Air Force lessons learned:
- Adaption of operation capability to arctic environments:
o Introduction of aircraft skis, droppable reserve fuel tanks, heating equipment for aircraft engines etc
o Use of ice bases with narrow, snowy and slippery runways

- See attached photo from Lodeinoye Pole AF base (on River Svir, south of Lake Ladoga) 18 January 1940, when two TB-3 bombers collided on the slippery runway.
- As a result of the plentitude of losses of orientation, Polar aviation veteran Ivan Spirin (in Winter War commanded Aviation Group Spirin in the far North) was ordered to set up an AF navigation school in Monino, gradually expanded to the Soviet AF Academy (BTW I read a lecture at the Monino-Academy during the ”international” WWII Fighter Aces conference in August 2004; I was then the sole ”international” element).
- Rigid three-fighter (”troika”) tactical combat formation were gradually replaced by flexible fighter-pairs as applied by the Finnish AF (see the memoirs of 7 IAP fighter pilot Fedor Shinkarenko)

Finnish Air victory claims in Winter War:
- Finnish AF claimed 207 air victories
- Finnish A-A artillery claimed 314 aircraft shot down.
As the Red Air forces lost some 500 aircraft in combat, the Finnish claims are surprisingly exact (!), which is explained by the fact that almost all air combats took place over Finnish territory, and the aircraft wrecks were thus located by Finnish troops.

My book includes a full list of all Soviet AF personnel losses, so the above mentioned statement can be easily verified.

Mirek,
when you have had time to read my book (text volume some 650.000 letters) I am ready to continue discussing your comments to the presented facts and conclusions.
Carl
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2985comp.jpg (115.0 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg 118. 197. TB-3 cn 545, 604 40-01-17, RGVA 8-206 (2).jpg (35.3 KB, 33 views)
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  #19  
Old 26th April 2020, 18:33
Edward Edward is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

Copy of Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940 ordered.
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  #20  
Old 27th April 2020, 17:22
Mirek Wawrzynski Mirek Wawrzynski is offline
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Re: Red Wings in the Winter War 1939-1940

It is obvious that the border units of the PV NKVD have their own aviation. There is a matter of place of homing and its use. Certainly, your NKVD border aviation squadron would be in the Leningrad Military District, for sure the second air division was in Pribałtyki (Baltic Military District). The commander of this aviation, I. M. Czuprow, wrote in 1996 about the history of NKVD aviation.
Certainly, during the war with Poland in September 1939, 10 squadrons participated (10 OAE PV NKVD), pilots carried out liaison and courier flights. No combat tasks, back of the front.


I wrote about it in 2008 in my book. Then, the 10th Squadron of the PW NKVD deployed in November 1939 in Karolina near Grodno.
There were 5 squadrons and 2 Independent Sea Key in the Leningrad Military District.

In the Baltic Military District stood 11 squadron - and where she stood in 1939/40 I do not know, I was not interested. In June 1941 she stood on the island of Saarema (Ozylia). I wrote about it in my second book in 2015.

I believe that due to the very long Finnish-Russian border, the Russians had their squadron at that time and, additionally, a sea flight (zvieno) to protect and patrol the borders.
I did not study this issue in the Finnish section, because I only care about another region. I wrote about him in two of my books. If these air units were on my shorter section of the border in September 1939, then they had to be on the longer section of Finland.


The statement ”the Finns teached the Russians how to fight against a superior enemy in an Arctic environment. Without this lesson the outcome of war against Germany 1941-1945 could well have been have been different...”

Very beautiful political statements courtesy. Unfortunately, this is not true. The Arctic was a tertiary theater of war. Germany has never had significant strength there. Russians dominated there in terms of the number of people, equipment, tanks, warships - areas around Murmansk. Soviet aviation in the Murmansk region was much larger in June 1941 in terms of numbers than the weak numerical Luftflotte 5. I do not take into account Finnish aviation, which was also weaker than the Soviet in terms of equipment and quantity.


The results of the war with Germany, the most important strategic lessons for the Russians were: a counterattack in December 1941 near Moscow; battle of Stalingrad 1942-1943, fighting at Kursk in 1943; during Operation Bagration in June 1944, and the final of all lessons and the sum of experience was the Battle of Berlin in 1945.

The Russians took these lessons during the war directly from a very demanding teacher, which was the Third Reich and its army.





“Some of the lessons learned by the Soviet high commands after the Winter War (see the protocol of the Kremlin conference 14-17 April 1940, published in Russian, English [Stalin and the Soviet-Finnish War 1939-1940; Routledge 2014] and Finnish) include:
- The strong steel-beton bunkers of the Mannerheim-line (which was broken only on 10 February 1940) were thoroughly analyzed, and the experience later utilized when the Soviet KaUR -defence line north of Leningrad was constructed in 1940-1941.

- Subzero-hardy gun oil and other vital substances (both infantry weapons, artillery and aircraft) was urgently developed
- Winter adapted ski- and tent-equipped units were set up
- PPS-Submachine guns (similar to the famous Finnish Suomi-submachine gun) were introduced”.


How did the knowledge gained during the Winter War prevented a great catastrophe, gigantic losses of the Red Army and aviation in the summer and autumn of 1941.
I see no connection here.

The Russians only detained completely exhausted Germans under the walls of the capital - Moscow on December 5, 1941. Until then, losses in the number of soldiers; losses in the number of tanks lost; losses in the number of lost combat aircraft were gigantic, catastrophic, monstrous. The Russians lost more soldiers for six months than the Finns had population across the country. What are we talking about here, what lessons?


“The Commander of the 9th Army AF was Pavel Rychagov (fighter ace from Spain, Soviet AF Commander 1940-41, but after the big AF losses 22.6.1941 sentenced to death and executed 28.10.1941).



Pavel Rychagov was dismissed from the position of commander earlier, before June 22, 1941. The reason for the shooting of him and his wife (who was a major in military aviation) was not great losses in aviation, but accusation of conspiracy in the army against Stalin. For the same reason they were killed by the NKVD: Szmuszkiewicz, Jonow, Ptuchin, Kopiec and a dozen or so senior aviation officers. It is a small purge in the circles of the highest aviation commanders unleashed between May and July 1941. The last commanders of aviators accused by the NKVD of a plot were shot in February 1942 - among them Ptuchin.




"Finnish Air victory claims in Winter War:
- Finnish AF claimed 207 air victories
- Finnish A-A artillery claimed 314 aircraft shot down.
As the Red Air forces lost some 500 aircraft in combat, the Finnish claims are surprisingly exact (!), which is explained by the fact that almost all air combats took place over Finnish territory, and the aircraft wrecks were thus located by Finnish troops".


Each of the sides fighting on the front has its official data regarding the awarded victories and successes - this is normal. I do not intend to undermine or refute this. I'm interested in actual effectiveness during the war.


I have carried out such an analysis several times about war and losses over Poland or in June 1941 that I know that the number of actually completely destroyed or damaged aircraft was always lower than the number of victories reported by the other side. Such a calculation was done by Oleg Kisielow a few years ago regarding the Winter War.


Best Reagrads,
mirekw
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