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Old 04-07-2012, 11:02 AM
csThor csThor is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: somewhere in Germany
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I stand by my words. Using wiki as source is not exactly helpful to any discussion since it can contain virtually anything ... It is very difficult to get an accurate picture of soviet capabilities and achievements because of the utter distortions that entered soviet archives on behalf of Stalin. Secondly just listing one thing and trying ot impose it on the whole of the VVS is simply pointless. The number of La-7 lost in combat is one aspect of a large number: relative ratio between the various soviet types, lack of fighter forces of the Luftwaffe and its allies, mission profiles, actual engagements between La-7 and the Luftwaffe (and what types they encountered), ... That list is very long.

Post-war several german officers were hired by the US Army to produce a load of memoranda on a load of things to get the perspective of their former enemies on their own strengths and weaknesses but more importantly to get a more complete picture on soviet capabilities and faults. And most of these german officers (Army and Luftwaffe alike) attibute the soviets an utter predictability when it came to tactics, a lack of flexibility and gross negligance of command, control & coordination. The soviets just had the numbers to get away with it.

PS: Taking the La-7 is a bad choice, anyway, since according to all the information I have they were issued only to specific regiments and were freed from the tight doctrinal leash the VVS kept on its fighter forces. That allowed them more freedom and gave these units a better chance to enter combats from a position of advantage. The big rest of the VVS, however, wasn't freed from the doctrinal straightjacket.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:07 PM
6S.Manu 6S.Manu is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Venice - Italy
Posts: 585

Originally Posted by csThor View Post
Here I disagree. The VVS paid a high price for its enormous growth in 1943 and that price was the insanely low training it gave its aircrew. The number of soviet veteran aircrew, while always rather small in comparison to the size of any force, was considerably lower than in other air forces - even at the end of the war. A fresh american or british pilot had more flight hours than a soviet pilot with a few weeks of frontline experience ... and therefor more routine in handling his aircraft.
I agree on the training of these pilots but I think we have to remember that many Western pilots actually didn't see combat over Germany: so they learned the theories of fighting, but could not practice aerial engagements (above all in a "many vs many" environment).

Ok, IL2 it's a game, but I think it can be useful to understand that some types of plane need time to be flown correctly: take Spitfire vs 190 and how a Blue pilot's skill has to evolve to be successful in that fight. If both the pilots have the same low experience who's in advantage there? The pilot in the unforgiving plane has to be patient and unexperienced pilot are not patient at all.

Now translate all with the La-7/Yak3 - P51/P47.
I just can see the guys who attacked Ivan Kozhedub: they had the energy advantage, the positional one and probably could ambush the russian...

A whole generation of pilots learned to treasure the Spitfire for its delightful response to aerobatic manoeuvres and its handiness as a dogfighter. Iit is odd that they had continued to esteem these qualities over those of other fighters in spite of the fact that they were of only secondary importance tactically.Thus it is doubly ironic that the Spitfire’s reputation would habitually be established by reference to archaic, non-tactical criteria.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:01 PM
Rumcajs Rumcajs is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 40

Originally Posted by csThor View Post
Using wiki as source is not exactly helpful to any discussion since it can contain virtually anything
You are right about wiki. Also one good example of VVS performance is not enough to make a general claim.

This may be something trustworthy:


A.S. When did well-trained cohorts begin to arrive in the combat regiments?

N.G. Somewhere in the second half of 1944. We fought the second half of the war in modern equipment and had acquired good combat experience. The loss levels in combat regiments were dropping and regiments began to demand significantly fewer replacements. From this came the possibility of pilots being sent directly from flight school to reserve air regiments [ZAP], where their instructors were combat-experienced pilots. At the ZAPs young pilots practiced only combat flying, and in a quite serious manner. After the ZAPs these pilots moved on to combat regiments with good combat habits. The ZAP was one of the most needed and effective components of the Soviet school of combat training.
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