Aviation of World War II

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746th Long Range Aviation Regiment


Stalin and Molotov

On June 29, 1941, the commander of one of the units of the Air Force of the spacecraft, Colonel LEBEDEV and Colonel NOVODRANOV, were summoned to the Kremlin and received by Comrade STALIN. Comrade MOLOTOV was present during the conversation.

- "Despite the tense situation, the formidable danger hanging over our Motherland in those days, comrades STALIN and MOLOTOV were cheerfulness. Not a shadow of excitement and nervousness was felt in their behavior and conversation" - this is how Colonel LEBEDEV recalls this meeting .

"Well, sit down, tell me how you are doing with aircraft and personnel?" - Comrade met us with such a phrase STALIN. I reported first. Briefly, trying not to take Joseph Vissarionovich's time with unnecessary details, I spoke about our machines, their capabilities, data, advantages and disadvantages. However, Com. STALIN repeatedly interrupted me with questions. He was interested in every detail, revealing a deep knowledge of aviation technology. He took out the cards, saying: - "Come on, let's figure out where we can get it."

In this meeting, which lasted about three hours, the issue of organizing the unit and its combat work was discussed comprehensively. Airfields, bases, heights, routes, armament of ships - well, literally nothing fell out of attention Comrade's STALIN. He was especially interested in the issue of personnel. Due to the fact that at that moment there were not enough pilots and navigators who could fly on TB-7 ships, comrade STALIN offered to begin preparations immediately. He said that each crew, each person, before going on a combat mission, must be comprehensively checked in a real situation. In addition, com. STALIN gave the task to once again check the combat qualities of the aircraft - to go to full radius, measure speeds and costs, test the aircraft with a bomb load along the combat profile.

At the same meeting, specific decisions were made on all issues of organizing the regiment. He was called by the People's Commissar of the Aviation Industry comrade. SHAKHURIN, who in turn received from Comrade STALIN's clear instructions.

The next day, Colonel LEBEDEV flew to Kazan and began to form a regiment of long-range heavy bombers.

On August 10, 1941, the formed regiment received its first baptism of fire in a raid on the Nazi capital of Germany - BERLIN. This day was the birthday of the regiment.

During the combat activity, the regiment made a total of 485 night sorties with a combat raid of 8383 hours. 17m. and dropped 5,035,620 kilograms of air bombs and 1,675,000 copies of leaflets on enemy military targets.

The regiment was not attached directly to the fronts. Participated in combat operations in the ADD system, later renamed the 18th Air Army of the Air Force KA. The fighting was carried out on the instructions of the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command to bombard the capitals of Nazi Germany and its satellites: Berlin, Budapest, Bucharest, Helsinki and military-industrial facilities located deep behind enemy lines: Koenigsberg, Danzig, Constanta, Tilsit, Sttetin and others.

Operating deep behind enemy lines, the regiment, together with other units and formations of the ADD, participated in combat operations in the interests of the fronts, bombing airfields, communications, concentrations of troops and railway junctions of the enemy, disorganizing the transfer and destroying manpower and equipment enemy.

In 1941, defending the Soviet capital - MOSCOW from the Nazi invaders, the regiment, in addition to bombing the military-industrial and administrative-political centers of Nazi Germany and its vassals, subjected to destructive treatment of railway junctions, stages, airfields based enemy aircraft, concentrations of troops , destroying enemy manpower and equipment, disorganizing the supply of troops and weapons on the distant approaches to the capital.

Conducted destructive processing of military facilities of the advancing enemy, the regiment during 1941 made 63 night sorties with a total flying time of 345 hours 38 minutes, dropped 144,750 kilograms of high-explosive and incendiary bombs.


Scheme of Objects Bombarded by the Regiment During the Patriotic War.

The numbers next to the bombs indicate the weight of the bombs in tons dropped on the target.

The red "T" is the regiment's base.

Blue aircraft - enemy airfields that were bombed.

DBA - Dal'ne bombardirovochnaya aviatsiya - Long-range bomber aviation

VVS KA - Voyenno vozdushnyye Sily Krasnoy Armii - Air Force of the Red Army

AP - Aviatsionnyy polk - Aviation Regiment

BAP - Bombardirovochnyy avia polk - Bomber Aviation Regiment

AP DD - Aviatsionnyy Polk Dal'nego Deystviya - Long Range Aviation Regiment

AK DD - Aviatsionnyy Korpus Dal'nego Deystviya - Long Range Air Corps

ADD - Aviatsiya Dal'nego Deystviya - Long Range Aviation

The year 1942 was significant for the regiment in two characteristic circumstances: firstly, the regiment conducted much more intense combat work and secondly, the regiment was entrusted with a special government task to carry out the flight of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR Vyacheslav Mikhailovich MOLOTOV to England and the USA, with which the regiment successfully coped.

Bombarding the enemy's deep and near rear and communications and operationally important approaches to the Volga stronghold - STALINGRAD, the regiment during 1942 made 620 night sorties with a combat raid of 2699 hours 29 minutes. and dropped 1,829,515 kilograms of high-explosive and incendiary bombs and 42,759 thousand copies of leaflets.

1943 was the most intense year in terms of the intensity of hostilities carried out by the unit. The Nazi invaders, who set themselves the task of encircling and then destroying the Red Army troops located on the Kursk Bulge, concentrated a huge number of troops and the latest weapons. The regiment, together with other parts of the ADD, subjected to fierce bombardment of various enemy military installations and directly participated in the operations of the Red Army, inflicting bombing strikes on the front line of the advancing enemy troops and their artillery. positions.

It is characteristic that in these tense days the bomb load on the ship more than doubled compared to 1941 and reached six tons per bomber. At this time, the regiment began to use large-caliber bombs weighing 5 tons.

In that year, the Regiment made 646 night combat sorties with a combat raid of 3032 hours 51 meters, dropped 2463155 kilograms of high-explosive and incendiary bombs. 8916 thousand copies of leaflets were dropped on the front line and in the rear of the Nazi troops, as well as Soviet citizens in the territories temporarily occupied by the Nazi troops, telling the truth about the Soviet Union, the Red Army and the inevitability of the defeat of the Nazi armies.

The regiment made 36 night sorties to suppress the artillery positions of long-range enemy guns that were shelling the city of LENINGRAD and dropped 129,700 kilograms of high-explosive bombs on them.

For the courage shown in the battles for the fatherland with the German invaders, for the stamina, discipline and organization, for the heroism of the personnel - by order of the NPO of the USSR No. 274 of September 18, 1943, the 746th Long-Range Aviation Regiment was transformed into the 25th Guards Aviation Long Range Regiment.

In 1944, the regiment completed combat activities in the month of August. In 18 flying nights, the regiment made 156 sorties, of which -34 were against distant enemy targets. During this period, the combat raid amounted to 964h. 04m. Dropped 598,200 kilograms of bombs.

By order of the NPO of the USSR No. 0137 of May 27, 1944, the 25th Long-Range Guards Aviation Regiment, which distinguished itself in battles with the German invaders, was given the name ORLOVSKY for the liberation of the city of OREL.

Results of Combat Work of the 25th Guards T.B.O.P.


  • Photos and documents from the archive of Oleg Lisachev