Aviation of World War II
Glory to the Invincible Stalinist Aviation!
Newspaper "Soviet Siberia" August 20, 1944
ORDER of Supreme Commander #152
August 20, 1944
Comrade pilots, navigators, air gunners, radio operators, engineers, technicians, mechanics, officers and generals of fighter, attack, bomber and reconnaissance aviation!
On the day of the All-Union Aviation Day, I greet you and congratulate you on your successes in the fight against the German invaders!
Together with the entire Red Army, Soviet aviation is waging a fierce struggle against the Nazi invaders and inflicting devastating blows on manpower in enemy equipment, on its rear and communications.
The selfless work of workers and women, the high skill of Soviet aviation designers and engineers made it possible to overcome the former numerical superiority of German aviation and equip the Air Force of the Red Army and the Navy with many thousands of high-quality combat aircraft.
In air battles with the enemy, our pilots showed unparalleled valor, heroism and courage, and commanders and chiefs - skill and military skill in directing air operations.
As a result, our combat aviation now has complete air supremacy over enemy aircraft.
Thousands of wonderful pilots, navigators and air shooters are increasingly multiplying the successes of our armed forces and crushing the enemy on the ground and in the air.
In commemoration of the successes achieved by our combat aviation, I order:
Today, on Aviation Day, August 20 at 17 o'clock in the capital of our Motherland - Moscow, on behalf of the Motherland, salute our valiant aviators with twenty artillery volleys from two hundred and twenty-four guns.
Marshal of the Soviet Union I. Stalin
RESULTS OF COMBAT ACTIONS OF THE SOVIET AVIATION
For over three years, our aviation, together with the entire Red Army, has been waging a successful struggle against the Nazi invaders. Our Air Force in the first period of the war, having withstood the blows of numerically superior enemy aircraft, in the course of the war overturned and dispelled the Nazis' calculations for undivided air supremacy. Soviet aviation has inflicted and is still inflicting heavy blows on the enemy, destroying his equipment and manpower.
Fighter aviation of the country's air defense reliably covers our cities, industrial centers and transport from enemy air strikes. All attempts by German aviation to penetrate Soviet industrial areas and disrupt the normal operation of our factories and plants have been a complete failure.
Soviet long-range aviation inflicts crushing blows on the rear and communications of the enemy. Soviet pilots repeatedly bombarded Berlin, Koenigsberg, Danzig, Bucharest, Budapest, Helsinki and other industrial centers and railway junctions of Germany and it accomplices.
In the days of the heroic defense of Moscow, Soviet aviation successfully coped with the task of covering the capital of our Motherland from enemy air strikes. Our aviation units exhausted the enemy's air forces and rendered great assistance to the ground forces of the Red Army in defeating the Nazi invaders near Moscow.
In the battles for Leningrad, Odessa, Sevastopol, the pilots of the Air Force of the Red Army and the Navy covered themselves with unfading glory. In the battles near Voronezh, on the Don, on the approaches to the Caucasus, Soviet aviation delayed the German offensive with air strikes and thereby rendered an invaluable service to our troops. In the battle for Stalingrad, our Air Force destroyed most of the pilots of the best German squadrons, and then brilliantly carried out an air blockade of the German armies surrounded in Stalingrad. Thousands of fascist aces found their death near Moscow, near Leningrad, in the Stalingrad region, in the Kuban and Don steppes, in the expanses of Ukraine and in the fields of Belarus.
During the course of the war, our aviation deprived the enemy of the advantages in the air that he had in the first period as a result of a sudden and treacherous attack on our Motherland.
In fierce air battles over the Taman Peninsula, in the Battle of Kursk, the former superiority of German aviation in the air was finally overturned.
Thanks to the tireless support of the entire Soviet people, the Air Force of the Red Army turned out to be stronger than the German aviation and turned into a thunderstorm for the fascist invaders. The Soviet rear, workers, specialists and designers are working tirelessly, continuously increasing the production of aircraft and improving their combat qualities.
In the offensive operations of the Red Army that unfolded in the summer of 1944, our aviation won complete air supremacy. It provides the most active and ever-increasing support to the ground troops, paving the way for them and ensuring their steady advance to the West.
During the Patriotic War, Soviet aviation destroyed more than 50 thousand enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground, destroyed and damaged many thousands of German tanks, self-propelled guns and armored vehicles, over 200 thousand vehicles, more than 800 steam locomotives, over 10 thousand wagons, a large number of other types of military equipment, as well as enemy manpower.
These are the brief results of the military operations of the Air Force of the Red Army during the 38 months of the Patriotic War.
DECREE OF THE PRESIDIUM OF THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE USSR
About awarding the Hero of the Soviet Union Guard Colonel
Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin with the third Gold Star medal
For the exemplary performance of the Command's combat missions and heroic deeds on the front of the struggle against the German invaders, giving the right to receive the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, to award the Hero of the Soviet Union Guard Colonel Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin with the third Gold Star medal and in commemoration of his heroic deeds build a bronze bust with the image of the recipient and the corresponding inscription, install it on a pedestal in the form of a column in Moscow, at the Palace of Soviets.
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR M. KALININ.
Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR A. GORKIN.
Moscow. Kremlin. August 19, 1944
BOLD FALCONS OF THE POLAR SKY
The pages of the combat history of the aviation of the Northern Fleet in the Great Patriotic War are opened by the glorious deeds of Boris Feoktistovich Safonov. It was he who began the combat account of the North Sea aviation, shooting down the first enemy Heinkel-111 aircraft on June 24, 1941.
In the first period of the war, the regiment where Safonov served became famous in the Soviet Arctic. On September 10, the regiment received the Order of the Red Banner for military services to the motherland. On the same day, Safonov was first awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Other pilots also received government awards.
Encouraged by Stalin's care, the Severomorians intensified their attacks on the enemy. By the beginning of 1942, the brave falcons of the polar sky destroyed 148 fascist aircraft and sent 8 enemy ships to the bottom.
Pilots from the North Sea actively assisted the ground forces and our fleet in the April-May operation: they stormed the front line of the enemy's defense, supporting the ground units of the Red Army. It was during these stormy days that Lieutenant Ignatiev rammed the Messerschmitt-109 after the attack. That was the first ram in the North.
The Air Force of the Northern Fleet also closely cooperated with surface ships. This interaction manifested itself in long-range naval reconnaissance for the fleet, in covering ships and transports in parking lots and on campaigns. Stalin's falcons vigilantly guarded the Allied convoys on communications in the Barents Sea. As a result of the hostilities of the North Sea aviation, the Allied convoy had no losses.
The pilots of Zhatkov conducted a wonderful battle in July 1942. They covered the allied caravans. Every now and then they tried to break through to the Junkers ships with a total number of up to 20 vehicles. But our flight crew showed skill, courage and courage, having carried out twelve air battles. Not a single enemy plane was allowed to enter the caravan. Pilots Suchkov and Volodin, repelling the attacks of five Junkers, shot down two of them, and drove the rest away.
In the summer and autumn of 1942, torpedo bombers performed remarkably well. Enemy ships, one after another, went to the bottom of the Barents Sea. The glory of the first torpedo bomber was won by Captain Garbuz.
January 15, 1943 is a rainy day for the German command in the North Sea theater.
On this day, our air reconnaissance discovered enemy ships in the sea. Torpedo bombers Balashov and Peregudov flew out to attack. The enemy convoy was guarded by two patrol ships and one destroyer. From a distance of 800 meters, Balashov and Peregudov launched a transport with a displacement of 4-5 thousand tons to the bottom. Two hours later, the torpedo bombers Trunov and Zaichenko attacked the same convoy a second time from a distance of 600 meters and sank the other two transports. By the evening of the same day, the torpedo bombers Agafonov and Makarevich struck another enemy transport and sent it to the bottom. In the combat annals of the valiant pilots, another figure was added: 8,000 tons.
Not a few brilliant feats were performed by the crews of our attack aircraft. Only in June 1943, they sank 2 transports, 2 patrol ships, 2 boats, 2 minesweepers, a motorboat, set fire to 4 transports, shot down 3 enemy aircraft.
July 25, 1943 was a significant day for the Severomors. Great Stalin congratulated the Northern Fleet on the tenth anniversary of its existence. The beloved leader called his faithful falcons to new successes in the fight against the hated enemy.
Standing at the combat vehicles, the air fighters listened to the exciting words of Stalin's greetings. The Severomorians gave a solemn oath to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief to increase the force of strikes against the enemy.
On that significant day, pilots Orlov, Kiselev, Pokalo, Balashov, Boky, Klimov, Kurzenkov and Pokrovsky were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
The combat account of the new year 1944 was opened by Senior Lieutenant Zaitsev. While cruising, he sank an enemy tanker with a displacement of 6,000 tons. It was January 18th. Three days later, guards torpedo bombers Frantsev, Pirogov and Markov destroyed three more enemy ships. That was Pirogov's sixth victory. On January 22, the young guardsman Gnetov sent a German transport with a displacement of 8,000 tons to the bottom.
In January, the family of Heroes of the Soviet Union was replenished: this title was awarded to five valiant pilots - Panin, Adonkin, Elkin, Verbitsky and Shein. The last three are brave scouts. They made about 700 sorties. Through the fogs and the hurricane fire of anti-aircraft guns, they made their way into the deep rear of the enemy and obtained accurate data for our strike aircraft. A month later, four more received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union - Pirogov, Zaitsev, Voronin and Badyuk. On May 31, a new group of pilots was awarded the high rank.
Now the winged family of the North Sea has 35 Heroes of the Soviet Union.
The Red Army smashes the Nazi beast at its very lair. The day of the desired victory is near! Its lightnings are already visible in the sky of the Arctic.
And the hands of the pilot from the North Sea firmly grip the helm of the warship...
LAST RADIO MESSAGE
The operational report of the Sovinformburo, broadcast today on the radio, says: During August 19, southeast of the city of TARTU, our troops captured an important highway junction, the city and the AUKSNE railway station, and also occupied more than 30 other settlements.
To the north of the town of KRUSTPILS (on the Western Dvina), our troops, overcoming enemy resistance, occupied more than 50 settlements with battles.
To the north, west and southwest of the city of SHAULAI (SHAVLI), our troops successfully repelled the attacks of large enemy infantry and tanks and inflicted heavy losses in manpower and equipment.
To the west and southwest of the city of Białystok, our troops fought forward and occupied more than 80 settlements.
To the east and northeast of PRAGUE, our troops repulsed the attacks of enemy infantry and tanks and improved their positions during the fighting.
To the north of the city of SANDOMIR, our troops fought successful battles to destroy the encircled enemy grouping. At the same time, our troops repulsed the attacks of enemy infantry and tanks, who were trying to break through to the north to help the encircled grouping. During the fighting, the enemy suffered heavy losses in manpower and equipment.
In other sectors of the front - without significant changes.
On August 18, our troops knocked out and destroyed 203 German tanks on all fronts. In air battles and anti-aircraft artillery fire, 48 enemy aircraft were shot down.
ALLIED OPERATIONS IN NORTH AND SOUTH OF FRANCE
MESSAGE FROM THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCES HIGH COMMAND
LONDON. August 19. (TASS). The Allied Expeditionary Forces High Command said in a statement released today:
On August 18, the encirclement around the German troops in Normandy tightened even more. American and British troops joined near Briuz. From the west, the advancing units of the Allies reached approximately the line of the Ori River. Our troops advanced towards the withdrawal routes of the German troops rushing east to avoid complete encirclement. Our troops advancing south advanced east and west of Argentan, overcoming enemy resistance. Moving from the north along the Argentan road, our troops reached Pierre-Fitt.
Further north, our troops, developing the offensive, crossed: the rivers Dives and Vie near Notre Dame d'Estre and occupied Saint-Julien-le-Fococq. In the Dre region, a bridgehead was expanded on the River Ayr to the north and south of the city. Further south liberated by Vandom.
Allied aviation carried out raids on troop concentrations, transport, airfields, communications and supply centers of the enemy.
LONDON, 19 August. (TASS). The report of the headquarters of the Allied forces in the Mediterranean theater of operations states that on the night of August 18, formations of German torpedo boats tried to attack Allied ships landing troops and unloading equipment in southern France. This counterattack was repulsed by American destroyers, who destroyed 4 enemy boats during a short battle.
Continuing to advance rapidly, meeting relatively weak resistance from the enemy, units of the 7th Army expanded the bridgehead in southern France to over a thousand square miles and reached a point 10 kilometers from Toulon. In the western and northwestern sectors of the front, on both sides of the Arzhan river valley, American units advanced several kilometers. The city of Solles-Pont is occupied. La Roquebrussan, Gareu, Brignoles, Ven and Salern. The French units finally broke the enemy's resistance in the area of Cape Ben.