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Il-2. Combat Use.

IL-2 in flight

The Il-2 entered service with the Red Army Air Force very late, just a month before the start of hostilities, by this time the Air Force had received only about 100 Il-2 out of 250 built. The first regiment armed with "Sturmoviks" was 4 LBAP until May 1941, equipped with R-Zet multipurpose aircraft (Very often the authors write this name as PZ, which is absolutely not correct, since the designation "Zet" corresponds to such designations as "bis" and "Ter", which were not written as "b" or "t".). After the surrender of these "oldies", the regiment under the command of Major Getman was relocated to the Bohodukhovo airfield, not far from Kharkov, where, at the very beginning of June, the seventeen best pilots of the regiment, renamed 4 ShAP, received 17 first Il-2s, which were used for the fastest pilot training. The next 48 aircraft of this type arrived just days before the outbreak of the war, one of which was destroyed during landing.

Personnel training was extremely accelerated and limited, which, however, did not cause big problems, since the pilots had at least a year and a half or even two years of service in the troops and combat experience gained in the Winter War. The training consisted of performing several familiarization flights on the Su-2 (which was common until 1943, when a number of silts for training had already appeared) which had good aerobatic properties and allowed the pilots to become familiar with new technology (for example, retractable landing gear legs) ... After completing three flights on these machines, they were transferred to the Il-2, with which individual pilots "mastered" gradually, step by step. However, time was short and as a result, until the moment of the German attack, none of the pilots had yet practiced dropping bombs or launching "eres". But this cannot be considered a big problem, since the pilots had experience in dropping bombs on R-Zetas. The exception was the launch of missiles, which they had no idea about and which presented some difficulties for them at first.

Assessing the state of affairs on the fronts, the Soviet leadership decided that it was so dramatic that it justified sending an underachieved regiment into battle. The unit arrived at its front-line airfield in Staro-Bykhov on June 27, 1941, and the next day, the three pilots under the command of Spitsyn made their first sortie and the Bobruisk area. This was the first combat mission of a Sturmovik in history. However, it did not end successfully, since after returning to the airfield, one of the Ilov was scrapped due to damage received as a result of enemy anti-aircraft fire. Two days later, in a battle with fighters from the German JG 51, the regiment suffered its first losses in air battles.

Already on July 1, part of the Getman was forced to fly to a new airfield located 50 km southeast of Klimovichi, where it became part of the 11th GARDEN. Already at that time, talking about it as a regiment is not entirely correct, since in a period of just 3.5 days of fighting, 4 ShAP lost 20 pilots (During the Winter War, the regiment lost one pilot, and then not in battle) and about 25-30 aircraft. The next machines were disabled during the flight to the new airfield, when, due to lack of fuel, they made an emergency landing in field 20 of the Il-2. In the shortest possible time, 15 of them were restored, but in one of the two that could not be repaired, the corpse of the pilot was found, which during landing hit his head on the sight, resulting in death. This was probably the first victim of the PBP-1 sight.

At the new airfield, the first victim was the deputy commander of the regiment, who was shot in front of the formation, for cowardice, which consisted in failure to fulfill combat missions.

The battles were so intense, and the mediocrity in their conduct and use of the materiel was so great that by July 11 only ... 18 pilots and 10 Il-2s remained in the regiment! (According to other data, there were 21 aircraft. This discrepancy may be due to the fact that in one of the sources we are talking about 10 Il-2 and 11 defective machines) A ​​few days later, 215 ShAP arrived at the Pisarevka airfield, whose personnel was hastily trained to the remaining in live composition of 4 ShAP. In mid-August, Major Getman handed over the last three Ila to the commander of a related unit, Major L.D. Reino, and took the remnants of his regiment to the rear for reorganization.

At this time, after the withdrawal of 4 ShAPs, there were already three assault regiments at the front, including the 215th itself, which had already been scorched by the flames of war, since from July 25 to July 3 he fought as part of the Western Front on his old I-152. As a result of the losses incurred and the choice of this unit as one of the first to be re-equipped, it was withdrawn from the front and relocated deep into Russia to receive the Il-2 and retrain. After about two incomplete weeks of familiarization flights on "Flying Tanks", the 215 ShAP was again sent to the front, where he continued combat training, which included, among other things, joint flights with the pilots of the 4th ShAP. Officially, Major Reino's unit made its first combat sortie only on August 21.

215 ShAP from the very beginning was a well-prepared, cohesive part. Already during the first two months of fighting, the pilots of this regiment demonstrated unusually high skills, destroying thousands of "fascists" and vehicles, dozens of tanks and aircraft at airfields (for example, on September 15, the regiment reported the destruction of 40 aircraft at the Smolensk airfield). However, the regiment earned its fame as a "tenacious" regiment during the Moscow battle during October and November 1941. During the execution of combat missions, this unit demonstrated the highest efficiency, thanks to which it was the first of about 150 assault regiments to receive the rank of a guards unit - 6 Guards.

The second of the most effective regiments was the 65th ShAP, which fought under the command of Major A.N. Vitruk. Formed in the second half of May and armed with Flying Tanks in June, it was sent to the front (in the Leningrad direction) in early July. This regiment from the very beginning stood out among others in that the specialty of its pilots was not ordinary assault attacks, but ... attacks on German aircraft. Already on July 6, the pilots of this regiment stumbled upon 8 He-111 (in fact, it should have been Ju-88) and, without emptying the bomb compartments from the bomb load, after a short battle announced that they had shot down two of them, and a little later in the ensuing In a battle with fighters from JG 54, they managed to shoot down 3 Me-109s. Later, a part was transferred to Moscow, where, like the 215 ShAP, it achieved great success. In just one day, Vitruk's pilots announced the destruction of 80 tanks, 180 vehicles and two infantry battalions (in the winter of 1941/1942, this corresponded to the elimination of almost an entire tank division of the Wehrmacht!).

At the beginning of July 1941, at the front, in the western direction, 430 ShAP also appeared, which was hastily formed from test pilots. However, this regiment had to be quickly disbanded due to the inability of hastily assembled pilots to carry out combat missions. Although they were experienced pilots, they had no military education and experience, and they had no idea about the conduct of battles as part of an assault regiment. After the regiment suffered huge losses, it was disbanded, and the pilots returned to the tasks for which they were more suitable.

The battles were so intense, and the mediocrity in their conduct and use of the materiel was so great that by July 11 only ... 18 pilots and 10 Il-2s remained in the regiment! (According to other data, there were 21 aircraft. This discrepancy may be due to the fact that in one of the sources we are talking about 10 Il-2 and 11 defective machines) A ​​few days later, 215 ShAP arrived at the Pisarevka airfield, whose personnel was hastily trained to the remaining in live composition of 4 ShAP. In mid-August, Major Getman handed over the last three Ila to the commander of a related unit, Major L.D. Reino, and took the remnants of his regiment to the rear for reorganization.

At this time, after the withdrawal of 4 ShAPs, there were already three assault regiments at the front, including the 215th itself, which had already been scorched by the flames of war, since from July 25 to July 3 he fought as part of the Western Front on his old I-152. As a result of the losses incurred and the choice of this unit as one of the first to be re-equipped, it was withdrawn from the front and relocated deep into Russia to receive the Il-2 and retrain. After about two incomplete weeks of familiarization flights on "Flying Tanks", the 215 ShAP was again sent to the front, where he continued combat training, which included, among other things, joint flights with the pilots of the 4th ShAP. Officially, Major Reino's unit made its first combat sortie only on August 21.

215 ShAP from the very beginning was a well-prepared, cohesive part. Already during the first two months of fighting, the pilots of this regiment demonstrated unusually high skills, destroying thousands of "fascists" and vehicles, dozens of tanks and aircraft at airfields (for example, on September 15, the regiment reported the destruction of 40 aircraft at the Smolensk airfield). However, the regiment earned its fame as a "tenacious" regiment during the Moscow battle during October and November 1941. During the execution of combat missions, this unit demonstrated the highest efficiency, thanks to which it was the first of about 150 assault regiments to receive the rank of a guards unit - 6 Guards.

The second of the most effective regiments was the 65th ShAP, which fought under the command of Major A.N. Vitruk. Formed in the second half of May and armed with Flying Tanks in June, it was sent to the front (in the Leningrad direction) in early July. This regiment from the very beginning stood out among others in that the specialty of its pilots was not ordinary assault attacks, but ... attacks on German aircraft. Already on July 6, the pilots of this regiment stumbled upon 8 He-111 (in fact, it should have been Ju-88) and, without emptying the bomb compartments from the bomb load, after a short battle announced that they had shot down two of them, and a little later in the ensuing In a battle with fighters from JG 54, they managed to shoot down 3 Me-109s. Later, a part was transferred to Moscow, where, like the 215 ShAP, it achieved great success. In just one day, Vitruk's pilots announced the destruction of 80 tanks, 180 vehicles and two infantry battalions (in the winter of 1941/1942, this corresponded to the elimination of almost an entire tank division of the Wehrmacht!).

At the beginning of July 1941, at the front, in the western direction, 430 ShAP also appeared, which was hastily formed from test pilots. However, this regiment had to be quickly disbanded due to the inability of hastily assembled pilots to carry out combat missions. Although they were experienced pilots, they had no military education and experience, and they had no idea about the conduct of battles as part of an assault regiment. After the regiment suffered huge losses, it was disbanded, and the pilots returned to the tasks for which they were more suitable.

Another bloody test for the Red Army Air Force was the famous air battle over the Kuban Peninsula (spring 1943), which ended in the defeat of the Soviet side, aggravated in addition by high losses.

The most famous assault formation that took part in this battle was 230 ShAD, which had 5 regiments (including 1 regiment of LaGG-3 fighters), under the command of Colonel S.G. Getman, already known to us. This superfluous one, like many others, had successes interspersed with defeats, for example, on April 21, the crew of 805 ShAP ml. Lieutenant N.V. Rykhlin (pilot) and Art. Sergeant I.S. Efremenko (shooter), in the region of Novorossiysk on a knocked out Ila, fought a long battle with German fighters, after which he announced the destruction of four Me-109s. For this feat, confirmed by ground forces, both pilots were awarded the Order of the Red Banner, promoted in rank, and a little later the shooter was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Interestingly, Jr. Lieutenant I.S. Efremenko performed only a few sorties for less than two months (April-May) after which he died, and Art. Lieutenant N.V. Rykhlin, who shot down three Germans in an air battle and, moreover, returned to his airfield wounded, did not receive such an award.

Just a few days later, a streak of defeats began. One of the largest was the attack of nine Il-2s from 805 ShAPs with an escort of 6 LaGG-3s from 979 IAPs on one of the Kerch airfields, after which 5 Il-2s did not return to the base. They were probably intercepted by 4 Me-109Gs from II / JG52 under the command of Fw.Quasta, whose pilots announced the destruction of 7 Il-2 and 5 fighters (however, identified as Yak-1). A similar pogrom occurred at the end of May, when four crews from a group of eight Il-2s of the same regiment, shot down by II / JG52 fighters, did not return to their airfield. Somewhat later, German anti-aircraft gunners also shot down the commander of one of the 805 ShAP squadrons. Already on July 22, during a regular operation against German airfields, 805 ShAPs out of 206 ShADs were intercepted by II / JG52 pilots and, as a result of an air battle, lost five Il-2s along with their crews, of which some of the pilots returned to the regiment a few days later. The crews of the "attack aircraft" announced the destruction of almost 20 enemy aircraft at the airfields.

Another result was the battle that took place over the Black Sea on August 7. On this day, one of the pilots of the 11th ShAD Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet, V.A. Kalinin, being in a critical situation rammed a Me-109, which turned out to be an aircraft piloted by one of the aces II / JG52, Fw.Quasta. Both pilots were killed.

The next intensity of air battles fell on the period of the struggle for the liberation of the Kuban Peninsula in late summer, early autumn 1943, on August 23, during a complex operation directed against the three main airfields II / JG52 and SG2. units of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force were repulsed, but on August 24 they made a new raid on Makeyevka, destroying 1 Fi-156 and damaging 6 Me-109 from III / JG52.

The next period, during which the attack aircraft of the 4th VA and the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet suffered heavy losses, were the battles during the landing on the Kerch Peninsula. During the period November 1943 to March 1944, almost the weight of the Hetman regiment (which was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet Air Force during the operation) lost about 50% of the materiel. For example, 46 GvSAP during two days of December (8-9) lost 5 Il-2, and a little later two squadron commanders. Already at the very beginning of the operation, the attack aircraft suffered huge losses. On November 1, the Black Sea Fleet Air Force lost 7 Il-2s and one fighter, and the next day, when Group II JG52 was replaced by Group I, losses immediately jumped to 15 Il-2s and 3 fighters. The stormtrooper pilots tried to "pay back" as best they could. And when they were no longer able to cope with the situation, they made desperate acts. Of the total number of eight German vehicles shot down in the period November 1-3, two were destroyed as a result of rams carried out by Lieutenant B.P. Volodov and Jr. Lieutenant Bykov, from the same first squadron 47 ShAD of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force. Both rammed but one Ju-88 in the same battle and both paid for it with their lives.

On March 13, 1944, during a joint air operation over Feodosia involving 30 Il-2 from 11 ShAD and 38 fighters of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force, Soviet pilots again stumbled upon a desperate rebuff from pilots II / JG52 Barkhorn, as a result of which from the mission 7 Il-2 did not return, and 12 more (like one Yak-9) were badly damaged. Therefore, the attacks were no longer carried out until March 17, and the next time Ila was accompanied by a very numerous guard, thanks to which only one attack aircraft did not return from the mission.


The strength of the psychological pressure on the crews of the "Stormtroopers" of constant bloody battles can best be evidenced by the memories of the shooter of the 43rd Guards SHAP, G.A. Litvin about another, new shooter of this unit: "... the sergeant suddenly, like a hare jumped out of the plane, began to roll on the ground and shout:" I won't fly! " Hysteria, real hysteria! Ziyanbaev (the pilot of the crew, who had only one sortie, author's note), already agitated, did not move from the cockpit, but only turned pale. ”. Among the pilots, not everyone could withstand the continuous stress. The same Litvinov recalls the order of the regiment commander, Major Sokolov, after the pilot's deception was revealed in the unit, who announced the accident and returned to the base, never completing a combat mission: form of punishment, author's note). And the closing will be (...) Atlisanov (...). Turning to Atlisanov, the commander continued: “If this one ... does not pass over the target, I order to shoot him with cannons. Let's write it off as combat losses. We will inform relatives that he died in battle. ” The cases described above were not widespread in the Red Army Air Force, but they did occur quite often.

In the battles over the same area - the Kuban Peninsula in late May, early June 1943, the legendary PTAB-2.5-1.5 cumulative bombs were used for the first time, which is all the more interesting, since in this area the Germans did not use a large the number of armored vehicles. These weapons became widespread during the Battle of Kursk in June 1943, when about 1,500 Il-2 aircraft of the six air armies of the Red Army Air Force took part in a one-of-a-kind tank battle. Despite the constant replenishment, which can be estimated at about 25 vehicles daily, some assault regiments were reduced to almost the size of a squadron. Before entering the battle of the Steppe Front, its commander, General I. Konev, was forced to ask the Headquarters to replenish his 1 SHAK with sixty Il-2, and this despite the fact that this corps was not used very actively in battles with the Germans (and besides briefly). On the first day of the operation, on August 2, he numbered 181 Il-2s (that is, it was fully equipped), of which 25 were shot down by German fighters during the first 2-4 days of fighting. This result was all the more bitter, due to the fact that these losses were incurred without any visible results, although on the other hand, Soviet aviation was the most effective means of destroying German tanks. Stormtroopers were practically the only force that could hit targets regardless of the conditions of the battle. However, their effectiveness could not be high, due to inappropriate armament, since PTABs, like 23 mm cannon shells, could, at best, damage the tank, and not destroy it. The destruction of the Tiger or Panther (which appeared in hundreds) was a matter of chance, because this could only happen with such hits, when the fuel system of the tank was hit, which led to a fire and the tank burned out.

Similar difficulties existed when missiles hit the tank - the visual effect was very strong, but the effectiveness of hitting the tank was very low. Therefore, the uncertainty is understandable even in a situation when shells as well as bombs or missiles hit the target, not to mention that. that such hits were associated with significant difficulties. The greatest troubles were delivered by PTABs, which took at least 30 minutes to load, as a result of which a system was introduced in some units in which a squadron on duty was equipped with this type of bombs, which was then left at the border of the airfield awaiting an order to start to carry out an attack on the detected groups of tanks. An attack using PTABs required good calculation and flying skills. Without a sight of the appropriate quality, the pilot had to fly over the target, best of all at an altitude of 0 m (the ceiling should not exceed 80-100 m) and drop bombs at a strictly defined moment. Failure to fulfill these two conditions - the lowest height and an accurate sight, automatically led to a very strong dispersal of bombs, as a result of which only a few bombs fell into the attacked armored vehicles instead of several dozen. Despite the fact that in such situations the tanks could only receive damage, the pilots declared them defeated, and therefore destroyed. Because of this, the command received data on losses that did not correspond to reality, which led to gross errors. Only one division of the 291st SLD, during the first five days of fighting, declared the destruction of 422 tanks, that is, more than 50% of their number in service with the Manstein group! However, in reality, 383 tanks dropped out of the 4th Tank Army for all reasons, and not only as a result of the influence of aviation, during this period.

With the advance of the fronts to the West, the range of tasks that the crews of the ShAPs were supposed to carry out grew at the same time. One of these new missions was the detection and destruction of Ukrainian and then Polish nationalist partisans. In late summer, early autumn 1944, the crews of the 90th regiment SHAP received an order to detect (near Sandomierz, on the eastern bank of the Vistula) and attack a detachment of "Bendera", who shot 10 Soviet soldiers. During the attack, the detachment, which had only light small arms, aimed at one of the Ilovs, as a result of which its pilot was slightly wounded! Such a hit is undoubtedly one of the most incredible cases.

The targets of the Ilov groups were not only partisan detachments, but also German police units intended to fight the partisans. Among other units, such tasks were performed by 355 ShAD, namely its 683 ShAP, which twice took part in the destruction of German armored trains and each time this happened under dramatic circumstances. On June 23, 1944, during the battles in Belarus, one of the most advanced aerodromes, the 335 ShAD, came under fire from a German armored train. To destroy it, a squadron of Captain Denisov was raised, which, after completing four passes, inflicted such damage on the armored train that it was forced to terminate the operation. (Most likely we are talking about Panzerzug nr 21, which was blown up by a mine that day and was damaged) A similar incident occurred near Jelgava (southwest of Riga), where another train blocked the advance of Soviet troops. And in this case, Denisov's squadron was raised, but to the general disappointment, the target was not found. In the indicated area, there was only an ambulance train, which was left alone. However, when the shelling was repeated again, the train again ended up at this station. Denisov's squadron approached him and, after being fired upon by him, “bombed” him to smithereens. (With a high degree of probability, their victim was Paznerzug nr 67. However, how it was possible to confuse an ambulance train with a combat train is absolutely not clear). As one of the witnesses said 41 years later: "The meanness did not help the fascists."

IL-2 from 1st Guards SHAK were involved in one interesting task, but during the Berlin operation, when the Me-262 jet began to "flash" in the sky, from which it was difficult to defend itself. Around the middle of April, a pair of "Sturmoviks" started from one of the airfields, which played the role of ... decoy, thereby enabling the 3 IAK fighters on duty at an altitude of 5000 m to shoot down a German jet plane. The trap worked and the ambush fighters managed to shoot down one of the attacking Me-262s in a swift dive, while the second escaped and went up. However, everything did not always work out so well. According to German data, during one of the operations, several Me-262s from JG7 defeated a group of Soviet Sturmoviks, when on April 27, during a patrol flight over the front line, they intercepted about 20 Il-2s and in the blink of an eye shot down six of them.

The last assault flight against Europe was carried out by the Il-2 of 90 ShAP on May 11, 1945 in Czechoslovakia.

The "flying tank" was also widely used in the aviation of the Fleet, which, however, was caused by the need, and not by the merits of this aircraft. Machines of this type coped well with missions to attack small military ships, since guns and missiles were best suited to destroy such sea targets. The possibilities of using the Il-2 for naval operations were often very limited due to the short range of this aircraft. Therefore, since 1944, additional fuel tanks, suspended under the center section, began to be used on the Il-2. This solution was first used in September 1944 and 11 SHAD of the Baltic Fleet (Baltic Fleet). Summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of the IL-2. Ilyushin's attack aircraft was not much worse than the Pe-2. Both designs were roughly equivalent. The Il-2, thanks to its armor, could return from the mission, despite significant damage, on the other hand, the Pe-2 could stay in the air and on one of the two engines. And their offensive weapons were similar in many ways.

Probably the most famous naval operation in which the Il-2 took part was the sinking of the German air defense cruiser Niobe in Kotka in the summer of 1944. The first attack was launched on July 8, but it ended in failure. The second was prepared more thoroughly, and 132 aircraft were involved in its implementation, including 23 Il-2 from 47 ShAP. whose task was to suppress the fire of the port's anti-aircraft artillery. This task, one must think, was successfully completed, as evidenced by the fact that only 4 aircraft did not return to the bases, including 1 Il-2. (Finnish Air Defense announced that they shot down 6 planes)

IL-2 served in the Air Force of the Northern Fleet (Air Force of the Northern Fleet), when in July 1943, transferred from the Air Force Balt.Fl. 46 ShAP played a leading role in the destruction of German coastal voyages. Already on June 7, the regiment's crews sent one ship to the bottom and damaged another, and on June 23, in a heavy battle with 12 military ships and a group of Me-110 of 13 (Z) / JG5, four Il-2s, guarded by 16 fighters, sank another ship and 2 small escort ships without losses on their side. Without doubt the most productive pilot of the Northern Fleet Air Force. was Captain S.A. Gulyaev, who served in 46 ShAP from the 14th ShAD, who sank 5 ships from March 1943 to May 1944, having completed barely ... 15 sorties!

The IL-2 has also been actively used in the Black Sea Fleet Air Force (Ch.Fl.) since 1943, although to a lesser extent than in the north of the Soviet Union. This fleet had only one assault division of a two-regimental composition - 11 ShAD consisting of 8 Guards SHAP and 47 ShAP. (In 1944, the division was reinforced with 23 ShAPs) In this second regiment, in the third squadron, from the end of 1943, there was a group of no less than 6 Il-2s with 37 mm cannons, under the command of Lieutenant Akayev. These Ilys took part in an unsuccessful sortie on March 13, 1944, and although they completed the task, the results were minimal. Even small warships or barges turned out to be too small and too mobile for them to hit them with confidence. Nevertheless, already in April 1944, taking advantage of favorable circumstances, the same regiment announced the sinking of 8 military personnel, as well as 12 auxiliary ships and barges.

During the long service of the "Flying Tank" there were cases of very unusual tasks that arose when using it, for example, as ... a transport aircraft. So in the summer of 1941, for a quick transfer of ground personnel, the command of the 671 ShAP ordered the placement of mechanics in ... chassis gondolas. Thanks to this, instead of one passenger carried in the "trunk", 5 (!) People flew on each Ilya. As a transport vehicle in the winter of 1943, the Ily 230 ShAD was also used to supply the landing force landed on Malaya Zemlya. On the bomb locks under the wings, two containers with supplies, cartridges or kits of medicines were hung and dropped almost on the front line from a low altitude. Naturally, containers were often broken.

Repeatedly the pilots landed behind the front line to rescue their downed comrades, although it did not always end as planned. In March 1943, an escort fighter 503 ShAP was shot down, to rescue its pilot, the station. Lieutenant Matonov. It so happened that the Germans punched the tire on his Ilyushin with successful shots, as a result of which the aircraft lost its mobility. Therefore, Lieutenant Demekhin decided to sit down, who then with incredible skill brought his Il from the swampy area onto solid ground and took off with three passengers on board under the very nose of the Germans.

Undoubtedly one of the most unusual events took place in the 90th Guards SHAP, when an IL-2 crashed during a forced landing, the pilot was killed, but the shooter survived! This was one of the few cases when a shooter outlived his “own” pilot during a critical situation. The armored fuselage usually protected the pilot from most hazards, allowing him to safely punch through walls or demolish trees (which could then fall on the gunner in his rear cockpit), resulting in a 7: 1 ratio between gunners and pilots. Sometimes the truth was different. For example, another similar incident occurred on the Black Sea Sea, when the heavily damaged Il-2 was forced to splash down. A shooter got out of the rear cockpit, but the "tank", which swiftly sank with its nose, buried its pilot, locked in the cockpit with a jammed lantern. This was a fairly common occurrence, since the armor warped due to shell hits, blocking the sliding part of the cockpit canopy, which made the pilot helpless, since he could not break either the armored glass, much less steel armor. Partly because of this, a side opening lantern was used on the Il-10.

Despite its striking shortcomings, the Il-2 often proved to be a good fighter, especially when it was in capable hands. At the end of September 1942, Art. Lieutenant A.A. Nosov (commander of the 2nd squadron of 288 ShAP) challenged the commander of the 402th IAP, Major Shevchenko, who was piloting his MiG-3 and within a few minutes three times sat on the tail of the fighter, thereby knocking down the assembled officers of the 6th VA, including commander - General D.F. Kondratyuk, and deep thoughtfulness. It is not known exactly who invented this senseless duel between a high-altitude fighter and an attack aircraft in a mobile battle near the ground.

Bibliography

  • War in the air №7.8 "Il-2/10"