What dumb planes bombed only at night

History 01/01/20 On some aircraft dumb bombed only at night

Thanks to the wonderful film “the heavenly slow mover” about the Soviet night light bomber we have in the country known even to those who are military aircraft not interested.

However, less is known about the fact that a similar aircraft had existed in the armies of other countries, especially our opponents in the Luftwaffe.

Night, too, need to fly

to Make combat flights at night began in the First World war. Did it to protect the bombers, and did not begin with airplanes and airships, representing a particularly good target.

In the interwar years in some countries, even developed a special class of aircraft — night bombers. The main difference was the reduction in defensive weapons, sometimes the guns didn’t set at all. As it was a night flight, and the need to fight fighters like fell away.

When the Second World war, it has made adjustments. In a real war, the night was not so easy to find purpose. By day, and often confused, and at night even more so. Used beacons to create a special aircraft targeting. Applied and simple methods: in the target area dropped special gunners, who at the right time of flares. This method is familiar to Soviet audiences in the film “the Green chain”. However, the bombers didn’t always work out in the target area at the right time.

But there was another reason for bombing missions at night, and she is the subject of this article. In the armies of many countries, had many obsolete combat aircraft, which according to their intended use has been impossible. In particular, talking about the class of light bombers, widespread in 30 years.

for the First time at night began to fly the Dutch aircraft pilots at the Fokker C. V. Day, these reconnaissance bomber to use was useless — they would have simply knocked, and at night there was at least some benefit. “Fockers” in the 30-ies were sold in a variety of countries, including Finland. And in the Finnish army in the Winter war with the USSR Fokker C. V is also used as a night bomber.

Not to give the enemy to sleep

After the outbreak of the great Patriotic war, the red Army was a lot of airplanes R-5 and R-Z which I wanted to use. These machines of steel and formed to complete night bomber regiments. Airplanes R-5 and R-Z by title at least, and scouts, but were the main Soviet light bombers before the war. Apart from them at night the shelves were used reconnaissance R-10 and short-range bomber su-2. But combat aircraft very soon over, and then in turn went to the U-2. Training aircraft before the war, no one thought to use in combat, but I had to.

the Efficiency of the air at night is reduced, and light bombers, and so carried a small load. So the damage they could inflict even less. Tiny training aircraft U-2 could only lift up to 200 kg of small bombs, and later load could increase to 300, and in Overdrive even up to 500 kg. the Damage from such a strike was small, and as in the Comedy “the heavenly slow mover”, destroy the concrete bunker the U-2 could not.

But the psychological effect was great. When the night suddenly starts to explode the effect it has on the personnel. Even just to sleep do not give — already done. Sleepy soldiers is far worse than fighting.

the Germans of the Soviet “night light” evaluated and decided in the autumn of 1942 to create a similar part. Initially, their so called Storkampfstaffel and Storkampfgruppe, that is “disturbing” squadron and group. As the name implies, the Germans initially fighting low to assess the effect of such parts, but valued the psychological.

In 1944 they were renamed the group of stormtroopers Nachtschlachtgruppe night.

Heavennye slug Luftwaffe

Information on the composition and combat operations of the German “disturbing the air”, not so much. First it’s “Assault team Luftwaffe” (Luftwaffe Schlachtgruppen, author: John Weal), and other books published abroad. And of course the wonderful site of the Luftwaffe researcher Michael Holm. The only reference in the Russian language, where you can get information about groups night of storm troopers is “Armed forces of Germany. 1939-1945”, the author Cyril Shishkin.

the First group of “disturbing the air” was formed on the basis of auxiliary bomber squadrons (Behelfskampfstaffel). Instead of three squadrons before the end of 1942 was five air groups, one separate squadron.

they Fought on the Eastern front for almost two years, and in the autumn of 1944 on the basis of these groups we created 13 separate groups night attack aircraft and several separate squadrons.

unlike the army, where soon after the war began, the only plane was the U-2, the Luftwaffe, the picture was more than colorful. Most masses until the end of the war it was used training aircraft Ar.66 and Go.145. A little less was the same Bu.131 ‘Jungmann’. Apparently these are very similar wooden biplanes was the equivalent of our U-2.

the twin-engine Training aircraft of FW.58 ‘Weihe’ is more reminiscent of the real bombers, and they initially began to recruit auxiliary bomber squadron. However, FW.58 was only similar to the bomber, he actually carried only 120-150 kg of bombs. Used them no more than a half dozen.

In 1942, the night of the group sent from schools or warehouses all able to fly bombers reconnaissance He.46 and He.45. These, worn out aircraft fought long. However, a little more modern neighbors scouts Hs.126 is too long bombed at night. By 1944 they had one. Much longer used bombers He.50.

as part of the night groups to the end used and the above mentioned scouts captured Dutch Fokker C. V.

the Most unexpected bombers were Italian fighters Cr.42, which flew the Croatian pilots. There were other units, staffed by foreigners. This is Latvian, and Estonian squadron and a squadron of “OST” (Ostfliegerstaffel), which fought the Soviet pilots who defected to the Germans. Interestingly, in the squadron of “the East” used a captured U-2.

In 1944 part of the night began to re-equip these combat aircraft. The once formidable “Stuff,” this time on the front were replaced by FW.190F and FW.190G. The Combat-Ready Ju.87 sent in the night group. Of course, at night they weren’t used as dive bombers and bombed from horizontal flight. Seven of the thirteen groups in the autumn of 1944 was staffed by machinery Ju.87D, the transition from dive bomber to the attack. However, met with in small quantities and bomber versions of the Ju.87B and Ju.87R.

Thus, if the red Army night part of the first manned combat aircraft, and then moved on to training in the Luftwaffe, the opposite was true.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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