What Soviet aces abused the English fighter

Weapons 13/01/20 what Soviet aces abused the English fighter “hurricane”

About the English fighter “hurricane” (the Hawker Hurricane) the Soviet post-war generation mostly learned from the novel by Nikolai Chukovsky “the Baltic sky”. The book tells about the pilots of the Baltic fleet, which dispersed the Armada of German “Junkers” and fought successfully to “Donkeys” (the fighter I-16 Polikarpov designer) with superior numbers of “Messerschmitts”. In fact, pilots in the Baltic skies fought on the new fighter “LaGG-3”, “Yak-1 and MiG-3”, and the number of German planes were somewhat exaggerated.

In the novel, the squadron received instead of the old “Donkeys” received on lend-lease British “Hurricanes”. Soviet pilots disappointed with the fighter. It turns out that “Hurricane” (translated as Hurricane English) not so fast, and only ten percent speed for a short time to win “Ass”, and then afterburner. Maneuverability, climb rate, etc. the Englishman worse or the same as I-16. Later it turns out that “Hurricane” still burn like straw from very minor hits.

Mentioned “hurricane” and in various memoirs, for example, in “Recollections and reflections” by G. K. Zhukov or aircraft designer A. S. Yakovlev. Often cited phrase of Stalin as Churchill “haggling over two dozen “hurricane”, and “these planes are rubbish, our pilots don’t like them”. A desire to criticize the English fighter, and any other, in A. S. Yakovlev’s easy to understand. So if someone criticized the Soviet pilots, so it just “Yaki”. Yes, and the French squadron and then regiment “Normandy-Neman”, also asked to be given the fighter La-5 instead of “Jacob.”

Indeed, the Hawker Hurricane was not among the best fighters of World war II. The armament of British aircraft, they began to arrive in 1937. Then, acquainted with them, the Soviet experts was impressed by their great speed of 500 km/h. On such speeds in the USSR only dreamed of.

At the beginning of the Second World first battle with “Emilio” (German fighter Messerschmitt Bf.109E) showed that the Germans have a superiority in speed and weapons. The only advantage of the “hurricane” was maneuverability — turning radius it was less than the “Messerschmitt”.

the beginning of the “Battle of Britain”, “Hurricane” was more than half of the British fighters. The tactics of British aircraft allowed to use them very successfully. To deal with “Emilio” became “Spitfires” is one of the few fighters who fought with the “Messerschmitt” on an equal footing. They attributed the battle the German fighters, but this time “Hurricanes” attacked by German bombers. However, the Hurricanes were able to successfully attack only old Luftwaffe bombers, like Ju.88 he was “not too tough” — the effect of too weak weapons. The situation changed after the emergence of a new modification of the Hawker Hurricane Mk.II with 20-mm guns. But this modification came after the “Battle of Britain”.

Although the fight with the “Messerschmitt” “the Hurricane” was not under force, they easily coped with the Italian and Japanese fighters. And upon receipt of a sufficient number of “Spitfire”, “Hurricane” gradually began to change their specificity and be used as a stormtrooper. In the second half of the war, becoming a successful and effective attack aircraft, “Hurricane” are themselves in need of cover fighter .

In August 1941, Churchill offered to put “Hurricane” in the Soviet Union and the first aircraft arrived in Murmansk. Only the Soviet Union was delivered about three thousand cars. Moreover, in the Soviet Union in some months they did even more than the British aircraft.

Although Hawker Hurricane Mk.II couldn’t compete with “Ferdinand” (modification of the Messerschmitt Bf.109F, which was then used by the Luftwaffe), dialectit is about the futility of it wrong, especially on the background of Soviet fighters of that time. “Hurricane” was at least no worse than the Soviet LaGG-3 and Yak-1. In any case, we got British fighters in the most difficult moment of the war, when in the course went all.

to Compare it with-16 weird. Even the last update “the Ass” inferior “to the Hurricane” nearly one hundred kilometers speed without afterburner. Of course, the maneuverability of the I-16 was better, but at that time it already didn’t matter. A statement that “hurricane” burned like straw, it is unclear on what basis.

of Course, the question arises: “Why the British supplied is not the best fighter?”. The fact that the British supplied the USSR and the “Spitfire”, but it did not stick. But that’s another story.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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