History 10/01/20 Luftwaffe Raids on Moscow: fiction and reality
As with all episodes of the great Patriotic war, Luftwaffe air raids on Moscow in Soviet times was covered with some of the distortions that have passed in our time and, of course, require adjustment.
As did the planes and raids
it Should be noted that the vast majority of cases, Soviet historians rarely took data “from a ceiling”, especially when it concerns serious historical works. Just all the data was presented in a special way.
for Example, in the book by G. K. Zhukov, “Memoirs and reflections” is a text: “Nazi aircraft, taking massive action, carried huge losses, but to break through a large force to Moscow failed. In total, the raids involving thousands of bombers, but only a few of them (two or three per cent) managed to get to the city…”
When we are talking about thousands of bombers is the total number of sorties during 1941. But the reader easily gets the impression that in a single RAID could be up to thousands of German planes.
Or in some places it is written that the bombing of Moscow was carried out the 2nd German air fleet, which had more than 1,500 aircraft. On June 22 composition of the 2nd fleet really were 1 554 aircraft. But it was early in the war, medium bombers they were only 307, besides did the bombers not only raids on Moscow, but decided and many other tasks.
In more serious books such as the Handbook “air defense Troops of the country” or “aviation in the battle of Moscow” A. G. Fedorov, provides data closer to real. The only thing that all of them are taken exclusively from the Soviet documents. Although it would be logical that the Soviet data on the number of German aircraft (including losses among them) to compare with the German, the benefit of all the archives of the Wehrmacht were kept in the Soviet Union. As for data on Soviet formations of air defense, defending the capital, they are only for the initial period of the war, although it is known that the composition changed significantly.
the First flight to Moscow
According to Soviet data, in the first RAID on the night of July 22, 1941 took part 220-250 bombers, of which 10 were shot down by anti-aircraft artillery and 12 fighter aircraft.
interestingly, according to the operative summary No. 01 of the headquarters of the 6th corps, at 7 o’clock in the morning on 22 July, the number of German bombers were determined in one hundred and fifty.
the German high command really were preparing a massive attack on the Soviet capital, which collected all that were available. France was additionally deployed six air groups. In the first bombing had to attend the 53rd squadron of the 2nd air fleet and two groups of the 55th squadron of the 4th fleet, all the planes He 111. Group of the 3rd squadron on the aircraft Ju 88 and the Do 17 was also identified from the structure of 2nd fleet.
to Direct the planes in the night must have been the aircraft of the 100th squadron, a specially equipped radio navigation equipment. All were 10-12 of these planes and they had to perform the role of leaders in following a certain course. To minimize the crews had no right even under the attacks of the fighters came under heavy fire anti-aircraft artillery.
In total for the operation was prepared 195 aircraft.
According to the data cited in his book “1941. War in the air. The bitter lessons of” D. B. Khazanov, according to German documents, the Luftwaffe losses in this RAID was about 6-7 cars, including crashed while landing.
This discrepancy with the Soviet data is understandable, because just like in this RAID, and subsequent, there were many cases where severely damaged the bomber crew were able to bring to your airfield. The Soviet pilots could count it down, especially given that the fight happensl night.
Worse than above London.
According to the memoirs of German pilots, the flights above Moscow were much more dangerous than over London. And many participants in the raids on Moscow were bombed London in 1940.
And it’s easy to understand defense of the British capital was 328 guns 76-94 124 mm and 40 mm automatic guns, as well as more than 300 fighters.
protection of the sky of Moscow by the time of the first German RAID was 602 fighter, 1 antiaircraft gun, 044, 336 anti-aircraft gun emplacements, 1 042 anti-aircraft searchlight and 124 of the balloon-boom.
In the battle of Britain played an important role the English radar station. In the battle for Moscow, nor radar, nor even the simplest sound-installation serious influence not provided, but the density of the barrage was such that German planes at most once unfolded. The effectiveness of the ACK-ACK was very low – about 20 thousand shells on one downed aircraft, but such a barrage of Soviet air defenses could provide.
In the first RAID of German pilots waited another surprise: the barrage balloons that London did not rise above 2 000 m, over Moscow met the Germans at the height of 4000-4500 m.
After the first RAID was followed by new. The next night on Moscow flew 125 bombers, on the night of July 24 – 100 aircraft.
on 25 July the bombardment fell on the causes of organizational and technical character, and only three aircraft flew on bombing. But the next night RAID on Moscow went 65 aircraft.
air command very reluctantly sent planes to Moscow. It was necessary to solve tasks in support of ground troops. As for the bombing of Moscow, they were originally designed more for psychological effect. In the battle of Britain it became clear that such transactions need heavy long-range bombers, which the Germans simply did not have. The effectiveness of tactical aviation was not large enough. Again, the aircraft is not enough to support ground troops.
as a result, all subsequent raids were made in groups of 6-10 planes. The last major bombing took place on the night of 11 August, when Moscow flew 83 aircraft.
it Should be noted that direct relationship between the number of aircraft and the damage was not, it was more important how many planes were able to break through to the city. So, on August 12 in the RAID involved 30 bombers, but these were the most experienced pilots, who used a 1000-pound bombs, and the city suffered the most significant damage.
Just over the summer, made 18 raids to the end of the year even 79, of which only nine involved more than fifty machines, and in 48 the bombing involved no more than ten aircraft.
According to the Soviet data, the total number of raids on Moscow was 122, but this figure does not fit, if the same Soviet data to summarize the raids each month.
In General, the large discrepancies suggest that the issue about the German bombing of Moscow still requires a deep study.
© Russian Seven
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