What happened during the second RAID on Berlin, Soviet bombers

Another 03/02/20 What happened during the second RAID on Berlin, Soviet bombers

Immediately after the RAID of German bombers on Moscow 24 July 1941, the Soviet leadership decided to strike back and drop bombs on Berlin. To solve this problem was not so simple, this was needed long-range bombers. Heavy bomber “Ilya Muromets”, Soviet Union had adopted in the world . In the thirties the Soviet Union had built more than eight hundred heavy bombers TB-3, at that time the most advanced in its class. Such aircraft, and even in such numbers, had then no country in the world. However, by 1941 the TB-3 is already outdated. In the beginning of the great Patriotic war of the Soviet Union, having among countries most combat aircraft, had no strategic aviation. According to the Handbook “the Combat and numerical composition of the Armed Forces of the USSR during the great Patriotic war (1941-1945). Statistical collection No. 1”, on 1 June 1941 from 759 18 combat aircraft were 364 old TB-3 (only 194 serviceable), 2203 planes DB-3 of various modifications and 9 heavy bombers TB-7.

Five aviation corps long-range Aircraft as the primary aircraft had a bomber DB-3 (“long-range Bomber — the third”) designed by S. V. Ilyushin. Relatively small triple Ilyushin aircraft could deliver a ton of bombs to a distance of a little over three thousand kilometers. The DB-3 could fly on and on, taking extra fuel, but then it took less bombs.

the First RAID on Berlin was made on 7 August, the torpedo bombers DB-3T aircraft of the Baltic fleet. Fifteen aircraft with 500 kg bombs each, took off from the West airfield on the island of Ezel Moonzundskiy in the archipelago. Five planes dropped bombs on Berlin, the others bombed other targets. The RAID was purely psychological value, so as for the serious bombing simply was not possible. The objective of the pilots was to get into the Berlin that in the prior art was not such a simple task.

the Next RAID is scheduled for August 10 — it has to be performed were the pilots of the newly formed 81st air division. It collected all available at the time the heavy bombers TB-7 (later PE-8) and long-range bomber DB-240 (later EP-2). Commanded a division brigade commander, Mikhail V. Vodop’yanov, the famous pilot who made several record flights, the participants in the rescue Chelyuskinites. After receiving a written order signed by Stalin on August 8, which ordered the mandatory application of high explosive and incendiary bombs and personal involvement in the RAID, Vodop’yanov 10 August was transferred to the airfield in Pushkin 12 aircraft TB-7 and DB 28-240.

the Operation was carried out in a short time in secrecy. As a result, it has not notified the troops of air defense and Baltic fleet. During flight training it was found that the fly can only 16 DB-240 and 10 TB-7. And overloaded DB-240 just lacked the length of the runway for takeoff.

as soon As one DB-240 had demolished the fence of the runway, and one of TB-7 on takeoff rejected from two engines and the plane crashed takeoff other aircraft was cancelled. In the air managed to get up and take a course on Germany ten aircraft, seven TB-7 and three DB-240.

Trouble in soaring began immediately. Bomber Vodopyanov was right on takeoff is attacked by a Soviet fighter. Soviet fighter pilots just didn’t know the new bombers and took them for German. Album aircraft for anti-aircraft artillery, which was first shown bombers TB-7 and DB-240, was signed in print only June 21, 1941 and had to go, not all parts.

Vodopyanov was able to leave the Soviet fighter, but the crew of Lieutenant B. A. Kubyshko no luck. Their DB-240 on the way back down his istrebitel and had to escape by parachute.

Aircraft TB-7 captain A. N. Lagunina on the way back were shot down by its flak and crashed. Aircraft TB-7 of senior Lieutenant A. I. Panfilov damaged by flak over Germany on the way back of the plane refused motors and he got in Finland. There remained only the gunner, who was released from captivity after the Victory. Sherman bomber was shot down by flak on the way back over Estonia. The aircraft landed and the crew in four days was able to go to her. Saved by the fact that the crew was Estonian. Three TB-7 had problems with the engines, but managed to hold on to their territory and sat down in Torzhok, Obukhov and Ropsha. The aircraft is EP-2 of captain A. G. Stepanov was missing. The airfield in Pushkin returned only bomber of Lieutenant Baigelova. To fly to Berlin and drop bombs could only six aircraft, one crew flew, but dropped bombs on German territory.

In the telegram of the commander of red Army air force General Zhigareva of 12 August was said: “…on 10 August to complete the task flew 7 TB-7 and 3 Yer-2. According to preliminary data, the target worked 2 TB-7 and 2 EP-2. One TB-7 bombed to approach to the goal, because it passed the motor. About Vodop’yanov and Chistyakov… no data to Establish why there have been 3 cases of denial of the right group of motors, have not yet succeeded. …”.

the result of the operation was disappointing. The biggest problem was not even their fighters and antiaircraft gunners, and unreliable engines. The problem with the engines in flight was all of ten soaring bombers. In such a situation, hold in the rush of such an operation is only to destroy people and machines. Affected by systemic problems in the aviation industry, about which one can write entire volumes.

However, the blame for all appointed Vodopyanova. It was removed from the post of commander of the division, but not even demoted and left to fly the commander of the ship. Too it was clear that he was guilty least of all.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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