History 01/02/20 What happened to the first pilot who escaped from USSR in the plane
during the Civil war in Russia (1917-1922) all Russian officers had sooner or later to make a difficult choice in favor of red or white. The exception was not young air force. In their ranks were already a lot of genuine heroes.
Born to the sky
Victor Khodorovich, the son of a collegiate assessor from Tiflis, he began his service in the Russian Imperial army in the age of 20 in 1914 and Since 1915 has become the fly in the composition of the 3rd aviation detachment, and soon became a non-commissioned officer. The pilots were then visible and had a specific, romanticized reputation: their exploits vividly described in the papers and generously rewarded.
in 1915 Khodorovich became a knight of St George cross 2-nd degree (received it from the hands of the Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich, grandson of Nicholas I). Then followed promotion to warrant officer and detachment commander (and later to Lieutenant), new feats (shot down two enemy aircraft and bombed enemy), and again awarding crosses of St. George (3rd and 2nd degree) and honorary St. George’s gun. Last he received for a dangerous aerial reconnaissance – “despite the murderous attack with danger to life”, the pilot on the eve of the assault on the enemy positions near the town of Stanislavov found out the location of the artillery of the enemy, greatly helped the success of the offensive on the following day: during the operation, the Russians took more than 10 thousand prisoners, and seized dozens of guns and hundreds of machine guns.
in Addition to the high “St George” awards on his chest Khodorovich flaunted by the end of the First world war a “iconostasis”: the order of St. Vladimir 4-th degree with swords and bow for the downed plane bombing, two orders of St. Anne (3rd class with swords and bow and 2nd class with swords), order of St. Stanislaus 2nd degree with swords (for aerial reconnaissance).
a Fatal 1917
As for the whole country, for hero-pilot a lot has changed in 1917. First, he still did not immediately find what was happening, just went into the service of the new government, the Red army. Even flew in early 1919 in Hungary (in aid of the Hungarian Soviet Republic), it was the first Soviet aircraft for international flights. However, the value of the flight was rather moral support, than in providing real help to the Hungarian Communists: Khodorovich just handed the diplomatic pouch. More significant feats in the service of the red banner, the pilot was never made.
the Cruelty of life in the Bolshevik country, the red terror, hostility to soldiers “bourgeois origin” and the policy of war communism pushed Khodorovich on the path of treason red and go to their enemies. He loaded his wife on a plane “Elhauge” (German captured) and from Kiev (according to historian S. Volkov, from Kharkov) flew South Russia, General Denikin. There the defector took the service, and since then, Khodorovich was a white pilot, shtabs-the captain of the armed forces of South Russia (Armed forces of South Russia).
the First “transporters”
Khodorovich was one of the first defectors in the history of Russian aviation. This branch is especially convenient to take a plane and fly aimlessly, if only the fuel was enough. In the Russian air force at the end of world was 1,500 aircraft and more pilots. It is not surprising that in the years when the whole country is split into warring factions, there were fugitives on the aircraft. Pilots groups drove their cars to white: from Petrograd, from the area of Kazan and Bugulma, from Kiev and other places. In one case, in October 1918, just six pilots flew to the side of the whites.
During the war, only a few pilots flew for the red side (but many soon after the defeat of the white movement came to terms with the Bolsheviks and began his service in the army). One day, in April 1919, a young pilot by the name of Kononenko went to red from white, though it was only his first flight. So the khodorovich case was not unique, although, without a doubt, he was one of the most renowned warriors of the Navy, and his escape made a deep impression on contemporaries.
Despite the danger of their work, Khodorovich died in battle and was not killed by red, from which he escaped. 25-year-old hero in March 1920 ruined the typhus that raged at the front, including in the Crimea, where he was Khodorovich. From this disease in the Civil war died more than a million people – she contributed to unsanitary conditions, poor nutrition and falling immunity among soldiers of all armies.
the structure of the losses of the Reds died of typhus also took a huge share (for example, see “the Nominal list of losses at the front in the personal composition of the worker-peasant red army during the civil war.” M., 1926). After the chaos of the Civil war and the huge losses in personal and technical force of Soviet Russia had to be virtually re-create a military fleet, to build new planes and train new characters.
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