History 20/01/20 Why American pilots were given certificate in the Russian language
in the Spring of 1945, American Marines, preparing for first contact with the Russian, he studied the phrase books. However, few know that long before the meeting on the Elbe side by side with the Russian war, American pilots bombed the Germans from airfields on the territory of the USSR.
the American pilots on the Eastern front
the Fighting force of the allies in Soviet territory – an episode of the great Patriotic war, which Soviet historiography hardly remembered. In 1942 was a planned operation “Velvet” – the transfer of aviation of the allies from North Africa to the Caucasus, where she was supposed to beat the Germans. However, this plan was not implemented.
for More successful cooperation has developed since June 1944. While in Normandy were unfolding operation “overlord”, and the Red Army was preparing for a decisive offensive in Belarus, the Ukrainian steppe began operation “Frantic” (“Crazy”). Based on the airfields at Poltava, Mirgorod and Piryatin, the bombers of the U.S. air force (numbering around 200-300) escorted by fighters made sorties 2207. The position of the Germans in occupied Soviet territory, they did not touch. But the Americans have hit targets in Germany and in the satellite countries (Italy, Hungary, Romania).
Very interesting topic daily interaction of Russians and Americans. At the stage of preparation of the operation, Joseph Stalin was interested in how American pilots will liaise with the land, and it will not hurt them the language barrier.
“Harriman [American Ambassador] said that he would give an assignment to the head of the American military mission, General Dean to coordinate all implementation issues with the Soviet specialists,”.recalled diplomat Valentin Berezhkov.
On the airfields translators were working, but the participants of the operation themselves and taught each other’s languages. For example, one of the photos of that time tech-Sergeant Joseph Thompson teaches English to Soviet boy. The Americans and Russians in Poltava even spent leisure time together, e.g. playing volleyball.
manual for guerrillas
Routes sorties passed through occupied Soviet territory, which operated the guerrillas. The collection of documents and memoirs “aviation — the partisans 1941-1944” is the telegram received by the commanders of the guerrilla forces on 16 June 1944. Deputy head of the Belarusian Headquarters of the partisan movement Ivan Ganenko explained forest fighters how to act in case of detection of a downed German-American pilot:
“In the coming days possible fighting of the American air force on enemy troops and military installations on the temporarily occupied territory. In the case of a forced landing or shooting down enemy aircraft, the American pilots provide all assistance and take action to move them into Soviet territory.
Each member of the crew of the American aircraft will have an identity in which the Russian language is written: the Us air force, first name, last name of the pilot.
American aviation unit will conduct military work on four-engine aircraft “liberator”, on a twin-engine dvuhfyuzelyazhny (type “Frame”) the “Lightning” and a single-engine Mustang.
Markings: white five-pointed star in a black circle and a circle, alternating white and black belts”.
This statement was issued very cautious – clashes between Germans and Americans in the skies over Eastern Europe was not uncommon. 21 Jun heavy bombers escorted by fighters took off from England and bombed targets in Germany, moved to the Soviet airfields. Along the way, they got into a dogfight with 30 Luftwaffe fighters. One Mustang was lost, and one heavy bomber forced villages in Sweden. Addm that the cases of rescue of American pilots known partisans in Yugoslavia (operation “Air bridge”), but not in the Soviet Union.
the Active phase of the operation “Frantic” continued until September 1944, and it officially ended in June 1945.
© Russian Seven
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