The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Tag: Second World War (page 1 of 2)

Pasaran?

The Spanish Civil War ended in the Summer of 1939 with the defeat of the Republic and the takeover of fascist dictator “Generalissimus” Franco. Mass executions and an exodus followed, as hundreds of thousands of republican, communist, anarchist or democratic Spanish tried to flee to neighbouring countries. Only months later the Second World War broke out, engulfing most of Europe. For many of the exiled this meant taking up arms against fascism again, and Spanish soldiers fought against Germany and her allies on all fronts of the war. For them, the end of the war ment more uncertainty, since returning home was not an option they had, Franco remaining as the last fascist dictator in Europe, having successfully and skillfully maintained neutrality throughout the war.

Adding to the articles provided by Carlos Pèrez, the following two essays capture the fate of Spanish soldiers on both fronts of the Second World War, more than repaying the assistance both factions had during the Civil War.

Spaniards in World War II Part 1: Fighting for the Third Reich

Spaniards in World War II Part 2: Fighting against the Third Reich

Addtionally, Carlos research resulted in an inofficial Grand Europa OB for the Spanish Axis contingent.

Spanish Bombs on the Costa Brava…

The second round of updates provided by Carlos Pérez is going online today: An essay on the history of the Spanish Air Force in World War Two, and the resulting suggestion for a Grand Europa OB for the Spanish Air Forces.

On a random side note, how do you call a linklist that exclusively links to online versions of books? Its a form we’ve used a lot on this website, and both “linklist” as well as “bibliograpy” seems insufficient. A linklist or bookmarks refers to websites, whereas a bibliography is a list of books. These lists are a mixture of the two, pointing the reader to digitalized verions of paper books available online. Confusing.

 

The Belgian Army in 1940

For this Link credit goes to Peter Page from the fantastic Yahoo group “TO&E”, which is to my knowledge the best place in the internet to search and inquire sources and information about the organisation, structure and the equipment of any modern army (“modern” being used here in the classic sense of “after the medival ages”). The TO/E group not only shares news and updates about armies around the world, but also is able to point you towards archival records and rare books available only in selected libraries.

In this case, someone pointed out a small treasure trove of digitalized documents, regulations and TO/E information mostily about the Belgian Army between the wars and up to 1940. The website is heavy on equipment and weapons and their history, but together with a small but carefully selected collection of images the authors manage to create a solid picture of the state of the Belgian Army up to the Second World War. Google Translate is only marginally helpful, since the website seems rather old and still uses frames, but the content makes it well worth a visit!

URL:  www.abbl1940.be

 

Official History of Japan in the Second World War

The transcribed name of the official Japanese history of the Second World War is “Senshi Sosho”. Its a monumental work, covering virtually all aspects of the war except the Japanese war crimes. The Senshi Sosho totals 102 volumes that consist of 34 volumes on the Imperial General Headquarters, 37 volumes on the Army, 21 volumes on the Navy, nine volumes on the aerial war the Army and one volume of chronology. Each volume has 600 pages on the average.

Sadly, so far only excerpts have been translated, for example an excerpt from volumes 14 and 28 found here.

List of Volumes:

1 Advance into Malaya. (1966)
2 Occupation of Philippines. (1966)
3 Occupation of Dutch East Indies. (1967)
4 Ichi-go Operation (pt. 1): Campaign in Honan (China). (1968)
5 Occupation of.Burma. (1967)
6 Army Operations in Central Pacific (pt. 1): Before the Loss of the Mariana Islands. (1967)
7 Tobu Nyuginia homen rikugun koku sakusen: Army Air Operations on the Eastern New Guinea Front. (1967)
8 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (pt. 1): To August 1942. (1967)
9 Industrial Mobilization of War Supply Production (1): Program. (1967)
10 Hawai sakusen: Hawaii Operation. (1967)
11 Army Operations in Okinawa Area. (1968)
12 Marianas oki kaisen: Sea Battles off the Marianas. (1968)
13 Army Operations in Central Pacific (pt. 2): Peleliu, Anguar and Iwo-Jima. (1967)
14 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Pooruto Moresubi – Ga shima shoki sakusen (pt. 1): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Port Moresby to the First Phase of Guadalcanal (pt. 1). (1968)
15 Imphal Operation: Defense of Burma. (1968)
16 Ichi-go Operation (pt. 2): Campaign in Hunan (China). (1967)
17 Okinawa homen kaigun sakusen: Okinawa Area Naval Operations. (1968).
18 Hokushi no chiansen (pt.1): The security fights in North China
19 Hondo boku sakusen: Homeland Air Defense Operations. (1969)
20 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (pt. 2): To August 1942. (1969)
21 Army Operations in Northern Pacific Area (pt. 1): Loss of Attu. (1968)
22 Seibu Nyugineya homan rikugun koku sakusen: Army Air Force Operations on the Western New Guinea Front. (1969)
23 Army Operations North of Australia. (1969)
24 Philippines-Marei hoomen kaigun shinkoo sakusen: Philippines-Malay Area Naval Attack Operations. (1969)
25 The Irrawaddy Campaign: Collapse of the Defense of Burma. (1969)
26 N.E.I.-Bengaru wan hoomen kaigun shinkoo sakusen: N.E.I.-Bengal Bay Area Naval Attack Operations. (1969)
27 Kwantung Army (pt. 1): Military Disposition Against USSR and Nomonhan Incident. (1969)
28 Minami taiheiyoo rikugun sakusen: Gadarukanaru – Buna sakusen (pt. 2): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Guadalcanal – Buna Operations (pt. 2). (1968)
29 Hokutoo hoomen kaigun sakusen: Northeast Area Naval Operations. (1969)
30 Ichi-go Operation (pt. 3): Campaign in Kwangsi (China)
31 Kaigun Gunsembi (pt. 1): The Navy’s Armaments Program (pt. 1): Up to November 1941. (1969)
32 Defeat on Burma Front and Defense of Indo-China Peninsula. (1969)
33 Industrial Mobilization of War Supply Production (pt. 2): Execution. (1970)
34 The Army Air Force’s Drive to South Pacific Area. (1970)
35 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (pt. 3): To August 1942. (1970)
36 Army Air Operations in Okinawa, Formosa and Iwo-Jima. (1970)
37 Kaigun Sho-Go sakusen (pt. 1): Taiwan oki kokusen made: Naval Sho-Go Operations (pt. 1): Up to Air Battle off Taiwan. (1970)
38 Chuubu taiheiyoo hoomen kaigun sakusen (pt. 1): Central Pacific Naval Operations (pt. 1): Before May 1942. (1970)
39 Daihonei kaigunbu – rengoo kantai (pt. 4): Imperial General Headquarters – Combined Fleet (pt. 4). (1970).
40 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Munda Saramoa (pt. 3): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Munda Salamaua (pt. 3). (1970)
41 Shogo rikugun sakusen: Reite kessen (pt. 1): Sho-go Ground Operations: The Decisive Battle of Leyte (1). (1971)
42 Operations by China Expeditionary HQ in 1945 (1): To March 1945. (1971)
43 Midooei kaisen: Midway Sea Battle. (1971)
44 Operations in the Northern Pacific (2): Kuriles, Sakhalin and Hokkaido. (1971)
45 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (1): Before Outbreak of Pacific War. (1971)
46 Kaijo boei sen: Surface Defensive Actions. (1971)
Also translated as The Maritime Protection War, and Naval Operations for Convoy Escort.
47 Assault on Hong Kong and Chang Sha (1941). (1971)
48 Sho-go Army Air Operations in Philippines. (1971)
49 Nantoo hoomen kaigun sakusen: Southeast Area Naval Actions Until Guadalcanal Reinforcement. (1971)
50 Hokushi no chiansen (pt.2): The security fights in North China
51 Plan and Preparation for Defense of Japan’s Homeland (1): Defense of Kanto District. (1971)
52 Armament and Employment of Army Air Force (1): To the Initial Phase of 1934. (1971)
53 Army Air Operations in Manchuria. (1972)
54 Nansei homen kaigun sakusen: Dai Ni-Dan sakusen irai: Southwestern Area Naval Operations: From Second Phase Operations Onwards. (1972)
55 Operations by China Expeditionary HQ in 1942 and 1943. (1972)
56 Kaigun Sho-go sakusen Fuirippin oki kaisen (1): SHO-Go Naval Operations: The Naval Battle of the Philippine Sea (1). (1970)
57 Hondo kessen jumbi: Kyushu no boei (2): Preparations for the Decisive Battle of the Homeland: Defense of Kyushu (2). (1972)
58 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Fuinshehaahen-Tsurubu-Tarokina (4): Army Operations in South Pacific: Finschhafen-Tsurubu-Tarokina (4). (1973)
59 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (4): To August 1942. (1972)
60 Sho-go rikugun sakusen: Ruson kessen (2): Sho-Go ground operations: The Decisive Battle of Luzon (2). (1972)
61 Offensive of Third Army Air Force in Burma and Dutch East Indies. (1972)
62 Chuubu taiheiyoo hoomen kaigun sakusen (2): Central Pacific Area Naval Operations (2) (after June 1942). 1973)
63 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (5): August to December 1942. (1973)
64 Operations by China Expeditionary HQ in 1945 (2): March 1945 to the End of the War. (1973)
65 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (1). (1973)
66 Daihonei rikugunbu (6): Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial Headquarters (6): Before June 1943. (1973)
67 Daihonei rikugunbu (7): Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial Headquarters (7): From December 1943 to July 1944. (1973)
68 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (2). (1973)
69 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (3). (1973)
70 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (4). (1974)
71 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (5): Middle Part of Third Phase Operation. (1974)
72 Naval Operations in China Area (1): Before April 1938. (1974)
73 Kwantung Army (2): Prewar Preparation Against USSR and Defense at End of War. (1974)
74 Offensive Operations of Army Air Force in China. (1974)
75 Daihon’ei rikugunbu: Showa 19 nen 7 gatsu made (8): Imperial General HQ: to July 1944 (8). (1974)
76 Army Branch of IGHQ: Circumstances Surrounding the Outbreak of Greater East Asian War (5). (1974)
77 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (3): Before February 1943. (1974)
78 Armament and Employment of Army Air Force (2): 1934 to Beginning of 1942. (1974) This volume was co-authored by Masao MATSUDA and Makoto IKUTA – the two volumes give a comprehensive overview of the organizational development of the JAAF, its administrative system, its structure and its relationship to government agencies and schools in both peacetime and wartime. JAAF doctrine, tactics and planning are examined and then related to wartime operations.
79 Naval Operations in China Area (2): After 1938. (1975)
80 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (2): Before June 1942, (1975)
81 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial HQ (9): Before January 1945. (1975)
82 Conduct of Army Operations by Imperial Headquarters (10): Before August 1945. (1975)
83 Nantoo hoomen kaigun sakusen: Southeast Area Naval Operations Until Guadalcanal Evacuation. (1975)
84 Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Aitape-Puriaka-Rabaaru (5): Army Operations in the South Pacific: Aitape-Empress Augusta Bay-Rabaul (5). (1973)
85 Hondo homen kaigun sakusen: Homeland Area Naval Operations. (1975)
86 Army Operations in the China Incident (1): Before January 1938. (1975)
87 Development, Production, and Supply of Army Aviation Weapons. (1975)
88 War Preparations of Imperial Navy (2): After Outbreak of Pacific War. (1975)
89 Army Operations in the China Incident (2): Before September 1939. (1976)
90 Army Operations in the China Incident (3): Before December 1941. (1975)
(Note: volume number in question).
91 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (6): Final Part of Third Phase Operation. (1975)
92 Army Operations in Southern Theater: Defense of Malaya and Dutch East Indies. (1976)
93 Conduct of Navy Operations by Imperial HQ and Combined Fleet HQ (7): Ending the Pacific War. (1976)
94 Armament and Employment of Army Air Force (3): 1942 Until the End of the War. (1974). This is the second volume co-authored by Masao MATSUDA and Makoto IKUTA – the two volumes give a comprehensive overview of the organizational development of the JAAF, its administrative system, its structure and its relationship to government agencies and schools in both peacetime and wartime. JAAF doctrine, tactics and planning are examined and then related to wartime operations.
95 History of the Naval Aviation Corps. (1976) Authored by Hiroshi TSUNODA, Gentaro MORIYAMA and Hideo MINEMATSU – covers the aircraft, armament, technology, training and operations of the JNAF with special emphasis on its role at the beginning of the Pacific War and the causes behind its subsequent rapid decline.
96 Nanto homen kaigun sakusen (3): Gato Tesshu-Go: Southeastern Area Naval Operations (3): After Withdrawal from Guadalcanal. (1976)
97 Construction and Use of Bases for the Army Air Force’s Operations. (1979) Co-authored by Takeshi KISHI and Shichiro TAKASE – covers the construction of airfields, logistics, maintenance, air transport, intelligence, and communications activities of the JAAF during the Great East Asia War.
98 Sensuikan shi: History of Submarines. (1979)
99 The Army’s Armaments and War Preparations. (1979)
100 Daihonei Kaigumbu: Daitoa Senso Kaisen Keii (1): Imperial General HQ, Naval Section: Circumstances of the Outbreak of the Greater East Asian War (1). (1979)
101 Daihonei Kaigumbu: Daitoa Senso Kaisen Keii (2): Imperial General HQ, Naval Section: Circumstances of the Outbreak of the Greater East Asian War (2). (1979)
102 A Chronological Table of the Army and Navy. (1979)

 

Grognard.com

The oldest gamer site on the web

For a long time Grognard.com was the place to look if you wanted to know anything about strategy games. Anything, from MS-DOS based programms to generate hex-maps to long lists of scanned counter sheets for nearly any strategy game available, Grognard.com delivered. During the Nineties and beyond Grognard was the central hub for gamers online.

It was the rise of online communities and the infabous user generated content that broke Grognard’s monopoly. The site failed to update functionality and embrace the hordes of interested geeks that wanted to contribute, and other platforms that included messaging and, most of all, forums and wiki-style contribution possibilities overtook the veteran site in terms of attractivenes and content offered. Of course it did not help that Grognard basically is still online in the design they devised in the mid-Nineties.

However, the wealth of special-interest-links and downloadable material still makes a visit worthwhile. Grognard.com may be more of an archive of developments of the past these days, but still it presents a vast amount of information on even the most obscure games of the past twenty or thirty years. So we wish the old guard the best and hope they will be around for a long time to teach youngsters about the way of cardboard wars.

Date: January 16th, 2013

URL: http://www.grognard.com

Tags: echo $keywords;

Planes, Spaceflight, and Things That Go Boom: Vectorsite

This article should be linking to two articles, too. But unlike our previous reccomendation, in which one site hosted the other, in this case the contents of “Vectorsite” have grown to a point at which the author and owner of the site decided some weeks ago to split his website into two. So http://www.airvectors.net/ contains all articles about planes now, while the vectorsite has everything else.

Before you head over to look at planes, however, I’d like to say a few words to Vectorsite itself and why I reccommend it here. The choice of topics is a big reason, of course. Greg Goebel picks interesting topics of modern military technology and presents them in an concise, entertaining and informative style. Most of the articles are more of an extended reference than a full coverage of the topic, but especially for me as an european the articles (for example about the “Caribou”) provided new insights about US military history during the cold war and its interservice relationships.

Another reason is that I actually like the websites layout, which refrains from any design elements and focuses on delivering content. The vast amount of material produced in such a short time, and the willingness of Mr. Goebel to put all of that under the GPL also deserve special praise. But most of all its the unpretentious and friendly style of writing that drew me to read even about topics I alread knew well enough – or so I thought. The joy and curiousity with which Mr Goebel approaches his topics is one I would like to pass on.

Date: June 20th, 2012

URL: http://vectorsite.net

Battalion Organisation during the Second World War

“Bayonetstrength 150” is the most knowledgeable website on bataillon sized units in second world war that we know of. Its name aptly describes focus and content: its all about organisation, training, equipment, and action of bataillion-sized units on the various battlefields of World War II. Its author, Gary Kennedy, not only manages to describe the theoretical structures of these fundamental buidling blocks of armies, but also captures the reality of their emplyoment and the subsequent changes that attrition and battle wear forced on them.

Based on a prolific bibliography on the subject Kennedy manages to describe the close interaction between organisation, equipment, and training in a way that makes it accessible even for laymen.

The page is spartan and in simple HTML, the only compromise to usability is the color coding of various sections. A host of index-pages and introductions lead to some redundancy, but ensure the reader never feels lost. A must-read for anyone interested in the topic of tactical combat in World War II.

Date: April 18th, 2012

URL: http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/index.htm

Update, Sep 11th, 2017: Bayonettstrength has been offline since this summer. While the Owner of the website has publicly stated that he wants to re-up the site in the future, currently it remains offline. If you need any information previously available at bayonettstrength150, you can find an offline copy in the ubiquous web archive at

https://web.archive.org/web/20160425143250/http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/General/site_map.htm,

or you can contact me, since I do have an offline copy.

Selected Bibliography

Boyd, Alexander. The Soviet Air Force since 1918. New York: Stein and Day, 1977.

Erickson, John. “Alexander Alexandrovich Novikov.” In Stalin’s Generals, ed. Harold, Shukman, 155-174.   New York: Grove Press, 1993.

Hardesty, Von.  Red Phoenix, the Rise of Soviet Air Power, 1941-1945.  Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982.

Kozhevnikov, M. N.  The
Command and Staff of the Soviet Army Air Force in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945.
Moscow: Nauka, 1977, Soviet Military Thought, no. 17. Translated by United States Air Force. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, n.d.

Miller, Russell.  The Soviet Air Force at War.  The Epic of Flight. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life
Books, 1983.

Victory and Disgrace

Marshal Novikov participated in many further operations, but continued to operate in much the same capacity, that of Stavka air representative, often commanding and coordinating air resources for multiple fronts.  A list of his battles includes the Kuban, Kursk, and Kiev (1943); Korsun, Ternopol, the relief of Leningrad, the Karelian campaign, and operation ‘Bagration’ (1944); the Vistula-Oder operation, Konigsberg, Berlin and the campaign against Japan (1945).  This constant presence of Novikov was recognized with another promotion, to Chief Air Marshal, on 21 February 1944.[23]  Among his many honors, Alexander Alexandrovich Novikov was twice named a Hero of the Soviet Union.[24]

After the war Marshal Novikov began working to bring his air force into the jet age.  Sadly, before the first Yak-9 was flight-tested he was arrested on the order of Stalin.  This occurred on 23 February 1946, and Novikov was far from the only senior military officer caught in Stalin’s ‘purge of the victors’. Stripped of title, rank and decorations, he was left to the tender mercies of Lavrentii Beria’s prisons for almost six years.[25]  Novikov was released in May 1953, two months after Stalin’s death.  By June, with rank and decorations restored, he was again in a place of honor as Commander of Long-Range Aviation and Air Force Deputy Commander-in-Chief.  Novikov also found a new wife, Tamara Potapovna Fomina, an aeronautical engineer and graduate of the Military Academy.[26]  Soon however, manned bombers gave way to missiles, and Novikov was likewise retired due to his health.  He was given the position head of the Higher Civil Aviation School in Leningrad, which he held from 1956 to 1967.[27]

On 3 February 1976 Air Chief Marshal Alexander Novikov passed from this earth. Yet how much do we know of his personality?  The fact that at least one child was with him in Leningrad in 1941 indicates that he did discharge some family responsibilities. Anecdotes contained in the referenced sources indicate he was a drinking man.  First the reprimand as a tippler, then a note that he gave American Lieutenant-General Ira Eaker advice that an apple eaten before vodka toasts would absorb the alcohol,[28] and finally a quote of Krushchev “He drank more than was probably good for him.”[29] Yet Krushchev, who knew him from Stalingrad, also said, “He was a dedicated, honest and honorable man”,[30] and in that time, under those pressures, a great many men drank more than they should.  That this twice Hero of the Soviet Union was betrayed by Stalin, a man he had served for so many years, is not an indictment.  He was certainly a hard worker, and could not have risen to such a high military position or survived the war if he had not been an extremely competent leader.  The reforms he instituted in tactics and organizational structures greatly aided the Red Air Force in coming to grips with Germany’s Luftwaffe, and his personal direction of many key aerial campaigns in the greatest war of the air age marks him as one of history’s preeminent air commanders.


Footnotes

[23] Kozhevnikov, 234; Erickson, 168-9.

[24] Kozhevnikov, 180, 208

[25] Erickson, 173-4; Hardesty, 213; Boyd, 216-7.

[26] Erickson, 174.

[27] Erickson, 174; Hardesty, 213.

[28] Miller, 156.

[29] Miller, 110.

[30] Ibid.

During the Great Patriotic War

From the very beginning of the war with Germany Major-General Novikov skillfully used the forces available to him.  As early as 25 June 1941 Novikov launched offensive raids against German and Finish airfields.[9]  Although Novikov’s airmen flew 16,567 sorties in 22 days[10], nothing seemed to slow the Axis advance.  As German and Finnish forces closed in on Leningrad our air commander found himself with fewer and fewer operational aircraft.  Zhukov arrived on 10 September, and by the time he left in early October the city was surrounded.  But the city was held; though hundreds of thousands would die during the siege.  Novikov’s own young son was flown out over the ‘air bridge’.[11]

On 3 February 1942 Novikov met with Stalin and was given the job of Air Force First Deputy Commander.  He was immediately sent to Western Front to plan and coordinate air operations for Zhukov.[12]  Further assignments to key operations quickly followed.  In these operations Novikov stressed the importance of one central authority over air assets, so that they could be massed and coordinated.  Previously, Soviet aircraft had often been dispersed and lacked meaningful coordination.

Alexander Novikov was named Commander of the Soviet Army Air Force on 11 April 1942 and concurrently promoted to Lieutenant-General. With the new commander came a new senior staff.[13]  The structure and tactics of the air force were also changed by what were known as the “Novikov Reforms”.  Certain ideas were copied from the Germans while others were of Soviet origin.  A new long-range aviation organization (ADD) was created.  The Air Army replaced frontal aviation.  Except for some liaison and reconnaissance aircraft, army level commanders lost their aviation assets.  Reserve formations were organized into Air Corps of two or more Air Divisions, with a strength of 120-270 aircraft.  Several Air Corps would be given to an Air Army for critical operations, then moved to another sector on an as needed basis.[14]  Further reform measures covered rear services, lower level organizational structures, training, and other areas.

The new Air Armies and reserve Air Corps gave the Soviet Air Force (VVS) a strategic mobility, which it had lacked. This new ability was demonstrated in the Stalingrad campaign.  During the Axis advance to Stalingrad and stubborn defense the VVS didn’t seriously challenge the Luftwaffe. This allowed the Soviets to conserve strength, adapt to the new organizational structure, and gain experience with the large numbers of new aircraft coming into inventory.[15]  Once the Soviets decided to go over to the offensive this quickly changed.

General Novikov continued to be a key player in the Soviet command team, and he was sent as a Stavka (Headquarters, Supreme High Command) representative to various parts of the front.  General Novikov arrived at Stalingrad in November 1942, once again at the request of Zhukov, who said, “We work well together.”[16]  Novikov concentrated 1,414 aircraft in three Air Armies to support operation ‘Uranus’.[17]  The expansible nature of the new Air Armies is demonstrated by the inclusion of four Air Corps from Stavka Reserve.[18]  When the attack began poor weather limited the Luftwaffe to 150 sorties over four days. In contrast the VVS flew 1,000 sorties, mostly ground support.[19]

Much of the massed Soviet air power was sent against 6th Army and the German ‘air bridge’.  Several hundred obsolete Soviet planes were used as night harassment bombers.  Novikov concentrated his own efforts on organizing a blockade based on hitting the German airfields within and without the pocket, strong antiaircraft defenses along likely routes, and interceptors directed by ground stations.[20]  The combination of poor weather and a more effective Red Air Force did not stop the Luftwaffe, but they inflicted heavy losses and kept the rate of supply well below the required level.  During the period 19 November 1942 through 2 February 1943 the Soviets flew 35,920 sorties.[21]  For his exploits General Novikov was named the Soviet Union’s first ever Air Marshal on 17 March 1943.[22]


Footnotes

[9] Kozhevnikov, 41; Erickson, 161.

[10] Kozhevnikov, 44

[11] Erickson, 162.

[12] Erickson, 162; Kozhevnikov, 68.

[13] Kozhevnikov, 234; Alexander Boyd, The Soviet Air Force since 1918, (New York: Stein and Day, 1977), 140; Erickson, 163; Von Hardesty, Red Phoenix, the Rise of Soviet Air Power, 1941-1945, (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982), 83-85.

[14] Boyd, 141; Hardesty, 87; Kozhevnikov, 72-74.

[15] Hardesty, 91-2; Boyd, 159; Russell Miller, The Soviet Air Force at War, The Epic of Flight, (Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1983), 117.

[16] Erickson, 165.

[17] Erickson, 165; Kozhevnikov, 95; Hardesty, 105.

[18] Kozhevnikov, 95.

[19] Miller, 123.

[20] Hardesty, 124; Kozhevnikov, 97-98.

[21] Kozhevnikov, 100.

[22] Kozhevnikov, 234; Erickson, 166.

Older posts