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View Full Version : Required Reading: part 4 of "Conversations with N. G. Golodnikov"



A.K.Davis
01-12-2004, 03:35 PM
This part of the interview focuses heavily on Russian training and tactics, but includes all sorts of great info:

http://airforce.users.ru/lend-lease/english/articles/golodnikov/part4.htm

--AKD

http://www.flyingpug.com/pugline2.jpg

A.K.Davis
01-12-2004, 03:35 PM
This part of the interview focuses heavily on Russian training and tactics, but includes all sorts of great info:

http://airforce.users.ru/lend-lease/english/articles/golodnikov/part4.htm

--AKD

http://www.flyingpug.com/pugline2.jpg

XyZspineZyX
01-12-2004, 06:52 PM
Nice read. Thanks.



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Snoop_Baron
01-12-2004, 08:27 PM
Great read, eye opening I would say http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Udidtoo
01-12-2004, 09:02 PM
From the interview

Of course, one could amass an astronomical personal score by this method, with the assistance of a team. But from the point of view of strategy, this method was a failure.

Here he expresses something that I have often wondered about. The tactics that allowed a Hartmann level of scoring were also possibly quite detrimental to "The team" as it were.

By that I mean how are the pilots who are only allowed to run interference for the glamor boys ever to gain in expereance going for the kill?


..............................
I always have just enough fuel to arrive at the scene of my crash.

Old_Canuck
01-13-2004, 12:55 AM
Enjoyed this in-depth interview. Very interesting comments on "shooting at the rivets" and the strengths/weaknesses of vertical vs. horizontal combat between various fighters.


Thanks for posting the link.

Ugly_Kid
01-13-2004, 01:41 AM
Mental note: paint out the rivets from the skin

Stalker58
01-13-2004, 02:24 AM
It looks like P40 was better then Bf109F and on pair with Fw190 - but only in the hand of capable soviet fighter http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Altitude, speed, manoeuvre and.... CRASH!

LeadSpitter_
01-13-2004, 04:59 AM
I dont agree with the i16 being superior to the 109e seeing the kill to loss ratio 1940-43 but of course the germans wiped out thousands before they even got off the ground, and performance graphs as well.

the p40 also did extremely well in north africa against the 109 F series

The 109e was almost an equal match to the spitfire mk1 british pilots said about captured 109es

the b239 vs i16 mockdogfights show the b239 Beating the i16 in all categories, climb,range,accelaration ceiling, I noticed in hardballs aircraft viewer it states that the i16 has a better power to weight ratio which and climb to 6000m which is not correct

emil is superior to the b239 in climb, top speed, accelaration high alt performance but not range

Good read AKD thx for the post, your not so bad when your not bytchen about saying you dont even want to fly the 190 becuase it sucks http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

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Recon_609IAP
01-13-2004, 05:35 AM
good read thanks

S!
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JeSTeRs_Inc
01-13-2004, 07:00 AM
Nice one, well worth the time. Thanks.

A.K.Davis
01-13-2004, 09:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LeadSpitter_:
I dont agree with the i16 being superior to the 109e seeing the kill to loss ratio 1940-43 but of course the germans wiped out thousands before they even got off the ground, and performance graphs as well.

the p40 also did extremely well in north africa against the 109 F series

The 109e was almost an equal match to the spitfire mk1 british pilots said about captured 109es

the b239 vs i16 mockdogfights show the b239 Beating the i16 in all categories, climb,range,accelaration ceiling, I noticed in hardballs aircraft viewer it states that the i16 has a better power to weight ratio which and climb to 6000m which is not correct

emil is superior to the b239 in climb, top speed, accelaration high alt performance but not range

Good read AKD thx for the post, your not so bad when your not bytchen about saying you dont even want to fly the 190 becuase it sucks http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Read what Golodnikov says in detail. I think you will then realize that he is not speaking of absolute technical superiority, but of combat reality. Especially pay attention to what he says about the Hurricane and I-16 versus early 109s. Golodnikov's point is that a good pilot in a late-model I-16 could handle an average pilot in an early 109 in the operational environment he experienced, whereas even a well-flown Hurricane would be in trouble against 109s. The Hurricane lacked flexibility in response, with defensive circles being the only practical tactic. His focus is on dynamic rather than absolute performance, and Golodnikov judges aircraft based on this criteria.

--AKD

http://www.flyingpug.com/pugline2.jpg

horseback
01-13-2004, 08:39 PM
What I found interesting was his opinion of how his Western Allies flew in combat. The line about the P-40 being thought "inadvisable" for combat in the West was priceless. One can only assume that he didn't get much news from the outside world back then, and didn't catch up afterwards.

I also found that his appraisal of the German fighter corps confirms some of my suspicions about the overemphasis on scoring kills. The idea that they were paid a kind of bounty for each kill shows us how some propaganda just stays around, even after the reasons for it are gone.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

A.K.Davis
01-13-2004, 11:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by horseback:
What I found interesting was his opinion of how his Western Allies flew in combat. The line about the P-40 being thought "inadvisable" for combat in the West was priceless. One can only assume that he didn't get much news from the outside world back then, and didn't catch up afterwards.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

News from the outside world? The P-40s came from the outside world (i.e. Britain). Why did the Brits pass them onto the Soviets? Partly because they considered the P-40 "inadvisable" for combat. Keep in mind that the Soviets were likely receiving P-40B/Cs into '42.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I also found that his appraisal of the German fighter corps confirms some of my suspicions about the overemphasis on scoring kills. The idea that they were paid a kind of bounty for each kill shows us how some propaganda just stays around, even after the reasons for it are gone.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Propaganda, wartime rumor, etc. (I just found out yesterday that the largely accepted fact that Germans infiltrated U.S. bomber formations using captured aircraft was actually nothing but rumor). Obviously his observations on his own pilots motivations are more valuable than his psychological assesment of the enemy. Although, I can't imagine some of his opinions holding if he had witnessed German attacks on U.S. heavies.

--AKD

http://www.flyingpug.com/pugline2.jpg

LEXX_Luthor
01-14-2004, 02:05 AM
Awsum read. Is it possible that his unit was a better unit? His people did fly with the Brits.

Also, recall crazyivan's translation of that IL2 pilot's diary, where even into 1943 the IL2 crews Whined about Soviet fighter escorts always abandoning them and usually never showing up, but that may be a Whine of all bomber pilots, except maybe those escorted by Red Tails.

A.K.Davis:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Although, I can't imagine some of his opinions holding if he had witnessed German attacks on U.S. heavies.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Defending the Homeland and bailing out over Germany may make a difference in pilot psychology. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Who knows. Interesting read though, especially about Fw190 acceleration. That could cause a Fire. Neat ideas about max and combat speeds too.

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jeanba2
01-14-2004, 06:49 AM
Very interresting reading, and site in general.

Thank you

LilHorse
01-14-2004, 01:15 PM
Yes, interesting read. But I have some issues where he describes German and British tactical doctrine. And German scoring.

As I understand it the German tactical doctrine for fighters (finger-four schwarms, two plane rotte, and mostly what we would call BnZ attacks) was worked out by Werner Molders during the Spanish Civil War. And it was more or less in place toward the end of that conflict and was in place during the BoB.

I find his description of the British tactics to be puzzling as well. Again, I have read that some British squadrons were already abandoning Fighting Area Attacks and Vic formations even before the BoB. And while many squads still retained this approach in the BoB I would have thought that by spring of '41 you wouldn't have seen a "Vic with a weaver" formation from the Brits. Dunno.

Lastly, we once again have the perpetuated Russian idea that the LW methods for confirming kills was "lax". If anything the LWs methods for confirmation were some of the most stringent of the combatants of WWII. He claims that the Germans never sent out planes to search for wreckage to confirm kills or had anything other that wingman testimony or guncam footage. A reading of Black Cross/ Red Star refutes this. I don't doubt that the VVS methods of kill confirmation were as tough as he says, but it is a myth that the Germans wildly overclaimed without confirmation. Sure, everybody overclaimed by some measure and I'm sure the Germans did to some extent. But their methods of confirmation were such that you can be sure that an Erich Hartmann got most of the kills claimed.

horseback
01-14-2004, 01:44 PM
I have read a number of accounts of RAF fighters using the "weaver" and line astern formations well into 1943, in Malta and the Western Desert, at least. English stubborness may have something to do with it, although personal rivalries may also have entered into it. The two earliest claimants to introducing the 'finger four' I know of are Bader and Tuck, both the type of person you either loved or hated. One can scarcely imagine their rivals rushing to adopt their favored tactics until they were given official sanction.

Golodnikov's read on German claims was no doubt colored by the propaganda of the times. As noted earlier, he didn't exactly seek out information about the western air forces' wartime records after the war. Once the war was over, it was irrelevent to him, not mention safer in Stalinist society not to question the Party line.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

A.K.Davis
01-14-2004, 02:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by horseback:
Golodnikov's read on German claims was no doubt colored by the propaganda of the times. As noted earlier, he didn't exactly seek out information about the western air forces' wartime records after the war. Once the war was over, it was irrelevent to him, not mention safer in Stalinist society not to question the Party line.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think you would also find that pilots of the free, safe and democratic nations would make similar statements, i.e. "We overclaimed little if at all, they consistently overclaimed." In fact, I imagine you would find this in the majority of vets from any given country. Just as predictable as this line of questioning:

Q: "Did they shoot pilots in their parachutes?"

A: "Frequently."

Q: "Did you shoot pilots in their parachutes?"

A: "Never!"

--AKD

http://www.flyingpug.com/pugline2.jpg

LilHorse
01-14-2004, 02:57 PM
Oh yeah, I also take issue with how the interviewer characterizes the opinions of the FW-190 in the East vs. the West. He seems to imply that the Brits were almost paralyzed with fear everytime they saw a 190, and the Russians just shrugged it off. Sure, when the first 190s showed up the Brits were shocked. But they made the necessary adjustments. That's why the Spit MkV became the Spit MkIX, or made use of clipped wing Spits etc. Also, I don't recall that American pilots were ever particularly terrified by them. So, I don't think they were regarded as "the be all and end all" on the Western front. Despite the question being slanted as it was, Golodnikov answers intelligently and rationally. An even handed assessment.

DxyFlyr
01-14-2004, 03:15 PM
Hey, thanks for this link! Good read.

DONB3397
01-14-2004, 03:51 PM
Thanks for this url. I'd been to this site a couple of weeks back and read parts 1 & 2. The critiques here are interesting.

After the war, the British, Americans and Germans became allies vs. Russia and the eastern block. It seems to have led to open comparisons and information sharing between pilots and governments. Golodnikov, I suspect, was more isolated, cut off from both his former adversaries and their information. So his views may be limited to personal experience and, as was mentioned before, the party line.

Still, he had rare personal experience to draw on and his views are no more biased than other pilots who felt their a/c and tactics were better. He spoke well of the P-40 and P-39, even the Hurricanes the Russians received. The Cobra Q-series, he said in an earlier interview, was simply better than 109s in a low or mid-altitude fight. In this part, he said P-40's were used in a different way by the Russians...flown flat out all the time because they were slow to accelerate and climb.
The old Allisons burned out quickly.

His views may or may not line up with the last "best analysis" of WWII a/c we've seen, but they're his...and based on events and not what-ifs. It was interesting that his interviewer, Sokhorukov, who had clearly studied the standard info on both the planes and tactics of the war, couldn't lead Golodnikov to any conclusions other than his own.

Good read. Thanks.

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BfHeFwMe
01-14-2004, 05:34 PM
Interesting read, but if you've got air supremecy, why are you running free hunts at tree top levels. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

RAF74_Buzzsaw
01-14-2004, 10:48 PM
Salute

I'm currently producing a documentary about a Canadian Ace who flew in the Desert in P-40's. He scored 16 kills in P-40's.

His opinion was that the P-40 was a capable plane versus the 109's if flown correctly. Primarily at lower altitudes it was good. Anything over 10,000 was a problem.

The Canadian, who's name is James Edwards also noted the emphasis of the Germans on Fighter kills.

He spent most of his time in the desert escorting RAF Bostons on bombing missions, or flying Ground support missions in the P-40.

During the entire year and a half period during when escorting the Bostons, not a single Boston was lost to intercepting 109's. On the other hand many of the escorting P-40's were lost. Usually the Bostons were at 10,000, the P-40's at 15,000, and the 109's up at 20,000. The 109's would not take a chance on going down and attacking the Bostons, instead they would B & Z the P-40's and pick off one or two. From Edward's perpective, it was clear that the Germans were more interested in building their score than stopping the bombers getting through.

RAF74 Buzzsaw

jazman777
01-14-2004, 11:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by A.K.Davis:
[QUOTE]Obviously his observations on his own pilots motivations are more valuable than his psychological assesment of the enemy. Although, I can't imagine some of his opinions holding if he had witnessed German attacks on U.S. heavies.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Heh, the Russian ground troops had their political commissars to make sure everyone defended the Motherland. Wonder if the air squads had them?

---
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under - H. L. Mencken

Lazy312
01-17-2004, 05:18 AM
"Interesting read, but if you've got air supremecy, why are you running free hunts at tree top levels."

IMHO to surprise your enemy. If you are low you can see him much better than he can see you.

"Heh, the Russian ground troops had their political commissars to make sure everyone defended the Motherland. Wonder if the air squads had them?"

Yes they had. IAPs were paractically commanded by two persons, a commander and his politruk.

312_Lazy
312th Fighter Squadron
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JG14_Josf
01-17-2004, 10:16 AM
On the subject of tactics there seems to be some confusion concerning motivation.

For instance:

If a Bf109 does not fare well against P-40s down low then is it not a sound tactical decision to engange the P-40s up high, shoot them down first and then attack the bombers?

Germans were not keen on suicide missions, at least this in not indicated from my limited reading.

Did the P-40 dive well?

The Golodnikov article is full of contradictions like the P-40 example. On the one hand the Germans (all of them?) are portrayed as single minded score hounds, on the other hand the tactical use of their available forces at least seem to measure up to any reasonable expectation of effectiveness.

Each fighter in the air regardless of who's side it is on represents countless potential losses for the other side, in other words tactically speaking there are good reasons for one side to concentrate on shooting down as many enemy fighters as possible, and it is sound tactical thinking to shoot down as many enemy planes as possible while suffering the least amount of losses.

Some of the old hands may have been acting more as instructors to the new recruits when they attacked while others stood back to cover.

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