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View Full Version : Translations of the Kozhemyako interview - escort techniques, death of a 262 etc.



ianboys
02-09-2005, 05:18 AM
http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards/bbs/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=127;t=000855

A snippet:

Death of a 262

You know some guys in our Regiment shot down a Messer-262 jet? Let me tell you what happened. The first time I saw this messer I was in the alert pair and he flew over our base. At that time we were 25km from Berlin. He flew over our base and literally in front of our eyes started shooting up the Breslau-Berlin autobahn, which was packed with vehicles during the build-up for the attack on Berlin. He made a terrible mess - smoke, fire, exploding ammunition. After that there'd always be a Messer jet attacking that autobahn, 2 or 3 times a day, completely ignoring both our base and our fighters. As well as that, the same German flew propaganda missions - dropping leaflets with a message from Hitler to the encircled defenders of Breslau and Spandau, which at this time were deep in our lines. They translated the text for us and it ran something like this:"Heroes of Great Germany - do not give in, hold on! In a very short time I will deploy our newset weapons and we will smash the Bolshevik hordes! As a guarantee ofmy words - this modern aircraft! Soon we will have thousands of them! Hold on - victory is close!" They did hold on too - they were fully beseiged yet their trams were running, their factories were working.
Our side were so fed up with this jet that the commander of our air army ordered that it be brought down by any means necessary, including ramming. Easy to say, but you try it when he's doing over 800 km/h. We called the jet the "vulture". As soon as anyone said "vulture" [an otherwise common name for enemy planes] everyone knew which plane he meant.
They shot him down by chance, one could say.The German simply made a mistake. He was so contemptuous of our aircraft that it did for him in the end. He had the habit after attacking (and he preferred fuel convoys) of doing a circle so he could admire his handiwork. This circle was carried out at about 400 km/h. Anyway, he shot up a column as usual then started his "traditional" circle, banking his plane so that he didn't spot six Yaks taking off from our base under squadron commander Kuznetsov. Those six Yaks were meant to be escorting six Sturmoviks but as the German was clearly visible from our base the Regimental commander got on the radio and ordered the Yaks that were taking off:" Lads! Get that vulture over the autobahn!"


They attacked him in a pincer [?], by the book, correctly, and started pouring it on from all sides. The German saw them but too late. He tried to escape and almost made it. It looked like he was pulling away towards Czechoslovakia and our guys thought, that's it, we won't catch him now. But then they saw the Messer drop down and land on its belly. That meant they had hit him. They flew back to base and reported that they had killed a Messer jet, but as to who exactly had shot it down they couldn't say. They all fired and the old hands had the same chance as the rookies (the flight included experienced and inexperienced pilots, one was just on his second combat mission). The Regimental commander reported it to the division, the division to the army and the army to Moscow. From Moscow the order came back immediately - send the Regiment's engineering officer and as many trucks as necessary together with a security detachment and get as much as possible out of that Messer. They took two trucks, machinegunners, the necessary technical personnel and went to the crash site. There they found the aircraft and, a small distance away, the body of the pilot.It became clear that the Messer had taken a round to the cabin that had obviously seriously wounded the pilot. He had just had strength to somehow get a few hundred metres to a small stream and there, it seemed, he had lost consciousness and did of blood loss. On his body they found documents that showed that he was a factory test pilot for the Messerschmitt company. There was a jet fighter factory in Bratislava and this dead Messer had flown from the factory's field. Our guys worked on the Messer day and night and took everything, including the engines in their housings. Then a couple of Li-2's arrived and took it all back to Moscow. Well, soon our troops entered Bratislava and captured some brand new jets right at the Messerschmitt factory.

ianboys
02-09-2005, 05:18 AM
http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards/bbs/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=127;t=000855

A snippet:

Death of a 262

You know some guys in our Regiment shot down a Messer-262 jet? Let me tell you what happened. The first time I saw this messer I was in the alert pair and he flew over our base. At that time we were 25km from Berlin. He flew over our base and literally in front of our eyes started shooting up the Breslau-Berlin autobahn, which was packed with vehicles during the build-up for the attack on Berlin. He made a terrible mess - smoke, fire, exploding ammunition. After that there'd always be a Messer jet attacking that autobahn, 2 or 3 times a day, completely ignoring both our base and our fighters. As well as that, the same German flew propaganda missions - dropping leaflets with a message from Hitler to the encircled defenders of Breslau and Spandau, which at this time were deep in our lines. They translated the text for us and it ran something like this:"Heroes of Great Germany - do not give in, hold on! In a very short time I will deploy our newset weapons and we will smash the Bolshevik hordes! As a guarantee ofmy words - this modern aircraft! Soon we will have thousands of them! Hold on - victory is close!" They did hold on too - they were fully beseiged yet their trams were running, their factories were working.
Our side were so fed up with this jet that the commander of our air army ordered that it be brought down by any means necessary, including ramming. Easy to say, but you try it when he's doing over 800 km/h. We called the jet the "vulture". As soon as anyone said "vulture" [an otherwise common name for enemy planes] everyone knew which plane he meant.
They shot him down by chance, one could say.The German simply made a mistake. He was so contemptuous of our aircraft that it did for him in the end. He had the habit after attacking (and he preferred fuel convoys) of doing a circle so he could admire his handiwork. This circle was carried out at about 400 km/h. Anyway, he shot up a column as usual then started his "traditional" circle, banking his plane so that he didn't spot six Yaks taking off from our base under squadron commander Kuznetsov. Those six Yaks were meant to be escorting six Sturmoviks but as the German was clearly visible from our base the Regimental commander got on the radio and ordered the Yaks that were taking off:" Lads! Get that vulture over the autobahn!"


They attacked him in a pincer [?], by the book, correctly, and started pouring it on from all sides. The German saw them but too late. He tried to escape and almost made it. It looked like he was pulling away towards Czechoslovakia and our guys thought, that's it, we won't catch him now. But then they saw the Messer drop down and land on its belly. That meant they had hit him. They flew back to base and reported that they had killed a Messer jet, but as to who exactly had shot it down they couldn't say. They all fired and the old hands had the same chance as the rookies (the flight included experienced and inexperienced pilots, one was just on his second combat mission). The Regimental commander reported it to the division, the division to the army and the army to Moscow. From Moscow the order came back immediately - send the Regiment's engineering officer and as many trucks as necessary together with a security detachment and get as much as possible out of that Messer. They took two trucks, machinegunners, the necessary technical personnel and went to the crash site. There they found the aircraft and, a small distance away, the body of the pilot.It became clear that the Messer had taken a round to the cabin that had obviously seriously wounded the pilot. He had just had strength to somehow get a few hundred metres to a small stream and there, it seemed, he had lost consciousness and did of blood loss. On his body they found documents that showed that he was a factory test pilot for the Messerschmitt company. There was a jet fighter factory in Bratislava and this dead Messer had flown from the factory's field. Our guys worked on the Messer day and night and took everything, including the engines in their housings. Then a couple of Li-2's arrived and took it all back to Moscow. Well, soon our troops entered Bratislava and captured some brand new jets right at the Messerschmitt factory.

Ruy Horta
02-09-2005, 10:29 AM
What I always find so particular in these stories is that they almost NEVER go hand in hand with an exact date and location.

In order to verify you'd need at least a correct date, preferably an exact location too (although we know the general area through the annecdote).

So Ian, any date in the original?

crazyivan1970
02-09-2005, 10:50 AM
More quotes from the same interview, i translated them back in the day in ORR:

http://www.airforce.ru/history/ww2/kozhemjako/kozhemjako_1.jpg

Just a few quotes from the interview with veteran of 107 GIAP Major Kozhemyako ( I.K.) ... i find it rather interesting and pretty honest..

A.S. - Author
I.K. - major Kozhemyako

**********************************************
A.S What do you think about German fighter planes Messerschmitt BF-109G?

I.K. I think of them with a lot of respect.
BF109 was very good, very high scale fighter plane. If was superior to our Yaks in speed and vertical combat. It wasn`t 100% superiority, but still. Very dynamic plane. I`ll be honest with you, it was my dream during my war years, to have a plane like this. Fast and superior on vertical, but that didn`t happen.

A.S. What was so specific for BF-109G, anything you can point out?

I.K. I have to tell you, that Messer had one extremely positive thing, it was able to be successful fight Yak`s at 2000m and Aircobras at 6000m. This is truly unique ability and valuable. Of course, here Yak and P-39 were inferior. As far as combat on different altitudes, BF109 was universal, like La-5.
A.S. Well, i guess 90% of success in all altitudes belongs to its engine‚‚ā¨¬¶

I.K. I wouldn`t doubt it.

A.S. But if you look at this from another perspective, this uniqueness of BF109 could have played fatal role when it encountered aicraft that was specialized and optimized for combat on certain altitudes. You already know that Barkhorn on the question about best fighter of WW2 answered: On high altitudes P-51 and low altitudes Yak-9, Surprized?

I.K. Yes, Very Surprized. But, I guess if I was fighting in Me109 I would have look at Yak-9 differently, who knows.

A.S. How would you grade weapons on BF109G comparing to Yak1?

I.K. Yaks weapons were more powerful. maybe that`s why german fighters were trying to avoid head to head attacks.

A.S. I can`t agree with you. Yak can`t have more powerful weaponry because it has only 1 12.7mm MG (UBS) while BF109G has 2 13mm MG-13s.

I.K. German high caliber machine guns were rather weak, just a name "high caliber". They couldn`t even penetrate armored plate behind pilot, needed armor piercing bullet for that, and even then from close distance. But if german pilot would open fire from 200-300m with regular bullets and under sharp angle, it couldn`t even penetrate block of M105, could only bust thru the cowling covers.. Same for armored glass, couldnt penetrate it. My opinion on 13mm MG, they could only be effective from close distances, shooting at point blank ranges could bring you some success. I think 1 UBS in combat was more effective in combat then 2 MG13s combined.
20mm german cannon was excellent, unlike MG`s. Very powerful, not worse then out SHVAK.

A.S. I am surprised that you think that Me109 was capable in the turning combat. There is general opinion that BF109 was rather average when it comes to combat with many manuevers. It`s very common opinion that BF109G with its technical and tactical characteristics was rather "hunter" then turnfighter..

I.K. Lies! Me109 was exceptional in turning combat. If there is a fighter plane built for turning combat , it has to be Messer! Speedy, maneuverable,(especially in vertical) and extremely dynamic. I can`t tell about all other things, but taking under consideration what i said above, Messerschmitt was ideal for dogfight. But for some reason majority of german pilots didn`t like turn fight, till this day i don`t know why.
I don`t know what was stopping them, but it`s definitely not the plane. I know that for a fact. I remember battle of Kursk where german aces were starting "roller-coaster" rides where our heads were about to come off from rotation.
No, seriously... Is it true it`s a common thing now that Messer wasn`t maneuverable?

A.S. Yes.

I.K. Heh.. Why would people come up with something like this... It was maneuverable...by god it was.

A.S. Did you ever encounter FW-190 in combat? If yes, what`s your take on the capabilities of this plane as a fighter?

I.K. I have only met FW190 once, at the end of the war. We were escorting 6 Sturmoviks to Berlin. Us ‚‚ā¨" 4 Yak-9s. Flight of 6 Fockers intercepted us on the approach to the target. I can say that they were not really aggressive. They started approaching, but all 4 our Yak`s turned towards them. They imitated attack, fired few rounds from long distance and flew away. We tried to chase them, but who are we kidding‚‚ā¨¬¶ bottom line, they didn`t engage us.
Well, what can I say based on one encounter? Not whole a lot. Looks like speed wise FW is similar to BF109 (we could not catch them) but by far better weapons. Fokker had such impressive weapons that when it fired all of them, it turned into fireball up front‚‚ā¨¬¶ almost to the tips of the wings. I would get in the front of it. In Horizontal maneuvers Yak would probably better then FW, not sure about vertical.

A.S. As far as i understood you are saying that Soviet VVS won airwar with Luftwaffe only because they were more prepared for the war till exhaustion?

I.K. Yes. That is correct, exactly war till "exhaustion". Sometimes it was the skill, sometimes superior planes and sometimes our own blood, we were ready to give anything, we were not holding back anything.

A.S. So the M-105 was very reliable and tough...but what about Yakovlev fighter planes in general, were they durable?

I.K. It really depence where it hits you, anything outside of engine and cockpit, you could bring home 10 or more holes. Quiet often myself was "bringing" home 8-10 holes from bullets and cannon rounds (6-8 from MG and couple of 20mm armor peircing ones...

But if high-explosive projectile was hitting Yak...it was a problem. Plywood would be flying in all directions and distruction would be major, even if plane didn`t catch fire, still have to jump out, can`t fly much with surfaces missing. BF109 in that regard was tougher, full metal construction.

A.S. Did germans use armor peircing round often?

I.K. Quiet often. I have an impression that every 3rd or 4th round was armor peircing. Which is understandable, they had to attack IL-2s, without armor penetrating ammo there is no effect, HE rounds were bounching right of their armor.

LEXX_Luthor
02-09-2005, 11:23 AM
So this is what Ian Boys does between maps? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Thanks Ian Boys, we have been Secretly watching this over at the sinhq.

Ahh, crazyivan, some of us couldn't wait and used babelfish to translate the whole story, and it turns out the pilot says Yak was superior to Messer in "horizontal" turn--one reason it made better escort fighter than Messer. The part you translate the pilot mixes horizontal and vertical into one "maneuver" combat. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

But even in the "chandelle" which combines horizontal and vertical maneuver, the Yak pilot was himself surprised that the Yak was still superior or at least equal to the Messer. Or that's what I gathered anyway. mmm

Also, the pilot got his first sight of the inside of a crashed LaGG~3 that broke in two and was disgusted it was made all of wood. This guy is a true metal head. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif