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FPSOLKOR
10-03-2005, 04:17 AM
Being a fan of WWII aviation for almost 10 years, I was surprised to find out that among my coworkers in Onkological NII in Pesochniy (about 15 minutes by car from St-Petersbourg) is a real fighter pilot, who participated in GPW. His name is Vladimir Alexeevich Tikhomirov. He is 84 now. So I€ve made friends with him. Here is a short compilation of our discussions.

Q: How it all started for you?
A: Well, I joined primary training school near Kalinin. After theoretical education we had a medical exam, which I failed due to punctured drum in the ear.
Q: What? How did you managed to get into the air then?
A: Well, I worked as an electrician for some time, and around 1938 I was invited back to the school, where they suggested me to undergo piloting training. I agreed.
Q: there must have been some conditions for that?
A: Of course. Medics allowed flying if I had a good characteristics from regiment commanders.
Q: ????What the heck it has to do with medics????
A: How am I supposed to know? Anyway, I started flying. After flying po-2 I studied r-5 and ut-1, ut-2 and double seater i-16. that was some plane! If you know how to fly it, you will fly on anything, even broomstick! Extremely strickt plane, although very maneuverable. After that I learned yak 1 and 7v. by the time war started I was a trainer at the flying school. I gave several applications to get to the front, but was rejected.
Q: when you arrived to the front?
A: in October 1943 after finishing flight leader courses. By this time I had almost 7000 flying hours. I was perhaps the best flyer in the squad, thou my shooting was terrible. But it actually never was a problem.
Q: How you were greeted in the squad?
A: it was at Borki AB southern coast of baltik sea. We 4 arrived to the division CiC, and were given directions where to go next. After my arrival to the ab squad commander flew with me, and allowed on a real mission.
Q: Do you remember your first mission or fight?
A: it was the same. We went by 4 yak 7b 2 below cloud, 2 above. I was in the upper cover. I asked flight leader if I can go down, he replyed no. then I saw a me-109 on the leaders tail. He shot him down in a second and started pulling in front of me. I shot his wing radiator and saw vapour trail. He then disappeared in the clouds. Do not know what happened to him. Since we were in the open sea, about 50 km away 2000€¦ I just do not know. I did not apply for a kill that time.
Q: What kinds of missions you flew?
A: I made over 180 missions and more than 160 escort for Il-2.
Q: Do you remember who you supported?
A: mostly 35 ShAP. Often Batievskii, now HOTSU. He is living in Moscow.
Q: Was it difficult?
A: not really. Ahead of us there was a flight of Las, so we only had to be carefull not to miss any survivor.
Q: What planes You downed?
A: 1 He-111 in group, 2 Ju-87 in one fight, the rest was me-109 and mostly fw190.
Q: which one do you think is most dangerous?
A: Me. It was fast and agile. Fw was shot on site. It was too slow and weighted too much. Actually it was heavier than Il-2. I can€t understand how it can be called a €œfighter€€¦ Interceptor of bombers maybe, but fighter€¦ If they jumped us, they had success, but if we saw them first, we were all over 'em.
Q: have you ever been downed?
A: Yes. I was going home, when il driver shouted €œsmall one on fire€. I started turning my head around and saw a vapor trail from my plane. The elevator controls were out. I made forced landing on ice only by engine control. Some bruises of course, but in 3 days I was flying again.
Q: was your weapon good enough?
A: yes. I never fired more than 100 meters, and it is more than enough to penetrate the armour.
For those who fired from further distances it was of course not enough. From this distance you can€t miss.

I can continue if anyone interested.

Kuna15
10-03-2005, 09:46 AM
FPSOLKOR that interview was great, although short one.


...
Q: Do you remember your first mission or fight?
A: it was the same. We went by 4 yak 7b 2 below cloud, 2 above. I was in the upper cover. I asked flight leader if I can go down, he replyed no. then I saw a me-109 on the leaders tail. He shot him down in a second and started pulling in front of me. I shot his wing radiator and saw vapour trail. He then disappeared in the clouds. Do not know what happened to him. Since we were in the open sea, about 50 km away 2000€¦ I just do not know. I did not apply for a kill that time.
...

That was some first flight. Awesome.
------------------------------------------------
Anyway here are some questions;

1. What were the squadron(s) he flew with?
2. He also said he supported 35.ShAP bombers (I presume the Sturmoviks), specifically Batievskii (HSU recipient). Does that mean that he was covered specific bomber(s) in their formation or he was just flying escort without specific orders?
3. What was the usual formation of Yak fighters (VIC, echelon right etc.)?
4. How long could they be airborne before they must return to base [RTB] due to low ammount of fuel (I know that depends on type, he flew several different Yak versions, but some rough estimation)? And also what was the range of Yak fighter (maybe if he can remember by Yak type)?
5. What was their usual flight altitude when they weren't provide escort for bombers?
6. And also when they provide escort, what was their usual position (in regard to bomber formation -- above, above behind, above in front... etc.), and altitude when they were on escort duty? Also usual Sturmovik flight altitude?
7. What type of Yak fighter he flew was the most manouverable one?
8. What Yak type he preffered to fly (his favourite)?
9. Did he liked NS-37mm cannon in Yak-9T type?
10. Did he flew always with his fuel tank fully loaded or maybe not?
11. Did he ever used RS-82 rockets; how were these regarded by VVS pilots -- did they liked them?
12. Did he ever attacked some ground targets?
13. What is the maximum altitude he ever flew, and in which type?
14. Did he deployed flaps during combat with German fighters (dogfight)?
15. What were the usual tactics of Messerschmitt fighters during dogfight? Did they accepted turnfight or...
16. I see that he regarded Me-109 fighter as more dangerous and better suited for dogfight than FW-190 fighter/bomber. Did he flew against new German type FW-190D? If so, how good was that type in his opinion, or what was general Dora reputation among VVS pilots?
17. Did he flew missions against Finland aircraft?
18. What is the largest group of enemy aircraft he engaged? Approximate number and types...?
19. How were VVS pilots in his unit rewarded for a kill?
20. How was he claimed enemy aircraft kill; what was kill claim procedure?

Sorry for many questions, but I'm curious... not every day man have a chance to speak with ww2 veteran, let alone an ace, HSU recipient...

Airmail109
10-03-2005, 10:09 AM
This is awesome...send him my thanks!

How were the yaks in a dive...did they heavy up and if so at what speed?

DmdSeeker
10-03-2005, 10:20 AM
very cool

Saunders1953
10-03-2005, 12:05 PM
that was some plane [I 16]! If you know how to fly it, you will fly on anything, even broomstick!
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

joeap
10-03-2005, 12:06 PM
Excellent, we need to get this done as quickly as possible. We are running out of time. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Kuna15
10-03-2005, 12:18 PM
21. What type of fuel they used on Yaks (octanes)?
22. What were the usual convergences for guns/cannons?
23. About visibility from Yak canopy... what were his impressions? Also did Yak canopy (glass) suffered from 'Yellow-ish' process after being exposed to sun rays for some time? LaGG pilots often complained about that.
24. How reliable Yak fighter was? What were common malfunctions of Yak, if there are any?

IL2-chuter
10-03-2005, 12:54 PM
A: Me. It was fast and agile. Fw was shot on site. It was too slow and weighted too much. Actually it was heavier than Il-2. I can€t understand how it can be called a €œfighter€€¦ Interceptor of bombers maybe, but fighter€¦


I'm gonna guess these were Schlachtflieger, many pilots being transitioned in from Stukas with little (if any) additional fighter training.

A quote from Fritz Seyfardt, SG2. "As a Schlachtflieger, I had less to do with enemy fighters than with enemy ground attack machines, of which I shot down thirty. We also had contact with Russian fighters, but they for the most part avoided us so we really had no problem with them."

I don't see this as iconsistant with original post, as it was a huge front and the units involved were of varying quality. Looking forward to seeing additional quotes . . . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

ytareh
10-03-2005, 01:18 PM
Brilliant !!!

LW_lcarp
10-03-2005, 02:38 PM
that was some plane [I 16]! If you know how to fly it, you will fly on anything, even broomstick!


Sorta like in the origanal IL2 boy that thing was a beast to fly. Now anyone can fly it

jds1978
10-03-2005, 02:41 PM
WOW

tomtheyak
10-03-2005, 03:09 PM
...and there I was wondering what an animal doctor's recollections had to do with this sim... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Sorry, bad joke, just couldn't resist! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Seriously, fantastic read mate, pass on my respect and best regards to a brave and skilled pilot. He survived where many (& probably myself) wouldn't, and didn't.

...oh and anything this chap says please post; I'll happily absorb it!

p1ngu666
10-03-2005, 05:14 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

and yes, ask about the elivators..

Kuna15
10-03-2005, 05:23 PM
Something related to p1ngu's post (elevator authority on high speed);

25. What was the maximum speed (approximately) they could do in dive with Yak (types)?

LEXX_Luthor
10-03-2005, 07:33 PM
I made over 180 missions and more than 160 escort for Il-2.
Ask how successful his escort was in protecting IL-2. Ask how he protected IL-2. Ask if IL-2 did good work.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Thanks~

Waldo.Pepper
10-03-2005, 07:50 PM
Thank him for what he did for us.

FPSOLKOR
10-04-2005, 12:14 AM
Pt. II
Q: what can you tell me about german pilots?
A: I always respected them. Those who didn€t care perished. You remember I told you that 4 of us came together? Well, I€m the only survivor. At some point you start to believe that other one will die and forget about situation awareness. At this point you are killed. I was lucky to live through this moment.
Q: What can you tell me about planes you flew during war and after its end?
A: Yak 7 was a good fighter, though a bit underarmed. Yak 9 was really good, fast, agile. In 7a I could see backwards, but in 7b visibility backwards was very low. In 9 canopy was as a bubble, so everything was clear. After war I flew in airkobra and kingkobra. Worst ever plane I flew. Maybe because its engines resourse was worked out? I managed a few flights just befour Americans took them back for lend lease program. They put planes and cars under press, went outside terwaters and threw the metal overboard€¦ but demanded monkey wrenches to be in place! Then mig15 and 15bis.
Q: What about reliability?
A: descent. If not monitored carefully sometimes in m-105(do not know in English ¨ТУ) was damaged, and it led to engine blowouts.
Q: did you ever met Americans in the sky?
A: Yes. A couple of month after war end there was an American b-26 flying in our territory. I received an order from Moscow to shoot it down. I took of, gained him, but my mech forgot to load ammo, so my wingman killed that one. He shot 90 degrees from below, and it simply fell apart. Later we went on the crash site and saw bodies without chutes. There was a colonel there. Couple of times we were scrambled after britts, but there were no heroes among them.
Q: How the shooting was done?
A: in short bursts only. Shkas wont last more than 100 in a row. Shvak was exelent one of a gun. Ubs was even greater.
Q: And 37mm?
A: I killed 2 with that one. Aim by Ubs, one shot from 37, enemy fw explodes, I loose 100 km/h.
Q: Have you ever been on the strafing runs?
A: twice. We flew along roads and shot everything we saw. I got a couple of bullet holes and that€s it. Cant say about results, though. One of ours once described a srafing run when he overturned tiger by cannon fire. Non sense of course. Bullet cant do such damage.
Q: what is your opinion about Il-2?
A: that was a soldier! In the end of war we lost about 1 plane on 10 sorties, mainly flack, but on the 8 of may 1945 a flight of 2 Yaks and 1 il was lost due to fighters. And 1 hour after war ended!
Q: So fighters were present?
A: as I said, if we underestimated them, we died. If you were ready, they died. Germans were no match to us in dogfight, but as a hit and run€¦
Q: Have you met D9?
A: We saw them close in Marienfeld AB. The ordinary fws were rebuild to the standarts of D9 there. When they first appeared, every body was scared. But in a few fights we understood that there was nothing to be afraid of. It burned as well as other fokkers, and was easier to hit. I lost 3 kills with them because I could not leave Ils, so I had no confirmation of kill.
Q: Was it important to you?
A: not really. At that moment I had materials sent for HSU, and I did not need one. My job was to keep ils safe, and I did it well.
Q: Fw is supposed to have good dive?
A: and what? Il flew 5-10 meters above water level€¦ fw dive would be highly appreciated.
Q: do you believe in kill tolls by germans?
A: difficult to unswer. We had il crash landed 11 times. It fell, german could note it as kill, we restored it the next day, it is flying, we think it is battle damaged. But of course every body lied. We shot down german pilot who had pilot log with him. There was 7 kills on a day when entire front was on the ground.
Q: why you are not a HSU?
A: For woman, as every evel in this world.
Q: ???????
A: I had an affair with nurse in BAO, and my friend had an affair with a doctor. They had an argument, she hit him in the right eye, it became swollen. We had to take off immediately, and he flew. He missed Me from behind right, maybe because his eye couldn€t see as well€¦ when I landed i found out that she wrote to partburo about our amoral life while we were in the air. He was dead, my materials were recalled, she must have been happy.
Q: that€s sad story€¦
A: that€s life. I had 2 more chanses to get HSU. First was American b-26, second was korea. But we were loading for shipment when war ended. I served under command of V. Popkov then.
Q: You think you would be successful?
A: Yes. Unlike Americans we fought for idea, not for money. We were going to defend weak from strong.
Q: but I heard that kill was rewarded by money?
A: Yes. The procedure was if you kill you ask for a confirmation from ground forces, special commetee goes to the crash site. Confirmation could come from il flight if they saw where enemy fell. But not from your flight. Above water only ils confirmed kills. Then you get rewards. Money for plane and sorties. But it meant nothing. Most of us had all relatives killed by invaders. For example we had two brothers whose family of 15 was burned alive with their home and all women first raped. Only survivor was their 11 year old sister who was taken for further raping by some €œcivilized€ german officer. This €œbarbaric€ girl killed him with his own gun and was tortured by Gestapo when partisans saved her. When we were in germany we had a short strip in eastern Prussia, and on the left side of it was a trench filled with dead people. Stuff like this makes you angry. As far as I know in korea and Vietnam same s*it happened. All of us sent money earned to the state defence fund to help fight the enemy.
Q: War is not a pretty thing.
A: Yes. But we never allowed anything like that. Some s*it always happen, but we killed some marauders our selves.


The rest will be printed when I will have free time. Please remember that i'm reprinting from video record, so if something is unpleasant, its a part of the story

FPSOLKOR
10-04-2005, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by Kuna15:
FPSOLKOR that interview was great, although short one.
Its a part of it. I'm typing it from tape, and i do not have a lot of free time nowadays


That was some first flight. Awesome.
------------------------------------------------
Anyway here are some questions;

1. What were the squadron(s) he flew with?
2-nd detached squadron of baltic fleet, later it was joined into some regiment. I'll ask.

2. He also said he supported 35.ShAP bombers (I presume the Sturmoviks), specifically Batievskii (HSU recipient). Does that mean that he was covered specific bomber(s) in their formation or he was just flying escort without specific orders?
There was one order - die your self, but ils must get to their target, and if lucky, back.

3. What was the usual formation of Yak fighters (VIC, echelon right etc.)?
Ask

4. How long could they be airborne before they must return to base [RTB] due to low ammount of fuel (I know that depends on type, he flew several different Yak versions, but some rough estimation)? And also what was the range of Yak fighter (maybe if he can remember by Yak type)?
ask

5. What was their usual flight altitude when they weren't provide escort for bombers?
2000-3000m

6. And also when they provide escort, what was their usual position (in regard to bomber formation -- above, above behind, above in front... etc.), and altitude when they were on escort duty? Also usual Sturmovik flight altitude?
l.b. position behind on the sides above aprox 150-250m

7. What type of Yak fighter he flew was the most manouverable one?
ask

8. What Yak type he preffered to fly (his favourite)?
9

9. Did he liked NS-37mm cannon in Yak-9T type?
l.b.

10. Did he flew always with his fuel tank fully loaded or maybe not?
ask

11. Did he ever used RS-82 rockets; how were these regarded by VVS pilots -- did they liked them?
Never seen them.

12. Did he ever attacked some ground targets?
l.b.

13. What is the maximum altitude he ever flew, and in which type?
ask

14. Did he deployed flaps during combat with German fighters (dogfight)?
ask

15. What were the usual tactics of Messerschmitt fighters during dogfight? Did they accepted turnfight or...
ask

16. I see that he regarded Me-109 fighter as more dangerous and better suited for dogfight than FW-190 fighter/bomber. Did he flew against new German type FW-190D? If so, how good was that type in his opinion, or what was general Dora reputation among VVS pilots?
l.b.

17. Did he flew missions against Finland aircraft?
no

18. What is the largest group of enemy aircraft he engaged? Approximate number and types...?
ask to confirm, about 60 ju-87 with escorting 190 and 109

19. How were VVS pilots in his unit rewarded for a kill?
l.b.

20. How was he claimed enemy aircraft kill; what was kill claim procedure?
l.b.
Sorry for many questions, but I'm curious... not every day man have a chance to speak with ww2 veteran, let alone an ace, HSU recipient...
you should say almost recipient... L.b.

Ask - i'll ask him
l.b. - look below

FPSOLKOR
10-04-2005, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by Kuna15:
21. What type of fuel they used on Yaks (octanes)?
90+, after war ended some engines were rebuilt for 87

22. What were the usual convergences for guns/cannons?
does not remember, its mechs work

23. About visibility from Yak canopy... what were his impressions? Also did Yak canopy (glass) suffered from 'Yellow-ish' process after being exposed to sun rays for some time? LaGG pilots often complained about that.
l.b. for pIII

24. How reliable Yak fighter was? What were common malfunctions of Yak, if there are any?
l.b.

FPSOLKOR
10-04-2005, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by IL2-chuter:

I'm gonna guess these were Schlachtflieger, many pilots being transitioned in from Stukas with little (if any) additional fighter training.

A quote from Fritz Seyfardt, SG2. "As a Schlachtflieger, I had less to do with enemy fighters than with enemy ground attack machines, of which I shot down thirty. We also had contact with Russian fighters, but they for the most part avoided us so we really had no problem with them."

I don't see this as iconsistant with original post, as it was a huge front and the units involved were of varying quality. Looking forward to seeing additional quotes . . . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif
May be.. But in Reichs defense there were few such pilots, and in the end of war only best flew... Its doubteos. You cant ask dead?

Kuna15
10-04-2005, 06:47 AM
Awesome. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Texas LongHorn
10-04-2005, 11:21 PM
I must say gents, this is one very cool thread. One memory I have of my Uncle Sydney was that late in the war he moved from the the ETO to the Pacific. One day he and some of the boys stopped off for gas on Tinian and saw the "Enola Gay," while of course it was not named that yet. Some of the pilots where concerned about a full load takeoff. Tibbetts rippers the fat pig down the runway, cuts ONE ENGINE and still makes it off. He then proceded to do low level aerobatics in a fully loaded B-29! Syd said in some of the passes and banks the AC was no more than fifty feet off the ground and less when banking!!! I suppose some dumb officers where changing their shorts that day <ggg.> All the best, LongHorn

Enforcer572005
10-05-2005, 12:01 AM
wow, just had time to read this. amazing. Kuna's questions are very good. Im curious about the circumstances of the B26....but there are more important questions regarding plane performance and historical info that will be more useful to us.

INteresting that he didnt like the P39, that it was the worse plane he flew. nor the P63. I can only assume that his elaboration meant that they were all worn out.

Some of those planes made it korea, but little info on that to. I hope this is an ongoing thread.....I am also grateful for his story and his service in ww2 as well.

FlatSpinMan
10-05-2005, 03:08 AM
Thanks for posting this stuff FPSOLKOR. very interesting read. Surprising about the B-26. Also, i love the comment about Fw190s diving when the il-2s were flying at 10m above the water http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

FPSOLKOR
10-05-2005, 10:35 PM
PtIII

Q: Do you know who you fought against?
A: Yes, Fokker drivers had gray heart on their sides, we called them €œserie zhopy€ (grey asses). It was great for aiming, right at the cabins side and large enough to see. If you hit it, you could be sure that pilot is dead. We were told that they were jg54, later we met jg2 Richthofen, they had red gothic R in white shield. Messers were from jg 53 and 77, I think. Not sure though.
Q: What was your plane markings?
A: Color always grey €" we were meant to fly at sea, half a fuselage number 39 in white, kill marks as white stars (except 9t where they were red) on the left side a bit behind me.
Q: Do you remember your most challenging fight?
A: It was in autumn of 1944 I think€¦ Can€t remember exactly€¦ We were covering Il-2 from 38-th regiment, when we were jumped by 18 FW-190. They attempted attack on Ils by hitting them from upper-behind, but we were on guard and repelled that attack. One FW was damaged by Ils rear gunners. Then bravest German went under Ils to try and get them from below, but they went to low, and trying to keep himself safe he flew straight into high wave. The plane broke like glass. I had no time to see what happened next, we were engaged in a heavy fight. I went head-on with FW for 3 or 4 times, and finally he hit my tail fin with tip of his prop. No serious damage was done; I did not even notice it in flight, only on the ground I saw what happened. I scored a hit then, and saw an enemy pilot going down on the chute. About 180cm, redhead freckled. I wanted to take a closer look but had no time.
Q: What was most common tactic for German attacks?
A: It was always the same: high speed attack with an attempt to extend upwards. That is where we caught them. They dove steeply, at this moment we started to gain altitude in a shallow climb. At this moment they would start steep climb, and finally we met at the same altitude with the same speed about 200 m apart. Now it was time to kill! Their first attack was fruitless, they were too fast to aim correctly and too afraid to dive real low, so our job was not to let them have second attempt. If a dog fight started, we usually were engaged with Messers, while FW were above, trying to pick those who were damaged or careless. If we were with Lavochkins, they would attack Fokkers from the sun, and Messers would disengage. The problem was that flak from both sides would shoot in the fur ball trying to pick anything they could regardless of the nationality.
Q: Do you remember if Ils hit our troops?
A: No. We went too deep. About 60 km from the front line.
Q: What is your opinion about shooting a pilot going down on the chute?
A: Everybody who came to the squadron from ZAP was full of ideas that war in the air was something like a knights tournament. I was the same, but quite soon we were shown that it is not so. Germans attempted to kill all parachutists when they had a chance. I saw once how after a big fight reinforcements of 4 me-109 came, and instead of attacking us (we were low and slow, sitting ducks practically) they started attack run on the chutists. What they did not know is that it were their own pilots€¦ We gained speed and altitude, and they refused fight. We were low on fuel and had to leave engagement area.
Q: Still, did you shoot enemy chutists?
A: Honestly, I was too bad at shooting to waste my ammo on them. It would take more than a half of my ammo to kill him. I do know about some cases though. If a pilot goes down on his territory it is not so bad idea to kill him, or if he bailed over our territory, it is better keeping him alive.
Q: Can you remember something funny about war time?
A: We used to have some fun on daily basis. You know, we€d be mad in a week without some rest€¦ Once I remember flying out on an intercept. I noticed a dot ahead and went after it. I almost boiled out my engine only to find out that it was some spot on the windscreen! It was a matter of jokes for a month!
Q: Was it a problem with glass?
A: There was no glass, it was Plexiglas. It went a bit yellowish after about 10 sorties, and then we removed it and made port cigars out of them. I had my armored glass removed. It gave me eye pains. Some pilots removed moving part of the cockpit. Sometimes it jammed when you would need to bail out.
Q: Were you not afraid to get a bullet in the windscreen?
A: Not really. If you will see from strait front of Yak, you will notice how small the screen was. I read a lot of books written by WWII flyers, and I can say that according to it all of them shot the left ball of the enemy pilot with the first bullet, right ball with the second and after that 3-d and 4-th bullet tore ears out€¦ That is not true. Most possible aiming in the real fight would be wing, tail, front or rear fuselage. Those who tried to aim for the balls usually had a couple of 20 or 30mm cucumbers up their asses before they pulled trigger.
Q: What do you think about Ils defenses?
A: They were descent. Rear gunner with good enough training could kill anything in a 300m radius, and sorry German to get in front of Il! 3-4 round of VYa (not speaking about 37mm, but I haven€t seen a lot of those) usually disintegrated any fighter, and I saw it with my own eyes! We were protecting Ils and were hit by couples of long FWs, they went below Sturmoviks, and pulled up in front of them (we were at about 500m). The flight leader received it from 3 Ils simultaneously €" in both wings and fuselage. I remember a cloud after explosion, and all that was left of it was a tail wheel€¦ His wingman got 1 or 2 23mm in the cockpit, and zoomed upwards. I went after him, thinking that he was going to escape, but when I gained on him I saw that up to the wing level there was no cockpit wall, no movable part of the glass, and a bloody mess was all that left of the pilot. The plane made a couple of loops then spinned and went to the bottom of the sea.
Q: Expilots often wrote that the commanding officers usually sat at the base and were not too keen on flying combat missions?
A: I can€t say about other fronts, but in Leningrad no man sat on the ground without flying. There was a queue if there were not enough planes. You live in this city and you know what it went through!
Q: Of course I do. But pilots had an increased food ratio. Wasn€t it difficult for you to eat it?
A: When I arrived it was a lot better, but those who served in early years said that it was terrible! Mechs were fed as workers (only 250 grams of bread daily, if I€m not mistaken, a full loaf of bread costed a Rembrandts picture or a half a kilo of 583 gold at the worst days on the black market), and pilots had chocolate daily. Pilots gave their food for ground crew, but after two cases of deaths in the air of starvation it was forbidden. Each time someone flew to the Big Land they would load a plane with food to the top, leaving even ammo on the ground. Surprisingly, not a single thief appeared on the base!
Q: Did Germans disturb you at the AB?
A: Only once I had to wait for landing clearance, when a bomber dropped a 500kg bomb on a runway, and I had to wait in the air until it was dragged aside by tractor.
Q: Wasn€t it dangerous?
A: If the bomb didn€t blow in the first 5 minutes it usually did not blow for at least 4 hours. There were only this 2 time fuses used.
Q: What do you think about war as such?
A: It was the happiest and saddest time€¦ Sad because there was too much anger and grief, and happiest€¦ I was doing what I wanted to do! No flight plans, only winning counted, I had real friends, and most of them are dead by now€¦ We knew what we were trying to do, and why! War for those who fight is a test of what they are made of€¦ It gives you experience which you will never get other way. And you know it well (I was in Chechen republic for 2 month in 95-96 with humanitarian mission and had to fight against terrorists, although it was not intended). For civilians its hell, for soldier it is hard, dirty, stinky and dangerous job€¦ When war ends civilians start to say this and that about things that were done by the soldiers, some don€t have any excuses, but it all must bet left in the war. My hands are in blood by elbows, but I€m still proud of what I have done, and would have repeated everything if I had chance! This is why I can€t see Hollywood films about war€¦ Americans did not win that war. Their war was with Japan, not Germany. That war they won, not our. Neither Russians, nor Germans were cretins, how they are described.
Q: Your word for those to come?
A: Keep peace, in time of war do not hesitate, but be a man, not a beast, when war ends, stop, do not take anger with you, forgive, but forget nothing!

After taking him to the computer club and showing him an Il-2:
Q: What do you think?
A: Great! I want to fly again€¦ But guys, if I flew like this in the war time I€d be dead by now!
Q: What? We are not fast enough?
A: No, You are doing to much high Gs! You are flying to sharp! I noticed, that you were doing high Gs for 6 minutes now, and in real life it was no more than 3 Gs for most turns, and in 2 minutes you were not able to see what gauges showed! It is hard work!

After taking him to the sport plane Bychye Pole AB in Kronshtadt (on the place of the old strip)
- Hey, gramps, careful! Do not fall!
- Let us get in to the air, and I€ll show you who is gramps here!
Half an hour later. Instructor is puking by the planes side.
- Now you know who you tried to insult? You fly like a whale! And you think that you are a sportsmen! Who taught you to fly? I want to spit in his face!
Plane went for wing skin change due to excess Gs€¦

LEXX_Luthor
10-05-2005, 11:59 PM
Aussom! Thanks~

GAU-8
10-06-2005, 02:07 AM
thank you...

great read http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

please get more info with him, personally i dont want to see him answering aircraft stat questions, keep it real, like you have. its nice to see stories about THEM, rather than "what can/did the aircraft do in a situation like"this".

as far as IL-2 sim concerns, how does he LOOK AT US? IS IT SOMETHING THAT BOTHERS HIM? OR does something like this renew him again?

i wonder how he would feel, once a track-ir is used http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

would like to see commentary again while he is using the sim, i bet some stories may come out, while he is just flying around looking at scenenry/gauges , that we might not have ever heard, if he wasnt using the sim .

FPSOLKOR
10-06-2005, 06:31 AM
Well, thats about it. if any questions will be present, post em, and i'll check it with him. It was hard work to get him started... But Il-2 helped. His eyesight is not too good by now, but he still flyes... in real life and does some sightseeng in il-2. When he takes a stick in hand you see that he was a war pilot - he suddenly turns very small, just enough to fit behind armored seat!

FPSOLKOR
10-06-2005, 06:35 AM
I asked him, and he said that this can be published anywhere you like, but without additions. Maybe someone will post it in complete story somewhere?

dieg777
10-06-2005, 12:34 PM
Please pass on my thanks to Mr Tikhomirov for taking the time out to tell his story. We only play this game and he lived through so much. Records like his should be kept for the future, he sounds a remarkable man and still very fiesty !!!

I would be grateful if you could let him know that people from around the world will read this and appreciate again the efforts that he and his comrades undertook in the defence of their homelands.

Kuna15
10-06-2005, 01:18 PM
It would be very nice if some of his stories find their way into future reprinted editions of

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/osp_img/titlecovers/P6329AL.JPG http://www.ospreypublishing.com/osp_img/titlecovers/S8456AL.JPG




...perhaps better in second book http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. -->

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/title_detail.php/title=S8456~ser=ACE~per=36

FPSOLKOR
10-06-2005, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Kuna15:
It would be very nice if some of his stories find their way into future reprinted editions of

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/osp_img/titlecovers/P6329AL.JPG http://www.ospreypublishing.com/osp_img/titlecovers/S8456AL.JPG




...perhaps better in second book http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. -->

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/title_detail.php/title=S8456~ser=ACE~per=36
I'd be happy if something like this will happen. But i'm not in contact with the editor. Maybe you will help? I'd highly appreciate it. Still, while he is alive some questions needed could be asked, besides, some documentary proof can be provided.

FPSOLKOR
10-07-2005, 12:01 AM
For those interested in similar topics, sorry, some are in russian.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/index.htm
http://www.airforce.ru/staff/index.htm
http://militera.lib.ru/
http://www.web-captain.com/1class/
http://www.airpages.ru/eng/index.html
http://www.brazd.ru/books/b0001/s/o_kozhedube/
http://aces.boom.ru/
http://www.iremember.ru/pilots/pilots_r.html
This last one has a lot of great stuff, in russian only... Sorry!

Kuna15
10-07-2005, 06:59 AM
Thanks for nice links mate.
I have only first title of those two mentioned above -- Soviet Aces Of WW2.
This is the picture from first page of that book (I have noticed that on very first time I opened that book) regarding to what I have posted:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b366/Kuna15/soviet_aces_osprey.gif

I have also ordered Yak Aces of WW2 but I am afraid it will pass about one month before I get that book (I live in East Europe).

Kuna15
10-07-2005, 07:43 AM
I've just checked few other books from Osprey, they all have the same contact adress as in picture above. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

jds1978
10-07-2005, 03:12 PM
this thread (or at least the interview parts) must be stickied http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Enforcer572005
10-09-2005, 08:29 PM
Wow, this man even fought chechen terrorists in his 70s...bet those clowns didnt count on meeting some1 like him in combat. his lifes story would make a great book. This is one American who really admires his warrior ethic and is greatful for his service during ww2.

I know that cameras may not have been as common among Soviet pilots as they were american and brits, but does he have any photos?

I bet he also has all sorts of information on ops in korea and during the cold war from guys he knew and his position in the VVS. I appreciate your great effort in making this info and his existance known. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

FPSOLKOR
10-10-2005, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by Enforcer572005:
Wow, this man even fought chechen terrorists in his 70s... Not him, me. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

FPSOLKOR
10-10-2005, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Enforcer572005:
I know that cameras may not have been as common among Soviet pilots as they were american and brits, but does he have any photos?

Some photos will be done in a following month (sorry, i'm just too busy now). They will be passed to Kuna. If he will be ready to post em, good.

Kuna15
10-10-2005, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by FPSOLKOR:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Enforcer572005:
I know that cameras may not have been as common among Soviet pilots as they were american and brits, but does he have any photos?

Some photos will be done in a following month (sorry, i'm just too busy now). They will be passed to Kuna. If he will be ready to post em, good. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would be more than happy to post the pictures on the forum, I would enjoy to see some photographs, many thanks mate. You should really consider to send some of this stuff to mr.Tony Holmes (Osprey contact). All stuff will be fully credited to their source. In all Osprey books ("Aircraft Of The Aces" series) there are sidenote in which is invitation for any material related to elite pilots and their exploits, (which mr.Tikhomirov certainly is) as can be seen in picture I posted above under Editor's Note.

I am positive that great ammount of aviation lovers and enthusiasts (especially those that like ww2 aviation, myself included http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif) will be more than pleased to see/read this stories as they are most interesting.

This is mr.Tony Holmes e-mail, I found it in LaGG & Lavochkin Aces of WW2 Editor's Note (it would be easier to make contact with him this way, and ask him his opinion on this material):

tony.holmes@osprey-jets.freeserve.co.uk

Osprey Aviation pages:
http://www.ospreypublishing.com/list_by_period.php/per=36

jugent
12-03-2005, 07:51 AM
Now I know one of the sources for the FW flightmodel in this game.

Fw was shot on site. It was too slow and weighted too much. Actually it was heavier than Il-2. I can€t understand how it can be called a €œfighter€€¦ Interceptor of bombers maybe, but fighter€¦

FPSOLKOR
12-04-2005, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by jugent:
Now I know one of the sources for the FW flightmodel in this game.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Fw was shot on site. It was too slow and weighted too much. Actually it was heavier than Il-2. I can€t understand how it can be called a €œfighter€€¦ Interceptor of bombers maybe, but fighter€¦ </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Go to the vets 2 thread and take a look at his kill count... I'd say, it's all about pilots!

Kuna15
12-04-2005, 06:15 AM
We can be killed 1000 times in game before we learn to fly some planes properly, in this case FW-190.
Inexperienced German pilot didn't have such oportunity. I presume that is the reason why he regarded FW-190 (and most of VVS pilots, they tended to favour Bf-109 more afaik) as being easier oponent than Bf-109.

p1ngu666
12-04-2005, 08:28 AM
many thanks again http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

BfHeFwMe
12-04-2005, 02:44 PM
KAL 007

Skyraider3D
12-16-2005, 08:51 AM
The Fw 190 wasn't a difficult plane to fly and it wasn't a sitting duck either. He probably encountered fighter bomber variants. He also mentioned it was slow. Very odd as most German and western pilots thought it was the fastest thing in the sky at low and medium altitudes, until the arrival of the Tempest.

I share Jugent's sentiments to be honest. The Fw 190 in PF remains undermodelled.

Additionally, the veteran pilot mentioned that it's hard work to pull G's - and it is! And this was one area where the Fw 190 totally excelled. It was extremely light on the controls and this undoubtedly helped the 190's pilots a lot.

There are only two real weaknesses in the 190 - and one of them is even considered a strength by some. Firstly its less than impressive turn rate. Initial turn rate is very good though but it can't sustain a turn. Secondly its vicious stall. But either weakness could be exploited by its pilots to their benefit too. The Fw 190 could do very effective scissors and the stall-roll was a favourite escape technique. Stall, flip over, disappear. Remember, in real life there are cockpits, engiens and wings obscuring the view, and no blue arrows or F6... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Any way, interesting read although I did raise an eyebrow now and then. Thanks for sharing! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

bogusheadbox
12-16-2005, 09:49 AM
Just wanted to reply becuase this in an exceptional post.

Thank you.

Insightful and wonderful.
And yet i still won't fully understand.

Thank you.

zoinksu52
12-31-2005, 05:24 AM
bump for a do not miss thread.

DDastardlySID
01-05-2006, 11:01 AM
Many thanks for sharing these memories - I loved the story about the instructor at Kronshtadt as well. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

One thing I'm curious about, though, is whether Mr Tikhomirov had a go on the sim himself at the computer club or if he just watched others playing? Either way, it would be wonderful to hear more about his impressions of the differences (or similarities) between his real experiences and the simulation - it was fascinating to read his comment about the way you guys were flying and G-force, for example.

Anyway thanks again for posting - it's threads like these which make wading through all the whining or drivel like Raaaid's latest anti-gravity device or perpetual motion machine worthwhile.
Cheers,
DickDastardly

FPSOLKOR
01-05-2006, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by DDastardlySID:
is whether Mr Tikhomirov had a go on the sim himself at the computer club or if he just watched others playing?

He did flew, and that was a view! He got as small as possible, trying to hide behind armored plate, nd he flew as a rw pilot - which is easy, no high g-s. We were a bit laughy at first, but when he shot down a 109 of my friend which was over 200 km\h faster we became respectfull. His eyes do not allow him for long computer riding, so he tried and quit.

Ala11_Kal
01-06-2006, 03:23 AM
Bump and thanks. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

arrow80
02-08-2006, 10:40 AM
bump! great story.

Max.Power
02-09-2006, 03:17 AM
Have any other veterans contributed to this forum? We should collect their names in a single post and sticky it with links as to their stories as monuments to these heros. There will come a time when there is not a single WW2 veteran remaining on earth, and that time is soon.

CzechTexan
02-09-2006, 08:26 AM
Spasibo Bolshoy http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Philipscdrw
02-09-2006, 08:58 AM
Wow - I wish I'd seen this thread earlier!

Thanks very much, FPSOLKOR and Mr. Tikhomirov...

Jambock_sydy
02-12-2006, 05:44 AM
Just would like to say thanks for the post.


Thank you very much!

SeaFireLIV
06-28-2007, 06:33 PM
I have to print this stuff and save. It`s what makes me have respect and remembrance while flying IL2.

Rebumped and thanks.

buzzsaw1939
06-28-2007, 08:32 PM
I'm haveing a little trouble reading this thread, watery eyes, must be something in the air! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

polak5
06-29-2007, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by FPSOLKOR:


After taking him to the sport plane Bychye Pole AB in Kronshtadt (on the place of the old strip)
- Hey, gramps, careful! Do not fall!
- Let us get in to the air, and I€ll show you who is gramps here!


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
THx for posting great read!