La-5/7 vs Fw 190: Eastern Front 1942-45 (Duel)

Soviet fighter aviation suffered extraordinarily by the hands of the Jagdwaffe within the first yr of the conflict within the east, and with the coming of JG fifty one and its Fw 190s at the Stalingrad entrance in September 1942 issues purely received worse for the hard-pressed pink military Air strength pilots. in spite of the fact that, support used to be on its approach within the kind of the re-engined LaGG-3 fighter, which used to be outfitted with a strong air-cooled M-82 radial engine. targeted the La-5, the hot fighter was once in a position to withstanding extra punishment than the delicate LaGG-3, and it was once additionally noticeably speedier and had a better expense of climb. It used to be extra of a handful to fly, notwithstanding, however the new iteration of higher informed pilots who have been led into strive against by means of the survivors of 1941-42 speedy stumbled on the La-5 (and, later, the enhanced La-7) a great deal to their liking. Arriving within the frontline in August 1942, the hot Lavochkin opponents quickly stumbled on themselves pitted into motion at the principal region opposed to the both new Fw 190As of JG fifty one. the 1st clashes came about in November of that yr, and from then at the Focke-Wulf fighter would continually conflict with its counterpart from Lavochkin.

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Their opposite numbers, nonetheless, had usually purely simply accomplished their flying education, and them all have been new to the La-5. a customary Luftwaffe pilot from this era used to be Hauptmann Heinz Lange, who had scored his first kill in October 1939. A Staffelkapitän with I. /JG fifty four at the Leningrad entrance from past due 1941, he were given command of three. /JG fifty one on 26 October: I first flew the Fw one hundred ninety on eight November 1942 at Vyazma, within the Soviet Union. i used to be totally overjoyed. I flew each fighter model of it hired at the jap entrance. due to its smaller fuselage, visibility was once a little bit greater out of the Bf 109. i think the Focke-Wulf used to be extra manoeuvrable than the Messerschmitt – even though the latter can make a tighter horizontal flip, in case you mastered the Fw a hundred ninety you'll pull loads of Gs and just do approximately to boot. when it comes to keep watch over strength and believe, the Bf 109 was once heavier at the stick. within the Fw a hundred ninety aerobatics have been a excitement! Structurally, it was once quite more suitable to the Messerschmitt, in particular in dives. The radial engine of the Fw 190A was once additionally extra proof against enemy fireplace. Firepower, which different with the actual sequence, was once particularly even in all German combatants. The principal cannon of the Messerschmitt was once evidently extra exact, yet that used to be particularly a significant virtue simply in fighter-versus-fighter wrestle. The Bf 109’s 20mm cannon usually jammed, particularly in challenging turns – I misplaced a minimum of six kills this fashion. within the improvement of our fighter operations, the main major step used to be our transition from the closed Kette of 3 aeroplanes to the four-aeroplane ‘finger-fours’ Schwarm. This innovation used to be built throughout the Spanish Civil struggle with massive aid by way of Werner Mölders. I characteristic to this tactic the excessive variety of kills attained through German fighter pilots. © Osprey Publishing • www. ospreypublishing. com OVERLEAF On 28 August 1943, Capt Ivan Kozich (who had develop into an HSU precisely one week prior) and his wingman Jnr Lt Storozhko of 721st IAP have been appearing an aerial reconnaissance sweep west of Orel, at the Bryansk entrance, of their La-5Fs after they have been attacked by means of 8 Fw 190s cut up into formations of 4 plane. The Soviet pilots noticed the 1st team of FockeWulfs drawing close them from at the back of at their altitude of 12,000ft, whereas the second one quartet of enemy opponents was once off to the ideal a few 2,000ft better. Kozich instantly became in the direction of the rear 4 Fw 190s, which have been nearer, and fired a burst into the lead plane in the course of a head-on assault. His target used to be bad, in spite of the fact that, so he switched ambitions to the Fw a hundred ninety to the left of the chief. Kozich’s rounds hit him and he observed the fighter fall away and crash. via now the second one German formation had arrived too, and Kozich throttled again and used the La-5F’s unequalled manoeuvrability to accomplish a decent diving flip that put him instantly at the back of all 4 Fw 190s. Firing from a distance of simply 150ft, he quick downed the Focke-Wulf to the left of the formation chief. Reacting to those losses, the remainder Fw a hundred ninety pilots succeeded in downing Storozhko (his dying used to be credited to Oberleutnant Robert Weiss of three.

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