Every war is a terrible grief for anypeople, which it somehow affects. During its history, mankind has experienced many wars, two of which were world wars. The first world almost completely destroyed Europe and led to the fall of some major empires, such as the Russian and Austro-Hungarian. But even more terrible in scale was the Second World War, in which many countries from virtually all parts of the world were involved. Millions of people died, more left without a roof over their heads. This terrible event still affects one way or another modern man. His echoes can be found throughout our lives. This tragedy has left behind many mysteries, the disputes over which have not subsided for decades. The heaviest burden was assumed in this battle not for life, but for death, then still not fully strengthened from the revolution and civil wars, and only the Soviet Union, which was building up its military and peaceful industry. In the hearts of people settled an irreconcilable rage and a desire to fight the invaders, who encroached on the territorial integrity and freedom of the proletarian state. Many went to the front voluntarily. At the same time, there was a reorganization of the evacuated industrial facilities for the production of products for the needs of the front. The struggle took on a truly popular scale. That's why it is called the Great Patriotic War.
Who are the aes?
Both the German and Soviet armies wereperfectly trained and equipped with technology, aviation and other weapons. The personnel numbered in the millions. The clash of such two military machines gave birth to their heroes and their traitors. One of those who can rightfully be considered heroes are the World War II aces. Who are they and what are they so famous for? Ace can be considered a person who has achieved in his field of activity such heights that few have managed to conquer. And even in such a dangerous and terrible business as the military, there have always been professionals. Both the USSR and the allied forces, and Nazi Germany had people who showed the best results in terms of the number of destroyed equipment or the enemy's manpower. About these heroes and this article will tell.
The list of the Aces of the Second World War is extensive and includes many personalities known for their exploits. They were an example for the whole people, they were adored, admired by them.
Air aces of World War II
Aviation - without a doubt, one of the mostromantic, but at the same time dangerous arms. Since any technique can be refused at any time, the pilot's case is considered very honorable. It requires an iron endurance, discipline, the ability to control oneself in any situation. Therefore, they were treated with great respect. After all, be able to show good results in such conditions, when your life depends not only on technology, but also on yourself, is the highest level of military art. So, who are they - the pilots-aces of the Second World War, and why are their exploits so famous?
One of the most effective Sovietpilot-aces was Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub. Officially, he, during his service on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, shot down 62 German aircraft, and he is also credited with 2 American fighters, which he destroyed already at the end of the war. This pilot-record holder served in the 176th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment and flew on the La-7.
The second in terms of effectiveness during the war wasAlexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin (who was awarded three times the title of Hero of the Soviet Union). He fought in South Ukraine, in the Black Sea, liberated Europe from the Nazis. During his service he shot down 59 enemy planes. He did not stop flying even when he was appointed commander of the 9th Guards Air Division, and won some of his air victories while already in this position.
Nikolai Dmitrievich Gulayev is one of the mostknown military pilots, who set a record - 4 sorties per destroyed aircraft. In total, for his military service, he destroyed 57 enemy aircraft. He was twice awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Also a high result was in KirillAlekseevich Evstigneev. He shot down 55 German aircraft. Kozhedub, who had occasion to serve with Yevstigneev in the same regiment, spoke very respectfully of this pilot.
Dmitry Borisovich Glinka is also a Soviet ace. He destroyed 50 enemy aircraft in 100 combat sorties. He was awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union twice.
Apparently, the Soviet Aes of World War II knew how to fight and did it courageously and selflessly.
But the allies of the allied aviation had very good indicators. Among them, you can identify many brave pilots, but they still do not hold out on performance to the Soviet "falcons".
Major Richard Bong had a list of victories in whichthere were 40 downed enemy vehicles. He is one of the most productive pilots of the Allies. After the war, Bong became a test pilot, but was killed when testing a new F-80 aircraft, unable to jump out of it with a parachute after the car was refused by the engine.
Briton Johnson James during the war shot down 34enemy cars. He commanded one of the strike groups of aircraft during the landing in Normandy in 1944. He began to fight in March 1943, flying on the Spitfire fighters.
The American pilot, Major Thomas McGuire, shot down 38enemy aircraft. He was awarded many American awards, including the Medal of Honor of Congress. Killed in battle near the island of Los Negros at the age of 24 years. This happened on January 7, 1945.
Frenchman Pierre Klosterman was in the air 30victories, and also destroyed a large number of ground equipment - locomotives, cars and trucks. At the age of 24 he was able to achieve the rank of colonel of aviation, in which he ended the war.
Asa Luftwaffe World War II deservedly considered the most effective pilots in history. One of them even became the record holder of the Guinness Book of Records. Who was this brave pilot?
The most famous German ace of World War IIand at the same time a man who has established a record for the number of downed planes by nobody is Erich Hartmann. On his battle account there are 352 downed enemy planes, and more than half of the victories he scored over the fighters (260). Hartmann flew exclusively on the Messerschmitt Bf 109G and said that it was the best of the planes he had ever seen. At the end of the war, he surrendered to the Americans who gave him to the Soviet troops. The result was almost a 10-year imprisonment in the camps, but Erich managed to return to his wife and children and died at an advanced age. The record set by him, truly amazes, because none of the Soviet or allied aces could achieve such an impressive result.
Hans-Joachim Marcel - German pilot who foughtmainly in Africa. During her military service, and she was short, she shot down in total 158 planes of Americans and British. He crashed in the desert, when approaching his airfield, after the successful performance of the combat mission, but it happened because of problems in the plane. He was buried with great honors.
Gerhard Bakhorn - another German as. On his battle account 301 aircraft. Buckhorn was severely injured several times, because, in addition to the combat pilot, he was also a test pilot, in particular, he was flying around the world's first Me-262 jet fighter. After the war he was engaged in testing aircraft for the rehabilitated German air force.
But are the German Aes of World War II reallywars in aviation were so professional that they could alone destroy the number of aircraft comparable to the three air divisions? In many respects, their success is due to the rather weak flight preparation of Soviet pilots. At the beginning of the war, the USSR lost about 1,200 aircraft, which affected the state of all aviation. Naturally, along with the planes, people died who could fly. In such conditions, accelerated flight courses were quickly organized, which were able to restore the number of pilots, but at the expense of quality. For example, the average flying time of the Soviet pilot in the school was 13-34 hours, while the same figure for the Germans - about 400 hours. In addition, the German tactics of conducting air combat at the beginning of the war was on the head above the Russian. Closer to the end of hostilities, the situation changed in the opposite direction.
As we see, the pilots-aces of World War IIshowed really impressive results. But not only they were famous for their exploits. What other military arms gave the world the glorified masters of military craft?
Tankists-Aces of the Second World War
No less important in the course of hostilitiesarmored troops. Tankmen have always been very brave soldiers. Since you can destroy a tank in many ways, it's easy to guess that the danger was waiting for them everywhere. Nevertheless, tankmen always valiantly fought for the ideals of their country and no doubt gave their lives for them. And, of course, among them were also the famous aces of World War II.
The most famous Soviet tank master isDmitry Lavrinenko, who could boast of a personal combat account in 52 enemy tanks. This soldier fought the enemy on the famous T-34, which was one of the symbols of that war.
Another famous Soviet tankman The Secondworld - Zinoviy Kolobanov. His feat was introduced into many textbooks and books, as he was able to destroy 22 German tanks in one battle (this is the second most in number among the history of tank battles of the Second World War).
But, despite the fact that the tank forces wereone of the most numerous in the Soviet Army, tank-aces of the Second World War for some reason the USSR was not. Why it is so is unknown. It is logical to assume that many personal scores are obviously overestimated or underestimated, therefore it is not possible to name the exact number of victories of the above-mentioned masters of tank combat.
German tank aces
But the German tank aces of World War IIhave a much larger track record. In many respects this is due to the pedantry of the Germans, who all strictly documented, and they had much more time to fight than their Soviet "colleagues". The German army began active operations in 1939.
The German tankman No. 1 is HauptsturmfuhrerMichael Wittmann. He fought on many tanks (Stug III, Tiger I) and destroyed during the entire war 138 vehicles, as well as 132 self-propelled artillery mounts of various enemy countries. For his successes he was repeatedly awarded various orders and signs of the Third Reich. He died in battle in 1944 in France.
Also it is possible to allocate such a tank ace, asOtto Carius. For those who are somehow interested in the history of the development of tank forces of the Third Reich, the book of his memoirs Tigers in the Mud will be very useful. During the war years, this man destroyed 150 Soviet and American ACS and tanks.
Kurt Knispel is another tank-record holder. He knocked 168 tanks and self-propelled guns for his military service. About 30 cars are unconfirmed, which does not allow him to match the results with Wittmann. Kinspel died in battle near the village of Vostits in Czechoslovakia, in 1945.
In addition, Karl Bromann had good results - 66 tanks and self-propelled guns, Ernst Barkmann - 66 tanks and self-propelled guns, Erich Mausberg - 53 tanks and self-propelled guns.
As can be seen from these results, bothSoviet, and German tank aces of World War II knew how to fight. Of course, the number and quality of Soviet military vehicles was an order of magnitude higher than that of the Germans, but as practice has shown, both have been used quite successfully and have become the basis for some post-war tank models.
But on this list of arms, in which distinguished their masters, does not end. Let's talk a little about the submarine-aes.
Masters of the submarine warfare
Just like in the case of aviation and tanks,The most successful are German sailors. Submariners Kriegsmarine for the years of its existence sank 2603 ships of the allied countries, the total displacement of which reaches 13.5 million tons. This is really an impressive figure. Yes, and impressive personal accounts of German Aes-submariners of World War II, too, could boast.
The most productive German submariner is Otto Krechmer, on account of which there are 44 ships, including 1 destroyer. The total displacement of the sunken ships is 266629 tons.
In second place - Wolfgang Lut, who sent to the bottom of 43 enemy ships (and according to other sources - 47) with a total displacement of 225,712 tons.
Also known as the sea ace was Gunter Prin,which managed to sink even the British battleship Royal Oak. It was one of the first officers to receive oak leaves to the Knight's Cross. Prin destroyed 30 ships. He was killed in 1941 when the British convoy attacked. He was so popular that his death for two months was hiding from the people. And on the day of his funeral, mourning was declared for the whole country.
Such successes of German sailors are also quiteare explainable. The fact is that Germany began the naval war back in 1940, with the siege of Britain, thus hoping to undermine its maritime majesty and, using this, to successfully capture the islands. However, very soon the plans of the Hitlerites were foiled, since America joined the war with its large and powerful fleet.
Did the Soviet Union have the ace among the submariners?
The most famous Soviet sailor of the submarine fleet- Alexander Marinesko. He sank only 4 ships, but what! Heavy passenger liner "Wilhelm Gustloff", transport "General von Steuben", as well as 2 units of the heavy floating "Helene" and "Siegfried". For his exploits, Hitler introduced the sailor to the list of personal enemies. But the fate of Marinesco did not work out well. He fell into disgrace with Soviet power and died, but his deeds ceased to speak. The award of the Hero of the Soviet Union was received only posthumously in 1990 by a great sailor. Unfortunately, many of the aes of the USSR World War II ended their lives in this way.
Also famous submariners of the Soviet Unionare Ivan Travkin - sunk 13 ships, Nikolai Lunin - also 13 ships, Valentin Starikov - 14 ships. But Marinesko topped the list of the best submariners of the Soviet Union, as he caused the greatest damage to the German navy.
Accuracy and stealth
Well, how can I not remember such famousfighters like snipers? Here, the Soviet Union takes the deserved palm tree of the championship from Germany. Soviet snipers-aces of the Second World War possessed very high service accounts. In many respects, such results were achieved thanks to massive state training of the civilian population for shooting from various weapons. The icon "Voroshilovsky Shooter" was awarded to about 9 million people. So, what are the most famous snipers?
The name of Vasily Zaitsev scared the Germans and infusedcourage in the Soviet soldiers. This ordinary guy, a hunter, killed 225 soldiers of the Wehrmacht from his Mosin rifle only in a month of fighting near Stalingrad. Among the outstanding sniper names - Fedor Okhlopkov, on account of which (during the entire war) about a thousand Hitlerites; Semyon Nomokonov, who killed 368 enemy soldiers. Among the snipers were women. For example, the famous Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who fought near Odessa and Sevastopol.
German snipers are less known, although in GermanySince 1942, there were several sniper schools, which were engaged in the professional training of personnel. Among the most effective German shooters - Matthias Hetzenauer (345 killed), Josef Allerberger (257 killed), Bruno Sutkus (209 dead soldiers). Also well-known sniper from the countries of Hitler's bloc is Simo Hayha - this Finn during the war killed 504 Red Army soldiers (according to unconfirmed reports).
The main weapon of any well-aimed gun wasMosin rifle with an optical sight, but, depending on the situation, SVT was also used. In addition to the basic features of their weapons, the disciplines necessary for survival were also studied: stealth, the ability to wait, remain completely immobile, and orientate on the terrain.
Thus, the sniper training of the Soviet Union was immeasurably higher than that of the German troops, which allowed Soviet soldiers to bear the proud title of the World War II aces.
How did they become aces?
So, the concept of "ace of the Second World War" is prettyextensive. As already mentioned, these people achieved really impressive results in their work. This was achieved not only due to good army training, but also due to outstanding personal qualities. After all, for the pilot, for example, coordination and quick reaction is very important, for the sniper - the ability to wait for a convenient moment for applying a single shot at times.
Accordingly, determine who had the bestAsa of World War II, it is impossible. Both sides committed unprecedented heroism, which allowed us to single out individuals from the general mass. But it was possible to become a master, only by training hard and improving your combat skills, because the war does not tolerate weakness. Of course, the dry lines of statistics will not be able to convey to the modern man all those hardships, adversities that the professionals of the war experienced during their rise to the honorable pedestal.
We, the generation that lives without knowing suchterrible things, do not forget about the exploits of our predecessors. They can become an inspiration, a reminder, a memory. And we must try to do everything to ensure that such terrible events as past wars no longer occur.