Caldric wrote:I do not think you can compare Soviet Fighter Pilots to frontline Japanese on any grounds.
I think our Russian friends in this forum don't share your view.
Caldric wrote:The Japanese had years of experience and an excellent fighter. Also the tide started to change when the allies got better aircraft.
Also Soviets had years of experience (Finns didn't have any experience in 1939). I said already earlier that not a single improvement could do anything. Americas received both better planes and more fighter units. Old survived pilots were also more experienced and had learned from their earlier misfortune.
Although Zero was excellent fighter in 1941/42 it was also unarmoured and lightly constructed which later became its Achilles' heel.
Caldric wrote:Even the F4F was much better at surviving then the Brewster. Also the Brwester had other problems like weight and landing on the CV.
Sounds strange that the landing gear of Brewster would have been worse than that of Wildcats'? Brewster was well armoured and for sure the best fighter in Finnish use what comes to surviveability (awful word
Caldric wrote:Finnish patriots love to rub it in about thier pilots being far superior, but in fact they were good, but the fact is more rest on the horrible conditions of the Red Airforce then anything else.
Finnish Flying Squadron 24 which had Brewsters was for sure an outstanding fighter unit but if we look closer we can notice that it (like other Finnish front squadrons) trained also novice pilots. The best flight of the squadron, so called "Knight Flight", had all the time a few young and green Sergeants and 2nd Lieutenants. They were never let fly without the protection of the most experienced Finnish pilots. That is why they learned very quickly. Most of them managed to get kills soon and became aces later. Those who didn't succeed were sent to other duties.
Caldric wrote:Also what kind of numbers are we talking about in the Finnish Air Force? Few dozen or maybe a hundred or so?
In 1941 Finnish Air Force (FAF) had five fighter squadron of which one had Brewsters, one Curtiss Hawks, one FIATs, one Morane-Saulniers and one Fokkers. Also two reconnaissance squadrons had Fokker and Gladiator flights.
Strength of FAF (combat planes only) were:
- 20.6.1941: 243 planes (-55 under overhaul/repairs in units) = 188 flyable planes
- 2.7.1941: 235 planes (-20 under overhaul/repairs in units) = 215 flyable planes
- 29.12.1941: 172 planes (-62 under overhaul/repairs in units) = 110 flyable planes
- 29.1.43: 186 planes (-47 under overhaul/repairs in units) = 239 flyable planes
- 31.12.43: 244 planes (-55 under overhaul/repairs in units) = 189 flyable planes
- 9.6.44: 212 planes (-54 under overhaul/repairs in units) = 158 flyable planes
The number of fighters was about the half of all or a bit more. Total number of FAF planes was about two times more. The full total number of planes (including damaged planes under repairs in aircraft factories) and the number of trained pilots was of course more than mentioned above.
Caldric wrote:Flying mostly in known territory and under favorable conditions.
. There were no pawed airfields in Finland (well, Malmi at Helsinki was partly pawed). Finnish airfields were sand ones with short runways.
Finnish territory is not especially easy. There are lots of similar looking lakes and vast forests. Finding a minimum sized airfield was a rathed demanding job. Situation was worse in East Karelia where distances are long and airfields are far away from eachothers. Most front airfields were temporary strips or lake shores. During winters temporary ice (lake) airfields were also used. So conditions were not really favourable. Especially difficult was the situation of mechanics who really did amazing job.
Caldric wrote:Do not get me wrong the pilots were good some of the best, but do not try to tell us it was simply some super pilots in Finland. When you had an enemy that considered you combat ready if you could land in one piece.
You really don't have a very favourable view on Soviet pilots...