Heavy and long-range bombers of the allies - exact losses

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Post by BIGpanzer » 01 Nov 2006 11:08

40. No. 42067, Red 7 – serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
The bomber was produced on 22 May, 1942.
1st pilot - Obukhov (who was the 2nd pilot of No. 42066 during the famous flight to USA over Germany and Atlantic via Scotland, Iceland and Newfoundland in May 1942 with the Soviet minister of foreign affairs and his secretaries on board).

41. No. 42077, Red 10 – serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xM-82 (1330-1700 hp)
1st pilot - Churilin (participated as senior lieutenant in the first raid against Berlin in August 1941 on TB-7), later - Sumtsov.
The bomber participated in bombing missions with super-heavy FAB-5000 (5 t) bomb since May 1943. Bombed Orel railway station with FAB-5000 in June 1943.
The last flight was made on 22 October, 1943 (emergency landing or loss in combat?;all crewmembers survived).

42. No. 42087, Blue 4 – serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - Shamrai (participated in bombing raid against Helsinki with FAB-5000 bomb 07.02.1944), later - lieutenant-colonel Ilyukhin.
The bomber was knocked down on 13 March, 1943 by German AA fire, but it could reach the airfield and made emergency landing (all crewmembers survived, but bomber was destroyed because of nose-over).

43. No. 42097, Blue 9 (Blue 4 since July 1943) – serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - captain Ermakov.
The bomber was knocked down on 15 September 1943 by German fighters over Danzig, all crewmembers bailed out.

44. No. 42107, Red 4 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - Zelensky, later - major Ishchenko (famous Pe-8 pilot, participating in many dangerous raids over Berlin, Orel, Bryansk, Smolensk, etc.).
The bomber participated in many bombing raids against Germany (Berlin, Danzig, Königsberg, Insterburg) in summer 1942; bombed Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest in September 1942 - was damaged over Bucharest by AA fire (one engine was destroyed, two another stopped during the flight) but the bomber could reach the airfield on one engine(!). Bombed German units at Stalingrad in 1942.
The bomber was knocked down on 9 February 1943 by several Soviet fighters Yak-3 (by mistake as Pe-8 looked a little bit similar with German FW200 Condor - another 4-engine plane on Eastern front) - 1 crewmember was killed.

45. No. 42018, Blue 5 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - captain Kubyshko (746th long-range air regiment).
The bomber participated in several raids against Berlin. It made emergency landing 30 August, 1942 after successful bombing raid against Berlin (4 TB-7) - the fuel system of Blue 5 was damaged by AA fire and Kubyshko landed bomber on enemy territory near Kaunas (Lithuania). Crewmembers tried to fire the damaged bomber to avoid its capture but there was no fuel in tanks, all crewmembers were captured by Germans (navigator major Kolechko defended the landed plane, covering the retreat of other crewmembers and firing from the turret gun at attacking German soldiers, he was killed during the heavy ground combat). Captain Kubyshko (ex-civil pilot of Moscow-Berlin line in 1930s, participated in Soviet-Japanese conflicts and Winter War, bombed Berlin as Yer-2 pilot in August 1941) broke out of German POW camps two times, and was killed during his 3rd escape.
I found also a mention that Germans made a propaganda photo of this captured TB-7 (Blue 5) and many world newspapers published it. Does anybody know this photo?

To be continued.............
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Post by BIGpanzer » 02 Nov 2006 20:21

No opinions........... :?
Nevertheless, I am continuing to post the interesting info (in my opinion) about heavy bombers TB-7 (Pe-8).

46. No. 42028, Red 9 (later Red 5) – serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - major Sugak (25th Guard long-range air regiment), later - Simonov and Khoroshilov.
The bomber participated in everyday (often - two times per night) raids over Stalingrad in 1942, bombing German airfields, railway stations and army units. Bombed Helsinki in February 1944, participated in photo reconnaissance missions. Red 9 made 171 night flights in 1942-1944.
The bomber was knocked down by German AA fire (radar controlled) on 27 July, 1944 over Borisov during the photo reconnaissance mission (2 crewmembers were killed by AA shell, others bailed out and reached Soviet line during the week).
http://wp.scn.ru/ru/ww2/b/674/1/1/13 (No. 42028, 756th long-range air regiment, 1943)

47. No. 42038, Red 11 - experimental Pe-8.
Engines: 4xM-30B (1250-1500 hp diesel with 2 turbo compressors, 1 centrifugal air pomp and additional radiator).
1st pilot - Lisachev.
Red 11 was equipped with M-30B diesels in September 1942 (Kazan aircraft factory No. 22), in November 1942 the bomber was given to 45th heavy bomber air division for tests.
Red 11 made 35 flights (including 2 combat flights) till February 1943.
Tests showed that first M-30B diesels were nor reliable because of production defects (3 engines were changed during those 35 flights) but it was recommended to correct the defects and began to produce Pe-8 with diesels (as effective and less fire dangerous engines) in series.

48. No. 42048, Blue 10 (since 16.04.1943) - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
The bomber was produced on 18 August, 1942.
1st pilot - Sushin, later - colonel Pusep (Estonian, Hero of USSR, famous commander of 890th long-range air regiment, participated in TB-7 flights to USA and UK as well as in many bombing raids).
The bomber was knocked down on 10 June, 1943 on its return trip after bombing raid by German AA fire (all crewmembers bailed out). Interesting, that fire on bomber's board stopped and abandoned Pe-8 landed itself on the field. One source even mentions that bomber was found by Soviets, repaired and given to Pusep back.

49. No. 42058, Red 14 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82-211 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 31 January, 1943.
1st pilot - captain Ponomarenko (746th long-range air regiment), also some time - divisional commander, major-general Vodopianov.
Red 14 participated in bombing missions against German tank units and railway stations near Orel - usually took 4 t of 250-2000 kg bombs, also super-heavy FAB-5000 bomb. Germans had a very strong AA defense near Orel.
That Pe-8 was damaged by AA fire at 6.5 km altitude over Orel (3rd engine catched fire and its fire-protection system didn't help) and then bomber was knocked down by night German fighter with radar (pilot - hauptmann Heinrich Alexander zu Sayn-Wittgenstein who knocked down 3 Pe-8 that night) on 20 July, 1943. 7 crewmembers (including Ponomarenko) could bail out and reached Soviet line, 5 were killed.
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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Nov 2006 10:45

Friends, as Soviet heavy bomber TB-7 (Pe-8) was produced in small amount of copies I could find the short history about all of them. But any additional info is very welcome.
Even more welcome are the additional info and discussion about US and British heavy bombers (for example, I posted the list of all lost Avro 683 "Lancaster"s, see above) :wink:

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Post by BIGpanzer » 05 Nov 2006 11:55

I also would like to note two points about Soviet TB-7 (Pe-8).

1. It is often mentioned that TB-7 was almost invulnerable for enemy fighters and AA artillery.

It is not correct as some part of those heavy bombers was knocked down by German fighters (mainly night fighters) and Flak fire (especially if heavy TB-7 were used as tactical bombers from low altitude).
On the other hand - TB-7 was the first modern Soviet heavy bomber with excellent speed, ceiling and flight range. The four-engine bomber had excellent speed for 1938 comparable with fighter's speed. It was the best world's heavy bomber till 1941 and only more modern US B-29 outstripped it in all specifications (for the very short period of time after WWII Soviet long-range Air Forces used both remainder Pe-8 and new Tu-4 (Soviet full copy of B-29) for training flights).
TB-7 could fly at 10-11 km altitude (nevertheles, its usual altitude was 7-9 km during WWII), have good climbing rate even full of bombs and fuel, could make steep turns at maximal altitude and had powerful defensive armament. Its fifth engine (M-100 850 hp) located inside the hull and rotated centrifugal air pomp for turbocharging of four main engines at high altitudes, later this not very reliable equipment for central turbocharging was changed on individual turbochargers for each engine (so fifth engine was removed as it represented temporary solution of flight at high altitudes and additional fuel tanks were added to increase flight range) and on required high-altitude engines AM-35A.
Yes, it was quite hard to knock down single Pe-8 at high altitude, and that bomber could successfully deliver the Soviet minister of foreign affairs and his secretaries from Moscow to USA and back over Germany and Atlantic in 1942. Pe-8 was almost invulnerable for fighters only in 1938-1939, but Bf109E could intercept it at every altitude and every speed (max. speed of Pe-8 with AM-35A engines was 443 km/h at 6-8.5 km).
When Soviets came close to Germany and started regular bombing raids in 1944 it was decided to use two-engine tactical bombers (reliable and quite long-range lend-lease B-25 bombers mainly, also Pe-2 and Tu-2). Rare heavy bombers Pe-8 (bombed German territory since 1941) became quite vulnerable for strong German AA defense, equipped with powerful Flak guns, night fighters and radars, also with very experienced AA gun crews, knocked down thousands of Allied bombers during the war.
Interesting that second prototype of TB-7 (ANT-42, No. 4202/385 "D", Blue 1) which was produced in July 1938 made more than 200 combat flights (one of the best data for WWII heavy bombers), dropped 500 t of bombs and million news-sheets, participated in transportation of raiding parties deep behind the enemy lines and made a flight over Moscow 01.05.1945 during the victory parade. It should be noted that prototypes of Soviet aircraft were much more reliable and had better specifications than following serial aircraft. Soviet pilots nicknamed Blue 1 as "boroda" (beard) for the cabin of navigator in front below of the hull - http://www.airwar.ru/image/i/bww2/ant42-i.jpg

2. It is often mentioned that If TB-7 (Pe-8) was produced not in 93 copies only but in 1000 copies USSR won the war much earlier than in 1945.

This is stupidity as 1000 TB-7 (Pe-8) couldn't win WWII even if they dropped super-powerful 5.4 t FAB-5000NG bombs (only 18 were produced during WWII, 13 were dropped in 1943-1944 on Königsberg, Mogilev, Orel, near Kursk, Helsinki) on Germany every day. Just remember the frequent bombing raids of hundreds of British and US heavy bombers against Germany (they dropped 131000 t bombs every months) and German industry production only increased till 1945. It should be noted also that Pe-8 could carry super-heavy 5 t bomb (which was larger than bomb bay so its doors couldn't close completely and increased aerodynamic resistance) for relatively short range because of overload - Pe-8 with AM-35A engines had range 4700 km and even with 2 t of bombs - 3500 km, Pe-8 with M-82 engines had range 5800 km, the best were Pe-8s with diesels ACh-30B - range 7800 km with 2 t of bombs. Also USSR didn't have enough serial long-range escort fighters for defense of Pe-8s during bombing raids (only several hundreds of two-engine Pe-3/Pe-3bis since 1941 as Yak-9D/Yak-9DD with additional fuel tanks appeared only in the end of 1943).
Soviets produced small amount of Pe-8 because they paid much more attention to fighters and battle-planes (which were much more necessary for USSR since WWII began in 1939, also the same engines were used on MiG-3 fighters and Il-2 battle-planes - that is why a lot of engine models were used on Pe-8 and engine's reliability was the main problem for Pe-8). Even before WWII it was planned to produce 50-100 TB-7 per year only. It should be noted also that Pe-8 was complicated and very expensive [each heavy bomber costed as ~4-10 medium bombers] aircraft for production during WWII by evacuated air factories. All-duralumin bomber with modern navigation- and radio equipment for long-range flights and with electric drives of engine systems and gun turrets, it was almost hand assembling [slow and obsolete method for 1940s] in reality but very experienced workers were in great deficiency that war time - so Kazan aircraft factory produced more than dozen of Pe-2 bombers every day and only approximately 1-2 Pe-8 per month. For example, I found a mention there were a lot of cases of failure of hydroautopilots of Pe-8 in the end of 1941 and special committee found several serious technological mistakes during their production by evacuated plants.
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Post by BIGpanzer » 28 Nov 2006 01:06

I found a short info about one interesting Soviet project - it was planned to reequip several heavy bombers TB-7 as aircraft carriers in 1941. Each of such reequipped bombers should carry two fighters MiG-3 under its wing (both MiG-3 should be detached from the bomber, used as high-speed dive bombers with 2x250 kg bombs each and returned back to TB-7). But air factory No. 124 (the main producer of TB-7) had a lot of orders and refused that possible reequipment.
Specifications of such aircraft carrier (project): flying weight - 33500 kg, speed 405-420 km/h (including the use of both MiG-3 engines in addition to four TB-7 engines), ceiling - up to 8700 m, range up to 1400 km (taking into consideration the supply of MiG-3 engines from bomber fuel tanks).

I found also several mentions that crews of TB-7/Pe-8 could knocked down by MG and gun fire several German night fighters during the Soviet bombing raids over Germany - but I couldn't find any detailed descriptions of air combats between heavy bombers Pe-8 and German fighters. Soviet pilots used excellent manoeuvrability of Pe-8 to avoid enemy fighter attacks (30 t heavy bomber could dive at high speed and make close turns even at very high altitudes). Pe-8s reached 9-11 km altitude and gave maximal speed (up to 450 km/h), using autopilot during their return trips - quite often climbing German Me109 couldn't catch up the Soviet heavy bombers under such conditions because of rarity of atmosphere for their engines, and German fighters couldn't repeat the attack at such high altitudes (it was recommended to attack Pe-8 sideways from below to avoid as much as possible strong defensive fire of Soviet heavy bombers - usual Pe-8 was equipped with 2x7.62mm + 2x12.7mm + 2-3x20mm).

As I've mentioned Pe-8s made flights at 10-11 km altitude sometimes, but their cabins were not airproof and Soviet oxygen equipment was not very good, so crewmembers suffered from freeze-up of oxygen masks (the temperature inside the cabin was up to - 55 OC during flights at high altitudes). Two undercarriage gunners (armed with 12.7mm MGs) of Pe-8 suffered more than others.

Excellent 3D computer images of Pe-8:
http://www.render.ru/gallery/show_image ... 5265&num=1
http://www.render.ru/gallery/show_image ... 5265&num=2
http://www.render.ru/gallery/show_image ... 5253&num=1 (bombing Berlin by 250-kg bombs?)

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Post by BIGpanzer » 01 Dec 2006 20:40

50. No. 42068 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - major Pakhomchik.
One source mentions that the bomber crashed on 1 December, 1942 (catastrophe, 8 crewmembers were killed), but the majority of another sources (including memoirs of the pilots of Pe-8) mention that major Pakhomchik on 42068 participated in bombing raids over Orel in July 1943, for example.

51. No. 42078, Blue 6 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
The bomber was produced on 6 November, 1942.
1st pilot - captain Oleynikov, later - major Marusichenko.
I found a mention that bomber participated in bombing raids over Orel in summer 1943.
The bomber crashed on 4 May, 1944 (catastrophe, 1 crewmember was killed) - no more info.

52. No. 42088, Red 4 - serial TB-7.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
The bomber was produced on 1 January, 1942.
1st pilot - Peregudov, later - Hero of USSR major Sugak (746th long-range air regiment).
Red 4 participated in many bombing raids, was damaged by very strong AA fire [25 guns against 1 bomber] over Orel in July 1943 (nevertheless, Sugak dropped all bombs on the enemy airfield and destroyed it), bombed Helsinki in 1944, also made photo reconnaissance flights.
The bomber was knocked down by AA fire on 29 July, 1944 (shell fired left wing) - near Borisov during photo reconnaissance flight, all crewmembers bailed out and reached Soviet front line. Another source doesn't confirm that No. 42088 was knocked down then, nevertheless.
http://www.allaces.ru/sssr/foto/sugak1.jpg (1st pilot Sugak and 2nd pilot Burmistrov of Pe-8 No. 42088, Kratovo airfield, November 1943).

53. No. 42098, Blue 3 from 03.1944 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - major Sushin, later - Kokorev.
The bomber was knocked down by German night fighters on 30 March, 1944. All crewmembers successfully bailed out.

54. No. 420108, Blue 8 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp).
1st pilot - major Dyachenko.
The bomber was crashed on 5 April, 1943 (catastrophe) - that was happened during take-off near Moscow because tail gunner forgot to unlock rods of elevators and rudder before flight, so Pe-8 lost the control. One source mentions that 6 crewmembers were killed, another - that all of them survived.
Major Dyachenko participated later in bombing raids over Orel in summer 1943.

55. No. 42019, Blue 9 (Blue 11 from 05.1943, Blue 10 from 07.1943) - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xAM-35A (1200-1350 hp) or 4xASh-82-211 (1540-1700 hp)?
The bomber was produced in March 1943.
1st pilot - Kanarsky, later - senior lieutenant Nemkov.
The bomber was knocked down on 23 July, 1943 over Orel by German night fighters (2 crewmembers were killed). I guess that No. 42019 was equipped with first ASh-82 engines with common exhaust manifolds for ceveral engine cylinders, which made detection of Pe-8 by Germans easy during night time, also strong exhausting flame from engines blinded bomber gunners. Effective blast reducers for exhaust manifolds of Pe-8 began to install since late autumn 1943 only.

To be continued...... :wink:

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Post by BIGpanzer » 02 Dec 2006 17:51

56. No. 42029, Red 13 from May 1943 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xM-30B (1250-1500 hp diesel with 2 turbo compressors, 1 centrifugal air pomp and additional radiator).
The bomber was produced in the end of 1942 (air factory No. 22) as the first serial Pe-8 with M-30B diesels, it was given for tests to the Long-range Air Forces.
1st pilot - major Lisachev, later - senior lieutenant Peregudov.
That bomber (from 746th long-range air regiment) dropped the first super-heavy bomb of WWII - FAB-5000 on Königsberg 29.04.1943. The crew numbered 15 men during that flight (because of several armament specialists from regiment and division on board). During the flight left turbocompressor of the 2nd diesel was destroyed but Peregudov reached Königsberg and dropped the bomb - crew felt strong push after bomb explosion and saw a bright burst of flame, lighted the cabin even from 5800 m altitude. So Pe-8 No. 42029 was the Soviet analogue of B-29 "Enola Gay" to a certain degree.

57. No. 42039, Red 12 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xM-30B (1250-1500 hp).
The bomber was produced on 19th April, 1943 (according to another sources - in the end of 1942). It was the 2nd serial Pe-8 with M-30B diesels and was tested by air factory at first before it was given to Long-range Air Forces.
1st pilot - Sumtsov.
The bomber was written off on 26th December, 1945.

58. No. 42049, Red 15 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xM-82-211 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 6th April, 1943 - was accepted by Long-range Air Force as the plant standard for 1943 year production of Pe-8 with M-82 engines.
1st pilot - senior lieutenant Zelenskiy, later - captain Ugryumov.
The bomber was knocked down by German night fighters on 20th July, 1943 over Orel. Almost all crewmembers (12 men or less?) were killed, captain Ugryumov survived and bailed out (successfully reached Soviet positions).

59. No. 42059, Red 1 from June 1943 (Red 2 from August 1944) - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82-211 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 27th April, 1943.
1st pilot - captain Shatrov (Hero of USSR, after WWII - polar pilot of Pe-8 as transport aircraft).
The bomber dropped super-heavy FAB-5000 bomb 12.07.1943 near Kursk on German positions before Soviet offensive but it was decided then not to use super-heavy bombs as tactical weapon because of possible damage of friendly units by great explosion.

60. No. 42069, Blue 12 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82-211 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 25th April, 1943.
1st pilot - major Modestov, later - major Sushin.
That Pe-8 was knocked down during air combat with two German night fighters on 15th July, 1943 over Orel - bomber dropped also flash bombs to mark the target for another bombers. Blue 12 was captured by ground spotlights and one German fighter opened fire from below while another fighter with headlight dissipated attention of Pe-8's gunners. Damaged Blue12 burnt because of explosion of flash bombs on board, 7 crewmembers were killed including several men which were shot under parachutes in the air by German pilots :x ; navigator major Sinitsyn could avoid capture by Germans, killed two German soldiers and reached Soviet positions, another survived crewmembers of Blue 12 were captured and returned back to USSR after WWII.
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Post by BIGpanzer » 02 Dec 2006 18:24

As I paid more attention at the moment to the history of Soviet Pe-8 (as the relatively rare but, nevertheless, quite widely used in long-range bombing raids heavy bomber of WWII) may be somebody post some interesting and little-known info about the air combats and losses of its "colleagues" - US B-17/B-24/B-29 and British Lancaster/Stirling/Halifax to save my time :)

PS. A very interesting photo ( http://www.project1947.com/gr/pe810kh.jpg ) of Pe-8, carrying 2.1 t guided missile Chelomei 10x (3 Pe-8 were reequipped that way in the beginning of 1945, a lot of test firings were made in 1945-1948 - 66 test firings from Pe-8s were made till July 1945, 300 buzz bombs 10x were built till the end of WWII).
10x had speed 850 km/h and range 240 km - http://www.airwar.ru/image/idop/weapon/10x/10x-2.jpg

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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Dec 2006 00:36

Just found a very interesting info - factory prices of Soviet aircraft for 1941. This info illustrates very well that heavy bombers TB-7/Pe-8 were very complicated and expensive for production - the production technology of all-metal TB-7 was obsolete for 1940s and extremelly labor intensive: framework fuselage with tubular spars, covering with aluminium sheets by internally riveting through intermediate layer; a lot of rear composite metals were used also as well as modern engines with turbocompressors, electro-driven devices and fire-extinguishing systems, variable-pitch propellers, 19 (different series had different amount of tanks) protected fuel tanks and newest hifh-altitude, navigation and radio equipment. Even the design of heavy bomber (tandem position of both pilots and two undercarriage defending 12.7mm MGs) was quite complicated. By the way - tandem position of pilots made the landing very difficult in the case of death or wound of the 1st pilot but such configuration was chose to decrease resistance to air-flow as pilot's cabin extended to engine nacelle of central turbocharger and middle upper gun turret. Lower part of the fuselage was wider than upper part, so the cut view of TB-7 fuselage looked like pear.

I-16 costed 115.500-141.500 rubles
SB costed 265.000 rubles
Su-2 costed 430.000 rubles
Il-4 (DB-3F) costed 565.000 rubles
TB-7 costed 4.000.000 rubles

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Post by BIGpanzer » 08 Dec 2006 01:11

Despite the fact that nobody wants to participate in discussion :? I am continuing :wink:

61. No. 42079, Blue 13 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 11th May, 1943.
1st pilot - captain Shamrai (3rd squadron, 890th regiment of heavy bombers, 45th division of Long-range Air Forces).
Blue 13 dropped super-heavy bomb FAB-5000 against large Orel railway station 04.07.1943.
That Pe-8 was knocked down by German AA fire on 23rd August, 1943 (during the bombing raid of 12 Pe-8 against enemy heavy artillery positions near Leningrad). One engine was destroyed by strong Flak fire over front line, and captain Shamrai decided to bomb alternative target (railway station) as the bomber ran out of altitude. The crew dropped several 250-kg bombs (successfully destroyed station and depot, also Pe-8 gunners opened fire against German AA guns) despite the fact that right wing was damaged by heavy MG AA fire over station, but AA shell destroyed left wing then and crewmembers bailed out from the fired bomber. Eight crewmembers were captured by Germans (were imprisoned in concentration camps, returned back to USSR after WWII and were imprisoned in Stalin's camps for long period as "possible German spies") but 3 others (including Shamrai and flight engineer) found Soviet partisans in Novgorod forests individually and returned back to their regiment in several weeks.

62. No. 42089, Blue 11 (from October 1943) - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 15th May, 1943.
1st pilot - major Arkharov (commander of 3rd squadron of 890th regiment of heavy bombers, Hero of USSR, participated in first bombing raids over Berlin, delivered Soviet delegation to London in 1942).
Blue 11 participated in bombing raids over Orel in July 1943 (Germans defended Orel railway station and fortification positions by a lot of AA guns, radar and night fighter squadrons equipped with the most experienced pilots), over Berlin, Königsberg, Stettin, Budapest, Bucharest in 1943-1944.
Gunners of Blue 11 knocked down one German fighter over Orel but next day (19.08.1943) the bomber was attacked by three night fighters Me110 and very heavily damaged (all fuel tanks were destroyed as well as electric wiring and control systems, 3 gunners, navigator and radio operator were very heavily wounded by 30mm shells and MG fire), one Me110 was knocked down during that combat, Arkharov could reach the home airfield near Moscow, all wounded crewmembers were successfully operated and completely perforated Blue 11 was repaired later. Blue 11 was also attacked by two Me109 over Königsberg in the beginning of 1945 (one engine was damaged, several gunners were wounded), but Pe-8 gunners knocked down both enemy fighters and Pe-8 dropped bombs over target and returned back successfully.
Probably, No.42089 had the maximum number of air combat victories among Pe-8s.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 08 Dec 2006 19:14

63. No. 42099, Red 2 (Red 14 from 12.1943) - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 19th May, 1943.
1st pilot - captain Makarenko (participated in first bombing raids of Pe-8 against Berlin in August 1941).

64. No. 42109, Blue 14 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 2nd July, 1943.
1st pilot - major Vikhorev.
The bomber was knocked down by enemy night fighters over Orel on 21st July, 1943 (3 crewmembers were killed) during the bombing raid against Orel railway station. Two more Pe-8s were knocked down over Orel that night. According to another sources - Blue 14 was knocked down by Flak fire (AA shell destroyed fuel tank and the bomber caught fire), survived crewmembers bailed out over enemy territory and successfully reached Soviet positions.

65. No. 42110, Blue 7 - serial Pe-8.
Engines: 4xASh-82 (1540-1700 hp).
The bomber was produced on 12th July, 1943.
1st pilot - Kanarsky.
The bomber crashed on 29th July, 1943 (catastrophe - all 11 crewmembers were killed).

PS. All Pe-8 with ASh-82 (M-82) engines were equipped with new nose airproof MG "apple-shape" turret (with one 12.7mm MG UBT instead of 2x7.62mm MGs ShKAS), which had mass balance and better sector of fire.
http://www.umt.fme.vutbr.cz/~ruja/model ... 8/Pe-8.jpg
Also Pe-8 with ASh-82 (M-82) engines had new night collimating sight NKPB-4 and sight OPB-1R as previous standard Soviet sight PS-1 was not good and crewmembers often changed it on German or Lend-Lease sights.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 09 Dec 2006 12:11

Does anybody know the best source about bombing raids of US B-17 (and their exact losses during operation "Frantic") against Romania and Germany from Soviet airfields? To say very briefly there were seven operations of US bombers from Soviet airfields (1030 aircraft, 2207 flights were made), Soviets at first didn't like this idea but then agreed to provide three airfields for B-17s. The first such operation started 02 June 1944 when 130 B-17 from 2nd, 97th, 99th, 483rd BG and 70 escorted P-51 fighters from 370th FG from Italia bombed Romanian city Galati (the initial target should be Hungarian Debrecen, but Soviets were against this) and landed at Soviet Poltava and Mirgorod airfields. That was also a political event as the same month US troops landed in Normandy and opened Western Front. 11.06.1943 121 B-17 and 61 P-51 + P-38 started the raid against Romanian Focsani from Poltava airfield, some B-17s were knocked out and one of them was B-17 with US cameraman, so Germans captured a lot of photos of Soviet Poltava, Mirgorod and Pilyatin airfields. Germans unexpectedly attacked those airfields with 200 bombers He111 21-23.06.1944 (163 US B-17 and 70 P-51 + P-38 were there, also Soviet bombers and fighters), and 47 B-17 + 15 P-51 + 9 Soviet aircraft were destroyed there, 26 aircraft were damaged, fuel depot was destroyed, 1 US and 25 Soviet men, who tried to save bomber equipment, were killed.

PS. I found a mention that according to analysis of air combats between German fighters and 4-engine heavy bombers near 20-25 direct 20mm gun hits were needed for the destruction of one heavy bomber, only 2% of shells engaged a target - so for the destruction of B-17, Lancaster or Pe-8 German pilot needed to fire ~1000 20mm shells, which exceeded ammunition of Fw190 more than twice. So only 2-3 or more fighters could successfully knock down the single heavy bomber during attack.
Both B-17 and Pe-8 had good armor protection of crewmembers from behind and Germans used front attacks to knock down those bombers.

Henry
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Post by Henry » 09 Dec 2006 22:11

BIGpanzer,

This is great data! Thanks for your hard work posting all this information. I wish I could add to your material.

Henry

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BIGpanzer
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Location: Central Europe

Post by BIGpanzer » 09 Dec 2006 23:31

Thanks, Henry!
Yes, to find info about all losses of Avro "Lancaster" and, especially, about TB-7/Pe-8 (I am continuing to post it, different sources (mainly on Russian) give different data about the fate of Pe-8s) was very hard for me......
If you can help me with the list of losses of B-17 (losses per year or/and per air unit) that would be great info for me and for other forum members.

Regards, BP

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Pips
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Post by Pips » 10 Dec 2006 00:00

Here's some info I've dug out concerning USAAF Bomber losses over Europe:

USAAF bomber activity in the European War, 1942-45
Bomber Sorties Tonnage US Aircraft Lost
B-17 291,508 640,036 4688
B-24 226,775 452,508 3626
B-26 129,943 169,382 911
B-25 63,177 84,980 380
A-20 39,492 31,856 265
A-26 11,567 18,054 677
Total 762,462 1,396,816 9937

B-17: 12731 were produced of all modifications and 4754 were lost over Europe - 37.34%.
B-24: 18482 were produced of all modifications and 2112 were lost over Europe - 11.43%

US bomber crews claimed 9889 enemy aircraft shor down.



Some info on the B-29 performance in the Pacific:

Bomber Command Bomb Wing Sorties Losses Claims
XX 58th 2349 80 157

XXI 73rd 8808 182 436

XXI 313th 5092 120 162

XXI 314th 5751 69 118

XXI 58th 3973 45 37 (Trfs to XXI Com 'Mar 45)

XXI 315th 1207 3 Nil
27180 499 910

In addition to those losses a further 2,396 emergency landings were made by B-29's on Iwo Jima, 524 resulting in aircraft write-off's.
Last edited by Pips on 10 Dec 2006 00:11, edited 1 time in total.

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