Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Mikko H. » 24 Jul 2013 10:49

FWIW, Suomen ilmavoimat vol VI by Keskinen & Stenman, pp. 122-124, states that of all the claims made by Finnish fighters on 2 July 1944, only three are so far confirmed by Russian archives: 2 x La-5 from 191 IAP and 1 x Airacobra from 196 IAP. Lt Karhila is credited with 3 x Il-2 damaged, and according to Russian archives none of them were destroyed.

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by olia » 24 Jul 2013 11:41

"Did not return from a mission" does not mean that plane had been shot down by the enemy. This means that none of the Soviet pilots have seen what happened to the plane. Plane could break away from the group ,"lost" and wreck, could collide with the same plane. The plane took off on a mission, no one had seen its death, but it did not return back.

Two IL-2 of 448 Shap did not return 2.07.1944 were not necessarily shot down by Finnish lieutenant Karhila. In any case, none of the Soviets pilots had seen that they shot down by enemy fighter.
If believe Mikko H, the Finnish victories 02/07/1944 overstated by 3 times (at least). It is quite common thing for pilots of all countries

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Topspeed » 24 Jul 2013 15:31

olia wrote:"Did not return from a mission" does not mean that plane had been shot down by the enemy. This means that none of the Soviet pilots have seen what happened to the plane. Plane could break away from the group ,"lost" and wreck, could collide with the same plane. The plane took off on a mission, no one had seen its death, but it did not return back.

Two IL-2 of 448 Shap did not return 2.07.1944 were not necessarily shot down by Finnish lieutenant Karhila. In any case, none of the Soviets pilots had seen that they shot down by enemy fighter.
If believe Mikko H, the Finnish victories 02/07/1944 overstated by 3 times (at least). It is quite common thing for pilots of all countries

I see...so if there actually was 16 planes shot down it would not have been marked in Soviet annals due to court martial. This cleared a lot. :thumbsup:

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Topspeed » 24 Jul 2013 15:32

Mikko H. wrote:FWIW, Suomen ilmavoimat vol VI by Keskinen & Stenman, pp. 122-124, states that of all the claims made by Finnish fighters on 2 July 1944, only three are so far confirmed by Russian archives: 2 x La-5 from 191 IAP and 1 x Airacobra from 196 IAP. Lt Karhila is credited with 3 x Il-2 damaged, and according to Russian archives none of them were destroyed.

I am still lookin for the right date..this 2.7.2013 was given by the museum staff in Vantaa.

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Mangrove » 24 Jul 2013 15:36

olia wrote: If believe Mikko H, the Finnish victories 02/07/1944 overstated by 3 times (at least). It is quite common thing for pilots of all countries
Actually, if one compares the Continuation War era "confirmed kill" claims by Finns to the Soviet losses mentioned on the books by Stenman, one gets maximum (i.e. according to current research) Finnish aerial victory overclaim ratio of c. 1 to 2. I believe the actual ratio for 1941-1944 to be closer to 1:1.5 than 1:2, after we have reviewed all the Russian archival records.
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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Topspeed » 24 Jul 2013 16:43

...and if you study further total amount of russian losses is actually much higher than the finns claimed. I think the reason is that the records don't have all lost aeroplanes..othervise the CO would have been court martialed had he told as things were. Especially sad would have been if no aeroplanes returned from for instance Lappeenranta..particularly as they had fighter cover. On the other had it is easier to say the pilot returned but dies after returning...since even if plane was lost the pilot might have jumped and returned to base ( and no one suspect anything in the chain of command even if the plane was downed )...very easily so since finns did not shoot men in parachutes.
--

So if CO writes 2 planes ( with pilots lost ) lost and one pilot died after returning it might mean following; 3 pilot dead and 7 managed to parachute to safety and 10 planes lost and 6 damaged.

OTOH in finnish side it would have gone like this: Kössi shot 5/6 planes and was sure they were kills ( plane smoked and had to ditch ) but only claimed 3 propable since he knew no one would believe him if he said he shot 5 definitely and 1 damaged. This would then be the case the sergeant on the hill saw happening.

-----

This might thus sound slightly as an far fetched story, but similar was the procedure in the prison camps ie gulags..large amount of people were shot dead at arrival to gulag ( and half died on transportation already ) but they were not reported to higher authorities and responsibility can be transfered to transpot unit..all with injury were shot immediately since caps were for labour. They had to be shot because they had no food..and they hated finns for instance. Russian gulag system is said to have killed 20 000 000 people but records only show 3-4 million. So the rate is around 1:6. Same as in Lappeenranta/Immola case..3 missing planes and 4 dead pilots.
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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Mikko H. » 24 Jul 2013 17:13

I am still lookin for the right date..this 2.7.2013 was given by the museum staff in Vantaa.
All Karhila's claims are listed in Keskinen & Stenman's Ilmavoitot - Aerial Victories vol 1 (SIH 26) pp. 67-68. 2 July 1944 was the only time he was credited with multiple Il-2s as damaged, and like said earlier, none of them are confirmed destroyed by the Russian archives.

Karhila's other listed victories over Il-2s are:

- on 21 June 1944 1 x Il-2, listed as T or "claim witnessed by outsiders", Russian records confirm loss of an aircraft from 999 ShaP
- on 1 July 1944 1 x Il-2, listed as T, Russian records confirm loss of an aircraft from 7 GShAP, KBF
- on 3 July 1944 1 x Il-2, listed as T, not confirmed by Russian records
- on 9 July 1944 1 x Il-2, listed as T, not confirmed by Russian records

So, as far as Karhila's records go, 2 July 1944 is the only possible date for this incident. BTW, I recommend Keskinen & Stenman's foreword on pp. 3-8 of this work. It's a very important reality check for everyone interested in discussing the veracity and trustworthiness of aerial victory claims everywhere. I cite: "From a researcher's point of view the matter is very simple. A filled combat report is the only document which can be taken into account. Everything else is just speech, no matter how true."
...and if you study further total amount of russian losses is actually much higher than the finns claimed. I think the reason is that the records don't have all lost aeroplanes..othervise the CO would have been court martialed had he told as things were. Especially sad would have been if no aeroplanes returned from for instance Lappeenranta..particularly as they had fighter cover. On the other had it is easier to say the pilot returned but dies after returning...since even if plane was lost the pilot might have jumped and returned to base...very easily so since finns did not shoot men in parachutes.
So you have sources for this claim?

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Topspeed » 24 Jul 2013 17:21

Olio just mentioned it...you just have to learn to read russian information about their records.

Also we know for fact that 20-22 years ago as Stenman and Geust have been freshly studying these figures as their archives were opened they had 10 lost planes in their records still on 2.7.1944. Now they only have 2+1 :lol: .

The high figure of losses can also be explained for the russians for the fact that they were battling on finnish soil and flak also got 1/3 of the kills if not more.

But you are right..they cannot claim something they couldn't prove...and fought just to stay alive. Not to grow tally. I don't think anyone wanted to come home to say to his family: " I just murdered cold blood 12 soviet airmen in 50 seconds !". But as the life fades away did also Kössi have balls to mention in his memoirs that he actually shot 5/6...I called him personally and I explained in detail what the sergeant had seen on that hill..and he said yes that is exactly as it went..but the 6th did not come down.

I have also heard a story from another infantry soldier of the effect of an IL-2 to an weary company that was caught un guarded by the IL-2s on a march. It was like from Guernica painting..blood, screaming, loose limbs..runaway injured horses...etc..you can imagine the rest. I asked this mr Isopahkala same question as I asked the sergeant...: Did you ever see finnish aeroplanes in the skies of Karelia ? This latter hadn't...also the sergeant instantly said no, but as if he had an electric shock his eyes started to wander into ceiling and he corrected...no wait a minute I did see once this Me-109 with finnish national markings fly low...and so forth. I can only imagine what it meant to a 25+ years old young sergeant to see this episode..it was unforgettable and buried in his memory so deep he started to explain it like fighter pilot with his hands how Kössi maneuvered into new position one after another. I actually had to wait 15 years to get to know any kinda similar story to fit the sergeants story...it was pretty close what Kössi mentioned in his book...that is why I called him.

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by CF Geust » 24 Jul 2013 18:57

As I have been repeatedly referred to in this thread, I would like to present a summary of my research in TsAMO, Podolsk. Main document series checked by me include daily war diaries, operational reports and loss lists (Zh.B.D., opersvodki and Spiski poter) on Air Army, Aviation Division and Aviation Regiment levels. Lists of ultimately written off aircraft are however only occasionally checked.

Losses of 13th Air Army on 2 July 1944:

Morning:
275 IAD, 191 IAP:
ml.lt A.S. Shiyanov, KIA La-5 c/n 2305 shot down in air combat with 2 BF109s 1.5 km NW Perojoki.
ml.lt Mitrohin, apparently OK La-5 damaged in air combat with 2 BF109s at Viipuri.

275 IAD, IAP unknown (159 or 191 IAP):
lt Pikin returned to his unit (escaped by parachute?), La-5 went missing (unclear case).

275 IAD, 196 IAP:
kapt S.N. Makashev KIA, P-39 Nr. 20490 shot down in air combat at Pietilä.

Evening, Immola attack:
277 ShAD, 15 GvShAP:
lt I.A. Musatenko KIA, kr-ts V.I. Nekrasov, apparently OK, Il-2 c/n 304764, shot down in air combat.

Evening, Lappeenranta attack
281 ShAD, 448 ShAP:
lt V.A. Gusakov KIA, jefr S.F. Lavrishko KIA, Il-2 c/n 303812, shot down by A-A, crashed 2 km S Lappeenranta.
ml.lt V.V. Semyshkin KIA, jefr F.R. Iljnitskiy KIA, Il-2 c/n 10485, shot down in air combat, crashed 15 km S Lappeenranta.
ml.lt V.I. Lapshin DOW, ser F.A.Stolyarov WIA, Il-2 c/n 303178, shot down in air combat crashed S Viipuri.
ml.lt E.G. Sannikov OK, jefr F.K.Nemykin DOW, Il-2 c/n 9622, hits in air combat 6 km S Viipuri, belly landing near Tainionsuo.
ml.lt V.N. Suhorukov WIA, star N.H. Yeloyev OK, Il-2 c/n 3608, hits in air combat, forced landing at Maksalahti. Aircraft to depot (rembaza) for repairs.
lt M.D. Nikishin OK, V. Batizada OK, Il-2 made forced landing between front lines ("no man´s land") after hits in air combat. Note: Nikishin HSU 23.2.1945.

281 ShAD, 703 ShAP:
lt Sharov OK, Ivanov OK, Il-2 made belly landing after hits in air combat; to depot (rembaza) for repairs.

281 ShAD, 872 ShAP:
ml.lt V.V. Sokolov WIA, ml.ser I.S. Batrushin WIA, Il-2 c/n 304804, crash-landed near own base after hits in air combat at Kolkkala.
lt P.S. Glazkov WIA, ml.lt N.M. Lonchakov KIA, Il-2 c/n 10530, crash-landed SE Viipuri after hits in air combat.

Thus 10 Il-2s were lost or seriously damaged in air combat or by A-A at Immola and Lappeenranta, and apparently claimed by the Finnish fighter pilots. It is of course extremely difficult - or impossible - to determine "who shot down whom" with 100 % reliability, and it is also a question of judgment whether a crash-landed aircraft with lightly or seriously wounded crew is considered "shot down"...

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Juha Tompuri » 24 Jul 2013 21:08

Topspeed wrote: the sergeant on the hill saw happening
Do you know how long it took/would take to shoot down five planes, and what would be the distance between the first one and the last one?
Could it even be possible for the "sergeant on the hill" even theoretically to witness the claimed event?
CF Geust wrote:Thus 10 Il-2s were lost or seriously damaged in air combat or by A-A at Immola and Lappeenranta, and apparently claimed by the Finnish fighter pilots. It is of course extremely difficult - or impossible - to determine "who shot down whom" with 100 % reliability, and it is also a question of judgment whether a crash-landed aircraft with lightly or seriously wounded crew is considered "shot down"...
Thank you very much for your input here.
I remember a "problem" with the Soviet reporting system where if the plane got to the own side and the pilot was saved, the incident was not necessary listed as a loss, even the plane never flew again?
CF Geust wrote:also a question of judgment whether a crash-landed aircraft with lightly or seriously wounded crew is considered "shot down"...
Personally I think that a shot down plane is a plane that is a total loss (a one that is written off).

Regards, Juha

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Mikko H. » 24 Jul 2013 21:29

Thank you Mr Geust for weighing in. This is very interesting.

According to Keskinen & Stenman's Suomen ilmavoimat vol VI, Finnish fighter pilots claimed on 2 July 1944 8 x Il-2 shot down (T), 2 x Il-2 probably shot down (R) and 9 x Il-2 damaged (V). Both Lt Karhila and Lt Myllylä claimed 3 x Il-2 damaged.

But as said earlier, none of these Il-2 claims are shown as confirmed by Russian records in the book.

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Art » 25 Jul 2013 02:03

CF Geust wrote: 277 ShAD, 15 GvShAP:
lt I.A. Musatenko KIA, kr-ts V.I. Nekrasov, apparently OK, Il-2 c/n 304764, shot down in air combat.
Nekrasov was listed as killed in action on 2 July:
http://obd-memorial.ru/memorial/imageli ... 3bd0857c2a

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by CF Geust » 25 Jul 2013 04:50

Art,
thank you for this comment and additional information. One problem in collecting human loss information in TsAMO is that officers KIA were reported separately from NCOs and soldiers KIA. There are thus usually two parallell loss reports for each unit (regiment, division etc.): "Officer losses of unit NNN on date(s) ....." and "NCO (sergeant) and soldier losses of unit NNN on date(s) ...." - (good example is the document you refer to). As Il-2 crews (and naturally also bomber crews with several members) usually consisted of one officer and one NCO, which are thus entered in separate reports, in some cases lacking cross-references like aircraft numbers, time and location etc., and which furthermore were not always compiled and filed simultaneously. therefore it is sometimes very difficult to "reconstruct" the composition and fate of a specific aircraft crew from archive documents.
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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by CF Geust » 25 Jul 2013 06:38

It is also a peculiar fact that there seems to be no Soviet fighter losses during the Il-2 attack to Lappeenranta 2 July 1944, but not less than nine Il-2s shot down or seriously damaged, which in my opinion means that the Finnish fighters were able to efficently separate the Soviet escort fighters from the Il-2s.

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Re: Kössi Karhilas 5 Il-2 victories on July 2nd 1944 !

Post by Topspeed » 25 Jul 2013 09:02

Juha Tompuri wrote:
Topspeed wrote: the sergeant on the hill saw happening
Do you know how long it took/would take to shoot down five planes, and what would be the distance between the first one and the last one?
Could it even be possible for the "sergeant on the hill" even theoretically to witness the claimed event?

Thank you very much for your input here.
I remember a "problem" with the Soviet reporting system where if the plane got to the own side and the pilot was saved, the incident was not necessary listed as a loss, even the plane never flew again?



Regards, Juha
Hi Juha and thanks CF Geust !

It all depends just how high the vaara ( = hill ) was. I recently studied a skyscraper design of 100 meters high placed in city of Oulu ( north west coast )..and on a clear day you could see all away to Raahe and the town hall in Kemi..so it is possible to see 160 km ( 80 + 80 km ) if you have a clear vision above the treeline and the planes are flying at 100 meters altitude ( no less than 80 meters ). IL-2 top speed is 414 km/h and since the action took place very linearly I estimated that if all took place in 4 km distance ( 2 + 2 km happened the sergeant stand in the middle of the situation ) it would have taken 50 seconds to down the 5 IL-2s. Naturally no one can see a small plane 80 km away..I just figured he might have seen Il-2 size plane up to 4 km distance with bare eyes. I remember having a slight emotional shock when the sergeant after his explanation answered me after I had asked him after his story ...so how many did he shoot altogether ?...he said very formally "He shot all of them down !" This might indicate that if the ltn Karhilas Me-109 G-6 R6 fired just one or two rounds on the last IL-2 the sergeant may have seen it come down even though Kössi had breaken away from the pursuit right after he realized he was outa ammos.
Yeah...and one more thing..ltn Karhila said they had emptied their rear guns on the railway hub in Lappeenranta so they were not shooting back..he was shooting them like some one is picking up berries. This makes it ever more horrifying as a story.

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