Air battles of the Lapland War

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 16 Aug 2005 21:41

mottimatti wrote:
Harri wrote:Like said the LY incident was an accident and the SB incident happened far away from the North Finland. I have personally served at Luonetjärvi (or better known as Tikkakoski) which is about 25 km north from Jyväskylä in Central Finland. Finnish bombers although operated also from Luonetjärvi but this one was a training mission. .
Yes, but at " sotatoimialue " ( War Action Area )
OK. There were also other minor accidents and failures.
mottimatti wrote:
Harri wrote:Actually Kahla was originally a pilot trainee but because his talents were so "bad" he was moved to observer training. Kahla could have probably landed much better but when the killed pilot still sat on his seat Kahla could not handle the steering stick properly and neither reach to pedals. All observers had later basic flying training (for emergencies) and some of them even became pilots during the war. .
Yes, but he was not qualified pilot , so what is the question : Was he a " Chicken "? No , He did much more that You can except .
Kahla knew the basics of flying but could not handle the plane properly with the pilot still sitting on a seat. He did what he could in that situation. He could have also flown higher and bailed out but his parachute came out when he climbed away from the back seat and he had no other choices but to try flying the plane back to the base. Without doubt an exceptional achievement!
mottimatti wrote:
Harri wrote: Both pilot officers and observers (they all were officers, there were also "MG gunners" who were NCOs or soldiers) could be Flight Leaders.
Usually in FAF the observer was the commander of plane.
That was usual in many countries as far as I know. There were also countries that didn't have NCO pilots.
mottimatti wrote:
Harri wrote: No, but other books have better and more complete statistics. So, I suggest checking the books I mentioned. I forgot to mention Hannu Valtonen's book(s) Juha and Mikko already mentioned. Also Jukka Piipponen's "Onttolan Punaiset Pirut" [The Red Devils of Onttola] (Koala-kustannus, 1997) tells an interesting story of Aarno "Aki" Ylennysmäki who was a telegrapher and MG gunner in PLe.Lv.48 (in Blenheims).
There seems to be a question: Where those writers get their statistics ? Perhaps from Pajari ?
Atso Haapanen has cross-checked official war-time files and numerous books (including Pajari's) and compares these figures. Then he tells his opinion on the differences between sources and the possible mistakes. I consider his figures the best I have seen. They are very close to the figures of Keskinen and Stenman (who are "the most correct" source what comes to Finnish military aviation). Haapanen has found several minor miscalculations and conflicts in official records but many authors have loaned these figures without checking them. Like I said: check first, then complain (if needed)!

Finnish fighter losses (excluding damaged planes) during the Lapland War by Atso Haapanen:
- 15.10.1944 BW-386 (HLe.Lv.26) Crashed at Vaala airfield when ran out of fuel. Plane cought fire and burned. Pilot was injured by burns. (Is this date correct, or 17.10.?)
- 18.10.1944 BW-357 (26) Shot down at Marrasjärvi village (between Rovaniemi and Kittilä) by German AA fire. Pilot was killed.
- 18.10.1944 BW-370 (26) Damaged at Enontekiö by German AA fire. Pilot forced landed on a too small lake and plane crashed to the shore. Plane was damaged beyond repairs. Pilot survived without injuries.
- 18.10.1944 BW-379 (26) Shot down at Marrasjärvi village (between Rovaniemi and Kittilä) by German AA fire. Pilot was killed.
- 24.10.1944 BW-355 (26) Shot down at Muonio (southern coast of Jerisjärvi) by German AA fire. Pilot bailed out.

During the Lapland War Brewsters were used for the last time on 3.12.1944.

Finnish fighters had the following amount of missions (number of planes on 6.10.1944 / 16.11.1944):

TLe.Lv.14
(8/-) MSv (Flight / HLe.Lv.28 ) Intercepting missions 0, Escorts 7, Reconnaissance missions 13 = 20
(7/-) MS 0, 0, 32 = 32

HLe.Lv.26
(10/5) BW 3, 37, 78 = 118
(?/3) MY (Flight / TLe.Lv.12) 1, 6, 25 = 32

= 202 combat missions

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mottimatti
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Post by mottimatti » 16 Aug 2005 22:19

I am little bit confused.I have friday as day off for work, and I think I should go to SArk.
I probably should order War Diaries of these Squadrons and check how it was.

Rgds Mottimatti

Grendel-B
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Post by Grendel-B » 17 Aug 2005 14:53

Mikko H. wrote:One interesting incident took place on 3 October 1944. Six Finnish Brewster B-239 fighters intercepted 12 German Stukas over the northernmost part of Bothnian Gulf. Finns claimed two Stukas shot down without losses. Now, German records show that there were only six Stukas and they suffered no losses. Others may correct me, but I remember reading long ago, that one of the Finnish pilots later revealed there was no fighting.
As I wrote in the Finnish Air Force in WW2 forum about this case:

( http://www.network54.com/Forum/46825 )

I haven't seen any veterans commenting that the story about Ju-87 shootdowns would be false, on the contrary. The event happened in very confused period and HLeLv 26 pilots seem to have strong faith that it did indeed happen. I only recently interviewed one HLeLv 26 pilot about this case, and he said he witnessed the Brewster flight taking off and landing, and saw how this one Brewster had been damaged, how the pilots discussed the aerial combat after landing etc.

The only recorded disbelief on the event has surfaced only decades later through one researcher, but all reports of the time and pilot stories back the opinion that this combat did indeed happen, one of the pilots was injured and one Brewster severely damaged from the defensive fire of the Stukas. One later article reminds, that not all Stuka units operating against Finnish forces left full records of their actions/losses.

I'm preparing a larger article on this topic but in Finnish only, unfortunately. Possibly some volunteer could later translate it at least partly. It is not "the truth" about the event, but deeper than average view on what happened on those days and what the HLeLv 26 pilots themselves reported/said about it.

Personally, I do believe something happened and the veterans seem to be 100% sure two Stukas went down. The situation was nevertless very confused and the pilots had just moved to their new airfield on the previous day, and they didn't yet know if they were to shoot at Germans or not, and were quite afraid after returning from the mission that they'd be punished for shooting down Germans.

The Stukas were never found - but the reality is that they were searched for at the wartime. One was seen to make a forced landing, another made a vertical dive and crashed. Both at a swamp. Thing is, Lappland is full of swamps and initially the battle / Stuka shootdown locations were given incorrectly, as that was the first flight for the group from the new airfield, over completely unknown terrain, with few landmarks and fighting a running battle with the Stukas. A complete mess, I'd say. The unit commander later said that they would have photographed the wrecks next day if he'd guessed their shootdowns were suspected later, but as things were, they had more important things to do. So the Stukas leisurely sank and disappeared, unless locals later retrieved metal and other parts and stripped the plane. Not that rare at Lappland. Also there were no civilian witnesses, as Lappland had already been evacuated from civilians.

Very, very confused setting. There just aren't much material about the incident, but I'll take the vet's word on this, as I don't see any reason for them to fake aerial victories or lie what happened.

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mottimatti
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Post by mottimatti » 22 Aug 2005 11:15

Hello harri & Others !

I have started to work with this archives. This may take a little time.
( I have my Job to Do , too )

I´ll be back, when I have something to tell.

Rgds Mottimatti

Grendel-B
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Joined: 09 Mar 2005 20:56
Location: Finland

Post by Grendel-B » 07 Jan 2006 16:03


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