AA-cruiser Niobe

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 10 Dec 2004 19:41

Harri wrote: C.-F. Geust has already wrote about this case earlier, just don't remember in which book.
The #1 (first hard-cover one) published 1993.

About the HSU's that were awarded to the "Uragan" pilots:
Were they all awarded 22th July (as Lt.Col Rakov was) ?
How did Capt. Tihomirov (Tikhomirov?) die according to the Soviet sources?
Is there anywhere anything written that they got their medals from sinking the Väinämöinen?
Is there any (english language) websites about the WWII HSU awarded?

Regards, Juha

RoW
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Post by RoW » 10 Dec 2004 20:47

Juha Tompuri wrote:http://rafiger.de/Homepage/Artgallery/Historic02.htm
that Christian earlier posted, is partially based on C.-F. Geust written "Red Stars" book
Unfortunately, there is too little information. And too superficial... And mistakes in sonames of pilots scared me. From Red Star series (it's a big rarity in Riga) I have book about the lend-lease planes and also I have a book of his co-writer G.F.Petrov " 'Americans' in Russia " (also with 3 co-writers)
Were they all awarded 22th July (as Lt.Col Rakov was) ?
How did Capt. Tihomirov (Tikhomirov?) die according to the Soviet sources?
Is there anywhere anything written that they got their medals from sinking the Väinämöinen?
Is there any (english language) websites about the WWII HSU awarded?
I checked this with the largest database of HSU in Russian Internet - http://www.ilpilot.narod.ru/
Ponomarenko, Sachko and Tihomirov (I thought what this is right transformation from Russian to English, but I'm not a linguist, if Geust wroteTikhomirov - I'll use this version) also were awarded 22.07.44 exactly for Niobe.

I wrote it earlier - according list of losses of 51st MTAP and other sources captain I.V.Tikhomirov died in 24.07.44, and according memoirs of commander of 51st MTAP I.F.Orlenko, he was killed during placing of mines in Memel (Klaypeda). He didn't receive order itself. If anybody is interested I can try to translate this place from memoirs...

About other pilots - many of them were awarded, but I didn't hear about other HSU, I will check this with database.

Sorry, but I don't know database of HSU in English...

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Post by RoW » 10 Dec 2004 21:25

I forgot - navigator lieutenant E.I.Kabanov also was awarded with Hero's Star in 12th Guards BAP KBF.

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 10 Dec 2004 22:10

The members of the armanda that was sended agaisnt Niobe...or should I say Väinämöinen ( :P ) sure did get decorations for sinking a wrong ship. :roll:

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 10 Dec 2004 22:40

Thanks RoW,

Too bad I can't read Russian :(
C-F Geust at Red Stars wrote:...The Soviet sources admit a loss of two Havocs of the last wave with two other Havocs, a Pe-2 and an Il-2 hit, whereas the Finns reported six aircraft shot down, four of them being "confirmed"...
...After the succesful raid the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to Lt.Col Ponomarenko, Lt.Col Pavlov, Capt Tikhomirov who was killed in action and to Lt.Col Rakov for the second time...
Regards, Juha

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Post by Topspeed » 11 Dec 2004 14:21

Interesting debate about the AA:s claims on Niobe sinking.

Is there any information did Air Force claim any attackers ?

Soviets admit 1 down 5 damaged and later 2 down and 4 damaged. Finns claim 4 confirmed and more damaged.

What was the faith of Väinämöinen and the Ilmarinen; the pride and joy of the finnish navy ?

rgds,

Juke

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Post by Topspeed » 11 Dec 2004 16:57


RoW
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Post by RoW » 11 Dec 2004 18:12

C-F Geust at Red Stars wrote:...The Soviet sources admit a loss of two Havocs of the last wave with two other Havocs, a Pe-2 and an Il-2 hit, whereas the Finns reported six aircraft shot down, four of them being "confirmed"...
...After the succesful raid the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to Lt.Col Ponomarenko, Lt.Col Pavlov, Capt Tikhomirov who was killed in action and to Lt.Col Rakov for the second time...
Hmm.. It's a real mystery about the death of Tikhomirov... It would be interesting to see the documents what find Geust. From memoirs of Orlenko:

"...Hero of Soviet Union I.V.Tikhomirov have perished during placing of mines near naval military base in Klaypeda(Memel), he haven't time to receive high awards of Motherland - Hero's Star and Order of Lenin, which were awarded to him on July, 22.

Squadron engineer Vasiliy Maximovich Smirnov told about the last mission of his commander:

"He already flew one mining mission this night. While we were preparing his plane for next mission, he sat on the stump and was deeply inside his own thoughts. When I made a report what his plane is ready for action, he even didn't react to me. It looked strange for me. When he already was going to his plane, he said: "I'm tired, Vasiliy Maximovic, others are more tired. It's difficult for everybody". After that he sat down into cabin, I stood on the wing, then readjusted straps of parachutes and prepared cabin for start. Before leaving I reminded of switching of tanks. I jumped out and he launched left engine. He haven't returned from this mission. Other crews told what they saw big explosion in the air. Possibly flak shell hit the petrol tank..."

(Sorry for horrible translation)

And also, as I already said, information about the awards is incomplete. Were awarded with Hero's Stars - three pilots of A-20 (Ponomarenko, Tikhomirov, Sachko), one pilot of Pe-2 (Rakov), one navigator of Pe-2 (Kabanov). I think also we can exclude pilots of fighters (no air combats). I'll check also pilots of Il-2, but I exactly know, what N.G.Stepanyan received his two Hero's Stars for other operations.
Last edited by RoW on 12 Dec 2004 11:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by RoW » 11 Dec 2004 19:41

Thanks for link - it's excellent!

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 11 Dec 2004 21:15

Per-Olof Ekman's book Meririntama.Merisotatoimet Pohjoisen Itämeren Alueella 1941-44 has few pages of sinking of Niobe.According to it Ponomarenko and Satsko(Sachko) managed to bomb Niobe but Tihomirov(Tihomirov) and Silkin were shot down.

Rather confusing :roll:

Cheers/Juha

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Post by RoW » 12 Dec 2004 14:08

Also few photos of attack from the archives of 12th Guards BAP KBF from http://www.ww-2.com . Because direct link don't work I'll place here.
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Post by RoW » 12 Dec 2004 14:22

Also...
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Post by RoW » 12 Dec 2004 14:32

And also after the attack...
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Post by Topspeed » 14 Dec 2004 14:48

Somehow I get the impression NIOBE wasn't a very efficient AA ship..could not even protect itself ? What if VSS had bombed the shipyard or the goodies...that would have been more devastating or what ? Now 90 % of the bombs landed in water..killing many precious fish ? 8)

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Post by RoW » 14 Dec 2004 16:14

Topspeed wrote:Somehow I get the impression NIOBE wasn't a very efficient AA ship..could not even protect itself ? What if VSS had bombed the shipyard or the goodies...that would have been more devastating or what ? Now 90 % of the bombs landed in water..killing many precious fish ? 8)
I think greater than 90%... Pe-2 wasn't very precise diving bomber and this concrete attack was prudent (diving - 60°, from 3000 m until 2000 m). But as I see at 2nd photo they had hit(s). It's already good result. Many depends from the training of pilot. For example during German evacuation from the Crimea precision of Soviet diving bombers was very little. But in July, 1941 in naval aviation of Northern Fleet 2 Pe-2 in 4 missions had 2 hits confirmed by German sources.

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