Molotov arrives in Scotland

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Peter H
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Molotov arrives in Scotland

Post by Peter H » 09 Dec 2006 13:49

I posted this in Allied Biographical Research but got no response.

By which route did Molotov get to the UK in May 1942?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tealing

It was at the aerodrome that Tealing's most famous visitor arrived. On 20 May 1942, a strange four-engined aircraft appeared in the circuit at Tealing. It was one of the first Russian TB7s to visit Britain and it brought Vyacheslav Molotov, Russian Foreign Minister and Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Defence, on a military mission to meet with Sir Winston Churchill at Chequers. Tealing airfield was probably chosen to attract as little attention as possible and, for security reasons, there was a local news blackout at the time.

Molotov was given the choice of two aircraft in which to continue his journey to England. The one he did not select, as later revealed by Sir Archibald Hope, Senior Controller of Fighter Command in Scotland in 1942, crashed in flames in the Vale of York, killing various members of Molotov's staff and senior RAF personnel. Molotov arrived safely in London for the signing of the Anglo-Russian Treaty on 26 May 1942.


He then on travelled to Washington?

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Yuri
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Re: Molotov arrives in Scotland

Post by Yuri » 09 Dec 2006 15:10

Peter H wrote:I posted this in Allied Biographical Research but got no response.

By which route did Molotov get to the UK in May 1942?


In May, 1942 the National Commissioner Foreign Affair the USSR V.M.Molotov has made flight from Moscow to the Great Britain (and as back) by the plane such as TB7. The route passed through the territory of Europe occupied with the opponent. The plane flied at height not accessible to German fighters.

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Dmitry
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Post by Dmitry » 09 Dec 2006 15:42

From the Tupolev site

http://www.tupolev.ru/Russian/Show.asp?SectionID=196 (In Russian)

In the same 1942 TB-7 was used to bring V.M.Molotov to England and the USA. The rout went at great height, partially above territories controllable by Germany.


Sadly I don't remember where I read it but it said that the rout went mostly over sea.

Also this post may be useful:
viewtopic.php?p=868848#868848

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 10 Dec 2006 06:15

Thanks gents.

The arrival of the flight in Scotland suggests it came in north from there.

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Peter

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Post by kozhedub » 10 Dec 2006 19:57

The four engined TB- 7 heavy bomber (later renamed in Petlyakov Pe-8) with the people's commissar for foreign affairs V.M. Molotov on board left its base at Kratovo (SE of Moscow) on 19 May 1942 with commander major Endel Puusepp and his crew. The bomber flew across the Batic, the North of Denmark and the North Sea to Scotland, and landed at Tealing in the morning of 20 May 1942. It flew on 24 May 1942 from Tealing to Prestwick, and on 27 May 1942 from Prestwick across the Atlantic and the Faröer Islands to Reykjavik. On 29 May 1942 it left Reykjavik and flew to Goose Bay, where it arrived in the morning of 30 May 1942. The same day the TB-7 flew to Washington.
On 4 June 1942 the bomber started its journey back to the USSR: 4 June - Washington - Gander, 7 June - Gander - Reykjavik, 8 June - Reykjavik - Prestwick. On 12 June 1942 in the evening the TB-7 left Prestwick and landed at Moscow's Central Aerodrome on 13 June 1942 in the morning. The c/n of the bomber was 42 066.

It was the second flight of a TB-7 to the United Kingdom. On 28 April 1942 major Nikolay Ashamov (witk Puusepp as co-pilot) flew to Scotland, landing at Tealing in the morning of 29 April 1942. Shortly after landing the crew was taken to London in a RAF De Havilland DH-95 Flamingo. As some British technicians liked to see the Soviet bomber, the Flamingo flew back with them to Tealing. Of the Soviet crew only Ashamov accompanied them. The flight went wrong and the Flamingo crashed, killing all its occupants, including Ashamov. The next day, 1 May 1942 the TB-7 flew back to the Soviet Union, now with Endel Puusepp as commander. It landed in the morning of 2 May 1942 at Kratovo.

Almost a year later, Puusepp flew again a TB-7 (now called Pe-8) to Scotland with a groupof Soviet military pilots. The Pe-8 c/n 42 048 was rebuilt to accomodate 20 passengers. It started on 14 March 1943 from Kratovo to Prestwick (flying across the Baltic, neutral Sweden, Norway and the North Sea) In the night of 23 April 1943 the bomber flew back to Moscow.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 11 Dec 2006 01:58

Thanks kozhedub

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Peter

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Post by Hanski » 11 Dec 2006 16:01

I am in the process of reading Stalin - The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore (London 2004; ISBN 0-75381-766-7).

The book tells from p. 417 that Molotov's flight to London took place on 8 May 1942, the Foreign Commissar landed in Scotland and took a train from Glasgow to London. After signing the treaty on 26 May, Molotov flew to Washington to meet President Roosevelt, whom he met on 30th May.On 9 June, he stopped in London on his way home, and met Churchill again. "On the flight back to Moscow, Molotov's plane was attacked by enemy fighters and then by Russian ones".

I wonder if the slightly different dates could be checked further from any reliable source? In Montefiore's book, I have found some inaccuracies, although it is interesting reading in covering much of even the private lives of the Soviet leaders.

It would certainly be interesting to know the flight routes both ways, the hours of the day, and the weather conditions. Would the TB-7 / Pe-8 have only relied on its higher ceiling altitude (8500-10800 m), compared to German fighters? BIGpanzer has done a really thorough job in covering the TB-7 / Pe-8 aircraft in the thread linked above.

Whatever the details, it surely was an extraordinary amazing and courageous feat to make this round trip, both for the aviators and for Molotov, considering how risky it was for such a key figure in the Soviet government to expose himself to overflying Axis occupied territory. - The pilot's name Puusepp sounds Estonian to my ears (= the Estonian word for "carpenter"?).

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Post by kozhedub » 11 Dec 2006 21:24

Endel Puusepp (in Russian Эндель Карлович Пусеп) was indeed of Estonian origin. He was born on 1 May 1909 in Siberia in the village of Noy (in the then Kansky uezd, Yeniseyskaya gubernya). His parents had settled in Siberia after the 1905 revolution. From 1928 Puusepp served in the Red Air Force and got his instruction in Leningrad and Orenburg. Afterwards he became an instructor at aviation school at Orenburg. From 1938 he worked as a polar flyer for Glavsevmorput.
After his flight with Molotov to the United Kingdom and the USA he became a Hero of the Soviet Union on 20 June 1942.
After the war he settled in Tallinn and became deputy president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR, minister, etc.
He died 18 January 1996 in Tallinn. After the end of the Soviet Union he apparently went through a lot of trouble in Estonia.

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Post by Juha Tompuri » 11 Dec 2006 22:07

kozhedub wrote:The four engined TB- 7 heavy bomber (later renamed in Petlyakov Pe-8) with the people's commissar for foreign affairs V.M. Molotov on board left its base at Kratovo (SE of Moscow) on 19 May 1942 with commander major Endel Puusepp and his crew. The bomber flew across the Batic, the North of Denmark and the North Sea to Scotland, and landed at Tealing in the morning of 20 May 1942.
If I've understood correctly: Moscow - Leningrad - Finnish Gulf - Sweden - Skagerrak (betwen Denmark and Norway) - Scotland.

Hanski wrote:It would certainly be interesting to know the flight routes both ways, the hours of the day, and the weather conditions. Would the TB-7 / Pe-8 have only relied on its higher ceiling altitude (8500-10800 m), compared to German fighters?
They flew at night, about the altitude I'm not sure as I don't read Russian:
Here is, what I believe (part of) a book written by E. Puusepp about that journey http://avia.lib.ru/bibl/1013/title.html
Here photos (from that book ?) about E. Puusepp: http://avia.lib.ru/bibl/1013/ill.html
And here Endel Puusepp himself

Image
http://www.warheroes.ru/hero/hero.asp?Hero_id=2373


Regards, Juha

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 11 Dec 2006 23:44

AFAIK "Notes of Puusepp navigator" on that flight (in Russian) http://militera.lib.ru/memo/russian/sht ... index.html
AFAIK According babelfish translation they flew ca. at 7800 - 4000m height.

I earlier wrote: If I've understood correctly: Moscow - Leningrad - Finnish Gulf - Sweden - Skagerrak (betwen Denmark and Norway) - Scotland.
Hmm.... AFAIK accoding to that book they flew a bit more south:
Moscow - Zagorsk - Kalinin - Pskov - Estonia/Latvia - Baltic Sea - Sweden...
Level cruise speed around 300km/h (or little less)


A short videoclip of a newsreel:
Soviet Comissar Molotov's secret visit to U. S. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 0058878796

Regards, Juha

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Post by kozhedub » 12 Dec 2006 21:52

From different sources I think Juha is correct as he says the route was Moscow – Zagorsk – Kalinin – Pskov – Baltic Sea (the frontline was crossed at 6000 m near the river Lovat), The route over the Baltic Sea is less clear. Puusepp in his recollections “Тревожное небо” only says they saw at left the darkness of occupied Denmark and at right the lights of Swedish towns (“Слева — темнота. Оккупированная Дания. Справа — сверкающие гирлянды электрических огней на улицах городов и местечек шведского побережья”).

On the way back the plane flew over the Baltic Sea at 8000 m, and crossed the frontline at 8500 m.

The TB-7 never encountered Flak nor German fighters during the flight. Puusepp’s explanation: they flew too high.

A.P. Shtepenko was the navigator during the Molotov flight.

My sources:
Пусэп Э.К., На дальних воздушных дорогах, Москва, 1975
Пусэп Э.К., Тревожное небо, Таллин, 1978
Штепенко А.П., Особое задание, Москва, 1945
Unger U., Pe-8 – Der sowjetische Fernbomber, Berlin, 1993 (a very good book about the TB-7 / Pe-8 and its operations during and after WWII)

The three Russian books are also available in electronic version at http://militera.lib.ru

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