History of Russian Air Force: war years
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On August 12 the Russian Air Force turns 100. In the summer of 1912 a special naval aviation unit was formed under the order of the Russian Ministry of War and in 1992 the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation declared August 12 The Russian Air Force Day.
In the one-century long history of the Russian air force paramount attention is paid to the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45against Nazi Germany. Although the beginning of the war was not successful and even tragic for them, over the incomplete 4 years Soviet pilots managed to defeat Germany’s air force armadas in fierce air battles. 1,200 warplanes were destroyed on the first day of the Great Patriotic War. However, in spite of that, Soviet pilots made about 6,000 flights and destroyed 78 German warplanes. The damage that was done to the Soviet aviation in the first days of the war was extensive in its scale, Chairman of the Section of the History of Aviation and Cosmonautics of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vitaly Lebedev says."This was due to many reasons, first of all political ones. Stalin did not want to excite Hitler and demonstrated the peaceful character of his policy in every way possible. That is why there were no direct orders to withdraw the planes from the airfields, to camouflage them and to make them ready for action. The numerous reports of this country’s intelligence service to the effect that Germany planned to attack the USSR were ignored. Since Germany’s was a sudden attack, many war commanders were not ready for it. Many warplanes were not removed from the airfields and remained there as if on a military parade, and it was very easy to destroy them."
Source: Voice of Russia.