Guide MiG-21: Cold War warrior

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The FAF changed its aircraft insignia after , due to an Allied Control Commission decree [5] prohibiting Fascist organizations and it resembling the Third Reich's swastika. The F. On 7 September , two newly purchased Savoia flying boats crashed in the Swiss Alps en route to Finland, killing all on-board three Finns and one Italian. This day has since been the memorial day for fallen pilots.

The Finnish Air Force assigns the matriculation numbers to its aircraft by assigning each type a two-letter code following by dash and an individual aircraft number. Most of the airbases that the Russians had left in Finland had been taken over by Whites after the Russian pilots had returned to Russia. The Reds were in possession of a few airbases and a few Russian aircraft, mainly amphibious aircraft. They had 12 aircraft in all. The Reds did not have any pilots themselves, so they hired some of the Russian pilots that had stayed behind.

There were no overall headquarters, but the individual units served under the commander of the individual front line. A flight school was created in Helsinki, but no students were trained there before the fall of Helsinki. Four Russian pilots and six mechanics also arrived to Tampere.

Cold War Warrior's photos with the Mig-21

The first war sortie was flown on March 1, over Naistenlahti. It seems like the Reds also operated two aircraft over the Eastern front. The Reds mainly performed reconnaissance, bombing sorties, spreading of propaganda leaflets, and artillery spotting. The Reds' air activity was not particularly successful. Their air operations suffered from bad leadership, worn-out aircraft, and the un-motivated Russian pilots. Some of the aircraft were captured by the Whites, while the rest were destroyed.

In January the Whites did not have a single aircraft, let alone pilots, so they asked the Swedes for help. Sweden was a neutral nation and thus could not send any official help. Sweden also forbade its pilots to aid Finland. Despite this official stance, however, one Morane-Saulnier Parasol , and three N. Albatros arrived from Sweden by the end of February Two of the Albatross aircraft were gifts from private citizens supporting the White Finnish cause, while the third was bought.

It was initially meant that the aircraft would be used to support the air operations of the Whites, but the aircraft ultimately proved unsuitable. Along with aircraft shortages, the Whites also did not have any personnel, so all the pilots and mechanics also came from Sweden. The air activity consisted mainly of reconnaissance sorties.

The Germans brought several of their own aircraft, but they did not contribute much to the overall outcome of the war. The base could operate three aircraft. The first aircraft was brought by rail on March 7, , and on March 17, took off from the base for the first time. In , the Finns took over nine Russian Stetinin M-9 aircraft that had been left behind. The first air operation of the Whites during the war was flown over Lyly.

It was a reconnaissance gathering mission as the front line moved south. The contribution of the White air force during the war was almost insignificant. John-Allan Hygerth. He was however replaced on April 18, , due to his unsuitability for the position and numerous accidents. His job was taken over by the German Captain Carl Seber, who commanded the air force from April 28, until December 13, Five of the aircraft had been flown by the Allies from Russia, four had been gifts from Sweden and eight had been bought from Germany. The Soviet Union is estimated to have had about 5, aircraft in , and of these, some fighters and medium bombers were brought to the Finnish front to support the Red Army's operations.

As with most aerial bombardment of the early stages of World War II, the damage to Finnish industry and railways was quite limited. XXIs and 14 obsolete Bristol Bulldogs. There were also 58 liaison aircraft, but 20 of these were only used for messengers. The most modern aircraft in the Finnish arsenal were British-designed Bristol Blenheim bombers that had been built under license in Finland.

The primary fighter aircraft was the Fokker D. XXI, a cheap but maneuverable design with fabric-covered fuselage and fixed landing gear.

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On paper, this force should have been no match for the attacking Soviet Red Air Force. However, the Finnish Air Force had already adopted the Finger-four formation in the mids, [6] [7] which was to be found to be much more effective formation than the Vic formation that many other countries were still using when World War II began. To prevent their aircraft from being destroyed on the ground, the Finns spread out their aircraft to many different airfields and hid them in the nearby forests. The Finns constructed many decoys and built shrapnel protection walls for the aircraft.

Soviet air raids on Finnish airfields usually caused little or no damage as a result, and often resulted in interception of the attackers by the Finns as the bombers flew homeward. As the war progressed, the Finns tried desperately to purchase aircraft wherever there were any to be found.

This policy resulted in a very diverse aircraft inventory, which caused some major logistical problems until the inventory became more standardized. Other countries, like South Africa and Denmark, sent aircraft to assist in the Finnish war effort. Many of these purchases and gifts did not arrive until the end of the hostilities, but were to see action later during the Continuation and Lapland wars.

To make up for its weaknesses few and obsolete fighters the FiAF mainly focused on attacking enemy bombers from directions that were disadvantageous to the enemy. Soviet fighters were usually superior in firepower, speed and agility, and were to be avoided unless the enemy was in a disadvantageous position. An example of this strategy was the surprise attack on the Immola air base in late February by some 40 Soviet fighters. The Finns were surprised during take off and lost seven planes, one Fokker D.


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XXI and six Gloster Gladiators. As a result of these tactics, the Finnish Air Force managed to shoot down Soviet aircraft during the Winter War while losing only 47 to enemy fire.

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Finnish anti-aircraft guns also had confirmed downed enemy planes. It had been considerably strengthened and consisted of some aircraft, though many were considered second-rate and thus "exportable" by their countries of origin. Finland purchased a large number of aircraft during the Winter War, but few of those reached service during the short conflict. Politics also played a factor, since Hitler did not wish to antagonize the Soviet Union by allowing aircraft exports through German-controlled territory during the conflict.

In addition to Fokker fighters and Bristol Blenheim bombers built under license, new aircraft types were in place by the time hostilities with Soviet Union resumed in Older models, such as the Fokker D. XXI and Gloster Gladiator , had been replaced with new aircraft in front-line combat units. The FiAF's main mission was to achieve air superiority over Finland and prevent Soviet air power from reinforcing their front lines.

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The fighter squadrons were very successful in the Finnish offensive of A stripped-down, more maneuverable, and significantly lightened version of the American Brewster Buffalo was the FiAF's main fighter until Results with this fighter were very good, even though the type was considered to be a failure in the US Navy and with British and Dutch Far East forces. In Finnish use, the Brewster had a victory rate of — kills to 15 losses.

Unfortunately the photographs are of poor quality. Mikoyan MiG Gunston: Osprey Overview based on the knowledge of the eighties and therefore with lots of errors. Beside this the pictures are of poor quality. Bill Gunston's publications of the nineties are much better. Samolot mysliwski MiG Butowski: Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej 20 page summary of what a citizen of socialist country was allowed to know about the MiG The drawings are very small but correct. Poor quality print. Parts are dedicated to first generation and the twin-seaters, second generation and recce versions as well as the third and fourth generation.

With some interesting details and and a few remarkable pictures of Soviet MiGs. The title is misleading as the main topic of the book is the variety of MiG versions.