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They did calculate this way: why did the air aces of Germany beat our pilots in the score?
10 December 2020, 17:37
They did calculate this way: why did the air aces of Germany beat our pilots in the score?
The well-known facts that German military pilots shot down many more enemy aircraft than Soviet ones are explained by the difference not in the skill of the pilots, but in the calculation method.

The popular blogger Valery Petrov turned to military history, more precisely, to the history of the Great Patriotic War, to a very strange fact at first glance. As you know, such aces of the Soviet military aviation as Ivan Kozhedub or Alexander Pokryshkin shot down during the entire battle: the first - 62, and the second - 59 fascist aircraft. While the legendary German pilot Erich Hartmann is 352! Moreover, according to the data of those years, more than 100 pilots fought for Germany, each of whom shot down 100 enemy aircraft! That is, Kozhedub and Pokryshkin simply have nothing to do in such a company...

You can, of course, count such figures as a propaganda invention that raises the morale of the warring soldiers, but it is unlikely that Soviet propaganda worked so less effectively than German...

So what's the deal? Petrov found the answer to this question.

It turned out, and this is first, that we and our enemy had a different counting system. In the Soviet Union, individual and collective victories were assessed separately, while in Germany individual and group achievements were not divided in any way - they went into the overall standings. Therefore, if the so-called "wing of the masters", in which five planes flew side by side, shot down a single Soviet plane, then this hit target was counted for each participant in such a "wing". In the case of our groups, the opposite is true: whoever shot it down draws another star on its fuselage. The entire group took part in identifying the sniper. If for some reason it remained unclear whose shot was accurate, the most productive pilot, in the opinion of his comrades, was recognized as the winner.

Secondly, there was a different principle: which planes are considered downed? In the USSR, they tried to take into account only those vehicles that were guaranteed to be shot down. In addition, the commanders demanded accurate proof of this, but how to prove it, if, for example, the plane fell on the other side of the front? But the Germans counted not only downed aircraft, but also just victories when the Soviet car left the battle with a smoking engine. Yes, it was out of order, but it might come back for repairs...

Third, a different starting point. If the German pilots counted their trophies for their entire careers, then the Soviet ones - only during this particular war.

And fourthly, the methodology for counting aircraft also differed. According to the Soviet, each downed side was counted as a unit, while according to the German, a downed engine was counted. For example, if our single-engine La-2 is shot down, this is one victory, and the twin-engine Tu-2 - two at once, and the four-engine Pe-8 - then four!

However, the German system had its own reason: it is difficult to shoot down a multi-engine aircraft, since it is guarded by whole units of fighters, and therefore the downed bombers were considered a particularly valuable success. For the Soviet command, the value was not so much even of the shot down enemy planes as of their dead or captured pilots, for "cadres decide everything".

As a result, it turns out that the difference between ours and the German aces is not so great, or not at all.