By Dmitriy Khazanov, Aleksander Medved, Andrey Yurgenson
Petlyakov's Pe-2 used to be the main quite a few Soviet twin-engined bomber of global conflict 2, the airplane getting used as a dive-bomber, floor assault platform and devoted reconnaissance variety. the 1st examples entered carrier in August 1940, and by the point construction got here to finish in past due 1945, no fewer than 10,547 examples have been outfitted. those built greater than eighty bomber air regiments, and of the latter, have been accorded Guards Air Corps prestige, as have been six air regiments. among the previous was once the second Guards Bomber Air Corps, which was once commanded by way of the mythical normal Polbin, who used to be two times made a Hero of the Soviet Union. Pe-2 bomber and reconnaissance types (the latter in carrier with 4 Guards reconnaissance air regiments of the Air strength and one regiment of Naval Aviation) have been largely used from the frozen Arctic north to the balmy Crimea entrance. a couple of Pe-2 additionally observed short wrestle opposed to Japan within the ultimate weeks of worldwide battle 2.
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Extra info for Pe-2 Guards Units of World War 2
The navigator and pilot are both junior lieutenants, having graduated from a flying school no more than two or three months previously, while the radiooperator/gunner, on the right, is a sergeant. None have earned any bravery awards as yet mid-December, however, with the most active aviation units at that time flying U-2 biplanes – these were used to impede the progress of German troop reserves heading for the front, the U-2 nuisance raiders doing their part to disrupt the regrouping of the Wehrmacht.
Pressing on to the target in his badly damaged aircraft, Gavrilov dropped his bombs on enemy artillery positions. On his return journey he was attacked by Bf 109s, but still managed to coax the aircraft across the frontline before making a forced landing in a field. As Soviet forces seized German weaponry and stockpiles of ammunition during the course of their winter offensive, a question arose as to how some of this equipment might be used. Having overcome a series of difficulties regarding the peculiarities of German explosives, units from 1st BAK used Luftwaffe SC 250, SD 250 and SD 50 aerial bombs against their former owners for the first time.
Combat sorties, victories and losses – this was how things were for 3rd GvBAD on the Western Front as it participated in the biggest operations in the second half of the war. Judging by the documentation for the unit, despite it being adversely affected by an acute lack of fuel in the second half of July 1944, the division succeeded in accomplishing a great deal, and moreover it did it without incurring heavy losses. ‘The division supported troops on the 3rd Belarusian Front in taking the cities of Borisov, Vileyka, Minsk and Vilnius, and also in crossing the river Neman’, one report pointed out, adding ‘119th and 122th GvBAPs became red banner regiments on 10 July 1944’.