The Air War Above Rzhev – Zubtsov: 1st Soviet Rzhev – Sychevka Offensive 30 July – 30 September 1942

Air Combat Diary Above the sector Rzhev – Zubtsov:
1st Soviet Rzhev – Sychevka Offensive 30 July – 30 September 1942
By Kirill Chekmarev and Michael Barrentine (8 July 2019)

Introduction:

I started off this project in search of one pilot from II./JG 54, Hans Beisswenger. While taking notes from different days the information accumulated quickly, then began spiraling out of control and I therefore shared some of it on the website “12 O’ Clock High! The Luftwaffe and Allied Forum”. After my last post on this subject there, I still had material left over that had not be posted. As can be seen from the “title” if fully done it would cover the days for the 1st Soviet Rzhev – Sychevka Offensive. This work does not have information concerning the Luftwaffe’s bomber, Stuka, Bf 110 and reconnaissance aviation except were it intertwines with the German Bf 109 operations. While the Soviet aviation has many missions listed for their actions during the day it still shows the actions or inactions of the German Bf 109 fighter units in that sector from the Soviet view point. My friend Kirill “Kirche” Chermarev (whom I regret have never met personally) provided a lot of the material from his personal research in the Russian archives in Moscow. My contributions are usually what I translated from the reports found on the Russian website “Память Народа 1941 – 1945”, which are noted with the source TsAMO. The internet has brought much information and many people such as myself living near a very small town of Altha, Florida (U.S.A.) and Kirill in Moscow, Russia together. Still as I have been told by him there is some information posted that is wrong on line on the internet.
Kirill kept me as correct as possible but any mistakes are mine. His name is thus more appropriate to me as the first listed in credit for this article. Kirill volunteer’s his time to a guess you might say a hobby of love in his off time, he does “Military archaeology” of crashed aircraft sites from the areas mentioned in this article with a Russian team. They have recovered over the years many Soviet aircraft and German aircraft, along with the aviators remains for proper military burial and contacting love ones of their recovery.
Besides Kirill there is another person to thank and that is Andrey Kuznetsov, an excellent author of Soviet Military Operations, who came to my rescue by correcting a mistake that I made on a Soviet unit (Russian cursive writing is a lot harder to read for someone not familiar with it). Also, must be given credit for the names listed of Soviet aviators the website www.allaces.ru that helped many times in providing the full Russian name.
I did not use to many published sources but some were used and credited at the end here. Mikhail Bykov did excellent work on the Soviet aces information and thus when observing after the type claim made (example: Me-109 (6) for the claim) is the number. Like the German claims that were made I gave the type aircraft that was claimed in the German case, if they listed LaGG-3 that was placed on their score, even though it might have been a Yak-1. So in the case of Soviet pilots, even though it is considered a Bf 109 in the case of the claim on their score it is listed as a He-113 or Me-109. The German ranks are listed in the German pronunciation and the Soviet ranks have been translated as in the Russian pronunciation (example: Mayor, which is Major). The times listed have for the Russian time (MT) behind it is for Moscow Time and is one hour ahead of German Summer Time. I have attempted to list names of places in the correct English spelling of the Russian names for locating on a map, German spelled names being sometimes impossible to locate on current maps.
The information on the units of the Soviet 1st Air Army (1 VA), I did not find fully on line but when available I used them. Much more information on the Soviet 3rd Air Army (3 VA) was readily available and again Kirill had much more material from both. The German unit initials are used, as are the Russian initials for their regiments as translated into English.
I regret that I cannot do a full work up on this subject but need to use my time for other activities
Michael Barrentine (Aka “Nokose” on 12 O’ Clock High)

31 July 1942

• From 13:00 – 14:15 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP conducted a patrol over Soviet lines. In the area of Vas’kovo – Kharino at an altitude of 200 m from the clouds 2 Bf 109 attacked a LaGG-3. Without causing any damage the Bf 109 went back into the clouds. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0071, l. 1 page 15 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 83 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD) No German claims were made in this encounter.
• Oberfeldwebel Georg Seidel of 9./JG 51 claimed a Pe-2 (26) at 15:27 at 15 km to the southwest of Novo Dugino.
• From 13:05 – 14:10 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 from 21 IAP led by Kapitan Pavel Emel’yanov conducted a fighter bomber mission in the area of Rzhev. They dropped 8 AO-25 bombs on their target and had one LaGG-3 damaged by ground fire. Afterwards, they encountered 2 Bf 109 and a dogfight ensued at an altitude of 150 – 200 m at 8 km northeast of Rzhev. Kapitan Eml’yanov claimed a Me-109 F (4) during the battle. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0071 l. 1 page 16 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 83 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD) From the German side no losses and victory claims were made.
• From 16:00 – 17:00 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 from 193 IAP conducted a patrol in the area of Glebovo. At an altitude of 200 m a dogfight was conducted with 2 Bf 109. After the first attack, Serzhant Sudarenko claimed a He-113 which fell in the area of Burgovo. The Shustrov’s LaGG-3 was damaged and made an emergency landing in the area of Glebovo. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0071, l. 1 page 16 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 83 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD) From the German side there were no losses and no claims.
• During the day the Il-2s from the 212 and 264 ShAD had conducted a number of Shturmovik raids in the area of Rzhev but only the latter had contact with German fighters. At 14:08 – 14:10 (MT) 4 Il-2 from the 451 ShAP were attacked in the area of Kovynevo without results. Another attack was made at 18:20 (MT) on 3 Il-2 from 451 ShAP on a mission against the villages of Murav’evo – Shchukino. The survivor in this incident could no identify the type of German fighters making the attack. The results were tragic as the Il-2s flown by Serzhants Igor’ Berezin and NikolayPanin were listed as missing. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 00059, l. 46 Operational Report of the Staff 264 ShAD)
• From the German side, Bf 109s of Stab IV/JG 51 intercepted a Shturmovik raid in which Hauptmann Johann Knauth claimed an Il-2 (21) at 17:14 at 12 km west northwest of Rzhev. This was followed by Feldwebel Franz-Josef Beerenbrock claiming an Il-2 (93) at 17:15 at 16 km northwest of Rzhev.
• In the area of Rzhev making bombing raids were 12 Pe-2 from the 128 BAP. From these strikes the 211 BBAD reported one Pe-2 as shot down in air combat. The Pe-2 from the 128 BAP of Starshiy Leytenant Yakov Kurennoy and crew were listed as missing after being attacked. The 128 BAP would report another Pe-2 flown by Mladshiy Leytenant Fedor Gerashchenko and crew as missing during a reconnaissance in the areas of Belachi, Sychevka , Olenino and Rzhev (no cause for their loss was determined). (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0052, l. 78 Operational Report of the Staff 211 BBAD)
• From the German side, Oberfeldwebel Adolf Borchers of 10./JG 51 claimed a Pe-2 (28) at 17:35 at 10 km to the north northwest of Rzhev.
• From 18:23 – 19:22 (MT) in the area of Mikhaylovskoye (2 km north of Rzhev) the Yak-1s of the 812 IAP attacked 2 Ju 88. Kapitan Ivan Solannikov claimed shooting down one Ju 88. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 201 Operational Report 263 IAD)
• From 19:10 – 20:19 (MT) 4 Il-2 from the 451 ShAP on a mission in the area of Opoki were attacked by a single Bf 109. The lone fighter left after achieved no results from the attack. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0059, l. 46 Operational Report of the Staff 264 ShAD)
• From 19:25 – 20:30 (MT) 6 LaGG-3 from 21 IAP conducted a fighter bomber raid in the area of Rzhev and dropped 12 AO-25 bombs. Afterwards they intercepted a German bomber raid in the area of Sychevka at an altitude of 1000 m. Two of the LaGG-3 made three attacks on 3 He 111 from a distance of 50 m from the rear. Starshina Ivan Borodin claimed a He-111 (1) at 20:00 (MT) that fell burning in the area of the railway station at Sychevka. Kapitan Bocharov after two attacks from the rear claimed a He-111 at 20:05 in the area 4 km southwest of the railway station at Rzhev. Two LaGG-3 made a group attack at 20:10 (MT) on a lone He 111 from the rear at an altitude of 1200 m in the area of Martyukovo. An engine began to smoke and the He 111 went into the clouds. The Soviet pilots also claimed to have shot down 2 Me-109 in the battle. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0071, l. 1 page 16 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 83 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD) From the German side no losses were reported by JG 51 of Bf 109 and no claims were made by that unit. As for the German bombers there were two He 111 bombers lost in low-level ground support missions by I./KG 4 in this area.
• A landing mishap occurred involving an unknown pilot of 9./JG 51 at Dugino which resulted in 20% damage to Bf 109 F-2 (# 5766).

1 August 1942
• From 05:22 – 06:48 (MT) two Il-2 from 687 ShAP conducted a reconnaissance in the areas of Platonovo, Timofeyevo, Murav’evo, Afanas’evo, Osuga, Zubtsov and Aleksino. They reported being attack by 1 Bf 109 that left without results. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 page 28 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• From 11:44 – 12:47 (MT) 2 Il-2 from 671 ShAP at an altitude of 200 m attacked German forces along the Volga River at Petunovo. In the area of Klimovo (west of Zarubino) the Il-2s were attacked by 6 Bf 109. The Il-2 piloted by Nikiev was damaged and made an emergency landing at the airfield Natetkino/Krasnoye were it wrecked and the pilot was taken to the hospital. (TsAMO f. 11, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 page 29 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• From the German side, this could possibly have been Hauptmann Richard Leppla of Stab III/JG 51who claimed an Il-2 (67) at 11:45 in the area to the northwest of Rzhev (north of the Volga River). In the same area and time as Leppla, another claim was made by Feldwebel Walter Bracke of 8./JG 51 for an Il-2 (1). Bracke’s victory was possibly a “joint” victory with Leppla as a break in victory.
• At ? – 12:35 (MT) 2 Il-2 from the 671 ShAP led by Kapitan Petr Krupskiy made an assault on German forces in the area of Lepetikha – Red’kino along the Volga River. They were apparently attacked by Bf 109s but no mention is made of it in the report of the 212 ShAD. Kapitan Krupskiy managed to bring down his Il-2 for an emergency landing to the northwest of Zan’kovo (22 km north of Rzhev). The Il-2 was wrecked but Krupskiy was unharmed. As for the fate of Leytenant Mikhail Medvedev and his Il-2 his fate is unknown. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0054, l. 105 Operational Report of the Staff 212 ShAD)
• From the German side the possible victor is with high probability Oberfeldwebel Heinz Klöpper of 11./JG 51who claimed an Il-2 (44) at 11:15 at 20 km southeast of Rzhev and another Il-2 (45) at 11:21at 20 km to the south of Rzhev.
• From 14:13 – 15:13 (MT) 3 Il-2 from 451 ShAP attacked German forces in the area of Timofeyevo. They were attacked in the target area by 6 Bf 109. The Il-2 flown by Serzhant Krasnkov was listed as missing after being shot down by a Bf 109 in the area of Dobraya. Another section of 3 Il-2 also from the 451 ShAP at the same time made a raid on Timofeyevo and were attacked by two Bf 109. In the area of Timofeyevo the Il-2 flown by Serzhant Vasiliy Vorozhtsov was listed as missing. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0059, l. 48 Operational Report of the Staff 264 ShAD and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 page 31-32 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• From the German side, Leutnant Benno Gantz of 7./JG 51 claimed an Il-2 (8) at 13:42 to the northeast of Rzhev in the target area. This was followed by Leutnant Günther Schack of 7./JG 51 claiming an Il-2 (6) at 14:10 at 15 km to the northwest of Rzhev.
• From 15:26 – ? (MT) 3 Il-2 from the 66 ShAP assaulted German forces in the area of Dobraya. In the area of Skvortsovo (northwest of Dobraya) a lone Bf 109 attacked the Il-2s but no losses occurred. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 page 33 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• From the German side there is no claim in this area to assist in determining who was involved.

3 August 1942

• From 04:20 – 05:35 (MT) 5 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Guards Starshiy Leytenant Ibragim Bikmubametov conducted a cover mission of Soviet forces with out incident. (Kirche)
• From 05:20 – 06:40 (MT) 9 Pe-2 from 527 BAP bombed German forces in the area of Rezhev. The Soviet aviators reported being attacked by 6 Bf 109. The Soviet bombers made their withdrawal without suffering losses. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• From 05:10 – 06:20 (MT) 6 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Kapitan Ivan Laveykin engaged in a dogfight with 4 Bf 109 in the area of Bahmatovo – Mishino at an altitude of 2000 – 2500 m. During the fight the Soviet pilots claimed a Me-109 shot down in an attack from the side-rear and above at a distance of 100-150 m – it was reported to have fell 2-3 km to the north of Gubino. A second Me-109 was attacked head on from a distance of 200 m and damaged – with a sharp decline and smoking it went towards Rzhev. A third Me-109 attacked from above and from the side at a distance of 50 – 100 m was damaged – with a decrease in height it went towards Rzhev. One LaGG-3 was damaged during the fight – it forced landed in the area of Kurovo (Possibly, in the areas of Anufriev [?] or Pavlovo [?]) (Kirche)
• From 05:46 – 07:07 (MT) 9 Pe-2 from 134 BAP bombed at an altitude of 2000 m the concentration of German forces and artillery in the village of Dobraya and the forest, that is 400 m to the southeast of Dobraya. In the target area, they were attacked according to Soviet aviators by 7 Bf 109. The Pe-2 flown by Starshiy Politruk Bykov caught fire, after being damaged by fire of a Bf 109. The Pe-2 came down on its fuselage in the area of Staritsa. From the German side, Oberfeldwebel Georg Seidel of 9./JG 51 claimed a Pe-2 (29) at 06:00. The Soviet fighter escort was engaged in battle during this time.
• Flying as fighter escort were 4 LaGG-3 from 21 IAP having taken off at 06:20 (MT) to join up with their charges. During the mission they were involved in dogfighting with Bf 109 but suffered no losses and made no claims. They finished their mission at 07:20 (MT). (TsAMO f. 22020, o. 0445247, d. 0006, l. 1 Journal of Combat Operations 21 IAP)
• From 06:30 – 07:35 (MT) 5 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Guards Starshiy Leytenant Piotr Greshnev went to intercept German aircraft in the area of Deshevka at an altitude of 1000 m, the Soviet pilots observed 2 Ju 87 and 1 Ju 88. The German aircraft turned and began decreasing altitude heading towards Rzhev. (Kirche)
• At 07:52 (MT) took off 6 Yak-1 from the 812 IAP led by Kapitan Andrey Efremov to cover Soviet forces at an altitude of 2000 m in the area of Novoye Semenovskoye. The Soviet pilots reported they were attacked by a group of 12 Bf 109 F and these were joined by a second group of 8 Bf 109 from the side of Rzhev. The battle lasted for 10 minutes and 4 attacks. At the end of the battle, there were no Soviet losses. The Soviet fighter pilots did have victory claims to report. Kapitan Andrey Efremov claimed two Me-109 (1) and another Me-109 (2). Other claims were made, Serzhant Viktor Baranov claimed a Me-109 and so did Serzhant Nikolay Matveet also claimed a Me-109 in the same area. The Soviet pilots claimed a surprising 4 Me-109 against overwhelming odds for suffering no losses. The mission ended at 08:50 (MT) on the of the Soviet pilots landing. From the German side, no losses were recorded in this area and the JG 51 fighters involved can’t be determined. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 234 Operational Report of the Staff 263 IAD)
• At 09:00 (MT) took off 3 Pe-2 from the 128 BAP to bomb German forces at 1-2 km northeast of Rzhev. At 09:30 (MT) the Soviet bombers were attacked by 2 Bf 109. The Soviet bombers landed at 10:43 (MT) without suffering a loss. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• At 09:43 (MT) took off 5 Yak-1 from 812 IAP led by Kapitan Efremov. In the area of Polunino they encountered 15 Bf 109 in a dogfight. The Soviet pilots again made victory claims for this battle. Kapitan Andrey Efremov claimed a Me-109 (3) and Starshiy Leytenant Limarenko also claimed a Me-109. Making a group kill were Starshiy Leytenant Viktor Veremeenko and Kapitan Ivan Solyannikov for a Me-109. The 812 IAP did loss one Yak-1 but apparently the pilot survived. The mission ended at 10:45 (MT) for the Soviet pilots. (TsAMO f. 23041, o. 0209058s, d. 0003 l. 2 Journal of Combat Operations 812 IAP)
• From 10:30 – 11:30 (MT) 6 Yak- from 163 IAP led by Mayor Timofey Kobyilochniy, which carried bombs – escorted Il-2’s. The Soviets bombed the German warehouses in the area of Monchalovo. In the area of Pochigaevo they encountered 2 Bf 109. Mayor Kobyilochniy attacked the wingman of the Bf 109 pair. With the first burst it lit up – the Me-109 then caught fire. The German pilot was observed to have bailed out in that area. (Kirche)
• From 11:32 – 11:37 (MT) 4 Pe-2 from 205 BAP bombed German forces and artillery at the village of Svin’ino. In the area of Boguslovo, they were attacked by according to Soviet aviators by up to 4 – 5 Bf 109. From the German side, Hauptmann Joachim Müncheberg of Stab/JG 51claimed a Pe-2 (84) at 10:32 to the north northeast of Rzhev and another Pe-2 (85) at 10:36 to the north northwest of Rzhev. The Soviets reported the loss of two Pe-2 with the crews of Mladshiy Leytenant Ivan Svidovskiy in the area of Batyuki and Mladshiy Leytenant Aleksey Skobtsov in the area of Voronicheno being listed as missing. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 251 Operational Report of the Staff 285 BAD).
• At 11:34 (MT) 2 sections (3 Pe-2 each) of the 205 BBAP at an altitude of 2000 m bombed a German motor vehicle column on the road Zaprudnovo – Boguslevo – Aleksino. The Soviet bombers suffered no losses and made no mention of attacks by Bf 109. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 251 Operational Report of the Staff 285 BAD)
• With no time listed for the mission 7 Pe-2 from 793 BAP bombed Vasyukovo. There was an attack on 4 Pe-2 by 2 Bf 109 but no losses were suffered. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• During this time period Leutnant Johann-Gottlieb Engel of 9./JG 51 was confirmed a Pe-2 (1) at 10:36 as a posthumous victory. This would be his last as he was shot down in an air battle and attempted to make a forced landing but overturned in Bf 109 F-2 (# 8229) to the north of Zubtsov, resulting in 100% damage and his death. Engel would be awarded the German Iron Cross 2nd class for this day.
• The victor in the case of Engel is not possible to definitively confirm. As of the Pe-2 reported as confirmed to Engel at this time the Soviet 3 VA had only one Pe-2 flying. From 10:10-13:25 (MT) the Pe-2 from 527 BAP (pilot Frolov) performed a reconnaissance in the areas of Belyi – Dukhovshchina – Sychevka – Staritsa. The Soviet aviators reported no sightings of German fighters. Also, no losses were reported by 10 ORAP and 2 DRAP. (Kirche)
• From 11:45 – 12:45 (MT) 5 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Guards Starshiy Leytenant Piotr Grechnev took off to perform a fighter-bomber mission. At 12:00 (MT) four of the LaGG-3 bombed Startsevo from an altitude of 2000 – 1200 m in a dive releasing 8 AO-25. At 12:30 (MT) a dogfight ensued at an altitude of 2000 m between 5 LaGG-3 and 4 Bf 109 – both sides fought a turning battle. Gurads Starshiy Leytenant Grechnev claimed the downing of a Me-109 from the rear side from a distance of 50 – 100 m, it reportedly fell near Timofeyevo. The LaGG-3 flown by Serzhant Ivan Lavrenko was damaged during the fight and lost control. He was forced to escape by parachute in the area 3 km to the east of Zalkovo. His escape was observed by the remaining Soviet pilots, who stated he rammed a Me-109 and was also confirmed by Soviet ground forces. The German fighters left the battle climbing in the direction of Rzhev. Lavrenko would return to his regiment on the 4th claiming to have rammed a Me-109 F. (Kirche)
• On examination of the book “Soviet Aces 1941 – 1945 Victories of Stalin’s Falcons” by Mikhail Bykov, Lavrenko’s first confirmed victory would not be acknowledged until the 13 August 1942 for a Ju 88.
• 12:50 – 13:50 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 fro 21 IAP led by Kapitan Pavel Eml’yanov escorted 5 Pe-2 from 527 BAP (led by AE Komissar Gorb) at an altitude of 2000 m. Kapitan Eml’yanov and his wingman Serzhant Nikolay Kiselev were attacked by a pair of Bf 109 in the area of Rzhev. Serzhant Kiselev’s LaGG-3 went down with the pilot. A dogfight ensued with 6 Bf 109 as the 5 Pe-2 were continued to be covered by the lone LaGG-3 of pilot Semenov. Kapitan Eml’yanov claimed a Me-109 (9) in the area of Manuylovo. Also claiming was Ivan Borodin a Me-109 (4) at Timofeevo. From the German side. Leutnant Benno Gantz of 7./JG 51 claimed a MiG-3 (13) at 12:02. There were no German losses in these areas that can be found in German records. (Kirche and TsAMO f. 22020, o. 0445247, d. 0006, l. 1 page 42 Journal of Combat Operations 21 IAP)
• From 12:52 – 13:55 (MT) 6 Il-2 from 685 ShAP conducted a raid in the area of the Volga River at Red’kino. They were attacked by a lone Bf 109, which was driven off by the Yak-1 escorts. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0079, l. 4 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• From 12:55 – 13:55 (MT) 5 Il-2 from 66 ShAP made a Shturmovik raid in the area of the Volga River. The Il-2 piloted by Leytenant Semenov was damaged by German flak in the area of Lazarevo but Shturmoviks were attacked afterwards by 2 Bf 109. Leytenant Semov’s Il-2 fell in the area of Kovyrevo(?) and cause was listed as antiaircraft fire by the Soviets. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA) During this time period Oberleutnant Karl-Heinz Schnell of 5./JG 51 claimed an Il-2 (57) at 12:35.
• From13:18 – 14:10 (MT) 3 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP covering Soviet forces in the area of Mishino – Zybino fought several Bf 109 – the German attacked in pairs, and sought to pull the LaGG-3 from their assigned task, but the Soviet fighters did not pursue. In the area of Borisovo – Zybino at an altitude of 200 m, they fought with 7 Ju 88 and 4 escorting Bf 109 – as a result of the fight 1 Me-109 F was claimed damaged. The Soviet pilots observed as with a decrease in height and smoking it went towards Rzhev. A LaGG-3 was damaged – it made a landing at the airfield at Dary. (Kirche)
• At 13:20 (MT) in the area of Vorino at an altitude of 2000 m a dogfight ensued between 3 Yak-1 from 812 IAP and 2 Bf 109. The fight lasted for 5 minutes and the German fighters departed into the clouds with no losses to either side. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 234 Operational Report of the Staff 263 IAD)
• From 14:25 – 15:30 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP from an altitude of 1800 – 1500 m made a planned fighter-bomber mission on a German column in the area of Zhukovo. The Soviet fighters dropped 8 AO-25 bombs and reported destroying: 1-2 motor vehicles and 2-3 carts. (Kirche)
• From 15:00 – 16:00 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP dive bombed German forces in the area of Pleshevo. No results were observed for the 8 AO-25 dropped. (Kirche)
• At 15:40 (MT) 8 Pe-2 from 134 BAP at an altitude of 2500 m bombed concentrations of German forces and artillery in the area of Dacha, that is 500 m to the south of Dobaya. They suffered no losses. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 251 Operational Report of the Staff 285 BAD)
• From 15:57 – 16:55 (MT) 3 Yak-1 from 812 IAP comprised of Kapitan Efremov, Kapitan Solyannikov and Starshiy Leytenant Beremenko flew a cover patrol with no contact. (TsAMO f. 23041, o. 0209058s, d. 0003, l. 2 Journal of Combat Operations 812 IAP)
• At 18:00 (MT) 4 Pe-2 from the 205 BBAP at an altitude of 1200 m bombed a concentration of German forces and artillery at the village of Svin’ino. They reported no losses. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 251 Operational Report of the Staff 285 BAD)
• In the time period around 18:00 (MT) Hurricanes of the 814 IAP were covering a Shturmovik raid of the Il-2s of the 264 ShAD. The Hurricanes engaged 2 Bf 109 in a dogfight, Mladshiy Leytenant Denisov claimed a Me-109 and Mladshiy Leytenant Dmitriy Gotal’skiy also claimed a Me-109. The area of the dogfight could not be determined from the report of the 263 IAD. The 264 ShAD did perform raids in the areas of Ozeretskaya, Vasyukovo and B. Guzynino but suffered no losses and gave no times. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 234 Operational Report of the Staff 263 IAD and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0059, l. 51 Operational Report of the Staff 264 ShAD) No losses can be determined from the German side to confirm the claims.
• At 18:35 (MT) 9 Pe-2 from 134 BAP at an altitude of 1800 m bombed a concentration of German forces and artillery at the villages of Svin’ino and Bel’kovi. They reported being attacked by 4 Bf 109 but reported no losses to them. They did report 1 Pe-2 as damaged by German antiaircraft fire. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 251 Operational Report of the Staff 285 BAD)
• From 17:35 – 18:45 (MT) 9 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP bombed German forces in the area of Svinino (6 AO-25 were reported to have exploded in the German trench lines). (Kirche)
• From 17:50 – 18:00 (MT) two formations of 9 Pe-2 from 803 BBAP at an altitude of 1750 – 1800 m bombed the groove 1 km to the southeast of Svin’ino. They were fired on by German antiaircraft guns at the target. At 17:55 (MT) they were also attacked by 2 Bf 109 but reported no losses during the mission. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 251 Operational Report of the Staff 285 BAD)
• From 17:50 -19:15 (MT) 5 Yak-1 from 812 IAP covered in the area of Novoye Semenovskaya. At 10 km to the north of Rzhev at an altitude of 2000 – 2500 m they engaged in a dogfight with 6 Bf 109. Kapitan Il’ya Yuzhakov claimed a Me-109 (1) in the area of Novoye Semenovskaya as a result. (TsAMO f. 23041, o. 0209058s, d. 0003, l. 2 page 9 Journal of Combat Operations 812 IAP)
• From 18:55 – 20:15 (MT) the Yak-1s of the 812 IAP engaged in a dogfight with Bf 109s in the area of Novoye Semenovskaya. During this fight Serzhant N. G. Matveev claimed a Me-109 (2) and Kapitan Ivan Solyannikov claimed a Me-109 (2) at Polunino. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 8, l. 234 Operational Report of the Staff 263 IAD) There were no German losses recored in that area that matched these claims.
• From 20:10 – 21:10 (MT) 5 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP made a dive bombing attack in the area of Startsevo. The Soviet fighters released 10 AO-25, observing explosions among the German trenches. (Kirche)
• In the late evening hours, a Soviet friendly fire mishap took place. From 20:10 – 21:10 (MT) 6 Hurricanes from 157 IAP led by Leytenant Ivan Ovcharenko were escorting a Shturmovik raid and at an altitude of 1500 m in the area of Chentsovo at 20:35 (MT) the mishap occurred. The confusion started with 5 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP confusing, as they misidentified a reported 8 Hurricanes as German fighters that they attacked from behind. The Hurricane pilots turned on their antagonist and after opening fire it wasn’t possible to identify them as LaGG-3, until Leytenant Ovcharenko had gotten close enough. The LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP flown by Mladshiy Leytenant Aleksey Luk’yanov left towards Soviet territory but was listed as missing afterwards. (Kirche)

6 August 1942

• The Soviet 1 VA had the 204 BAD launch a bomber raid against a German column in the area of Gzhatsk. The group of Pe-2s from the 38 BAP were intercepted by a group of Bf 109s but suffered only one loss. Leutnant Hans Beisswenger of 6./JG 54 claimed a Pe-2 (67) at 15:26 in the area to the east southeast of Gzhatsk. The Pe-2 from the 38 BAP flown by Serzhant Anatoliy Smirnov perished along with his radio operator but the wounded navigator was rushed to a hospital for treatment. (TsAMO f. 290, o. 0003284, d. 0069, l. 247 Operational Report of the Staff 1 VA)
• From 16:05 – 17:30 (MT) 6 Il-2 from 671 ShAP attacked a German railway train on the Osuga -Rzhev rail line at an altitude of 600 – 100 m. The Shturmoviks were making a 2nd approach against the train to the south of Osuga station under German antiaircraft fire. From the direction of Petrakovo, hey were attacked by 12 Bf 109. The Soviet fighter escort went into the clouds. The Il-2 flown by Mladshiy Leytenant Kozlov was attacked by a single Bf 109 from the above rear at a distance of 200 m in the area of Osuga and disappeared. Next fell the Il-2 of Regiment Navigator Starshiy Leytenant Aleksey Borisoglebskiy and the Il-2 flown by Leytenant Dubovik. Both were listed missing but Starshiy Leytenant Borisoglebskiy would return to the regiment from a hospital, after having been wounded. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0054, l. 123 Operational Report of the Staff 212 ShAD)
• From the German side, Unteroffizier Albin Wolf of 6./JG 54 claimed an Il-2 (1) at 15:50 to the northwest of Karischtschevo. This was followed by Hauptmann Carl Sattig of 6./JG 54 claiming an Il-2 (49) at 15:50 to the north of Brykovks and another Il-2 (50) at 15:55 east of Nossowyje.
• From 20:05 – 21:05 (MT) Mayor Timofey Koylochny led 3 Yak-1 from the 521 IAP to the area of Zubtsov. There they met in a dogfight with 12 Bf 109 Fs. In the ensuing fight Mayor Koylochny claimed a Me-109 F and Leytenant Vladimir Timofeenko also claimed a Me-109 F at Zubtsov. From the German side, Leutnant Ernst Weismann of 12./JG 51 claimed a MiG-3 (60) at 19:32 and another MiG-3 (61) at 19:35.
• There were actually no German losses. The Soviet loss was the Yak-1 flown by Kapitan Chemerichkin from 521 IAP. Mayor Koylochny score for the war was 4 individual and 1 group victory. Leytenant Timofeenko’s score was also 4 individual and 1 group victory. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 83 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)

8 August 1942

• From 13:55 – 15:05 (MT) in the area of Rzhev covering Soviet forces were 3 LaGG-3 from the 21 IAP and 1 LaGG-3 from the 193 IAP. The Soviet pilots were flying at an altitude 1500 – 2000 m when they engaged 4 Ju 88. The Soviet pilots were making their attack when the 6 Bf 109 escorts pounced on them. Still the Soviet ace Ivan Borodin drove home his attack claiming a Ju-88 (6) at Rzhev but his fellow pilots were not so lucky. Pavloskiy’s LaGG-3 from the 193 IAP was listed as missing at the end of the mission. Also 2 LaGG-3 from 21 IAP flown Viktor Semenov and Serzhant Semen Nikitin were listed as missing. (TsAMO f. 22020, o. 0445247, d. 0006, l. 1 page 52 Journal of Combat Operations 21 IAP)
• From the German side of this fight there seems to be what could be considered and “under claiming”. From the claims listed by the German pilots only one claim is made during this time period but to the south of Zubtsov. Leutnant Herbert Puschmann of 4./JG 51 claimed a MiG-3 (29) at 13:30.
• From 15:40 – 16:52 (MT) 5 Yak-1 from 1 GIAP led by Leytenant Molodchinin covering Soviet forces at Osuga River at the village of Anosovo. In the area of Novoselovo engaged in battle with 3 Ju 88. Leytenant Molodchinin made a head on attack and claimed a Ju-88, which fell burning at Novoselovo. The remaining Ju 88 dropped their bombs and returned to German territory. In the area of Anosovo there was observed a Do 17, which was attacked by Kommissar Drapko and Leytenant Grebeneb as a pair. They reported it went down at 2-3 km from Anocovo. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 85 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)
• From 15:40 – 17:20 (MT) 8 Pe-2 from 128 BBAP under escort of 11 Soviet Hurricane bombed German positions at Dobraya. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0052, l. 86 Operational Report of the Staff 211 BBAD)
• From 16:40 – 17:45 (MT) a group of 5 Yak-1 from 1 GIAP covered Soviet forces in the area of Zubtsov – Shchekoldino. At the village of Dobrino the group was pounced from above on their rear by 6 Bf 109. Kapitan Voloshin had to leave his burning fighter by parachute and landed in the area of the village.
• From the German side, this is possibly the claim made by Feldwebel Richard Quante of 6./JG 51 for a Yak-1 (41) at 16:20 to the east southeast of Zubtsov. Another claim was made during this time period but denied confirmation for Oberleutnant Karl Rammelt of 4,/JG 51 for a MiG-1 at 16:15 to the west of Chask(?) but did not have a witness.
• From 18:26 – 19:50 a group of 6 Yak-1 from 162 IAP led by Kapitan Volkov escorted 4 Il-2 from 212 ShAD. Kapitan Volkov with his wingman Leytenant Katyukov intercepted 2 Bf 109 attempting to attack the Il-2s. The Soviet pilots attacked from above on the rear of the German fighters at an altitude of 600 m. The Soviet pilots claimed that the led Me-109 fell burning around the village of Krasnoe. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 85 Operational Report of 210 IAD) No German Bf 109 could be confirmed as lost in this area in air battle and or other causes.
• The airfield at Dugino was bombed by Soviet bombers which resulted in the loss and damage of Bf 109s. Bf 109 F-2 (# 12 696) of 8./JG 51 received 30% damage, Bf 109 F-2 (# 8313) of 8./JG 51 15%. Bf 109 F-2 (# 12 879) of III/JG 51 at 100%, Bf 109 F-2 (# 12 696) at 10% and Bf 109 F-2 (# 9696) at 100%.
• In a take off accident, Feldwebel Wilhelm Küken was injured and Bf 109 F-2 (# 12 696) suffered 50% damage at Rzhev. Even II./JG 54 had 2 fighters make belly landings at Dedjurewo by unknown pilots that resulted in 40% damage each to Bf 109 G-2 (# 10346) and Bf 109 G-2 (# 10363) with unknown reason.

9 August 1942

• In the sky above the positions of the Soviet 31st Army in the area of the Vazuza River, where 5 Yak-1 from the 163 IAP led by Kapitan Viktor Volkov, having taken off at 05:45 (MT). Approaching the Soviet pilots observed up to 20 Ju 88 in groups of 6 – 8 aircraft under escort of three groups of 4 Bf 109 F. The Soviet pilots moved to attack these formations. Kapitan Volkov’s group attacked the 1st group of 8 Ju 88 with its 8 Bf 109 F escort. Kapitan Volkov and Starshiy Leytenant Sergey Katyukov as a pair reported shooting down a Ju 88 to the south of Zubtsov. Kapitan Volkov was attacked by 2 Bf 109 from above on the front from the sun. He was reported to have been attacked at the same time from below to the rear. The engine caught fire and Kapitan Volkov parachuted over Soviet territory. From the German side the victor appears to be Feldwebel Heinrich Wefers of 4./JG 54 who shot down a Yak-1 (25) at 05:19 in this area.
• Leytenant Aleksandr Nikulina was attacked by 2 Bf 109 from the rear above and left with a smoking aircraft. His fate was listed as missing. From the German side this was possibly Hauptmann Heinrich Jung of 4./JG 54 claiming a Yak-1 (25) at 05:20 to the southwest of Zubtsov.
• Leytenant Ivan Sharoyko and Starshiy Leytenant Arkadiy Pokroskin met in an air battle with 4 Bf 109 F, as a result Pokrovskin’s fighter was damaged. This was the possible claim made by Leutnant Karl-Heinz Weber of 7./JG 51, who reported shooting down a Yak-1 (22) at 05:15 to the west of the Vazuza River to the south of Zubtsov. He left with a decline from the battle. Leytenant Sharoyko covered him from attacks of the German fighters. Sharoyko observed for several minutes the attempt to escape by Pokroskin, before observing his Yak-1 tilt over on the wing and hit the ground. The aircraft burned but the fate of the pilot was unknown.
• Leytenant Sharoyko’s Yak-1 was damaged and began to leave the battle because of control damage. As a result of the damage, he headed in the direction of Torzhok. He was pursued and attacked by 2 Bf 109 as he continued to his airfield with his burning fighter. As Sharoyko came to the Soviet airfield at Torzhok, he lowered his landing gear and made a normal landing. Sharoyko fled his fighter, which burned up on the ground. The German fighter pursuing the Yak-1, appears from the location to be Obgefr Herbert Rauchfuss of 4./JG 54 who claimed a Yak-1 (5) at 05:25 to the east of Staritsa. This was would be the direction that Sharoyko passed in his flight north towards Torzhok. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 86 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)
• To escort the Pe-2 bombers of the 211 BBAD took off 7 Hurricanes from the 157 IAP at 09:02 (MT). In an air battle they would lose a Hurricane before landing at 10:06 (MT). Confusion over the name of the lost pilot appears both in the Journal of the 157 IAP and Operational Report of the 256 IAD as both list Serzhant Il’ya Korsunskiy as missing during this battle and the later one to Osuga, which more compelling witness indicates it was the latter. The report of the Soviet 3 VA does confirm the loss of 2 Hurricanes from the 157 IAP this day. All indications this loss occurred to the west of Rzhev but no German pilot made a claim in this area during that time frame. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 57, l. 86 Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD 09.08.1942)
• At 10:25 (MT) took off 5 Pe-2 from 793 BBAP to bomb the railway station at Osuga. On their return journey crossing over the Zubtsov area, they ran into German fighters from II./JG 54. Oberfeldwebel Paul Finkler of 4./JG 54 claimed a Pe-2 (1) at 10:13 for the first kill against the Soviet bombers. Oberfeldwebel Maximilian Stotz of 4./JG 54 claimed a Pe-2 (60) at 10:15 and followed with another Pe-2 (61) at 10:17 for the last loss from this formation. At the completion of the mission at 11:45 (MT) the aircraft and crews of Mladshiy Leytenant Avdokhin, Serzhants Aleksey Volynshchikov and Ivan Moiseev were listed as missing. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0052, l. 87 Operational Report of the Staff 211 BBAD)
• At 11:45 (MT) took off 4 Yak-1 from the 521 IAP led by Mayor Timofey Kobylochniy to patrol above the Soviet 31st Army along the Vazuza River in the area of Zubtsov – Gnezdilovo. The Soviet fighters in this area met 4 Bf 109 in a dogfight at an altitude of 1000 m. Two Bf 109 attacked from above on the rear of the Yak-1 of Serzhant Sulaev. With a damaged aircraft he left the battle and his fate was listed as unknown at the end of the mission at 12:55 (MT). From the German side, this was possibly the claim made by Hauptmann Joachim Wandel of 5./JG 54 for a MiG-3 (57) at 10:10 in the area of Zubtsov. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 1 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)
• Another Soviet bombing raid was launched against the railway station at Osuga but this time 5 lend-lease Hurricanes of the 157 IAP took off at 12:30 (MT) as the escort. On their return trip in the area of Zubtsov they reported being attacked by 5 Bf 109 from out of the clouds. A dogfight was then fought at an altitude of 700 – 800 m. Oberfeldwebel Heinz Klöpper of 11./JG 51 reported shooting down a Hurricane (57) at 12:10 at 15 km south southwest of Zubtsov. Klöpper then scored another Hurricane (58) at 12:12 at 15 km south of Zubtsov. On the landing of the Soviet fighters at 14:10 (MT) only the Hurricane of Serzhant Il’ya Korsunskiy was listed as missing and according to the Soviet pilots had taken some damage from antiaircraft fire at Osuga. (TsAMO f. 22362, o. 0429910s, d. 0001, l. 2 Journal of Combat Operations of the 157 IAP)
• At 15:25 (MT) another German bombing raid was intercepted to the south of Zubtsov but this time by 4 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Mayor Boris Zhurin. The Soviet pilots estimated the German formation as 4 Ju 88, 4 Do 215 with an escort of 8 Bf 109. Kapitan Aleksandr Kondratyuk reported shooting down a Ju-88 at Vekshino and Kapitan Grigory shot down a Do-215 (4) at Pul’nikovo. The LaGG-3 did not only attack the German bombers. Serzhant Vladimir Tsapalin made three attacks on a Me-109 F from the top rear and below rear, with a distance of 100 – 50 m, which fell 6 km to the southwest of Zubtsov. This could possibly be Bf 109 F-2 (# 8910) flown by Feldwebel Rudolf Beck of 9./JG 51, which came down at Zubtsov with 50% damage. The German bomber formation claims were a “little” to optimistic as during the day only one German bomber of the III./KG 3 was damaged.
• The LaGG-3 pilots did not go unscratched in this battle. The LaGG-3 flown by Mayor Zhurin was shot down by a Bf 109 at 4-5 km to the southeast of Zubtsov, a parachute was seen to open. Despite this the Soviet ace of 6 victories and 1 group victory was found dead. From the German side this was possibly the victory of Feldwebel Richard Quante of 6./JG 51, who shot down a MiG-3 (42) at 15:05 to the southwest of Zubtsov. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050. L. 96 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD)

10 August 1942

• From 05:20 – 06:20 (MT) 8 Hurricanes from 157 IAP led by Mayor Ivan Fedotov escorted 11 Il-2 to the target and back in the areas: Galakhovo, Timofeyevo and Lazarevo. While in flight to the target they met and went to intercept 2 Bf 109 to the side but the Bf 109s avoided fighting. There was also no antiaircraft fire in the target area. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 57, l. 88 Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From 05:25 – 06:15 (MT) 7 Yak-1 from 1 GIAP escorted 4 Il-2 from 212 ShAD for assault on Rzhev. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• From 05:50 – 06:56 (MT) 5 LaGG-3 from 523 IAP took off to cover Soviet forces in the area of Rzhev. At an altitude of 2000 m they intercepted a German bomber formation of 25 He 111 and Ju 88 with an escort of 9 Bf 109. Serzhant Semenchuk reported damaging a He 111. (TsAMO f. 22752, o. 0036292s, d. 0008, l. 4 page 53 Journal of Combat Operations 523 IAP)
• From 07:05 – 08:23 (MT) 8 Hurricanes from 157 IAP led by Kapitan Petr Ovcharov escorted 12 Il-2 to the target and back in the areas: Galakhovo and Timofeyevo. At an altitude of 2000 m to the northwest of Rzhev, they passed 3 Bf 109 on a course of 80°. In the area of Rzhev the Soviet aircraft were shelled by German antiaircraft fire. (Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From 08:18 – 09:22 (MT) 8 Pe-2 from the 527 BAP conducted a bombing raid in the area of Rzhev at an altitude of 1900 m. There was an attempt to intercept them by 2 Bf 109 and 1 Bf 110 without results. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 page 100 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• In the morning hours a dogfight occurred 7 km south southeast of Zubtsov in which Oberfeldwebel Heinz Klöpper of 11./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (59) at 07:50.
• From 09:45 – 10:55 (MT) 8 Hurricanes from 157 IAP again led by Kapitan Ovcharov escorted 6 Il-2 to the target in the area of Apoki. No German fighters were observed but one Il-2 was shot down by antiaircraft fire in the target area. (Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• In the sector of operation of the Soviet 1 VA a dogfight took place. In this battle Leutnant Ernst Weismann of 12./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (66) at 09:22.
• From 11:40 – 12:40 (MT) took off from the Soviet airfield at Bosharovo 8 I-16 from 728 IAP to cover the Soviet 30th Army. They went to intercept 4 He 111 under escort of 10 Bf 109, which they met in battle. The battle ended without results. (Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• A Shturmovik raid was intercepted at 24 km northeast of Rzhev in which Unteroffizier Günther Schack claimed an Il-2 (7) at 10:57.
• From 11:57 – 13:10 (MT) 8 Hurricanes from 157 IAP led by Kapitan Ovcharov escorted 4 Il-2 in the target area of Apoki and back. In the area of Rzhev the Soviet pilots observed up to 5 Bf 109 in pairs and single, that went into the clouds without fighting. (Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From 14:15 – 15:25 (MT) 7 Hurricanes from 157 IAP led by Kapitan Ovcharov escorted 6 Il-2 to targets in the areas of Nakhodovo and Startsevo. In the area of Nakhodovo they were shelled by German antiaircraft fire. On the course from the target the Soviet aircraft met up to 15 Bf 109 that engaged them in battle. Two of the Hurricanes received 2-4 machine gun holes with Serzhant Voloshin being wounded in the right leg. (Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From the German side in the area of this battle there were claims made by Oberfeldwebel Maximilian Stotz of 4./JG 54, who reported shooting down a LaGG-3 (63) at 13:40, followed by another LaGG-3 (64) at 13:41 and a final LaGG-3 (66) at 13:42.
• At 14:25 (MT) took off 2 Il-2 from the 312 ShAP to attack German forces at the villages of Apoki – Malyukovo to the southeast of Rzhev. From this mission did not return Leytenants Vasiliy Khomyakov and Prokopiy Bushuev. (TsAMO f. 22570, o. 0223602s, d. 0002, l. 2 page 60 Journal of Combat Operations 312 ShAP)
• From the German side, Oberfeldwebel Maximilian Stotz of 5./JG 54 claimed an Il-2 (66) at 14:15 and Oberleutnant Fritz Stendel of 8./JG 51 also claiming an Il-2 (31) at 14:15 both in the target area of the 312 ShAP.
• The Soviet 1 VA responded to the fighting in the Rzhev sector by sending Pe-2s from the 204 BAD.
• From 17:35 – 18:30 (MT) 4 Hurricanes from 157 IAP led by Kapitan Ovcharov escorted to and back from the target at Dobraya 6 Il-2. With the approach to the target there was observed 7 Bf 109 in pairs and single, which they went to intercept but the German fighters avoided battle. (Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From 17:35 – 18:30 (MT) 6 Pe-2 from 128 BAP conducted a bombing raid in the area of Timofeyevo. The Soviet aviators observed 5 Bf 109 at 17:58 (MT) but no attack. One Pe-2 was damaged by German antiaircraft fire. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0070, l. 4 Journal of Combat Operations 3 VA)
• A returning Soviet bomber raid consisting of Pe-2s from 527 BAP from the area of Rzhev was intercepted by Bf 109s. The Pe-2 flown by Mayor Mikhail Dedov-Dzyadushinskiy was attacked by a Bf 109 and badly damaged. Mayor Dedov still managed to bring his Pe-2 down for an emergency landing on the airfield at Dary. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0052, l. 88 Operational Report of the Staff 211 BBAD)
• From the German side, without the time of the mission and based on the location of the claim, this was possibly made by Leutnant Ernst Weismann of 12./JG 51, who claimed a Pe-2 (67) at 12:25 to the west of Staritsa. Leutnant Wisemann then went to the southeast to the east of Zubtsov, were he claimed a MiG-3 (68) at 12:27.
• From 14:40 – 15:15 (MT) 4 Yak-1 from 163 IAP led by Starshiy Leytenant Ivan Konyakhin, escorted Il-2 from 212 ShAD to assault German forces in the area of Znamenskoye and forest on the bank of Volga River, that was 300 m west of Povolzh’e.
• In the area of Znamenskoye, Soviet pilots observed two pair of Bf 109. Leytenant Ivan Sharoyko attacked one pair of Bf 109 F at an altitude of 800 – 2000 m, with two attacks from above rear was claimed a Me-109F (4), which fell 1 km west of Burysovo. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 85 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)
• From the German side no loss of a Bf 109 is found in this area to confirm Leytenant Sharoyko’s claim.
• A dogfight occurred to the southeast of Mologino in which Leutnant Günther Rübell of Stab II/JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (38) at 15:25. In the area of Polunino a dogfight took place in which Unteroffizier Rudolf Wagner of 10./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (1) at 15:45. Another dogfight occurred involving Leutnant Horst Hannig of 5./JG 54 in which he claimed a Yak-1 (60) at 15:55 to the north northwest of Staritsa.
• The Soviet 1 VA launched bombers of the 204 BAD against German positions around Rzhev. In one of them the Pe-2 from 261 BAP with the crew of Mladshiy Leytenant Vasiliy Udovenko was killed by German antiaircraft fire. Another Pe-2 from the same regiment flown by Leytenant Ivan Petin with crew was killed in an air battle with German fighters.
• From the German side, this possibly involved Feldwebel Richard Brand of 10./JG 51who claimed a Pe-2 (10) at 16:10. Also Feldwebel Brand was shot down and wounded in Bf 109 F-2 (#5463) with 100% damage at 25 km northeast of Rzhev (about the same area of his kill).
• Another Soviet bomber raid was made by the Soviet 211 BBAD against the Rzhev sector. Again, it was the 527 BAP performing the mission. The first Pe-2 was shot down by Bf 109s and seen falling 1-5 km to the north of Deshevka by Soviet aviators, who also observed the crew parachute to safety. Four more Pe-2 would also fall to attacks by Bf 109. The Pe-2 of Mladshiy Leytenant Kolachev and crew would be listed missing but later return. The Pe-2 of Mladshiy Leytenant Nikolay Belyaev and crew would also be reported missing but return only to perish on the 18 August 1942. The Pe-2s of Starshina Aleksandr Nesterov and Serzhant Boris Vavilin with their crews would never return. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0041, l. Operational Report of the Staff 3 VA)
• From the German side, these 5 Soviet bombers can’t be linked individually to a certain pilot but possibly can be accounted for in claims. Oberleutnant Karl Rammelt of 4./JG 51 claimed a Pe-2 (8) at 17:05 at 10 km north of Rzhev. Hauptmann Hartmann Grasser of Stab II/JG 51 claimed a Pe-2 (71) at 17:10 as the formation continued. The last three losses fell to Hauptmann Carl Sattig of 6./JG 54 who claimed a Pe-2 (52) at 17:00 and another Pe-2 (53) at 17:10. Unteroffizier Johan Fieber of 6./JG 54 also claimed a Pe-2 (6) at 17:10.
• From this battle was reported missing Hauptmann Carl Sattig of 6./JG 54 flying Bf 109 G-2 (# 10383) listed as 100% loss. From the book “Black Cross/Red Star: Everything for Stalingrad” Volume 3 by Christer Bergström is stated the following from Unteroffizier Johan Fieber: “We engaged six Pe-2s north of Rzhev. After Hauptmann Sattig had shot down two and I had shot down one, my engine was hit as I attacked another bomber. I was forced to return to base. Since then I didn’t see or hear anything from Hauptmann Sattig.”
• In 2010 a Russian “military archeologists” team (voluntary group) found the part of the wing of Carl Sattig’s Bf 109 and his tag identification to the south of Smykovo. The impact site of his machine was not found and the tag was taken to the German Cemetery near Rzhev.
• The II./JG 54 would suffer its first loss and tragic death this day at 17:15 in a take off accident at Smolensk – Nord. Unteroffizier Heinz Kalwellies of 5./JG 54 was killed in Bf 109 G-2 (# 10 378), which was written off as 95% damaged.
• In a dogfight to the northwest of Deshevki a claim was made by Leutnant Ernst Weismann of 12./JG 51 for a Curtiss P-40 (69) at 17:20. Strangely there is no such loss mentioned of a P-40 in the losses of either the Soviet 1 VA or the 3 VA for this day. So Weismann either misidentified the Soviet fighter or was wanting to add something different to his score.
• From 18:48 – 19:55 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 from 21 IAP took off to cover Soviet forces in the area to the north of Rzhev. They met 5 Ju 88 which they attacked. The German bombers dropped their bombs and turned back to German territory. The Soviet pilots claimed as damaged in the air battle, two Ju-88 and two Me-109. To the south of Mologino, 3 LaGG-3 engaged in an air battle with 7 Bf 109. The battle began going badly for the Soviet fighters with the LaGG-3 flown by Leytenant Stephan Slizkov leaving with damage to its water cooling system. Another LaGG-3 was pursued by 2 Bf 109 right up to the Soviet airfield. Leytenant Slizkov was listed as missing after the battle. This was not the end of Slizkov as he returned to his unit on the 12 August and his fighter was sent to a repair workshop for damages. (Kirche)
• From the German side, claiming in this area was Leutnant Horst Hannig of 5./JG 54 that reported shooting down a Yak-1 (61) at 18:32 in that area. Also claiming in this area was Hauptmann Joachim Wandel of 5./JG 54 for MiG-3 (62) at 18:49 and another MiG-3 at 18:57.
• From 18:40 – 19:55 (MT) 5 LaGG-3 from 193 IAP took off to cover Soviet forces to the north of Rzhev. They were directed by radio to 9 – 12 Ju 88 dropping bombs in the area of Murilovo, Msikovo and Didilovo. The five LaGG-3 singly attacked the Ju 88s. The LaGG-3 piloted by Shcherbakov pursued and claimed a Ju 88, which burning fell to the north of Perkhurovo. The LaGG-3 piloted by Karas’ made four attacks from behind, above, behind on the side claiming a Ju-88 – which fell in the area of Timofeyevo. One Ju-88 was reported damaged and went towards German territory. At 19:23 (MT) at an altitude of 2000 m in the covered area appeared 6 Bf 109 – 3 LaGG-3 in a group shot down 1 Bf 109, which fell to the south of Lazarevo. (Kirche)
• From the German side the Bf 109 claim can not be confirmed in German records.
• From 19:30 – 20:00 (MT) 5 Yak-1 from 163 IAP led by Starshiy Leytenant Ivan Zudilov escorted 6 Il-2 from the 212 ShAD, which made an assault on German forces in the area of Santalovo – Khoroshevo. In the area of Santalovo, they intercepted 8 Bf 109. Starshiy Leytenant Aleksandr Bol’shakov attacked and claimed a Me-109 F (14) before going after another pair of Bf 109. Leytenant Katyukov then attacked two pair of Bf 109 with no results. Bol’shakov attacked another Me-109, which went down burning to the side of Rzhev. This last claim was not confirmed to Bol’shakov. The 163 IAP suffered one loss with the Yak-1 flown by Leytenant Vladimir Timofeenko being listed as missing. Leytenant Timofeenko was possibly wounded but would later be transferred to 157 IAP, he would pass away in 2005. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 85 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD) (Kirche)
• This battle from the German side, possibly involved the Bf 109s of 5./JG 54 in this area. Leutnant Horst Hannig claimed a Yak-1 (61) at 18:32. This was followed by Hauptmann Joachim Wandel who claimed a MiG-3 (62) at 18:49 and another MiG-3 (63) at 18:57. There were no losses reported by JG 54 in this area.
• From 19:25 – ? (MT) 3 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Guards Kapitan Aleksandr Kondrotyuk in the area of Rzhev attacked 6 Bf 109 at an altitude of 2000 m. As a result, the Soviet pilots claimed a Me-109, which fell to the south of Lazarevo. Kondrotyuk’s LaGG-3 was damaged and made an emergency landing at Kyshnikovo. He was wounded and his fighter was wrecked. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 98 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD)
• From the German side in this area no Bf 109 can be confirmed to the Soviet claim. This battle could have possibly involved one of the above listed 5./JG 54 pilots.
• From 19:35 – 20:45 (MT) 4 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Guards Kapitan Aleksandr Kondrotyuk were covering Soviet forces in the area of Rzhev. They attacked 6 Bf 109 at an altitude of 2000 m. As a result, they claimed a Me-109, which fell to the south of Lazarevo. Kondrotyuk’s LaGG-3 was damaged and made an emergency landing at Kyshnikovo. He was wounded and his fighter was wrecked. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 98 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD)
• From 19:30 – 20:40 (MT) covering Soviet forces in the area of Rzhev were 6 LaGG-3 led by Mayor Anatoliy Golubov from 523 IAP. At an altitude of 1700 m they intercepted a German formation of 12 Ju 88 under escort of 18 Bf 109. In the air battle, Mayor Golubov claimed to have damaged a Me-109. In this battle was lost 3 LaGG-2 from the 523 IAP. The LaGG-3 (# 31212979) of Mladshiy Leytenant Vasiliy Belitskiy, LaGG-3 (31213091) Voentekhnik Fedor Ogarkov and LaGG-3 (# 31213089) Serzhant Il’ya Antonov, the first two would be reported missing. Serzhant Antonov would later return to his unit. He would perish on 9 September 1943 at 13:50 in La-5 (# 37211061) to Oberleutnant Rafael Calleja Gonzales of 15(Span.)/JG 51.(TsAMO f. 22752, o. 0036292s, d. 0008, l. 4 page 53 – 54 Journal of Combat Operations 523 IAP and Kirche)
• From the German side, this was Leutnant Hans Beisswenger of 6./JG 54 who claimed a Yak-1 (75) at 18:40 and another Yak-1 (76) at 18:41 to the northwest of Rzhev. Also, Hauptmann Joachim Müncheberg of Stab/JG 51 who claimed a Yak-1 (89) at 18:40 to the north of Rzhev.
• From 19:45 – 20:50 (MT) 6 Hurricanes from 157 IAP led by Kapitan Ovcharov escorted 12 Il-2 to and from the targets at Dobraya. No German fighters were observed and no losses suffered.
• Also II./JG 54 suffered two other losses during this day both suffering 15% damage during a Soviet bomber raid at the airfield at Dugino (Bf 109 G-2 # 10 382 for II./JG 54 and Bf 109 G-2 # 10 362). Also possibly during the same raid on Dugino the III./JG 51 suffered losses from bomb blasts to 7./JG 51 of Bf 109 F-2 # 12 906 of 25% Bf 109 F-2 # 8117 of 30%, Bf 109 F-2 # 9192 of 15%, Bf 109 F-2 # 5524 of 15%, 8./JG 51 Bf 109 F-2 # 8310 of 10%, Bf 109 F-2 # 12 881 of 10%, III./JG 51 Bf 109 F-2 # 12 655 of 100%, Bf 109 F-2 # 6827 of 90%, Bf 109 F-2 # 8074 of 25%, Bf 109 F-2 # 5436 of 65%, Bf 109 F-2 # 12 728 of 95%, Bf 109F-2 # 9715 of 25% Bf 109 F-2 # 8172 of 65% Bf 108 # 3092 of 45%, Kl 35 B # 3082 of 35% Fw 58 # 2933 of 25% and Fi 156 C-3 of 10%. Losses also occurred to Stab/JG 51 during the raid on Dugino resulting in 80% damage to Bf 109 F-2 (# 9596) and 10% damage to Bf 109 F-2 (# 9621).
• There was one loss to III./JG 51 due to air combat but the circumstances surrounding this battle are unknown as to time, pilot and if it was with a Soviet fighter, bomber or Il-2. Bf 109 F-2 (# 6671) suffered 55% damage and came down east of Bely
• To the west of the fighting at Rzhev, an air battle occurred involving II./JG 51 with no known circumstances at this time. An unknown pilot of 4./JG 51 flying Bf 109 F-2 (# 8148) came down in the area of Olenino with the damage listed as 60% Another unknown pilot of 6./JG 51 was involved in a take off accident on Bf 109 F-2 (# 5401) at Dugino resulting in 30% damage.

12 August 1942

• Between 06:50 – 07:40 (MT) there took off a Pe-2 from the 11 ORAP to perform a reconnaissance in the area of Rzhev – Zubtsov. At 07:15 (MT) the crew reported that they were attacked by 2 Bf 109. From the German side, Unteroffizier Günther Schack of 7./JG 51 claimed a Pe-2 (8) at 06:10 at an altitude of 1500 m at 12 km northeast of Zubtsov. Schack describes the incident “On 12 August I am able to score my 8th Abschuss. After completing an escort mission, a lone Pe-2 turns up. Before it can save itself in the clouds. Large flames come out of the right wing after my burst. She falls into the Volga with a big splash. One man was able to save himself with his parachute.” (Eriksson)
• The Soviet crew landed at their airfield minus the air gunner but listed the damage to the aircraft, as caused by antiaircraft fire! The gunner possibly later returned as he was not listed as a permanent loss.
• At 10:08 – ? (MT) at 3100 m with the approach to the target 5 Pe-2 from the 793 BBAP observed antiaircraft fire and were attacked by 2 Bf 109 and 2 He-113 (Soviet misidentification for Bf 109 F). The attack was made from the above rear. After 4 attacks the Pe-2s of Leytenant Nikolay Evseev and Mladshiy Leytenant Mikhail Kochkin went in a decline. One from these to an altitude of 100-150 m burning as it fell 12-15 km north of Rzhev. From the second Pe-2 one member of the crew escaped on parachute, the landing place of the parachutist and aircraft was not observed. One Pe-2 as a result of shooting up the pneumatics caused the right landing gear to drop near the target, on landing the leg folded. The aircraft was further damaged. The Pe-2 gunners claimed as shot down 1 Me-109 and 1 He-113. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0052, l. 90 Operational Report of the Staff 211 BBAD)
• From the German side, Feldwebel Rudi Meyer of 9./JG 51 claimed a Pe-2 (1) at 09:43 and Unteroffizier Hubert Strassl oof 9./JG 51 also claimed a Pe-2 (5) at 09:45.

18 August 1942

• At 06:05 (MT) took off Pe-2 (# 11/90) from the 11 ORAP flown by Serzhant Ivan Moshkin for a reconnaissance mission in the areas of Bely, Guseva and Afanasovo. Leutnant Klaus-Hennig Kamrath of 12/JG 51 claimed a Yak4 (1) at 05:50. Serzhant Moshkin became a prisoner of war, only returning in 1945. His remaining two crew members were listed as missing. (TsAMO f. 21966, o. 0198586s, d. 0002, l. 2 page 5 Journal of Combat Operations 11 ORAP)
• At 08:30 (MT) in the area of Timofeevo at 3 LaGG-3 from the 5 GIAP led by Kapitan Labeykin at an altitude of 1500 m engaged in battle 4 Bf 109 F. After 3-4 attacks the Bf 109s went to the south.
• Another dogfight occurred at 11:45 (MT) in the area of Znamemskoye at an altitude of 2000 m. This time it involved 6 LaGG-3 from the 5 GIAP led by Podpolkovik Juriy Berkal’ meeting 4 Bf 109, which tried to attack a Pe-2. After the attack the German fighters went into the clouds. The battle was without results.
• Between 15:40 – 15:55 (MT) in the area of the airfield at Rzhev at an altitude of 1000 m, 4 LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP led by Mayor Grigoriy Onufrienko intercepted a German formation. The Soviet pilots estimated it to be 14 Ju 88 under escort of 2 Bf 109. The Soviet fighters made 4 attacks on the German bombers. As a result they reportedd damaging 3 Ju 88. They also reported one LaGG-3 as damaged. There were no German claims. (TsAMO f. 311, 0004495, d. 0050, l. 110 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD)
• Between 15:35 – 16:30 (MT) 5 Yak-1 of the 163 IAP led by Mayor Aleksandr Tormozov escorted 5 Il-2 from the 212 ShAD, which operated in the area of Red’kino. In the target area 3 Ju 88 were attacked by the Soviet fighters. They were then attacked themselves by 6 Bf 109. The Soviet pilots then claimed that they were defending the Shturmoviks from the German fighters. The Shturmoviks laid down a smoke screen to cover their escape from the area without hindrance. From the battle was listed as missing the Yak-1 flown by Leytenant Sergey Katyukov. From the German side. Oberfeldwebel Heinz Klöpper of 11./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (60) at 17:00 at 7 km northeast of Vasil’yevskoye (Tver Oblast). (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 97 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)

19 August 1942

• At 15:12 (MT) took off LaGG-3 (# 3234) flown by Kapitan Pavel Emel’yanov of 21 IAP as a wingman for two LaGG-3 of 5 GIAP led by Kapitan Laveykin. In the area of Burkovo at 15:30 (MT) at an altitude of 1300 m, they met in battle two Bf 109. A second pair of Bf 109 were seen above at 300-200 m but did not engage. The Soviet pilots reported 1 Me-109 as damaged but Kapitan Emel’yanov was listed as missing after the battle. From the German side, Oberfeldwebel Heinz Klöpper of 11./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (61) at 14:25 at 18 km to the northwest of Rzhev.
• At 17:07 (MT) took off LaGG-3 (# 3237) flown by Serzhant Mikhail Mintrakov of 21 IAP as a wingman for 5 LaGG-3 of 5 GIAP in the area of Rzhev. At 5 km northeast of Rzhev at an altitude of 3000 m the Soviet LaGG-3s met in battle with 6 Bf 109. After 5 minutes, another 4 Bf 109 entered into the fight bringing the total to 10 Bf 109. The battle lasted a total of 30 minutes and the altitude fell to an altitude of 1300 m. The Soviet pilots reported damaging 2 Me-109. On returning to the Soviet airfield was missing the LaGG-3 of Serzhant Mitrakov from 21 IAP. Also missing were the two LaGG-3 from 5 GIAP flown by Guards Leytenant Dmitriy Shtokolov and Guards Serzhant Ivan Lavrenko (Both of these future Soviet aces would return to their unit on the 20th). From the German side there was only one claim, Gefreiter Erich Hilbein of 8./JG 51 claimed a LaGG-3 (2) at 16:40 in that area. The Germans had no reported damage to their fighters, unless it was less then 10%. (TsAMO f. 22020, o. 044524, d. 0006, l. 1 page 63 Journal of Combat Operations of 21 IAP and TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0050, l. 111 Operational Report of the Staff 209 IAD)
• At 19:35 (MT) above Aleshino performing a bombing raid were 3 Pe-2 from the 793 BBAP on reportedly being attacked by 9 Bf 109. After the first attack the leading Pe-2 of Starshiy Leytenant Kolesniko with his crew of Mayor Korovin and Serzhant Drokinov was set on fire, the aircraft with a sharp turn went to the ground, on an easterly course. One from the crew escaped by parachute, presumably over Soviet territory. The rest of the crew crashed to the ground in the burning bomber. The wingman, Leytenant Dimitriy Avdokhin with the crew of Mladshiy Leytenant Babik and Serzhant Deynega were attacked simultaneously with the leader. The aircraft kept on a course to the east, the German fighters continued their pursuit up to Staritsa. The remaining Soviet Pe-2 did not observe the final fate of Avdokhin’s bomber. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0052, l. 97 Operational Report of the Staff 211 BBAD)
• From the German side, all the claims made against the Soviet formation was made by one pilot of 8./JG 51. Unteroffizier Hubert Strassl claimed a Pe-2 (7) at 18:35. Pe-2 (8) at 18:37, Pe-2 (9) at 18:40 and a final Pe-2 (10) at 18:41. From the led Pe-2 only Leytenant Kolesniko survived by parachuting.

27 August 1942

• The Soviet command dispatched a Shturmovik raid against the German airfield to the northeast of Dugino this day. 5 Il-2 from the 685 ShAP met up with their fighter escort at 14:54 (MT). This consisted of 5 Yak-1 from the 1 GIAP led by Starshiy Leytenant Zudilov and 4 Yak-1 from the 163 IAP led by Starshiy Leytenant Zhuykov. As the Soviet aircraft traveled to their target, they observed a Hs 126 traveling in the opposite direction. This would be probably be a reason for the reception that they met. The Soviet pilots reported being intercepted by 16 Bf 109 as they traveled to the target. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 106 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)
• The Germans had Bf 109s from III/JG 51, I/JG 52 and I./JG 54 pounce on the Soviet aircraft as they moved to the target. The Soviet fighters were distracted from escorting their charges by I./JG 52 and I./JG 54 struck the Il-2s. Feldwebel Peter Siegler of 3./JG 54 shot down an Il-2 (34) at 14:22 at an altitude of 800 m. and followed with another Il-2 (35) at 14:23 at an altitude of 500 m. The Soviet fighters felt their first loss as Feldwebel Rudolf Trenkel of 2./JG 52 shot down a LaGG-3 (7) at 14:23 at an altitude of 800 m. The JG 52 pilots then attacked the Il-2s. Hauptmann Helmut Bennemann of Stab I/JG 52 shot down an Il-2 (48) at 14:24 at tiefflug and at the same time Unteroffizier Gerhard Hübner of 2./JG 52 shot down an Il-2 (10) at 14:24 at teifflug. The Shturmoviks were then attacked by JG 51. Gefreiter Erich Hobein of 8./JG 51 shot down an Il-2 (6) at 14:25 at teifflug. Again the Soviet fighters suffered another loss, this time to Feldwebel Karl Hammerl of 1./JG 52 shot down a LaGG-3 (52) at 14:28 at an altitude of 20 m. Again the Shturmoviks were attacked, this time Unteroffizier Otto Würfel of 9./JG 51 reported shooting down an Il-2 (1) at 14:30.
• As the Soviet aircraft reached the airfield, they also met German flak. The Soviet fighters still engaged in a dogfight suffered another loss. Oberfeldwebel Berthold Grassmuck of 1./JG 52 shot down a LaGG-3 (61) at 14:30 at an altitude of 500 m. The last Il-2 claim was made by Hauptmann Hans Oehlschläger of Stab I/JG 52 shooting down an Il-2 (2) at 14:37 at teifflug.
• The Soviet fighter pilots stated that they observed an Il-2 go down to German flak but it seems that the Germans would have denied one of the claims if it had occurred. As for the actual Soviet losses on the Soviet fighters making their landing at 16:10 (MT) missing were 3 Yak-1: Starshiy Serzhant Sergey Shuykov from 1 GIAP, Starshiy Leytenant Ivan Sharoyko from 163 IAP (Sharoyko had 8 victories and 2 group victories at this time) and Starshiy Leytenant Sergey Kotyuko (Kotyuko would return in 1945 from a German POW camp). The Soviet fighter pilots claimed to have shot down 2 Me-109 and damaged another Me-109, actually there were no Bf 109 losses.
• The Soviet Shturmoviks suffered nearly a total loss in this raid with 4 Il-2 missing and one that was so damaged from flak and attacks from Bf 109 it was sent to be repaired. Missing were Mladshiy Leytenant Aleksandr Belyakov, Mladshiy Leytenant Mikhail Vladimirov, Starshiy Leytenant Stepan Isupov and Leytenant Ivan Radchenko (Radchenko would return from a POW camp in 1945). The Il-2 piloted by Starshina Dol’nikov returned his Il-2 to Soviet territory and landed on the frame, having been hit by German flak and finally by Bf 109s before escaping into the clouds. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0054, l. 180 Operational Report of the Staff of the 212 ShAD)
• There was one further claim made by Feldwebel Peter Siegler of 3./JG 54 for an Il-2 (36) at 14:33 at an altitude of 800 m. This was far to the northwest of Dugino over Soviet territory but there is no way to connect this claim.

28 August 1942

• Without much in details in the early morning the Yak-1s from 1 GIAP were providing cover to Soviet ground forces to the north of Rzhev. The Yak-1 of Serzhant Ivan Nuyatov was shot down by Bf 109 at Kievo (15 km to the north of Rzhev), his parachute failed and he died on impact. Apparently, the bad luck for this regiment wasn’t over as the Yak-1 of Leytenant Ivan Iikhonov was shot down on the return to base by a Bf 109.
• From the German side only two possible matches emerge. For Serzhant Nuyatov there is Leutnant Hans Beisswenger of 6./JG 54 claiming a Yak-1 (95) at 05:10 in the area of his loss. As for Leytenant Iikhonev there is the claim by Unteroffizier Hans Pomberger of 5./JG 54 claiming an I-180 (3) at 06:10. (TsAMO f. 311. O. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 107 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)
• From 06:47 – 07:20 (MT) 5 I-16 from 728 IAP led by Mladshiy Leytenant Anatoliy Tomil’chenko covered Soviet forces in the areas of Kolesnikovo – Polunino – Zubtsov. At 06:55 in the area of Polunino at an altitude of 1500 m was attacked by 6 Bf 109 and left. After 5 minutes the Soviet pilots were attacked by 12 Bf 109. In the ensuing fight, Mladshiy Leytenant Tomil’chenko claimed a Me-109 which fell in the area of Zelenkino. In the battle was lost the I-16 of Mladshiy Leytenant Mikhailov that fell 4 km northwest of Rzhev and the I-16 of Serzhant Korolov was listed as missing. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 57, l. 121 Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From the German side, Oberfeldwebel Berthold Grassmuck of 1./JG 52 claimed an I-16 (62) at 06:00 and Leutnant Friedrich-Karl Bachmann of 1./JG 52 claimed a R-5 (31) at 06:10.
• From 12:03 – 12:55 (MT) 4 I-16 from 728 IAP led by Mikhail Baranov to cover Soviet forces in the areas of Kolesnikovo – Polunino – Zubtsov. At an altitude of 1500 m in the area of Lazarevo – Red’kino an air battle took place with 6 Bf 109 that ended without results. On returning the I-16 of Serzhant Kozlov was forced to land on the frame, which wrecked the aircraft and injured the pilot.
• From 12:15 – 12:55 (MT) 3 Yak-7 from 728 IAP led by Kupin in the areas of Red’kino – Znamenskov at an altitude of 3000 m met 2 Bf 109 in battle. With the 1st attack Mladshiy Leytenant Borovykh claimed a Me-109 which fell in the area of Lazarevo – Kovynevo. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 57, l. 121 Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From 14:20 – 15:43 (MT) 4 Yak-1 from 1 GIAP and 2 Yak-1 from 163 IAP led by Starshiy Leytenant Ivan Zudilov patrolled in the area of Dobraya – Povolozh’e – Timofeyevo. In this area they intercepted 20 Ju 88 under escort of 7 Bf 109. In the area of Santalovo, Starshiy Leytenant Zudilov of 1 GIAP was reported to have shot down a Ju-88 (18) but in Mikhail Bykov’s book it was listed as a Me-109. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 0004495, d. 0051, l. 107 Operational Report of the Staff 210 IAD)
• From 19:25 – 21:50 (MT) 6 Yak-7 and 3 I-16 from 728 IAP led by Bakhalov in the area of Timefeyevo – Lazarevo at an altitude of 2500 m met in battle with 8 Bf 109. In this battle Mladshiy Leytenant Borovykh claimed a Me-109 and Mladshiy Leytenant Tomil’chenko claimed a Me-109 that fell 5 km to the west of Rzhev. (TsAMO f. 311, o. 4495, d. 57, l. 121 Operational Report of the Staff 256 IAD)
• From the German side in this sector of the front there was only one Bf 109 loss. According to Prien’s work on this day in an air battle was lost Bf 109 F-2 (# 9592) from 12./JG 51because of engine failure that resulted in 100% damage. The pilot is not listed but the area of loss is clearly in Soviet territory to the northwest of Staritsa, so possibly some kind of rescue took place.

Sources:

Alarmstart East: The German Fighter Pilot’s Experience on the Eastern Front 1941-1945, By Patrick G. Eriksson, 2018 Amberley Publishing, Gloucestershire, UK
Black Cross/Red Star: Air War Over the Eastern Front volume 3 Everything for Stalingrad by Christer Bergström, Andrey Dikov and Vlad Antipov (Illusrated by Claes Sundin), 2006 Eagles Edition Ltd.
Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945
Teil 9/II and Teil 9/III Vom Sommerfeldzug 1942 bis zur Niederlage von Stalingrad 1.5.1942 bis 3.2.1943, By Jochen Prien, Gerhard Stemmer, Peter Rodeike and Winfried Bock, 2005 (Teil 9/II) and 2006 (Teil 9/III) Struve’s Buchruckerei und Verlag (German text)
Советские Асы 1941 – 1945 Победы Сталинских Сокодов (Soviet Aces 1941 – 1945 Victories of Stalin’s Falcons) By Mikhail Bykov, Москва «Яуза» «Эксмо» 2008 (Russian text)

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