NQM Soviet Air Force (VVS)

Chris Kemp’s Not Quite Mechanised

Soviet Air Force (VVS)
Air Div HQ   1 Comd in  Staff Car (s3),  Staff/Signal Van (s3)
Regiment x 2-4 1 Aircraft (See notes below)(s3) (Each one equals 3 Squadrons)
Air Svc Bn (AOB)
 1-6 Ground Sp Crews(s3), Fuel Bowser, Fire Truck and Crew (s3), Ammo Tender (s3)

Petlyakov Pe-8 (1940) [ Heavy Bomber]

Strategically, forces were organised into Air Armies which, in 1943 contained 10 organic regiments and 13 attached from GKO Reserve, 23 in total:
In 1943 this might be :

Night bomber Division (4) LNB night bombers
Fighter Division (3) Yak-7B
Shturmovik Division (3) Il-2

Shturmovik Division (3) Il-2
Fighter Corps
Fighter Division (3) Yak-9
Fighter Division (2) La-5
Bomber Corps
Bomber Division (3) Pe-2

Bomber Division (2) Pe-2

Additionally, each air army had a regiment each of transport (GVF), recce and artillery spotting aircraft – a total of 23 regiments and NQM aircraft models.
November 1942 saw the introduction of air corps, eventually producing 14 fighter, 6 bomber and 9 Sturmovik corps, some 30 in total divided amongst 13 air armies. But it is important to bear in mind that 40-50% of all forces were allocated to air armies as occasion demanded from GKO reserves
Operational aircraft strengths fluctuated wildly (Boyd, 1977).
The Soviets saw the Air Force as a close partner to the ground forces, and the large number of attack, and tactical bomber aircraft reflect this. Unlike the Germans, who produced a bewildering number of designs, the Soviets concentrated on quantity, and when a design worked, they stuck with it.
The following aircraft types were used by the SVVS. I have not included purely strategic aircraft, trainers ori nterceptor night fighters, nor aircraft where only small numbers saw service at the very end of the war. , I have included the Soviet designation, (first operational use) and [Type]. If I have been able to determine, I have given operational areas and any comments that help: If it looks a bit like an easily available aircraft that it can be modelled from, I have noted that. The main source for this section is Gunston, (1978), Combat Aircraft of WWII. Arranged by date of entry into service


Polikarpov Po-2. (1928), [Utility, Army Support]. Biplane, over 6,500 produced.


Polikarpov I-15. (1934), [Fighter]. Biplane, (Il-153 from redbanner.co.uk in early ""sky laquer").
Polikarpov I-16. (1934), [Fighter]. Monoplane, Thousands produced. (http://www.dipity.com/tickr/Flickr_rata/)


Tupolev SB-2. (1938), [Medium Bomber]. (http://www.hyperscale.com)
TB-3 bomber (1938) [Heavy Bomber]. 800 produced, later models had closed cockpits and turrets  or were converted to transports.
Petlyakov Pe-2 and Pe-3. (1939), [Attack Bomber & Recce]. (redbanner.co.uk)
Sukhoi Su-2. (1940), [Attack Bomber]. (wp.scn.ru)
Lavochkin LaGG-3. (1941), [Fighter]. (vvs.hobbyvista.com)
Mikoyan MiG-3. (1941), [Fighter]. (Converted by the Author from a Spitfire before kits became available from Zvezda)
Ilyushin IL-2 Stormovik. (1941), [Close Support, Attack]. (42,330 produced! Author's collection, Mustang conversion and 1/200th metal model)
Yakolev Yak-1. (1941), [Fighter]. Looks a bit like a Hurricane.
Lavochkin La-5 and La-7. (1942 and 1943), [Fighter]. Looks a bit like a stretched FW190.
Tupolev TU-2. (1942), [Attack Bomber]. Rare, overshadowed by the earlier Pe-2.
Yakolev Yak-3. (1943), [Fighter]. Looks a bit like a Hurricane .
Yakolev Yak-9. (1943), [Fighter]. Looks a bit like a Hurricane, (don't they all?)
   Pictures by the Author.

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