"It is very, very difficult to properly assess the state of the enemy aviation grouping (this is especially true for the Luftwaffe.) The fact is that the air forces of the German Air Force were very often used as" fire brigades ", in a matter of days, if not the clock, operational direction to another. Therefore, the data that is relevant yesterday, today could no longer correspond to the current situation.
Here is an example from the chronicle of the 100th Bomber Squadron, more precisely, of its first group operating on the Soviet-German front. After the fall of Sevastopol, the first group remained for a rather long time Saki airfield, striking at the ports of the Caucasus and other targets in the direction of the offensive of the southern Wehrmacht grouping. On August 14 she was briefly transferred to Zamorsk, and flew to Kotelnikovo on the 20th day to settle in Morozovsk on August 23 for a month and a half.
October 6 again Saki, from where on the 22nd of the same month the planes of the group relocated to Armavir. Finally, the disaster at Stalingrad demanded a return to Morozovsk (November 24-25, 1942). Before the beginning February of the following 1943, the first group of the 100th Bomber The squadron was moving not so much at the will of its command, as long as they are compelled to obey the plans of the General Staff of the Red Army.
After the surrender of the 6th Army of Paulus, the group is withdrawn to rest and restoration in Saki, from there - to Lviv, so that in the end, In the blessed regions of Southern France. Again in the Soviet Union, the first group appears on April 24, 1943, when the whole group concentrates on the airfield of Stalino (now - Donetsk). There it remains until 4 July, excluding the rapid transfer to the airfield of Sescha (June 4-7), from which the German bombers carried out several raids on the bombing of Gorky (now - Nizhny Novgorod). On the eve of the Battle of Kursk, a part flies to Poltava. On July 16, having flown from Poltava, the Germans boarded Stalin to support their troops on the Mius Front. And on August 3 - again Poltava, where they participate in repulsing the Soviet offensive on the Kharkov direction.
And these are examples of transfers made, as a rule, in the zone of responsibility of one Luftwaffe air fleet. But there were examples of relocation from under Leningrad to the south, to Stalingrad, and back.
How could Soviet intelligence be able to track of formations and units of enemy aircraft from one sector of the front another? Theoretically, there were not so few methods in its arsenal.
The first is intelligence intelligence. Indeed, in times of Words of type "by agents, at the aerodrome of Stalino arrived a hundred two-engine aircraft. " We did not find any information pointing to the fact that Soviet intelligence agents could, in real time, nor to identify a particular aviation unit producing redeployment. And in the case of a relatively long stay parts of the Luftwaffe in one place, the enemy's air force rule, and remained in the agent's reports with a faceless mass in "one hundred two-engine aircraft." Why did it work like that?
The answer, we think, is simple enough - this is the lack of a qualified agents in the German rear, since the main source of such the information was underground and partisan intelligence. Illustrate this thesis can be the activities of the underground At the German airbase Sescha, which became well known to everyone shot on the basis of real events the film "We Call Fire on Self."
What did Ana Morozova and her comrades need to identify the concentration of bomber aviation in Sesche for a raid on Gorky (real events that occurred during the period when the Morozo-how group was working on this basis)?
First, it was required to have sources that knew what the connections were for the airfield and for what purpose. Secondly, we needed a link that allowed us to transmit the received information to the "Big Land" (ie, the presence of an agent radio station). With the latter there were clearly difficulties, because communication was through the radio operators of partisan detachments using coherent units. It is unlikely that under these conditions it was possible to transfer the extracted information to the day.
The fulfillment of the first condition was determined by the amount of information it was accessible to the Czechs, who were in the German army and working at the airport. Even if it was possible the arrival of new aviation units, it was unlikely that It is well known about their tasks. Quite a lot (for the film) agents from the Russian service staff, not knowing the German - who had no special training, could only report about the same "hundred planes".
The second and most operational way is radio reconnaissance and radio- interception. This method was not only widely used, but and led to certain successes. There is confirmation of this, however, from the opposite flank of the Eastern Front. This is a very airborne flying of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet on a non- the German airfield Boilers in March 1943. However, in this case there is also a small "fly in the ointment" - radio reconnaissance recorded one, and the actual The other group of the 1st bomber esque- "Hindenburg". But the fact that radio ntelligence could provide information in real time, there is no doubt.
Another question, how accurately did the radio reconnaissance the enemy's radio networks.
The third way, which could be used, so to speak, in fact, it is an inspection of the downed enemy aircraft. As early as the beginning of 1942, the Northern Fleet received reference data from the British on the aircraft Luftwaffe connection codes, so that the fragments of the downed aircraft could be identified as belonging to a certain squadron.
February 16, 1942 tables with numbers were received and the headquarters of the Black - the navy through Moscow.
And, finally, the fourth and most reliable way is to interview the prisoners pilots. Here, as a rule, it was possible to learn a lot: the part number, its composition and armament, when it was and from where it was transferred, completion. We have not without reason carried out a survey of prisoners in the title of the article.
Here is a brief reference to the results of surveys of German pilots, In the third quarter of 1942, according to intelligence reports, Lieutenant Krebs and non-commissioned officer Radauh reported on a disloca and the control scheme of the German 4th Air Fleet. They added Lieutenant-General Vogel. Non-commissioned officers Shinzikh and Ketner from the 51st Bomb The banderillary squadron told about the dislocation of its connection and on the radio communication scheme. True, the troop membership of the first two captives were not quite identified (the document indicates the nonexistent 7th squadron).
Note that we left behind the brackets, one more, the fifth way - aerial photography. This is done quite deliberately, despite that this method was reliable and gave the picture almost immediate.
But the decoding of photographs could only provide information on the number le and the type of aircraft that came into the lens of the camera. The same questions:
"Where from?" Where? Why? "- At the same time they remained unanswered. "