Flight of the Falcon Erzurum

Flight of the Eagle Erzurum

Chronicle of the Caucasian wars stores in a lot of examples of how the soldiers of the Russian Imperial Army, people are courageous, determined and strong in spirit, in the course of hostilities sometimes made such amazing things, and that to date affect the human imagination. The largest number of just such a typical "Record" drops on fire during the world war 1914 — 1918 period. Then the operations of Russian troops in Asia Minor theater in pre-revolutionary Russian historiography received the title of the second war in the Caucasus.

Instead of heart fire engine

Midst of those who glorified banners separate the Caucasian Army, including the name George Knight pilot 4th Caucasian corps squadron warrant officer Vladimir Petrov, the first time in the world has committed a record flight over a distance of four hundred miles, driving aerial surveillance in harsh mountain climate criteria for local theater actions.

And he began fighting their own way in the aeronautic company of Kars fortress, within which dwelt aviazveno, consisting of 3 airplanes. Our hero went there as a volunteer (volunteer) with the outbreak of hostilities, as a graduate of Tiflis flying club.

Fly in the Caucasus had incredibly much. After all, as it turns out, 1200-kilometer strip of the front only applicable and very effective method of obtaining intelligence that has brought a lot of dividends headquarters of the Caucasus troops were flying over enemy rearguard. By forcing him into first combat situation the front edge, which the Russian side does not sufficiently saturated with a contingent of men and equipment, as required.

If the European theater of operations the same extent only in the first months of the war field force consisted of several million active soldiers, then on the Caucasian front, the number of Russian troops even at the turn of 1916 — 1917 the figure does not exceed 10 times the least.
That's why air reconnaissance became a trump card in the hands of a separate command of the Caucasian Army. Much less that the right to the middle of the summer of 1917 in combat formations of the opposing third Turkish army aviation was not observed at all.

From time to time the pilots of the Caucasian corps squadrons were involved to solve them uncharacteristic of combat missions by patching the holes in the front-line "fence", "darn" who do not have enough ground forces. And the thing is that the solid line combat positions, stretching from the coast of the Black Sea to Hamadan (Iran) as such under the terms mountain and desert terrain was missing completely. Units and formations of the Caucasus troops were grouped into aggregate units where there were at least a simple wheeled road or trail pack, and led the interaction between themselves at the time of combat operations.

Commanders had to send into battle for the middle of nowhere, where shortage was felt, if at all there was any lack of troops on the ground, unusual aerial reinforcements. They have made the appearance of one of its chaos and disorder in the enemy's battle formations.

Russian pilots had to fly and fight the war on outdated morally and physically models of military vehicles. Since the beginning of the war two thirds of the Caucasian military troops neighborhood went to the European theater of war, taking with him all more or less valuable in the battle against, including airplanes. Abandoned at a fraction of the Caucasian Army pilots trash even call airplanes language did not turn. Their not that I do put the command of military tasks, but sometimes you just get in the air without a certain bit of risk was unreal.

In this failure of Russian pilots do not exhaustive. They had to fly in the criteria of high mountains, which was then beyond the power of even a fully committed at the time the models of airplanes, taking into account their are more frail tactical and technical characteristics as load capacity, ceiling height, speed and range. And what about when we talk about how old, who had a hand in pilots of the 1st and 4th squadrons of the Caucasian corps? ..

In one of the rooms of an illustrated magazine "Niva" for 1915 in a report entitled "The pilots of the Caucasus Mountains," about the subsequent said: "Aerial reconnaissance over the ridges to create more than eight and a half thousand feet (more than 3 thousand meters. Note . Ed.) — Even in peacetime air flights on similar ranges were a record and would force myself to read about the press around the world. Now such flights have to do in the criteria of wartime, and the pilot not only runs the risk of continually break the tabs on the rocks but must fly over enemy chains at a height not exceeding aiming a rifle shot, because the climb up over the ridge can not be. "

We strive our birds flying

In one of the operations in 1915, producing aerial reconnaissance Turkish mountain positions pilot 4th Squadron of the body of the Caucasus "volnoper" Petrov proparhal over enemy trenches at an altitude of only a few 10-s feet. The Turks were on fire him not only with rifles, but even with pistols. But with the task Petrov coped brilliantly.

On another occasion, a pilot, flew at low level flight line of the enemy outpost in the valley of the river Azo-soo, its appearance has brought panic in the ranks of the Turkish troops. He quietly and efficiently, in spite of fierce machine-gun fire from the ground, bombed with compact bombs, hand grenades and iron arrows fighting positions on the Turks. In a report from the staff of the Caucasian Army July 19, 1915 on this occasion said: "In Sarykamysh direction during aerial reconnaissance, one of our pilots threw a bomb into a large camp of the Turks, bringing them into disorder."
Command appreciated the military successes Petrova, for which he was awarded the St. George's soldiers merit — a cross and a medal of IV degree.

But the real fame came to him at the time of Erzurum offensive that ended the Turkish fortress of the same name by storm in January 1916. Anticipating the actions of ground units, the Russian pilots thoroughly examined all the air plateau Virgin-massacre, which housed the eleven long Turkish forts, made up the entire length of the fortified area of 30 6 km. The share of our hero got the worst area, alpine-Gurdji Bogazsky passage through which the steamroller of the 2nd Corps of Turkestan.

Even a critical to their former employees of Russian brigade commander NG Korsun, a member of the davneshnih events in their own operational and strategic essay "Erzurum offensive on the Caucasus front of World War II," Military released in 1939, made the subsequent recognition: "Aviation in Winter criteria met great difficulties in the selection of airfields and landing sites …

Service pilot was very unsafe. Passinskaya plain had exceeded altitude of 5,500 feet (1,600 meters), and the belt of forts on the crest of the Virgin-massacre significantly towered over her. In the rarefied air of airplanes hardly take the necessary height, and often during the flight across the ridge to the Virgin-massacre even touched on in the past. After each flight, the airplane with the new vorachivalsya countless bullet holes. Despite all the difficulties of working in aviation these criteria, she gave the command of a number of photographs of the Turkish position, and in particular a commander of the surrounding area of Fort Tchoban-grandfather. "

The final phase is completely attributed our hero — Petrov. The situation is aggravated by the
fact that in the face of Russian attacks with a strong wind blowing snow charges, limiting visibility. Worn airplanes with weak engines just scraped out the criteria against massive highland and gusty air currents. When gaze from the earth created the illusion that they are, as if a huge black birds hovering in one place.

Petrov flew not only on aerial reconnaissance, he helped navigate the terrain on top of the attacking companies, and led his own artillery fire adjustment. His flying over the mountainous fort Chobandede airplane inspired confidence in the offense of assault teams and became an emblem of success fighting Russian troops in this sector.

The total number of hours flown in the area for a period of Erzurum offensive he was above fifty, more than anyone else. He had the honor to tell the commander of the first separate the Caucasian Army, General of Infantry NN Yudenich that the Turks had left the fortress, as Russian troops advanced harnessed it to strengthen.

After the assault and capture of the Turkish stronghold of Petrov is nicknamed Erzurum eagle, given to him by the officers and soldiers of "the 2nd Corps of Turkestan. And on the basis of combat operations by order of the Caucasian viceroy stately Duke Nicholas Jr. at number 100 of March 8, 1916 he was made of the volunteers in the ensigns of seniority in this first officer with the rank of September 27, 1915.

Air jump record holder

By 1917 the Caucasian army finally began to receive from the Russian military-industrial complex standards of modern weapons s allies. At this point, Ensign Petrov moved to a new twin-engine "Caudron G-4" made in France. At that time, according to agents' information received by the headquarters Iudenich, the Turks began to jibe with the Mesopotamian front in support of the Caucasian group the 2nd Army. The latter was crowned with laurels favorite of the British. Turks managed to defeat the English expeditionary force in Iraq, captivated him locked in the remnants of the town of Kut al Amar, along with its commander, General Townsend.

2nd Mesopotamian army began to concentrate in the rear of the third army group of Turks into strips Erzincan-Ognot-Vastan. In this connection, the general Yudenitch put commander of the 4th Squadron of the Caucasian corps podesaulu NI Limansky combat task: to make as it may be, far aerial reconnaissance. Before the most limiting the distance that the Russian pilots were flying, not more than two hundred miles. At that time, it was not much.

The candidacy of artist did not have to open a discussion. Choosing commander undeniably fell on Ensign Petrov. A job with it flew airplane observer Lieutenant Boris Mladkovsky than the rest combined the position bortstrelka. The same agents warned the Russian side, which had followed from Mesopotamia Turkish reinforcements have their own aircraft. Not be ruled out meeting with enemy fighters.

And now, at the dawn 13 August 1917 from the 1st of airfields, got lost in the middle of mountain ridges, flew Russian spy plane. The Braves were flying into the unknown. Detailed maps of the area were out of the navigation device — one of only a compass … Frontline flew without any accidents, apart from the fact that the Turks fired airplane from small tools.

After only an hour flight map was watching izrisoval symbols. It all began with a pack-a mountain battery, which they spotted on the outskirts of the unknown villages near the band edge. Then they look brought caravans of camels loaded with the baggage of ammunition and rocket boxes and dusty marching band formation longish Turkish infantry. In the area of settlements and Ognot Chilik-Keagy pilots just verified the veracity of the agents' information. All districts were slaughtered troops with artillery and baggage.

The Turks tried to shoot down low-flying Russian airplane, opening for firing him distraught. But the Russian pilots did not remain in debt. They are low-level flight strike fear in the Turkish cavalry Suvari, which was first adopted for the cavalry Kurdish militias. On the way home, faced with an enemy airplane. Although the fuel was in the finals, Petrov went on battle course, deciding to fight the Turk. But the latter did not get involved in air match by removing away.

We landed at the airfield already own with empty tanks, it can be said on the integrity of the word, a little short of the marked-up flags of the strip. They are no longer alive chayali behold …

Transferred data were of exceptional importance. In the unit colleagues measured the flight route map, estimated that he made more than four hundred miles away! Such long-distance air travel, and even to the same criteria in the fighting in the Caucasus still has not done! ..

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