History of the 1st Regiment

In one small square of the capital there is a monument. In the middle of faded flowers, looking in the windows of new high-rise buildings, marching two bronze figures, two pilots, one Russian and the other — the Frenchman. This monument is dedicated to the pilots of the glorious regiment "Normandie-Niemen". Not far from the square placed Vvedenskoe cemetery. Buried there died in 1944, French aviator Bruno de Faltan and Russian aircraft mechanic Sergey Astakhov. There is also the remains of an unknown French pilot, whose remains were found only in 1964 about Orlov. The memorial was inaugurated in 2007 in the presence of the presidents of both countries — Vladimir Putin and Nicolas Sarkozy.

A group of pilots regiment "Normandie-Niemen" at Yak-3 in Eastern Prussia. A distinctive feature of the shelf, visible in this picture is the cook Yak-3, frantsuzkogo painted in the colors of the flag (red-white-blue)

Regiment "Normandie-Niemen" was the only part of the military of another country, who fought on the terrain of the USSR in the years majestically Russian. The British and the Americans sent out only in Russian Alliance technology, food and fuel. France captured none of this could give. In 1942, General Charles de Gaulle offered Russian help in the management of a squadron of French pilots. Stalin had accepted the offer. For Joseph Vissarionovich it had a very significant political importance, as the head of our country placed his hopes on the fact that the arrival of the Allies accelerate the discovery of a second front. De Gaulle, in turn, wanted to enlist the help of the French Communists involved in the Resistance. In addition, the recognition of his Russian Union as a favorite movement was the liberation of France as opposed to the general pressure of Churchill. By the time the British have already taken a number of important decisions about the French colonies, even without the knowledge of the famous municipal leader.

November 29, 1942 On the airfield in the town of Ivanovo arrived fifteen French pilots, aircraft technicians 30, nine and four staff officers. December 4 of them have already formed aviation squadron. The pilots dubbed it the "Normandy" in honor of one of the French provinces. So Makar, they showed their difference from the regiments Vichy, who had only numeric names.

From the memoirs of George Mazyurelya, a veteran regiment "Normandie-Niemen": "I remember how, after months in the wilderness, we moved to Ivanovo. Military and civilian met us hospitably, were such a warm welcome that soon we all became friends, despite the language barrier. "

Most of the French pilots at that time barely 20 years old. Of the fifteen pilots who arrived only seven had experience in air battles, engaging in single combat over North Africa. Since the Free French pilots trained specialists from the UK, Churchill was against the order to release the aces from the Western Front. Only three of the French flew over three hundred hours that were needed to get a flying license. In other figure hovered around 150. To be on the Eastern Front, the pilots cmoshennichali, attributing to himself the missing watch.

The squadron commander, "Cherbourg" regiment "Normandie-Niemen" Marcel Lefebvre (Marcel Lefevre) and his Russian comrades (Technician Lieutenant Tarasov and Sergeant Kolupaev) in the Yak-9, number 14. Marcel Lefebvre 105 successful combat missions, participated in 30 air battles in which he personally shot down 11 German planes. 05/28/1944 Lefebvre, the fighter was shot down, and he was wounded. Seven days later, French the pilot was killed from wounds acquired in a Russian hospital. June 4, 1945 Lieutenant Marcel Lefebvre was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union posthumously

From the memoirs of a pilot-asa "Normandie-Niemen" Roland de la Poype: "We want to fight with the Russian. Death is not feared military pilots are always ready for death. We lusted after languishing fights, challenges, trials. And it got full. "

After arriving in the Russian Alliance was invited by the French elect a model aircraft for combat. In the middle of options were English "Hurricanes" South American "Eyrkobry" Russian La-5 and Yak-1. The pilots have suspended their own choices on the Yak-1. Soon all the French fighter pilots successfully passed the exam and went to the training base available to the regiment of bombers at the airport Plain plant. Their task was to accompany a leisurely Pe-2.

After the first combat pilots shot down by the Nazis opened the account. But there were also considerable loss. Only for April 13, the squadron lost three people. Revealed serious problems. The French could not navigate the snow-covered steppes of Russia. It was worth the life of Jean Ray, who along with Louis Astier during the job in August 1943, was over the territory of the enemy, and was fired. Apart from this supreme mastery of French pilots had a hard-hitting feature. Friends on the ground, they were at the height of every man for himself. The pilots first learned to conduct single combat. But such a strategy in the most horrible front led only to the fact that they were transformed into cannon fodder for the Germans.

To sit in the rear of the French had no intention but to allow them to further participate in the fighting Russian commanders also could not. The country needs was alive and battle-squadron, and not a few dead heroes. Because "Normandy" was attached to the 303rd Air Division of the fourth squadron in the eighteenth Regiment. Guardsmen from the 18th undertook to "put on the wing" of foreigners, by example teaching them combat interaction. April 17, 1943 took place the first cooperative sortie Russian and French pilots.

From the memoirs of the 1st Russian ace: "The French have expressed to us their strategy a single battle. And we have long criticized them later. Sitting in the dugout, drawn on the ground with his hands. Explained how we each other in the air to protect. "

Russian pilots izderzhali a lot of time to teach the French do not get lost in an unfamiliar area. Major General Zakharov personally explained the strategy of the group to foreigners fight with vzaimoprikrytiem the example of a broom. It splits one twig here and showed that if all the twigs together, the broom does not break down.

Many inconveniences allies brought the language barrier and everyday household problems. For example, the French have always refuses vserasprostranennuyu we buckwheat, calling it a "bird food."

Lieutenant Morden Sauvage (Roger Sauvage) from the regiment "Normandie-Niemen" in the cockpit of a fighter Yak-3. Only on the Soviet-German front (from January 1944 until the end of hostilities) Morden Sauvage fourteen German
aircraft shot down. Two more German bombers he shot down in 1940. over France

From the memoirs of de la Poype: "Every spring we collected dandelions than the Russian led to confusion. Exclusively in Russia is possible to see the magic as bolshennye yellow dandelion field. I also love to collect mushrooms. I was so christened — "mushroom-fighter."

Another discrepancy was terrible climate of our country. The pilots had a hard time during the cold Russian. A mechanic was even harder. In rein in their tweak does not go any cog, and without mittens to work in the cold and they could not. In the end, by mutual agreement, the French engineers have changed on our own.

Soon between the Russian and the French began a friendly business that grew into a real male friendship. When Vasily Stalin desired to take to discover made known "Norman", the French are strongly opposed to this transfer. Commander of the 303rd Air Division, ZHoru Zakharova, except that they are not worshiped. It was called the "elder brother" and "father." And by order of the chief of the eighteenth regiment Anatolia Golubova unconditionally and could go to hell, and the world's end.

In the 1944th Nazis shot down the plane, in which were the pilot Frenchman Maurice de Sein and Russian mechanic Vladimir whiter. The pilot gave the order to jump, but he knew he had no parachute mechanics. De Sein did not leave each other, until the last moment trying to level the machine. They died together. Another sad example of the least friendly allies were romance novels of French pilots with local girls. One of them — Alexander Laurent — even married.

In July 1943, the squadron was reformed in a fighter regiment. The first commander was appointed Major Pierre Pouyade. Soon Yak-1 was changed to Yak-9. In August 1944, the regiment received the Yak-3.

In the words of a former pilot, collector Maxi Gaynza: "Pilots" Messerschmitt "had orders not to engage in single combat with the Yak-3, because the maneuverability he had no equal. In good faith fight, he did not give the Germans nor the 1st chance to win. "
From the memoirs of French pilot: "The Yak-3 could successfully fight two to four, and four — against sixteen. On such machines, we felt themselves absolute masters in the air. "

The commander of the 303rd Fighter Air Division, Major General Jora Nefedovich Zakharov, Lieutenant Joseph Risso (Joseph Risso) of the regiment "Normandie-Niemen" and Russian officers at the Yak-3. Fighter in the photo with a picture of "George" on the fuselage — Yak-3 with the engine VK-105PF2 — personal car GF Zakharova

Fighter regiment "Normandy" participated in the Battle of Kursk, the Belarusian and the East Prussian operations. Eagle pilots helped liberate, Bryansk, Smolensk, Konigsberg, Gumbinnen (now Gusev), Pilau Insterburg and other town. In the summer of 1944 for their invaluable assistance in crossing the river Neman and the release of Lithuania Stalin awarded the honorable title of the Regiment "Normandie-Niemen".

But the main result of the action fighter regiment — over 5 thousand sorties, 900 combat aircraft, 273 recorded victories (not including eighty-wrecked aircraft) from March 1943 to April 1945. But fate has not spoiled the French. During the fighting of the ninety-six pilots killed 40 two (of them on May 30 in aerial combat). Of the fifteen people living in the first team only three left: Roland de la Poype, Marcel Albert and Joseph Risso. Eighty-three pilot regiment "Normandie-Niemen" were awarded to Russian control, and the regiment was awarded the Order of Red Banner and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Four French was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union. Got it: Lieutenant Marcel Albert, Lieutenant Roland de la Poype, commander of the Third Squadron Marcel Lefebvre (posthumously) and Lieutenant Jacques Andre. The French government has rewarded "Normandy-Neman" Military Cross, Order of the Legion of Honor, the Military Medal and the Order of the Liberation.

Roland de la Poype was among the first pilots who went to our country. As part of regiment "Normandie-Niemen" produced over 20 100 sorties, having won eighteen victories! For one day he managed to kill two Nazi aircraft. Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for military valor and courage Roland was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union. Much later, in 2008, a retired colonel, Count de la Poype won a major award in France — a noble of the Great Cross of the Order of the Legion. After the war, Roland served in the French Air Force until 1947, and later became an entrepreneur. Amass a fortune by creating izderzhal marine zoo «Marineland» by azure coast of France. Died eminent ace "Normandy" of natural causes October 23, 2012 in Saint-Tropez on the ninety 3rd year of life.

After the end of hostilities pilots and families of the dead pilots received remuneration from the currency of the USSR. The total amount was about 250 thousand dollars. Our country has also donated aircraft, on which the French fought against the Nazi invaders (40 one Yak-3). For comparison, the British Ministry of Military Affairs has agreed not to give, but only to realize bombers, which waged war pilots from France. June 20, 1945 On the French returned home.

French pilot regiment "Normandie-Niemen" and Russian technicians are trained fighter Yak-3 to go. Pilot in the photo — Morden Lieutenant Mark. After the war, his account was shot down 13 German planes. On the wing is also worth aircraft mechanic Sergeant Leonid Sanin

At home, "Normandie-Niemen" has become part of the elite. The regiment fought in the war in Indochina, in the bombing of Yugoslavia as part of the NATO forces.

"Anyone coming to us for service, being tested on knowledge of regimental history. We are very proud of the past, it is part of our prestige "- from the speech of the former commander of the" Normandie-Niemen "Francois Leotard.

In 1995, in Russia in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the regiment of the venerable title of "Normandie-Niemen" was awarded the eighteenth Guards Regiment, fought in the past, along with the French. The regiment was based at the airfield Galenki village, located in the Primorsky Krai. Unfortunately, due to the next reform of the Armed Forces of our country in 2009, a number of regiments ceased to exist. These hit and eighteenth Guards. His successor was appointed air base in the Far East under the number 6988. In the same year, due to the downsizing of the French army stopped the activity of the same name by French Fighter Group, which is located in the town of Colmar. Part of pilots and aircraft together with the regimental flag attached to a military base in Reims. It came out just the other day celebrations in the 2010th year of the Franco-Russian friends

"After the dissolution of the squadrons of" Lorraine "in 2005 and" Alsace "in 2009 — this is the third made by de Gaulle, who had disappeared," — French newspapers wrote indignantly. And that's what goes on this veteran J. Mazyurel: "We've tried everything to keep the" Normandy ". This decision can not throw any of the pilots flegmantichnymi neither in France nor in Russia. "

By the end of 2012 the government pledged to return regiment on the basis of Mont-de-Marsan. It treats adopted fighters "Rafale".

French pilot regiment "Normandie-Niemen" Lieutenant Morden Stamps from cabins own Yak-3. After the war, on account of Stamps was shot down 13 German planes

In 2012, the 70th anniversary of the renowned aviation regiment. What does this mean for today? Who carefully keeps the memory of the heart "Normandie-Niemen"? In 2010, the regiment museum in his home town of Les Andelys M. Lefebvre was closed due to lack of financial support. The museum has worked at the expense of the city administration, and implementation of books and holding meetings. Workers in establishments were that the funds raised nearly enough on wages. In the end, the authorities decided to postpone the exhibition at Le Bourget Museum of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Now there is only one copy is kept true "Yak-3" shelf "Normandie-Niemen". The exposition will be opened to the public in 2013. At the same time in Russia to this day, there are about 20 museums famous "Norman" in schools. In the capital of their 5. There are meetings with veterans of the kids, round tables and exhibitions. Patriotic education of the kids by the Association of veterans of the regiment, headed by Anatoly Fetisov. At the same time engaged without state aid. Just six months back in association appeared little own premises on the ground of the plant. V. Lenin.

Need to see that in France about the history of the famous "Normandie-Niemen" strongly little understood by the general public. School history textbooks do not mention about the Regiment. To the French veterans often come to journalists and guests, but in fact they are all from the former Russian Union. This attitude may explain the fact that France as a whole is very poorly attached to the memory of that terrible war. So how to compare the experiences of this government, with unimaginable suffering of the Russian people. For the countries of the former Union of Russian 2nd Global with 20 million dead family means more than France, which lost about fifty thousand people.

Hunt to hope that in the future our descendants around the world will keep in mind the real heroes of that terrible war, and not to think that the Second World won a dozen Yankees with machine guns.

Russian troops and French pilots third squadron regiment "Normandie-Niemen" at the Yak-3
French pilots from the squadron "Normandie-Niemen", who fought with the Germans on our front: junior pilot Joseph Risso, Derbe Lieutenant and Lieutenant Noel Castelen. In the background, the Yak-1B
French pilots from the squadron "Normandie-Niemen", who fought with the Germans on our front: junior pilot Joseph Risso, Derbe Lieutenant and Lieutenant Noel Castelen. In the background, the Yak-1B
Fighter Yak-3 Regiment Normandie-Niemen at the airport of Stuttgart passes Russian maintenance technicians before overtake France. After the war, 41 combat aircraft, the Yak-3, which led to the war, the French pilots of the Normandie-Niemen regiment, was donated to France. June 20, 1945 French pilots in these planes returned to their homeland. These fighters were in service in France until 1956

Fighter Yak-3 Regiment Normandie-Niemen already in France (by plane painted Russian markings)
Plane-Yak-3 Regiment Normandie-Niemen before the flight to France. South American technician inspects the cockpit. Airfield on the outskirts of Stuttgart, June 1945

Captain Joseph Risso have their own Yak-3 number 1 of the regiment "Normandie-Niemen". A fascinating detail: the lack of a snow-white stripes on the steering wheel. Typically French aircraft paint the steering wheel in the colors of the national flag (reddish, pure white, blue), and then for some unknown reason, there is no snow-white polosa.V 1940 Joseph Risso, along with his friend Niklossom tried to escape from Vichy France on the captured plane Caudron "Samouni." Getting lost, runaways landed in Spain, where they were taken into custody. After Risso's still managed to get to the UK, where the first group of French pilots — volunteers went to the Soviet Union for the formation of GC 3 "Normandie". The first official personal won 14 September 1943, only won 11 official victories (5 of them — in the group) and 4 unconfirmed

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