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Stormovik, Shturmovik or Sturmovik?

Ive come across three different spellings on the www.  

Stalin, In a telegram to the directors of one of the troubled Sturmovik Il-2 plants  

        ‘Our Red Army now needs Il-2 aircraft like the air it breathes, like the bread it eats.’

 

Over the course of the war, a total of between 31,000 and about 36,000 Il-2s were produced. The Il-2 was anything but advanced in its mixed wood-and-metal construction, which was relatively easy to manufacture in significant numbers using relatively unskilled workers. But for an aircraft, it was an amazing achievement. Among the Shturmovik’s most important assets were its strength and robustness in combat. The forward fuselage section — protecting the aircraft’s fuel system, radiators and crew station — was built entirely of armor plate. Thus, the Il-2 could, and often did, absorb extraordinary battle damage and survive to fight another day.

 

The Build,

Airfix series 2 kits.

Having recently completed four of the latest Airfix had to offer in the 1/72 spitfire range I thought I would dig around in my stash and find my next challenge. So out came two Airfix Illyushin Stormovich (Series 2) kits.

Finished as a post war Polish Air Force Aircraft.

Poor fit between fuselage half’s and wing upper and lower sections required plenty of filling and scrapping, when attaching the wings to the fuselage the wings were too thin I could either align the tops or the bottoms with the fuselage join line and do my best on the opposite side, I went with aligning the top surfaces best I could and profiled the underside best I could, Undercarriage doors are simple profiled pieces with little detail or instructions how to locate.

I struggled throughout the build and on more than one occasion I thought of stopping and putting them to one side, however as I progressed things looked better and in the end I’m pleased with the results. (but I wont build another!)

 

 

Airfix box 'Stormovik'?

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Edited by Parrish
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Well, there is no such thing as "correct, one and the only true" Latin spelling for "штурмовик", pronounced as "shturmovik", emphasis on the last syllable.

Thing is, that it is not even a proper noun, like "Vimy", "Moskito" or "Beaufighter", it just means "ground attack plane". As such the planes such as Il-10 or Su-25 are also "shturmoviks" 

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Great shturmovik! Both of them as I can see.

 

Meanwhile, it is interesting that out of 35,941 produced only about 3,500 shturmoviks survived until May 1945. Combat and non-combat losses were approximately equal. So the IL-2 can be considered not only the most numerous, but also the most downed aircraft.

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3 hours ago, Parrish said:

The Il-2 was anything but advanced in its mixed wood-and-metal construction,

this depends on the model, and when and where it was built, some were all metal, some had wooden wings and rear fuselage. 

It's a complex subject. 

have a browse here if you would like to know more http://massimotessitori.altervista.org/sovietwarplanes/pages/il-2/il-2.htm

We have a member here @Learstang who wrote a book on them.

 

 

the Airfix kit, is, erm, a product of it's time, 1966 or so,  when information was scarce,  and it's not aged well.   Neither have the painting  instructions!

 

Bu they are neat builds of not great kit! :goodjob:

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5 hours ago, Val_Ukraine said:

Great shturmovik! Both of them as I can see.

 

Meanwhile, it is interesting that out of 35,941 produced only about 3,500 shturmoviks survived until May 1945. Combat and non-combat losses were approximately equal. So the IL-2 can be considered not only the most numerous, but also the most downed aircraft.

Hard airplane to fly the reason for non-combat related crashes?

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2 hours ago, SAT69 said:

Hard airplane to fly the reason for non-combat related crashes?

Or young undertrained pilots rushed into service  ?

 

Wulfman

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5 hours ago, SAT69 said:

Hard airplane to fly the reason for non-combat related crashes?

 

3 hours ago, Wulfman said:

Or young undertrained pilots rushed into service  ?

Yes, you are right that undertraining was among the reasons of high non-combat loses. Il-2 was not a hard plane to fly but a lot of young pilots had very moderate flying skills in 1941-1943. The training program in 1941-1942 included as small as 6-10 solo flights and these were concentrated on take-off and landing. But the main reason for the non-combat losses were the low production standards and manufacturing defects.

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1 hour ago, Val_Ukraine said:

 

Yes, you are right that undertraining was among the reasons of high non-combat loses. Il-2 was not a hard plane to fly but a lot of young pilots had very moderate flying skills in 1941-1943. The training program in 1941-1942 included as small as 6-10 solo flights and these were concentrated on take-off and landing. But the main reason for the non-combat losses were the low production standards and manufacturing defects.

What I 've heard is also that about 10% of produced airplanes, since they were not produced only by highly qualified workers, where not able to fly at all... Maybe it is only a rumour or a  city legend?

Regarding the Airfix kit it is the less accurate Il-2 on the market  and I am all the time surprised, that Airfix is still producing (and selling) it. Even the ZTS Plastyk  kit from 1970s is a better choice. The Academy, Zvezda or KP are far better starting point. However, you did all the best with them!

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I built one of these when they first came out.  Thank you for showing us them again- You have done well with a very basic kit, building two shows real stamina, I don't think I would like to try again.

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19 hours ago, Pin said:

Thing is, that it is not even a proper noun, like "Vimy", "Moskito" or "Beaufighter", it just means "ground attack plane". As such the planes such as Il-10 or Su-25 are also "shturmoviks"

Formally yes "shturmovik" is not a proper noun. But even in Russian language Il-2 is frequently called "Il-2 Shturmovik" so it's not completely odd to use the word as proper noun. Il-10 is a metal and more technologically traditional development of Il-2 so it is a Shturmovik as well. Su-25 has nickname Grach (Rook) and is frequently called that way. Shturmovik name is not frequently used for that. 

 

As to translation - I think Attacker is actually the best match. Штурм (shturm) is literally Assault - e.g. Assault rifle is translated as Shturmovaya Vintovka. But "assaulter" would probably be a wrong meaning. 

3 hours ago, JWM said:

I 've heard is also that about 10% of produced airplanes, since they were not produced only by highly qualified workers, where not able to fly at all... Maybe it is only a rumour or a  city legend?

I think it's a mix. Il-2 were produced by normal aircraft factories similar to other aircraft so it should not had much different defect rate compared to other Soviet types. At the same type all the Soviet machinery factories are known for insufficient level of quality so that product user should 'upwork' the product before it is really able to function as intended. 

 

What I think is that Il-2 had huge losses because of multifactor combo. It was not a dive bomber so had to make long low passes to bomb the target more or less precisely being easier to be spot by anti-aircraft artillery. And nazis had a very good flak cannon. Poor trained pilots too. The construction was made heavily of wood which did not help it sustain longer live. The front fuselage was also unique in that armoured box was itself holding engine, wings, wooden rear fuselage - not a number of ribs and frames as it's typical for most of the aircraft. So probably this was leading to fatigue issues.

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I look at it this way; 'Shturmovik', capitalised, refers to the 'Il-2', whereas 'shturmovik' can apply to any Soviet/Russian attack aircraft, including the Il-10. It's analogous to the situation with "Stuka', which was just a contraction of the German term for a dive-bomber, but through usage became synonymous with the Ju 87. Regarding the losses that the Il-2 took, early in the war it had little or no fighter coverage, and the attack tactics were not well-developed. As the war went along, the losses dropped dramatically due to better tactics, better fighter protection, better pilots, and the aircraft itself improved; the addition of the rear gunner was a very important addition that all the Il-2 pilots commented favourably on. It is interesting to note that the plurality of Il-2 losses were due to flak, not Axis fighters. It would also have been interesting to have seen the losses for the Typhoon, for example, under similar circumstances.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

Edited by Learstang
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2 hours ago, Learstang said:

I look at it this way; 'Shturmovik', capitalised, refers to the 'Il-2'

Only in the West and unofficially -  not in Russian language or Soviet or Russian literature. Out of question, the most famous shturmovik is Il-2, but "capitalized" Shturmovik It is like  calling all copiers "Xerox", all tablets "iPad", all smartphones iPhone etc.

Here is the link to Russian Wikipedia link to "shturmovik":

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Штурмовик , besides Il-2 it mentions among others Hs-129. Ju-87G, FW-190F, Buccaneer, Intruder, Corsair-II, A-10, Su-25, F/A-18 etc. 

One of the reasons is that in Soviet/Russian tradition aircraft types do not have official names, Su-27 is just "Su-27"; "Flanker" is its western name, not used in Russian language at all. 

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Yes, I understand this, and in my book, I did not use Shturmovik, capitalised or not, as much as I used the service designation, 'Il-2'. But since this is an English-language forum, the Il-2 is often referred to as the 'Shturmovik', with 'sh' being the preferred spelling, in English, for that Russian letter, the 'sha'. Correctly, or not (from the Russian point of view), 'Shturmovik' is commonly used to refer to the 'eel-dvah' in the English language. I believe my comparison with the 'Stuka' was very appropriate.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

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5 hours ago, Learstang said:

Regarding the losses that the Il-2 took, early in the war it had little or no fighter coverage, and the attack tactics were not well-developed. As the war went along, the losses dropped dramatically due to better tactics, better fighter protection, better pilots, and the aircraft itself improved; the addition of the rear gunner was a very important addition that all the Il-2 pilots commented favourably on. It is interesting to note that the plurality of Il-2 losses were due to flak, not Axis fighters. It would also have been interesting to have seen the losses for the Typhoon, for example, under similar circumstances.

Hi Jason, 

 

My understanding from what I read about Il-2 usage and losses - earlier in the war you are correctly pointing to losses being caused by zero fighter coverage, absent gunner, inadequately trained pilots. So probably a lot of kills were by nazi pilots. At the same time in early years the number of Il-2s delivered to the army was still fairly low so those losses do not constitute the majority of total attrition.  

Later in the war however I believe the majority of losses were caused by the need to bomb from low altitude after a long low pass and flaks fire was destroying a lot of shturmoviks. As I understand Typhoons or P-47 were able to dive much better than Il-2 so probably were not as prone to flak fire. And after all Il-2 was a very sizeable machine compared to fighters used in ground attack role by the US and Britain. And Il-2 was also much slower. So again that was making Il-2 an easier target. 

 

Please correct me if I'm wrong as you should know way more than me on Il-2s usage :)

 

Dennis

Edited by Dennis_C
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18 hours ago, Wulfman said:

Or young undertrained pilots rushed into service  ?

 

Wulfman

Combination of both that and the nature of operations I expect. Constantly relocating to hastily prepared fields, operating in eastern European or Russian weather conditions coupled with fatigue and psychological state one might expect having returned from the specific type of operations they were engaged in which meant getting shot at from both the ground and air a lot.

Edited by Bigglesof266
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On 6/11/2020 at 6:27 PM, Parrish said:

Stormovik, Shturmovik or Sturmovik?

Stormovik this is a fairly successful Western adaptation of the Russian word, nothing more. As vodka Smirnoff have "ff" whereas in Russian this name is spelled Smirnov with "v", because Russian spelling is more difficult to pronounce.

As Shturmovik (Shturmovik

correct  Russian spelling, but which Google translator translates as

Sturmovik 😁) correctly pointed out, this is a classification for a class of aircraft whose main purpose is strike operations directly above the battlefield.

Those.  in Russian, a combination is used 

Shturmovik IL-2

Shturmovik IL-10

Shturmovik IL-40

Shturmovik IL-102

Shturmovik Su-25

Shturmovik Su-39 (Su-25T)

Shturmovik A-10A

Shturmovik A-7 Corsair 

Shturmovik A-4 Skyhawk

e.t.c.

 In this case, the Attack  combination is not used to indicate the class, but it is possible to indicate the suspension option, as an example of the MiG-21 in the Attack version, or  "Attack version MiG-23" for MiG-23BN.

At the same time, the term Shturmovik transferred to aviation from the ground forces, where they designated the infantryman storming the front line of the enemy’s defense.  Now this designation is outdated, but it remains in the designations of units, as an example: Desantno-shturmovaya brigada Vozdushno Desantnykh Voisk (Airborne assault brigade of the Airborne Forces)

 

 

About losses.

(Sometimes  need to give full quotes from Wikipedia and not pull out a part.)

 

Loss of IL-2 aircraft during WWII Edit
 (source: Aviation and Cosmonautics, Number 3, 2016)

 During the war, the official irretrievable combat losses of the Soviet Air Force and Navy attack aircraft amounted to 11,448 Il-2 aircraft, the irretrievable non-combat losses of the Soviet Air Force and Navy attack aircraft amounted to 11,055 aircraft.  The official lists of irretrievable losses did not include damaged aircraft sent for repair to workshops and factories, but due to the inappropriateness of repair, these aircraft were decommissioned, disassembled for spare parts or disposed of (this is approximately another 1/3 of the total number of disabled attack aircraft).  It is also difficult to count lost planes at industrial plants and crashed during the distillation to the front.  According to the most approximate data, of all the built aircraft, only about one thousand Il-2 attack aircraft were decommissioned for the development of the assigned resource (natural wear and tear), and these aircraft were mainly used for training modifications and were not used in combat.

According to the magazine Aviation and Cosmonautics, issue 5-6 for 2001, on May 10, 1945, the air forces of the Soviet fronts officially had 3435 serviceable and faulty IL-2 aircraft of various modifications (including training and reconnaissance spotters), and  197 Il-2 attack aircraft in the air regiments of the Soviet Navy.  Another 1,200 Il-2 attack aircraft (according to other sources, about 2,000 Il-2 attack aircraft) were in the air units of the internal military districts, reserve regiments, regiments for reformation, in other organizations and departments, as well as transferred to the allies."

Total, on May 10, 1945, was in services 3435+1200( or 2000) = 4635 ( or 5435) IL-2 all modification.

At the same time, in 1945, 4089 IL-2s were released, since there is no monthly breakdown, it can be assumed that the release of IL-2 continued after May 10, 1945.

 

Total manufacturing:

1542  in 1941

8229 in 1942

11193 in 1943

10888 in 1944*

4089  in 1945

35941 from 1941 to 1945.
 ___________

* - Including 222 IL-10 in 1944

 

35,941- 222 (IL-10) - 11,448 (combat losses)  -  11,055 (non combat losses) - 1200 (

fully developed resource) = 12,016.

 

Thus, this figure turns out to consist of IL-2 as of May 10, 1945, IL-2 released after May 10, 1945 during 1945, and IL-2 damaged aircraft sent for repair to workshops and factories, but due to the inappropriateness of repair, these aircraft were decommissioned, disassembled for spare parts or disposed.

 

Is it a lot or a little?  Is it a good plane or a bad one?  I dont know.

 

But just recently there was a discussion here:

https://afirsov.livejournal.com/553188.html

where were the arguments on the losses of the Typhoon the following content:

 

"Thus began the bloodiest episode in the combat career of a fighter.  On June 6, "Typhoons" made 400 sorties, losing 8 aircraft and 6 pilots.  But this was only “first blood” - until August 25 - the liberation of Paris, during the campaign in Normandy 264 Typhoons and 149 pilots were lost - 22% of all losses on this fighter in World War II ..."

 

As an additional argument, they cite the following fact - the maximum number of hits of a 20-mm gun that IL-2 withstood and safely returned to the airfield - eight! With what maximum damage from a 20 mm did Typhoon or Thunderbolt bring to the airfield?

 

B.R.

Serge

 

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Airfix had two attempts at spelling the name when the kit first came out in 1964. Both transfer sheets were in agreement though.

 

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