Back in August 1914, Staff Captain Pyotr Nesterov, world famous for his loop, for the first time in the world decided on a deadly risky trick - he struck down the Austrian "albatross". And - he died … But on April 1, 1915, captain Alexander Kazakov removed the tragic seal of death from a risky admission: he knocked the "albatross" from the sky with the Nesterov "chirping" of the wheels from above and landed at his airfield. Soviet history hushed up the very name of Kazakov, on whose account - 32 victories in the skies of the First World War and 1st place among Russian aces.
In the First World War, Kaiser's Germany armed its airplanes with machine guns and horrified mankind with the first weapon of mass destruction - bomber aircraft, from which hundreds of people were instantly killed and maimed, houses collapsed along with residents.
“Everything was on fire - an amazing picture! - German ace Manfred von Richthofen recalls his bombing on the Eastern Front with barbaric delight in the book "Red Fighter" after the bloody color of his "Fokker". - The Russians were planning an offensive, and the station (station Manevichi - L.Zh.) was packed with trains. There was a joyful anticipation of the bombing …"
How could the Russian pilots who flew on unarmed French "moraines" and "Newpors" protect the troops and civilians? Received from the Russian military department an inexplicable refusal to arm the Russian aviation - "according to the instructions it is not necessary"? They drove off bombers with pistol firing, frightened them with a collision, threatened with their fists in powerlessness … Back in August 1914, Staff Captain Pyotr Nesterov, world famous for his dead loop, for the first time in the world decided on a deadly risky technique - he struck down the Austrian "albatross", which dropped a bomb on the airfield, ramming blow. And - he died … But the tragic seal of death from a risky admission was removed on April 1 (new style) 1915 by captain Alexander Kazakov: he knocked down an "albatross" from the sky with a Nesterov "chipping" of wheels from above and landed at his airfield.
Soviet official history kept silent about this second, victorious ram, since Captain Kazakov in 1918 moved from the Red Army, from under the leadership of Leon Trotsky, to the British-Slavic corps formed by the British in Arkhangelsk, which was to be relocated to France for the war with the Germans. But he was thrown against the Red Army.
Soviet history hushed up the very name of Kazakov, on whose account - 32 victories in the skies of the First World War and 1st place among Russian aces. Foreign - described an outlandish device with which, even before the ram, a Russian ace shot down 5 enemy planes. At the same time, making mistakes in the surname, reducing the number of victories. So, in the mini-encyclopedia of James Prunier "Great Pilots" it is reported:
“Kazabov Alexander. The Russian ace of 1915 (later the owner of 17 victories), who invented an original way of sending his enemies to the ground: from his “moraine” he lowered an anchor on a rope, with which he tore off the wings of enemy aircraft”.
Aleksey Shiukov, a Russian pilot and aircraft designer, only at the end of the Great Patriotic War, in which battles more than 500 Soviet falcons hit the enemy with a ram, was able to publish his memoirs about the fearless and inventive Kazakov, about his first air battle in the "Bulletin of the Air Fleet" magazine:
“Having overtaken the German plane, he released the cat and hooked its paw on the wing of the enemy car.But contrary to expectations, the cable did not immediately break, and both cars were, as it were, tied together. A German pilot with a "cat" in his body began to fall and pull Kazakov's plane behind him. And only self-control helped him to break the cable with a few movements, unhook from the enemy and go to land."
In the memoirs of the commander of the squadron of the captain Vyacheslav Tkachev, published only in the post-perestroika time, the report of Captain Kazakov about the sixth duel, which ended in a battering ram, was reproduced:
“But the damn 'cat' is caught and dangles under the bottom of the plane. Two fronts - forty thousand eyes, Russian and German, looking out of the trenches! Then I decided to hit the "albatross" with wheels from above, - continued the report of the imperturbable Kazakov. - Without thinking twice, he gave the steering wheel down. Something jerked, pushed, whistled … a piece of a wing from the wing of my "moraine" hit my elbow. The Albatross first bent down on its side, then folded its wings and flew like a stone downward. I turned off the motor - one blade on my propeller was missing. I started planning … I lost my bearings and only guessed where the Russian front was from the shrapnel breaks. He sat down, parachuting, but overturned on the ground. It turns out that the impact from the wheels was so strong that the landing gear was concave under the wings."
The effect of ramming strikes, adopted only by Soviet pilots for two cases: if the cartridges ran out or if the onboard weapon failed, had a devastating psychological effect on the enemy. Hitler's aces, for example, since the fall of 1941 were advised not to approach our hawks closer than 100 m - in order to avoid ramming. And in 1915, after Kazakov's ramming, the German command appointed a special prize for the destruction of the “Russian Cossack”. One of the German pilots shot down by him said that, upon returning from captivity, he would proudly tell: he was killed by "the Russian Cossack himself."
For the ramming duel, Captain Kazakov was promoted to staff captain, awarded the cross of the Order of St. George the Victorious in Russia and the St. George's weapon - a blade with the inscription “For Bravery”. The orders are supposed to be washed, but the aces, as the hero began to be called, surprised his colleagues with the refusal of alcohol: "The pilot's head should be clear, especially in war."
… A detailed biography of Alexander Kazakov was first recreated by Vsevolod Lavrinets-Semenyuk, winner of the Lenin Prize, Hero of Socialist Labor and many other high awards, "for outstanding achievements in creating samples of rocket technology and ensuring the successful flight of Yuri Gagarin into outer space." An admirer of the cult of fearlessness, in his old years he began to publish essays about the first Russian pilots. There were many reviews. A parcel was received from Estonia from a graduate of the Gatchina aviation school Edgar Meos, who fought in the First World War in France as part of the famous Aist air group and shot down the famous German expert (in French and Russian - ace) Karl Menkhoff. It turns out that Meos published in Estonia in the 30s of the twentieth century his essays about Kazakov based on the book "Broken Wings", written and published in Germany by Kazakov's colleague in the British-Slavic Corps Alexander Matveyev.
“Alexander Kazakov flew a lot … boldly, confidently and, as the soldiers used to say, always joyfully,” recalled Alexander Matveev in his book. - He was idolized. When our commander passed, everyone parted, giving way and trumpeting the tall, thin staff captain … Blue-eyed blond with a brave Cossack mustache and the gentle face of a young man. A leather jacket, a cap with a colored band, gold shoulder straps with black pilot's insignia … "Tell the truth!" - he demanded from his subordinates … Before takeoff he made the sign of the cross and confidently commanded: "From the screw!" At the time of the Brusilov breakthrough, Kazakov became the commander of a small, but brave first squad of fighter pilots flying on brand new ones, armed, at last, with machine guns, "Newpors"."
“The actions of the first combat group of Kazakov in September 1916 LOCATED THE BEGINNING OF THE ORGANIZED USE OF FIRING AIRCRAFT,” writes V. Tkachev, further formulating the features of the tactics of the Russian fighter group. - Here group tactics first appeared and the importance of air supremacy was determined. It is interesting to emphasize that near Lutsk in September 1916, approximately what happened in February of the same year near Verdun was repeated: our fighter aircraft completely secured the rear of the Russian troops in the Lutsk region from air strikes."
The tactics developed by Kazakov determined the priorities of the Russian fighter aviation for decades ahead: unlike the German, which prefers personal victories over enemy aircraft, our falcons considered it their priority to cover the troops and their rear from raids. Kazakov, according to Matveyev's recollections, vexedly fought off congratulations for another victory: “I don't understand anything! What kind of congratulations? For what? You know that I have prejudices: I don’t like to count my victories”.
Asov taught the youth to calculate, while still on the ground, approaches to an armed airplane from an advantageous position for themselves, to conduct attacks from the sun, in spite of enemy fire. I was wounded, but every time it was easy - fate kept it.
“Usually Kazakov went to the enemy with a firm decision not to turn anywhere,” testifies A. Shiukov. "At the maximum speed of approach, he gave a short machine-gun burst and most often killed the pilot … repeated the attack until the enemy was shot down or forced to flee."
… The morale of the troops, which creates victory, was exhausted on both sides by the end of the summer of 1916. The question flew through the trenches from one side to the other and back: what are we fighting for? Why are we killing each other? The reigning persons knew the answer, but they kept it in secret. Kaiser Wilhelm only slightly opened the curtain, saying: "If the peoples knew the reasons for the wars, they would hardly start fighting."
After the forced abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, Kazakov's air group continued to fight. Although aviation suffered a fall in military discipline from the well-known orders of the Provisional Government, the election of commanders introduced …
Many front-line soldiers, from the highest ranks to the lowest, go to serve in the newly created Red Army. Around the former chief of staff and commander-in-chief of the Northern Front, General Mikhail Bonch-Bruyevich, who became the chief of staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army, there are hundreds of military ranks who have heard about the famous Russian ace. He, who arrived in Petrograd, is determined as a military expert - to help in the organization of the Red Air Fleet. And he wants to fly, as his comrades fly: Mikhail Babushkin, Nikolai Bruni, the conqueror of the corkscrew Konstantin Artseulov …
"But the" demon of revolution "L. Trotsky did not trust the former officers," writes Alexander Matveyev, "he believed that" these eagles "wanted to make the" red fleet "white, and in an insulting manner refused Kazakov to return to the sky." And soon the pilot Sergei Modrakh, who appeared in St. Petersburg, announced the recruitment of Russian pilots by the Englishman Sir Gil into the British Slavic corps, formed in Arkhangelsk, for transfer to France in order to continue the war with the Germans. “Kazakov hesitated,” recalls Matveyev as ases, “but Modrakh persuaded him.”
When the Russian aviators asked when they would be sent to the European theater of war, the corps commander Colonel Moller answered: “Where the Bolsheviks are, there are Germans. Why would you go looking for them? Fight here. " An airfield was identified - in the town of Bereznik. They quickly retrained to fly on sea boats - "sopvichs". They suffered heavy losses in battles. A sad cemetery of dead pilots with propellers on their graves has grown near the airfield.
In January 1919, Kazakov met the formidable flying boat of the Russian aircraft designer Dmitry Grigorovich over the Northern Dvina - "nine", which had poured lead on the "sopwith".Alexander Kazakov out of habit answered - and shot down … Edgar Meos, according to Alexander Matveyev, explains: “Having shot down the flying boat of the Red Air Fleet, he finally blocked his path of return to Soviet Russia. But Lieutenant Anikin, who ran over to the Red Army, was accepted, he is flying …"
In the summer of 1919, the intervention fizzled out, the Russian air group received an offer to leave for England as part of the corps. Few agreed, starting to urgently learn English. Others decided with the expedition of Boris Vilkitsky, equipped by the Soviet government to study the Northern Sea Route, but received an order from the White Guards to deliver the cargo to Alexander Kolchak, to move with the polar explorers.
On August 1, 1919, Sergei Modrakh and Nikolai Belousovich went to the pier. “I am taking you to the Sopvich,” Kazakov said, as if illuminated by some thought. A mechanic in a new leather jacket was busy at the flying boat. "New thing again?" the commander asked. "Stranger, the British gave it before leaving."
The last words of the commander were etched into the memory of the witness of this conversation, Alexander Matveyev: “Alien … Yes, everything here is alien. Airplanes, hangars, even a uniform on me … Only now the land is still ours … Take it out!"
I plucked a stalk of grass, biting it, thinking hard about something. He crossed himself as usual. Take off. From the steamer sailing downstream with the fighting friends, smoke spread like a thin snake. Kazakov climbed even higher … Suddenly a sharp turn … The Sopvich flew down like a stone. Crackling … Dust … Silence … One can only hear the crackling of grasshoppers in the grass."
Not believing in the suicide of the Orthodox pilot, the friends felt that his heart was torn from desperate hopelessness. He was buried in the cemetery in Bereznik, under two cross-knitted propellers. With an inscription on a white plaque:
“Colonel Alexander Alexandrovich Kazakov. August 1, 1919 ".
The graves with propellers in Bereznik have not survived. However, some unknown force does not allow the names of the heroes to be erased from the tablets of history …