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The Soviet Air Force, officially known in Russian as Военно-воздушные силы (Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily, [literally, "Military Air Forces"]) was the official designation of one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. The other was the Soviet Air Defence Forces.

Soviet Air Force in The Hot War[]

The Soviet Air Force played an important role in World War III. While the Soviet Air Force's role in the Korean War had been limited to Soviets piloting MiGs on behalf of North Korea,[1] when the U.S. decided to use atomic weapons against Manchuria on 23 January 1951,[2], the Soviet Air force launched six atomic attacks against U.S. allies from Pechenga[3]: Aberdeen and Norwich in the United Kingdom; Nancy and Rouen in France, and; Augsburg and Bremen in West Germany.[4]

Pechenga was destroyed on 4 February. In response, the Soviets destroyed Elmendorf Air Force Base on 7 February.[5] On the night of 1-2 March, Soviet Tu-4s, painted to look like the American B-29s they'd been reverse engineered from, dropped several atomic bombs on the American west, including the cities of Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Denver.[6] On the East Coast, Bangor, Maine and a location in Newfoundland, Canada were also attacked.[7] Bombers meant for Spokane and Las Vegas were successfully downed by the U.S.[8] Moreover, only one bomber crew actually made it back to the Soviet Union,[9] with the rest having to land on nearby air fields and surrender[10], and others having to bail out near the cities they'd just bombed and being subjected to civilian vengeance (in violation of the Geneva Conventions.)[11]

The Soviet Air Force continued to attack various places in Europe throughout the war, including a series of attack against airfields in the U.K. in April,[12] and an atomic attack on Bordeaux, France, later that month[13] and another against Paris in June.[14]

Soviet Air Force in Joe Steele[]

Pilots of the Soviet Air Force flew Gurevich 9 jet fighters for the North Japanese Air Force during the Japanese War.[15]

Soviet Air Force in "The Phantom Tolbukhin"[]

The Soviet Air Force had been annihilated during the opening days of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. In 1947, General Fedor Tolbukhin of the Fourth Ukrainian Front often lamented the fate of the Soviet Air Force and held out hope for the day that aircraft would once again bear the Red Star.

Soviet Air Force in The War That Came Early[]

The Soviet Air Force had sent volunteers to Spain to fight in the Civil War. While there, they had limited success as they quickly discovered that the fighters of the Luftwaffe were far superior to their own.

A good portion of the Soviet Air Force then found itself pulled out of Spain and thrust into Czechoslovakia after Russia declared war on Germany after the Germans invaded the country in 1938. Unfortunately, just like in Spain, the German fighters were too powerful for the Soviets to be of much help and they were withdrawn after Czechoslovakia collapsed. Despite this, they fought on, bombing East Prussia until the Soviet Union declared war on Poland on 31 December 1938. This then brought the Luftwaffe into the fight and the Soviet Air Force found its bombing missions more hazardous as their own biplane and monoplane fighter aircraft were no match for the 109.

In the spring of 1939, Japan declared war on the Soviet Union, invading Siberia. Because most of the Air Force had been shipped west to fight the Germans, what was left in the Far East was quickly overwhelmed by the combined air forces of the Japanese army and navy. Although the Soviets were able to ship more bombers, losing chunks of the Tran-Siberian Railroad prevented them from getting fighters close enough to help. Throughout the war, the Soviet main air field in Khabarovsk saw the most action, as their bombers were engaged in attacking Japanese positions around Vladivostok, patrolling the Tartar Strait and the Sea of Japan, hunting supply ships.

After the Big Switch in 1940, England and France sided with Germany in a military alliance against the Soviet Union, and pushed them back into Russia itself. After this, the USSR signed a peace treaty with Japan and withdrew all forces west to fight the combined threat. Now the Red Air Force found itself engaged against elements of the French and British Air Forces. However, only the RAF proved to be as dangerous an opponent as the Germans. A major coup for the Red Air Force came when heavy bombers flying out from Murmask, bombed the British Naval port of Scapa Flow. Although outgunned, they did keep both the RN and the Kriegsmarine from getting at their major naval bases in the West.

As the war continued into 1941, the Red Air Force began to gain better equipment, like the Pe-2 bomber, and the MiG-3 fighter.

Soviet Air Force in Worldwar[]

The Soviet Air Forces or Red Air Force was the aerial arm of the Soviet armed forces. During World War II most of its modern planes were destroyed in the German and subsequent Lizard invasions. As a result, the Soviets made use of small, hard-to-detect biplanes, such as the U-2, for reconnaissance and raids. Indeed, only these small, hardly worth noticing (in the Race's view) planes stood a chance of survival.

The Red Air Force developed a modern arsenal of jets and bombers after the war, following the British and German lead, and may have expanded its functions to include orbital operations as well.


  1. Bombs Away, pgs. 5-9, ebook.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 55-61.
  3. Ibid., pg. 86.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 64-65, 70.
  5. Ibid., pg. 93.
  6. Ibid. pgs. 141-150.
  7. Ibid., pg. 159.
  8. Ibid. pg. 165.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 214-215.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 164-165.
  11. Ibid., pgs. 171-172.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 278-280.
  13. Ibid., pgs. 309-311.
  14. Ibid., pgs. 427-430.
  15. Joe Steele, pg. 354, HC.