Hot sky of cold war: history of collisions

Hot sky of cold war: history of collisions

US military men and Russia should carry out soon already the third teleconference about safety of flights in air space of Syria, or as journalists are expressed, about the section of the Syrian sky.

On October 10 the American and Russian warplanes "appeared at distance of visual identification from each other", having approached on a distance from 16 to 32 km.

Military of two countries try to agree about how to coordinate the actions, to avoid "unintentional incidents" in the sky over Syria.

Washington and Moscow independently from each other perform there the operations Air Force which purposes differ.

Both parties bomb land objects so to fire by mistake of another’s plane, seemingly, inconveniently. However unplanned "rapprochements", like that took place past Saturday, create a nervous situation.

Events in Syria remind of confrontation in air of the period of cold war.

Tens incidents, one hundred victims

According to available data, only from 1950 to 1983 pilots of the USSR and the USA with their allies used the weapon against each other about 40 times. To call exact figure it is impossible, as data on some episodes proceeded only from one of the parties, and another did not confirm information.

Without fighting losses during Korean, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern wars, only as a result of various "misunderstanding", the West during this time lost 27 planes and helicopters and 139 military personnel, and the USSR – only six cars.

Not including death of South Korean "Boeing" in 1983, incident on September 2, 1958 when four Soviet fighters attacked MiG-17 was the largest on number of victims – 17 people – and brought down the American prospecting Oat-flakes plane. It fell in Armenia. Remains of victims were returned by Yerevan 40 years later.

By estimates of military historians, the imbalance speaks both bigger rigidity and fieriness of Moscow, and that circumstance what exactly the USSR practically from all directions was surrounded with the American bases, and not the reverse.

Washington argued that in most cases violations of air space of the USSR and its allies or were not, or it was the random error. The Soviet party told every time about "deliberate provocation".

In many cases the Soviet politicians and generals behaved is unpredictable: shut eyes to insignificant liberties of other party, and at some instant for the reasons known only for it, suddenly decided to put to it the end and without the prevention ordered to the pilots to shoot on defeat.

Especially brightly it was shown around border between two Germaniyamis in 1960-1964.

Before it was de facto considered not as state, and as the differentiating line between occupational zones of the former allies.

After construction of the Berlin wall the Soviet Air Force arranged the real hunting for the American and British planes which have allowed the slightest violation, and as the former commander of the 16th air army Ivan Pstygo remembered, the task was put not to force out them from the air space or to force to landing, and "to punish responsible by all means".

"On account of future war"

Yet war, and on March 18, 1945 the American fighters "Mustang" around Kyustrin by mistake did not end engaged with the Soviet fighters "Yak-3" and brought down six planes. Two pilots were lost, one was wounded.

In turn, the Soviet expert Ivan Kozhedub on April 17, also due to a misunderstanding, brought down two "Mustangs".

Pilots of all at war countries scrupulously kept count to air victories, but Kozhedubu’s "Mustangs", naturally, not зачли. The commander of the aviacase lieutenant general Evgeny Savitsky told: "Tell nobody. These victories – on account of future war".

First shots

After the Soviet and American armies at the beginning of September, 1945 entered Korea, the American planes at first freely flied over the Soviet zone, going to Manchuria behind the former captured. But in two months the commission which has arrived from Moscow demanded to "put things in order".

Next "the air fortress" B-29 was intercepted by the four of the Soviet fighters which began to get it on landing.

At first the crew refused to obey, but when the fighter turn set fire to one of engines, they had to land in the Soviet airfield.

Pilots sent home, but the plane did not give, and sent to Moscow for studying.

When the Soviet officers took an interest at the American commander why it did not open reciprocal fire, that sincerely was surprised: "How to shoot on Russian?".

Fight over Maerklin

Soon it ceased to seem inconceivable. On March 10, 1948 there was the first armed conflict between Soviet and western blocks in Europe: air fight over Maerklin, the boundary village in the western Czech Republic.

Two Soviet fighters brought down the American military plane which allegedly has broken Czechoslovak border with a prospecting task. The pilot catapulted.

The drama over Baltic

On April 8, 1950 the Soviet fighters brought down the plane of the Navy of the USA of PB4Y-2 "Privatir" around Liyepai. The car fell in the sea, all 10 crew members were lost.

The case had a strong resonance, as because of unprecedented at that time number of victims and because "Privatir", according to owners, carried out lawful patrol mission over neutral waters of Baltic.

The Soviet party argued that it was not "Privatir", and "a flying fortress" B-29 that the plane received fatal damages over Latvia and allegedly the first opened fire on coming nearer fighters.

According to available data, notes which Moscow and Washington exchanged, edited personally Joseph Stalin and Harry Truman.

Blow on airfield

On October 8, 1950 two American strike fighters F-80 "Shuting is old" during a fighting departure against the land purposes in Northern Korea sheered and by mistake attacked airfield "Dry small river" near Vladivostok, having damaged eight Soviet fighters of the American production standing on the earth "King a cobra".

The USA made official apologies, the commander of aviagroup was transferred with fall to staff work.

Unique recognition

On June 22, 1955 the American patrol P2V "Neptune" plane was attacked by the Soviet fighters MiG-15 over neutral waters of the Bering Strait and broke in attempt to sit down on Saint Lawrence Island belonging to the USA. Crew members got off with traumas.

This case is remarkable that is the only thing in the history when the Soviet Union recognized the mistake and paid compensation in 725 thousand dollars – twice less, than requested the USA.

Whose board?

On June 27, 1958 the American transport S-118 plane during flight from Germany to Pakistan slightly "hooked" on the Soviet air space over Armenia, was immediately lined and crash-landed. Crew released in a week.

The piquancy of this history was given by statements of the Soviet press, as if it was the personal board of the director of CIA Allen Dulles.

Polet Powers

On May 1, 1960 the American U-2 scout plane was brought down by the Soviet S-75 surface-to-air missile system near Sverdlovsk.

To speak about misunderstanding in this case it is not necessary – nobody denied prospecting mission U-2.

Incident is remarkable political consequences (cancellation of the planned visit of Dwight Eisenhower to Moscow and long freezing of the Soviet-American relations), and also that raketchik with the American car brought down at the same time own fighter which has risen by its interception MiG-19, and the American pilot Francis Powers safely landed on a parachute, and his Soviet colleague Sergey Safronov was lost. To public about it reported in 30 years.

"Black Saturday"

By October 27, 1962 Moscow and Washington already started confidential contacts to the exit purpose from the Caribbean crisis. But here Fidel Castro ordered to the Cuban air defenses to force down the American prospecting planes. Shot much, however to anybody did not get.

Ordinary Soviet participants of operation too were adjusted aggressively. The commander of one of surface-to-air missile divisions captain Antonets reported in a staff that in a zone of its responsibility is noticed U-2, and asked of permission to support fire of the Cuban companions.

To it answered that the Soviet armies of the relevant order did not receive and the sanction of commander Pliyev is required, and that is not present at present on a place. But the captain made the decision independently and brought down the plane. Pilot Rudolf Anderson was lost.

Historians call this day "black Saturday" and consider as the culmination of the Caribbean crisis.

Then became clearly that world war can begin at any time because of accident and besides will of the top officials.

Having learned about destruction U-2, the Soviet management took an unprecedented step: not to spend time for transfer of the text on diplomatic channels, Khrushchev reconciliatory message to Kennedy was read directly in an air.

Went on a ram

On September 28, 1973 the Iranian prospecting RF-4C "Phantom" plane entered into air space of the USSR to Transcaucasia. The pilot of "MiG" sent on interception Gennady Yeliseyev unsuccessfully spent all rockets then made a supersonic air ram.

Two crew members of the Iranian plane catapulted and were released in a week, and to Yeliseyev posthumously appropriated a rank of the Hero of the Soviet Union.

On July 16, 1981 the pilot of an interceptor Su-15 Valentin Kulyapin rammed the Argentina transport plane making secret transport flight on a route Tel Aviv – Tehran and inadvertently intruded in air space over Armenia.

This time all four crew members of the transport worker, including one British were lost, and Kulyapin survived and received an award of the Red Banner.

Rigid landing

On April 20, 1978 passenger "Boeing-707" of the Korean Air Lines company with 97 passengers onboard, carrying out flight from Paris to Seoul, deviated a route and intruded in air space of the USSR near Murmansk.

According to the Soviet version, the crew did not react to signals; according to the commander of "Boeing", fire was open without the prevention.

The interceptor of Su-15 let out two rockets on an airliner and отстрелил to it the part covered. "Boeing" crash-landed on lake Korpiyarvi ice in the north of Karelia. Two passengers were lost, 13 were traumatized.

The tragedy over Sakhalin

About two thirds of victims of cold air warfare, 269 people, were lost in one day on September 1, 1983 when the Soviet interceptor brought down the South Korean "Boeing" which following from New York to Seoul and has deviated a route because of a mistake of the autopilot and a carelessness of crew over Sakhalin.

On a wave of emotions in the USSR assumptions as if Americans deliberately sent the plane to the Soviet air space on purpose were come out to check on durability of air defense of the potential opponent, in the USA – as if communists meaningly destroyed peace passengers to intimidate the world the relentless cruelty.

The declassified documents and data of flight recorders of the brought-down liner testify that there was the monstrous misunderstanding multiplied by the atmosphere of cold war.

Yury Antropov in conversation with the Soviet ambassador in Washington Anatoly Dobrynin scolded "The tupogolovy generals who are not thinking not so of big-time politics", but regret words for victims did not find.

The Soviet government admitted the fact of destruction of the liner and expressed a regret concerning death in anything not guilty people only on September 7. Earlier the well-known statement of TASS as which affirmed was issued that "the plane violator continued flight towards the Sea of Japan". Words "to be removed towards the Sea of Japan" became classics of the Soviet black humour.

According to the politburo minutes from September 2, Mikhail Gorbachev, then the young promoted worker from the province, in some hours was limited to the unique note: "The plane long was over our territory. If it went off-course, Americans could let us know".

Question why the Soviet authorities did not try to contact, in turn, competent representatives of the USA or South Korea, did not arise.

In 1986 of the USSR, the USA and Japan created uniform system of tracking air transport movement over a northern part of the Pacific Ocean and established direct connection between the dispatching services.

Political will

Regular patrolmen and training flights of strategic bombers over Atlantic and Arctic the oceans, carried out both American, and the Soviet and Russian Air Force for decades, caused mutual discontent, but serious incidents did not entail.

According to military experts, it was promoted by their routine character, and the main thing, a sense of responsibility of both parties. As showed experiment that incidents in the sky did not turn into tragedies, the parties should not defy haughty obstinacy, and to communicate.