(8. 2. 1909 - 28. 12. 1996)
In asil Ivanovich Rakov was born on February 8, 1909 in St. Petersburg in the family of employee. Russian by nationality. Member of the CPSU since 1932. In the Soviet Army from 1928. In 1931 he graduated from military school of marine pilots, and in 1938 - Lipetsk higher air refresher courses. Participated in the Finnish War of 1939-1940. as commander of the squadron of bombers. In 1942 he graduated from the Naval Academy. During the Great Patriotic War, Vasily Ivanovich Rakov was the commander of the Marine aviation brigade, deputy commander of the 3 individuals Sevastopol formations, assistant commander of the Air Division 9 assault., Commander of the 12-Guards Attack Aviation Regiment. He flew over 170 combat missions, participated in the sinking of 12 ships and vessels of the enemy. He was awarded many orders and medals.
. W tion of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal Vasily Ivanovich Rakov awarded on Feb. 7, 1940 for their courage and bravery in the performance of command assignments during the Finnish War.
. In the Torah the Gold Star Medal, the commander of 12 th Guards pikirovochno-Bomber Regiment Guard Col. VI
. Rakov awarded July 22, 1944 for his leadership fighting aircraft in sinking the German battleship "Niobe" in the Finnish port of Kotka.
In 1946, VI. Rakov graduated from the Academy of General Staff. Then commanded the large air. Since 1948, Air Force Major General (from 1958). Rakov worked at the Naval Academy. In 1952 he was awarded the degree of Candidate of Naval Sciences, in 1953 - a docent. In 1967 he became a doctor of naval sciences, professor (in 1969). Since 1971 - in stock. Author of books: "Wings over the sea", "Over the sea and land", "In the air - my life."
. Died Dec. 28, 1996.
"With COURSE not shifting ..."
. At the time of the Great Patriotic War Vasily Ivanovich Rakov drove to combat missions heavy, laden with bombs, the planes of his squadron and day and night
He especially remembered the first sortie.
- We provided a high military honor - he said the pilots - to destroy an enemy airfield. We fly away. Current non-flying. The courage and unerring account of the actions - that's what we need.
Glimmering dawn. Over the airfield low clouds, snow began. Take off the green rocket. Vzvihriv snow, rose the first link. Following the second, third ...
Visibility was so bad that cancer sometimes do not distinguish the cars of its first level. They then appeared, then hid in the clouds and dense fog. The snow was more. Plane had to go down and fly at an altitude of 30 - 40 meters. Particularly dangerous was flying over the bay, where the clouds blended with water. It required great skill to keep the height and not sink into the Gulf. It was a bold risk, but reasonable.
The aircraft crossed the bay and, driven snow, clouds, fly-flew over the forest. In the target area rose slightly overcast. Once at altitude, Rakov saw the airport: the familiar map of the island, and on it - the radio tower, hangars, buildings. Lights red light, for it - green. When flare white - "keep it up!" - No deviation from the combat course impossible. For white and light bulbs are burning in front of all the commanders of combat vehicles. Rakov dropped the first load, and around, began to observe the work of their slave. He sees as a pillar of fire, smoke and debris rises above the hangar - a direct hit! The black smoke rises into the air and the second hangar. Collapsing mast radio. The explosions followed one after the other. Cover! bombs and the main airport building.
The enemy, as predicted by Rakov, was caught by surprise. He did not expect such a raid in bad weather. AA guns were firing already after the departure of Soviet aircraft, after the land otgrohotali bombs exploding. Close order, without loss Balts back home.
Captain Rakov served as pilots for an example of courage and resilience. One day he received a particularly difficult task: to make deep raid and bomb one of the major coastal sites. Rakov passed over the ocean wintery, just went to the target and hit the enemy. But the brave pilots met a barrage of fire. They climbed. The shells were going around densely. However, the goal has been given a navigator, and Rakov still holds the combat course. Strictly withstand course, speed and altitude - an indispensable condition for precision bombing. Suddenly, the left engine of his car abruptly began to tremble. "Knocked out - he thought - just would not fire! After the bomb had not yet dropped, and the objective behind us". Here, and said flying nature. Rakov off the left engine and under heavy fire anti-aircraft guns at an altitude of 300 - 400 meters again rests on the combat course and is on target. The commander should just drop their cargo; fact, according to his calculations would bomb the rest! Navigator finally drops the bomb on the enemy ship. Following the bombing of his squadron Cancer. Now you can go back!
Commander are attached to the car the other, but the pilots not to overtake the captain, have to go on partial turnover. Rakov anxiously watching, watches. The airfield was still far. If the machine will hang on to him until the evening, they will not have time to return. A landing in darkness at their small airport dangerous. After a brief meditation on the radio the commander gives the order: "All aircraft leave me and go to the airport. I'd get one ". Airplanes are ahead, but try not to lose sight of the commander - it is difficult to leave him over enemy territory with a black motor. But the commander once again confirms his order: "Everybody go to the airport". Airplanes hidden. Rakov machine is one in dense clouds. Cab is covered with ice. And only a half hour flight, the pilot landed.
In zaimnaya revenue and friendly support - unwritten military law, religiously observed by pilots.
Once in battle, was seriously damaged one of the machines. Its not left. There were closed, silently, as if to help on the wings battered. In distress pilot saw the iron friendly system, saw a number of crayfish and went on his last legs. So, returning to the airfield.
On one occasion during an air battle burning plane lieutenant Kurochkin, pursued by enemy fighters disappeared. Rakov brought planes from the battle. But what Kurochkin? Gone exhausting minutes. And radioman handed him a note: "Mission accomplished. The plane burns. Shot down two enemy aircraft. Kurochkin ". So it's not lost a brave pilot! The commander decides to start his search. But to find it could not immediately. First, in the icy wilderness of boundless found polusgorevshy, dymivshiysya plane, and then - and the crew Kurochkina. Three men were standing near the open water and waved their helmets. Rakov down, looked closely and saw that large aircraft can not be put. Then he dropped the pennant: "Wait. Soon I will "- and flew. Some time later he returned to a Lear jet and rescued comrades.
... With deep knowledge of warriors, combat experience, innovative techniques in the tactics of bombing aircraft he was with his teacher handed the gift of young drivers. Rakov different special skill to cultivate in them the courage, determination and composure - qualities so necessary in a combat situation.
Disciples Vasily Ivanovich was to be found on all fronts. But especially a lot of the pilots he trained during the Great Patriotic War in the Baltic. Often, they fought side by side, wing to wing with his teacher.
His courage, perseverance and will to win when performing combat missions served as a model for subordinates ... It was necessary to bomb the railway station, where the enemy is heavily technology. The weather was bad. To carry out this difficult task team flew planes headed Cancer. The guards broke through the curtain of antiaircraft fire. Rakov first came to the station and with remarkable accuracy dropped on the target payloads, confidently acted and his followers. Burning the trains, was station in flames. But in the commander's car hit by a shell. She was poorly controlled and just about able to fall into a tailspin. Great effort of will and strength Rakov held her and continued to direct the actions of the pilots. And only after it became convinced that the railway station is destroyed, and the military echelons defeated, left the target.
In 1943, Rakov successfully bombed the enemy's artillery batteries, blowing up warehouses with ammunition and fuel, and derail troop trains, disabling the railway stations and bridges.
But most major Rakova squadron flew to destroy enemy long-range artillery batteries firing Leningrad. These batteries opponent carefully masked. When our aircraft lifted into the air, the Germans ceased fire. This eased the situation of the city, but complicates the task of the pilots. Sometimes I had to do two or three passes at the target before they could find it and drop bombs.
Once he had been ordered such a problem: a group composed of two components in poor visibility conditions, with inadequate for an attack from a dive height of clouds to cause a surprise bombing raid on the enemy command post.
Given the situation, Rakov has prepared two variants of the attack goal: a steep and sloping dive. The second option did not provide sniper bombs hit the target, so the commander of the main account for himself to do the attack with a steep dive. The risk was great, but the goal is worth it.
- Hang me three pyatisotki, the rest - two! - He ordered the technicians.
When the six aircraft climbed into the air, Rakov convinced the complexity of the situation.
- The second option! - He gave the radio slave. Himself decided to attack the target with a steep dive.
Opponent carefully masked. Leading knew that command post was under the ground. Cars are not close to him approaching, and stayed away, in the shelter. Next to the manual were paths, and then they abruptly cut off.
- Do not deceive me, then you have a camouflage net, - thought Rakov, when hardly saw a picture. That is the white area, devoid of any traces of it and sent his plane. The plane went almost vertically to the ground. On sighting were spent literally moments.
- Put the nail! - Excitedly reported navigator Davydov, when the aircraft was removed from a dive to the ground.
Led by following the instructions of the commander, has consistently attacked the goal with a gentle dive. Set command was executed.
In January 1944, preparations began for an offensive. The share of the pilots had the task of helping the ground forces to overcome the resistance of the enemy and defeat him at the gates of Leningrad.
VI. Rakov with its pilots took part in fierce fighting in the area Sinyavino, Mga Krasnogvardiyska Kingisepp. In the PE-2, he repeatedly flew to bomb artillery batteries, barbaric shelling Leningrad. Crews dive-bombers under his command safely cleared the path of the advancing infantry. Since the land is often passed on: "Well done! Act perfectly.
In the hands of Rakova PE-2 bombers from the often turned to attack. Our land forces in the area Ropsha, Volosova and Elizavetino often seen as a manned aircraft Cancer rushed to the peak, the pilot dropped its bomb load, and then at low level flight, the Nazis opened fire with a machine gun.
It was difficult raid on a railway bridge over Narva. To dive bomber from the ground on every side stretched whitish trails. But with the collapse of military policy has been impossible. Rakov, and this time stayed true to his rule and dropped bombs on target, only falling to the limit.
Later, the commander of the pilots flying in the back told him:
- Your One bomb fell on the bridge, the other - at the very foundations of roadbed. Explosions have shot up very high. We thought that you exploded. But look - fly!
However dive Rakova was so mutilated that the navigator had expected the team to leave the aircraft. Only cool, endurance, dexterity management helped Rakov hang on to its territory and land the plane on its airfield.
In June 1944, VI. Rakov was appointed commander of the Guards Aviation Regiment, dive bombers. Armed with rich experience, he took his characteristic energy to raise the combat training of pilots.
On one of the most outstanding feats VI. Rakov in an official document of the time states: "Mr. 16.7.44. Guard colonel Rakov, overcoming heavy barrage of antiaircraft artillery, with a group of planes to get to target naval base in Kotka and accurate bombing dive sunk an enemy battleship coastal defense.
. Nazis, when they were squeezed on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, decided to enact cruiser defense "Niobe" +1
. His artillery he had to support battered in the battle ground of. But the fix at the front with the help of a battleship Nazis failed. Rakov long hunt for the "Niobe". And so it became known that the ship arrived at the naval base. Finally! In a buoyant mood, with a firm resolve to whatever was to sink the battleship, Rakov flew into Chapter 28 dive bombers. Simultaneously with the departure of the group "Lavochkin" blocked neighboring base enemy airfield to aircraft Nazis could not prevent the bombing of the ship.
Rakov was known system of fire protection of an enemy port, on which he often flew. He foresaw that meet overpowering wall of defensive fire, and to prepare for this. Machinery rose into the air. Front-line guards took himself Vasily Ivanovich. He had to drop the first bombs drop, and so to cover the battleship, might otherwise have failed all subsequent dive-bombers attack.
Soon appeared the familiar panorama of the port. The commander on the radio ordered: "Prepare to attack!" The aircraft fell on the combat course. The enemy opened a furious artillery and automatic fire from all the shore batteries, covering the base. Fierce shots were fired and anti-aircraft guns of the battleship. To stretch aircraft fire trails. Black Caps breaks hung in the sky. But in vain were the efforts of the enemy! After breaking through the curtain of fire, Rakov confidently led the guards straight at the target. From the first call link Rakova covered with battleship with bombs, and he stopped to shoot. The second flight pilots, which led to the attack Guard Maj. Ponomarenko, accurate hit two bombs finally decided the fate of the ship. "Niobe" caught fire after a few minutes followed by a loud explosion. Shrouded in smoke and flames enveloped the battleship leaned over and began to sink. Some 300 Nazis, along with the ship found a grave at the bottom of the sea.
In fulfilling this task distinguished as the guardsmen, who led the battle Usenko Guard captain and commander of the EZLN and Kalashnikov.
On glorious deeds VI. Rakov and its pilots Soviet times people did not recognize then dispatches from the Soviet Information Bureau.
So, September 19, 1944 pilots under the command of Rakova dealt a massive blow to one of the naval bases, military ships and transports, in charge of traffic in the Baltic. At the time, Hitler's command all the forces sought to keep the ports in the Baltic region, through which still could be the relationship between Germany and the grouping of troops in Estonia and Latvia.
Aircraft piloted Guard Colonel Cancer, is on its way to the goal was met with strong resistance. In addition to anti-aircraft fire area was covered by enemy aircraft. However, the Baltic Falcons broke through to the courts, standing on the base and caused the exact bombing. As a result of this raid, the Germans lost three transport and three submarines. Were also seriously damaged two transports, destroyed many port facilities - warehouses, piers and floating dock. In whipped with air battles, our fighters shot down 19 enemy planes ...
Note: The story of the VI. Rakau mentioned operation to destroy the cruiser coastal defense "Niobe", but unfortunately no mention of the true causes which served as the holding of large-scale operation to destroy this ship. In fact, by sincere conviction aviation fleet commander, Lieutenant General Aviation MI. Samokhin, Soviet pilots were supposed to destroy - Finnish coast defense battleship "Vyaynemyaynen". During this "ghost ship" Soviet pilots hunted ever since the Finnish War, when the "unsinkable" battleship was committed, at least 6 (!!!) air raids. At the end of the Finnish war had even planned a special operation to destroy this particular ship, which involved 28 bombers and 19 fighters. But the operation failed. Next hunt for "Vyaynemyaynenom" began with the first days of the Great Patriotic. Finally in summer 1944 on the table, the commander of the Baltic Fleet, Admiral VF. Tributs went to report on the sinking of the battleship of the Finnish coastal defense "Vyaynemyaynen" ". The commander immediately signed six submissions to the conferring of the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Among the pilots were the heroes and V. Rakov, brilliantly cope with the complex task. But in fact, was sunk by the cruiser Niobe, "which described above and. And the ill-fated "ghost ship" remained unharmed and in 1947 was bought from Finland. The ship joined the Baltic fleet under the name "Vyborg" and served at sea until 1966, Mr.. (based on Article aq. Dotsenko, "How stoked" Vyaynemyaynen "")
Sources: 1) People of the immortal exploits
. Moscow submarine v.2 1975