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Author Topic: B-25G Mitchell post-war  (Read 19562 times)
Piotr Mikolajski
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« on: May 07, 2013, 04:05:53 PM »

I have and Italeri kit and I'm looking for photos or colour profiles of B-25G used in Soviet Union. I've found a lot of information in this article written by Vladimir Kotelnikov: http://читать-онлайн.рф/index.php?id=36975&pages=1 as well as in book "Американцы в России" (Americans in Russia).

I know that two B-25Gs were used in late 1944 by 15th OMRAP (отдельный морской разведывательный авиационный полк - Independent Naval Recon Air Regiment) of Baltic Fleet VVS, probably in Courland or East Prussia area but detailed information and photos seems to be non-existing. Two others were used by 118th OMRAP of Northern Fleet VVS in late 1944 and 1945 - no photo either. I guess that all aircraft were in standard US camouflage Olive Drab / Neutral Grey but what stars were used? What serial numbers? What tactical signs? No data at all.

Post war use is known a little bit but IIRC only one photo is known, very blurry and with little use for modeller.

As far I've collected following post war "variants" of B-25G:
? B-25G "Cargo" - two unarmed aircraft used in 65th Special Air Regiment VVS VMF (65-й авиационный полк специального назначения ВВС ВМФ) but I've found that it could be kind of sub-unit within 65th Independent Transport Air Regiment (отряд особого назначения, 65-й отдельный транспортный авиационный полк);
? B-25G "Staff" - one of those unarmed aircraft rebuild in Leningrad to special staff variant for the commander of VVS VMF;
? B-25G "Щука #1" - used in the program of mining torpedoes "Щука" (Pike) in Yalta, carrying dummy torpedoes;
? B-25G "Щука #2" - used in the program of mining torpedoes "Щука" (Pike) in Yalta, carrying guidance system.

Personally I can give up with G version and I would rebuild this kit to the C/D variant (parts are included in the kit) but I have no reliable info too. "Американцы в России" book on page 97 shows one photo of "Aerogeologiya" aircraft from Ukhta made in 1955 but registration or numbers are not visible.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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learstang
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 07:06:22 PM »

I didn't realise that the Soviet Union had any B-25G's.  What I don't understand is why they would use such normally extremely heavily-armed aircraft (it had the 75mm cannon in the nose) for a reconnaissance aircraft.  It would seem that a glass-nosed version would be more appropriate.  These aeroplanes with the cannon would seem particularly suited for anti-shipping activities, which the Americans used them for in the Pacific.  Do you know if the Soviets used any B-25H's?

Regards,

Jason
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Troy Smith
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 09:42:46 PM »

I not heard of the VVS getting the B-25G either!

Possibly they got used for other tasks if the VVS did not like the 75mm cannon, took that out and used the airframes for other purposes?   I'm just theorising here. 

Be interesting to see what this thread turns up.

T
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learstang
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 09:51:28 PM »

I not heard of the VVS getting the B-25G either!

Possibly they got used for other tasks if the VVS did not like the 75mm cannon, took that out and used the airframes for other purposes?   I'm just theorising here. 

Be interesting to see what this thread turns up.

T

That's entirely possible, Troy.  The Soviets were quite frugal with their aircraft - if they could find a use for one, they would.

Regards,

Jason
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Piotr Mikolajski
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 12:52:58 AM »

I didn't realise that the Soviet Union had any B-25G's.
Just few aircraft, books inform about 8 aircraft transferred to the VVS VMF, I'm not sure if there were any more. It looks like delivery of few (8? 10?) aircraft for test purposes.

What I don't understand is why they would use such normally extremely heavily-armed aircraft (it had the 75mm cannon in the nose) for a reconnaissance aircraft.  It would seem that a glass-nosed version would be more appropriate.  These aeroplanes with the cannon would seem particularly suited for anti-shipping activities, which the Americans used them for in the Pacific.
Because all B-25s were operated by ADD units, first two B-25G were delivered there too. After few test flight and combat missions it was clear that this variant is unsuitable for long range bomber units. All B-25Gs were delivered to naval aviation:
? 2 - 118th OMRAP of VVS Northern Fleet, delivered in 1944;
? 2 - 15th OMRAP of VVS Baltic Fleet, first combat missions in November 1944;
? 1 - 14th Mixed Air Unit of VVS Pacific Fleet, delivered in the end of 1944, soon transferred to the 50th OMRAP of VVS Pacific Fleet;
? 1 - 2nd Mine-Torpedo Air Division of VVS Pacific Fleet.

Do you know if the Soviets used any B-25H's?
I've found following variants:
? B-25B, 40-2242 - interned after raid over Tokio, transferred to Moscow to 65th Special Air Regiment (65-й авиационный полк особого назначения)
? B-25C
? B-25D
? B-25DP - this is Soviet designation of B-25D-30
? B-25G
? B-25J

From 870 assigned 861 were delivered. It seems there were no B-25H, but in mentioned website with Kotelnikov's article I've found following info:

Во 2-м гвардейском полку B-25J с дополнительными пулеметами использовали для ночных штурмовых ударов по аэродромам противника.

If my Russian is correct, it means:

In 2nd Guard Regiment B-25Js with additional machine guns were used for nighttime assaults against the enemy airfields.

I'm not sure what "additional machine guns" mean in this case.


Possibly they got used for other tasks if the VVS did not like the 75mm cannon, took that out and used the airframes for other purposes? I'm just theorising here.
In fact cannons were removed in case of two B-25Gs used in 65th Regiment for transport duties post-war. I guess that two other used in "Щука" trials had gun removed too. But during WWII B-25Gs had cannons installed and used in combat.
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Troy Smith
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 01:30:36 AM »

Во 2-м гвардейском полку B-25J с дополнительными пулеметами использовали для ночных штурмовых ударов по аэродромам противника.

If my Russian is correct, it means:

In 2nd Guard Regiment B-25Js with additional machine guns were used for nighttime assaults against the enemy airfields.

I'm not sure what "additional machine guns" mean in this case.

Possibly the 8 gun strafer nose used on the B-25J,
eg

though I have no idea if the VVS ever received such versions?  The problem is I have only ever seen them described as B-25J gun nose, or strafer nose, but not an assigned sub-type!

or just adding extra guns into the glazed nose, such as this field modified B-25 C


Not seen any photos  of this Sad

cheers
T
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learstang
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 01:42:27 AM »

That probably refers to the four gun packs that were fitted to the sides of American B-25J's.  Ordinarily the Soviets removed them to save weight, as they normally used the B-25's for long-range level bombing, not ground attack.  Apparently, some B-25J's in Soviet service did retain the fuselage gun packs, for night intrusion work - that's what that Russian statement refers to.

Regards,

Jason
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 01:44:18 AM by learstang » Logged

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Piotr Mikolajski
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 01:48:36 AM »

Possibly the 8 gun strafer nose used on the B-25J, though I have no idea if the VVS ever received such versions?
AFAIK there were no deliveries of B-25H. But Soviet techs could easily replace glass nose with solid one.

or just adding extra guns into the glazed nose, such as this field modified B-25 C
It's possible but there is third explanation too: Kotelnikov's "additional machine guns" can be just four "cheek" MGs which were additional when compared to standard B-25C/D. Edit: Jason just wrote about this.

Without photos or at least detailed recollection from Soviet aviators we can only guess.
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barneybolac
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 09:27:15 AM »

Not sure how accurate this link is? It makes mention of one G model delivered during the war.



http://www.americancombatplanes.com/b25_4.html
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learstang
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 05:50:37 PM »

Not sure how accurate this link is? It makes mention of one G model delivered during the war.



http://www.americancombatplanes.com/b25_4.html

That's an interesting article; thank you for posting it, Barney!  It's also interesting that the Soviets tested the B-26 Marauder, but found it wanting.  I'd wondered why the Soviets didn't use the Marauder; there's the answer - they didn't like it.

Regards,

Jason
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Piotr Mikolajski
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 03:09:45 PM »

Not sure how accurate this link is?
Not bad at all but Soviet Union received at least 6 B-25Gs.
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learstang
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 07:20:43 PM »

Not sure how accurate this link is?
Not bad at all but Soviet Union received at least 6 B-25Gs.

Are there any photographs of these - I'd love to do a combat Soviet B-25G.

Regards,

Jason
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KL
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 08:46:12 PM »

Are there any photographs of these - I'd love to do a combat Soviet B-25G.



Ст. лейтенант С. Н. Накоряков у своего B-25G, переделанного в транспортный самолет. 118 орап ВВС Озерного флага
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learstang
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 10:06:32 PM »

Thank you, Konstantin!  Too bad that's a transport, though.  I guess they didn't use them in combat?

Regards,

Jason
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Piotr Mikolajski
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 10:12:22 PM »

Thank you, Konstantin!  Too bad that's a transport, though.  I guess they didn't use them in combat?
All six mentioned B-25Gs were used in combat, AFAIK conversions for transport duties were performed post war.
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