The Soviet Air Force at last found an equal to the Luftwaffe’s fighters with the Lavochkin La-5. Aleksander Medved explains
New versions of Luftwaffe fighters appeared in large numbers, outperforming their Russian opposition over the battlefield. In speed, rate-ofclimb and hitting power, the Soviet air forces were suddenly outclassed; in the summer of 1942 the air war took a dramatic turn.
Enhanced armament – three cannons, plus two machine guns – allowed the shooting down of the Ilyushin Il-2 ‘Sturmovik’ ground-attack aircraft in a single strike.