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Yakovlev Yak-1,3,7,9 (1939-1953)
Total produced - 37,000;
Max speed - 600km/h (373mph);
Range - 837km(520 miles) (9DD 2200km(1,367miles));
Weapons - 1x20mm, 2x12.7mm.
The Yakovlev Yak-3 (Russian language: Яковлев Як-3) was a World War II Soviet fighter aircraft. Robust and easy to maintain, it was much liked by pilots and ground crew alike. Ώ] It was one of the smallest and lightest major combat fighters fielded by any combatant during the war, and its high power-to-weight ratio gave it excellent performance. ΐ] It proved a formidable dogfighter. Marcel Albert, the official top-scoring World War II French ace, who flew the Yak in USSR with the Normandie-Niémen Group, considered it a superior aircraft to the P-51D Mustang and the Supermarine Spitfire. Α] After the war ended, it flew with the Yugoslav and Polish Air Forces. Ώ]
The origins of the Yak-3 went back to 1941 when the I-30 prototype was offered along with the I-26 (Yak-1) as an alternative design. The I-30, powered by a Klimov M-105P engine, was of all-metal construction, using a wing with dihedral on the outer panels. Like the early Yak-1, it had a 20 mm (0.79 in) ShVAK cannon firing through the hollow-driveshaft nose spinner as a motornaya pushka, twin 7.62 mm (0.300 in) synchronized ShKAS machine guns in cowling mounts and a ShVAK cannon in each wing.
During the Battle of Stalingrad, Luftwaffe fighters exhibited significant speed, climb rate, and armament advantages over those of the VVS. The Yak-1 then in service was understood to be in urgent need of a modernization were it to fight on equal footing against the latest models of German fighters, as well as better energy retention and higher firepower.
Then, in 1943, a group of designers headed by Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev designed the Yak-3, a further development of the proven Yak-1 aimed at improving survivability, flight characteristics and firepower, which required a lower weight, a higher-power engine and therefore, faster speed.
The first of two prototypes had a slatted wing to improve handling and short-field performance while the second prototype had a wooden wing without slats in order to simplify production and save aluminium. The second prototype crashed during flight tests and was written off. Although there were plans to put the Yak-3 into production, the scarcity of aviation aluminium and the pressure of the Nazi invasion led to work on the first Yak-3 being abandoned in late 1941.
In between 1942 and 1943, Yakovlev built the Yak-1M, a prototype that would ultimately lead to the Yak-3, coupled with the VK-105PF2, the latest iteration of the VK-105 engine family, where "P" indicated support for a motornaya pushka - an autocannon that fires between the engine banks, through the hollow propeller shaft - mounting. It incorporated a wing of similar design but with smaller surface area (17.15 to 14.85 m 2 (184.6 to 159.8 sq ft)), and had further aerodynamic refinements, like the new placement of the oil radiator, from the chin to the wing roots (one of the visual differences with the Yak-1, -7, -9). A second Yak-1M (originally meant as a "backup") prototype was constructed later that year, differing from the first aircraft in that it had plywood instead of fabric covering of the rear fuselage, mastless radio antenna, reflector gunsight and improved armour and engine cooling.
After the VK-105PF2 engine received a boost from a manifold pressure of 1050 mmHg to 1100 mmHg, additional tests were needed to determine how it impacted the flight characteristics of the Yak-3. State trials revealed that this boost reduced the time needed to reach 5,000 m (16,000 ft) by 0.1 seconds, the takeoff run by 15 m (49 ft), altitude gain in a combat loop by 50 m (160 ft), and speed below 2,400 m (7,900 ft) by 5–6 km/h (3–4 mph).
The chief test pilot for the project Petr Mikhailovich Stefanovskiy was so impressed with the new aircraft that he recommended that it should completely replace the Yak-1 and Yak-7 with only the Yak-9 retained in production for further work with the Klimov VK-107 engine. The new fighter, designated the Yak-3, entered service in 1944, later than the Yak-9 despite the lower designation number, and by mid-1946 4,848 had been built. 
The designation Yak-3 was also used for other Yakovlev projects – a proposed but never built, heavy twin-engine fighter and the Yakovlev Yak-7A.
The first 197 Yak-3 were lightly armed with a single motornaya pushka-mount 20 mm (0.79 in) ShVAK cannon and one 12.7 mm (0.50 in) UBS synchronized machine gun, with subsequent aircraft receiving a second UBS for a weight of fire of 2.72 kg (6.0 lb) per second using high-explosive ammunition. All armament was installed close to the axis of the aircraft with a cannon mounted in the engine "vee" firing through the propellor boss, synchronised machine guns in the fuselage, helping accuracy and leaving wings unloaded.
Lighter and smaller than the Yak-9 but powered by the same engine, the Yak-3 was a forgiving, easy-to-handle aircraft loved by both novice and experienced pilots. It was robust, easy to maintain and a highly successful dog-fighter.  It was used mostly as a tactical fighter, flying low over battlefields and engaging in dogfights below 4,000 m (13,000 ft). 
The new aircraft began to reach frontline units during summer 1944. Yak-3 service tests were conducted by 91st IAP of the 2nd Air Army, commanded by Lt Colonel Kovalyov, in June–July 1944. The regiment had the task of gaining air superiority. During 431 sorties, 20 Luftwaffe fighters and three Junkers Ju 87s were shot down while Soviet losses amounted to two Yak-3s shot down.  A large dogfight developed on 16 June 1944, when 18 Yak-3s clashed with 24 German aircraft. Soviet Yak-3 fighters shot down 15 German aircraft for the loss of one Yak destroyed and one damaged. The following day, Luftwaffe activity over that section of the front had virtually ceased.  On 17 July 1944, eight Yaks attacked a formation of 60 German aircraft, including escorting fighters. In the ensuing dogfight, the Luftwaffe lost three Ju 87s and four Bf 109Gs, for no loss.  The Luftwaffe issued an order to "avoid combat below five thousand metres with Yakovlev fighters lacking an oil cooler intake beneath the nose!"  Luftwaffe fighters in combat with the Yak-3 tried to use surprise tactics, attacking from above. 
Unresolved wartime problems with the Yak-3 included plywood surfaces delaminating when the aircraft pulled out of a high-speed dive,  short-range and poor engine reliability. The pneumatic system for actuating landing gear, flaps and brakes, typical for all Yakovlev fighters of the time, was troublesome. Though less reliable than hydraulic or electrical alternatives, the pneumatic system was preferred owing to the weight saving.
In 1944, the Normandie-Niemen Group re-equipped with the Yak-3, scoring the last 99 of their 273 air victories against the Luftwaffe. 
* When Hitler's military machine invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, it swept all resistance before it. Luftwaffe fighters destroyed Russian aircraft in the air and on the ground with fearsome effectiveness, and German aces racked up huge numbers of "kills".
Many of the aircraft destroyed were old and obsolete types, but the Germans also encountered newer Soviet aircraft, some of which were not so easily shot out of the sky. Among these newer types was the Yakovlev "Yak-1" fighter. At the time it was not a match for the German Messerschmitt Bf-109, but in the coming years the Yak-1 and its successors would improve in quality and grow in numbers. In the end, they would fly unchallenged over a shattered Berlin.
This document describes the history and details of the Yakovlev series of piston-engined fighters.
* Alexander Sergeyivich Yakovlev was born on 6 March 1906 in Moscow. He grew up tinkering with model airplanes and gliders, and after graduating from secondary school went to work in an airplane factory as a mechanic.
Yakovlev proved to have an aptitude for designing and building aircraft. In 1926, he produced his first aircraft, a small two-seat biplane he named the "AIR-1", later redesignated the "VVA-3". The Soviet military was so impressed with the AIR-1 that Yakovlev won admission to the Shukovski Aviation Academy in 1927.
Yakovlev graduated in 1931 and joined the Polikarpov design bureau, where he worked on building more light aircraft. An accident with one of his aircraft resulted in his dismissal, but Yakovlev lobbied Communist Party officials to let him start his own organization, and in 1934 he was granted use of an old abandoned bed factory to establish his own design bureau ("OKB" in the Russian acronym).
The Yakovlev OKB focused on sport and training aircraft. The most prominent of these aircraft was the "UT-2", which first flew in 1935. This was a two-seat primary trainer with the same general configuration as the American Stearman PT-26. The UT-2 had very pleasant handling characteristics, and 7,243 would be built up through 1946.
Yakovlev also built a single-seat advanced aerobatic trainer, the "UT-1", a stubby little aircraft with broad similarities to the American Boeing P-26 "Peashooter". The first UT-1 flew in 1936, and 1,241 would be built. Some of them would be pressed into combat service during the war, carrying two 7.62 millimeter Shpital'ny-Komaritsky (ShKAS) machine guns and four RS-82 82 millimeter rockets.
* Yakovlev's work brought him prominence. He was made a Hero of Socialist Labor, and was awarded the Order of Lenin, 100,000 rubles, and a car. He gain access to Stalin, and in April 1939 the Great Leader handed him a challenge. Stalin wanted a prototype of a new high performance fighter in months. Yakovlev protested: "But the Americans take two years to produce a fighter!"
Stalin replied: "Well, you are not an American! Show us what a young Russian engineer can do! Prove your mettle and, if you do, I'll have you in for a cup of tea."
Yakovlev put his design bureau to work around the clock on the new fighter, which was designated "I-26" (where "I" stood for "Istrebitel / Destroyer", meaning "fighter"). This aircraft would be powered by the new Klimov M-105 vee-12 inline water-cooled engine, a Russian version of the French Hispano-Suiza HS-12Y engine. The aircraft would be armed with ShKAS machine guns and the 20 millimeter Shpital'ny-Vladimirov (ShVAK) cannon.
Yakovlev was given top priority for resources. Stalin's Russia was clearly headed for war with Hitler's Germany, and Soviet air battles with the German Condor Legion in Spain showed the Red Air Force (VVS in the Russian acronym) to be lacking a fighter capable of taking on the new Messerschmitt Bf-109.
The bright red I-26 prototype, fitted with skis, was rolled out of the shop on 13 January 1940. After some short taxi trials, Yakovlev's test pilot and long-time associate Julian I. Piontkovski took the aircraft up and did two circuits around the airfield.
The aircraft was sleek and racy, and so the shop crew gave it the name "Krasavec / Beautiful". The I-26 was a sleek, low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear. Construction was simple, some might say crude, though Yakovlev was strong in his belief that "simplicity is not primitiveness". Its frame was made of welded steel tubing, with the two main wing spars and many other structural elements made of wood, and most of the skin of the aircraft was covered with fabric.
This was in accordance with the construction of the engineering of an earlier generation of fighters. The Soviet Union lacked the light alloys to build metal stressed-skin fighters like the German Bf-109 and British Spitfire. Besides, the simple construction made the aircraft easier to build, and simple to maintain by minimally trained ground crews under austere field conditions.
The main landing gear pivoted from the wings into the belly of the aircraft, giving the new Yak fighter a comfortable wide track on the ground, useful for operating on rough airfields.
The aircraft was powered by the a Klimov M-105P, providing 1,100 horsepower for takeoff. It was a carbureted engine with a two-stage two-speed blower. The engine drove a three-bladed propeller with hydraulic pitch control. The aircraft had four fuel tanks, nested between the wing spars.
The initial prototype was unarmed, but was designed to accommodate a ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon fitted between the cylinder banks to fire out the propeller spinner, with 120 rounds of ammunition. Secondary armament was to consist of two ShKAS 7.62 millimeter machine guns, mounted on the nose in front of the cockpit and synchronized to fire through the propeller arc. Two more machine guns were to have been mounted under the nose, but they were not fitted as they affected the machine's center of gravity.
The canopy was of "razorback" configuration, with its attendant poor view to the dangerous rear 6 o'clock position, and slid open backwards over the rear spine of the aircraft. It could be locked closed or open, but could not be jettisoned in an emergency. There was no armored glass, and in fact the only armor was an 8 millimeter plate that protected the head and shoulders of the pilot.
* There was obvious room for improvement in the I-26, but reports from the test pilots encouraged the Yakovlev design team to believe they were on the right track. However, the group was dealt a severe blow when the prototype spun into the ground from low altitude on 27 April 1940, killing Piontkovski. This was an emotional shock to the tight-knit group, but it did not seriously hinder the development program. The second prototype had already been rolled out and was used to complete the test program. Stalin had already ordered the I-26 into production anyway.
The second prototype differed from its predecessor in a number of small ways, with a larger oil-cooler intake under the nose, a redesigned tail, fixed tailwheel, and other changes. The aircraft began state acceptance trials on 10 June 1940. The pilots performing the evaluation found the I-26 to have excellent handling characteristics, comparing it to a trainer, as well as to be extremely agile, but reported it underpowered and also listed many technical defects.
There was no time to wait to fix everything, and even as the trials were in progress more prototypes and elements of a preproduction batch were rolling off the assembly line. The type was first displayed to the public when five of them overflew Red Square during the annual October Revolution celebration on 7 November 1940. The identity of the aircraft was not announced.
* The first pre-production I-26 fighters rolled of the production lines of a Moscow plant and were passed on to a field evaluation unit. These aircraft were fully armed with the ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon and two ShKAS 7.62 millimeter machine guns. Pilots regarded the armament as too light, though Soviet aerial machine guns and cannons had rates of fire very roughly about half again greater than their Western counterparts as partial compensation.
About one in five of the fighters were fitted with racks to carry six RS-82 82 millimeter rockets on underwing racks, which would be used for both air to ground and air to air combat. Although inaccurate, they would literally blow an enemy aircraft apart on a hit, and had delay fuzing that allowed them to burst inside enemy bomber formations, blasting out a cloud of shrapnel.
The fuel tanks obtained some protection against small-arms fire by being covered with four layers of coarse cord fabric, impregnated with phenol-formaldehyde resin. The cockpit was equipped with basic engine and flight instruments, plus a simple gunsight, a compass, and a clock. Radio gear was not standard at the time, but the I-26 could carry a one-channel radio. Landing lights were not fitted.
There were still various technical problems, particularly with the undercarriage and the engine, and Yakovlev and his team worked on fixing them as aircraft rolled out the door of the factory. They managed to patch up the worst bugs, but only at the expense of increasing the aircraft's weight, reducing its performance. Top speed was 540 KPH (335 MPH) and range was 700 kilometers (435 miles). The aircraft's range was modest, but that was tolerable for front-line battlefield operations.
Soviet industry was busy turning out other new fighters, such as the LaGG-1 and MiG-3, with bugs of their own. There was no time to wait for something better. The Soviets had to make do with what they had and try to work out the problems as they went along.
Production for the new Yak fighter ramped up only slowly. By the end of 1940, only 64 had been delivered. At this time, the type was redesignated "Yak-1" by Stalin's order.
By the time of the German invasion on 22 June 1941, almost 400 Yak-1s had been delivered. Despite the deficiencies of the Yak-1, it was still better than the old Polikarpov fighters that equipped most other fighter units, but remained inferior to the German Bf-109F. Red planes were swept out of the sky by the Luftwaffe, with German pilots achieving a kill ratio of at least ten to one. Nonetheless, few experienced Soviet pilots were lost, and although the Soviets took much greater losses than the Germans, they were much more able to replace them over the long run.
* Even though the Yakovlev production and design facilities were moved wholesale out of the path of the German advance to east of the Urals, production of the Yak-1 was only interrupted for a short time, a tribute to the competent planning of the move. As new Yak-1s were rolled off the production lines for immediate delivery to frontal forces, Yakovlev engineers added new features designed in response to "front-line demand" by Red pilots.
Beginning in the summer of 1941, Yak-1s were also fitted with the improved Klimov M-105PA engine, which was more reliable than the M-105P, if still not entirely satisfactory, and could operate in inverted flight and negative-gee maneuvers. A number of winterized Yak-1s, with retractable ski landing gear, white paint, and other cold-weather refinements, were produced in the winter of 1941:1942.
The racks for the RS-82 rockets were eliminated from production in the spring of 1942, as they degraded the aircraft's performance. They were replaced by underwing racks for a total of two bombs of up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) each. However, the Yak-1 simply didn't have enough horsepower to carry that kind of a load well, and in practice it was used as a fighter bomber only in a pinch.
A number of stripped down Yak-1s were also built, fitted only with the ShVAK cannon and with other items deleted. They weren't faster in level flight than a conventional Yak-1, but they had a superior rate of climb and were a better match for Luftwaffe Bf-109Fs and Bf-109Gs. The "lightweight" Yak-1s were delivered in small quantities and provided to the best pilots, who could make use of the machine's superior climb and maneuverability and were good enough shots to score kills with the single gun.
* Several major changes were made in Yak-1 production in the early summer of 1942. One was fit of the uprated Klimov M-105PF engine that provided 1,210 horsepower for take-off. This increased performance considerably, providing a maximum speed of about 585 KPH (364 MPH) at altitude. A second change was replacement of the two 7.62 machine guns by a single 12.7 millimeter Berezin machine gun, mounted on the left side of the nose.
The most visible change was a three-piece all-round vision canopy. The Yak-1's bad rearward vision had been a common complaint among pilots, and many field units had installed a rear-fuselage window panel to improve matters. The all-round vision canopy was a much better solution. It meant that the 8 millimeter armor plate that protected the pilot's head and shoulders had to be replaced by an armor glass plate 75 millimeters (3 inches) thick behind the pilot's head and shoulders.
Other improvements included a retractable tailwheel navigation lights updated engine intakes, exhausts, and other fittings and multi-channel radios, fitted more or less as standard. The aircraft could be fitted with a camera for battlefield reconnaissance. The improved machine was still formally a Yak-1, but it was referred to as a "Yak-1B" by field units. Some sources also call it the "Yak-1M", but this designation appears to have actually been applied to prototypes for the Yak-3 fighter, discussed later.
* Evolution of the Yak-1 continued, with the next significant advance being introduction of the Klimov M-106 inline engine. The M-106 was an evolved version of the M-105PF, fitted with an improved supercharger system. A Yak-1 fitted with the M-106 performed its first flight in January 1943. This machine also featured metal wing spars and other metal assemblies. Flight trials went well and a small batch of M-106-powered Yak 1s was built immediately, though problems with the M-106 led some of them to be re-engined with M-105PF engines. The M-106 would never become a reliable engine.
* The Yak-1 was not quite the equal of the best Luftwaffe fighters, but it was an improvement over other Soviet types available at the time, and the best VVS pilots made good use of it. One of the more interesting Yak-1 pilots was Lilya Litvak, a woman who was flight commander of an otherwise male air regiment. She scored 12 kills, before falling herself on 1 September 1943, at the age of 21.
The Yak-1 not only equipped Soviet units, it also was provided to Polish, Yugoslavian, and French volunteer units operating under Red Army control. The French volunteer unit was the famous Normandie-Niemen air regiment, which scored many victories against the Luftwaffe in the Soviet "Great Patriotic War" against Hitler.
Production of the Yak-1 series was phased out in the summer of 1944. By that time, some 8,666 of them had been built.
* The Yak-1 was taken out of production to make way for a improved variant, known as the "Yak-3". Confusingly, however, there were two essentially different aircraft with the designation Yak-3.
The original Yak-3, which was originally designated "I-30" and offered along with the I-26 as an alternate design, made its first flight on 12 April 1941. This machine generally resembled the I-26, but was of all-metal construction and had a wing with dihedral on the outer panels. Like the early Yak-1, it had a ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon firing through the prop spinner and twin ShKAS 7.62 millimeter machine guns in the nose, but was also fitted with a ShVAK cannon in each wing. It was powered by a Klimov M-105P engine.
The first of two prototypes was fitted with a slatted wing to improve handling and short-field performance. The second prototype had a wooden wing without slats, in order to simplify production. The second prototype crashed during flight tests and was written off. Although there were plans to put the Yak-3 into production, the scarcity of aviation aluminum and the pressure of the Nazi invasion led to abandoning work on the first Yak-3 in the late fall of 1941.
* During roughly the same timeframe, the Yakovlev bureau also worked on a high-altitude fighter, initially designated the "I-28" and then "Yak-5". It performed its first flight on 1 December 1940.
The I-28 / Yak-5 was similar to the I-26 / Yak-1, the main difference being that the I-28 was fitted with a Klimov M-105PD engine with an advanced supercharger optimized for high-altitude performance. The engine proved troublesome and the I-28 effort was abandoned about the same time as the original Yak-3 effort. The OKB would continue to tinker with the high-altitude fighter concept, but using other variants in the Yak fighter line.
* There never was an operational Yak-5, but the Yak-3 designation was recycled and applied to a highly successful Yak fighter variant.
The second Yak-3 was not really a new aircraft but a continued evolution of the Yak-1. The powerplant was intended to be the new Klimov M-107 engine, providing over 1,500 horsepower. However, the M-107 suffered development problems, and the Klimov M-105PF was retained. The most significant changes in the Yak-3 were a shorter wingspan a new canopy with better all-round visibility and a modified oil cooler scheme. Early production Yak-3s would have the same single 20 millimeter ShVAK cannon and Berezin 12.7 millimeter machine gun as the Yak-1M, but later production would have an improved ShA-20M 20 millimeter cannon, plus two Berezin 12.7 millimeter guns in the nose. Two prototypes were built, designated "Yak-1M", with the "M" standing for "Modifikatsirovany / Modified". Flight tests began in early 1943 and the performance of the new variant proved even more impressive than had been anticipated. The new variant was capable of 680 KPH at 3.7 kilometers altitude (422 MPH at 12,140 feet) and had marvelous agility at low altitude.
The Yak-1M was ordered into production with minor changes as the Yak-3 in October 1943, with first rollouts in March 1944. The type was being delivered in quantity to VVS frontline units by the summer of 1944. VVS pilots were extremely enthusiastic about the type, since it was a real threat to the Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf FW-190A and Messerschmitt Bf-109G.
The Yak-3 was one of the smallest and lightest major combat fighters fielded by any combatant during the war, and its high power-to-weight ratio gave it excellent performance. It could easily out-turn its adversaries, though like many "hot" aircraft it could be a dangerous handful on takeoff and landing.
* In late production, the Yak-3 was fitted with an armament of three lightweight B-20 20 millimeter cannon. Almost 600 of these machines were built, mostly after the war, and designated "Yak-3P", where "P" stood for "Pushka / Cannon". There were a number of specialized variants of the Yak-3 that never went beyond the prototype stage:
Engine problems and other troubles kept this variant from production. Some sources claim that a Yak-3 was similarly fitted with a 45 millimeter cannon, but this seems like it would have been a bit much for the light Yak-3 airframe.
Yak-3 production was shut down in 1946. 4,848 were built in all, with 737 of these delivered after the war. They would continue to be flown for a few years in the postwar period by the VVS, as well as the French, Yugoslavians, Albanians, and Poles. One of the French examples is now in the Musee de l'Air near Paris.
* After the war, the Yakovlev bureau would build a tandem-seat trainer based on the Yak-3 and fitted with the Shvetsov ASh-21 radial engine, with 700 horsepower. This aircraft became the "Yak-11", which became the Eastern Bloc's standard trainer through the 1950s and into the 1960s. Almost 4,000 were built.
In the early 1990s, the Yakovlev organization actually put the Yak-3 back into production as the "Yak-3U", building a small batch that was sold to private "warbird" collectors by a company in California. These machines were actually fitted with the Allison V-1710 inline engine, as workable Klimov engines could no longer be found at any reasonable cost.
Retooling production for an aircraft that was designed to be easy to build was probably straightforward as such things go, and the work was assisted by engineers and production workers who had worked on the machine in the 1940s, lured out of retirement by a chance to make some money and relive old times.
* The Yak-1 and Yak-3 variants represented one branch of the evolution of the Yakovlev piston fighters, known as the "lightweight" fighters. Another branch of "heavy" fighters evolved in parallel, beginning with the "Yak-7".
The Yak-7 actually began life in 1939 as a tandem-seat advanced trainer, originally designated "I-27" and then "UTI-26", offered along with the original I-26 proposal. The "UTI" suffix stood for "Uchebno Trenirovochny Istrebitel / Training Fighter". Yakovlev was clearly a very energetic person, promoting four different aircraft designs at the same time, including the I-26, UTI-26, I-28, and I-30.
The two-seater UTI-26 was intended to give students familiarization with a fast and hot aircraft before they went on to fly the single-seat I-26. This would reduce the number of losses in training. The two-seater could also be used for liason and fast transport duties.
Formal work on the UTI-26 began in the spring of 1940, and the prototype first flew on 23 July 1940. The trainer was essentially a modified I-26, fitted a second cockpit and dual controls. A rubber speaking tube was used as an "intercom" between the cadet and the flight instructor. The wing was moved back slightly to preserve balance.
The UTI-26 inherited all the flaws of the I-26, but it was put into production anyway in March 1941 as the "Yak-7UTI". It was armed with a single ShKAS 7.62 millimeter machine gun in the cowling.
Although early Yak-7UTIs retained retractable main landing gear, beginning in the summer of 1941 the type was produced with fixed landing gear instead as a means of simplifying production, the reduction in performance being regarded as acceptable for a trainer. Skis could be fitted for winter operations. The machine gun was also removed. The result being designated "Yak-7V", where "V" stood for "Vyvozoni / Familiarization". The trainer variants of the Yak-7 were built in quantities of hundreds.
* At about the same time that the trainers switched to fixed landing gear, a team at one of the production plants converted one of the trainers fitted with retractable landing gear to a full-fledged fighter configuration, with two ShKAS 7.62 millimeter machine guns in the cowling, a ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon firing through the prop spinner, and racks for six RS-82 rockets.
An armored backrest was added to the pilot's seat, and protected fuel tanks were fitted. The rear cockpit position was retained, allowing it to accommodate a second seat (without controls) for fast courier and transport duties a fuel tank for extended range or in principle bombs or other gear.
Yakovlev himself wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of converting the Yak-7 into a fighter, but he ran it upstairs to his political bosses. They liked the concept, and so he warmed to the idea himself. As the Yak-7UTI was already in production, building the "Yak-7" fighter was straightforward, and the type was in weapons trials by mid-September.
* By the end of 1941, about 60 Yak-7 fighters had been built and the type had been in combat. Its flight performance was similar to the Yak-1, though it was less maneuverable. Of course, improvements were made to the type, with the fighter given the new designation of "Yak-7A" at the beginning of 1942. The changes included fit of a radio restoration of the semi-retractable tailwheel replacement of the rear canopy with a plywood hood that hinged open to the side fit of a pilot oxygen system and a modified instrument panel. Most of the modifications were actually introduced in the months following the designation change.
Improvements continued, leading to the introduction of the "Yak-7B" in the spring of 1942. The Yak-7B was originally powered by the M-105PA engine and then the M-105PF engine, and also featured more powerful armament, retaining the ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon but switching the two ShKAS 7.62 millimeter machine guns in the cowling for two UBS 12.7 millimeter machine guns. Given the high rate of fire of these weapons, this gave the Yak-7B good firepower.
The Yak-7B was also fitted with an RSI-4 radio and had a number of aerodynamic improvements, as recommended by the TsAGI (Tsentral'nyi Aerogidrodynamichesky Institut / Central Aerodynamic & Hydrodynamic Research Institute), for example improved engine intakes that improved high altitude performance. Although the Yak-7B weighed about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) more than the Yak-7A, due to the improved engine and aerodynamics, the Yak-7B had slightly better performance.
The Yak-7B was originally fitted with launch rails for six RS-82 rockets and racks for two 100 kilogram (220 pound) bombs. The rocket launch rails were quickly removed from production as they degraded performance too much, but the bomb racks were retained.
Early field feedback on the Yak-7B indicated that it was noseheavy, tending to tip forward on landings when the brakes were applied, and as compensation the factory installed a fuel tank in the rear cockpit space. This didn't make the pilots any happier, since they were now sharing the cockpit with a fuel tank that had no protection, and it raised the loaded weight of the machine too much anyway. The tank was generally removed in the field.
* A number of Yak variants were built in small quantities or as prototypes:
* A total of 6,399 Yak-7s of all types were built before production ended in early 1943, with more than 5,000 of this total being Yak-7Bs. After the war, some Yak-7V trainers were provided to the Poles and a single Yak-7V was delivered to the Hungarians for familiarization with the Yak-9 fighter, which is the subject of the next section.
* The lessons learned in the Yak-1, Yak-3, and Yak-7 were finally put to use in the most potent, and most heavily produced, of the Yak prop fighter family, the "Yak-9".
The Yak-9 was conceived as a natural progression from late model Yak-7 fighters. In the late spring of 1942, the increased availability of aviation metals led to the development of a reconnaissance variant of the Yak-7 with a new wing, featuring metal H-section spars with Bakelite-impregnated wood skinning. The new wing had shorter span but the same wing area. The metal spars permitted an increase in fuel capacity, with eight tanks in the wings along with the single fuselage tank, and this variant was designated the "Yak-7D" (with "D" standing for "Dal'ny / Long Range").
As the Yak-7D seemed promising, Yakovlev then ordered the development of a comparable fighter variant, the "Yak-7DI" (where "DI" stood for "Dal'ny Istrebitel"). This was based on the Yak-7B with the new Yak-7D wing, though with only four fuel tanks the right UB 12.7 millimeter machine gun removed to reduce weight an M-105PF engine and a new all-round vision canopy.
Trials of the Yak-7DI were completed in the late summer of 1942, and the type was put into production as the Yak-9, with the number of wing tanks reduced to two to cut weight. The new Yak-9 variant reached full production in late 1942 and early 1943. By December 1942, early production Yak-9s were in combat, participating in the great winter counteroffensive at Stalingrad.
* The first refinement of the Yak-9 was the "Yak-9T", where "T" stood for "Tyazhelowooruzheny / Heavily Armed", fitted with an NS-37 37 millimeter cannon firing through the propeller spinner instead of the ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon. The variant went through evaluation in early 1943 and was in field service by the spring of that year. It proved very popular, with 2,748 built.
To accommodate the cannon, the cockpit was moved 40 centimeters (1.3 feet) towards the rear. While some sources claim that the Yak-9T was designed as a close-support aircraft, it appears that the fit of the NS-37 cannon was mainly to correct the inadequate firepower that had dogged the Yak-series fighters, and the Yak-9T was primarily used for air combat. The USSR had a better machine for close support, the heavily armored Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik.
A long-range "Yak-9D" variant was introduced at roughly the same time, and featured four wing tanks, giving the machine a range of 900 kilometers (560 miles). The VVS had acquired a need for a longer-range fighters as the Red Army was now on the advance, and it was not always possible to have forward airfields behind the lines. Over 3,000 were built. The additional wing tanks led to a reduction in performance, and so in early 1944 a number of aerodynamic improvements suggested by TsAGI were incorporated into Yak-9D production to compensate.
The "Yak-9M" was as a modest change to the Yak-9D, with the cockpit moved back to improve production compatibility with the Yak-9T. This was actually an improvement from the pilot's point of view as well, since moving the cockpit back did not reduce the pilot's view, while it helped reduce the degree of noseheaviness that the Yak-9 had inherited from the Yak-7.
The Yak-9M was also fitted with a jettisonable cockpit canopy, an engine dust filter, and other minor refinements. The variant went into production in the spring of 1944, and over 4,200 would be built.
* Considerable effort was made to reduce production defects in the Yak-9M. The managers responsible had been personally and angrily reprimanded to their faces by Stalin himself when they informed him of problems with the delamination of the wing skinning of the Yak-9: "Oh, but do you know that only the most perfidious enemy could do such a thing?! Producing aircraft at the plant that proved unfit for service at the Front! The enemy could not damage us so cruelly! He could invent nothing worse! This is work for Hitler!"
Stalin did not make empty threats, and he rarely made a threat twice. Resolution of the defects became a top priority. They were fixed, and then Yakovlev and production engineers went on to add improvements. The result was the "Yak-9U", where "U" stood for "Uluchshenny / Improved". The Yak-9U was difficult to tell from the Yak-9M from the outside, but it incorporated a wide range of small changes to improve performance and survivability.
The Yak-9U was initially fitted with the Klimov M-107 engine, but problems with the engine led to the loss of the prototype in late February 1943. As a result, the Yak-9U retained the M-105PF engine. It also featured two UB 12.7 millimeter guns, as well as the ShVAK 20 millimeter cannon. The Yak-9U was regarded as equivalent in performance and handling to its American counterpart, the P-51D Mustang.
Over 3,900 Yak-9Us were built, the majority of them before the end of the war. Over 280 similar "Yak-9UTs" were built as well, the only real difference being that the design permitted the installation of a heavier cannon on the production line, a concept derived from the experimental "Yak-9TK" discussed below.
The last version of the Yak piston fighters was the "Yak-9P", which was introduced into service in 1946. The Yak-9P featured all metal construction, except for the earliest production, which retained wooden elements in the fuselage. It had four wing fuel tanks and various niceties such as a radio compass an "identification friend or foe (IFF)" unit a gun camera and "glow in the dark" cockpit indicators. About 800 Yak-9Ps were built. The Yak-9P was supplied to many Soviet satellite air forces in the early postwar period, including North Korea.
During the early parts of the Korean War, North Korean Yak-9Ps came head-to-head with American F-51D Mustangs and F-82G Twin Mustangs. The Yak-9P seems to have come off the worse in these encounters, though it seems more because of limited North Korean pilot training rather than any inferiority of the aircraft. The US captured and evaluated a Yak-9P, and pilot reports indicated that it was an extremely capable aircraft, though its manufacturing and finish quality were rough by Western standards.
Apparently a different Yak-9P variant had been built earlier in World War II, featuring armament of twin 20 millimeter cannon, but it never got beyond the prototype stage, and the designation was recycled later for a more successful version.
* A number of other Yak-9 variants were built as prototypes or produced in limited numbers:
The Yak-9B was put into limited production and combat evaluation. It was used as a precision-strike weapon to attack heavily-defended targets, but did not prove successful enough to be put into wide-scale production. Loading the bombs was a nuisance for armorers the machine was so heavily laden as to be a danger to get off the ground and the pilot had no bombsight. The VVS report back to the factory concluded: "Pilots did not want to fly the aircraft. The Chief Designer must redesign the aeroplane." That was effectively the end of the matter.
* After World War II, the Yugoslav designers Sivar, Znic, and Popovic designed a fighter based on the Yak-9 named the "S-49" that would serve into the 1950s. It was the last of a significant line of aircraft.
A total of 16,769 Yak-9 fighters were built in all by the time production ceased in 1947, making it not only more common than all other Yak fighter variants put together, but one of the most heavily produced aircraft of all time. The total number of all Yak fighter variants was 36,737.
Many Yak pilots would become aces, and a few would score 50 kills or more in the Yak and other fighters. Among them were Dmitri Glinka, with 50 kills Grigori Rechakov, with 56 kills and the famous Alexandr Pokryshin, with 59 kills.
* While there are murky points in the documentation for almost every aircraft, trying to track down some odd details for Soviet aircraft is an exercise in frustration and contradiction. Even if the Soviets hadn't been secretive, fighters like the Yak-1 were being refined from brutal combat experience while the Russians were moving whole industries hundreds of kilometers as part of a bitter struggle for their existence.
In any case, the documentation trail is muddy and confusing, and for perfectly understandable reasons. There are major disagreements between sources on the Yak fighter, and though it is relatively straightforward to identify a Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-7, or Yak-9, assignment of a particular subvariant type and specification should be taken with a bit of skepticism. Given the time that has passed after the events of the story, it is very possible that the confusion will never be completely straightened out.
* Sources for this document include:
I judged this book to be more authoritative, though it is maddeningly meandering in its descriptions, and have gone with its descriptions, hedging my bets where possible.
Variants [ edit | edit source ]
Modern built Yak-9 on takeoff at World War II Air Show, Reading, PA, 2002
Yak-9 with Polish markings.
Yakovlev OKB created 22 modifications of the Yak-9, of which 15 saw mass production. The most notable of these include:
First production version, Klimov M-105PF engine with 880 kW (1,180 hp), 1 × 20 mm ShVAK cannon with 120 rounds and 1 × 12.7 mm UBS machine gun with 200 rounds.
Prototype with Klimov M-106-1SK engine with 1,007 kW (1,350 hp), did not advance to production because of problems with the engine.
Yak-9 armed with a 37 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-37 cannon with 30 rounds instead of the 20 mm ShVAK, cockpit moved 0.4 m (1 ft 3 in) back to compensate for the heavier nose. Initially poor quality control led to multiple oil and coolant leaks from cannon recoil. Recoil and limited supply of ammunition required accurate aiming and two-three round bursts. Yak-9T was widely used against enemy shipping on the Black Sea and against tanks, but was also successful against aircraft with a single cannon hit usually sufficient to tear apart the target. Time to turn a complete circle: around 21 seconds, however in minimal turbulence the aircraft tends to range from 23-26 second turn circles, but dependent mostly on the aircraft's weight in combat.
Yak-9T silhouette compared to an early variant
Yak-9T with the ability to install either the 20 mm ShVAK, the 23 mm VYa, the 37 mm NS-37, or the 45 mm NS-45 cannon in the "vee" of the engine block. Did not enter production because the difference between 20 mm and 23 mm cannon was insignificant and the 45 mm cannon was unreliable.
Yak-9T modified with a 45 mm NS-45 cannon with 29 rounds and a distinctive muzzle brake to deal with the massive recoil. Firing the cannon at speeds below 350 km/h (220 mph) caused dramatic loss of control and tossed the pilot back and forth in the cockpit however, accurate shooting was possible at higher speeds and in 2–3 round bursts. The recoil also caused numerous oil and coolant leaks. The heavy cannon installation degraded performance sufficiently to require fighter escort. Yak-9K saw only limited use due to unreliability of the NS-45.
Long-range version of Yak-9, fuel capacity increased from 440 l (115 US gal) to 650 l (170 US gal) giving a maximum range of 1,360 km (845 mi). Combat usefulness at full range was limited by lack of radio navigation equipment, and a number of aircraft were used as short-range fighters with fuel carried only in inner wing tanks. Circle time: 19–20 sec. Weight of fire: 2 kg (4.4 lb)/sec.
Yak-9D with NS-37 cannon and provision for 4 × 50 kg (110 lb) FAB-50 bombs under the wings.
Fighter-bomber version of Yak-9D (factory designation Yak-9L) with four vertical tube bomb bays aft of the cockpit with capacity for up to 4 × 100 kg (220 lb) FAB-100 bombs or 4 PTAB cassettes with 32 × 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) bomblets each, although normally only 200 kg (440 lb) of weapons were carried in the front bomb bays. Poor handling with a full bomb and fuel load and lack of special aiming equipment limited combat usefulness.
Yak-9D and Yak-9T modified to further increase the range, fuel capacity increased to 845 l (220 US gal) giving a maximum range of 2,285 km (1,420 mi), radio navigation equipment for night and poor weather flying. Yak-9DD were used primarily to escort Petlyakov Pe-2 and Tupolev Tu-2 bombers although they proved less than ideal for this role due to insufficient speed advantage over the bombers. In 1944, several Yak-9DD were used to escort B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers attacking targets in Romania using the Ukraine-Romania-Italy routes.
Yak-9D with the cockpit moved 0.4 m (1 ft 4 in) to the rear like on Yak-9T, numerous fixes and improvements based on experience with previous versions.
Yak-9M with slightly reduced fuel capacity, Klimov VK-105PF2 engine with 925 kW (1,240 hp), and radio and navigational equipment for night and adverse weather flying for PVO Strany.
Single-seat night fighter aircraft, equipped with a searchlight and an RPK-10 radio compass.
Yak-9M with Klimov VK-105PF engine, new propeller, and armament consisting of 1 × 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannon with 60 rounds, and 2 × 20 mm Berezin B-20 cannons with 120 rpg. Did not enter production due to poor performance compared to Yak-3 and Yak-9U.
Single-seat tactical reconnaissance aircraft.
UBS machine gun replaced with a second 20 mm ShVAK with 175 rounds, did not enter production due to the decision to use larger caliber cannons.
Yak-9U with an all-metal wing, Yak-9P in this case was a factory designation different from Yak-9P with two ShVAKs (see above).
High-altitude interceptor (unrelated to the two other Yak-9P above) with Klimov M-105PD engine designed specifically to intercept Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 86R high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft overflying Moscow in 1942–1943. Initially poor performance due to unreliable engine dramatically improved with adoption of Klimov M-106PV with water injection, with the aircraft reaching 13,500 m (44,300 ft) during testing. Armament reduced to the ShVAK cannon only to save weight.
Yak-9T with Klimov VK-105PF2 engine and numerous aerodynamic and structural improvements introduced on Yak-3. Main visual difference from Yak-9T was in the oil coolers in the wing roots like on Yak-3 and in plywood covering of the fuselage instead of fabric. Visually differed from Yak-3 only by main landing gear covers. Armament increased to 1 × 23 mm VYa with 60 rounds and 2 × 12.7 mm UBSs with 170 rpg. The VYa cannon could be replaced by a ShVAK, B-20, or NS-37, the latter requiring removal of the starboard UBS machine gun. Did not enter production because the VYa cannon was considered unsatisfactory and because the one cannon, one machine gun armament seen on previous models offered a significant increase in range.
The definitive Yak-9 variant, Yak-9U (VK-105) equipped with the new Klimov VK-107A engine with 1,230 kW (1,650 hp), and the 20 mm ShVAK with 120 rounds replacing the VYa. Weight of fire: 2.72 kg (5.98 lb)/sec. Early test flights in 1943 indicated that the only comparable Soviet fighter was Polikarpov I-185 prototype which was more difficult to fly and less agile due to higher weight. The prototype's top speed of 700 km/h (435 mph) at 5,600 m (18,370 ft) was faster than any other production fighter aircraft in the world at the time. Early problems with overheating were fixed by enlarging the radiators and production aircraft had further improved aerodynamics. Turning ability to complete a circle: 20 sec, best Soviet fighter at altitude.
Two-seat trainer version of Yak-9U (VK-107), armament reduced to a single Berezin B-20 cannon with 100 rounds. Did not enter production due to introduction of jet aircraft.
Yak-9U (VK-107) armed with 1 × 37 mm Nudelman N-37 cannon with 30 rounds and 2 20 mm Berezin B-20 cannons with 120 rpg, giving a one-second burst mass of 6 kg (13.2 lb). Similarly to Yak-9TK could be converted to replace the N-37 with a 20 mm B-20, 23 mm NS-23, or 45 mm N-45. Production aircraft carried NS-23 instead of the N-37 cannon as the default armament.
Two-seat trainer version of Yak-9M and Yak-9T, Klimov VK-105PF2 engine, armament reduced to 1 × 20 mm ShVAK with 90 rounds.
In the early 1990s, Yakovlev started limited production for the warbird market of Yak-9 and Yak-3 replica aircraft using original World War II equipment and Allison V-1710 engines. These modern-built replicas using the Allison engines, have counterclockwise-rotation props, unlike the originals which strictly used clockwise-rotation Soviet V12 powerplants.
Operational history [ edit | edit source ]
At the onset of Great Patriotic War on 22 June 1941, 425 Yak-1 were built, although many of these were en route or still disassembled. Just 92 machines were fully operational in the Western Military Districts - but most were lost in the very first days of the war. Ε] Yak-1 was designed with the goal of providing direct coverage of the Il-2 attack planes from enemy fighters. Thus, most of the air combat took place below 4,000 m (13,123 ft), at low altitudes where Yak-1 performed the best. The Yak-1 proved to have a significant advantage over its Soviet competitors. A full circle turn took just 17 seconds in the Yak-1M. The MiG-3, which had the best high-altitude performance, did poorly at low and medium altitudes and its light armament made it unsuitable even for ground attack. The LaGG-3 experienced a significant degradation in performance (as much as 100 km/h/62 mph on some aircraft) compared to its prototypes due to the manufacturer's inexperience with its special wooden construction which suffered from warping and rotting when exposed to the elements. The Yak-1's plywood covering also suffered from the weather but the steel frame kept the aircraft largely intact.
The aircraft's major problem early in deployment was fuel leaks caused by failure of spot-welded fuel tanks from vibration. Also troublesome was the fact that the canopy could not be opened under certain conditions in earlier models, potentially trapping the pilot in a falling aircraft. As the result, some pilots had the sliding portion of the canopy removed altogether. The first 1,000 Yak-1 had no radios at all. Installation of radio equipment became common by spring 1942 and obligatory by August 1942. Ε] But Soviet radios were notoriously unreliable and short-ranged so they were frequently removed to save weight.
Like most early carburetor-equipped engines, the M-105 could not tolerate negative G forces which starved it of fuel. Moreover, they suffered breakdowns of magnetos and speed governors, and emitted oil from the reduction shaft. Ζ]
The Yak-1 was better than Bf 109E but inferior to Bf 109F Η] - its main opponent - in rate of climb at all altitudes. And although it could complete a circle at the same speed (20–21 seconds at 1,000 meters ⎖] ) as a Bf 109, its lack of agility made dogfights difficult, demanding high levels of concentration. In comparison, a Bf 109, with its automatic flaps, had a lower stall speed and was more stable in sharp turns and vertical aerobatic figures. Ε] A simulated combat between a Yak (with M-105PF engine) and a Bf 109F revealed that the Messerschmitt had only marginally superior manoeuvrability at 1,000 meters (3,300 ft), though the German fighter could gain substantial advantage over the Yak-1 within four or five nose-to-tail turns. At 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) the capabilities of the two fighters were nearly equal, combat essentially reduced to head-on attacks. At altitudes over 5,000 meters ( 16,400 ft) the Yak was more manoeuvrable. The engine’s nominal speed at low altitudes was lowered to 2,550 rpm and the superiority of the Bf 109F at these altitudes was reduced. Ζ]
Its armament was too light but to reduce weight, modifications were made both on front line and on about thirty production aircraft: the 7,62 mm ShKAS machine-guns were removed, retaining only the single ShVAK cannon. Nevertheless, those lighter aircraft were popular with experienced pilots, for whom the reduction in armament was acceptable, and combat experience in November 1942 showed a much improved kill-to-loss ratio. Also, in the autumn of 1942 the Yak-1B appeared with the more powerful M-105P engine and a single 12,7 mm UBS machine gun instead of the two ShKAS. Although this did not increase the total weight of fire by much, the UBS machine-gun was much more effective than the two 7,62 mm ShKAS. Moreover, the simple VV ring sight replaced the PBP gun-sight, because of the very poor quality of the lenses of the latter. Η] The Yak-1 had a light tail and it was easy to tip over and to hit the ground with the propeller. Often technicians had to keep the tail down and that could lead to accidents, with aircraft taking off with technicians still on the rear fuselage. ⎗] Nonetheless, the Yak-1 was well liked by its pilots. For Soviet pilot Nikolai G. Golodnikov, overall, in its tactical and technical characteristic, the Yak-1B was equal to the Messerschmitt Bf 109G. ⎘] French Normandie-Niemen squadron selected the primitive model Yak-1M (that had a cut-down fuselage to allow all-round vision) when it was formed, in March 1943. ⎙] Twenty-four of these aircraft were sent to the elite all-female 586 IAP whose pilots included the world's only female aces: Katya Budanova, with 11, and Lydia Litvyak (11 plus three shared). Litvyak, the most famous fighter pilot woman of all time, flew Yak-1 “Yellow 44”, with aerial mast, at first in 296.IAP and then with 73.Gv.IAP, until her death in combat, on 1 August 1943. ⎚] Another famous ace who flew the Yak-1 was Mikhail Baranov, who scored all his 24 victories on it, ⎛] including five on a day (four Bf 109s and one Ju 87, on 6 August 1942). ⎜] Yak-1s were also the first type operated by the 1 Pułk Lotnictwa Myśliwskiego "Warszawa" ("1st Polish Fighter Regiment 'Warsaw'").
The importance of this type in World War II is often underestimated. Soviet naming conventions obscure the fact that the Yak-1 and its successors — the Yak-7, Yak-9 and Yak-3 — are essentially the same design, comparable to the numerous Spitfire or Bf 109 variants. Were the Yaks considered as one type, the 37,000 built would constitute the most produced fighter in history. Α] Β] That total would also make the Yak one of the most prolific aircraft in history, roughly equal to the best known Soviet ground attack type of World War II, the IL-2 Shturmovik. But losses were proportionally high, in fact the highest of all fighters type in service in USSR: in 1941-1945 VVS KA lost 3,336 Yak-1s 325 in 1941, 1,301 the following year, 1,056 in 1943, 575 in 1944 and 79 in 1945. ⎝]
The Yak-1 is a rank II Soviet fighter with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB/RB) and 2.7 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.43.
The Yak-1 is a fairly good turn fighter. Although not as good as Spitfires around the same BR, it is better than some of the German aircraft. The aircraft has good diving speed and energy retention, however, without slats, it cannot out-turn a Bf 109 F in a vertical loop. This aircraft performs best at medium-low altitudes. Due to its small wings and poor rate of climb at higher altitudes, it is lacking as a high altitude fighter. The aircraft can be used as a horizontal turn fighter, but one must be careful to be on the lookout for Boom & Zoomers. If the situation gets worse, a possible escape can be flying low level at high speed or trying an energy-retaining climb. While this aircraft should not be wasted on a ground attack, as a last resort it can be used to destroy unarmoured ground targets if the last flying opponent happens to be running away. The aircraft does perform well at lower speeds, yet it becomes very vulnerable to most enemy aircraft including biplanes.
Used well, the Yak-1 can be an unstoppable flying machine. Two of the most important things a Yak-1 pilot should aim for are the opponent's cockpit (pilot sniping) or wings. These are typically the weakest spots of an aircraft where a good shot can knock-out the enemy pilot or snap off a wing with a few well-placed rounds. The ShVAK is a fantastic 20 mm cannon if the pilot's aim is good! This cannon has an excellent rate of fire, unfortunately, it is paired with a barely adequate amount of ammunition which can be used up quickly. Mounted alongside the ShVAK are two 7.62 ShKAS machine guns. Much like the cannon, the machine guns do not have a large ammo pool to draw from. Yak-1 pilots always need to be mindful on how much ammo remains after an encounter or risk being pounced on by more manoeuvrable enemies when out of ammunition (or while reloading in AB).
An Achilles Heel of the Yak-1 is that it lacks armour protection. Head-on attacks from an enemy risk the pilot being knocked out by flying rounds or the water coolant radiator being hit. With a leaking water radiator, the Yak-1 will suffer engine failure within a few minutes (in RB mode). The engine of the Yak-1, like most Soviet fighter engines, tends to overheat quickly and stays running hot. One way to combat overheating is to run the engine at 97% of maximum and limiting usage of WEP. Manual engine control (MEC) can be used to keep the Yak's engine running cool at 100% power, though this means that prop pitch, fuel mixture, and supercharger gears must be manually adjusted in addition to the radiators (In Realistic mode, you can always use MEC while climbing, then switch back to automatic once you are dogfighting). If the aircraft is damaged, the Yak-1 pilot can check the cockpit's instrument panel and observe the oil temperature gauge as this will give a more accurate state of the engine than the water temperature gauge. The wings of the Yak-1 are also vulnerable to enemy fire, being rather fragile and full of fuel tanks.
 FOOTNOTE: YAK-11
* Although the Yak piston fighters were effectively obsolete by the end of World War II, the line did not come to a dead end in the postwar period. Late in the conflict, the Yakovlev OKB began work on a tandem-seat trainer derivative of the Yak-3, to be powered by a Shvetsov ASh-21 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine with 425 kW (570 HP). The trainer was originally to be designated the "Yak-3UTI", where "UTI" stood for "Uchebno Trenirovochnyi Istrebitel (Fighter Trainer)", and the original prototype performed its first flight on 10 November 1945.
The type passed its trials successfully, being ordered into production as the "Yak-11" in 1946, with service deliveries starting in 1947. It had a metal wing with a slightly increased span and retractable main gear, but a fixed tailwheel. It was armed with a single 12.7-millimeter Berezin or 7.62-millimeter ShKAS machine gun, and could carry a light bomb under each wing, the armament being intended for weapons training. The ASh-21 engine drove a two-bladed propeller.
The Yak-11 was apparently delightful to fly, and was manufactured in large quantities 3,859 were built in the USSR, with another 707 built in Czechoslovakia from 1953 as the "C-11". NATO assigned the type the reporting name "Moose", something of a slight for such an agile aircraft. The Yak-11 was the standard East Bloc primary trainer through the 1950s and into the 1960s, and was provided to almost every Soviet ally and client state. It was also used as a liaison aircraft, squadron "hack", and for aerobatic displays.
A variant with tricycle landing gear was flown in 1958, with the designation of "Yak-11U", and built in small quantities, with a few built by the Czechs as the "C-11U". Many Yak-11s remain flightworthy, being flown as air racers, or on the warbird circuit.
Several different terms are used to describe the intentional killing of large numbers of noncombatants.  [a] [b] [c] [d] [e] According to Anton Weiss-Wendt, the field of comparative genocide studies has very "little consensus on defining principles such as definition of genocide, typology, application of a comparative method, and timeframe."  [f] "Mass killing" has emerged as a "more straightforward" term. [g]
The following terminology has been used by individual authors to describe mass killings of unarmed civilians by communist governments, individually or as a whole:
- – Professor Ervin Staub defined mass killing as "killing members of a group without the intention to eliminate the whole group or killing large numbers of people without a precise definition of group membership. In a mass killing the number of people killed is usually smaller than in genocide." [h] Referencing earlier definitions, [i] Professors Joan Esteban, Massimo Morelli, and Dominic Rohner have defined mass killings as "the killings of substantial numbers of human beings, when not in the course of military action against the military forces of an avowed enemy, under the conditions of the essential defenselessness and helplessness of the victims."  The term has been defined by Professor Benjamin Valentino as "the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants", where a "massive number" is defined as at least 50,000 intentional deaths over the course of five years or less.  This is the most accepted quantitative minimum threshold for the term.  He applied this definition to the cases of Stalin's Soviet Union, China under Mao Zedong and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge while admitting that "mass killings on a smaller scale" also appear to have been carried out by regimes in North Korea, Vietnam, Eastern Europe and various nations in Africa.  Alongside Valentino, Jay Ulfelder has used a threshold of 1,000 killed. [j] Alex Bellamy states that 14 of the 38 instances of "mass killing since 1945 perpetrated by non-democratic states outside the context of war" were by communist governments. [k] Professors Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago used the term "mass killing" from Valentino and concluded that even with a lower threshold (10,000 killed per year, 1,000 killed per year, or even 1 killed per year) "autocratic regimes, especially communist, are prone to mass killing generically, but not so strongly inclined (i.e. not statistically significantly inclined) toward geno-politicide." [l] According to Attiat F. Ott and Sang Hoo Bae, there is a general consensus that "mass killing" constitutes the act of intentionally killing a number of non-combatants, but that number can range from as few as four to more than 50,000 people.  Yang Su used the term "collective killing" for analysis of mass killing in areas smaller than a whole country that may not meet Valentino's threshold. [m] – Under the Genocide Convention, the crime of genocide generally applies to the mass murder of ethnic rather than political or social groups. The clause which granted protection to political groups was eliminated from the United Nations resolution after a second vote because many states, including the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, [n] feared that it could be used to impose unneeded limitations on their right to suppress internal disturbances.  Scholarly studies of genocide usually acknowledge the UN's omission of economic and political groups and use mass political killing datasets of "democide" and "genocide and politicide" or "geno-politicide."  The killings that were committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia has been labeled a "genocide" or an "auto-genocide" and the deaths that occurred under Leninism and Stalinism in the Soviet Union, as well as those that occurred under Maoism in China, have been controversially investigated as possible cases. In particular, the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 and the Great Chinese Famine, which occurred during the Great Leap Forward, have both been "depicted as instances of mass killing underpinned by genocidal intent." [o] – the term politicide is used to describe the killing of groups that would not otherwise be covered by the Genocide Convention. [n] Professor Barbara Harff studies "genocide and politicide"—sometimes shortened as "geno-politicide"—in order to include the killing of political, economic, ethnic and cultural groups. [p] Professor Manus I. Midlarsky uses the term politicide to describe an arc of large-scale killing from the western parts of the Soviet Union to China and Cambodia. [q] In his book The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Midlarsky raises similarities between the killings of Stalin and Pol Pot.  – Professor Rudolph Rummel defined democide as "the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command."  His definition covers a wide range of deaths, including forced labor and concentration camp victims killings by "unofficial" private groups extrajudicial summary killings and mass deaths due to the governmental acts of criminal omission and neglect, such as in deliberate famines as well as killings by de facto governments, such as warlords or rebels in a civil war. [r] This definition covers any murder of any number of persons by any government,  and it has been applied to killings that were perpetrated by communist regimes.  – The term communist holocaust has been used by some state officials and non-governmental organizations.  The similar term red Holocaust—coined by the Munich Institut für Zeitgeschichte[s] —has been used by Professor Steven Rosefielde for communist "peacetime state killings," while stating that it "could be defined to include all murders (judicially sanctioned terror-executions), criminal manslaughter (lethal forced labor and ethnic cleansing), and felonious negligent homicide (terror-starvation) incurred from insurrectionary actions and civil wars prior to state seizure, and all subsequent felonious state killings." [t] According to Jörg Hackmann, this term is not popular among scholars in Germany or internationally. [s]Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine writes that usage of this term "allows the reality it describes to immediately attain, in the Western mind, a status equal to that of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazi regime." [u]Michael Shafir writes that the use of the term supports the "competitive martyrdom component of Double Genocide," a theory whose worst version is Holocaust obfuscation.  George Voicu states that Leon Volovici has "rightfully condemned the abusive use of this concept as an attempt to 'usurp' and undermine a symbol specific to the history of European Jews." [v] – Professor Stephen Wheatcroft notes that in the case of the Soviet Union terms such as "the terror", "the purges," and "repression" are used to refer to the same events. He believes the most neutral terms are "repression" and "mass killings," although in Russian the broad concept of repression is commonly held to include mass killings and it is sometimes assumed to be synonymous with it, which is not the case in other languages.  – Professor Michael Mann has proposed the term classicide to mean the "intended mass killing of entire social classes." [w] "Classicide" is considered "premeditated mass killing" narrower than "genocide" in that it targets a part of a population defined by its social status, but broader than "politicide" in that the group is targeted without regard to their political activity.  – Professor Klas-Göran Karlsson uses the term crimes against humanity, which includes "the direct mass killings of politically undesirable elements, as well as forced deportations and forced labour." Karlsson acknowledges that the term may be misleading in the sense that the regimes targeted groups of their own citizens, but he considers it useful as a broad legal term which emphasizes attacks on civilian populations and because the offenses demean humanity as a whole.  Historian Jacques Sémelin and Professor Michael Mann believe that "crime against humanity" is more appropriate than "genocide" or "politicide" when speaking of violence by communist regimes. 
According to Klas-Göran Karlsson, discussion of the number of victims of communist regimes has been "extremely extensive and ideologically biased."  Rudolph Rummel and Mark Bradley have written that, while the exact numbers have been in dispute, the order of magnitude is not. [x] [y] Although any attempt to estimate a total number of killings under communist regimes depends greatly on definitions,  attempts have been made:
- In 1978, journalist Todd Culbertson wrote an article in The Richmond News Leader, republished in Human Events, in which he stated that "[a]vailable evidence indicates that perhaps 100 million persons have been destroyed by the Communists the imperviousness of the Iron and Bamboo curtains prevents a more definitive figure." [z][aa]
- In 1985, John Lenczowski, director of European and Soviet Affairs at the United States National Security Council, wrote an article in The Christian Science Monitor in which he stated that the "number of people murdered by communist regimes is estimated at between 60 million and 150 million, with the higher figure probably more accurate in light of recent scholarship." [ab]
- In 1993, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, wrote that "the failed effort to build communism in the twentieth century consumed the lives of almost 60,000,000." [aa][ac]
- In 1994, Rudolph Rummel's book Death by Government included about 110 million people, foreign and domestic, killed by communist democide from 1900 to 1987.  This total did not include deaths from China's Great Famine of 1958-1961 due to Rummel's then belief that "although Mao’s policies were responsible for the famine, he was mislead about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies."  In 2004, Tomislav Dulić criticized Rummel's estimate of the number killed in Tito's Yugoslavia as an overestimation based on the inclusion of low quality sources and stated that Rummel's other estimates may suffer from the same problem if he used similar sources for them. 
- In 1997, the Stéphane Courtois introduction to the Black Book of Communism gave a "rough approximation, based on unofficial estimates" approaching 100 million killed. The subtotals listed by Courtois added up to 94.36 million killed. [ad]Nicolas Werth and Jean-Louis Margolin, contributing authors to the book, criticized Courtois as obsessed with reaching a 100 million overall total.  In his foreword to the 1999 English edition, Martin Malia noted "a grand total of victims variously estimated by contributors to the volume at between 85 million and 100 million." [ae]
- In 2005, Benjamin Valentino stated that the number of non-combatants killed by communist regimes in the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, and Cambodia alone ranged from a low of 21 million to a high of 70 million. [af][ag] Citing Rummel and others, Valentino stated that the "highest end of the plausible range of deaths attributed to communist regimes" was up to 110 million." [af][aa]
- In 2005, a retired Rudolph Rummel, due to additional information about Mao's culpability in the Great Chinese Famine from the work of Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, revised upward his total for communist democide between 1900 and 1999 from 110 million to about 148 million by including their estimated 38 million famine deaths. 
- In 2010, Steven Rosefielde wrote in Red Holocaust that communism's internal contradictions "caused to be killed" approximately 60 million people and perhaps tens of millions more. 
- In 2011, Matthew White published his rough total of 70 million "people who died under communist regimes from execution, labor camps, famine, ethnic cleansing, and desperate flight in leaky boats," not counting those killed in wars. [ah]
- In 2012, Alex J. Bellamy wrote that a "conservative estimate puts the total number of civilians deliberately killed by communists after the Second World War between 6.7 million and 15.5 million people, with the true figure probably much higher." [ai]
- In 2014, Julia Strauss wrote that, while there was the beginning of a scholarly consensus on figures of around 20 million killed in the Soviet Union and 2-3 million in Cambodia, there was no such consensus on numbers for China. [aj]
- In 2016, the Dissident blog of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation made an effort to compile ranges of estimates using sources from 1976 to 2010 and concluded that the overall range "spans from 42,870,000 to 161,990,000" killed, with 100 million the most commonly cited figure. [ak]
- In 2017, Professor Stephen Kotkin wrote in The Wall Street Journal that communism killed at least 65 million people between 1917 and 2017: "Though communism has killed huge numbers of people intentionally, even more of its victims have died from starvation as a result of its cruel projects of social engineering." [al]
The criticism of some of the estimates were mostly focused on three aspects, namely that (i) the estimates were based on sparse and incomplete data when significant errors are inevitable    (ii) some critics said the figures were skewed to higher possible values   [am] and (iii) some critics argued that victims of Holodomor and other man-made famines created by communist governments should not be counted.   
Klas-Göran Karlsson writes: "Ideologies are systems of ideas, which cannot commit crimes independently. However, individuals, collectives and states that have defined themselves as communist have committed crimes in the name of communist ideology, or without naming communism as the direct source of motivation for their crimes."  Scholars such as Rudolph Rummel, Daniel Goldhagen,  Richard Pipes  and John Gray  consider the ideology of communism to be a significant causative factor in mass killings.   The Black Book of Communism claims an association between communism and criminality, stating: "Communist regimes [. ] turned mass crime into a full-blown system of government"  while adding that this criminality lies at the level of ideology rather than state practice. 
Professor Mark Bradley writes that communist theory and practice has often been in tension with human rights and most communist states followed the lead of Karl Marx in rejecting "Enlightenment-era inalienable individual political and civil rights" in favor of "collective economic and social rights." [y] Christopher J. Finlay has argued that Marxism legitimates violence without any clear limiting principle because it rejects moral and ethical norms as constructs of the dominant class and "states that it would be conceivable for revolutionaries to commit atrocious crimes in bringing about a socialist system, with the belief that their crimes will be retroactively absolved by the new system of ethics put in place by the proletariat." [an] Rustam Singh notes that Karl Marx had alluded to the possibility of peaceful revolution, but after the failed Revolutions of 1848 emphasized the need for violent revolution and "revolutionary terror". [ao]
Literary historian George Watson cited an 1849 article written by Friedrich Engels called "The Hungarian Struggle" and published in Marx's journal Neue Rheinische Zeitung, stating that the writings of Engels and others show that "the Marxist theory of history required and demanded genocide for reasons implicit in its claim that feudalism, which in advanced nations was already giving place to capitalism, must in its turn be superseded by socialism. Entire nations would be left behind after a workers' revolution, feudal remnants in a socialist age, and since they could not advance two steps at a time, they would have to be killed. They were racial trash, as Engels called them, and fit only for the dung-heap of history."  [ap] Watson's claims have been criticized by Robert Grant for "dubious" evidence, arguing that "what Marx and Engels are calling for is [. ] at the very least a kind of cultural genocide but it is not obvious, at least from Watson's citations, that actual mass killing, rather than (to use their phraseology) mere 'absorption' or 'assimilation', is in question."  Talking about Engels' 1849 article and citing Watson's book, historian Andrzej Walicki states: "It is difficult to deny that this was an outright call for genocide." 
According to Rummel, the killings committed by communist regimes can best be explained as the result of the marriage between absolute power and the absolutist ideology of Marxism.  Rummel states that "communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and its chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusades against nonbelievers. What made this secular religion so utterly lethal was its seizure of all the state's instruments of force and coercion and their immediate use to destroy or control all independent sources of power, such as the church, the professions, private businesses, schools, and the family."  He writes that the Marxists saw the construction of their utopia as "though a war on poverty, exploitation, imperialism and inequality. And for the greater good, as in a real war, people are killed. And, thus, this war for the communist utopia had its necessary enemy casualties, the clergy, bourgeoisie, capitalists, wreckers, counterrevolutionaries, rightists, tyrants, rich, landlords, and noncombatants that unfortunately got caught in the battle. In a war millions may die, but the cause may be well justified, as in the defeat of Hitler and an utterly racist Nazism. And to many communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to justify all the deaths." 
Benjamin Valentino writes that mass killings strategies are chosen by communists to economically dispossess large numbers of people,  [aq] [k] arguing as such: "Social transformations of this speed and magnitude have been associated with mass killing for two primary reasons. First, the massive social dislocations produced by such changes have often led to economic collapse, epidemics, and, most important, widespread famines. [. ] The second reason that communist regimes bent on the radical transformation of society have been linked to mass killing is that the revolutionary changes they have pursued have clashed inexorably with the fundamental interests of large segments of their populations. Few people have proved willing to accept such far-reaching sacrifices without intense levels of coercion."  According to Jacques Sémelin, "communist systems emerging in the twentieth century ended up destroying their own populations, not because they planned to annihilate them as such, but because they aimed to restructure the 'social body' from top to bottom, even if that meant purging it and recarving it to suit their new Promethean political imaginaire." [ar]
Daniel Chirot and Clark McCauley write that, especially in Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's China and Pol Pot's Cambodia, a fanatical certainty that socialism could be made to work motivated communist leaders in "the ruthless dehumanization of their enemies, who could be suppressed because they were 'objectively' and 'historically' wrong. Furthermore, if events did not work out as they were supposed to, then that was because class enemies, foreign spies and saboteurs, or worst of all, internal traitors were wrecking the plan. Under no circumstances could it be admitted that the vision itself might be unworkable, because that meant capitulation to the forces of reaction." [as] Michael Mann writes that communist party members were "ideologically driven, believing that in order to create a new socialist society, they must lead in socialist zeal. Killings were often popular, the rank-and-file as keen to exceed killing quotas as production quotas." [at] According to Vladimir Tismăneanu, "the Communist project, in such countries as the USSR, China, Cuba, Romania, or Albania, was based precisely on the conviction that certain social groups were irretrievably alien and deservedly murdered." [au]
Alex Bellamy writes that "communism's ideology of selective extermination" of target groups was first developed and applied by Joseph Stalin but that "each of the communist regimes that massacred large numbers of civilians during the Cold War developed their own distinctive account". [av] Martin Shaw writes that "nationalist ideas were at the heart of many mass killings by Communist states", beginning with Stalin's "new nationalist doctrine of 'socialism in one country'", and killing by revolutionary movements in the Third World was done in the name of national liberation. [aw]
Political system Edit
Anne Applebaum asserts that "without exception, the Leninist belief in the one-party state was and is characteristic of every communist regime" and "the Bolshevik use of violence was repeated in every communist revolution." Phrases said by Vladimir Lenin and Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky were deployed all over the world. She notes that as late as 1976 Mengistu Haile Mariam unleashed a Red Terror in Ethiopia.  Said Lenin to his colleagues in the Bolshevik government: "If we are not ready to shoot a saboteur and White Guardist, what sort of revolution is that?" 
Robert Conquest stressed that Stalin's purges were not contrary to the principles of Leninism, but rather a natural consequence of the system established by Lenin, who personally ordered the killing of local groups of class enemy hostages.  Alexander Yakovlev, architect of perestroika and glasnost and later head of the Presidential Commission for the Victims of Political Repression, elaborates on this point, stating: "The truth is that in punitive operations Stalin did not think up anything that was not there under Lenin: executions, hostage taking, concentration camps, and all the rest."  Historian Robert Gellately concurs, stating: "To put it another way, Stalin initiated very little that Lenin had not already introduced or previewed." 
Stephen Hicks of Rockford College ascribes the violence characteristic of 20th-century socialist rule to these collectivist regimes' abandonment of protections of civil rights and rejection of the values of civil society. Hicks writes that whereas "in practice every liberal capitalist country has a solid record for being humane, for by and large respecting rights and freedoms, and for making it possible for people to put together fruitful and meaningful lives", in socialism "practice has time and again proved itself more brutal than the worst dictatorships prior to the twentieth century. Each socialist regime has collapsed into dictatorship and begun killing people on a huge scale." 
Eric D. Weitz says that the mass killing in communist states is a natural consequence of the failure of the rule of law, seen commonly during periods of social upheaval in the 20th century. For both communist and non-communist mass killings, "genocides occurred at moments of extreme social crisis, often generated by the very policies of the regimes."  They are not inevitable, but are political decisions.  Steven Rosefielde writes that communist rulers had to choose between changing course and "terror-command" and more often than not chose the latter. [ax] Michael Mann argues that a lack of institutionalized authority structures meant that a chaotic mix of both centralized control and party factionalism were factors in the killing. [at]
Professor Matthew Krain states that many scholars have pointed to revolutions and civil wars as providing the opportunity for radical leaders and ideologies to gain power and the preconditions for mass killing by the state. [ay] Professor Nam Kyu Kim writes that exclusionary ideologies are critical to explaining mass killing, but the organizational capabilities and individual characteristics of revolutionary leaders, including their attitudes towards risk and violence, are also important. Besides opening up political opportunities for new leaders to eliminate their political opponents, revolutions bring to power leaders who are more apt to commit large-scale acts of violence against civilians in order to legitimize and strengthen their own power.  Genocide scholar Adam Jones states that the Russian Civil War was very influential on the emergence of leaders like Stalin and it also accustomed people to "harshness, cruelty, terror." [az] Martin Malia called the "brutal conditioning" of the two World Wars important to understanding communist violence, although not its source. 
Historian Helen Rappaport describes Nikolay Yezhov, the bureaucrat who was in charge of the NKVD during the Great Purge, as a physically diminutive figure of "limited intelligence" and "narrow political understanding. [. ] Like other instigators of mass murder throughout history, [he] compensated for his lack of physical stature with a pathological cruelty and the use of brute terror."  Russian and world history scholar John M. Thompson places personal responsibility directly on Joseph Stalin. According to him, "much of what occurred only makes sense if it stemmed in part from the disturbed mentality, pathological cruelty, and extreme paranoia of Stalin himself. Insecure, despite having established a dictatorship over the party and country, hostile and defensive when confronted with criticism of the excesses of collectivization and the sacrifices required by high-tempo industrialization, and deeply suspicious that past, present, and even yet unknown future opponents were plotting against him, Stalin began to act as a person beleaguered. He soon struck back at enemies, real or imaginary."  Professors Pablo Montagnes and Stephane Wolton argue that the purges in the USSR and China can be attributed to the "personalist" leadership of Stalin and Mao, who were incentivized by having both control of the security apparatus used to carry out the purges and control of the appointment of replacements for those purged. [ba] Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek attributes Mao Zedong allegedly viewing human life as disposable to Mao's "cosmic perspective" on humanity. [bb]
Soviet Union Edit
Adam Jones claims that "there is very little in the record of human experience to match the violence which was unleashed between 1917, when the Bolsheviks took power, and 1953, when Joseph Stalin died and the Soviet Union moved to adopt a more restrained and largely non-murderous domestic policy." Jones notes that the exceptions to this were the Khmer Rouge (in relative terms) and Mao's rule in China (in absolute terms). 
Stephen G. Wheatcroft asserts that prior to the opening of the Soviet archives for historical research, "our understanding of the scale and the nature of Soviet repression has been extremely poor" and that some scholars who wish to maintain pre-1991 high estimates are "finding it difficult to adapt to the new circumstances when the archives are open and when there are plenty of irrefutable data" and instead "hang on to their old Sovietological methods with round-about calculations based on odd statements from emigres and other informants who are supposed to have superior knowledge," although he acknowledged that even the figures estimated from the additional documents are not "final or definitive."   In the 2007 revision of his book The Great Terror, Robert Conquest estimates that while exact numbers will never be certain, the communist leaders of the Soviet Union were responsible for no fewer than 15 million deaths. [bc]
Some historians attempt to make separate estimates for different periods of Soviet history, with casualty estimates varying widely from 6 million (for the Stalinist period)  to 8.1 million (for a period ending in 1937)  to 20 million  [bd] to 61 million (for the period 1917–1987). 
Red Terror Edit
The Red Terror was a period of political repression and executions carried out by Bolsheviks after the beginning of the Russian Civil War in 1918. During this period, the political police (the Cheka) conducted summary executions of tens of thousands of "enemies of the people."      Many victims were "bourgeois hostages" rounded up and held in readiness for summary execution in reprisal for any alleged counter-revolutionary provocation.  Many were put to death during and after the suppression of revolts, such as the Kronstadt rebellion of Baltic Fleet sailors and the Tambov Rebellion of Russian peasants. Professor Donald Rayfield claims that "the repression that followed the rebellions in Kronstadt and Tambov alone resulted in tens of thousands of executions."  A large number of Orthodox clergymen were also killed.  
According to Nicolas Werth, the policy of decossackization amounted to an attempt by Soviet leaders to "eliminate, exterminate, and deport the population of a whole territory."  In the early months of 1919, perhaps 10,000 to 12,000 Cossacks were executed   and many more deported after their villages were razed to the ground.  According to historian Michael Kort: "During 1919 and 1920, out of a population of approximately 1.5 million Don Cossacks, the Bolshevik regime killed or deported an estimated 300,000 to 500,000." 
Joseph Stalin Edit
Estimates of the number of deaths which were brought about by Stalin's rule are hotly debated by scholars in the fields of Soviet and Communist studies.   Prior to the collapse of the USSR and the archival revelations which followed it, some historians estimated that the number of people who were killed by Stalin's regime was 20 million or higher.    Michael Parenti writes that estimates on the Stalinist death toll vary widely in part because such estimates are based on "anecdotes" in absence of reliable evidence and "speculations by writers who never reveal how they arrive at such figures". 
After the Soviet Union dissolved, evidence from the Soviet archives became available, containing official records of the execution of approximately 800,000 prisoners under Stalin for either political or criminal offenses, around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulags and some 390,000 deaths which occurred during kulak forced resettlement—for a total of about 3 million officially recorded victims in these categories. [be] However, official Soviet documentation of Gulag deaths is widely considered inadequate. Golfo Alexopoulos, Anne Applebaum, Oleg Khlevniuk and Michael Ellman write that the government frequently released prisoners on the edge of death in order to avoid officially counting them.   A 1993 study of archival data by J. Arch Getty et al. showed that a total of 1,053,829 people died in the Gulag from 1934 to 1953.  Subsequently, Steven Rosefielde asserted that this number has to be augmented by 19.4 percent in light of more complete archival evidence to 1,258,537, with the best estimate of Gulag deaths being 1.6 million from 1929 to 1953 when excess mortality is taken into account.  Alexopolous estimates a much higher total of at least 6 million dying in the Gulag or shortly after release.  Jeffrey Hardy has criticized Alexopoulos for basing her assertions primarily on indirect and misinterpreted evidence  and Dan Healey has called her work a "challenge to the emergent scholarly consensus". [bf]
According to historian Stephen G. Wheatcroft, Stalin's regime can be charged with causing the "purposive deaths" of about a million people.  Wheatcroft excludes all famine deaths as "purposive deaths" and claims those that do qualify fit more closely the category of "execution" rather than "murder".  Others posit that some of the actions of Stalin's regime, not only those during the Holodomor, but also dekulakization and targeted campaigns against particular ethnic groups, can be considered as genocide   at least in its loose definition.  Modern data for the whole of Stalin's rule was summarized by Timothy Snyder, who concluded that Stalinism caused six million direct deaths and nine million in total, including the deaths from deportation, hunger and Gulag deaths. [bg] Michael Ellman attributes roughly 3 million deaths to the Stalinist regime, excluding excess mortality from famine, disease and war.  Several present scholars, among them Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore, Soviet/Russian historian Dmitri Volkogonov, and the director of Yale's "Annals of Communism" series Jonathan Brent, still put the death toll from Stalin at about 20 million. [bh] [bi] [bj] [bk] [bl]
Mass deportations of ethnic minorities Edit
The Soviet government during Joseph Stalin's rule conducted a series of deportations on an enormous scale that significantly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. Deportations took place under extremely harsh conditions, often in cattle carriages, with hundreds of thousands of deportees dying en route.  Some experts estimate that the proportion of deaths from the deportations could be as high as one in three in certain cases. [bm]  Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent who initiated the 1948 Genocide Convention and coined the term genocide himself, assumed that genocide was perpetrated in the context of the mass deportation of the Chechens, Ingush, Volga Germans, Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks, and Karachay. 
Regarding the fate of the Crimean Tatars, Amir Weiner of Stanford University writes that the policy could be classified as "ethnic cleansing". In the book Century of Genocide, Lyman H. Legters writes: "We cannot properly speak of a completed genocide, only of a process that was genocidal in its potentiality."  In contrast to this view, Jon K. Chang contends that the deportations had been in fact based on genocides based on ethnicity and that "social historians" in the West have failed to champion the rights of marginalized ethnicities in the Soviet Union.  This view is supported by several countries. On 12 December 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament issued a resolution recognizing the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars (the Sürgünlik) as genocide and established the 18th of May as the Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Crimean Tatar Genocide.  The Parliament of Latvia recognized the event as an act of genocide on 9 May 2019.   The Parliament of Lithuania did the same on 6 June 2019.  Canadian Parliament passed a motion on 10 June 2019, recognizing the Crimean Tatar deportation as a genocide perpetrated by Soviet dictator Stalin, designating the 18th of May to be a day of remembrance.  The deportation of Chechens and Ingush was acknowledged by the European Parliament as an act of genocide in 2004, stating: 
Believes that the deportation of the entire Chechen people to Central Asia on 23 February 1944 on the orders of Stalin constitutes an act of genocide within the meaning of the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907 and the Convention for the Prevention and Repression of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948. 
Soviet famine of 1932–1933 Edit
Within the Soviet Union, forced changes in agricultural policies (collectivization), confiscations of grain and droughts caused the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 in Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, Volga Region, and Kazakhstan.    The famine was most severe in the Ukrainian SSR, where it is often referenced as the Holodomor. A significant portion of the famine victims (3.3 to 7.5 million) were Ukrainians.    Another part of the famine was known as Kazakh catastrophe, when more than 1.3 million ethnic Kazakhs (about 38% of the population) died.   Many scholars say that the Stalinist policies that caused the famine may have been designed as an attack on the rise of Ukrainian nationalism  and thus may fall under the legal definition of genocide.    
The famine was officially recognized as genocide by the Ukraine and other governments.  [bn] In a draft resolution, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe declared the famine was caused by the "cruel and deliberate actions and policies of the Soviet regime" and was responsible for the deaths of "millions of innocent people" in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia. Relative to its population, Kazakhstan is believed to have been the most adversely affected.  Regarding the Kazakh catastrophe, Michael Ellman states that it "seems to be an example of ‘negligent genocide’ which falls outside the scope of the UN Convention of genocide." 
Great Purge Edit
Stalin's attempts to solidify his position as leader of the Soviet Union led to an escalation of detentions and executions, climaxing in 1937–1938 (a period sometimes referred to as the Yezhovshchina, or Yezhov era) and continuing until Stalin's death in 1953. Around 700,000 of these were executed by a gunshot to the back of the head.  Others perished from beatings and torture while in "investigative custody"  and in the Gulag due to starvation, disease, exposure and overwork. [bo]
Arrests were typically made citing counter-revolutionary laws, which included failure to report treasonous actions and in an amendment added in 1937 failing to fulfill one's appointed duties. In the cases investigated by the State Security Department of the NKVD from October 1936 to November 1938, at least 1,710,000 people were arrested and 724,000 people executed.  Modern historical studies estimate a total number of repression deaths during 1937–1938 as 950,000–1,200,000. These figures take into account the incompleteness of official archival data and include both execution deaths and Gulag deaths during that period. [bo] Former "kulaks" and their families made up the majority of victims, with 669,929 people arrested and 376,202 executed. 
The NKVD conducted a series of "national operations" which targeted some ethnic groups.  A total of 350,000 were arrested and 247,157 were executed.  Of these, the Polish operation which targeted the members of Polska Organizacja Wojskowa appears to have been the largest, with 140,000 arrests and 111,000 executions.  Although these operations might well constitute genocide as defined by the UN convention,  or "a mini-genocide" according to Simon Sebag Montefiore,  there is as yet no authoritative ruling on the legal characterization of these events. 
Citing church documents, Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev has estimated that over 100,000 priests, monks and nuns were executed during this time.   Regarding the persecution of clergy, Michael Ellman has stated that "the 1937–38 terror against the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church and of other religions (Binner & Junge 2004) might also qualify as genocide." 
In the summer and autumn of 1937, Stalin sent NKVD agents to the Mongolian People's Republic and engineered a Mongolian Great Terror  in which some 22,000  or 35,000  people were executed. Around 18,000 victims were Buddhist lamas. 
In Belarus, mass graves for several thousand civilians killed by the NKVD between 1937 and 1941 were discovered in 1988 at Kurapaty. 
Soviet killings during World War II Edit
Following the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, NKVD task forces started removing "Soviet-hostile elements" from the conquered territories.  The NKVD systematically practiced torture which often resulted in death.   According to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, 150,000 Polish citizens perished due to Soviet repression during the war.   The most notorious killings occurred in the spring of 1940, when the NKVD executed some 21,857 Polish POWs and intellectual leaders in what has become known as the Katyn massacre.    Executions were also carried out after the annexation of the Baltic states.  During the initial phases of Operation Barbarossa, the NKVD and attached units of the Red Army massacred prisoners and political opponents by the tens of thousands before fleeing from the advancing Axis forces.  Memorial complexes have been built at NKVD execution sites at Katyn and Mednoye in Russia, as well as a "third killing field" at Piatykhatky, Ukraine. 
Victims of Soviet NKVD in Lviv, June 1941
Katyn 1943 exhumation (photo by International Red Cross delegation)
Plaque on the building of Government of Estonia, Toompea, commemorating government members killed by communist terror
People's Republic of China Edit
The Chinese Communist Party came to power in China in 1949 after a long and bloody civil war between communists and nationalists. There is a general consensus among historians that after Mao Zedong seized power, his policies and political purges directly or indirectly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people.    Based on the Soviets' experience, Mao considered violence to be necessary in order to achieve an ideal society that would be derived from Marxism and as a result he planned and executed violence on a grand scale.  
Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries Edit
The first large-scale killings under Mao took place during his land reform and the counterrevolutionary campaign. In official study materials that were published in 1948, Mao envisaged that "one-tenth of the peasants" (or about 50,000,000) "would have to be destroyed" to facilitate agrarian reform.  The exact number of people who were killed during Mao's land reform is believed to have been lower, but at least one million people were killed.   The suppression of counterrevolutionaries targeted mainly former Kuomintang officials and intellectuals who were suspected of disloyalty.  At least 712,000 people were executed and 1,290,000 were imprisoned in labor camps. 
Great Leap Forward and the Great Chinese Famine Edit
Benjamin Valentino claims that the Great Leap Forward was a cause of the Great Chinese Famine and the worst effects of the famine were steered towards the regime's enemies.  Those who were labeled "black elements" (religious leaders, rightists and rich peasants) in earlier campaigns died in the greatest numbers because they were given the lowest priority in the allocation of food.  In Mao's Great Famine, historian Frank Dikötter writes that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the very foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history."  Dikötter estimates that at least 2.5 million people were summarily killed or tortured to death during this period.  His research in local and provincial Chinese archives indicates the death toll was at least 45 million: "In most cases the party knew very well that it was starving its own people to death."  In a secret meeting at Shanghai in 1959, Mao issued the order to procure one third of all grain from the countryside, saying: "When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill."  In light of additional evidence of Mao's culpability, Rummel added those killed by the Great Famine to his total for Mao's democide for a total of 77 million killed.  [bp]
According to Jean-Louis Margolin in The Black Book of Communism, the Chinese communists carried out a cultural genocide against the Tibetans. Margolin states that the killings were proportionally larger in Tibet than they were in China proper and "one can legitimately speak of genocidal massacres because of the numbers that were involved."  According to the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration, "Tibetans were not only shot, but they were also beaten to death, crucified, burned alive, drowned, mutilated, starved, strangled, hanged, boiled alive, buried alive, drawn and quartered, and beheaded."  Adam Jones, a scholar who specializes in genocide, notes that after the 1959 Tibetan uprising the Chinese authorized struggle sessions against reactionaries, during which "communist cadres denounced, tortured, and frequently executed enemies of the people." These sessions resulted in 92,000 deaths out of a total population of about 6 million. These deaths, Jones stressed, may not only be seen as a genocide, but they may also be seen as an "eliticide", meaning "targeting the better educated and leadership oriented elements among the Tibetan population."  Patrick French, the former director of the Free Tibet Campaign in London, writes that the Free Tibet Campaign and other groups have claimed that a total of 1.2 million Tibetans were killed by the Chinese since 1950 but after examining archives in Dharamsala, he found "no evidence to support that figure."  French states that a reliable alternative number is unlikely to be known, but he estimates that as many as half a million Tibetans died "as a 'direct result' of the policies of the People's Republic of China" by using historian Warren Smith's estimate of 200,000 people who are missing from population statistics in the Tibet Autonomous Region and extending that rate to the borderland regions. 
Cultural Revolution Edit
Sinologists Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals estimate that between 750,000 and 1.5 million people were killed in the violence of the Cultural Revolution in rural China alone.  Mao's Red Guards were given carte blanche to abuse and kill people who were perceived to be enemies of the revolution.  In August 1966, over 100 teachers were murdered by their students in western Beijing. 
Yang Su writes that Mao's government designated class enemies using an artificial and arbitrary standard in order to accomplish two political tasks: "mobilizing mass compliance and resolving elite conflict". The elastic nature of the category allowed it to "take on a genocidal dimension under extraordinary circumstances." [bq] Finkel and Strauss write that Su estimates up to three million people were "murdered by their neighbors in collective killings and struggle rallies. This happened even though the central government had not issued any mass killing orders or policies." 
Tiananmen Square Edit
Jean-Louis Margolin states that under Deng Xiaoping, at least 1,000 people were killed in Beijing and hundreds of people were also executed in the countryside after his government crushed demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989.  According to Louisa Lim in 2014, a group of victims' relatives in China called the "Tiananmen Mothers" has confirmed the identities of more than 200 of those who were killed.  Alex Bellamy writes that this "tragedy marks the last time in which an episode of mass killing in East Asia was terminated by the perpetrators themselves, judging that they had succeeded." 
Replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue in Hong Kong's June 4th Museum
A memorial to the 1989 Tiananmen Square events in the Dominican Square in Wrocław, Poland
Statue located in Ávila, Spain recalling the events of Tiananmen Square
The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and their bodies were buried by the Khmer Rouge regime during its rule of the country, which lasted from 1975 to 1979, after the end of the Cambodian Civil War.
Sociologist Martin Shaw described the Cambodian genocide as "the purest genocide of the Cold War era."  The results of a demographic study of the Cambodian genocide concluded that the nationwide death toll from 1975 to 1979 amounted to 1,671,000 to 1,871,000, or 21 to 24 percent of the total Cambodian population as it was estimated to number before the Khmer Rouge took power.  According to Ben Kiernan, the number of deaths which were specifically caused by execution is still unknown because many victims died from starvation, disease and overwork.  Researcher Craig Etcheson of the Documentation Center of Cambodia suggests that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a "most likely" figure of 2.2 million. After spending five years researching about 20,000 grave sites, he concluded that "these mass graves contain the remains of 1,112,829 victims of execution."  A study by French demographer Marek Sliwinski calculated slightly fewer than 2 million unnatural deaths under the Khmer Rouge out of a 1975 Cambodian population of 7.8 million, with 33.5% of Cambodian men dying under the Khmer Rouge compared to 15.7% of Cambodian women.  The number of suspected victims of execution who were found in 23,745 mass graves is estimated to be 1.3 million according to a 2009 academic source. Execution is believed to account for roughly 60% of the total death toll during the genocide, with other victims succumbing to starvation or disease. 
Helen Fein, a genocide scholar, states that the xenophobic ideology of the Khmer Rouge regime bears a stronger resemblance to "an almost forgotten phenomenon of national socialism", or fascism, rather than communism.  Responding to Ben Kiernan's "argument that Pol Pot's Democratic Kampuchea regime was more racist and generically totalitarian than Marxist or specifically Communist", Steve Heder states that the example of such racialist thought as it is applied in relation to the minority Cham people echoed "Marx's definition of a historyless people doomed to extinction in the name of progress" and it was therefore a part of general concepts of class and class struggle.  French historian Henri Locard argues that the "fascist" label was applied to the Khmer Rouge by the Communist Party of Vietnam as a form of "revisionism", but the repression which existed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge was "similar (if significantly more lethal) to the repression in all communist regimes."  Daniel Goldhagen explains that the Khmer Rouge were xenophobic because they believed that the Khmer were "the one authentic people capable of building true communism."  Steven Rosefielde claims that Democratic Kampuchea was the deadliest of all communist regimes on a per capita basis, primarily because it "lacked a viable productive core" and it "failed to set boundaries on mass murder." 
Memorial at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh
Killing Field mass graves at the Choeung Ek Cambodian Genocide centre
Chankiri Tree (Killing Tree) at Choeung Ek, where infants were fatally smashed during the genocide
Other states Edit
Barbara Harff and Ted Gurr write, "Most Marxist-Leninist regimes which came to power through protracted armed struggle in the postwar period perpetrated one or more politicides, though of vastly different magnitudes." [br] According to Benjamin Valentino, mass killings on a smaller scale than his standard of 50,000 people who were killed within a period of five years may have also occurred in other communist states such as Bulgaria, Romania and East Germany, although the lack of documentation prevents the reaching of a definitive judgement about the scale of these events and the motives of their perpetrators.  Valentino states most regimes that described themselves as communist did not commit mass killings.  Frank W. Wayman and Atsushi Tago write that because "democide" is broader than "mass killing" or "genocide," most communist regimes can be said to have engaged in it, including the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, North Vietnam, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, North Korea, Cuba, Laos, Albania and Yugoslavia. 
People's Republic of Bulgaria Edit
According to Valentino, available evidence suggests that between 50,000 and 100,000 people may have been killed in Bulgaria beginning in 1944 as part of a campaign of agricultural collectivization and political repression, although there is insufficient documentation to make a definitive judgement.  In his book History of Communism in Bulgaria, Dinyu Sharlanov accounts for about 31,000 people who were killed by the regime between 1944 and 1989.  
East Germany Edit
According to Valentino, between 80,000 and 100,000 people may have been killed in East Germany beginning in 1945 as part of the Soviet Union's denazification campaign, but other scholars argue that these estimates are inflated.   
Immediately after World War II, denazification commenced in occupied Germany and the regions which the Nazis had annexed. In the Soviet occupation zone, the NKVD established prison camps, usually in abandoned concentration camps, and they used them to intern alleged Nazis and Nazi German officials along with some landlords and Prussian Junkers. According to files and data which was released by the Soviet Ministry for the Interior in 1990, in total, 123,000 Germans and 35,000 citizens of other nations were detained. Of these prisoners, a total of 786 people were shot and 43,035 people died of various causes. Most of the deaths were not direct killings, instead, they were caused by outbreaks of dysentery and tuberculosis. Deaths from starvation also occurred on a large scale, particularly from late 1946 to early 1947, but these deaths do not appear to have been deliberate killings because food shortages were widespread in the Soviet occupation zone. The prisoners in the "silence camps", as the NKVD special camps were called, did not have access to the black market and as a result, they were only able to get food that was handed to them by the authorities. Some prisoners were executed and other prisoners may have been tortured to death. In this context, it is difficult to determine if the prisoner deaths in the silence camps can be categorized as mass killings. It is also difficult to determine how many of the dead were Germans, East Germans, or members of other nationalities.  
In 1961, East Germany erected the Berlin Wall following the Berlin crisis. Even though crossing between East Germany and West Germany was possible for motivated and approved travelers, thousands of East Germans tried to defect by illegally crossing the wall. Of these, between 136 and 227 people were killed by the Berlin Wall's guards during the years of the wall's existence (1961-1989).  
Socialist Republic of Romania Edit
According to Valentino, between 60,000 and 300,000 people may have been killed in Romania beginning in 1945 as part of agricultural collectivization and political repression. 
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Edit
The decision to 'annihilate' opponents must had been adopted in the closest circles of the Yugoslav state leadership, and the order was certainly issued by the Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Army Josip Broz Tito, although it is not known when or in what form.     [bs]
Dominic McGoldrick writes that as the head of a "highly centralised and oppressive" dictatorship, Tito wielded tremendous power in Yugoslavia, with his dictatorial rule administered through an elaborate bureaucracy which routinely suppressed human rights.  Eliott Behar states that "Tito's Yugoslavia was a tightly controlled police state".  According to David Mates, outside the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia had more political prisoners than all of the rest of Eastern Europe combined.  Tito's secret police was modelled on the Soviet KGB. Its members were ever-present and they often acted extrajudicially,  with victims including middle-class intellectuals, liberals and democrats.  Yugoslavia was a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but scant regard was paid to some of its provisions. 
North Korea Edit
According to Rummel, forced labor, executions and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from 1948 to 1987.  Others have estimated that in North Korea's concentration camps alone, 400,000 people died.  A wide range of atrocities have been committed in the camps including forced abortions, infanticide and torture. Former International Criminal Court judge Thomas Buergenthal, who was one of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's authors and a child survivor of Auschwitz, told The Washington Post "that conditions in the [North] Korean prison camps are as terrible, or even worse, than those I saw and experienced in my youth in these Nazi camps and in my long professional career in the human rights field."  Pierre Rigoulot estimates 100,000 executions, 1.5 million deaths through concentration camps and slave labor, and 500,000 deaths from famine. 
The famine, which claimed as many as one million lives, has been described as the result of the economic policies of the North Korean government  and deliberate "terror-starvation."  In 2010, Steven Rosefielde stated that the "Red Holocaust" "still persists in North Korea" as Kim Jong Il "refuses to abandon mass killing."  Adam Jones cites journalist Jasper Becker's claim that the famine was a form of mass killing or genocide due to political manipulations of the food.  Estimates based on a North Korean 2008 census suggest 240,000 to 420,000 excess deaths as a result of the 1990s North Korean famine and a demographic impact of 600,000 to 850,000 fewer people in North Korea in 2008 as a result of poor living conditions after the famine. 
Democratic Republic of Vietnam Edit
Valentino attributes 80,000–200,000 deaths to "communist mass killings" in North and South Vietnam. 
According to scholarship based on Vietnamese and Hungarian archival evidence, as many as 15,000 suspected landlords were executed during North Vietnam's land reform from 1953 to 1956. [bt]   The North Vietnamese leadership planned in advance to execute 0.1% of North Vietnam's population (estimated at 13.5 million in 1955) as "reactionary or evil landlords", although this ratio could vary in practice.   Dramatic errors were committed in the course of the land reform campaign.  Vu Tuong states that the number of executions during North Vietnam's land reform was proportionally comparable to executions during Chinese land reform from 1949 to 1952. 
According to Jay Ulfelder and Benjamin Valentino, in research about assessing the risks of state-sponsored mass killing, where a mass killing is defined as "the actions of state agents result[ing] in the intentional death of at least 1,000 noncombatants from a discrete group in a period of sustained violence", the Fidel Castro government of Cuba killed between 5,000 and 8,335 noncombatants as a part of the campaign of political repression between 1959 and 1970. 
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan Edit
According to Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago, although frequently considered an example of communist genocide, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan represents a borderline case.  Prior to the Soviet–Afghan War, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan executed between 10,000 and 27,000 people, mostly at Pul-e-Charkhi prison.    Mass graves of executed prisoners have been exhumed dating back to the Soviet era. 
After the invasion in 1979, the Soviets installed the puppet government of Babrak Karmal. By 1987, about 80% of the country's territory was permanently controlled by neither the pro-communist government and supporting Soviet troops nor by the armed opposition. To tip the balance, the Soviet Union used a tactic that was a combination of "scorched earth" policy and "migratory genocide". By systematically burning the crops and destroying villages in rebel provinces as well as by reprisal bombing entire villages suspected of harboring or supporting the resistance, the Soviets tried to force the local population to move to Soviet controlled territory, thereby depriving the armed opposition of support.  Valentino attributes between 950,000 and 1,280,000 civilian deaths to the Soviet invasion and occupation of the country between 1978 and 1989, primarily as counter-guerrilla mass killing.  By the early 1990s, approximately one-third of Afghanistan's population had fled the country. [bu] M. Hassan Kakar said that "the Afghans are among the latest victims of genocide by a superpower." 
People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Edit
Amnesty International estimates that half a million people were killed during the Ethiopian Red Terror of 1977 and 1978.    During the terror, groups of people were herded into churches that were then burned down and women were subjected to systematic rape by soldiers.  The Save the Children Fund reported that victims of the Red Terror included not only adults, but 1,000 or more children, mostly aged between eleven and thirteen, whose corpses were left in the streets of Addis Ababa.  Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam himself is alleged to have killed political opponents with his bare hands. 
According to historian J. Arch Getty, over half of the 100 million deaths which are attributed to communism were due to famines.  Stéphane Courtois argues that many communist regimes caused famines in their efforts to forcibly collectivize agriculture and systematically used it as a weapon by controlling the food supply and distributing food on a political basis. Courtois states that "in the period after 1918, only Communist countries experienced such famines, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of people. And again in the 1980s, two African countries that claimed to be Marxist-Leninist, Ethiopia and Mozambique, were the only such countries to suffer these deadly famines." [bv]
Scholars Stephen G. Wheatcroft, R. W. Davies, and Mark Tauger reject the idea that the Ukrainian famine was an act of genocide that was intentionally inflicted by the Soviet government.   Getty posits that the "overwhelming weight of opinion among scholars working in the new archives is that the terrible famine of the 1930s was the result of Stalinist bungling and rigidity rather than some genocidal plan".  Russian novelist and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn opined on 2 April 2008 in Izvestia that the 1930s famine in the Ukraine was no different from the Russian famine of 1921 as both were caused by the ruthless robbery of peasants by Bolshevik grain procurements. 
Pankaj Mishra questions Mao's direct responsibility for famine, noting: "A great many premature deaths also occurred in newly independent nations not ruled by erratic tyrants". Mishra cites Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's research demonstrating that democratic India suffered more excess mortality from starvation and disease in the second half of the 20th century than China did. Sen wrote that "India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame".  
Benjamin Valentino writes: "Although not all the deaths due to famine in these cases were intentional, communist leaders directed the worst effects of famine against their suspected enemies and used hunger as a weapon to force millions of people to conform to the directives of the state."  Daniel Goldhagen says that in some cases deaths from famine should not be distinguished from mass murder: "Whenever governments have not alleviated famine conditions, political leaders decided not to say no to mass death – in other words, they said yes." He claims that instances of this occurred in the Mau Mau Rebellion, the Great Leap Forward, the Nigerian Civil War, the Eritrean War of Independence and the War in Darfur. 
Authors including Seumas Milne and Jon Wiener have criticized the emphasis on communism when assigning blame for famines, noting the "moral blindness displayed towards the record of colonialism". Milne, in a 2002 Guardian piece, writes that "If Lenin and Stalin are regarded as having killed those who died of hunger in the famines of the 1920s and 1930s, then Churchill is certainly responsible for the 4 million deaths in the avoidable Bengal famine of 1943". He lamented that while "there is a much-lauded Black Book of Communism, [there exists] no such comprehensive indictment of the colonial record".  Weiner makes a similar assertion while comparing the Holodomor and the Bengal famine of 1943, stating that Winston Churchill's role in the Bengal famine "seems similar to Stalin's role in the Ukrainian famine."  Historian Mike Davis, author of Late Victorian Holocausts, draws comparisons between the Great Chinese Famine and the Indian famines of the late 19th century, arguing that in both instances the governments which oversaw the response to the famines deliberately chose not to alleviate conditions and as such bear responsibility for the scale of deaths in said famines. 
British historian Michael Ellman is critical of the fixation on a "uniquely Stalinist evil" when it comes to excess deaths from famines. Ellman argues that mass deaths from famines are not a "uniquely Stalinist evil", noting that throughout Russian history, famines and droughts have been a common occurrence, including the Russian famine of 1921–22 (which occurred before Stalin came to power). He also notes that famines were widespread throughout the world in the 19th and 20th centuries in countries such as India, Ireland, Russia and China. According to Ellman, the G8 "are guilty of mass manslaughter or mass deaths from criminal negligence because of their not taking obvious measures to reduce mass deaths" and Stalin's "behaviour was no worse than that of many rulers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries." 
According to a 1992 constitutional amendment in the Czech Republic, a person who publicly denies, puts in doubt, approves, or tries to justify Nazi or communist genocide or other crimes of Nazis or communists will be punished with a prison term of 6 months to 3 years. 
In 1992, Barbara Harff wrote that no communist country or governing body has ever been convicted of genocide.  In his 1999 foreword to The Black Book of Communism, Martin Malia wrote: "Throughout the former Communist world, moreover, virtually none of its responsible officials has been put on trial or punished. Indeed, everywhere Communist parties, though usually under new names, compete in politics." 
At the conclusion of a trial lasting from 1994 to 2006, Ethiopia's former ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam was convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by an Ethiopian court for his role in Ethiopia's Red Terror.     Ethiopian law is distinct from the United Nations' Genocide Convention and other definitions in that it defines genocide as intent to wipe out political and not just ethnic groups. In this respect, it closely resembles the definition of politicide. 
In 1997, the Cambodian government asked the United Nations for assistance in setting up the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.    The prosecution presented the names of five possible suspects to the investigating judges on July 18, 2007.  On July 26, 2010, Kang Kek Iew (Comrade Duch), director of the S-21 prison camp in Democratic Kampuchea where more than 14,000 people were tortured and then murdered (mostly at nearby Choeung Ek), was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 35 years. His sentence was reduced to 19 years in part because he had been behind bars for 11 years.  Nuon Chea, second in command of the Khmer Rouge and its most senior surviving member, was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, but not charged with genocide. On August 7, 2014, he was convicted of crimes against humanity by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and received a life sentence.   Khieu Samphan, the Khmer Rouge head of state, was also convicted of crimes against humanity. In 2018, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were convicted of genocide for "the attempted extermination of the Cham and Vietnamese minorities." 
In August 2007, Arnold Meri, an Estonian Red Army veteran and cousin of former Estonian president Lennart Meri, faced charges of genocide by Estonian authorities for participating in the deportations of Estonians in Hiiumaa in 1949.   Meri denied the accusation, characterizing them as politically motivated defamation, saying: "I do not consider myself guilty of genocide." The trial was halted when Meri died March 27, 2009 at the age of 89. 
On November 26, 2010, the Russian State Duma issued a declaration acknowledging Stalin's responsibility for the Katyn massacre, the execution of over 21,000 Polish POW's and intellectual leaders by Stalin's NKVD. The declaration stated that archival material "not only unveils the scale of his horrific tragedy but also provides evidence that the Katyn crime was committed on direct orders from Stalin and other Soviet leaders." 
Monuments to the victims of communism exist in almost all the capitals of Eastern Europe and there are also several museums which document the crimes which occurred during communist rule such as the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights in Lithuania, the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in Riga and the House of Terror in Budapest, all three of these museums also document the crimes which occurred during Nazi rule.  
In Washington D.C., a bronze statue which is modeled after the 1989 Tiananmen Square Goddess of Democracy sculpture was dedicated as the Victims of Communism Memorial in 2007, having been authorized by the Congress in 1993.   The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation plans to build an International Museum on Communism in Washington. 
In 2002, the Memorial to the Victims of Communism was unveiled in Prague.  In Hungary, the Gloria Victis Memorial to honor "the 100 million victims of communism" was erected in 2006 on the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. 
As of 2008, Russia contained 627 memorials and memorial plaques which are dedicated to the victims of the communist terror, most of them were created by private citizens, but it did not have either a national monument or a national museum.  The Wall of Grief in Moscow, inaugurated in October 2017, is Russia's first monument to the victims of political persecution by Joseph Stalin during the country's Soviet era. 
On August 23, 2018, Estonia's Victims of Communism 1940–1991 Memorial was inaugurated in Tallinn by President Kersti Kaljulaid.  The memorial's construction was financed by the state and the memorial itself is currently being managed by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.  The date of the opening ceremony was chosen because it coincided with the official European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. 
Aviation of Word War II
One of the first successful new airplanes began Alexander Jakovlev's I-26 fighter. It has left on tests in January, 1940. The airplane represented a cantilever monoplane of the mixed design well adapted to conditions of mass production. A motor of liquid cooling M-105P. Armament: One 20-mm gun ShVAK, and two synchronous 7,62-mm machine guns ShKAS. Distinctive feature of this airplane as, however, and Alexander Jakovlev's other warplanes of the period of war, small weight, good stability and simplicity of a piloting was.
After tests and necessary adaptations I-26 have mass-produced and have soon given to it mark Yak-1. In first half of WW2 this airplane began one of the basic new Soviet fighters, and all for 1940-1944 8720 airplanes of this type have been issued.
In first one and a half years of war Yak-1 was the best Soviet fighter. In it high flight characteristics and arms were harmoniously combined. In comparison with the main fighter of hitlerite Germany Messerschmitt Bf-109E, Yak-1 had the superiority in speed and all kinds of manoeuvre. However, with occurrence more perfect Bf-109F flight performances Yak-1 became already insufficient. Then on to initiative Alexander Yakovlev modification of a motor has been lead, power of a motor has essentially increased. Fighter Yak-1 with the new boosted motor having designation M-105PF, was under construction serially since a summer of 1942. On speed at small and mean altitudes this airplane did not concede to the main to German fighters Bf-109F and G, on a manoeuvrability surpassed them, but conceded in a rate of climb a little.
During series production Yak-1 it was repeatedly modified. Simultaneously with change of a motor have changed also arms: instead of two ShKAS have put much more effective large-caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun UB. Then have improved aerodynamics, have established radio and have improved the review upper to a floor of sphere from a cockpit. All spent actions allowed to support continuously high fighting qualities Yak-1, and this fighter has consisten on arms of the Soviet air forces up to the end of war.