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Udarnii-Samolet Attack Aircraft

The Russian word udarnii may be translated as shock, strike or attack. An "udarnik" means striker, literally. Though the Russian term "udarnii-samolet" would be best translated as "attack aircraft", the word "udarnii" has a rather richer meaning.

The first Five-Year Plan in 1929 spawned a new demands on Soviet worker productivity. Shock workers (udarniki), a term originating during the civil war to designate workers performing especially arduous or urgent tasks, reemerged and was applied to all workers and employees who fulfilled obligations over and above their planned quotas. From 1929 onwards, shock work was linked invariably with socialist competitions. On August 31, 1935, Aleksei Stakhanov, a thirty-year-old miner working at the Central Irmino Mine in the Donets Basin, was reported to have hewed 102 tons of coal during his six-hour shift. This amount represented fourteen times his quota, and within a few days of the feat was hailed by Pravda as a world record. The party launched the Stakhanovite movement, and the title of Stakhanovite, conferred on workers and peasants who set production records or otherwise demonstrated mastery of their assigned tasks, quickly superceded that of shock worker. The brief period of extra physical exertion (known as "storming") associated with shock work was ill suited to complex production processes.

During the Great War, German attacks were carried forward by specially designated "assault divisions." When the German offensives faltered, feeble "trench divisions," whose personnel and equipment were inferior to the assault units, assumed the burden of defensive operations. These trench divisions had been purposely starved of replacements to flesh out the shock divisions.

The Soviet term "shock" as in "shock army" requires some explanation. Shock armies were combined arms formations intended to break into the enemy defense and develop the penetration through the defensive zone. Once they had secured a breach and established a bridgehead beyond the defensive zone, "mobile forces" (initially overwhelmingly tank-heavy and subsequently a little more balanced in terms of combined arms) would exploit the penetration and develop it to the objectives ofthe operation. Early Soviet theorists envisioned an operational unit or "shock army" as being a grouping of units above a corps. This was necessary to retain sufficient combat power afterachieving the costly tactical penetration. For example, the Soviet Second Shock Army, commanded by General A. A. Vlasov, slashed across the rear of the German Eighteenth Army in January 1942 only to become bogged down there in forest and marsh. Unsupplied and unreinforced, Vlasov's nine divisions and several separate brigades remained immobile in the German rear until finally capitulating in June 1942. In a more modern context the focus is not on the size of the unit, but the nature of the act performed. The shockarmy must be capable of "conducting successive operationsfrom start to finish" and have the resources to permit it,without loss of time, to achieve operational depth.

Storm Aviation during the 1930s was a particular genus of combat aircraft. It acted as a rule, with strafing. This is one of its main differences from the actions of all other types of aircraft. Hedgehop increases combat power by 3-4 times compared with the actions of medium or high altitudes. Features strafing is mainly determined by the properties of the tactical ground-attack aircraft: attack methods of attack, the nature and quality of means of destruction; ways of combating ground-based air defense and air enemy, as well as forms and methods of tactical use of attack aircraft. Using fly-and employing various means of destruction, attack aircraft is capable to cause a sudden strong and powerful air strike on a variety of objectives and targets. Depending on aircraft assault weapons, the nature of the objectives and conditions may cause attack aircraft and a combined stroke, ie, hit the target at the same time in various ways, which greatly enhances the effects of combat and self-attack aircraft.

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