Author Topic: White Russians in Manchukuo  (Read 1387 times)

Offline apophenia

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White Russians in Manchukuo
« on: October 13, 2020, 08:25:30 AM »
This was inspired by an idea suggested by sporting25  :smiley:


In 1943, the 'Brigada Asano' - organized originally in 1936 by Colonel Asano Takashi - was renamed Manchukuo White Russian Brigade (Man'chzhou-Go Belaya russkaya brigada). Nominal control was by Gen. Konstantin Petrovich Nechaev, who forfeited retirement in Dairen to take command. As a former White cavalry officer, General Nechaev was an appropriate leader for an organization dominated by Cossacks. However, actual control of the unit remained in the hands of Imperial Japanese Army advisors. As the Japanese Home Islands came under increasing air attack, it was decided to create a small White Russian air corps to augment the Manchukuo Imperial Air Force.

The new Manchukuo White Russian Aviation (Man'chzhou-Go Belaya Russkaya Aviatsiya) was stood up in May of 1944 but did not receive operational equipment until late March of 1945. Several attempts were made using Mansyu Ki-79c advanced trainers to intercept Allied bombers but without successes. [1] The first successful intercept was by Ofitser-pilot Vernydub in his newly supplied Nakajima Ki-27 fighter - strikes were observed but the 'Nate' was unable to pursue the unidentified bomber. The first 'kill' was recorded on 31 July 1945 by Michman Vedmid' and scored against a B-25J of the Chinese 1st Bomber Group.

Top Nakajima Ki-27-II fighter of 3 E(I) MBRA [2] at Kirin, Manchukuo in June 1945. Ultimately, the original MBRA markings - as displayed here - were not approved by Japanese authorities.

In late August 1945, the MBRA received its first ex-Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 fighters. These fighters had been transferred from IJA squadrons (in the Kwantung Leased Territory) to give the White Russians some chance at intercepting the USAAF B-29 bombers then operating with near impunity over Manchukuo. The first Ki-43 intercept was on 29 August over the Manshu Aircraft plant at Mukden but without observed results. The first 'kill' was assigned posthumously to Leytenant poleta Dovgopyat on 07 September 1945. On his first firing pass, Lp Dovgopyat's Ki-43a collided with the fin of a B-29 over Anshan. [3] Both aircraft then crashed.

Bottom Nakajima Ki-43-II fighter of 3 E(I) MBRA at Newchwang, Manchukuo in January 1946. This Sapsan [4] is in the officially approved MBRA markings - with Japanese hinomaru on the underside of each wing; triangular White Russian insignia above and on the fuselage sides; and Russian tricolour rudder stripes. Note that individual aircraft identifier is now a numeral (rather than a letter as on the 'Nate'). [5] Note that 'Black 6' has been fitted with wing bomb racks. [6]

In late October 1945, MBRA personnel were given the option of transferring to a new unit flying in defence of the Japanese Home Islands or remain in Manchukuo to face the inevitable invasion by the Soviet Red Army. Most MBRA pilots elected to stay to provide top-cover for the Man'chzhou-Go Belaya russkaya brigada. Assigned to cover Hsinking (the capital of Manchukuo, north of Mukden), the MBRA was to adopt a ground attack role in the event of a Soviet invasion. When that attack did occur, the MBRA suffered from a severe shortage of bombs (and other armaments). MBRA loses to VVS fighters and Red Army ground fire were very high.


[1] The Mansyu Ki-79c was powered by a 510 hp Hitachi Ha.13a radial compared with the Ki-27 fighter's 710 hp Nakajima Ha-1b engine.

[2] For Tret'ya Eskadril'ya (Istrebitel') or 3rd Squadron (Fighter). The early markings shown display the Czar's emblem on the rudder (covering the original Manchukuo insignia).

[3] The Chengtu-based B-29s were attacking Anshan - 95 km SW of Mukden - the site of the Showa Steel Works.

[4] Sapsan is the Russian for Peregrine Falcon or Hayabusa.

[5] MBRA codes included an aircraft type identifier as well as individual aircraft number - in this case 0046. MBRA aircraft type numbers were: (1) Tachikawa Ki-55 basic trainer, (2) Mansyu Ki-79 advanced trainer, (3) Nakajima Ki-27, (4) Nakajima Ki-43, and (5) Nakajima Ki-44 (which were never delivered).

[6] It had been planned to fit the Sapsan with 30 mm Ho-155 Mk1 cannons in underwing pods. However, such guns were never delivered (its not clear whether engineering work for the mountings was ever performed).


BTW: The Ki-27-II is based on a Ronnie Olsthoorn Aviation Art profile of a Manchukuo 'Nate'. The Hayabusa is based on a  Ki-43-II profile by Arkadiusz Wróbel.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 08:27:19 AM by apophenia »
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Offline Sport25ing

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Re: White Russians in Manchukuo
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 05:23:22 PM »
Thank You  ;) :smiley: