|55th Mixed Aviation Division|
|Branch||Soviet Air Forces|
|Engagements||World War II|
The division was formed on 25 February 1941 in the Leningrad Military District.
It formed part of the 'operational army' from 22.06.1941 to 07.03.1942.
On 22.06.1941 the division headquarters was in Petrozavodsk. The formation of the division was not completed, and it consisted of only the 72nd High-Speed Bomber Aviation Regiment, which was composed of 34 serviceable Tupolev SB fast medium bombers. On 27 June 1941, the division was reinforced by 33 I-16s of the 155th Fighter Aviation Regiment. It operated from the beginning of the war in the area of Lake Ladoga and Byelomorsk. On 25 July 1941 the division made a raid on Finland, losing one flight of nine planes, one of them knocked her. In general, the division launched strikes against ground forces of the enemy and provided air support to Soviet troops.
At the end of August 1941 the division included 88 serviceable and 15 defective aircraft.
The division was disbanded on 7 March 1942.
|Date||Front (Military District)||Army||Corps||Notes|
|22.06.1941||Northern Front||7th Army||-||-|
|10.07.1941||Northern Front||7th Army||-||-|
|01.08.1941||Northern Front||7th Army||-||-|
|01.10.1941||-||7th Separate Army||-||-|
|01.11.1941||-||7th Separate Army||-||-|
|01.12.1941||-||7th Separate Army||-||-|
|01.01.1942||-||7th Separate Army||-||-|
|01.02.1942||-||7th Separate Army||-||-|
|01.03.1942||-||7th Separate Army||-||-|
Axis and Soviet air operations during Operation Barbarossa took place over a six-month period, 22 June – December, 1941. Aviation played a critical role in the fighting on the Eastern Front during this period, in the battles to gain and maintain air superiority or air supremacy, to offer close air support to armies on battlefield, interdicting enemy supply lines, while supplying friendly forces. The Axis air forces were generally better equipped, trained and experienced in executing military tactics and operations. This superiority increased because of the Great Purge in the 1930s and mass expansion of Soviet air forces, which did severe damage to organisational structures.
On the opening day, Axis counter-air operations succeeded in destroying 2,000 Soviet aircraft, and gaining air superiority. The success of the strike enabled the Axis to support their armies in highly successful encirclement battles in July to September 1941. Its transport fleet helped fly in vital supplies to the army when the Russian Winter weather made supply difficult on the ground. In particular, the Luftwaffe played an important role on the defensive, countering the Soviet offensive in December 1941. Despite debilitating losses, Soviet aviation also played a crucial role in stemming the invasion and allowing the Red Army to organise defences; first before Leningrad in July, then in slowing down the occupation of the Ukraine, enabling the withdrawal of industries to the Ural Mountains, in the Crimea, enabling a long-term stand at Sevastopol, and then during the defence and counter-offensive at Moscow.
In the event, the Axis land and air operations failed to achieve their ultimate goal – the defeat of the Soviet armed forces. When operations ended in December 1941, both sides had suffered heavy losses, unparalleled in the history of air warfare to this point. Some 21,000 Soviet and several thousand Axis aircraft were destroyed. The Luftwaffe dropped over 100,000 tons of bombs upon the Soviet Union from 25 June 1941 to the end of November 1941. With its factories in the Urals, out of range from Axis medium bombers, Soviet production increased, out-stripping its enemies and enabling the country to replace its aerial losses. The Axis had vastly underestimated Soviet industrial and technical potential. In the following years, Soviet air power recovered from the Purges and losses, gradually gaining in tactical and operational competence while closing the technical gap.Order of battle for Operation Barbarossa
This is the order of battle for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. It was fought between the German-led Axis Forces and the Soviet Forces. The operation started on June 22, 1941, and ended on December 5, 1941, at the conclusion of Operation Typhoon.Order of battle for the Leningrad Strategic Defensive Operation
This is the order of battle for the Leningrad Strategic Defensive covering the period 10 July to 30 September 1941.
Divisions of the Soviet Union 1957–1989