Wednesday 3 October 2018

Supply Drop

"Report on assistance to the uprising in Warsaw by elements of the 16th Air Army in September of 1944

On September 12th, 1944, based on the request from the Polish Committee of National Liberation, after the reception of representatives of the uprising that crossed to the eastern bank of the Vistula river, the Military Council of the 1st Baltic Front gave the following order to the commander of the 16th Air Army: to assist the uprising in Warsaw via delivery of weapons, ammunition, and supplies by air.

The execution of this task was assigned to the 9th Guards Stalingrad-Rechitsa Order of Suvorov Night Bomber Division (Po-2). On September 13th, individual Il-2 aircraft under fighter cover flew over the blocks held by the uprising forces dropping banners with notes containing the schedule of the Po-2 flights and means of communication with the uprising forces. In addition, to establish reliable communication and control over the delivery of the cargo, paratroopers equipped with radios were dropped into uprising held regions, who reported on their landing and location, and subsequently maintained communication with the 1st Baltic Front HQ, reporting on the situation in Warsaw and the amount of supplies dropped from Po-2 bombers that ended up in the hands of the uprising.

The Po-2 bombers set out with cargo for the uprising on the first time on the night of September 14th, 1944. Between September 14th and October 1st, the Po-2 bombers made 2243 sorties and dropped the following cargo:
  • 45 mm guns: 1
  • 50 mm mortars: 156
  • Anti-tank rifles: 505
  • SMGs and rifles: 2667
  • Grenades: 41,780
  • Ammunition (various): over 30 million
  • Medicine: 0.5 tons
  • Supplies: 113 tons
as well as communications equipment (telephones, cable, etc).

The actions of Po-2 bombers were supported by fighters and ground attack aircraft, who suppressed the most active enemy AA emplacements during the day. 14 Po-2 night bombers were lost between September 14th and October 1st.

Composed based on materials summarizing the actions of the 16th Air Army for September of 1944.

Senior Assistant to the Chief of Operational Research of the 1st Belorussian Front Operational Department, Lieutenant-Colonel Pavlovskiy"


  1. how did a PO-2 deliver a 45 mm cannon?

    1. Based on the fact that they only dropped one, I'm going to guess "unsuccessfully".

  2. How severe would the Po-2 losses be considered for such a mission/number of flights/etc?