Havoc/Boston to USSR

Last revised August 5, 2000


The Soviet Union was actually the single largest user of the DB-7/A-20 series, receiving nearly half the total production. The USA reserved no less than 3125 DB-7Bs, DB-73s, DB-7Cs, A-20Bs, A-20Cs, A-20Gs, A-20Hs, and A-20Ks for delivery to the USSR under Lend-Lease. 2901 of these were actually delivered. In addition, substantial numbers of RAF Bostons were diverted to the Soviet Union. Many of the Soviet A-20s were ferried by air to Russia via Iran or Alaska rather than sending them via sea, where a number had been lost aboard ships to German U-boats.

Some of the Soviet A-20s had their rear gun positions replaced by a spherically-shaped Russian-built turret containing a single 12.7-mm Beresin BS machine gun. Soviet A-20s were used in just about every conceivable role, ranging from tactical support of armored units, to low-level strafers, to torpedo bombers. Unfortunately, little is known in the West about the service of Soviet A-20s. When the war ended, they were rapidly phased out of service.

Sources:


  1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  3. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

  4. A-20 Havoc in Action, Aircraft Number 144, Squadron/Signal Publications, Jim Mesko, 1994.

  5. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1960

  6. Boston, Mitchell and Liberator In Australian Service, Stewart Wilson, Aerospace Publications, 1992.

  7. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Military Press, 1989.

  8. Dog of War, Peter M. Bowers, Wings and Airpower, Vol 26 No 1 (1996)