Torsti Tallgren and MT-training after the wars.
I could say , as an old Mersu-pilot (Messerchmitt pilot, nickname for the plane), it has been a very
pleasant experience to come here (at this con). I can really feel the good, old style aviation spirit here – which has been, is and will be very important. I will tell you only about this training program
of ours.This speech doesnt have any (real) agenda, but I have these topics, so that you can see
how thorough our training was.
First some general issues, we were trained for one-to-one combat.Attacker and defender were of
equal capability, what was one of the training subjects. Then there was the fast attacker against a
more manoeuverable opponent.Manoeuverable attacker against a fast defender, all of these were
practiced.Then there was formation combat - against fighters, against unescorted bombers , against
bombers escorted by fighters.There were specific instructions on how to deal in these situations.
Then there was attack. Tally on the target, quick assesment of own position,attempt to surprise,
surprise being half victory, attack according to what is learned.Then lots of practise and training.
Straight from behind, behind and below, behind and above, front and below, straight front, front and above,
from the sides. And if you come under attack yourself, evasive and countering. Then fighters in escort
missions, eight different rules about that subject. And then for example destroying static balloons,
which was found to be a difficult mission. They were usually protected by heave AA fire and fighters.
And here is an example of the contents of the training program, it is for exceptional circumstances.
Send one patrol (finnish partio) ,which equals two planes and surprise attack at high speed and firing
is commenced at long range at about 500 metres, unlike in aerial combat. (Nice distinction, shooting down static balloons isn't aerial combat (grin)) I am talking about destroying static balloons here. In clear
weather you close in on the balloon either at the deck (near the ground) or in the clouds , if any.
Also the altitude of the balloon decides the method of closing in. Attack from the direction where it
is known or assumed to have the least AA protection.
This throrough the training was and there are just topics here, I have fourty pages of written text
about these events. There is a very specific list of all methods and plane types, how to attack against
them.Against bombers, fighters or whatever. Our training was very thorough and was based on facts.
These all were World War II pilots' lectures and experiences and they are well noted.
Then there was the spirit , or which I just told. It was important in the airforce then and is still
today. Which is still good. There you dont put that much value on ranks, there are the sergeants and
generals in the same table like in Joppe Karhunen's funeral. There are no ranks just friendship and
cameradery and open conversation.
And here I would like to quote the double fighter knight Hasse Wind on his principles of constructive
behaviour. Even during the was he was a kind of a knight , he defined how to act so that everything
would go fine.And he said that:
"Immediately on the first day you say hi to all the people (as in ALL) in your flight and
on the next day to the guys at the neighboring flight, after this you start learning the
equipment" and so on. I just wanted to tell that this is how the stuff was then. Thank You.
This article is based on the speech by Torsti Tallgren, which he made in the Virtuaalilentäjät ry - Finnish Virtual Pilots Association winter convention Urban Blitz 2002, at Tampere 2nd February 2002.
Recording: Jukka O. Kauppinen
Transcription of tapes: Jari Matti "Jazs" Taskinen
Translation to english language: Markus "itmo" Mikkolainen
Copyright VLeLv Icebreakers / Virtuaalilentäjät r.y. / Finnish Virtual Pilots Association 2002.