What were they like, those “old men” who went into battle?
Around every celebrity, especially if she is surrounded by a halo of accomplished feats, a lot of oral rumors inevitably arise, gradually turning into legends. Naturally, such a legendary pilot as Nikolai Skomorokhov could not avoid this fate. Leading the Parade of WinnersSource Whatever they told about him! And he carried the Banner of Victory at the Parade, and cruelly avenged the death of his friend, finding and destroying both culprits, and he went through the whole war without a single scratch, and Vysotsky dedicated songs about pilots to him: Someone sparingly and clearly Counted us The hours of our life are short, Like a concrete strip, – And on it – who crashed, Who – took off forever … Well, I landed, – That’s the trouble … V. Vysotsky “The Song of the Dead Pilot” And much more like that … Let’s figure it out in these dissimilar moments of his life. The first time Skomorokhov had a chance to walk along Red Square among other Heroes of the Soviet Union on June 24, 1945, in the most important Parade in the history of our Motherland – the Victory Parade. Then, clearly minting a step and keeping alignment to the right, he could not even imagine that this would not be the last Parade in which he would have to take part. Over twenty times, marching in front of the military formation on Red Square, which he led, General Skomorokhov, probably, each time had the same picture in front of his eyes: the Mausoleum on which the entire leadership of the country stands, and among them a man with in whose name millions of Soviet soldiers went into battle. But there was another Parade, which took place in May 1985, which, apparently, the storytellers remember about it. It was then, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Victory over fascism, that the Air Marshal, twice Hero of the Soviet Union N. M. Skomorokhov, was entrusted with the honorary right to carry the historic Victory Banner across Red Square. Please take a look at the photograph of this moment. It is hard to believe that there are veterans who are already well over sixty. What bearing, how high the heads are raised, how much pride in their great people! Assistants walk next to Skomorokhov: Hero of the Soviet Union, full cavalier of the Order of Glory foreman N. I. Kuznetsov, Hero of Socialist Labor, full cavalier of the Order of Glory foreman P. A. Litvinenko, Hero of the Soviet Union Colonel S. A. Neustroev, awarded this high title for hoisting the Banner of Victory on the dome of the Reichstag together with Kantaria and Yegorov, and Hero of the Soviet Union Colonel N. M. Fomenko. Behind them are the banners of all ten fronts, carried across Red Square back in 1941. So this is not a legend at all, Skomorokhov really carried the Banner of Victory across Red Square, it just happened at the Parade in honor of her 40th birthday. Nikolai Mikhailovich was family friends with the Vysotsky brothers – Semyon Vladimirovich and Alexei Vladimirovich. They often met. and since everyone went through the war to victory, they often recalled their military past. It happened that the son of Semyon Vladimirovich, the famous poet, was also present at their meetings. Somehow there was talk about how the pilots of the fascist “Diamond Squadron” shot down a friend of Nikolai Skomorokhov, Captain Nikolai Gorbunov, in battle. The story of the deceased friend and the regret that he himself could not help him in any way, since he was not near in the air, inspired Vladimir Vysotsky to the song “About the Deceased Pilot”, which was first performed in the play “Stars for the Lieutenant” at the Moscow Theater. Yermolova in 1975. But the story of that battle was described by Alexei Vysotsky in the article “Diamond Two”, published in the newspaper “Red Star” on January 11, 1966. The “Diamond Two” was a German pair of fighters whose pilots were personally awarded by Hitler with diamond crosses for special merits in the war. There was a whole squadron of such pilots. Their planes were easily identified by their bright yellow spinnerets. As a rule, they flew in pairs. At the very end of the war, on May 20, 1944, it was such a pair that shot down a close friend of Nikolai Skomorokhov over the Danube – his namesake, Hero of the Soviet Union Captain Nikolai Gorbunov. Skomorokhov took the death of a friend very close to his heart and promised to avenge him. A day later, in the next battle, he came across a very experienced opponent. Obviously, it was one of the “diamonds”. For a long time they were spinning, trying to find a position convenient for a decisive attack. Finally, “on the vertical” Skomorokhov managed to put a good portion of lead into the German. The German car exploded while still in the air, and Nikolai regretted that he could not find out whether he was the one he was looking for or not. A few days later, Nikolai was attacked by four “Messers” with a yellow spinner. Skomorokhov rushed into battle, but one of the “Messers” began to pull him up, as if inviting him to a knightly duel, one on one. Our pilot accepted the challenge, and “Lavochkin” also rushed up. At the maximum permissible height, when even an oxygen mask did not save and consciousness began to fog up, Skomorokhov managed to get into a fascist on one of the bends. The pilot jumped out with a parachute, but was captured on the ground.