Slovak Air Force (1939–45)

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World War II Slovak Aircraft marking

The Slovak Air Force (Slovenské vzdušné zbrane, or SVZ), between 1939 and 1945, was the air force of the short-lived World War II Slovak Republic. Its mission was to provide air support at fronts, and to protect Bratislava and metropolitan areas against enemy air strikes. These units supported Axis Powers offensives in Ukraine and Russian Central front under the lead of Luftwaffe in the Stalingrad and Caucasus operations.

One of their first air battles was during the Hungarian reoccupation of the Carpatho-Ruthenia area on March 1939 (see Slovak-Hungarian War), in which they suffered some losses against Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierö (Hungarian Air Force). They also participated in the Polish Campaign on September 1939. For the rest of the war, Slovak A.F. confronted USAAF and RAF during their raids against the country. The engagement in the Eastern Front resulted in great losses of aircraft and personnel.

The symbol of the Slovak air force was a white-blue with red circle cross on tail and wings amongst yellow paint in engine cover and vertical line in fuselage.

The aircraft for training was supplied by Germany and Italy. To defend Slovak air space, the air force used Messerschmitt 109 (E and G types), Avia B-534, and some other interceptor types. It was also helped by Luftwaffe units active in the area.

When Romanians and Russians entered Slovakia, with some captured aircraft and defectors they organized local Insurgent Air Force to continue their fight against Axis forces in country,[citation needed] others served voluntarily in Luftwaffe units;[citation needed] later these air units were integrated to National Air Force[clarification needed] after the end of the war.

Distinguished Slovak Air Aces[edit]

  • Ján Režňák[1]
  • Izidor Kovárik
  • Ján Gerthoffer
  • František Cyprich
  • František Brezina
  • Anton Matúšek
  • Jozef Štauder
  • Pavol Zeleňák
  • Rudolf Božík
  • Vladimír Kriško
  • Alexander Gerič
  • Jozef Jančovič
  • František Hanovec
  • Rudolf Palatický
  • Štefan Martiš
  • Juraj Puškár
  • Štefan Ocvirk
  • Ondrej Ďumbala
  • Jozef Drlička
  • Martin Danihel
  • Ivan Kocka

Units of Slovak Air Force[edit]

  • 1st unit of Stíhacia letka (fighter unit), Slovenské vzdušné zbrane, air unit to support the Slovak forces in Russia, Zhytomyr-Kiev, Ukraine, October 1941.

Aircraft of Slovak Air Force[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ List of World War II aces from Slovakia
  2. ^ http://cs-letci.com/ww2/svz/letadla/b71.htm

External links[edit]