VVS Moscow

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VVS Moscow
Full name Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily Moscow
Founded 1945
Dissolved 1952
1952 Soviet Top League, 11th

VVS Moscow (Russian: Военно-Воздушные Силы (Москва) / in English: Moscow Military Air Force) was a Soviet sports club representing the Soviet Air Force. Among the sports the club participated in were football, ice hockey, basketball, and volleyball. They won the Soviet national basketball league championship in 1952,[1] as well as the Soviet national volleyball league championship in 1952,[2] and the Soviet national ice hockey league championship three times, in the years 1951, 1952, and 1953.[3]

Vasily Stalin, the son of Joseph Stalin, was the president of the club. Vsevolod Bobrov played on the football team 1950–52 and the ice hockey team 1949–53. Viktor Tikhonov, the future Soviet national team's coach, played on the ice hockey team, as did Boris Kulagin, future coach of other Moscow-based ice hockey teams. Yevgeny Babich, otherwise a CDKA/CSKA player, played with the VVS hockey team for its three championship seasons.

Hockey Team[edit]

In 1946–47, the VVS hockey team played in the new Soviet Championship with Anatoly Tarasov as player-coach. VVS finished second in group A in the opening phase and fifth overall. Tarasov scored 14 goals, the highest total of the season. Angry with Vasily Stalin in the next season, he quit and joined CDKA, later known as CSKA. At the end of the 1947–48 season, after the team finished seventh out of ten, Vasily Stalin brought the first line of forwards from Spartak Moscow to the team: Zdenek Zigmund, Ivan Novikov, and Yuri Tarasov. They finished second in 1948–49.

On January 7, 1950, as the team was on the way to Chelyabinsk, their airplane crashed in Yekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk), and the only surviving players were Viktor Shuvalov and Vsevolod Bobrov, who were not on board. Bobrov overslept and took the train instead, and Shuvalov was injured. VVS finished fourth in that season. Shuvalov led the league with 31 goals, and Bobrov placed second with 29.

The 1950–51 season saw the best players from other teams starting to play on VVS, and the team won the league championship. That year was also the first year of the USSR Cup, where VVS lost the final 4–3 to Krylya Sovetov, also of Moscow.

In 1951–52, VVS won another championship and the USSR Cup, beating CDSA (CDKA before, CSKA later) 3–2 in the tiebreaking game for the former and Krylya Sovetov 6–5 in the final for the latter. They won the championship again in 1952–53 despite Bobrov's injury. After Joseph Stalin died, destalinization resulted in the unceremonious dissolution of VVS.

Football team History[edit]

Season Div. Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Domestic Cup Top scorer
1945 Group 2 (2nd) 2 17 9 6 2 32 12 24 Round of 32
1946 Group 2, South (2nd) 1 24 16 5 3 56 22 37 Round of 16
1947 Group 1 (1st) 13 24 3 5 16 21 54 11 Round of 16 Viktor Ponomaryov (8)
1948 Group 1 (1st) 9 26 9 3 14 33 52 21 Quarterfinal Viktor Piskovatsky (8)
1949 Group 1 (1st) 8 34 13 9 12 48 42 35 Round of 64 Sergei Korshunov (12)
1950 Class A (1st) 4 36 20 5 11 78 52 45 Quarterfinal Viktor Shuvalov (16)
1951 Class A (1st) 10 28 11 4 13 44 56 26 Semifinal Sergei Korshunov (13)
1952 Class A (1st) 11 13 2 6 5 11 14 10 Quarterfinal Sergei Korshunov (4)

Notable players[edit]