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7 days ago

Lt. Hans Wind and his Brewster B-239 Buffalo, Finland 1943.

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Original Poster257 points · 7 days ago

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Hans Henrik "Hasse" Wind was a Finnish fighter pilot and flying ace in World War II, with 75 confirmed air combat victories. Wind started his pilot career in 1938 by volunteering to join a pilot training course. He was a reserve officer in the Winter War (1939-1940), but did not fly due to a lack of available planes. Wind had now decided to embark on a military career, and he finished training as a lieutenant on 17 June 1941.

Transferring to LeLv24 in August 1941, he fought in the Continuation War. He flew a Brewster B239 (the export version of the Brewster Buffalo) from 1941–1943, claiming 39 of his victories in the type. On 22 September 1941, Wind was credited his first kill, a I-15. In August 1942, the squadron was transferred to Römpötti to operate over the eastern Gulf of Finland. On 14 August 1942, Wind shot down two Hurricanes, and four days later a Hurricane and two I-16s. At the end of 1942, his score stood at 14.5 claims. On 5 April 1943, Wind shot down three Il-2s. On 14 April, Wind claimed two Spitfires, and on 21 April two Yak-1s and shared one with fellow ace Sgt Kinnunen. In August 1943, the unit converted to the Messerschmitt Bf 109G.

Wind was awarded his first Mannerheim Cross on 31 July 1943 and his second on 28 June 1944.

He was promoted to captain on 19 October 1943 when he was 24 years old and was removed from front-line duty in order to instruct new fighter pilots. Wind was considered one of the most skillful aerial tacticians in the Finnish Air Force, and Wind's 'Lectures on Fighter Tactics' were written in 1943 and used in the training of new pilots for decades to come.

He returned to the front in February 1944. On 27 May 1944, he scored his first victory with the Bf 109, shooting down two La-5s. A Soviet offensive in the Karelian Isthmus started on 9 June 1944. On 13 June 1944, Capt. Wind led six 109s against a formation of Pe-2 bombers, shooting down four of them. Wind's streak continued in the days that followed; with a P-39 and an IL-2M on 15 June, two Pe-2s and a La-5 the next day, and on 19 June two P-39s (both of the 196 IAP; one flown by Hero of Soviet Union and eventual 29-kill ace Major A. V. Chirkov, who bailed out) and a La-5. On 20 June 1944, Wind added two La-5s, two Yak-9s and a Pe-2. On 22 June, he claimed two Spitfires and a La-5, with two La-5s and two DB-3Fs the next day. On 25 June, he downed three Yak-9s and two Yak-7s.

He was seriously wounded in an aerial battle against some thirty Yak-9s and P-39s on 28 July 1944. Wind shot down one Yak-9 before a 37 mm shell fired by a P-39 exploded against his seat armor. Another shell pierced the armor glass behind his left shoulder, exploding on the instrument panel. Wind was badly wounded in his left arm. He still managed to fly and land at an airfield, even though his plane had been seriously damaged during the attack.

Wind recovered from his wounds but never flew a combat mission again. He finished the war with a total of 302 combat sorties, scoring 75 kills, and is ranked second on the Finnish aces list.

He was married on 26 August 1945, then began his studies at the Helsinki School of Business, having resigned from the Air Force on 10 May 1945.

Wind died on 24 July 1995 and was survived by his wife and five children.

BLUE SWASTIKA: A blue swastika, the ancient symbol of the sun and good luck – was adopted as the insignia of the Finnish Air Force. The white circular background was created when the Finns tried to paint over the advertisement from the Thulin air academy. The swastika was officially taken into use after an order by Commander-in-Chief C. G. E. Mannerheim on 18 March 1918. The FAF changed its aircraft insignia after 1944, due to an Allied Control Commission decree prohibiting Fascist organizations and it resembling the Third Reich's swastika.

Forgive my absolute ignorance— due to his flying a Messerschmidt and fighting Soviets I would have thought he was flying for the Axis, but the explanation of the blue swastika makes it seem otherwise. Which side was he on?

Great pic either way.
Original Poster213 points · 7 days ago

Finland participated in the Second World War, twice battling the Soviet Union, and then against Nazi Germany. As relations with the Soviet Union changed during the war, Finland was placed in the unusual situation of being for, then against, then for, the overall interests of the Allied powers.

Huh! TIL. Thanks!

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The Finnish air force's logo is actually still the swastika :) Just not on planes, but officially it is.

He shot down Spitfires in a Buffalo? How humiliating for them!

How did the Finns corroborate kill claims?
Original Poster63 points · 7 days ago

My book in collaboration with historian Dan Jones will be out in just a few weeks, so please consider pre-ordering it if you can. That's the best way to support my work. Thank you!

7 points · 7 days ago

Is it good? And is it going to be available in ebook and audio formats?
Original Poster12 points · 7 days ago

It’s a fantastic book. :)

47 points · 7 days ago

Is that the normal finnish airforce uniform? Must be the most casual looking wartime garb ive ever laid eyes on.

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Oleg Maddox the flight simulator guru made a great sim called "il-2" which has an expansion where you fly a buffalo - which is just a stripped down obsolete model of the us pacific war carrier aircraft.

The Sim is super detailed - you control pitch and fuel mix and even keep positive g bc it lacks fuel injection.

Buffalo is a fun little plane

This is probably the best sub Reddit I joined. Thank you

r/finlandconspiracy Isnt funny anymore, go home

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Also impressive he had 39 victories in a Brewster Buffalo.

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Fly, like the Wind. Or, just a Wind.

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What’s up with the blue swastika?

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4 points · 7 days ago

Color on the B-239 is perfect. Excellent job.

2 points · 7 days ago

Man. The Buffalo was NOT the most nimble fighter either Old school design against the newer ones that came out of war

Props to a brother

3 points · 7 days ago

the secret is knowing when to retire

I've always wanted to fly like the Wind.

His name fits him perfectly.

Can you colour a picture of Franz Stigler next? He had a book written about him called A Higher Call.

What’s the insignia on the front of the plane? I’ve seen it on so many different Finnish aircraft.

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Great photo!

Did the brits gift aircraft to the USSR? I don’t recall us ever being hostile with them.

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The Nazis stole his eyebrows.

Brianne of Tarth?

Comment deleted7 days ago

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Hans wind? *giggles in danish"

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