How the Smallest Fighter of WW2 Scared the Luftwaffe Out of the Sky – Yakovlev Yak-3

Germany’s early advance through the Soviet Union had been fierce and unstoppable, thanks in part to the air superiority that the Wehrmacht had attained over the region.

As both factions ardently fought during five excruciating months in the Battle of Stalingrad, the Soviets would finally turn the table with Operation Uranus by encircling the invaders and pushing them back.

Despite the overwhelming victory, the Soviet High Command learned a brutal lesson in Stalingrad: the Luftwaffe significantly outclassed their own Air Force; if they wanted to hold their advantage and push the Nazis out of Russia, they would have to develop better warplanes immediately.

So began the development of the Yak 3, the smallest fighter used in World War 2 and an aircraft that would give the Luftwaffe a run for its money.

As the tiny, nimble fighter entered the battlefield of the Eastern Front in the summer of 1944, the German commanders were stunned by what the modest plane could do, and they were forced to issue an urgent order in a frantic attempt to stop the new Soviet threat…

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