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(BBC)   25 years ago today, a 19 year old German boy bypassed all Soviet defenses to land a Cessna in Red Square, making it the most successful invasion of Russia in German history   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 81
    More: Interesting, Red Square, Cessna, Russia, Mathias Rust, Soviet, air defence, hard labour, West Germany  
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9483 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Dec 2012 at 8:42 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-07 10:28:57 AM  

H31N0US: Carn: What a crazy (and lucky) asshole. For those who dnrtfa, it says he was spotted by a mig shortly after he crossed the border but they mistook him for a friendly because there had been a search and rescue going on as well as training. Also he wouldn't have been able to land but they had removed cables on the bridge he landed on that morning for maintenance.

The fact that Gorby used it as a reason to purge the upper echelon of his armed forces makes me wonder if it wasn't an inside job of some sort. BRING ON THE RED SQUARE TRUTHERS!


haha RONNIE REAGAN FLEW THAT PLANE!!
 
2012-12-07 10:31:36 AM  

LoneDoggie: Might have been about the time we started realizing that the Soviet military infrastructure was a bit... Rusty?


TFA says a MiG caught up with him pretty quickly and, seeing that it was just a single prop civilian plane, did nothing about it. Why would it?
 
2012-12-07 10:48:08 AM  

Null Pointer: Subby fails.

From the article:

"Exactly 25 years ago, the USSR Foreign Ministry announced that it had rejected an appeal by a German teenager against his prison sentence."

"On the morning of 28 May, he told air traffic control in Helsinki he would be heading to Stockholm, in Sweden. Even then he wasn't completely sure he would go through with it."

How did I know the subby failed to RTFA? Because I was there in Red Square when it happened.

and

Get off my lawn.


Cool that you were there and, yes, subby needs to RTFA
 
2012-12-07 10:50:23 AM  

Mad Scientist: I was actually in Moscow when this happened- on a college group trip. Stayed in the same hotel as a bunch of the 60 Minutes gang. Saw Ed Bradley walking down the hall one day.

Time flies. (Like Rust).


Small world. I was there as well on the same thing (college trip).

We were at Gum when it happened.
 
2012-12-07 10:50:35 AM  
Thank God we live in the USA and in a different time when anyone can land a Cesna airplane in front of the Capitol building without fear of being shot down while attempting to do so.

Seriously, doesn't it seem like you could change the whole story and make it work for 2012 America? 25 years after the end of the Cold War, the US is run a lot more like Communist Russia than I think anyone would have predicted.
 
2012-12-07 10:50:41 AM  

Smoky Dragon Dish: "I couldn't believe I actually survived," he recalls

Balls of titanium.


The foolishness of youth
 
2012-12-07 11:12:23 AM  

Wicked Chinchilla: Fubegra: skinink: Why did these assholes like Napoleon and Hitler insist on fighting in Russia during the winter in the first place?

I think what happened is that both thought to themselves, "Oh, Russia will be a pushover!" and waited until June to start operations. Napoleon got underway on June 24, 1812, and Hitler waited until June 22, 1941. Time has a habit of slipping away, though.

Its hard to grasp just how BIG Russia is. As this post states, they started their invasion in June. Winter "Officially" starts in November (First snow in '41 was early October though). That gives you 3 months of good campaign season against an enemy that is numerically, tactically, and strategically inferior (and in most cases inferior in equipment as well).

No one intends to fight in winter. People just underestimate the difficulty in reaching that constant objective (Moscow) before the snows set in.

Its that same old "The war will be over in a month after this cataclysmic battle" syndrome that has plagued so many armies, conflicts, and countries through millenia.


You can't say that Napoleon underestimated how long it would take to reach Moscow, as he did that with time to spare.

He didn't count on the Russians just ignoring the fact that he was in Moscow. That sucked for him.
 
2012-12-07 11:13:57 AM  

dittybopper: Smoky Dragon Dish: brimed03: Smoky Dragon Dish: "I couldn't believe I actually survived," he recalls

Balls of titanium.

Or, he was 19. We all felt invincible then...

I never felt THAT invincible. Then again, he stabbed a coworker, so maybe it was Der Krazy more than anything....

I'm going with crazy. Take a look at his route:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x464]

He flew long over water legs alone in a single engine plane with only 50 hours of flying experience.  Keflavik to Bergen in over 800 nautical miles, and other than the Faroes, there ain't much in between.



Crazy indeed - I know a wang when I see one.
 
2012-12-07 11:14:23 AM  
One of the biggest problems the Soviets had after detecting this guy flying in was that no jet-powered fighters can fly as slowly as a Cessna, especially their purpose-built interceptors, without stalling, and he was flying pretty low (no margin for error). The Sovs had a taste of the same problem with Korean Air 007, which wasn't flying nearly as slowly and probably had an extra 32,900 ft. of altitude on this crazy guy in the Cessna.

Once they figured out it was a civilian plane, given the mindset of the Sovs they probably wanted to question him instead of shooting him down anyway. It's better PR. Why risk an aircraft and waste a missile on a Cessna?

I doubt the guy flying considered all this at the time. He seems a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
 
2012-12-07 11:22:59 AM  
An incredible breach of Russian security, and we learn that hundreds lost their jobs because of this spectacular failure. Fast forward to 9/11 and remind me again how many US officials in the intelligence and military communities lost their jobs over 9/11?
 
2012-12-07 11:25:25 AM  

Coming on a Bicycle: LoneDoggie: Might have been about the time we started realizing that the Soviet military infrastructure was a bit... Rusty?

TFA says a MiG caught up with him pretty quickly and, seeing that it was just a single prop civilian plane, did nothing about it. Why would it?


Wasn't there some guy a few years back who crashed a single-engined plane into an IRS building or something and killed some folk? Or am I just imagining that?
 
2012-12-07 11:27:49 AM  
FTFA:
"On 13 May 1987 he told his parents he was going to tour northern Europe in a Cessna airplane in order to clock up hours towards his professional pilot's licence."

Wow. When I was 19, I was working night-shift in a steel mill 50 hours a week to be able to afford gas for my beater car.

At least it gave me the personal strength to not stab my way out of problems, so I guess there's that.
 
2012-12-07 11:28:03 AM  

Null Pointer: Mad Scientist: I was actually in Moscow when this happened- on a college group trip. Stayed in the same hotel as a bunch of the 60 Minutes gang. Saw Ed Bradley walking down the hall one day.

Time flies. (Like Rust).

Small world. I was there as well on the same thing (college trip).

We were at Gum when it happened.


Wow- you actually saw it go down, then?
Like I say, we were in the city, but as I remember, we didn't learn about it until some days later when we were in some other city. St Petersburg, I think. Our Intourist guide told us about it, as I remember.
 
2012-12-07 11:30:21 AM  
Nicely done subby! :)
 
2012-12-07 11:32:01 AM  

bv2112: FTFA: Within a year of returning to Hamburg, Rust stabbed a colleague at a hospital where he worked and ended up behind bars again.

This guy is no hero, he's just a nutjob.


Buddy of mine says: "I got fired for spreading the Gospel."
Me (I know this guy too well): "Oh really?"
Him: "Well, and for threatening to stab a coworker."
 
2012-12-07 11:39:15 AM  

phyrkrakr: Coming on a Bicycle: LoneDoggie: Might have been about the time we started realizing that the Soviet military infrastructure was a bit... Rusty?

TFA says a MiG caught up with him pretty quickly and, seeing that it was just a single prop civilian plane, did nothing about it. Why would it?

Wasn't there some guy a few years back who crashed a single-engined plane into an IRS building or something and killed some folk? Or am I just imagining that?



No, I had that dream too.
 
2012-12-07 11:56:21 AM  

Null Pointer: Mad Scientist: I was actually in Moscow when this happened- on a college group trip. Stayed in the same hotel as a bunch of the 60 Minutes gang. Saw Ed Bradley walking down the hall one day.

Time flies. (Like Rust).

Small world. I was there as well on the same thing (college trip).

We were at Gum ГУМ when it happened.


FTFY.

I was sitting on rack, listening to the faint Morse peepings of our adversaries waft through the aether when it happened.
 
2012-12-07 12:08:39 PM  

Coming on a Bicycle: LoneDoggie: Might have been about the time we started realizing that the Soviet military infrastructure was a bit... Rusty?

TFA says a MiG caught up with him pretty quickly and, seeing that it was just a single prop civilian plane, did nothing about it. Why would it?


Hiroshima, 1945: "It is just one bomber, what can it do?"
 
2012-12-07 12:10:20 PM  
Cessna 150 or 152, IIRC. Not much of a threat in those days anyway, but still, a really ballsy/stupid gesture on someones part.

People look at the map and go "hey, it's not that far to Moscow!" They forget how many people live in that part of Russia - and it cost them dearly in WWII - roughly 25 MILLION Russians died in WWII. It cost them an entire generation of men and changed the history of the country.

When we read about WWII in the USA, we forget the incredible numbers that died so that the USA could assemble it's army for the D-day invasion. It took us years - as we were fully occupied in the Pacific theatre at the time. The letters and talks between Uncle Joseph, Roosevelt and Churchill on the subject were epic.
 
2012-12-07 12:12:10 PM  

skinink: Why did these assholes like Napoleon and Hitler insist on fighting in Russia during the winter in the first place?


I cannot say about Napoleon, but I believe that the issue with Hitler was a mix of things.

The Soviet Union was invaded in the summer. While the blitzkrieg tactics worked initially, they would stall out because of bad intelligence (dirt roads labeled as normal ones, large units labeled as smaller ones, etc). The other problem was logistics. Finally, the winter came early and (with logistics problems) screwed the invasion.
 
2012-12-07 12:20:48 PM  
Wiki'd him, sounds like a total nutcase...

"While doing his obligatory community service (Zivildienst) in a West German hospital in 1989, Rust stabbed a female co-worker who had rejected him. The victim barely survived. He was convicted of attempted manslaughter, sentenced to two and a half years in prison and released after having served fifteen months.[10] Since then he has lived a fragmented life, describing himself as a "bit of an oddball."[11] After being released from court, he converted to Hinduism [12] in 1996 to become engaged to a daughter of an Indian tea merchant. In 2001, he was convicted of stealing a cashmere pullover and ordered to pay a fine ofDM 10,000; the fine was later reduced to DM 600.[10][4] A further brush with the law came in 2005, when he was convicted of fraud and had to pay €1,500 for stolen goods."
 
2012-12-07 01:10:48 PM  

dittybopper: Yes, because an air defense system geared towards defending against hordes of modern attack aircraft is going to be effective against a single small plane barely flying more than 100 knots.


Haven't read the article, have you? That's fine.

The article states that the soviet air defense system actually detected the plane, and on multiple times as well, but in all those times they were either managed to lose it or confuse it with a friendly plane. This things didn't happened very often, but when it did happen the soviets weren't even capable of identifying a plane that flown smack in the middle of the red square.

You don't know how big of a mistake is letting an unidentified plane land smack down on Moscow? Try to imagine the clusterfark of fail that a soviet landing right in front of the white house would have represented.
 
2012-12-07 01:34:53 PM  
Why did they release a German guy as an act of good faith after and agreement between America and Russia?
 
2012-12-07 01:42:49 PM  

Mad Scientist: Null Pointer: Mad Scientist: I was actually in Moscow when this happened- on a college group trip. Stayed in the same hotel as a bunch of the 60 Minutes gang. Saw Ed Bradley walking down the hall one day.

Time flies. (Like Rust).

Small world. I was there as well on the same thing (college trip).

We were at Gum when it happened.

Wow- you actually saw it go down, then?
Like I say, we were in the city, but as I remember, we didn't learn about it until some days later when we were in some other city. St Petersburg, I think. Our Intourist guide told us about it, as I remember.


Yep saw it touch down.

We were hanging out and we heard the plane overhead and all knew something was odd as there was NO aircraft of any kind allowed over Moscow. Ran out just in time to see it make it last turn and land.

A lot of the Russians took off & some stayed. The ones we were hanging out with told us to GTFO when the army arrived. Probably was a wise decision.

Did you ever party at the Embassy?
 
2012-12-07 02:09:03 PM  

phyrkrakr: Wasn't there some guy a few years back who crashed a single-engined plane into an IRS building or something and killed some folk?


Link
 
2012-12-07 02:17:22 PM  
not to pick nits or nothing, but gengis kahn may have something to say about the first successful invasion of russia

Link
 
2012-12-07 02:25:39 PM  

maggoo: dittybopper: Yes, because an air defense system geared towards defending against hordes of modern attack aircraft is going to be effective against a single small plane barely flying more than 100 knots.

Haven't read the article, have you? That's fine.

The article states that the soviet air defense system actually detected the plane, and on multiple times as well, but in all those times they were either managed to lose it or confuse it with a friendly plane.


1. I did read the article, and I remember when it happened.

2. See the part I bolded above. I specifically avoided saying they didn't detect it, I said their air-defense infrastructure wasn't effective against it. They weren't geared towards spotting, maintaining contact with, and downing a low, slow single engine 2 passenger civil aircraft.

It's not just the hardware (planes, radars) that I'm talking about, either. I'm also talking about how the different units involved communicated with each other, and the assumptions made by intercepting pilots (it's a small, non-threatening airplane, must be one of ours).
 
2012-12-07 02:32:48 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-12-07 02:43:28 PM  

Aar1012: skinink: Why did these assholes like Napoleon and Hitler insist on fighting in Russia during the winter in the first place?

I cannot say about Napoleon, but I believe that the issue with Hitler was a mix of things.

The Soviet Union was invaded in the summer. While the blitzkrieg tactics worked initially, they would stall out because of bad intelligence (dirt roads labeled as normal ones, large units labeled as smaller ones, etc). The other problem was logistics. Finally, the winter came early and (with logistics problems) screwed the invasion.


Another thing people often skip over is that Barbarossa was originally planned to happen in mid-April, over two months before it actually started. That might have allowed the Germans to capture Moscow before the onset of Winter.
 
2012-12-07 09:47:46 PM  

skinink: Why did these assholes like Napoleon and Hitler insist on fighting in Russia during the winter in the first place?


Napoleon could have invaded when it wasn't winter in Russia, but he was busy that day.
 
2012-12-08 07:01:01 PM  

The Voice of Doom: That actually was:
"I'm going to ram a knife two times into a nursing student's stomach because she refuses to kiss me and calls me an attention whore."

/the girl might only have survived because she managed to drag herself from the staff changing room where the attack happened to a unit where a team had just gotten ready and was standing buy for a surgery.



Bears repeating. The guy has some serious screws loose, beyond even what's indicated by the original stunt.
 
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