1944 – A Navy Air Regiment is stationed at a small airfield above the Arctic Circle. For the pilots this is both the front and rear area. They live here with their families, leading a seemingly normal life giving little parties yet going out to battle the Germans and knowing that any day might be their last.
The aircraft are all real – Soviet fighters, bombers and even flying boats. We see the men flying out on a mission, the women staying at home. The target is a German convoy and we are on board the German destroyers as the Alarm sounds and the men rush to their battle stations. The destroyers make heavy smoke over the convoy as the anti aircraft guns open up at the Soviet torpedo bombers. The planes bore in anyway – a ship is hit, but the plane is also hit and an engine is in flames but they deliver their torpedo and another ship is destroyed. The plane is taking more hits and is totally engulfed in flames, so the Soviet pilot dives directly into another ship.
The flying boat goes out on recon and finds a downed German fighter; they land in the snow nearby. The coffee in the thermos is still hot. Back to base where a camp show is going on. There is singing, drinking and dancing in the bar with the wives. Someone has found some ice cream which they all share. All too soon it is over, and the families board a ship for their return to the mainland. There are many tearful goodbyes.
The aircrew shares a chocolate bar in a staff car for their return to base where the armorers are using reindeer to haul torpedoes to the planes. In the briefing, they are told a German U-Boat has been spotted in the waters nearby. On the way to attack a German convoy, they follow a debris field and find to their horror, the ship carrying their families has been attacked and sunk by the very U-Boat they are hunting. There is tremendous grief.
They find the German convoy and despite intense flak, they go in for the attack and they find the U-Boat. Their torpedoes hit it and it disintegrates with a tremendous explosion. The German flak takes its toll and the plane, on fire, crashes into the sea.
This film came to us from our friends in the former USSR.
It has never been seen before.