I was watching a video on World War 2 and learned that the Nazis kept their encircled troops supplied by air for weeks, till the pocket was liberated. I also know that earlier in the war, Soviet troops were encircled. I have not heard of the Soviets supplying their troops by air. Was this in fact the case, If so, why?

Is this due to the Nazis having far more control over aerial warfare than the Soviets?

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    You should check if your premise is correct (wikipedia is a good start). We're here to show off our historical knowledge & research skill, but we appreciate some effort.
    – mart
    Feb 18 at 8:46
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    Welcome to History:Stack Exchange. Thank you for your question; please consider revising it to be more in line with our community expectations. Like many other stacks, we expect questions to provide evidence of prior research. That helps us to understand the question, and avoids our repeating work you've already done. Our help center, and other stacks provide additional resources to assist with revisions.
    – MCW
    Feb 18 at 10:00
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    I have expanded the question to ask "if" as well as "why." Apart from that, the OP has noted correctly, the absence of reports of Soviet air relief (in the early war), and hazarded a reasonable guess that it was due to German air superiority. Voting to reopen.
    – Tom Au
    Mar 4 at 6:21
  • Thank you! is there anything else you think we can do to improve the quality of the question? Mar 5 at 10:54

They did, but the amounts of stuff they were able to deliver was not enough.

Firstly: air superiority. Soviets didn't have that in the first part of the war. But they tried to supply nonetheless, at night for example.

Secondly: sufficient number of suitable transport planes as well as transport containers to supply the troops. They lacked specialized equipment throughout the war. Things such as tank fuel trucks, evacuation vehicles, artillery towing vehicles etc. etc. and airlift supply equipment was in that long list what they lacked. The Germans were able to gather large fleet of transport planes because they refitted their Ju-52 from bombers to transport planes, after they started to produce proper bombers.

Thirdly: it is ridiculously expensive to supply troops like that. One division requires around 900 tons of supplies per day of fighting. Less if idle. Calculate how many Ju-52 voyages one needs to drop these amounts of goods. For example to support Demyansk, the Germans used in total 42 000 tons of aviation fuel. That is a third of a monthly fuel production in the 3rd Reich. And that was for a group of around 100 000 men. Additionally those need fighter support. The SU was not capable to organize supplies of that scale at that time. Simply not enough resources, planes, etc. The Germans were not capable to organize proper support for their Stalingrad group either. Way too expensive.

Many pictures of the Demyansk pocket:

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    It should ne noted that parachute both reinforcements and supplies in some pockets (one example would be pockets around Rzhev in 1942) and even airlifted some generals out of it. But overall they mostly used STOL biplanes like Po-2 for such operations, as other aircraft were either too vulnerable or could not land in the pocket. There were some drops at night with predictably poor outcome.
    – rs.29
    Feb 18 at 21:37

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