Iím Yakovlev1 fighter, my engine sings steel, Skies are my soul and fiber, But he, whoís sitting behind the wheel, He thinks of himself as a fighter. Junkers2 went down in this last ordeal - I struck it with brutal force. But he, whoís sitting behind the wheel, Already gives me remorse. In recent fight I was hit a great deal, Mechanics did overhauling. But he, whoís sitting behind the wheel, Again is forcing me stalling. A bomber now carries a bomb that will bring Death to our headquarters. And a stabilizer is singing, it seems: "Peace to your sons and daughters!" A Messerschmitt3 plane quickly gets on my heels. Iím wounded and tired of war. But he, whoís sitting behind the wheel, I see - he is going head-on! And what is he doing? Incoming! A blast! But I will not burn in the rye! Velocity limits all broken at last, I exit the treacherous dive. Iím leading, behind me... I better lose wings! Just where is he, my wingman? Well, now heís on fire, but he nosedives and sings: "Peace for all your children!" The one, whoís now occupying my skull, Is left by himself, a fool. He got me confused and he forced me to dive Right from the Nesterovís loop4. He switched to full throttle, heís increasing wing loads; Well, hardly a fighter ace. Again, I would have to conform, I suppose, But this time is very last. I wonít be submissive! I swear by these skies! Itís better to lie on the ground. Now what? Is he deaf? Canít he hear my fast pulse? My gasoline blood... It runs out! The patience threshold of the vehicle was reached: The time of the pilot has passed. The one, who was sitting behind the wheel, Has burred his face in the glass. Heís killed! With an ease Iím flying alive, Iím burning my last reserves. Whatís this? Iím maintaining a vertical dive... Canít level my flight by myself! Itís bloody annoying that Iíve little achieved, But let Lady Luck gift others. It seems that today I was able to sing: "Peace for all your mothers!"
1 A Soviet WW2 fighter plane, likely a Yak-9
2 A German WW2 bomber plane, likely a Ju-87
3 A German WW2 fighter plane, likely a Bf-109
4 An aerobatic maneuver, the inside loop. In USSR it was called the deadmanís loop or Nesterovís loop, after Pyotr Nesterov, who was the first to perform it in 1913.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2019