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Re: Soviet Aircraft Types in Korea
>BTW I was born in 1951 May13th.
I am a ´little bit´ younger. I was born on April 5 1971.
>The books I have read all indicate battles
>engagning several hundred Migs. Something
>on the order from 2 to 1 to 10 to 1 odds.
I guess that I had read the same figures. Those sources mentioned 200 MiGs
versus 70 F-86s in April 1951, and 540 MiG-15s against 89 Sabres in October
1951. However, such figures were at that time provided by the US
intelligence, which inflated the numbers or included all the MiGs in the
inventory of China as operating in Manchuria airbases. Taking into acount
the info provided by the Russians, in April 1951 the only Communist active
units were the 176 Guards Regiment and the 196 Regiment, with an average
mount of 36 MiG-15s per regiment. So, the actual figure was not 200, but
only 72 MiG-15s vs 70 F-86s that month. In October 1951, with five regiments
(17, 18 Guards, 176 Guards, 196 and 523) we have not 540 MiGs, but only 180
MiG-15s vs 89 Sabres at most. It was usual that the battle reports inflated
the number of MiGs involved in an aerial battle: on April 12 1951, during
the battle where the Russian MiG-15s shot down 3 B-29s and shot-up 7 more
out of 48 Superfortresses, USAF claimed that the escort of 18 F-86s and 34
F-84s was out-numbered by 75 MiGs, when actually only 35 MiG-15s engaged the
48 bombers and 52 escorting fighters. On October 23 1951 the 89 fighters (34
F-86s and 55 F-84s) escorting 21 B-29s asserted that they were engaged by
150 MiGs, but the figure provided by Georgii Lobov is quite inferior: only
44 MiG-15s engaged the 110 US aircraft.
>During the Honcho era, from the accounts on both sides,
>it appears to be a 1:1 air kill ratio.
It depends of the month; in June 1951 was 1:1 in the duel MiG-15 vs F-86
(the Sabres shot down 6 MiGs but they also loose 6 of their own), but 2:1 in
favour of the MiG pilots accounting other types of planes (they shot down 2
F-80s, 2 F-51s and 1 B-29 too). In October 1951 the duel MiG-Sabre was
slightly in favour of US F-86 pilots, with 8 MiGs downed against 6 Sabres
lost, but the overall figure was 2.5:1 in favour of the Russians, because
the MiG-15 pilots also shot down 13 B-29s, 4 F-84s and 2 RF-80s. In general
terms, during 1951 there was a 1.3:1 kill ratio in favour of the Russian
MiG-15 pilots against all the UN aircraft types, but also a 1.8:1 kill ratio
in favour the USAF pilots in the duel Sabre versus MiG.
If you want to know more about it, read 2 articles of mine:
"Red October" http://dzampini.boom.ru/Korea/red_october.htm
"The Honchos Have Come" http://dzampini.boom.ru/Korea/Honchos.htm
Of course, probably I made mistakes, but I consider them an objective
overview. My sources are mentioned at the bottom of the articles.
>What is your take on this data?
My sources are the excellent work done by Cookie about the Soviet deployment
in Korea (please, go to www.korean-war.com, look for the section devoted to
the Soviet Union, and choose ´USSR Order of Battle´), and more recently the
book ´Red Devils over the 38 Parallel´ written by Igor Seidov and Col(Ret)
Askold German (even when I am careful regarding the claims of air victories
mentioned in the book).
>Based on top speed the F84 should
>have done better.
Hmmm… I think that is more than only top speed the core of the matter.
The MiG-15 had a higher ceiling, so they could give the first hit attacking
from above, addittionally, the MiG out-climbed and out-dived the F-84, so
easily could the MiGs disengage either climbing (the strong point of the
MiG) or diving (of course, such maneuver was forbidden in a combat with a
Sabre, the F-86 dived much more better than the MiG). And at almost any
altitude the MiG-15 had a tighter turn radius than the Thunderjet.
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