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Re: The Korean air war
I agree with you that the P51 and F86 were not appreciably superior. Superior
maybe in the Mustangs better high altitude flight envelope. The later model Yak
9 in 1951 had similar power as the Mustang. It was lighter and more
manerverable with competitive speed and better rate of climb. The Mustangs
prime advantage was that it could stay on station defending or attacking much
longer the the Yak.
The F86 was a full ton heavier then the Mig with the same power. It seems all
the US planes were lacking in the performance department during WW2. The Mustang
could be outturned and outclimbed by most of the Axis and Japanese planes.
The F86 below 30k was said to be more maneuverable the the Mig but when you have
a plane diving on you it is hard to get out of the way. All of the exploits by
the best pilots always stipulated altitude advantage and using the sun.
Interestingly the early G-suit was the difference in WW2 also. As speeds got up
to 500mph and cranking in 6 to 9 Gs helped you focus on a quick leading shot on
the enemy before they could react.
My comparison: The Mig vs Sabre is like the Warhawk vs Zero
Diego Zampini wrote:
> Mr. Ronald:
> What follows are my oppinions about your thoughts. I must say that I am not
> American, but Argentine, so I fully understand your passion and patriotism,
> you evidently are a true believer in the ´free society´ superiority, but I
> will try to give you a different and impartial perspective, supported by
> solid data.
> >Cookie, you know that our aircraft and
> >personel were far superior to the
> >enemy. I can tell you about a dozen fights
> >personally to prove this. Our people were
> >smarter and better educated than the enemy
> >and the main point is that they came from a
> >"free society" rather than a "totalitarian" one
> >so that they had what we will loosely call "free will".
> >The boys from a totalitarian regime didn't have this
> >important quality and in many cases they lacked the
> >will. They were used to being told what to do and when
> >to do it and that's where we had the edge.
> I have serious misgivings about such assertions. It is true that sometimes
> the Soviets were too much dependent of gound control, but I would not say
> that the difference between US pilots and Soviet pilots was a ´free will´ vs
> ´totalitarism´ battle. Actually many of the Soviet pilots were so smart and
> so educated like the American pilots, and were so aggressive and independent
> as the best American ace.
> Take into account the MiG-15 pilot Col. Yevgeni Pepelyayev, CO of 196 IAP,
> 324 IAD: he shot down at least 9 US planes -plus 3 more that I consider
> quite likely to be finally confirmed- among them 5 F-86s; one on July 11
> 1951 (Conrad Allard, POW), 2 on October 6 1951 (BuNo 49-1178 and BuNo
> 49-1319, the second one, piloted by Gill M. Garrett, landed in the sea shore
> and became the Sabre captured and taken to the USSR), one on November 28
> (Dayton W. Ragland, POW) and one on January 15 1952 (Vernon Wright, POW). He
> developed a maneuver, the Boevoj Razvorot (a climbing turn at a roll angle
> of 45 degrees) which allowed him to shot down Garrett on October 6 1951,
> maneuver which took advantage of the climbing capacity of the MiG-15 forcing
> the Sabre to loose airspeed while trying to follow the MiG, becaming the
> F-86 a sitting duck for a counterstrike. And you said that the Russians were
> Other example: Captain Nikolai V. Sutyagin (17 IAP, 303 IAD) shot down 9
> F-86s: one on June 19 1951 (Robert Laier, MIA), one on June 22 (Howard
> Miller, MIA), one on July 29 (BuNo 49-1098), one on Sept.26 (Carl G.
> Barnett, MIA; plus an Australian Meteor badly shot-up that same day, the one
> piloted by Ernest Armit), one F-86 on November 8 (Charles Pratt, MIA), one
> on December 15 (William Prindle, rescued), one more on January 6 1952
> (Lester Page, MIA; plus the F-84 of Donald Grey that same day), and finally
> another F-86 on January 7 (Charles Stahl, POW) and January 11 1952 (Thiel M.
> Reeves, MIA). If he would not have an ´free will hunting´ MiG-15 pilot, with
> iniciative and aggressiveness, he would not shot down 9 F-86s and 1 F-84,
> plus a seriously damaged Meteor.
> My last example: Nikolai Ivanovich Ivanov (726 IAP, 133 IAD). He shot down
> at least 3 F-86Es and one RF-86, so he did not look as a ´lack of will´
> pilot. I will excrept part of one account of him:
> "What to do? I had to say that I remembered Napoleon's words that, in the
> decisive moment, when you don't know what to do, it is better to do
> something than do not do anything..."
> Ivanov have such thought minutes before of shot down the F-86E of Felix Asla
> on August 1 1952 (I can give you the full account if you want, and I remind
> you that Asla was a pilot credited with 4 MiG kills, so he was not a
> rookie). Can you believe in an ´poorly educated´ MiG-15 pilot thinking in
> the rules of Napoleon? I do not think so. Besides Asla, Ivanov had the
> following confirmed kills: one F-86 on July 16 1952 (Richard Drezen, MIA),
> one more on August 20 (Norman Schmidt, rescued) and one RF-86A on September
> 5 (William Sney, rescued). Again, I do not think that a pilot with no ´free
> will hunting ability´had been able to shot down 4 enemy planes without a
> single scratch. Certainly neither Pepelyayev, Sutyagin or Ivanov were fools
> or poorly educated, or they would not blasted 5, 9 and 4 Sabres out of the
> sky respectively.
> >The P-51 Mustang was the premier prop fighter and
> >was superior to almost everything the enemy had e.g. Il-10, Yak-9, etc.
> >except the Mig-15 jet. But
> >the F-86 Sabres would kick-ass when up againt the Mig-15.
> The P-51 and F-86 planes were not decissively superior to the Yak-9 and
> MiG-15. The difference was the quality of the pilots and the tactics.
> Certainly the F-86 Sabres kicked the Soviet asses in cases like July 4 1952,
> when they shot down 11 MiGs and only loose 2 F-86s (5:1 kill ratio). But
> then the main factor was the poor training of the pilots of the 190 IAD.
> But when the Sabre pilots found ´Honchos´, the kicked asses were the
> American ones, not the Russian ones: on October 6 1951 Yevgeni Pepelyayev
> shot down 2 F-86As (the BuNo 49-1178 and BuNo 49-1319 already mentioned) and
> later the MiG-15 pilot Konstantin N. Sheberstov (176 GvIAP, 324 IAD) shot
> down the F-86E BuNO 50-671. There were no Soviet losses that, and that meant
> a 3:0 kill ratio in favour of the MiG drivers. On October 24 1951 Dmitri
> Samoylov and M.Zykov (523 IAP, 303 IAD) shot down the F-86s of Bradley Irish
> and Fred Wicks respectively (both became POWs) and that day only one MiG was
> lost when Lt.Col. Harrison Thyng shot down the Soviet pilot Georgii
> Dyachenko. That meant a 2:1 kill ratio in favour of the MiG drivers. And I
> can mention other occasions where the things did not work fine for the US
> Summarizing: It is clear to me that the main difference was the quality of
> pilots and tactics, not the filosophy behind them, and there were very smart
> and well educated pilots facing your countrymen in 1950-53.
> Respectfully yours,
> Diego Fernando Zampini
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