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F-86 Sabre vs MiG-15: Korea, 1950-53 de Doug…
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F-86 Sabre vs MiG-15: Korea, 1950-53 (edição: 2013)

de Doug Dildy

Séries: Osprey Duel (50)

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As the routed North Korean People's Army (NKPA) withdrew into the mountainous reaches of their country and the People's Republic of China (PRC) funneled in its massive infantry formations in preparation for a momentous counter-offensive in the last months of 1950, both lacked adequate air power to challenge US and UN air supremacy over both the battlefields and the logistics channels from China into North Korea. Reluctantly, Josef Stalin agreed to provide the requisite air cover, introducing the superior swept-wing MiG-15 to counter the American's straight-wing F-80 jets and to repel the United States Air Force (USAF) B-29 bomber formations that were interdicting the PRC's flow of troops and supplies into North Korea. This in turn prompted the USAF, against its conventional wisdom of retaining its first-line air-defence fighters to face Soviet air forces across the 'Iron Curtain' in Europe, to deploy its very best - the F-86A Sabre - to counter this threat. Thus began a two-and-a-half-year struggle in the skies over a corner of North Korea known as "MiG Alley." In this period, the unrelenting campaign for aerial superiority witnessed the introduction of successive models of these two revolutionary jets - the MiG-15bis, the F-86E, and eventually the F-86F - into combat. It also saw the transition of operational leadership on the communist side from the Soviet "volunteers" to the newly formed Chinese PLAAF air divisions, and witnessed the re-introduction of the NKPAF, with its "just trained" MiG-15 units, into the air-combat arena. This meticulously researched study not only provides technical descriptions of the two types and their improved variants, complete with a "fighter pilot's assessment" of these aircraft, but also chronicles the entire scope of their aerial duel in "MiG Alley" by employing the recollections of the surviving combatants - including Russian, Chinese, and North Korean pilots - who participated.… (mais)
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Título:F-86 Sabre vs MiG-15: Korea, 1950-53
Autores:Doug Dildy
Informação:Oxford, Osprey, cop. 2013
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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F-86 Sabre vs MiG-15: Korea 1950-53 (Duel) de Doug Dildy

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Among the legendary matchups of twentieth century aerial warfare – SPAD versus Fokker, Me-109 versus Spitfire, F-4 Phantom versus MiG-21 – one of the most famous is the one between the North American F-86 versus the MiG-15. For two and a half years, these two fighter planes faced off over the skies of the Korean Peninsula in the first war involving air-to-air combat between jet planes. Both planes were the finest fighters of their respective forces. But which one was the best?

To answer that question, Douglas C. Dildy and Warren E. Thompson provide a comparative analysis that examines the development of the two planes, their technical details, and their deployment in combat. Such a comparison is challenging give the relative paucity of information about the MiG-15’s use versus that of the F-86, yet the authors compensate for the lack of North Korean and Chinese materials with exploitation of post-Cold War archival openings and interviews with some of the key Russian pilots. Thanks to these efforts, they are able to draw upon as wide a range of information as possible to provide an assessment that goes far towards answering the question.

One factor complicating their assessment is that both planes enjoyed a common ancestry. The authors note that both designs were influenced heavily by World War II German jet fighter development, particularly the early work on the Focke-Wulf Ta 183. Building upon the technical data seized from the Germans, both the Americans and the Soviets developed the new fighters in parallel and introduced them to their respective air forces in the months leading up to the outbreak of the Korean War. Initially neither side deployed these cutting-edge fighters to the conflict; it was only after UN air forces overwhelmed North Korean airpower that the Soviets transferred their units to protect North Korean infrastructure, with the United States sending over their F-86s once the superiority of the MiGs became evident.

In analyzing combat between the two planes, the authors employ a nuanced approach that considers the variables in both the models involved and the quality of the pilots. Initially most of the Soviet and American pilots were combat veterans with considerable training in the new planes. The Soviet practice of rotating out units, however, soon created an experience gap between themselves and the Americans, whose practice of rotating people into units that remained in the theater allowed the new pilots to benefit from the experience of the veterans in their squadron. This gap grew further still as the Soviets were supplanted by the Chinese and North Koreans, as the limited training of the latter groups ensured that by the autumn of 1951 the F-86s dominated the skies over North Korea.

This result underscores Dildy and Thompson’s contention that it was the quality of the pilots rather than any performance advantage in the planes which gave the Sabres the edge over the MiGs. It’s an argument that is nicely supported by the evidence they present both of the technical factors and of the training regimen of the various sides involved. Here the value of their research is most apparent, giving readers a perspective unfortunately missing from older accounts of the air war in Korea. This is why that, despite the occasional tendentiously opinionated aside, the book succeeds in providing an informative overview of the clashes between the two planes and the factors involved in deciding them. ( )
  MacDad | May 24, 2021 |
Nice overview of the tactics, jets, and pilots used during the Korean War. An often forgotten subject, this book makes use of recent archival releases from the Communist side and is eye opening in that respect when it comes to kills and claims. Excellent art, good intro (As usual for Osprey). ( )
  Luftwaffe_Flak | Feb 6, 2014 |
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As the routed North Korean People's Army (NKPA) withdrew into the mountainous reaches of their country and the People's Republic of China (PRC) funneled in its massive infantry formations in preparation for a momentous counter-offensive in the last months of 1950, both lacked adequate air power to challenge US and UN air supremacy over both the battlefields and the logistics channels from China into North Korea. Reluctantly, Josef Stalin agreed to provide the requisite air cover, introducing the superior swept-wing MiG-15 to counter the American's straight-wing F-80 jets and to repel the United States Air Force (USAF) B-29 bomber formations that were interdicting the PRC's flow of troops and supplies into North Korea. This in turn prompted the USAF, against its conventional wisdom of retaining its first-line air-defence fighters to face Soviet air forces across the 'Iron Curtain' in Europe, to deploy its very best - the F-86A Sabre - to counter this threat. Thus began a two-and-a-half-year struggle in the skies over a corner of North Korea known as "MiG Alley." In this period, the unrelenting campaign for aerial superiority witnessed the introduction of successive models of these two revolutionary jets - the MiG-15bis, the F-86E, and eventually the F-86F - into combat. It also saw the transition of operational leadership on the communist side from the Soviet "volunteers" to the newly formed Chinese PLAAF air divisions, and witnessed the re-introduction of the NKPAF, with its "just trained" MiG-15 units, into the air-combat arena. This meticulously researched study not only provides technical descriptions of the two types and their improved variants, complete with a "fighter pilot's assessment" of these aircraft, but also chronicles the entire scope of their aerial duel in "MiG Alley" by employing the recollections of the surviving combatants - including Russian, Chinese, and North Korean pilots - who participated.

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