View Single Post
Old 20th February 2008, 19:44
JoeB JoeB is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 121
Re: Fascinating Korean Air War Site

Originally Posted by Jim Oxley View Post
The Honchos section is particulary worth the read. It deals quite fairly with both sides involvement, and in quite some detail. For example it mentions the first Soviet claim of the War, and the US's counter claim.
It is interesting but must be taken with a grain of salt (note my name is appended as co-author, albeit mis-spelled, but nonetheless).

There was another F-80 mission against Sinuiju Nov 1 which does correspond to the time of the Soviet claim, though the F-80's involved didn't see any MiG's, perhaps because they were also under AA fire, and/or the Soviets were firing at them from out of range. In any case none were lost. It was apparently however the first attack by jet fighters on other jet fighters. In fairness I found that information after the two actual authors asked my input on some of those incidents.

I agree with the loss accounting of the next few days but the paper doesn't mention other Soviet claims in the intervening time, and that's a pattern throughout.

AFAICT the main methology of the paper was using limited info about Soviet claims and comparing to this US loss database
however ignoring the loss cause given in the database if there was a MiG claim of similar type the same day, plus assuming all damaged a/c were written off. Then it doesn't generally mention Soviet claims on days where there is no conceivably matching loss in the database, which happened frequently.

But looking in the actual records from which that database is derived, and more details available about the Soviet claims, losses not attributed to MiG's hardly ever were to MiG's: they usually occurred at different times, places and circumstances; and other unit's records almost always show combats corresponding closely in time and place to each Soviet claim, the losses were just less (hardly a new finding in the history of two sided air combat accounting, but it's more so in this case than most).

I counted 36 UN a/c attributed to MiG's in the paper Nov 1 1950-May 20 1951. I found 19 comparing detailed claims to unit (and individual a/c) records. It's hard to say what the 'US official' loss number is since there are slightly conflicting totals and errors between them and more detailed underlying records, but it's similar to the lower number; which is reasonably debatable by a few planes, but no way close to 36. There were 152 official Soviet victories in the period most of which are not mentioned in the paper (plus a small handful of Chinese victories, no NK MiG's in the period). The paper also omits a few Soviet air combat losses, but in that case it seems unintentional, from use of the less detailed of two Russian published sources covering the period.

So yes it's worth a read, but with caution in drawing any quantitative conclusions from it.

Reply With Quote