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Old 20th February 2005, 21:38
JoeB JoeB is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 121
Originally Posted by Jens
Schwabedissen wrote studies about eastern airwar for USAF. The americans had no doubt about this, due their own experiences in Korea.
On that point I think it really depends on what it is " the Americans had no doubt about". And it's actually relevant to this debate for WWII IMO. That the Soviets built effective *fighter airplanes* in this general period (WWII and on to the time of the MiG-15), at least for short range air to air combat? Yes that was definitely the American experience, specifically from evaluating captured (North Korean AF) Yak-9P and MiG-15bis, besides the experience fighting against them.

That the Soviets produced first rate *fighter forces*, it's more debatable whether that was the American experience in Korea. Directly in terms of the effectiveness of forces flying WWII types, the Yak-9 force was not very effective at all. OTOH it was at least mainly NK piloted (officially entirely NK, but Igor Seidov has written recently of Soviet pilots even in the Yak-9 units, albeit without presenting clear evidence IMO). The MiG-15 force was also a composite, early on entirely Soviet units, later on substantially and eventually mostly Chinese and some NK. Russian accounts of the high effectiveness of their part of this force can be debated on two counts:

-first and mainly, a quite low % of their claims can be verified in US primary source records as losses, 10-15%.
-post 1991 writing tends to focus mainly on the two most successful units (303rd and 324th Divisions, although in fairness such selective emphasis has long been common in writing about German and Allied units of WWII as we all know), and tendency to ignore that during their most successful phase these two units had together with a by then substantial Chinese presence a quite heavy numerical advantage, and the US pilots were not in a position to say "MiG at my six, oh OK it's Chinese, now let's getting to fighting the Soviets". Even though in all seriousness they well realized that their best opponents were very competent.

But overall even the Soviets alone had a quite unfavorable exchange ratio v. the Americans according to each side's loss records. At this point the debate tends to focus on the American loss records, and that's too far off topic (anyway here we're speaking of that the "Americans knew" and it's hard to say the USAF in general knew that what it says in their secret records was greatly wrong, even if it was, which debate is too far off topic, unless somebody wants to discuss it ). Again I think it is relevant here though because the question of *actual* not claimed exchange ratio in fighter combat later in the war seems not much published. So a basic naive question: what was the exchange ratio, not estimated from claims with a general discount factor nor from total losses to all causes but from actual air combat losses, typically, in East fighter combat say in 1944 and 1945?

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