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Old 6th March 2015, 16:05
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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First air-to-air combats after WW2?

I wonder when and where took place the first air-to-air combats after WW2?

Looking possible candidates:

Chinese Civil War - seems that there were no aereal engagements between Communists and Nationalists in 1945 - 1949. Communist air force was very much nascent at that time and needed the help of Japanese instructors who had been "leftover pilots" stranded in China after Japan´s capitulation. More:

First Indian-Pakistan War 1947 - both sides had organized air forces and some Spitfires, but no air-to-air combat took place to my knowledge. Interesting detail: considerable number of Polish pilots served in Pakistani Air Force and became Pakistani citizens.

First Indochina War 1946 - 1954: to my knowledge Vietminh had very little to put in air against French and there were no air-to-air combats.

Indonesian Independence War 1945 - 1949 - both sides had airplanes, but to my knowledge there were no engagements between the Dutch and nascent Indonesian air force, although some planes were destroyed on the ground in strafing attacks by both sides - curious detail though: there were Japanese planes and pilots serving the Indonesian government, theoretically there could have been an engagement between Japanese-piloted Indonesian Ki-43 vs. Dutch P-40 after WW2! Some of Japanese pilots, instructors and mechanics stayed in Indonesia after the war and took Indonesian nationality.

First Arab-Israel war 1948: well documented air combats took place - looks like this was the very first air-to-air war after WW2.

And after that I guess it is the Korean War and jet-era, although piston-engined fighters still were used in air-to-air combat as late as in 1969 ("Football/Soccer war" btw Honduras and El Salvador).

And looking some of those conflicts after WW2: the superiority in air did not guarantee the victory - Chinese Nationalists, Dutch and French lost despite their nominal air supremacy. Maybe the WW2 was the highest point of airwar and after WW2 the aereal warfare has proved less efficient specially against an enemy organized in guerrilla forces, because it is difficult to find vital enemy strongpoints to be attacked and destroyed decisively by air strikes.
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