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  #11  
Old 16th August 2007, 22:09
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Csaba B. Stenge Csaba B. Stenge is offline
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Re: Top Jet Aces

Franek,

Were can you see, that I said, they don't? Sutyagin was the most succesful jet vs jet pilot for sure with 21 confirmed kills (but as I said, in my humble opinion, only on paper). I always differentiate between the claims and the real air victories (since claiming a hostile plane is one thing, shot it down in real - it is one another).

Regarding the Israeli claims and their reliability: I don't have details from Egypt, but do have some from Syria and - to me, not surprisingly - they admit their losses generally and confirm the Israeli claims. Why would it be different relating to Egypt?
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  #12  
Old 16th August 2007, 22:27
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Top Jet Aces

Csaba, there is always a difference between a claim, a credited victory and a what had actually happenned. The latter in most cases is a mystery known only to God. Sutyagin was officially credited with 21 kills (at least as far as we know), and his claims could have been even higher.
When we compare scores of Frantisek, Gabreski, Johnson or Skalski, we discuss what was officially credited to them. It is beyond our possibility to get through their results and to answer with any certainity, what they have had actually hit.
Adding to the above, we know nothing on official victory credits of Israeli AF, nor their losses and our knowledge on their opponents is similarly limited. Modern video verification methods are certainly an improvement over previous techniques, but still they are not perfect and I would not rely that much on them, especially as so little was released.
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  #13  
Old 16th August 2007, 22:30
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Re: Top Jet Aces

Graham
here is JoeB's analysis on Nikolai Sutyagin's claims during Korean War: http://www.acepilots.com/smf/index.php?topic=79

Joe visits also here and on WarBirds forum and have wrote more on Soviets' claims in Korea on these forums, by searching his messages from these boards You'll find more on Joe's research on Soviets claim accuracy.

Cheers
Juha
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  #14  
Old 16th August 2007, 23:34
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: Top Jet Aces

More by Joe B
http://www.acepilots.com/discussions/sutyagin.html
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  #15  
Old 16th August 2007, 23:52
sirbob sirbob is online now
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Re: Top Jet Aces

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski View Post
Csaba, there is always a difference between a claim, a credited victory and a what had actually happenned. The latter in most cases is a mystery known only to God. .............When we compare scores ........... we discuss what was officially credited to them. It is beyond our possibility to get through their results and to answer with any certainity, what they have had actually hit.
There are two points that I would like to make here.
Firstly I agree 100% with the above quotation. I am not a flyer but I have fired a rifle a few times and I can assure everyone that after a fight involving more than two people nobody knows for sure what happened. You shoot at someone and he goes down and you move on, but when the battle is over and you go back there is nothing, or perhaps evidence he was hit but got away for now at least, and if there is a body at least one other person will also claim to have shot him. I imagine it would be similar in a dogfight : unless there are only two planes in the sky and one crashes and burns any story about who did what is very suspect.

Which brings me to my second point. I have no idea how many "kills" I made. Nor do I care. Each time that I was able to stretch the ache out of my joints in the chill of a morning was a victory; over 300 of them a year which gives me a good "score" if they are to be counted.
Put yourself in the shoes of a Luftwaffe fighter pilot in 1944, taking off every day to face an armada of B-17's and swarms of P47's and P51's. If he can stop a bomber reaching a city it must be rewarding, but he would be well aware that the industrial might of America will send even more again tomorow, and the next day, and the next.............. Such a man, putting his life on the line every day for his country, should be highly regarded whatever "score" a proppaganda machine awards him.
The only score that matters when you are fighting a war is the final score of " us 1 - them 0 ". All else is vanity.
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  #16  
Old 16th August 2007, 23:59
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Re: Top Jet Aces

The USAF lost just under 3,600 aircraft over Korea to all combat related causes. Approximately 1,400 at attributed to AAA, the balance to other causes including air combat.

Note that the above figure does not include USN, USMC and other Allied units losses.
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  #17  
Old 19th August 2007, 05:01
JoeB JoeB is offline
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Re: Top Jet Aces

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
A few points to bear in mind.
1. Whatever was claimed as total scores by the propaganda/publicity machines may bear little relationship to the claims made by individual pilots, or even the sum of such claims.

2. The total of 78 Sabres lost in aerial combat has been queried by recent serious historians: it seems that the USAF was not beyond selective categorising.

3. Not every UN aircraft over Korea was a Sabre.
1. In the case of the Soviets in Korea, the victories are what was officially credited at the time in secret. There was no propaganda motive, in the strict sense of the term, in that case.
2. I found, by going through the records case by case, in view of specific Soviet claims, that while 78 is a sloppy total, the true number is not greatly higher, I estimate around 90, including damaged planes were which never repaired. Among potentially more serious people, Ken Werrell in a footnote to "Sabres over MiG Alley" estimated 'around 100'; Warren Thompson and David McLaren in "MiG Alley" gave an appendix where apparent MiG losses were in the mid 70's, and somebody above gave a link to the DPMO database that adds to high 70's (not counting 'damaged'; the DPMO listing of damaged F-86's is very incomplete, but happens to consist almost entirely of planes that were repaired). I'd defend my number in detail over those others, but the point is nobody AFAIK has been serious to the point of actually looking in USAF records and found evidence of a much higher number than 78.
3. The Soviet claims are clear as to type, time and place. I have found no case where F-86's were confused for any other type. That is, in every case I know where the Soviets claimed F-86's downed, USAF records show an encounter by F-86s against MiG's at a reasonably matching time and place. Same for other generic types (straight wing jet, prop fighter, B-29), although within those categories the idenfications were not reliable (ie. claims of F-80's match real combats with F-84's etc). In any case even considering all types, the 'real' number of UN air combat losses is higher than that in the official immediate postwar summary (the USAF FY 1953 Statistics Summary is where almost all the oft repeated numbers come from originally), but not by that much (~proportional to F-86's ~150 official, perhaps 175 actual).

For the Soviets in Korea, and Me-262 pilots, the opposing losses are known in detail day to day, though there's still the issue of how to deal with competing claiming on the ace's own side. In case of the USAF in Korea and Israel's wars the opponent losses aren't generally known day to day. Soviet losses in Korea generally are, but Chinese and NK generally not and all top US ace scores included victories after the Chinese and NK's became a significant part of the MiG force (fall 1951); only total Chinese losses have been officially published, and NK total losses are only approximately known (to have been fairly small).

Joe
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  #18  
Old 19th August 2007, 14:15
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Top Jet Aces

Joe, by the way, do you have a full list of Soviet victories (read it claims if you wish) in Korea?
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  #19  
Old 21st August 2007, 09:57
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Csaba B. Stenge Csaba B. Stenge is offline
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Re: Top Jet Aces

BTW another notable performance: the most succesful F-14 pilot of the Iranian Air Force, Major Jalal Zandi scored nine confirmed air victories against Iraqi jets (two MiG-23'BNs and two Su-22'Ms the others were fighters) Altough there were overclaims in the Iraqi-Iranian war (and false reports by propaganda), he was the most succesful jet pilot of the last three decades.
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  #20  
Old 22nd August 2007, 07:17
NickM NickM is offline
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Re: Top Jet Aces

Quote:
Originally Posted by Csaba Becze View Post
BTW another notable performance: the most succesful F-14 pilot of the Iranian Air Force, Major Jalal Zandi scored nine confirmed air victories against Iraqi jets (two MiG-23'BNs and two Su-22'Ms the others were fighters) Altough there were overclaims in the Iraqi-Iranian war (and false reports by propaganda), he was the most succesful jet pilot of the last three decades.
Well the war was nearly a decade long & both sides used Airpower extensively--Iraq probably MORE so given they had a steady source of planes & spare parts--which Iran probably didn't have QUITE as much; I guess you could say the Good Major had a 'target rich environment'

NM
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