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  #1  
Old 3rd February 2015, 13:36
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

Does anyone know details of the airwar between Communists and Nationalists during the Chinese Civil War 1945 - 1949?

The two combatants were officially known as Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) and Chinese Red Army Air Force, IIRC.

Both used leftover Japanese planes alongside other equipment (American, Soviet?) and I have read that Japanese airmen served in Communist Air Force as instructors (I do not know more detalis like if they flew also combat sorties).
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  #2  
Old 3rd February 2015, 16:28
mars mars is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

Chinese communists did not have a functional air force in the Chinese Civil War 1945 - 1949, so there was no air combat in that period, Soviet only started helping Chinese Communists to build their airforce after 1949 when Chinese communists basically had taken over the country.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 17:33
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

For what I have read Chinese Communists did have both pilots and planes by 1945 and they were also put in operational use. The first Chinese communist aviators were educated in Soviet Union already by the late 1930´s. Chinese "Red" Air Force had even their own roundels before the establishment of People´s Republic of China and PLAAF (People´s Liberation Army Airforce).

My guess is that the airwar of Chinese Civil War is nowadays a bit sensitive and likely forgotten subject in China for following reasons:

- the Kuomingtang Air Force is nowadays recognized as the one which practically did all the fighting in air during the Chinese-Japanese war 1937 - 1945 and this has now become a common heritage both in mainland China and Taiwan
- Japanese aviators serving Communist Chinese Air Force are probably men which are problematic piece of Chinese aviation history due to common China/Taiwan heritage regarding Sino-Japanese War.
- the whole memory of Chinese Civil War of 1945-1949 is problematic if one considers the attempts to improve relationships between China and Taiwan: the common war against Japanese fits better to common history heritage.

So it is easier to start the history of PLAAF from 1949 when PRC was established and just forget/skip the history before that. But that is not the whole truth, as PLAAF was not created from zero in 1949 and its prehistory deserves attention.

There should be soon a Osprey book of ROCAF Aces (Kuomintang/Taiwanese ace pilots) and it is interesting to see if it touches this subject from the Taiwanese point of view.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 19:47
mars mars is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

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Originally Posted by GuerraCivil View Post
For what I have read Chinese Communists did have both pilots and planes by 1945 and they were also put in operational use. The first Chinese communist aviators were educated in Soviet Union already by the late 1930´s. Chinese "Red" Air Force had even their own roundels before the establishment of People´s Republic of China and PLAAF (People´s Liberation Army Airforce).

My guess is that the airwar of Chinese Civil War is nowadays a bit sensitive and likely forgotten subject in China for following reasons:

- the Kuomingtang Air Force is nowadays recognized as the one which practically did all the fighting in air during the Chinese-Japanese war 1937 - 1945 and this has now become a common heritage both in mainland China and Taiwan
- Japanese aviators serving Communist Chinese Air Force are probably men which are problematic piece of Chinese aviation history due to common China/Taiwan heritage regarding Sino-Japanese War.
- the whole memory of Chinese Civil War of 1945-1949 is problematic if one considers the attempts to improve relationships between China and Taiwan: the common war against Japanese fits better to common history heritage.

So it is easier to start the history of PLAAF from 1949 when PRC was established and just forget/skip the history before that. But that is not the whole truth, as PLAAF was not created from zero in 1949 and its prehistory deserves attention.

There should be soon a Osprey book of ROCAF Aces (Kuomintang/Taiwanese ace pilots) and it is interesting to see if it touches this subject from the Taiwanese point of view.
Don't get me wrong, Chinese communist did have handful cadets trained by Soviet in 30's and 40's, and after Japanese surrendered, they did took over a few Japanese airports, but majority of Japanese aircrafts they found were nothing but junk destroyed by Japanese themselves, only one traniner was captured in a flyable condition, communists choosed a few cadets from infantry (mostly junior officers) and persuades a few JAAF officers to train them on that aircraft. After the civil war broke out, there were sereral case of Nationalist pilots defected to communist, but communist at that time did not have any ability to support these aircrafts, they had neither spare part nor functional airports, so these aircrafts were either destroy by nationalist bombing or by communist themselve to prevent them falling in the hands of nationalist. Only in early 1949, when big cities such as Beijng start falling into communist, and a large number of aircrafts were either captured on the ground or defect to them, communist had the ability to create their own airforce. Then Soviet came to help, and the baptism of fire for the communist Chiese airforce was Korea war.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 19:58
mars mars is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

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Originally Posted by GuerraCivil View Post
- Japanese aviators serving Communist Chinese Air Force are probably men which are problematic piece of Chinese aviation history due to common China/Taiwan heritage regarding Sino-Japanese War.
.
They were around 100 Japanese pilots and technically trained ground personnel were captured by communist in Manchuria in 1945 , none of these Japanese pilots flew combat mission in the civil war, there was no aircraft for them to fly anyway. These were ethinic Japanese, not Korean or Taiwanese. soon after the WWII in the Manchuria region, the combat between Communist and Nationalist started almost immediate although the official beginning of the civil war was 1946. These Japanes were stucked in the middle of the conflict and because of that, the process of the repatriation of former Japanese soldiers and immigrants were extremly slow, so it was a good opportunity for communist to have their pick among them technical experts for their own use, in exchange, communist provided them protection, food and shelter. These Japanese returned to their homeland in early 50's
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Old 4th February 2015, 01:05
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

OK, thanks for info specially when it comes to Japanese airmen in China in postwar years.

Interesting to see if the coming ROCAF book will make any reference of the opposite side air forces during Chinese Civil War.

I remember to have read that even such planes like old Polikarpov I-16´s were still in flyable condition in 1945/1946 and put in service by Communists for recce and ground attack missions.
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Old 4th February 2015, 03:41
mars mars is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

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Originally Posted by GuerraCivil View Post

I remember to have read that even such planes like old Polikarpov I-16´s were still in flyable condition in 1945/1946 and put in service by Communists for recce and ground attack missions.
Communist received no aircraft, I-16 or other kind, from Soviet in the WWII, look at the map, communist controlled area had no land communication with either Soviet or Mongol. Besides Soviet was desperately trying to avoid a two front war, so they need their alliance with Nationalist government much more than communist to tie down Japanese in the east, in order to achieving that means no military aid to communist. the I-16s and other soviet aircraft sent to nationalist were phased out by new American aircraft before the end of WWII, and hence were not used by either side in the civil war
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Old 4th February 2015, 16:11
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

This still seems to be a rather confused subject of which little reliable info is less available than the contradictory info.

All you posted sounds logical, but this website http://www.airwar1946.nl/whif/L46-chinjet.htm - claims otherwise and that there was quite operational communist air force in China by 1946 which was equipped with a large number of Yak 9 fighters (in article it is stated that La 11 were also delivered, but more likely La 5 or La 7 at that time). And in 1947 they received even jets like Yak-15 from Soviet Union and with Yak jets they wiped the Nationalist piston-engined fighters out of sky!

It does not sound to me just flying schools and some completely ragtag thing with almost all planes grounded due to lack of spare parts and pilots. But perhaps the whole web thing is a bug or daydreams for modellers?

I have also read a series of articles of Anatoli Demin (Soviet fighters in the Sky of China) - if focuses on the Soviet support to ROCAF but there is mention that first communist Chinese airmen were trained in Soviet Union already by 1930´s. Of course it does not mean anything in practice if they did not get planes to fly. During the Sino-Japanese war I have not read from any source that communists would have been active in aerial warfare. Perhaps Mao or other bosses had some private or liason plane for their personal use.

The whole history of communist air force in China before 1949 would deserve some web article, which is based on some solid and profound study taking in account all the available sources and weighing carefully what is true info and what is misinfo. To me it looks now like a history of almost complete nonexistence before the year 1949 ("mainstream view") but with contradictory info around (varying from: they had practically nothing before 1949! - to: they had lots Yaks and even jets by 1947!).
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Old 4th February 2015, 17:57
jednastka jednastka is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

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Originally Posted by GuerraCivil View Post
All you posted sounds logical, but this website http://www.airwar1946.nl/whif/L46-chinjet.htm - claims otherwise
The title of this website is a dead giveaway.; airwar 1946. None of this occurred. This is just one of many what-if the war had continued websites. The US P-59 was never supplied to anyone.

The final nail in the coffin is the statement..."At first Japan needed all energy to repair the damage in Japan done by the US bombers during 1945 but from 1947 on they started shipping equipment to Manchuria again. Among the aircraft delivered were the Yokosuka R2Y Keiun and the Kyushi J7W Shinden." followed by.."In Japan meanwhile the development of jet aircraft progressed and in 1947 the Nakajima J8N4 Kikka fighter reached the squadrons of the Japanese Air Force. "
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Old 4th February 2015, 19:47
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: Air combats of Chinese Civil War 1945-1949?

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Originally Posted by jednastka View Post
The title of this website is a dead giveaway.; airwar 1946. None of this occurred. This is just one of many what-if the war had continued websites."
Agree - internet is full of misinformation and fantasy stories. But what about this statement of wiki article on ROCAF:

ROCAF General HQ was established in June 1946. From 1946 to 1948, during the Chinese Civil War, the ROCAF participated in combat against the People's Liberation Army engaging in air to air combat on at least eleven occasions in the areas surrounding the Taiwan Strait. The ROCAF reportedly enjoyed a 31:1 kill ratio against the PLA.


Well, the kill ratio looks fantastic but exaggerated to me. I wonder if they mean with those aerial engagements and 31:1 kill ratio all the airwar that has happened during the "Cold War" between PRC and Taiwan from late 1949 onward? Or did the mentioned eleven occasions of air combat take place before the establishment of PRC and current PRC/Taiwan boundaries on October 1949?

Here what PLAAF wiki tells:
The PLA had operated few aircraft before that (10.11.1949). The PLA's first organized air unit, the Nanyuan Flying Group, was formed only in the summer of 1949 from about 40 ex-Nationalist aircraft; its task was to defend Beijing, the nation's new capital.

This is to state categorically that Chinese communists did not have a single organized operational air unit until summer 1949. Did it really take that long for them to set up a first operational unit of their air force?

But wiki is wiki - sometimes very good info, sometimes somewhat correct info and sometimes just rotten tomatoes.
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