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  #31  
Old 15 Feb 15, 21:09
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B-29 gunners shot down 34 enemy fighters (16 MiGs), probably destroyed another 17 (all MiGs), and damaged another 11 (all MiGs).
According to my nomber any Mig-15 was lost to B-29.
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  #32  
Old 15 Feb 15, 21:14
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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
According to my nomber any Mig-15 was lost to B-29.
Those figures are the claims of the USAF.
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  #33  
Old 15 Feb 15, 21:17
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For the rest of the Korean War, however, losses in all categories (manpower, tanks, equipment, etc.) lean heavily toward the US/UN forces over those of China, North Korea, and the USSR, owing to the former's decisive advantage in firepower and quality of personnel/equipment.
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  #34  
Old 15 Feb 15, 21:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
According to my nomber any Mig-15 was lost to B-29.
Well, your numbers are wrong.

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When the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953, the B-29s had flown over 21,000 sorties, nearly 167,000 tons of bombs had been dropped, and 34 B-29s had been lost in combat (16 to fighters, four to flak, and fourteen to other causes). B-29 gunners had accounted for 34 Communist fighters (16 of these being MiG-15s) probably destroyed another 17 (all MiG-15s) and damaged 11 (all MiG-15s). Losses were less than 1 per 1000 sorties.
http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b29_12.html
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  #35  
Old 15 Feb 15, 21:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
So the USAF and in particular the B-29 crews put up such and squeal and then shut down the daylight bombing campaign due to the loss of 16 bombers in thousands of daylight sorties?!?! Even though they shot down 34 of their attackers?!?!?!

And I'm sure he's adding in the night raids. If not then 1 loss per 1000 sorties is no reason to panic...yet they did.

That just doesn't add up.

And by the way the MiG 15 did stop the daylight bombing campaign like it was designed to. It was not designed to fly at night or to dogfight other fighters. The F86 was designed to protect the B-29 in daylight and it apparently failed.

Quote:
The MiG-15 was originally intended to intercept American bombers like the B-29. It was even evaluated in mock air-to-air combat trials with a captured U.S. B-29, as well as the later Soviet B-29 copy, the Tu-4 "Bull". To ensure the destruction of such large bombers, the MiG-15 carried cannons: two 23 mm with 80 rounds per gun and a single 37 mm with 40 rounds. These weapons provided tremendous punch in the interceptor role, but their limited rate of fire and relatively low velocity made it more difficult to score hits against small and maneuverable enemy jet fighters in air-to-air combat. The 23 mm and 37 mm also had radically different ballistics, and some United Nations pilots in Korea had the unnerving experience of 23 mm shells passing over them while the 37 mm shells flew under. The cannons were fitted into a simple pack that could be winched out of the bottom of the nose for servicing and reloading, allowing pre-prepared packs to be rapidly swapped out. (Some sources mistakenly claim the pack was added in later models.)[4]
I wonder if this should also enter the equation?

Quote:
American Sabre pilots were trained at Nellis, where the casualty rate of their training was so high they were told, "If you ever see the flag at full staff, take a picture."
I would argue that the 50 Cal was better for shooting down other fighters whereas the MiGs 37mm was for taking out heavy bombers and was not designed to shoot down other fighters.

Ask any fighter pilot which is easier to obtain kills on other fighters. Is it while you are trying to attack a heavy bomber and avoiding fighters or when you can concentrate on dropping down on another pilot who is lining up on a bomber?
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  #36  
Old 15 Feb 15, 22:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairog View Post
So the USAF and in particular the B-29 crews put up such and squeal and then shut down the daylight bombing campaign due to the loss of 16 bombers in thousands of daylight sorties?!?! Even though they shot down 34 of their attackers?!?!?!
Not exactly. The B-29's when they first encountered MiGs took some losses. The USAF response was to do a combination of raids on suspected airfields and use the B-29's to draw the MiG's out.
The incursions into Chinese air space combined with the losses colluded to make the USAF switch to nighttime operations.

Quote:
And I'm sure he's adding in the night raids. If not then 1 loss per 1000 sorties is no reason to panic...yet they did.

That just doesn't add up.

And by the way the MiG 15 did stop the daylight bombing campaign like it was designed to. It was not designed to fly at night or to dogfight other fighters. The F86 was designed to protect the B-29 in daylight and it apparently failed.
This was the incident / mission that really brought things to a head.

http://www.b-29s-over-korea.com/Blac...OverNamsi.html



Quote:
I wonder if this should also enter the equation?



I would argue that the 50 Cal was better for shooting down other fighters whereas the MiGs 37mm was for taking out heavy bombers and was not designed to shoot down other fighters.

Ask any fighter pilot which is easier to obtain kills on other fighters. Is it while you are trying to attack a heavy bomber and avoiding fighters or when you can concentrate on dropping down on another pilot who is lining up on a bomber?
The usual advantages given the F-86 over the MiG 15 are:

Powered controls. Less pilot fatigue in combat. Considered a big advantage.
G-suits. Less pilot fatigue again and ability to push the aircraft into higher G turns.
Better sustained turn rate.
Faster firing guns. The MiG was optimized as a bomber buster.
Better radios and avionics. Let US pilots coordinate better.

The Soviet flown MiGs had a big advantage in having radar and ground controllers to put them in optimum position for intercepts.
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  #37  
Old 15 Feb 15, 22:40
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Bottom line is that the MiG put an end to the massed manned bomber daylight raid and the Sabre couldn't stop it.
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  #38  
Old 15 Feb 15, 22:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairog View Post
Bottom line is that the MiG put an end to the massed manned bomber daylight raid and the Sabre couldn't stop it.
Many of the MiGs were operating from territory that was outside the UN's combat jurisdiction (ie, Manchuria and Soviet Primorye). In other words, the MiGs could just fly over the border, hit their targets, then zip back over again with impunity. In order to avoid a major diplomatic incident, UN pilots only ever pursued a very short distance over the border, and never conducted large-scale raids on Chinese or Soviet air bases. This is why MiG losses were not much higher than they were. However, in pitched air battles, the 'kill ratio' for the war was, as previously posted, slightly better than 6 to 1 in favor of the F-86.
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  #39  
Old 15 Feb 15, 23:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairog View Post
Bottom line is that the MiG put an end to the massed manned bomber daylight raid and the Sabre couldn't stop it.
More like the US decided it wasn't worth the effort to continue daylight raids when they could accurately bomb targets at night. The cost of the daylight raids simply wasn't worth the results obtained, particularly if the MiGs were to operate from China and the US government wasn't going to expand the war.

You really can't draw the conclusion from the limited number of raids where B-29 and MiGs mixed it up that they could have inflicted unsustainable losses on them.
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Old 16 Feb 15, 01:05
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The Failure of Strategic Bombing and the Emergence of the Fighter as the Preeminent Weapon in Aerial Warfare
by Jeff L. Patton

Quote:
Korea

When North Korean communist forces poured south of the 38th parallel in 1950, the newly independent USAF found itself without a rewritten basic doctrine to accommodate the introduction of nuclear weapons into war fighting. Additionally, the air force found itself in the midst of simultaneous technological revolutions that included: transitioning from reciprocating engines to jets, adjusting to and perfecting nuclear weapons and delivery methods, developing aerial refueling techniques to permit the use of jets on long range bombers, and developing missile technology. These revolutions were taking place in the wake of an almost explosive demobilization demanded by the political leaders following World War II. The prevailing notion was the United Nations would prevent future conflicts and if they did break out, our nuclear hegemony would end them in an instant. As a result, there was practically no thought to fighting another conventional war in the future. When President Truman committed forces to the Korean conflict, he did so realizing that the Soviets now possessed nuclear weapons and use of the weapons by the US might lead to an unacceptable exchange with the Soviets. The destructive, war winning capability of nuclear weapons was rendered impotent by the likelihood that their use would invite retaliation in kind. The result was the US fought the war in Korea with the tactics, weapons, and many of the aircraft left over from World War II.

Immediately, the Air Force was faced with problems with its strategic bombing doctrine. North Korea was essentially an agrarian society without a sizeable industrial base. It did not posses war critical industries such as power generation, armaments, ship yards, petroleum refineries or storage, or large munition or supply depots. The communist forces relied on rail and road connections with China to import its war making requirements. Its electrical power generation capability was based on Yalu river hydroelectric plants. These plants remained relatively immune from attack because President Truman placed a “no bomb” corridor of 5 and later 10 miles from the Chinese border to prevent inadvertent bombing of Chinese territory and possible triggering their overt involvement in the “police action” in Korea. Additional restrictions on bombing came from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Aware of the enormous numbers of civilian casualties from bombing German and Japanese cities, they ordered leaflet drops 24-48 hours in advance of a bombing mission near or on a North Korean city to allow the inhabitant’s time to evacuate.[14] This left the B-29s with few “strategic” targets other than rail yards. As commander of Strategic Air Command, LeMay urged MacArthur to use the B-29s to firebomb the five major population centers in North Korea to drive the point home that further aggression by the North Koreans would result in incineration of their cities. MacArthur refused the offer and relegated the B-29 to the remaining “strategic” targets in North Korea. The B-29s had limited effect versus North Korea rail yards due to poor weather and most of their missions were tactical in nature. These tactical missions consisted of carpet bombing enemy troops. By the time UN forces crossed the 38th parallel northbound, the B-29s had run out of suitable targets. In fact, by October 1951, targets were so scarce that a B-29 chased a motorcycle rider by dropping single bombs until finally destroying him.[15] With the entrance of China into the war, all that changed. Mig-15 jet fighter aircraft caused increasing losses of B-29s during daylight operations. The limited nature and objectives of the Korean War made the losses that bomber crews sustained in World War II untenable. The B-29s were forced into night operations against area targets such as cities with a corresponding decrease in accuracy and effectiveness. The bulk of damage done to the North Korean and Chinese forces from air power resulted from faster, more maneuverable, heavily armed fighter aircraft. The bomber, ideally suited for delivering atomic weapons over intercontinental distances, found itself too vulnerable and targets too lacking to fulfill its destiny as a war winner as envisioned by the prophets of airpower.
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  #41  
Old 16 Feb 15, 01:21
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That hardly touches that debate. For example, the USAF identified dams in N. Korea as an early target. But there was considerable hesitation to simply bombing all of them into ruin because of potential backlash from the side affects of that.
The USAF did bomb a few and did find that the results were precisely what they predicted.

To wit: Bombing dams particularly early in spring would have wiped out the rice crops in much of N. Korea and caused widespread starvation.
The loss of hydroelectric power would have crippled industry.
Much of the transportation net would have been crippled when bridges washed away.

There were attacks on what industry existed and generally the results of those attacks were good. But, with the Soviet Union and China supply North Korea most of their weapons and munitions that would have limited affect on the war effort.

There was a real reluctance to resort to area bombing cities in N. Korea as well as the USAF had done in WW 2. That too limited effectiveness.

Also, the number of B-29 committed to Korea remained relatively small. That too limited their affect.
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Old 16 Feb 15, 04:10
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Mig-15 jet fighter aircraft caused increasing losses of B-29s during daylight operations. The limited nature and objectives of the Korean War made the losses that bomber crews sustained in World War II untenable. The B-29s were forced into night operations against area targets such as cities with a corresponding decrease in accuracy and effectiveness. The bulk of damage done to the North Korean and Chinese forces from air power resulted from faster, more maneuverable, heavily armed fighter aircraft. The bomber, ideally suited for delivering atomic weapons over intercontinental distances, found itself too vulnerable and targets too lacking to fulfill its destiny as a war winner as envisioned by the prophets of airpower.
Bombing cities at night does not win wars. Most experts agree that the only targets that resources spent on the non-nuclear manned bomber is oil production facilities and transportation hubs. Everything else is of not much use. The oil production facilities took dozens of raids over periods of months to finally get them below 20%. The B-29 couldn't hit the broadside of an oil storage facility at high altitude using radar or even during the day using the Norden.

Quote:
Even late in the war, when radar use became widespread the specially modified “pathfinder” aircraft were used to mark targets with incendiaries; bombing accuracy had increased to a 50% chance of a bomb falling within a mile of its target.
Quote:
On clear days, only 29% of the bombs aimed at Leuna landed inside the plant gates; on radar raids the number dropped to 5.1%. During the first raid of the Oil Plan, 126 Leuna workers were killed. However, after defenses were increased, only 175 additional workers were killed in 21 subsequent raids. Leuna bombing from May 12, 1944 to April 5, 1945 cost the Eighth Air Force 1,280 airmen. In three separate attacks by the Eighth, 119 planes were lost and not one bomb fell on the Leuna works.
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Old 16 Feb 15, 06:45
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Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
I'm talking about real numbers, not USAF claims.
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Old 16 Feb 15, 06:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
Many of the MiGs were operating from territory that was outside the UN's combat jurisdiction (ie, Manchuria and Soviet Primorye). In other words, the MiGs could just fly over the border, hit their targets, then zip back over again with impunity. In order to avoid a major diplomatic incident, UN pilots only ever pursued a very short distance over the border, and never conducted large-scale raids on Chinese or Soviet air bases. This is why MiG losses were not much higher than they were. However, in pitched air battles, the 'kill ratio' for the war was, as previously posted, slightly better than 6 to 1 in favor of the F-86.
It also put communist pilots in the position that they were forbidden to pursue UN aircraft over UN-held territory and were per consequent forced to the defensive. We also don't know how much F-86s were written off cause of combat damage or what some categories of losses really meant and who should be alos accountable for the kill ratio.
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Old 16 Feb 15, 08:08
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Originally Posted by hairog View Post
The Failure of Strategic Bombing and the Emergence of the Fighter as the Preeminent Weapon in Aerial Warfare
by Jeff L. Patton
It sounds here like the reason the B-29s were ordered to begin night raids was because there were no strategic targets available that would make it worthwhile to launch a large scale daylight mission. For comparison, the loss of hundreds of B-29s over Japan during WWII did not cause the B-29 to be regarded as a 'failure.'

The title of the article, "The Failure of Strategic Bombing..." is not the failure of the B-29, it is the inapplicability of the WWII doctrine to an environment with no built-up industry to make a worthwhile target.
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