This book is part of an interesting series that describes the air wars of Asian conflicts after the Second World War. This time it is about the deploy of the KPAF, The North-Korean Air Force during the war between North- and South-Korea. It was a complicated conflict, by which not only Korea itself was involved, but also America, Russia and China. The great powers didn’t want to get involved anymore in an extensive war, which resulted in the fact that America supported South-Korea and Russia and China supported the communistic northern part.
The air force of North-Korea (KPAF) played in this an inferior role, but has booked quite some successes. This, of course, happened with the support of both communistic powers. Especially in the beginning of the war, the KPAF existed of a small number of Russian paddle planes, which were deployed by the Russians in WW2, and now were provided. Soon enough it was clear that the unexperienced Koreans could not withstand the hardened and experienced pilots of the USAF and the US Navy and they were almost swept away at the beginning of the conflict. With support of the Chinese and Russian instructors a begin was made with the built up of a new air force with better trained pilots. Although this air force existed of paddle planes to begin with, soon enough pilots were trained to fly with Russian Mig15’s to be able to withstand the American F-80 and F-86 hunters. Although the pilots of the KPAF were unexperienced, they were also brave and managed to make some successes after a while, although the losses stayed high. The Russians kept supporting with material and experienced pilots. At a certain point there were more than 400 Mig15’s deployable.
The book describes, amongst others, detailed a couple of air wars, mainly viewed from the Korean side, supported by a large number of black and white pictures of the deployed aircrafts and the pilots. The conflict reached its climax when Stalin and the Chinese leaders provided large numbers of pilots to diminish the American dominance. The known air wars above the Yalu river (Mig Alley) are set out and the conflict is extended with nightly bombardments by both air forces. Apart from descriptions of the main supreme commanders and pilots who booked successes, also the timeline of the air war is well documented. The book on A4-format contains 80 pages with a reasonable small font and is foreseen of a laminated cover.
The book includes a gross number of pictures from the deployed aircrafts on both sides and beautiful color illustrations of the planes, which fought on the North-Korean side. It is a document that will especially grasp the attention of the interested in the Korean conflict, because it has an enormous amount of information and facts about the organization, built up and development of the North-Korean Air force.
This is actually the first book that I read about this war, that more and better sets out the role of the deploy of the North-Korean Air force. Till so far this was always kept as unimportant in publications. For the interested, certainly a very informative book.