Latest Edition: Autumn 2017
I want to share part of this sentence from Air War over Korea, R. Jackson, 1973, Scribners, page 140: “…it had already been decided that Allied politics and persuasion, and not Allied offensives, would be the principle factors in the bid to decide the outcome of the war.” (Italics mine). And so a failed strategy was born. Occasionally there can be a learning opportunity by revisiting events and playing “What if?”. What if Admiral Nagumo had authorized additional strikes at Pearl Harbor, or they had stumbled on to the American carriers. What if the Kreigsmarine had concentrated all of it’s surface ships in the Battle of the North Atlantic to act in concert with the U-Boats? What if we would have had our asses kicked at Midway? In these scenarios the end result is a longer war, but an unchanged outcome as the Axis did not possess the means to attack the American mainland. The Korean War presents entirely different outcomes. If we would have exerted maximum effort by air by sending hundreds of B-29s at
a time instead of dozens, if we would have staged a 2nd invasion, if we would have attacked the Antung air base just across the Yalu then the war would have dragged on with Red China fully engaged and committed to defeat the West, and they could have relied on the Soviet Union to deliver limited nuclear strikes if, if, the United States deployed them first. Towards the end of the summer of 1953 the Soviet air force pilots had largely been removed from combat operations having learned what they could about modern jet combat. Chinese plots would remain engaged as the pilots of the North Korean forces were just dead meat up there. Once the Chinese had engaged United Nations forces in the north they became the de facto aggressors in the conflict. As tired as they were of the casualty lists and material losses they cold not convince the North Korean negotiators to agree to terms of a truce until 1953 primarily because the North wanted all POWs repatriated, even those that did not want to come back.