For want of a nail…

The Soviets lost the Cold War in the skies over Korea and they lost it because of a bad procurement decision.

In the Korean War, the Mig 15 was the hottest thing in the air. Our F86 could barely keep up with it. It could out run, out climb and out turn the F86 but in any single plane combat, it was the Mig that was likely to end up crashed. Why? Because it was undergunned.

The Mig 15 was designed and armed as a bomber killer. It had two 22mm cannon and a 40mm cannon. One hit from the 40 would bring down anything in the air. But getting that hit was almost impossible for a simple reason. The speed of the aircraft in the jet age became such that with only those guns firing at WW2 rates, there was so much space in between rounds that it was possible to have a dead aim and the American fighter would just fly between the shells. The US aircraft, with their six .50s, put out a lot more metal and thus had a much better chance of making a kill, even with an inferior aircraft.

But how did that win the Cold War?

Unable to win in Korea, the Soviets concluded that they had no chance to win in Europe, especially in the face of nuclear weapons, simply because in that pre-missle period of the early 1950s, they could not stop the NATO bombers from blowing their concentrations to hell. They were forced to play chess, to maneuver around the periphery. And that cost money as well seriously detracting from the fighting ability of their own troops. By the time they invaded Afghanistan, the Soviet army could not have survived in the field against the NATO forces even with their overwhelming ground numbers.

The Soviet Empire became an empty husk, with lots of ships they could not use, lots of men they could not use, and an economy that could no longer support them. And it all was because they undergunned the Mig 15.

“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of the shoe the horse was lost.
For want of the horse the rider was lost.
For want of the rider the battle was lost.
For want of the battle the kingdom was lost.
All for the want of a horseman’s nail.”


One Response to “For want of a nail…”

  1. Tnelson Says:

    There’s good info here. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. Keep up the good work mate!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: