higurashihougi wrote:Congratulation on your successful ambushes, but I actually look at the whole war and I see that the losses of MiGs was much much lower than American Fs. Not to mention that, this country did not possess a vast flying fleet like America.
I also see that BOMBER MiG-19 managed to knocked down two F-4s.
For the sake of brevity, North Vietnamese Air Force (NVAF) will be used.
You claimed to have 'look at the whole war', but it seems you did not see much.
Speaking of ambushes, that was all the NVAF knew how to do. The fleet was small so the NVAF had to restrict their usage to missions that would minimize the odds of loss of even one combat capable fighter. NVAF sorties were against heavily laden US fighter-bombers, like the F-105. When the NVAF pilots attacked, the tactic was 'slash and dash'. They basically dived from a higher altitude, shot at a few fighters, then ran. What the US pilots did was reacted as expected -- they discarded their bombs so they could be lighter to maneuver. There were no 'Top Gun' movie style air combat maneuver (ACM) involved. In forcing the US pilots to jettisoned their bombs, the NVAF pilots reduced some measure of damages that could have been done against home soil. The results are that very few MIGs were shot down and high NVAF aces. Points for cheering by those who really did not look at the details.
As for Operation Bolo, it proved what combat pilots always knew -- it is the man that counts. It does not mean that WW I Manfred von Richthofen in his Fokker can win against WW II Thomas McGuire in his P-38. Machines do impose limitations on a pilot's skills, creativity, and drive to win. While the MIG-21 and F-4 may have their differences, they are essentially in the same generation of combat fighters, and Operation Bolo proved that the man mattered.
So here is a lesson to you and anyone in this forum who is willing to learn, even if the lesson came from an American: In combat, you win not by fighting under your opponent's rules, but by forcing him to fight under yours, and cheating is allowed.
To remain with air combat, any advantage you have is a rule. If you have superior thrust, force the fight to vertical. If you have superior turn capability, force the fight horizontal. If you have superior radar, hit from afar. If you are small, get yourself lost in ground clutter and attack from where least expected -- from below.
Do you see the point ?
In Operation Bolo, the Americans knew that the NVAF pilots were restricted to only one tactic that just happened to involved very little ACM. So to force the NVAF pilots to fight under American rules, the Americans had to break up the NVAF formation into individual units and gang up on the individual.
Ambushes are nothing new. If you are a victim in an ambush, the first response is to take cover such as get to ground. In air combat, the first response is to violently maneuver. A steady state aircraft is a dead aircraft. Then everyone report to the flight commander his status. It is the responsibility of the flight commander to reorganize and formulate a group response. If the flight commander have poor situational awareness (SA), either because of his personal skills as a pilot or because the immediate emergency situation prevented him from knowing, then the flight is essentially lost. That is what happened in Operation Bolo.
So despite the fact that the F-4 were inferior to the MIG-21 in several capabilities, in a single engagement, the NVAF lost half of their MIG-21 fleet. The American pilots essentially knew their F-4s better than the North Vietnamese pilots knew their MIGs. The NVAF pilots received their training from the Chinese who received theirs from the Soviets. After Operation Bolo, the NVAF grounded the rest of the MIG-21s for months to review how to use them better, but the NVAF never fully recovered.
higurashihougi wrote:And what are his reasons and proofs ?
You really think the US is going to reveal the details of Tolkachev's work ? Even now ? But for general information, Tolkachev revealed/confirmed that the core issue was technology. The Soviets simply did not have air defense radars sophisticated enough to consistently detect and track low altitude aircrafts, especially high speed ones like the F-111 and cruise missiles.
He took pictures of...
- Circuit boards,
- Finished components,
- User manuals from manufacturer to finalized instructions for field use,
- Documentations on the modifications to the MIG-25 with its new look down shoot down radar,
- Technical and operational plans for the new Soviet AWACS,
- Concept for a new Soviet bomber,
And that is just a short list.
Significant to people on the front lines -- like I was -- were the finalized user manuals. If you know how the enemy is going to use a tool, you will know its strengths and weaknesses. You can come up with ways to bypass its strengths and exploit its weaknesses. Once in a while, the enemy can have someone with high enough intelligence and skills to use a tool in creative ways but those people are rare and under the Soviet system, independent and creative thinking are discouraged. It was the task of the USAF's R/D branch, Systems Command, to analyze what Tolkachev gave, and he never sold, and it was up to individual USAF combatant commands throughout Western Europe to plan how to bypass Soviet strengths and exploit weaknesses. All wings then came together to analyze who came up with what and how to coordinate each other's plans.
Like I said, Tolkachev never sold what he produced. The US did gave financial estimates for what he produced and put the money into a trust for the day when we would extract Tolkachev and his family out of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, that never happened. But Tolkachev's motivations never involved selling what he got.