Stalin’s supposed remark about Britain’s decision to provide the USSR with jet engine technology has long been seen as a fair summary of the whole affair. The truth, though, is rather more complex
BRITISH JETS TO THE USSR
Slicing through the cold winter’s air over the Korean landscape, the arrow-winged jets came as the most unpleasant of surprises to the UN air forces. Outclassing anything available in theatre, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 could climb away even from Allied jets such as Lockheed P-80s and Gloster Meteors as if they were standing still. Only the urgent deployment of three squadrons of the US Air Force’s most advanced fighter, the North American F-86 Sabre, restored the balance in the air. Over the next two years, Sabres and MiG-15s would duel in ‘MiG Alley’ high over the Yalu River.