With the North Korean People's Air Force virtually wiped out in the opening weeks of the Korean War, and the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force not yet ready for combat operations, the Soviets reluctantly allowed their swept-wing MiG-15s to support the communist logistics channels from China into North Korea. The devastating effect of these advanced jet interceptors on American fighter and bomber operations motivated the USAF to counter with its own most cutting-edge jet fighter, the North American Aviation F-86 Sabre.
The stage was set not only for the air battles that made ''MiG Alley'' famous, but also for the next four decades of confrontation between the world's two superpowers in the unrelenting competition between each side's most advanced air superiority fighters of the day in the Middle East, over Vietnam and potentially, if the Cold War turned ''hot'' in Western Europe.
Unable to conduct ground operations on the European continent until Allied strength was fully marshalled for a full-scale invasion, the British government based its grand strategy on a protracted campaign of aerial bombardment of Germany's cities in order to bring the Third Reich to its knees. At the heart of this strategy was the emerging…
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