chapter  12
25 Pages

The Peacetime Air Force at Home and Abroad, 1945–1976

WithKenneth R. Whiting

The North Korean Air Force (NKAF), created by the Soviets, was more than adequate to handle the almost nonexistent South Korean Air Force, but turned out to be woefully incapable of standing up against the US Far Eastern Air Force. Certainly the generous supply of armament for the North Korean ground forces was incomparably greater than the meager equipment doled out to the NKAF. At the end of World War II, the military power of the Soviet Union rested upon its enormous ground forces, which were armed with tanks, artillery, and tactical aircraft. The new leadership was faced with a nasty problem much nearer home—the ever increasing hostility of the People’s Republic of China. Nikita Khrushchev, in a famous speech to the Supreme Soviet on January 14, 1960, challenged the military leadership by stating that it was necessary to cut conventional forces in the interests of economy.