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Publisher's Summary

Of the many myths that emerged following the end of the Korean War, the prevailing one in the West was that of the absolute supremacy of US Air Force pilots and aircraft over their Soviet-supplied opponents. The claims of the 10:1 victory-loss ratio achieved by the US Air Force fighter pilots flying the North American F-86 Sabre against their communist adversaries, amongst other such fabrications, went unchallenged until the end of the Cold War, when Soviet records of the conflict were finally opened.

From that point onwards, a very different story began to emerge. Far from decisive American victories over an unsophisticated opponent, the aerial battles of the Korean War were, at least in the early years, evenly matched affairs, fought to an approximate 1:1 victory-loss ratio. Though the Soviet victories declined over the following years, this had more to do with home politics than American tactics.

In addition to the aerial combat over MiG Alley, this title covers the full range of US Air Force activities over Korea, including the failed strategic bombing campaign and the escalating nuclear threat. Incorporating first-hand accounts from those involved, both US and Soviet, this new history of the US Air Force in Korea reveals the full story of this bitter struggle in the Eastern skies.

©2019 Thomas McKelvey Cleaver (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about MiG Alley

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Always Political Undercurrent

In the last book I tried to read by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, "Holding the Line," Donald Trump's name came up. Why I have no idea, unless the historian is trying to drive in current leftist thought. Though MiG Alley is not at all that overt, the always pervasive political undercurrent is detected and brought to the forefront from the beginning. To hear it from his viewpoint, the United States just dropped bombs almost indiscriminately over Korea. And the U.S. took credit for strikes that should have been credited to the Russians and Chinese pilots. This get really old. And in starting out this way, it makes it very difficult for the reader to just listen and learn. History is history is history right or wrong. The Untied States is NOT perfect, and the point is not America worship. But the hope is always that history can be told without woke biases and revision needed, taking the times into consideration and not taking away from things to fit a desired worldview. However clearly that is not always possible. The narrator does a great job. And if the reader can get past all this at the beginning, then by all means give it a fair shot.

12 people found this helpful

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Excellent

The sample makes it sound kinda like a textbook but not so, it’s really well done. Interesting day to day action of the Korean air war. Highly recommend!

11 people found this helpful

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Pro Communism slant

it is kinda procommunist. I get he doesn't like the US military. That was disappointing to say the least.

7 people found this helpful

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In the Cockpit!

Wow, this audio book is extremely detailed, don' let that stop you from listening to it. The stories about the pilots and their jets put you in Mig Alley in the early 1950's. I have listened to this audio book multiple times to appreciate the fearless choices made by pilots from both sides of the Korean Conflict. The descriptions of the dog fights make you feel as if you are in the cockpits on both sides. This story is about fighting for freedom. I recommend Mig Alley and hope you enjoy learning the history of the "Forgotten War" as much as I did.

7 people found this helpful

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Ok information but very bias.

The facts are accurate but there is a real anti American under tone. It's ok North Korea hates us because we dropped bombs on them and we should feel bad. Japan and Germany don't hate us. Also how are you going to dis credit American kill counts based off China and Russian propaganda and inaccurate records that are just as bad or worse than American. The narration is good.

6 people found this helpful

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Very informative, tainted by authors political bia

Overall I enjoed the book (I used the audible edition). I feel I learned a huge amou t about the air war over Korea, and I was fairly knowledgable before. I think the authors political bias leaks through too much and really hampered my enjoyment. He seems eager to dwell on the inflated kill ratio the USAF has traditionally claimed. He has reached a forgone conclusion that strategic bombing was useless while not considering how the war would have looked without it. You have to listen for the number to realize the American pilots were usually flying at a numerical disadvantage, he never attempts to draw your attention to it.
Honestly, I am tempted to rate the book lower because of this, but when you move past that, it's actually a really compelling read or listen.

6 people found this helpful

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A New Look at the Koren Air War

This book questions the long-held viewpoint that the USAF F86 Sabre Jet had a 10-1 kill rate over the MIG-15s and that the USAF dominated the sky of the Korean War. This is an easily readable revisionist history of the air war from 1950-53.

Cleaver had access to the newly opened Russian and Chinese archives and revealed that the aerial war was more complicated than originally reported. The author revealed how, driven by the new jet aircraft, the aerial war evolved with new doctrine, training and tactics as well as overall strategies. The section dealing with the designing of the MIG-15 and F86 Sabre Jet got technical and a bit boring. But, the section about the men who were the Ace fighters was gripping. Cleaver wrote great descriptions of the aerial dog fights. The book provided more information to help understand the Korean War. History buffs will enjoy this book.

The book is fourteen hours and eleven minutes. David de Vries does a good job narrating the book.

5 people found this helpful

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Lots of detail

My dad did 2 tours in Korea as a USN fighter pilot. This book did a good job of explaining the details I did not know. I wish I could get my dad’s opinion of the book, as he has been gone 20 years now.

4 people found this helpful

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Better That Expected

All I was expecting from this audible book was some exciting accounts of aerial jet dogfights, but it was much more, to my delight. I got a thorough understanding of the Korean War, beginning to end, that I had never fully understood before, and how air power played a role. I am glad I got the audible version of the book because it was so thorough in details of names, stats, places, dates, times, and military units that it would have been distracting if trying to actually read it as a book. It could easily serve as comprehensive reference material. That said, it is well written and presented such that it was difficult to take a break while listening. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about the Korean War. And yes, there are plenty of first-hand accounts of jet-on-jet dogfights between the F-86 Sabre and the Soviet MiG-15.

3 people found this helpful

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Good Descriptions A Bit Repetitive

Summary given multiple times. A lot of material I had never heard. The perspectives from combatants and leadership were excellent. You will get sick of hearing all SI units converted to imperial.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-10-20

Good summary of Korean air war

I was concerned by the title that this book would focus solely on fighter combat in the Korean War, Andy that does form the majority of the book. However there is also considerable time devoted to strategic bombing and the activities of fighter bombers during the war. It provided a really good overview of all sorts of air combat. I would’ve liked to have seen a little more emphasis on the work of other UN forces but understand that as the work of an American author it will mostly focus on US involvement.
I recommend this title for anybody who would like to gain an in-depth understanding of the air war in Korea.