Red Wings Over the Yalu

Red Wings Over the Yalu

China, the Soviet Union, and the Air War in Korea

eBook - 2002
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
The role of the fledgling Chinese air force in the Korean War is explored for the first time here, with details of Soviet assistance and air battles over Korea that helped shape this emerging arm of Chinese power. (Military History

Texas A
& M Univ

The Korean conflict was a pivotal event in China's modern military history. The fighting in Korea constituted an important experience for the newly formed People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), not only as a test case for this fledgling service but also in the later development of Chinese air power.

Xiaoming Zhang fills the gaps in the history of this conflict by basing his research in recently declassified Chinese and Russian archival materials. He also relies on interviews with Chinese participants in the air war over Korea. Zhang’s findings challenge conventional wisdom as he compares kill ratios and performance by all sides involved in the war.

Zhang also addresses the broader issues of the Korean War, such as how air power affected Beijing's decision to intervene. He touches on ground operations and truce negotiations during the conflict. Chinese leaders placed great emphasis on the supremacy of human will over modern weaponry, but they were far from oblivious to the advantages of the latter and to China's technological limitations.

Developments in China's own air power were critical during this era. Zhang offers considerable materials on the training of Chinese aviators and the Soviet role in that training, on Soviet and Chinese air operations in Korea, and on diplomatic exchanges over Soviet military assistance to China. He probes the impact of the war on China's conception of the role of air power, arguing that it was not until the Gulf War of the early 1990s that Chinese leaders engaged in a broad reassessment of the strategy they adopted during the Korean War.

Military historians and scholars interested in aviation and foreign affairs will find this volume of special interest. As a unique work that presents the Chinese point of view, it stands as both a complement and a corrective to previous accounts of the conflict.

Publisher: College Station : Texas A & M University Press, ©2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781585449927
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 300 pages) : illustrations, maps


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top