Military Review

How the USSR saved the DPRK

How the USSR saved the DPRKMoscow’s military-political assistance prevented the occupation of North Korea in 1950-1953

Today it is quite obvious that the Korean War has practically ended in a “draw”: the United States and South Korea failed to capture the northern part of the peninsula, and Pyongyang - the South. But the question is: how did the DPRK, a small and poor country, manage then to stand against the unified military machine, where the dominant role was played by the American military and economic power? Everything is simple: North Korea owes much of its sovereignty to the diverse, and gratuitous, military, economic and political assistance that it received from the Soviet Union.

Around the beginning of 1960, the DPRK leadership officially recognized the role of the USSR and paid tribute to the military, specialists and other representatives of the Soviet Union who participated in hostilities on its side. But due to the cooling of political relations associated with the notorious anti-Stalinist decisions of the XX and XXII CPSU Congresses and with the policy of ideological secrecy of Pyongyang from Moscow, in the DPRK, the USSR “effectively crossed out” the Korean War. In any case, since the middle of 1960's, not a single DPRK political figure has said a word about gratuitous Soviet aid to North Korea. Accordingly, the North Korean propaganda was then “reconfigured”.

At one time, for political reasons, the main of which was to prevent the “linkage” of the DPRK with Mao Tse-Dunov's China, the Soviet side did not pay attention to the “innovations” mentioned in Pyongyang’s interpretation of that war and the role of the DPRK allies in it.

The official interpretation of the Korean War in Pyongyang, if in brief, is this: North Korea exclusively defeated the aggressors, and only little assistance was rendered to it by China at that time. More precisely - only China ...

But, according to the documents, 1 October 1950, when the American and South Korean troops successfully moved to the north of the peninsula, the head of the DPRK Kim Il Sung (on the photo) sent I.V. A letter to Stalin: “Dear Comrade Stalin! If the enemy will force offensive operations on North Korea, we will not be able to suspend the enemy on our own. Therefore, dear Iosif Vissarionovich, we cannot but ask you for special help. In other words, at the time of the transfer of enemy troops through the 38 parallel, we really need direct military assistance from the Soviet Union. If for any reason this is not possible, then give us help in creating international voluntary units in China and in other countries of people's democracy to provide military assistance to our struggle. ”

In fact, the Soviet Union has provided military assistance to the DPRK since mid-July 1950. The USSR first sent large fighter formations to Northeast China, adjacent to the DPRK. aviation. The first to arrive (by the end of July 1950) was the 151st Fighter Aviation Division. It had a task: from September 1, 1950, simultaneously with the retraining of Chinese pilots to the new Soviet MiG-15 fighters, in cooperation with anti-aircraft air defense artillery, to organize cover for the troops of the 13th Army Group of the People's Liberation Army of China, deployed near the borders with the DPRK. And after agreeing with the USSR and North Korea in early October of the same year on the issue of introducing Chinese people's volunteers into North Korea (introduced in the same month of 1950), the Soviet General Staff decided to form a fighter aviation corps in Northeast China.

By order of the Soviet General Staff No. 5564 of 15 in November 1950, the operational group of the air corps was established.

During the war, Soviet fighters destroyed 1097 enemy aircraft, lost their 319 aircraft and 110 pilots. 212 US aircraft were shot down by North Korean anti-aircraft artillery mainly Soviet-made.
According to Russian researcher Igor Seidov, the ratio of casualties in the Korean War was 1: 3,4 in favor of Soviet military aviation. In other words, for one downed Soviet fighter, 3,4 had to shoot down all types of military aircraft in the American coalition (fighters, attack aircraft, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, etc.).

In total, in three years of war, 12 of Soviet fighter aviation divisions (26 regiments), 4 anti-aircraft artillery divisions (10 regiments), 2 separate (night) fighter aviation regiment, 2 anti-aircraft searchlight regiments, 2 aviation technical and technical regiments received military combat experience. support from the Air Force and Air Defense of the Soviet Army, as well as 2 fighter regiment of the Air Force of the Navy.

We also note that the ships of the Soviet Navy in 1947-1954, including from military bases in Dalniy and Port Arthur, were constantly on duty near territorial waters and in the territorial waters of the DPRK itself, which prevented the landing of aggressors in the North Korean rear. In addition, the USSR in September 1950 - April 1953 sent dozens to the northern regions of the DPRK (mainly through neighboring regions of China) tanks, Armored personnel carriers and self-propelled guns along with crews, as well as a variety of small arms. In addition, groups of Soviet military advisers, the number of which in the DPRK increased after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from there by the autumn of 1949, were constantly on different sectors of the front. Plus, a significant number of various Soviet weapons, including for equipping the North Korean Navy, was transferred to the DPRK back in 1948-1949.

According to the USSR Ministry of Defense for 1954, in total, about 40 thousand Soviet soldiers participated in the Korean War, including in the Chinese and Soviet-North Korean border areas.

A noteworthy fact in this regard: the head of the “Taiwan China” Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek did not allow the United States to draw Taiwan into that war. The American project of December 1950 for the delivery of the Taiwan Corps to 30 to South Korea thou. Thousands of soldiers and officers rejected Chiang Kai-shek. For, in his opinion, “the decisive factor in the war in Korea is the growing aid to the North from the USSR. Moscow will not allow the defeat of the DPRK, so a military resolution of the situation is impossible. We need to lead the matter towards resolving the conflict. ”

US presidents Truman, then Eisenhower, commanders of the American forces in the Far East, MacArthur and Ridgeway recognized that it was the Soviet military presence in Manchuria (Port Arthur, Dalniy, CER) in the first half of 1950-s that did not allow to crush North Korea. And, in addition, invade mainland China during the American occupation of Taiwan and the 1950-1953.

The top leadership of the DPRK in 1950 more than once thanked the leaders of the USSR and the Ministry of Defense "for their invaluable assistance in organizing the defeat of the American aggressors and their puppets."

In particular, such an assessment of Soviet aid Kim Il Sung expressed N.A. Bulganinu, G.M. Malenkov, V.M. Molotov, N.S. Khrushchev in October 1953 of the year during the official visit to the USSR, we note, the first official visit of the head of the DPRK abroad after the end of the Korean War.

The total losses of the Soviet soldiers in this war, according to the Ministry of Defense, were 299 people. According to other estimates, including South Korean and Taiwanese, around 500 people. Eternal memory to them! Like all those who died in the same "forgotten" in the USSR, and in Russia, wars and armed conflicts.
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  1. Predator-74
    Predator-74 21 August 2013 07: 42
    The war in North Korea, in my opinion, showed everyone that the combat experience of the US troops is extremely small and the principles of warfare are not quite right, and conducting full-scale operations for the US Army is an extremely difficult task, sometimes impossible.
  2. Standard Oil
    Standard Oil 21 August 2013 08: 45
    The USSR by its very presence "saved" the DPRK.
  3. buzer
    buzer 21 August 2013 09: 16
    and current Kim looks like a grandfather! Take a look at the photo.
  4. Ingvar 72
    Ingvar 72 21 August 2013 09: 40
    Do not do good, you will not get evil. We always helped everyone, and what in return? Queues of grateful allies are not visible. Which once again confirms the correctness of the Anglo-Saxon strategy
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. slaventi
    slaventi 21 August 2013 10: 12
    The war showed the superiority of our pilots over the Americans.
    Around the middle of the 90x, the court historian Volkogonov spoke about recently declassified documents about our pilots who fought in the skies of Korea. A film was shown where our pilots shot down 1300 planes having lost only 345, and these were experienced pilots who went through the war. openly treacherous regime, and liberal media openly were the mouthpiece of American propaganda.
    In an effort to somehow save the honor of the uniform and the pretty shaky prestige of the US Air Force, the Americans published data on their losses and the alleged losses of enemy aircraft in the war in Korea. An article on this subject notes: “According to rough estimates, the U.S. Air Force lost about 2000 aircraft during the Korean War (in addition, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft lost more than 1200 aircraft), and the loss of ground forces amounted to several hundred light aircraft. Less than half of these total losses were incurred directly during the hostilities, the remaining aircraft were decommissioned due to material defects, accidents and other causes. ”
    According to American data, their non-combat losses amounted to 1800 aircraft.
    Our pilots had occasion to fly on the American Kittyhawk and King Cobra fighters. These were reliable aircraft, which were mastered quite quickly even by intermediate-level pilots. Jet vehicles were easier to pilot and had much better flight and navigation equipment. Flights to them were carried out not from field, hastily prepared sites, but from well-equipped runways of airdromes equipped with driven radio stations, radars, direction finders and integrated landing systems ..
    All very simply Americans brought their combat losses as non-combat.
    America is a lying totalitarian state that creates a myth about itself as an invincible power.
  7. Shadowcat
    Shadowcat 21 August 2013 10: 59
    Eh N.S. Khrushchev, would you not go against I.V. Stalin would be many times better. No, I wanted you to be respected as well as IV Stalin - but you couldn’t do this, so why was Stalin blasphemed?
  8. Kovrovsky
    Kovrovsky 21 August 2013 11: 05
    The official interpretation of the Korean War in Pyongyang, if in brief, is this: North Korea exclusively defeated the aggressors, and only little assistance was rendered to it by China at that time. More precisely - only China ...

    Is the memory of the Korean leaders short, or are they hoping for their Juche policy?
  9. solomon
    solomon 21 August 2013 11: 25
    Soviet General Staff decided to form a fighter aviation corps in Northeast China

    Interesting fact. Hero of the Soviet Union Marshal of Aviation Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub fought three times in Korea.
    During the war in Korea, he commanded the 324th Fighter Aviation Division (324th IAD) as part of the 64th Fighter Aviation Corps. From April 1951 to January 1952, division pilots won 216 air victories, losing only 27 aircraft (9 pilots died).
  10. grafrozow
    grafrozow 21 August 2013 11: 43
    The author does not mention the food assistance to the DPRK, the supply of industrial equipment, but this is also a serious help.
    “Dear comrade Stalin! If the enemy will force offensive operations in North Korea, then we will not be able to suspend the enemy on our own. Therefore, dear Joseph Vissarionovich, we cannot but ask you for special help.
    It is a pity that the leadership of the fraternal country quickly forgot about this, they never returned the debts to us.
  11. KG_patriot_last
    KG_patriot_last 21 August 2013 11: 48
    It turns out that Khrushchev actually turned away the PRC and DPRK from the USSR
  12. denson06
    denson06 21 August 2013 12: 21
    Our equipment and pilots are the best .. this is no longer a myth!
    1. volkodav
      volkodav 21 August 2013 13: 31
      You forgot to add, were
  13. smiths xnumx
    smiths xnumx 21 August 2013 16: 18
    Of course, I understand that the help of the USSR saved the DPRK during the war, but we must not forget about the heroic, without exaggeration, KPA pilots who, at first, before the appearance of 15 IAK on the theater of operations, took the blow of the NATO armada.
    On 26.06.1950/55/57, i.e., on the day of the outbreak of the Korean War, the KPA Air Force had in its 93th SAD one assault regiment (10th ShAP) - 56 Il-79, one fighter (9th IAP) - 58 Yak-67 , one training (XNUMXth UACA) - XNUMX training and communication aircraft, that is, not a single jet.
    for July 1950 for various reasons, UN aviation lost 55 aircraft in Korea, including: 14 Mustangs, 10 Shooting Starov, 5 Invaders, 5 deck attack aircraft, 5 Superfortresses, 4 Corsairs, 3 Texan from the Operations Command Group Mosquito, 2 Army Sentinelas, 2 Twinmustangs, 2 Panthers, one transport aircraft, and two helicopters. In addition, the British Light Aircraft Carrier Brigade (aircraft carrier Triemph) lost 8 Seafire Mk.47 fighters in a month.
    Already in July, the structure of the so-called Air Force losses began to emerge. "UN troops". Most of them were "battlefield" aircraft, which performed the functions of F-51D attack aircraft and covered them with F-80s.
    Of the 14 shot down Mustangs, 10 belong to the temporary 51st Fighter Squadron, which at this stage was the main enemy of the North Korean fighters. The squadron lost more than 50% of its combat-ready aircraft, losing outright air confrontation to the northerners.
    Out of 10 lost "Shooting Stars" only for three reasons of losses (other than in air combat) are not refuted by the combat situation and other information sources. The official reason for the loss of one is an air battle, for six more aircraft either there is no clear indication of the cause of the loss, or such instructions are refuted by the combat situation and other information sources, which suggests a possible loss in an air battle.
    The loss of five Superfortresses is noteworthy. According to official data, two were shot down by Yakami, two were killed by a "hanging" bomb, another one crashed due to "mechanical problems".
    Of the five B-26s shot down, one was officially in air combat, two by anti-aircraft artillery and two more with vague wording ("own bombs", "loss of fuel").
    Even the official US statistics show approximately equal levels of casualties in aerial combat in July 1950. Officially, from the actions of the North Korean Air Force, the Americans admitted the loss of eight aircraft. The American aces, in turn, announced 11-12 aerial victories in July (10 officially counted) and more than 40 aircraft destroyed on the ground. General analysis of the losses of the Air Force so-called. "UN troops" in July suggests that in fact, 23 to 25 Allied aircraft were killed in air battles, ie. more than 40% of the total number of lost cars. That is, the North Koreans on the outdated Soviet piston Yak-9 shot down the American jet "Shooting Star" and the B-29 "Super Fortress". Yours faithfully! hi
    Kim Gin Ok. At the time the war began, he commanded a squadron in the 56th IAP of the DPRK Air Force. In total, 11 enemy aircraft were shot down during the war, including 3 B-29 in 1950 Since 1952 flew on the MiG-15. He finished the war with the rank of division commander.
  14. smiths xnumx
    smiths xnumx 21 August 2013 16: 21
    On the morning of June 26, an Il-10 couple, accompanied by fighters, bombed and fired at a freight station in Seoul. They managed to blow up the composition with ammunition and destroy a lot of enemy manpower. The Americans also report the participation of attack aircraft in raids on the Kimpo airfield, where most of the South Korean Air Force planes were burned. But the very next day, US jet fighters appeared in the sky. On the morning of June 27, near Suwon, they intercepted an eight IL-10 and shot down (according to American data) four cars. The Koreans, in response, tried to strike at the Suwon airfield, but lost a couple more attack aircraft. Other sources say that on June 27, the Koreans lost only four Il-10s, and the Mustang fighter was destroyed by return fire from an air gunner. Enhancing enemy aircraft did not stop taking Seoul on June 28. At the Kimpo airfield, North Korean attack aircraft were deployed. They supported units moving further south, in particular, they actively participated in battles on the approaches to Busan, where North Korean tankers tried to break through the defenses of the American 24th Infantry Division, but then air dominance passed to the enemy. Almost every attack flight was accompanied by losses. The Americans also regularly bombed and fired at the airfields of the northerners. After two weeks of fighting, the 57th Regiment left about two dozen operational IL-10s. They were dispersed at various sites. No more than 4-6 aircraft flew in groups. At the end of summer, the USSR transferred a number of attack aircraft to the Koreans, but this did not compensate for the loss of equipment. Among other things, North Korean aviation lost its reserves of flight personnel. However, the DPRK troops pressed the enemy. The Air Force helped in this way. On July 16, the defense of the Americans was broken through, after 4 days, Mr. Daejeon fell. All these days, attack aircraft continuously attacked the enemy defenses. They acted over the sea. August 22 at about. The Munchans in the Yellow Sea allegedly sank an Il-10 steam from an enemy ship: either a destroyer or a minesweeper. In any case, the Americans did not officially recognize this loss. Korean sources call AN Hong Zun the most productive attack pilot, reporting that he destroyed the destroyer and two aircraft. By the end of August, North Korean aviation had 20 operational attack aircraft, which accounted for 17 pilots. On September 15, UN forces landed troops near Incheon and launched an offensive to the north. During the retreat, the DPRK troops threw two defective Il-10s into Kimpo. Even before that, several wrecked cars fell into the hands of the Americans. Both aircraft were exported to the United States. There they were transferred to the Cornell Laboratory (Ithaca). One of the two attack aircraft was assembled. June 20 - August 15, 1951 he was tested at the Wright Field Air Base. Captain R. Steven flew on it. Later, the DPRK's Il-10 Air Force did not play a big role in the hostilities, although it continued to be used in limited numbers until the end of the war as part of the Sino-Korean Joint Air Army, General Liu Chen.
    1. smiths xnumx
      smiths xnumx 21 August 2013 22: 10
      In the winter of 1950-51. only the night bomber regiment widely described in the literature was active, flying first on Po-2, then on Yak-11 and Yak-l8. But, as strange as it may seem, the real value from their combat work was. It was not for nothing that the Yankees seriously discussed the Po-2 problem. In addition to the fact that "crazy Chinese alarm clocks," as the Americans called them, constantly pressed on the enemy's psyche, they also inflicted tangible damage. Subsequently, a couple of squadrons from the 56th Fighter Aviation Regiment and some Chinese air units were connected to the night work - both of them mainly flew the La-9/11 !.
      In November-December 1950, the formation of the Sino-Korean United Air Force (OVA) began. It was dominated by the Chinese, the commander of the OVA was also the Chinese general Liu Zhen. On June 10, 1951, the KPA Air Force had 136 aircraft and 60 well-trained pilots. In December, two Chinese fighter divisions on MiG-15s began fighting. Later, they were joined by the KPA Avid Division (by the end of 1952 their number was brought to three). However, the activity of the Korean aviation left much to be desired. The main burden of the fight against enemy aircraft was borne by the IA and ZA 64IAK, so that the basis of the DPRK's air defense was Soviet units, and the Koreans and Chinese played a supporting role throughout most of the war. And their air defense, although it was, was in the appropriate state. Almost the only air defense units remained groups of "gunner-hunters for aircraft", created by order of Kim Il Sung on December 2.12.1950, 3. The meaning of this "great initiative" was that a platoon was allocated in each rifle regiment, which began to fight the enemy. by airplanes with the help of improvised means - from easel and light machine guns to cables stretched between the tops of nearby hills. According to North Korean propaganda, some groups (for example, the calculation of the Hero of the DPRK Yu Ki-ho) managed to knock 5-27 enemy planes in this way! Even if we consider this information to be exaggerated, the fact remains that the "gunners-hunters" have become a mass phenomenon at the front and spoiled a lot of blood for the "UN" pilots. On the day of the signing of the armistice on June 1953, 350, the North Korean aviation was still of little combat capability, but quantitatively already exceeded the pre-war level. Various experts estimate its number during this period at 400-200 aircraft, including at least 15 MiG-XNUMXs. All of them were based on Chinese territory, since the pre-war airfields in North Korea were destroyed and were not rebuilt during the war.
      DPRK Air Force LA-9
  15. smiths xnumx
    smiths xnumx 21 August 2013 22: 16
    Several biographies of North Korean aces
    Pack Guy Cancer-In 1950-51 he shot down five aircraft of the US Air Force. He gained most victories in the Sinichzhu and Pyongyang area in January 1951, flying on the Yak-9P and La-11. He died in June 1951, ramming a U.S. Navy ship with his plane in the Yellow Sea. At the time of death, Iap commanded. Posthumously presented to the title of Hero of the DPRK.
    DPRK La-11 Air Force, 1953

    Kim Gin Ok-K of the beginning of the war in 1950 was the commander of the Yak-9 squadron in the 56th IAP of the DPRK Air Force. In 1952-53 he fought on the MiG-15 as a comets, regiment and divisional commander.
    In 1951 he was awarded the title Hero of the DPRK. According to North Korean data, he was the best ace, shot down 11 American aircraft (of which 3 were V-29, flying on the Yak-9P from 11.07 to 3.12.50).
    After the war he continued to serve in the Air Force. In April 1969, he planned the operation of the DPRK air defense, during which the American intelligence officer EU-121 was shot down.
    He died in November 2001 at the age of 76.

    Yak-9P DPRK Air Force
    Kan Yon Duk-started the war on the Yaks, it was in the initial period that he won five victories. Then he moved to the MiG-15. He particularly distinguished himself in the battles for Wonsan from 4.10. until 12.10.1952/XNUMX/XNUMX
    He was awarded the title Hero of the DPRK in 1953, at that time IAP commanded. In total, by the end of the war, he had 10 enemy aircraft shot down.
    There is no information about the post-war fate.

    Lee Don Gyu-At the time the war began, he commanded 56 IAP of the DPRK Air Force. In the period from 11.07. On 14.07.1950/9/29, flying on the Yak-XNUMXP, according to North Korean data, it shot down five US Air Force planes. Including one B-XNUMX over Seoul.
    According to unverified data, he died in aerial combat in the fall of 1950.
    The title of Hero of the DPRK is awarded posthumously.
    1. smiths xnumx
      smiths xnumx 21 August 2013 22: 20
      Along with the famous Polikarpovsky PO-2, the North Koreans actively used the Yak-18 training trainer they set as a night bomber