Saturday, December 19, 2015

Book Review: Sabres Over MiG Alley

Kenneth P. Werrell
Sabres Over MiG Alley
Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005
Category: U.S. Air Force - History

Rating: 5-Stars

The Korean War saw the world's first jet-on-jet fighter engagements, with stories of the match-up between the F-86 Sabre and MiG-15 becoming legendary.  Kenneth Werrell has compiled a most readable history of this exchange, combining the story of the evolution of the F-86 and the air war over Korea, with first-hand pilot accounts that help to bring that era to life.  Each pilot account includes a profile of the pilot, and his wartime experience, further cementing the picture.

There have been a wide array of books on the Korean War and the Korean air war.  What sets Werrell's book apart is its steady flow, interlacing between the technical story behind the evolution of the F-86, and the pilot experience in the war.  His book is not as all-encompassing as Robert Futrell's The United States Air Force in Korea, for example, but it's far more accessible to the reader.  It also does not have the broad expanse of photography that some books tend to emphasize, but it does have just enough photographs to help the reader to visualize the airplane and the era in which it flew.  Taken together, Werrell has assembled what is probably the most balanced book available chronicling the experience of the F-86 squadrons over Korea.

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