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View Full Version : Semi-OT: NVAF vs. USAF kill ratios in the Vietnam War



cmorris975
08-22-2008, 10:05 AM
I wanted to get all you military aviation fans' opinion on this as this information surprised me greatly. I know very little about the air war in this conflict, but off-hand I seem to remember hearing a few times that the USAF had, what they considered, a bad kill ratio of 3 to 1 in the early years of the Vietnam Conflict. The legend goes that then they started their "Top Gun" program in Miramar, CA to help rectify this. From what I remember this tactical training helped immensely and raised the ratio back up to WWII/Korea level of around 10+ enemy shot down for every USAF aircraft lost. So I am reading my new book on the Mig-21 last night when I come across this, "According to Russian records, which were carefully compiled", the Mig-21 shot down 103 F-4s in Vietnam while the F-4 shot down 53 in return. This statistic makes the premier USAF fighter/interceptor of the time look not too hot and seems hard to fit into a K/D of 3 to 1 rising to 11 to 1 at the end of the war. I know there were other aircraft participating of course (F-105s, Mig-17s, F-8s, A-4s etc.) but still... the numbers do not seem to fit. Did the F-4 really do this poorly vs. Mig-21s? If so, where did the high USAF kill ratios come from?

Curious as to your thoughts. Thanks. And I am an American just so you can factor in whatever propaganda I may have heard or been subject too.

Chris

stalkervision
08-22-2008, 10:15 AM
if it's true it's very interesting indeed.

I know for a fact the mig 21 and earlier migs did very well agains't the F4 and the F-104 Thunderchief in early combat over vietnam. later combat I'm not so sure.

Blutarski2004
08-22-2008, 10:28 AM
I coincidentally attended a lecture last month on this topic, presented by a DoD air-defense analyst who had gained access to the internal reports of the Soviet liaison/onservation team which was advising the North Vietam air defense effort. He had precious few complimentary thing to say about how the USAF tactically managed their bombing campaign and suggested that their officially reported numbers were "cooked" and not necessarily to be fully trusted.

I can recommend a good book on the subject -

"Clashes - Air Combat over North Vietnam, 1965-1972", by Marshall Michel (who flew 300+ combat missions himself over NV).

cmorris975
08-22-2008, 10:40 AM
Excellent, I will pick-up a used copy of that book for sure Blutarski. The numbers above I quoted above from the "Russian records" were from Yefim Gordon in a book he co-wrote about the Mig-21.

Brain32
08-22-2008, 10:44 AM
False information, F-4's pretty much kicked MiG-21's butt. The huge majority of USAF planes lost in Vietnam war was due to superb Russian AAA systems NVietnameese used and ROE that bordered common sanity(- "hey let's only fly over SAM zones, that'll be fun..." ).
NVAF had very few MiG-21's and hesitated to use them, 21's would make one pass and ran away at full burner all the way till later in the war.

Most of the "dirty work" was done by still subsonic MiG-17's which were obsolete by 60's standards. What didn't help the F-4's was it's initial phylosophy which although visionary lacked the technology to make the vision a reality, Cr@pwinder-9B and early Sparrows in non-awacs age and advanced IFF simply weren't good enough, and F-4's did not have a gun all the way to legendary F-4E.

Buzzsaw-
08-22-2008, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by cmorris975:

...a K/D of 3 to 1 rising to 11 to 1 at the end of the war....

Chris

I don`t think it was anywhere near 3-1 at the early point of the war. In fact, when you look at losses due to the SAMS, etc. the figure was decidely in the negative ratios for the USAF.

Even later in the war, some of the claims put in by the USAF were suspect. Often the USAF and USN didn`t count planes which were lost, but whose pilots were rescued by the `Jolly Green Giants` or other pilot retrieval systems.

Randy Cunningham`s claims are suspicious, as well, during his oft repeated accounts of the combat with `Colonel Tomb`, (or Colonel Toon) the supposed 13 kill Vietnamese Ace, he usually neglects to mention he had to eject at the end of the combat, according to him because he ran out of fuel.

In fact, there was no `Colonel Tomb` and Vietnamese records show no one who shot down 13 aircraft, their claimed highest scoring ace would be a pilot by the name of Nguyen Van Coc, with nine claimed kills, followed by Nguyen Hong Nhi and Mai Van Cuong, with 8 each.

The combat that day was also denied by the Vietnamese, and although they are a communist government, (and obviously non-democratic) they have actually been quite forthcoming in admitting casualties in the Vietnam war, since it is a source of pride to them that they suffered so heavily in achieving independence.

The fact is, the USAF and USN were going in against VERY heavy flak and missile defences, the real heroes for the Americans were the Thud, (F-105) pilots who had to go in a low level and hit targets. As well as the ground based defences, they were very vulnerable to interceptions by higher MiG`s who could catch them down on the deck, and lost heavily.

Most of the early part of the war the Vietnamese were equipped only with the MiG-17, but surprisingly, they did quite well with this aircraft. It was very maneuverable, and unlike the USAF dedicated fighters, (F-4C) it had guns, and in a close in knife fight, it had definite advantages.

Buzzsaw-
08-22-2008, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Brain32:
NVAF had very few MiG-21's and hesitated to use them, 21's would make one pass and ran away at full burner all the way till later in the war.

Why wouldn`t they?

The MiG 21`s were heavily outnumbered, and the object was to get the USAF Attack aircraft to jettison their bombs and abort their missions. After that, there was no sense in hanging around to get slaughtered by the escorts. They were under strict orders not to engage the escorts.

The Vietnamese had a max. strength of approx. 30 MiG 21`s operational at any one time during the Vietnam War. The USAF and USN had thousands of aircraft.

I`d love to see a properly done Vietnam air war. Coming down off `Thud Ridge` at low level into the heart of the Vietnamese AAA defences, with the lockon warning squealing, and the SAM `telephone poles` blasting off ahead... now that would be scary... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Brain32
08-22-2008, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Brain32:
NVAF had very few MiG-21's and hesitated to use them, 21's would make one pass and ran away at full burner all the way till later in the war.

Why wouldn`t they?

The MiG 21`s were heavily outnumbered, and the object was to get the USAF Attack aircraft to jettison their bombs and abort their missions. After that, there was no sense in hanging around to get slaughtered by the escorts. They were under strict orders not to engage the escorts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ofcourse, it's a sane tactics, but that also further shows how ridiculous is the claim that between MiG-21 and F-4 only, K/D is nearly 2:1 in favour of the MiG-21...
Actually 11:1 would sound much closer to F-4 : MiG-21, but total NVAF vs USAF/USN K/D in A2A combat only would be interesting to see, however according to all the sources I saw it would still be a clear victory for USAF/USN.

I would also be HIGHLY interested in proper Vietnam sim, taking an F-8D and go "play" with MiG-17's...that'd be thrilling for sure http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/metal.gif

idonno
08-22-2008, 11:48 AM
According to Russian records...

That information was recorded by a (then) communist country, so I would trust those numbers about as far as I can throw a MiG-21.

I'm not saying that there is no possibility of errors in the U.S. figures, and certainly all governments are capable of lying, but communist governments are sustained by lies.

Bewolf
08-22-2008, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by idonno:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">According to Russian records...

That information was recorded by a (then) communist country, so I would trust those numbers about as far as I can throw a MiG-21.

I'm not saying that there is no possibility of errors in the U.S. figures, and certainly all governments are capable of lying, but communist governments are sustained by lies. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

idonno
08-22-2008, 12:11 PM
So tell me Bewolf, why do you think communist governments so tightly control information?

Buzzsaw-
08-22-2008, 12:58 PM
Salute

Here`s an example of how USAF or USN records sometimes were a little fudged.

A pro US book on the subject is `F8 Crusader Units of the Vietnam War`, but even it raises some questions re. the various claimed kill ratios.

Here`s what it has to say re. F8 losses to enemy aircraft:

`...American records attribute the loss of only 3 F8`s to MiG`s, all in 1966, throughout the eight year war, although a few were so badly damaged upon making it home they were scrapped. Thus, for those who enjoy `working` the figures, the 6-1 ratio usually quoted for the Crusader regarding kills to losses (18 official MiGs downed by F-8s versus 3 F8s lost to MiGs) can be dramatically modified to 4.5 - 1 or less. Seven MiG killing Crusaders were eventually lost, three being shot down by flak, one badly shot up after its MiG engagement that it was struck off charge, and three written off in operational mishaps.`

It is impossible to positively asertain the cause of a loss, when aircraft which were involved in a aerial combat, then later crash, supposedly due to ground based flak or missiles, especially when the Vietnamese pilots practiced tactics which involved dragging American aircraft over heavy ground defence areas.

RAF_OldBuzzard
08-22-2008, 12:59 PM
The big problem in Nam with the F4 vs the MiG-17s and 19's was the ROE.

Imagine being a Corsair driver in WWII and being forbidden to B&Z, and forced to T&B with the Zeros. That's basically what happened to the F4 drivers in Nam.

They had a fighter that was designed, and armed to kill other aircraft at Beyond Visual Range, but ROE was that they had to close with and visually identify the other aircraft before they were allowed to engage.

So we had a BVR fighter engaging a VR fighter on HIS terms. It's a wonder that they did as well as they did.

Xiolablu3
08-22-2008, 01:04 PM
Mate, all governments use lies and spin.

You should know that from the 'weapons of mass destruction' propaganda a few years back.

A Communist government can tell the truth, just like a Democracy Government can lie.

IMO the main problem in RUssia and CHina is NOT that they are Communist countries, but because they are Dictatorships.

In other words what I mean is that its fine if your people vote in a good Communist government becasue they WANT to, but they should also be able to vote it out in 4 years time if its not doing a good job.

Buzzsaw-
08-22-2008, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by RAF_OldBuzzard:
The big problem in Nam with the F4 vs the MiG-17s and 19's was the ROE.

The ROE was a function of the number of friendly aircraft in the air versus the number of enemy. The USAF and USN outnumbered the VPAF by a huge amount, so obviously there were a lot more American aircraft flying around. And the Friend or Foe systems were not that reliable, so it was therefore nessesary to make a visual I.D. If there was no ROE, there would have been a LOT more Friendly kills.

And second, the ROE was not as much of a handicap as some claim. The Russian built aircraft were noticeably smaller than the American, they put out a much dirtier exhaust plume, and they were painted quite a bit differently. Fighters such as the MiG-17 were visually distinctive in their appearance, as well as having very much lower cruise speed than the American.

The Americans were also not forced to dogfight, visual IDs could be done at ranges far beyond what would commit them to a dogfight. In most instances, when a dogfight occurred, it was a result of the American voluntarily committing themselves to a closein attack tactic, a function of their confidence and aggressiveness.

LEXX_Luthor
08-22-2008, 01:27 PM
Don't trust the Russian and Ussian governments on kill scores, nor Yefim Gordon, although on technichal development of aircraft he is spot on. Well that's what Tom Cooper of ACIG says, and he may be the best source for kill scores. Me? The last thing I care about is "government" kill scores. MiG-21 vs F-4 can be 10:1 or 1:10 its all the same. Think of like Online kill scores, and how some get wrapped up in it. Funniest thing I saw was a forum poast about Erich Hartmann's 35.2 kills. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

ACIG current weird address ~> http://s188567700.online.de/CMS/

should be ~> www.acig.org (http://www.acig.org)

idonno
08-22-2008, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
A Communist government can tell the truth, just like a Democracy Government can lie.

IMO the main problem in RUssia and CHina is NOT that they are Communist countries, but because they are Dictatorships.

In other words what I mean is that its fine if your people vote in a good Communist government becasue they WANT to, but they should also be able to vote it out in 4 years time if its not doing a good job.


We can talk about "should" all day long, but the simple reality is that those particular governments were, and are, sustained by (among other oppressive measures) the strict control of information, because the free flow of information exposes their lies. This being the case, any "facts" coming out of those governments are suspect, including records of kills and losses in the Viet Nam war.

If I have to chose between believing a government that is capable of lying, and believing one that habitually lies, I'm not going to loose any sleep agonizing over it.

Blutarski2004
08-22-2008, 01:31 PM
A large number of the aerial kills achieved by NV fighters resulted from them being vectored by their ground control into position below and behind approaching US strike groups. They would fire their heat-seeking missiles at targets with an excellent background of nothing but sky, then dive out to low altitude and head home unmolested.

One of the other reasons why the USAF did so poorly is that, according to the lecturer, fighter-versus-fighter tactics had been deleted from their pilot curriculum after the Korean War. Only the veteran pilots who hadflown in WW2 and Korea had any dogfighting skills. The lecturer mentioned discussions with Vietnam era pilots who stated to him quite openly that they had no idea of dogfighting tactics to the extent that they didn't know what a high or low yo-yo or a vector roll was.

RAF_OldBuzzard
08-22-2008, 01:36 PM
Oh, I know how crowded the airspace was. I was in the 5th Tactical Air Control Group. We setup radar installations all over the place to help keep the Fast Movers from running into each other.

Thing is, we knew then the NVAF guys were taking off, but ROE wouldn't allow for going after them, or chasing them past the border when they were bugging out. With the radar coverage we had, 'friendly fire' incidents in the air would not have been a major concern.

Everyone was under control, and it would only have been be a matter of vectoring certain flights to the proper airspace, and keeping the others out of it. It was done all the time in mud moving missions, and air-air intercept missions would have worked the same way.

I was there, and I can tell you, the fighter guys hated the ROE with a passion.

LEXX_Luthor
08-22-2008, 01:42 PM
The F-104 with zero kills was the most successful escort fighter in Vietnam, as the MiGs stayed on the ground then. I would have too. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Outlaw---
08-22-2008, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
The Russian built aircraft were noticeably smaller than the American, they put out a much dirtier exhaust plume, and they were painted quite a bit differently.


From what I've read it was the Phantom that was recognizable by its exhaust trail and the Migs were more difficult to acquire visually b/c of their small size and cleaner exhaust.

--Outlaw.

Buzzsaw-
08-22-2008, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by RAF_OldBuzzard:
Thing is, we knew then the NVAF guys were taking off, but ROE wouldn't allow for going after them, or chasing them past the border when they were bugging out.

The VPAF Fighters which headed north over the border into Chinese airspace after making their attack runs were using a tactic which may have not been to the liking of the USAF, but which worked. And if the USAF had gone after them in Chinese airspace, they would have caused more problems than they solved, since then the Chinese would have become directly involved on the Vietnamese War, something which was not happening to any great degree up till then. Most of the aid to Vietnam came from the USSR since the Vietnamese had deliberately decided to become a client of the USSR not the Chinese, because the Vietnamese Politburo did not trust the Chinese and did not want to allow Chinese into their country in any numbers. As we all know, the Chinese tried to bully Vietnam in 1979 by invading with 200,000 troops. (and got their nose bloodied rather badly too by the veteran Vietnamese Army, some 60,000 Chinese PLA casualties, despite the Vietnamese only having 70,000 troops to defend the border area http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

If the US had sent aircraft into Chinese airspace, then suddenly they would have had thousands of Chinese Jets to deal with, not to mention the Chinese moving directly into Laos, which was a client state of theirs, as well as down into Cambodia. (the Khmer Rouge were Chinese clients, later the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge fought each other, the Vietnamese didn`t like having a Chinese supported government on their flank, then we had the strange situation of the US and China both supporting Pol Pot and the same genocidal group of nutcases against the Vietnamese who were doing everyone a favour by kicking the Khmer Rouge out of power.)

Bremspropeller
08-23-2008, 06:22 AM
A cleaned-up Rhino actually could mix it up with a MiG-21. Even more so with the slats, which were only introduced after the war.

The Rhino had a better t/w ratio than early Fishbeds and it had longer legs.
It's armament was superrior - especially with the later F-4E and it's gun up the nose.

The main problem against Fishbeds was their slashing-attack tactics:
they would scramble, climb above the american formation, approach from behind at supersonic speed, squeeze off two Atolls and then disengage into the ground clutter.
There's no way to get them - the show is over before anyone realizes there's something going on (unless Disco or Red Crown had a clue about the bandits...).

It's very hard to counter those attacks, and especially the heavyly-laden Thuds had lot's of trouble with that tactics.

As was already mentioned, the Thud-crews took the brunt of the fighting - they had the highest casualties of the aircrews, mostly due to AAA.

It's really touching, reading Ed Rasimus' book "When Thunder Rolled", about diving in (supersonic), and seeing football-sized 85mm rounds buzz by your canopy, knowing that a single hit would turn your million-dollar Thud into a spectacular pyrotechnic bang-and-boom show.

Vietnam-era literature is really gripping: lot's of real heroes that didn't have the luck to be at the right spot at the right time, but constantly demanding the most of themselves and their fellows.
Doesn't matter if that's Jolly Green drivers, Sandy-drivers, FACs, Tanker crews extending much further into hostile airspace than approved, flight-members circleing above a downed pilot deep inside North-Vietnam not letting anyone come close to their downed mates.
Ever heard of refueling a Thud that isn't even anymore flying on fumes?
Most of these people are not widely-known, but it was them that kept the war running - it was their professionalism and pride.

It wasn't some *ss-hatted Randy Cunningham that kept the batttle alive, it was warriors like you and me just trying to give their best to get the job done.

stalkervision
08-23-2008, 07:39 AM
for most of the air war over vietnam Mig 21's were in very short supply to the N.V. Airforce. They had to use them wisely.

Blutarski2004
08-23-2008, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by Bremspropeller:
A cleaned-up Rhino actually could mix it up with a MiG-21. Even more so with the slats, which were only introduced after the war.

The Rhino had a better t/w ratio than early Fishbeds and it had longer legs.
It's armament was superrior - especially with the later F-4E and it's gun up the nose.

The main problem against Fishbeds was their slashing-attack tactics:
they would scramble, climb above the american formation, approach from behind at supersonic speed, squeeze off two Atolls and then disengage into the ground clutter.
There's no way to get them - the show is over before anyone realizes there's something going on (unless Disco or Red Crown had a clue about the bandits...).

It's very hard to counter those attacks, and especially the heavyly-laden Thuds had lot's of trouble with that tactics.

As was already mentioned, the Thud-crews took the brunt of the fighting - they had the highest casualties of the aircrews, mostly due to AAA.

It's really touching, reading Ed Rasimus' book "When Thunder Rolled", about diving in (supersonic), and seeing football-sized 85mm rounds buzz by your canopy, knowing that a single hit would turn your million-dollar Thud into a spectacular pyrotechnic bang-and-boom show.

Vietnam-era literature is really gripping: lot's of real heroes that didn't have the luck to be at the right spot at the right time, but constantly demanding the most of themselves and their fellows.
Doesn't matter if that's Jolly Green drivers, Sandy-drivers, FACs, Tanker crews extending much further into hostile airspace than approved, flight-members circleing above a downed pilot deep inside North-Vietnam not letting anyone come close to their downed mates.
Ever heard of refueling a Thud that isn't even anymore flying on fumes?
Most of these people are not widely-known, but it was them that kept the war running - it was their professionalism and pride.

It wasn't some *ss-hatted Randy Cunningham that kept the batttle alive, it was warriors like you and me just trying to give their best to get the job done.


..... A very big thumbs up.

M_Gunz
08-23-2008, 08:59 AM
As Cunningham and his RIO told it on one of those Dogfights shows (first one, IIRC) his plane
was shot down by a SAM which ended the mission, not from running out of fuel. They rode it
until it crossed over water before ejecting, again by their own words.

Also by their words, when a MiG-21 showed up it was a good idea to get out of Dodge.

Problem with the Phantom was not having cannon from the start nor internal cannon.

That business of 10:1 in favor of US over Korea.... don't believe it.

When Russians want to compare MiG-21's killed vs Phantoms killed without regards for what-all
else did the killing then the comparison only says agenda-driven statistics-lies to me.

As above, you find truth from governmental agencies regardless of what country.

cmorris975
08-23-2008, 09:24 AM
Good discussion; thanks for the input all. I realize the issue is highly complex, that statistic from Yefim Gordon just really shocked me. Over 100 F-4s shot down by Mig-21s alone? Didn't fit my, admittedly limited, knowledge of that particular air war.

Vidar_1
08-23-2008, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by idonno:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">According to Russian records...

That information was recorded by a (then) communist country, so I would trust those numbers about as far as I can throw a MiG-21.

I'm not saying that there is no possibility of errors in the U.S. figures, and certainly all governments are capable of lying, but communist governments are sustained by lies. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
+1
No one is defending communist states but government control of figures and opinion is universal. Just look at the mideast right now. In Vietnam you had reporters running around getting stories and pictures that changed the public opinion on the war. The military has learned this lesson well and now controls media through the "embedded" reporter program.

Why do we only have "embedded" reporters now? It's not as ostensibly claimed for their own protection but to control the stories coming out period.

Any reporter that deviates from the story/picture officially sanctioned and promoted get's kicked out. Talk about coocking numbers and controling the public. Not as brutal or direct as the communist way but still quite effective http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Vidar_1
08-23-2008, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
As Cunningham and his RIO told it on one of those Dogfights shows (first one, IIRC) his plane
was shot down by a SAM which ended the mission, not from running out of fuel. They rode it
until it crossed over water before ejecting, again by their own words.

Also by their words, when a MiG-21 showed up it was a good idea to get out of Dodge.

Problem with the Phantom was not having cannon from the start nor internal cannon.

That business of 10:1 in favor of US over Korea.... don't believe it.

When Russians want to compare MiG-21's killed vs Phantoms killed without regards for what-all
else did the killing then the comparison only says agenda-driven statistics-lies to me.

As above, you find truth from governmental agencies regardless of what country.

IMHO Cunningham did a big no-no on the 10th of May 1972 when he (F-4) engaged Vietnamese ace Col Tomb (Mig-17). It ended well for Cunningham but to get into a knife fight with a Mig-17 seems like bad judgement the outcome notwithstanding.

Enforcer572005
08-23-2008, 09:46 AM
Rest assured that in no war, no where, did the Migs of any variation defeat the F-4s of the opposition on a regular basis. There are all these variables about circumstances etc, but when the real fights got going (like during linebacker), the F-4s came out ahead. Gun or no gun, navy or USAF or USMC, well flown F-4s usually came out on top in the overall picture.

I know a retired col who flew three tours in nam, in 104Cs, 105s, and F-4Ds. He never got any mig kills on the rare occurrence of them showing up, but said that the rules of engagement were so absurd that for some period of time in the sixties they couldn't go after them until AFTER they had been fired on. Now that was stupid.

They would often just come sit off their wing about a mile out, in plain view, because they knew the Americans couldn't do jack about it. Then they'd just break off after relaying thier position home.

A far more accurate view of F-4 v Mig-21 would be the middle east, especially in Isreali hands, and even in Iranian hands. F-4s ruled the day in both cases.

Admittedly there weren't too many Soviet pilots flying them, but still......

and as far as the kill loss ratio over Korea, it may not have been 10 to 1, but it was still outrageously high, at least around 7 or 8 to 1. And the 1 was usually lost to a Soviet pilot, of which there were quite a few.

Now THAT kill loss ratio hasn't been established and never will, but it was alot closer, between US and Soviet pilots that is.

Bremspropeller
08-23-2008, 10:10 AM
There never was any "Col Tomb/ Toon".
It's entirely made up.

And Cunningham really was fortunate to survive this last fight.

idonno
08-23-2008, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by Vidar_1:
Why do we only have "embedded" reporters now? It's not as ostensibly claimed for their own protection but to control the stories coming out period.

Any reporter that deviates from the story/picture officially sanctioned and promoted get's kicked out. Talk about coocking numbers and controling the public. Not as brutal or direct as the communist way but still quite effective http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

I am a combat photographer with the Army reserve. I spent eleven months in Iraq last year, and for eight of those months I was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Multi-National Corps (Iraq), Imagery Management Team. I know what kind of information gets released to the public and why, and I can tell you that the level of information control is nothing at all like you would see in a communist country.

The reason reporters are controlled to the extent that they are is not to ensure that only "officially sanctioned" stories get out, but to protect our troops and their operations. All you have to do is watch the nightly news to see the truth about that "officially sanctioned" nonsense. Do you really think the stories you see there are the kind of thing that a military would happily sign-off on? Do you?

While I was over there and had access to the the Armed Forces Network, I would see stories from military journalists about the good that was happening in Iraq, and I'd get really annoyed at the fact that all you get from the civilian media was the same old "this war is lost" "Bush is an idiot" BS! Of course, now someone will say I was falling for the Army's propaganda. The problem with that is I was there, I saw for myself the way things are.

The real propaganda coming out of Iraq is not from the government, but from the major news outlets who spoon feed you only the information about what's going on over there that will promote their agenda.

Blutarski2004
08-23-2008, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by idonno:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Vidar_1:
Why do we only have "embedded" reporters now? It's not as ostensibly claimed for their own protection but to control the stories coming out period.

Any reporter that deviates from the story/picture officially sanctioned and promoted get's kicked out. Talk about coocking numbers and controling the public. Not as brutal or direct as the communist way but still quite effective http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

I am a combat photographer with the Army reserve. I spent eleven months in Iraq last year, and for eight of those months I was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Multi-National Corps (Iraq), Imagery Management Team. I know what kind of information gets released to the public and why, and I can tell you that the level of information control is nothing at all like you would see in a communist country.

The reason reporters are controlled to the extent that they are is not to ensure that only "officially sanctioned" stories get out, but to protect our troops and their operations. All you have to do is watch the nightly news to see the truth about that "officially sanctioned" nonsense. Do you really think the stories you see there are the kind of thing that a military would happily sign-off on? Do you?

While I was over there and had access to the the Armed Forces Network, I would see stories from military journalists about the good that was happening in Iraq, and I'd get really annoyed at the fact that all you get from the civilian media was the same old "this war is lost" "Bush is an idiot" BS! Of course, now someone will say I was falling for the Army's propaganda. The problem with that is I was there, I saw for myself the way things are.

The real propaganda coming out of Iraq is not from the government, but from the major news outlets who spoon feed you only the information about what's going on over there that will promote their agenda. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Hats off to you, ID.

Ironic, isn't it, that we have been living in times when our own "free press" has itself been guilty of censoring our news.

M_Gunz
08-23-2008, 01:59 PM
I know that there's a lot of idiots in the media who have not only no idea of military realities
since they're civilians from the get-go. More than a few couldn't deal with the tougher places
back home and do have storybook views, including a lot of law makers I can think of but;

Has the level of opposition and number of deaths been increasing or not?

This whole thing has not played out anything like what we were sold before it started, no way
starting with WMD's and since. We have to stay in this mess after making a start, we have no
clear opposition to crush and leave, other countries continue to pour people and resources in
and it's bleeding the country badly -- what's a dollar worth this month anyway?
So if there's people ticked off with Mr. All-for-it then maybe it's not just some vast liberal
conspiracy, most of the media isn't liberal except when viewed from the far right wing.

We're stuck in deep. Last time it was because we picked up what the French started, but this
one is all our own. The pre-WW2 GOP would be horrified, btw. Those were conservatives.

Stand to your glasses ready.....

Vidar_1
08-23-2008, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by idonno:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Vidar_1:
Why do we only have "embedded" reporters now? It's not as ostensibly claimed for their own protection but to control the stories coming out period.

Any reporter that deviates from the story/picture officially sanctioned and promoted get's kicked out. Talk about coocking numbers and controling the public. Not as brutal or direct as the communist way but still quite effective http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

I am a combat photographer with the Army reserve. I spent eleven months in Iraq last year, and for eight of those months I was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Multi-National Corps (Iraq), Imagery Management Team. I know what kind of information gets released to the public and why, and I can tell you that the level of information control is nothing at all like you would see in a communist country.

The reason reporters are controlled to the extent that they are is not to ensure that only "officially sanctioned" stories get out, but to protect our troops and their operations. All you have to do is watch the nightly news to see the truth about that "officially sanctioned" nonsense. Do you really think the stories you see there are the kind of thing that a military would happily sign-off on? Do you?

While I was over there and had access to the the Armed Forces Network, I would see stories from military journalists about the good that was happening in Iraq, and I'd get really annoyed at the fact that all you get from the civilian media was the same old "this war is lost" "Bush is an idiot" BS! Of course, now someone will say I was falling for the Army's propaganda. The problem with that is I was there, I saw for myself the way things are.

The real propaganda coming out of Iraq is not from the government, but from the major news outlets who spoon feed you only the information about what's going on over there that will promote their agenda. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, point taken. You have been there and I have not so I definitely will listen to what you say. Nothing beats first hand experience and actually being on site.

However, I find it hard to belive that the true reason that correspondents are not allowed to travel freely like in Nam has to do with the Army's concern for their well being or concerns that a combat photographer would actually compromise operations. I still believe it has more to do with controlling the picture of what is actually going on and avoiding a repetition of the bad publicity that was a part of Nam. I think in a few years we will find out the truth of what actually happened irrespective of what the "embedded" reporters wired at the time.

Talking about compromising operations: Check out the special report "Left of boom" on the Washington Post site. When I read that I could not belive it. It details US measures and countermeasures to combat IED's. It's got everything: statistics, naming technical systems, systems for detecting wires and radio controls, tactics used to combat emplacers, bomb makers and the trigger men, the works. Talk about giving the bad guys good intelligence. Just hope they don't read the WP.....

idonno
08-23-2008, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
...most of the media isn't liberal except when viewed from the far right wing.

You might as well be saying that the sun isn't hot. If the last few decades haven't already offered enough proof of the obvious, then just look at how the
media is falling all over itself in support of "the most liberal senator" presidential candidate, over the moderate candidate. I'm not even sure this is
worth the effort. If you can't already see something so obvious, then it must be that you simply don't want to. Take my word for it. The sun really is hot.


Originally posted by Vidar_1:

OK, point taken. You have been there and I have not so I definitely will listen to what you say. Nothing beats first hand experience and actually being on
site.

However,...

Here's another example of believing what you want to. Aren't you basically saying "You know what you're talking about, but I don't believe you anyway"?

And I'd still like your opinion on just how all the negative press is getting out there if the military is controlling the story. The military must really be
terrible at this story controlling business.


Originally posted by Vidar_1:
I think in a few years we will find out the truth of what actually happened irrespective of what the "embedded" reporters wired at the time.

So you believe that the reporters over there now have been there since day-one, will be there until the end, and have no way of getting the truth out of the
country until then (a few years from now)?

I'm really not trying to be insulting here, but you simply are not thinking this through. Reporters come-and-go over there all the time. There is nothing in
the world to stop them from telling "what actually happened." Nothing to stop them at all. And if the military did stop someone from reporting the truth
while they were over there, how long do you think it would be before that was the lead story once that reporter returned home?

It is the liberal bias in the news media, as well as in education and entertainment, that has so indoctrinated people over the last few decades that they can
neither see the obvious nor dispel the ridiculous for themselves by simply following a thought through to it's logical conclusion.

wags94
08-23-2008, 03:54 PM
Hello everybody. I honestly have not been paying attention to the arguement(s) below this message (my reply), but I need clarification as to whether what I heard about the Vietnam Air War (Air-to-Air portion) is true or not.

From what I've read and been told, the U.S. went into this war, with new weapons (missiles and guided weapons, etc.) and still got our butts waxed by this Vietnamese 'peasant' Air Force. From what I've been told, this was because of reliability issues with missiles (They malfunctioned too much) and the fact that ACM doctrine was no longer a big portion in U.S. Tactics. This lead to pilots not exactly knowing what to do in a dogfight with an NVA pilot trained in ACM. Along with this, the pilots who DID know what they were doing (probably WW2 and Korea vets.) were let down by their terrible missiles. All of this lead to a dismal Kill-death ratio of 2:1, in both the USN and USAF. This lead to the creation of "Top Gun." At Top Gun, pilot were trained in ACM and Air-to-Air tactics. Along with this, the founders of Top Gun, were dedicated to finding info about their missiles and why they are failing. These findings became known as 'The Ault findings.' These findings revealed that out of 100 AIM-7 'Sparrow' shots, only 2 had hit their targets, and only 1 of those hits had actually disabled the plane to the point were the pilot was either dead or had to eject. (Note: im not sure when these results were found all I know is that out of 100 shots 2 hit.) With this information the Top Gun instructors were able to teach around this diability and eventually raise the kill ratio in Vietnam to 12:1.

Vidar_1
08-23-2008, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by idonno:

So you believe that the reporters over there now have been there since day-one, will be there until the end, and have no way of getting the truth out of the
country until then (a few years from now)?

I'm really not trying to be insulting here, but you simply are not thinking this through. Reporters come-and-go over there all the time. There is nothing in
the world to stop them from telling "what actually happened." Nothing to stop them at all. And if the military did stop someone from reporting the truth
while they were over there, how long do you think it would be before that was the lead story once that reporter returned home?

It is the liberal bias in the news media, as well as in education and entertainment, that has so indoctrinated people over the last few decades that they can
neither see the obvious nor dispel the ridiculous for themselves by simply following a thought through to it's logical conclusion.

I think there was a window of opportunity in the beginning following the invasion of Iraq and to some time after the fall of Bagdad for correspondents to make sound journalistic reports. During this time it was the coalition IMHO that controlled reporters by not allowing them unfettered access similar to Nam. Now this is no longer possible since all westerners have become targets so there is today no need to control their movements like it was initially.

Tell me how many reporters dare to move about today without a package of security contractors? My point is that many reporters report from their hotels or move in areas that are deemed secure by the coalition and security contractors. Another word for "secure" would be "areas we like you to see and report from".

If you want a good read on controlling the media and selling a particular flavour of how the war was going then I recommend the book Fiasco by Pulitzer price winner Thomas E. Ricks. You may be put of by the title but it's a good read and here is a quote in the initial part of the book of what Senator John McCain thought about it at the time:

"Fiasco was both an instructive and saddening depiction-and an accurate one-of the serious mistakes that have been made in the conduct of this conflict. And I wish every American could read it."

If my memory does not fail me nearly all early reporting talked about "dead-enders" that were a passing problem and it took quite a while before the truth about the scale of the insurgency came to light. IMHO this was due to the fact that this was the picture spoon fed to the "embedded" reporters who took a while before they caught on to the truth which could help explain that the military today find civilian reporters so hostile. If you get led down the garden path it takes a while before you learn to trust again.

Just my 2 cents..

thefruitbat
08-23-2008, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by idonno:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Vidar_1:
Why do we only have "embedded" reporters now? It's not as ostensibly claimed for their own protection but to control the stories coming out period.

Any reporter that deviates from the story/picture officially sanctioned and promoted get's kicked out. Talk about coocking numbers and controling the public. Not as brutal or direct as the communist way but still quite effective http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

I am a combat photographer with the Army reserve. I spent eleven months in Iraq last year, and for eight of those months I was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Multi-National Corps (Iraq), Imagery Management Team. I know what kind of information gets released to the public and why, and I can tell you that the level of information control is nothing at all like you would see in a communist country.

The reason reporters are controlled to the extent that they are is not to ensure that only "officially sanctioned" stories get out, but to protect our troops and their operations. All you have to do is watch the nightly news to see the truth about that "officially sanctioned" nonsense. Do you really think the stories you see there are the kind of thing that a military would happily sign-off on? Do you?

While I was over there and had access to the the Armed Forces Network, I would see stories from military journalists about the good that was happening in Iraq, and I'd get really annoyed at the fact that all you get from the civilian media was the same old "this war is lost" "Bush is an idiot" BS! Of course, now someone will say I was falling for the Army's propaganda. The problem with that is I was there, I saw for myself the way things are.

The real propaganda coming out of Iraq is not from the government, but from the major news outlets who spoon feed you only the information about what's going on over there that will promote their agenda. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

First, much respect to you for your line of work.

Secondly to illustrate a point you made:

"The reason reporters are controlled to the extent that they are is not to ensure that only "officially sanctioned" stories get out, but to protect our troops and their operations"

I'll repeat briefly a small part, of an account a leuitenat colonel in the para's once gave in a lecture i was present at, about the battle of goose green in the falklands when he was then a 2nd leuitenat.

It concern's when they were on there approach march to goose green, and were resting at a farm(ruined i think, can't remeber for sure). A BBC world reporter was with them, and proudly broadcast live on BBC world service, how he was with the paras at such and such place. The para's vacated quickly, just before the first shells started landing...

Thirdly, i would like to ask you, as you will obviously have much more understanding of the constraints and regs than me. Do you think that the west is impossibly dissadvantaged, by the very fact that it has to try to report as accurately and non biased as it can, when it is up against internet broadcasts, by people who have no such adgenda, indeed who can blatantly post anything they want, with audience willing to belive regardless?

cheers fruitbat

roybaty
08-23-2008, 05:15 PM
The early F4s also lacked a gun, so they couldn't engage BVR because they needed visual confirmation, and when it got tight the Sparrows were useless, and the Sidewinders were a cr@pshoot.

Also the Mig-21s basically attacked Thuds, and attack aircraft that couldn't compete air to air. The Mig-21s stayed away from fighter aircraft like F4 and F8s. Operation Bolo was used to trick the NVAF Mig-21s to engage what they thought were Thuds, but were in fact F4s http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. Operation Bolo pretty much marginalized the Mig-21 threat thereafter http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

idonno
08-24-2008, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by thefruitbat:
Do you think that the west is impossibly dissadvantaged, by the very fact that it has to try to report as accurately and non biased as it can, when it is up against internet broadcasts, by people who have no such adgenda, indeed who can blatantly post anything they want, with audience willing to belive regardless?

Maybe I'm reading this question too broadly, but I'd say that I'm no more qualified to answer this than any other thinking person, and you've probably already concluded, as I have, that the situation you've illustrated certainly doesn't help the west in the court of world public opinion.

Blutarski2004
08-24-2008, 04:19 AM
Originally posted by idonno:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by thefruitbat:
Do you think that the west is impossibly dissadvantaged, by the very fact that it has to try to report as accurately and non biased as it can, when it is up against internet broadcasts, by people who have no such adgenda, indeed who can blatantly post anything they want, with audience willing to belive regardless?

Maybe I'm reading this question too broadly, but I'd say that I'm no more qualified to answer this than any other thinking person, and you've probably already concluded, as I have, that the situation you've illustrated certainly doesn't help the west in the court of world public opinion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... IMHO, we are not so much in a shooting war that involves some degree of propaganda as we are in a propaganda war that involves some degree of shooting.

Vidar_1
08-24-2008, 05:51 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
..... IMHO, we are not so much in a shooting war that involves some degree of propaganda as we are in a propaganda war that involves some degree of shooting.
+1 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif