Fury From The North: The North Korean Air Force in the Korean War, 1950-1953 Book Review
|Date of Review||May 2019||Title||Fury From The North: The North Korean Air Force in the Korean War, 1950-1953|
|Author||Douglas C. Dildy||Publisher||Helion|
|Format||96 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$29.95|
Douglas C. Dildy conveniently closes a yawning gap in popular Cold War histories with Fury From The North: The North Korean Air Force In The Korean War, 1950-1953 – seventh in Helion’s growing “Asia@War” range.
And what an enjoyable, entertaining, and illuminating effort it is.
Dildy succinctly surveys the surprising swath of Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) wartime operations: interception, bombardment, ground attack, close support, night harassment, and even maritime strike. And he does so across 12 admirably annotated, chronologically arranged chapters:
- How to Build an Air Force
- Initial Offensive Operations
- The 56th Fighter Aviation Regiment in Action
- Rebuilding the KPAF – With a Little Help From Their Friends
- Return to Battle
- The KPAF Joins the Jet Age
- A Winter of Jets and Biplanes
- The Spring of Change
- Fighting at Night
- New Jets for the KPAF
- The Beginning of the End
- Ending the War
Rare period photos, color museum shots, maps, and tables augment the effort. And Tom Cooper’s superb color art – 24 profiles with insets – sample the spectrum of KPAF camouflage and markings.
Alas, North Korea remains among the world’s most brutal, secretive societies. And the lack of reference photos forced Cooper to hypothesize some details. Other artists, for instance, placed that KPAF “striped” scheme on La-9s – not on La-11s.
Lists of abbreviations, references, and endnotes complete coverage. Just relish the revelations – and forgive Dildy’s diction, agreement, and punctuation mistakes. “None” is singular, for instance.
Know, too, that the verb “were” in Chapter 1’s concluding quote is a grammatically correct example of the subjunctive mood – not an error, as the author suggests.
Finally, just one annotation usually covers each paragraph’s contents – obscuring precise sources of multiple details therein. Readers must therefore sift through endnote references for, say, a specific quotation’s origin.
Technical critiques aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Dildy’s slim study. And until North Korea opens archives to scholarly research, it will likely remain our best introduction to KPAF operations during the Korean War.
My sincere thanks to Casemate Publishing for this review sample!