The Korean War’s air combat is best known for the duels of MiG-15s and F-86 Sabres in the world’s first jet-vs-jet matchups. An unusual sideshow to that was North Korea’s use of woefully obsolete WWII types as night harassment planes. They were called “Bedcheck Charlies” by the Americans.
(North Korean Po-2 “Mule” which was used as a Bedcheck Charlie plane, just as the Soviets had done during WWII.) (artwork via Wings Palette website)
(The MBR-2bis, another WWII Soviet plane used by the North Koreans for Bedcheck Charlie missions.)
(Two of the WWII-legacy American answers to the problem: a F4U-5NL Corsair and in the background, a F7F-3N Tigercat.)
Read More »
(North Korean troops march with WWII PPSh–41 submachine guns in 2016.)
In North Korea’s formative years (1945-1949) it’s army’s weapons were entirely WWII vintage; a mixture of Japanese, Chinese, and Soviet types. During the Korean War, the same was true, and in the immediate aftermath very obsolete Soviet guns and the ex-Japanese weaponry was discarded, but the others remained.
This is a look at WWII weapons in North Korean use after the Korean War and following the mass emergency rearmament the USSR and China undertook in the mid-1950s. It is not an exhaustive list, but rather some of the main types of WWII weapons that remained in use in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and even beyond; in some cases to the present time.
(North Korean T-34-85 tank filmed during 2012.)
Read More »