Thursday, 12 April 2012

10 Largest Air Battles in History

It all started in 202 BC when kites were used in China to inoculate fear into the minds of the opposition. Since then, there is no looking back; air combat has grown ever more fearsome and glorious that marks your authority in the battle like no other thing. Today, we take a look 10 most ferocious air battles of history.

No 10. Operation Mole Cricket 19  

It was a campaign launched by the Israeli Air Force against Syrian targets on June 9 in 1982. Approximately 100 aircrafts took place in the battle from both sides and eventually it turned out to be one of the biggest air battles since World War 2. The battle let to the imposition of a ceasefire on both countries from the US.

No 9. Namsi MiG Alley battle  

Fought on Oct. 23, 1951, the Namsi MiG Alley battle was the largest air battle of the Korean War. Also known as Black Tuesday, about 250 aircrafts took part in this fateful battle and it changed the way in which US conducted bombing raids for the remainder of the war.

No 8. Air Battle of El Mansoura  

It was one the largest air battles of the Yom Kippur War. It took place on October 19, 1973. The Israeli Air Force conducted a large air strike against the Egyptian Air Force base in El Mansoura aiming to destroy the 104th air wing. The Israeli planes were spotted while approaching by Egypt and consequently the 104th air wing scrambled its fighters, thereby averting annihilation. 164 aircrafts of the Israeli Air Force took part in the combat against 62 of Egypt’s.
More than 10 Israeli planes were shot down in the combat.

No 7. Battle of Leyte Gulf  

t is also considered to be the largest naval battle in history, apart from involving one of the biggest aerial combats of all time. The battle of Lyte Gulf comprised of 4 major battles: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle off Cape EngaƱo and the Battle off Samar. It took place from 23 to 26 October, 1944.

No 6. Operation Jubilee  

Also known as the Dieppe Raid, Operation jubilee took place on 19 August 1942 during World War 2. Over 1,000 aircrafts took part in the battle from the British side whereas at the end of the battle they lost about 107 of their planes in contrast to about forty of the Germans.

No 5. Black Friday 1945  

Black Friday refers to the largest air battle over Norway in World War 2 when British aircrafts waged battle against German ships and aircrafts. The battle took place over Sunnfjord on 9 February 1945. There were times during the battle when more than 50 aircrafts were engaged in a swirling battle overhead.

No 4. Air battle of St. Mihiel  

aking place from 12 to 16 of September in 1918, the air battle of St. Mihiel was the largest air battle the world had ever seen. 1476 planes from the Allies faced off with 500 German aircrafts. The battle took place during the worst of weathers. Col. William Mitchell was the chief of the Allies Air Service.
St. Mihiel Salient was a German frontline bulge into France 25 miles wide and 15 miles deep.  It was formed in 1914 when the Germans were preparing to attack Verdun.

No 3. Battle of the Philippine Sea – “The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”   

This battle involved almost 1,700 planes, 1000 US and 700 Japanese planes, and was one of the decisive battles of the Second World War. It took place on the 19th and 20th of June, 1944. It was fought between the US and Imperial Japan. It was more specifically an aircraft carrier battle and it took place off the Mariana Islands. The inexperience of the Japanese carrier crew and the obsolescence of their aircraft crew went on to become the reasons behind Japan’s ultimate demise.

No 2. Battle of Britain   

During World War 2, around 2,000 aircrafts from the British side and over 2,500 aircrafts from the Germans were involved in this battle. Battle of Britain was an air campaign waged by Germany from 10 July to 31 October in 1940 to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force. The campaign comprised of the most sustained aerial bombing campaign to that date by Germany. Ultimately, Germany failed to destroy the British air defenses.

No 1. Battle of Kursk   

The battle of Kursk involved the single costliest day of aerial warfare in history. It involved 2,100+ planes from the Germans and 2,700+ planes from the Soviet Union. It took place from the 4th of July to 23rd of August in 1943. The Red Army emerged victorious and marked the first successful Soviet summer offensive of the war.

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