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Thursday, May 16th 2019, 12:57am

Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Sunday, 20 March 1949

Magundayao wondered why the mission had bothered to visit Yugoslavia, despite the Yugoslav’s avid interest in selling hardware to his nation. All things considered, there was little available here that the Philippines needed, or could not acquire elsewhere at lower cost, or, as important, delivered far sooner.

The Yugoslav’s M48 ‘Kurjak’ medium tank was interesting from a performance perspective, but it had only just entered production; relatively few were emerging from the factory at this point, which the Yugoslavs themselves admitted. The Yugoslav’s M47 recoilless gun was an excellent antitank weapon, and Magundayao supposed that with a bottomless purse it would be a useful acquisition – but the mission’s shopping list was long.

Nevertheless, on the morrow, members of the mission would be treated to a demonstration of weaponry at the Yugoslav Army’s Cepotina cantonment. Magundayao would try to keep an open mind.


Friday, May 17th 2019, 7:26pm

The Manila Times, Wednesday, 23 March 1949

The Philippine Aircraft Development Company’s Model 900 “Papan” light utility transport made its first flights yesterday, accumulating more than three hours’ flying time and demonstrating excellent short-field capability and safety. Following further tests it is expected that the prototype will be lent to Philippine Air Lines, who has already placed an order for ten production machines, the first of which is scheduled for delivery in December of this year.


Monday, May 20th 2019, 11:55pm

Kurier Warszawski, Friday, 25 March 1949

Members of the Philippine Military Technical Commission were greeted today at the Warszawa-Okęcie aerodrome by the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the General Staff. The Philippine Mission has come to evaluate products of the Państwowe Wytwórnie Uzbrojenia for potential use by the Philippine armed forces. The Philippine commission has made known its desire to examine the 32TP Lwica medium tank.


Thursday, May 23rd 2019, 9:44pm

Hôtel de Vendôme, Paris, Monday, 28 March 1949

The Technical Mission had returned to Paris after scouring Western Europe for potential armaments for the Philippine Army, and had already spent several days comparing notes and considering their options before departing for Moscow. The forthcoming militariad would give an extended opportunity to observe how much of the equipment they had already examined on the parade ground would perform under field conditions. That evening Magundayao considered the priorities the Mission had to fulfill and how best it might accomplish it.

The three reconnaissance battalions of the mechanized brigades and six divisional cavalry regiments required complete re-equipment – even slashing the tables of equipment to the bone the requirements called for more than four hundred light armored vehicles of some type; throw in the armored regiments, and it would raise the potential purchases to more than six hundred. Even this would involve some units receiving hand-me-downs. The leading contenders in his mind at this point were the French Hotchkiss VLD series and the British Ferret/Saladin combination.

The Char 6D Bruyere needed to be replaced in the armored regiments. A fine vehicle for which there was still a place in the Army’s order of battle it lacked the punch to deal with the latest generation of Chinese tanks; if money were no object replacing them with the Polish 32TP Lwica would be an excellent choice, though in his own mind the British Centurion was a bruiser of a tank – good gun, good armor. A French counter offer however suggested a more economical alternative – replace most of the Char 6Ds in the armored regiments with the latest models of the Char 8 Montbrun, a bargain that was too good to pass up.

A demonstration of the French SH-20 Cigale and SH-40 Tourbillon helicopters had convinced him and the other members of the Mission that acquisition of such machines could not be delayed; from what the Malacañan had to say on the subject it was believed that a better arrangement might be made in Moscow. It was true that the Russian Federation was prepared to be generous in order to strengthen the Philippines at the expense of China. It was for this reason that me was personally holding off the tank decision until he could evaluate up close the Russian T-45 Grom.


Sunday, May 26th 2019, 9:51pm

Transradio Press Service, Paris, Wednesday, 30 March 1949

The Philippine Military Technical Mission departed today from Le Bourget airport on the first leg of its flight to Moscow. Having initially surveyed the major arms producers of Western Europe it will not visit the arsenals of the Russian Federation as well as attending the Militariad scheduled to commence next month.


Thursday, June 13th 2019, 7:44pm

Philippine News and Events, April 1949

Cavite, Sunday, 3 April 1949

The Russian-flagged Konstantin Petrovskiy had arrived in the outer harbor on the previous evening’s tide; she had been guided into the naval base by a pair of tugs and tied up at a heavily guarded pier. With the coming of dawn work commenced on off-loading her cargo – crates that were carefully lowered onto a succession of low-load trailers that departed in small convoys under military escort. Work went on throughout the day and into the early evening; and it would resume the following day. The truck-tractor combinations took their cargo to the factory of the Philippine Aircraft Development Company.


Wednesday, June 19th 2019, 2:50pm

Naval Operating Base Cavite, Tuesday, 5 April 1949

Kapitein-luitenant ter Zee Buis sat at his desk in the naval liaison’s office and read the week’s intelligence summary with a nagging sense of concern. There had been a noticeable uptick in the number of encounters between Philippine patrol vessels and Chinese fishing craft in the vicinity of the Kalayaan Islands. The incidents logged happened on the high seas, and there was nothing to indicate that the Chinese had entered Philippine waters, but fishing rights had been the cause of the last war; and both sides had continued to arm to the teeth.

The Philippine Government had adhered to the letter of the Treaty of Saigon – most of its installations in the archipelago were manned by the Philippine Constabulary rather than its army or navy, and ‘civilian’ contractors manned some of the smaller outposts. But in addition to the principal station at Itu Aba, observation and navigation posts were established on Likas, Storm, Parola, Pugad, Lawak, Bailan, and Kota Islands – giving the Philippines the ability to closely monitor ship and air traffic. This was, of course, a great boon to navigation – maritime strandings were down more than twenty percent in the last year alone – but Buis knew how valuable these installations would be in time of war.

The economic value of the islands had grown since the war as well – being a protected fishing area the Philippine fishing fleet drew much of its catch from those waters. Moreover, the guano deposits on Lawak and Storm Islands were now exploited, to the benefit of agriculture on Palawan and other islands in what his hosts considered the “Southern Seas”. Palawan had grown tremendously in value to the Philippine economy, and conflict would not only hamper but perhaps destroy the progress made to date.

He made an entry in his notebook for inclusion in his next report to Batavia.


Saturday, June 22nd 2019, 7:21pm

Mariveles, Bataan, Monday, 11 April 1949

Commander Stevens had crossed Manila Bay to the Bataan peninsula at the invitation of Don Enrique Barretto, senator and member of the Philippine Senate’s Naval Affairs Committee to visit his host’s boatyard at Mariveles. There he was shown the marine railways upon which a trio of motor torpedo boats were under construction for the Philippine Navy. He could see the keels set and the first ribs being fitted into place.

“These are the latest batch of boats for the Navy,” his host explained. “They are due to be turned over in late May for acceptance testing – so work proceeds apace.”

Stevens understood that even such cockleshells had their place in the defense of an archipelago like the Philippines. Darting out from a small island anchorage, hidden by dark of night, such craft could slip a couple of torpedoes into the side of an unsuspecting warship or transport. They might not grab the headlines of destroyers or cruisers but they added immeasurably to the punch of the Philippine Navy.


Wednesday, June 26th 2019, 8:27pm

The Freeman (Cebu), Friday, 15 April 1949

The San Fernando Naval Shipyard completed the coastal escorts Cernicalo and Esmerejon today, and following their acceptance and commissioning they will commence their trials and operational training. This class of vessel is designed to protect inter-island shipping from the depredations of hostile submarines, which caused great concern during the late hostilities with China. Coupled with the smaller Descubierta class gunboats presently in service and the Numancia class ocean escorts under construction, the small escorts of the Alcotan class will assure vital communications in the event of war.


Thursday, July 4th 2019, 3:17am

The Manila Herald, Sunday, 17 April 1949

Minister of Commerce Alejandro Melchor and other dignitaries visited Canlubang, Laguna, yesterday to preside at the formal dedication of the new factory of the Canlubang Spinning Mills Company. This state-of-the-art factory houses 560 Toyota automatic looms with 214,000 spindles, and when fully functional will have a capacity of approximately 150,000 bales of cotton cloth per year. It is expected that half its output will find vent abroad, significantly contributing to the nation’s balance of trade.


Saturday, July 6th 2019, 7:48pm

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Thursday, 21 April 1949

The Descubierta class antisubmarine gunboats Vigía and Atalaya called here yesterday, and are scheduled to depart for Manila on Sunday. They are in the last phase of their training and are due to be fully operational next month.


Saturday, July 13th 2019, 8:22pm

Manila, The American Embassy, Sunday, 24 April 1949

“They’re at it again!”

Commander Trevor Stevens stood on one of the balconies that dotted the façade of the embassy looking up in the sky over the city. For the last week the Philippine authorities had been air displays under the guise of ‘air defense exercises’. He had directed his comment to Major Collin Kelley, the air attache, his counterpart.

“Not another massed flight of bombers?” He grabbed a pair of binoculars from the table and stepped out onto the balcony. In the distance he could see a formation of the Philippine Air Force’s Vampire jet fighter bombers cruising over the city. He focused his attention on the formation and was able to note something unexpected at its rear.

“Good Lord! That’s a Russian MiG interceptor. That intelligence report must be true.”

A report had crossed his desk indicating that the Philippines had acquired the advanced Russian design but there had been no confirmation of it. Well, it could be confirmed now. The MiG was flanked by a Vampire on either flank and as the formation flew above the Malacañan Palace the MiG executed a steep climb, demonstrating its rocket-like climbing ability.



Sunday, July 14th 2019, 6:26pm

Sounds like the Americans are not impressed by those flying Russian cigars. :)


Tuesday, July 16th 2019, 3:09pm

Well so far nobody has any reason to be particularly impressed by the MiG-15. Yes its swept wing and offers good performance, but so far its largely an unknown.
I wonder if Jason was here whether we would have the Sabre to compare with.


Tuesday, July 16th 2019, 4:12pm

Well so far nobody has any reason to be particularly impressed by the MiG-15. Yes its swept wing and offers good performance, but so far its largely an unknown.

Correct. It's not being used in combat anywhere, and Russia isn't advertising its capabilities outside its allies and the two countries that have bought it for export (Bulgaria and the Philippines). Probably the only reason that anyone would pay attention to the MiG-15 at all at the moment is if they've managed to get a hold of Russia's production figures for the aircraft.

It's worth noting that the Germans (and Russians) also have the Bf329, which is a very similar aircraft, and it probably would receive more press in Wesworld than the MiG-15. This presumes that we don't end up with a MiG Alley somewhere, of course.


Tuesday, July 16th 2019, 4:35pm

Whether the historical F-86 Sabre might have been developed in the US by this time is an interesting question. Given the general stasis of the US, I think it would be wrong to assume so, with caveats.

Germany has shared jet engine technology with the US, so a US jet fighter program is not beyond belief. The question would be which direction would it have taken? Before answering that, I will affirm that Germany has not (yet) shared swept-wing data with the US; the Bf329 making its appearance after the last documented German-US exchange.

Possible directions?

1 - The historical P-59 - certainly possible, even probable, the P-39 airframe lending itself to conversion
2 - The historical P-80 - also possible, and certainly a design with greater promise
3 - The historical P-84/F-84 - maybe; depending how the Republic development line went without Seversky. I obtained from Jason her mission to use the image of the F-84 to illustrate the Fw340
4 - The historical P-86/F-86 - IMHO the Americans ought not be considered incapable of its development, just maybe not so fast.
5 - Then there are the historical F-87 and F-89 designs. At this point in time, there is no reason that they might not be in the works.


Tuesday, July 16th 2019, 4:54pm

I don't think it ended up in the encyclopedia, but Jason did firmly say that both the P-59 and P-80 made their appearance in the USAAF.


Tuesday, July 16th 2019, 7:08pm

I don't think it ended up in the encyclopedia, but Jason did firmly say that both the P-59 and P-80 made their appearance in the USAAF.

I cannot remember that in particular (though a search would no doubt disclose it) but it makes sense.


Wednesday, July 17th 2019, 9:35am

A quick search revealed one post by Jason:…0177#post140177

So it would seem that the F-86 would be in flying in prototype form now.
Given the USA has been NPC for a while now, and the different timeline, its export footprint is rather smaller than OTL, for example no P-80s have appeared outside the USA. So its probably unlikely that MiG versus Sabre will happen in WW.


Wednesday, July 17th 2019, 1:26pm

Thanks for posting that, which answers the question.