Soviet war machines, British technology (1946)
The MiG-15 was the first really successful jet fighter, fielded in huge numbers by the Soviet Union and its allies during the late 1940s and early 50s. The plane’s success was down to its combination of a first-class airframe, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Bureau of Moscow, and a first-class engine, designed by the Rolls-Royce company of Derby, England.
When the Second World War ended in 1945, the Russians were lagging a long way behind Britain and America in jet technology. The following year the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, presented the Soviet Union with a fully functional Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet, complete with permission to produce it under licence, by way of thanks for the support the Soviets had given to Britain during the War.
In light of the subsequent polarization of the Cold War – which saw America and Britain on one side and Russia on the other – Attlee’s behaviour may appear to border on treason. But that wasn’t the case at the time. The Russians had been wartime allies of Britain just as much as the Americans had, and in political terms Attlee’s Labour Party was poised midway between Soviet-style communism and American-style capitalism. That was little consolation four years later, however, when British pilots found themselves up against the MiG-15 in the Korean War!
from "Conspiracy History" by Andrew May
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