The Oil Campaign 1944–45

The Oil Campaign 1944–45

Draining the Wehrmacht's lifeblood

Air Campaign 30
  • Author: Steven J. Zaloga
  • Illustrator: Edouard A. Groult
  • Short code: ACM 30
  • Publication Date: 23 Jun 2022
  • Number of Pages: 96
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About this Product

A new illustrated history of one of the key air campaigns of late World War II - the American effort to cripple Germany's oil production, and grind its armed forces to a halt.

With retreating German forces losing their oilfields on the Eastern Front, Germany was reliant on its own facilities, particularly for producing synthetic oil from coal. However, these were within range of the increasingly mighty Allied air forces. In 1944 the head of the US Strategic Air Forces, General Carl Spaatz was intent on a new campaign that aimed to cripple the German war machine by depriving it of fuel.

The USAAF's Oil Campaign built up momentum during the summer of 1944 and targeted these refineries and plants with its daylight heavy bombers. Decrypted German communications made it clear that the Oil Campaign was having an effect against the Wehrmacht. Fuel shortages in the autumn of 1944 forced the Luftwaffe to ground most of its combat units except for fighters involved in the defense of the Reich. Fuel shortages also forced the Kriegsmarine to place most of its warships in harbor except for the U-boats and greatly hampered German army campaigns such as the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944-45.

This fascinating book packed with key photos and illustrations examines the controversies and debates over the focus of the US bombing campaign in the final year of the war, and the impact it had on the war effort overall.

Biographical Note

Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in History from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over three decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union. He currently lives in Maryland.

Contents

INTRODUCTION
CHRONOLOGY
ATTACKER'S CAPABILITIES
Allied bomber strength in 1944
Royal Air Force
US Army Air Forces
DEFENDER'S CAPABILITIES
Luftflotte reich
Luftwaffe organization
Luftwaffe daylight tactics
Luftwaffe night tactics
Luftwaffe Flak
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES
The crucial commodity
The Oil Plan
THE CAMPAIGN
Collapsing the German war economy
Mission 353: May 12, 1944
Ploesti attacks resume
Impact of the initial Oil Campaign
German countermeasures
Bomber Command joins the battle
Post-invasion USSTAF Oil Campaign
August Oil Campaign
Ploesti subdued
Summer assessment
The Fall 1944 Oil Campaign
October missions
The November reprieve
Hitler's December gamble
Bodenplatte
January 1945
Luftwaffe demoralization
The February decline
The final campaign
ANALYSIS
FURTHER READING
INDEX


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