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Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil Supply

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Unlike previous books on Ploesti, Jay Stout goes well beyond the famous big and bloody raid of August 1943 and depicts the entire 1944 strategic campaign of twenty-plus missions that all but knocked Ploesti out of the war and denied the German war machine the fuel and lubricants it so desperately needed.While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air camp Unlike previous books on Ploesti, Jay Stout goes well beyond the famous big and bloody raid of August 1943 and depicts the entire 1944 strategic campaign of twenty-plus missions that all but knocked Ploesti out of the war and denied the German war machine the fuel and lubricants it so desperately needed.While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air campaign to deny the Ploesti oil complex to the Axis powers, it is also a launching point for the author's inquiries into many aspects of the American strategic bombing effort in World War II. It delivers across the board. Stout, who served as a Marine F/A-18 pilot in the First Gulf War, asks questions about aviation combat history and technique that any modern combat pilot would be dying to ask. He carries the ball far beyond the goal post set by all other Ploesti historians. He has gone out of his way to describe the defenses throughout the campaign, and he brings in the voices of Ploesti's defenders to complement the tales of Allied airmen who brought Ploesti to ruin. He describes the role of the bombers, that of the fighters, the ant-aircraft defenses, even the technique of obscuring the Ploesti complex with smoke. In the end, Stout's narrative describes the entire Ploesti effort for the very first time in print, and, by proxy, guides the reader through the intricacies of the entire Allied strategic bombing campaign in Europe, and all the weapons and techniques the Axis powers used to parry it. His lucid presentation of complex issues at the tactical and strategic levels is impressive.Jay Stout's previous books include Hornets Over Kuwait, his Gulf War memoir and, as co-author, The First Hellcat Ace.


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Unlike previous books on Ploesti, Jay Stout goes well beyond the famous big and bloody raid of August 1943 and depicts the entire 1944 strategic campaign of twenty-plus missions that all but knocked Ploesti out of the war and denied the German war machine the fuel and lubricants it so desperately needed.While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air camp Unlike previous books on Ploesti, Jay Stout goes well beyond the famous big and bloody raid of August 1943 and depicts the entire 1944 strategic campaign of twenty-plus missions that all but knocked Ploesti out of the war and denied the German war machine the fuel and lubricants it so desperately needed.While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air campaign to deny the Ploesti oil complex to the Axis powers, it is also a launching point for the author's inquiries into many aspects of the American strategic bombing effort in World War II. It delivers across the board. Stout, who served as a Marine F/A-18 pilot in the First Gulf War, asks questions about aviation combat history and technique that any modern combat pilot would be dying to ask. He carries the ball far beyond the goal post set by all other Ploesti historians. He has gone out of his way to describe the defenses throughout the campaign, and he brings in the voices of Ploesti's defenders to complement the tales of Allied airmen who brought Ploesti to ruin. He describes the role of the bombers, that of the fighters, the ant-aircraft defenses, even the technique of obscuring the Ploesti complex with smoke. In the end, Stout's narrative describes the entire Ploesti effort for the very first time in print, and, by proxy, guides the reader through the intricacies of the entire Allied strategic bombing campaign in Europe, and all the weapons and techniques the Axis powers used to parry it. His lucid presentation of complex issues at the tactical and strategic levels is impressive.Jay Stout's previous books include Hornets Over Kuwait, his Gulf War memoir and, as co-author, The First Hellcat Ace.

30 review for Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil Supply

  1. 5 out of 5

    A.L. Sowards

    I recommend this book to readers interested in the Ploesti campaign and to readers who like reading about WWII dogfights. I found myself comparing it to Into the Fire, by Duane Schultz. Both are worth reading if you have an interest in the subject. Fortress Ploesti had more technical details and covered more of the campaign. It gave a good overview of how the effort to destroy the refineries fit into the overall air war in Europe. Stout did his research and was able to keep my attention. Some o I recommend this book to readers interested in the Ploesti campaign and to readers who like reading about WWII dogfights. I found myself comparing it to Into the Fire, by Duane Schultz. Both are worth reading if you have an interest in the subject. Fortress Ploesti had more technical details and covered more of the campaign. It gave a good overview of how the effort to destroy the refineries fit into the overall air war in Europe. Stout did his research and was able to keep my attention. Some of his chapters progressed chronologically, and some of them were more thematic and bounced around a bit. Into the Fire focused on the massive low-level raid in Aug 1943, following several of the air crews during the prep, the mission, and the aftermath. It reads more smoothly than Stout’s book. So if you want something that reads more like a story, go for Into the Fire. If you want the bigger picture, try Fortress Ploesti. Like I said above, both books are worth reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonny

    Not quite a wiki entry, but it's not far off. Part stories told, and most unforgivenly opinions hammered home with no attempt to look at the other side of the story, and biased judgements laid down. Half the book is padding dealing with technical aspects of the general USAAF effort in Europe that's been better written elsewhere. If you want to read about Operation Tidal Wave save your money and source a copy of The Ploesti Raid Through The Lens Not quite a wiki entry, but it's not far off. Part stories told, and most unforgivenly opinions hammered home with no attempt to look at the other side of the story, and biased judgements laid down. Half the book is padding dealing with technical aspects of the general USAAF effort in Europe that's been better written elsewhere. If you want to read about Operation Tidal Wave save your money and source a copy of The Ploesti Raid Through The Lens

  3. 4 out of 5

    carl theaker

    'Fortress Ploesti' is a good book to familiarize yourself with the air battles of the US 15th Air Force over the Oil Refinery Complex of Ploesti, Rommania. The first thing you learn is that the "i" in Ploesti is not pronounced (have you ever heard it not?). Author Stout covers the famous initial raid of August 1, 1943 in some detail, then gives short accounts, usually in the form of harrowing personal stories, of the following twenty plus raids. There is great information on the resources it took to 'Fortress Ploesti' is a good book to familiarize yourself with the air battles of the US 15th Air Force over the Oil Refinery Complex of Ploesti, Rommania. The first thing you learn is that the "i" in Ploesti is not pronounced (have you ever heard it not?). Author Stout covers the famous initial raid of August 1, 1943 in some detail, then gives short accounts, usually in the form of harrowing personal stories, of the following twenty plus raids. There is great information on the resources it took to build up such an air campaign and how the strategy was developed; transportation systems had top priority as targets, so it was worked out that some bombers would 'miss' the train marshaling yards and hit the nearby refineries. On the Axis side, I really appreciated the coverage of the Romanian and Bulgarian defensive efforts, something you don't often see. While there are a few stories, it is rather light on the German aspects, for example, there is no mention of the rocket-propelled ME-163 Komet. At 236 pages, the book is a good Reader's Digest version, something for those who just want an overview, or to get interested to read more. There are a good 32 pages of photos, also covering the Romanians and Bulgarians as well as helpful maps. A pair of Appendix provide stats on each raid. ------------------------------------------ I was inspired to read this book as I've a friend Bob Cook, who was a B-24 pilot with the 455th Bomb Group and flew on a couple of the raids. While those specific raids were covered, there wasn't a whole lot about them. However the chapters on training are just about exactly like the stories I've heard from Bob, down to the mascot monkey apparently every bomber crew picked up in Brazil. ------------------------------------------ Here's the effort it took to get a B-24 to the front lines. Rather amazing when you consider how many times it was done and the resources it took. This is Bob's story, the path almost exactly echoed in 'Fortress Ploesti': Langley, Va. Training base, travel to : Willowrun Ford Plant Detroit - pick out new B-24 fly back to : ( i have this image of tire kicking and do you have something with leather seats and a sunroof? ) Langley, Va- training, then fly to : Hempstead, NY - for upgrades & modifications to plane. instead of back to Langley, Army decided time to go to ETO. Fly to : Morrison Field, Florida - spend night Christmas Eve 1943 4AM Christmas morning fly to : Devil's Island - on the way over Puerto Rico, as B-24s were also used for Sub duty, was ordered to land. Bob told them they had the wrong plane, but still ordered to land. Once on ground they said they had the wrong plane, and didn't have room for them to stay, so they proceeded to Devil's Island at night, a place they'd never flown to plus over water. 1 night on Devil's then onto : (From 'Fortress' - a couple weeks later, Jan '44, 2 B-24s flying 5 days apart, disappeared on the same route, no trace.) Belem, Brazil - southern side of the mouth of the Amazon 1 night then onto : Fortaleza, Brazil - from here to : Dakar - 120F in the day. They were issued a blanket and they said what for? they said you'll curse us later for not giving you two. Went down to 40 that night. Put on their fur lined flight suits and put their cots together. One blanket on the bottom and one over the top of 2 men. Their teeth still chattered. Next stop: Marrakesh, French Morocco- then onto: Tunis - onto : Cerignola, Italy - final base Bob was shot down on his 2nd mission. Crash landed on beach in Allied area, but after all that, B-24 gone!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lew

    This is a good thorough book on the allied bombing campaign against the Romanian Oil refineries around Ploesti. Mr. Stout provide details on all the various aspects from actual missions to covering the Romania Fighter pilots.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Vroom

  6. 4 out of 5

    Roger Reuschel

  7. 4 out of 5

    leonard mellen

  8. 5 out of 5

    John Thomas

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kevin M.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charles McClure

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steven G. Lipke

  12. 5 out of 5

    Todd

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lance Waitz

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan J. Morris

  15. 4 out of 5

    Al

  16. 4 out of 5

    jerry thomas

  17. 5 out of 5

    Freda Volmer

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eric Hammel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  20. 5 out of 5

    James E. Cochran

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lance Waitz

  22. 4 out of 5

    Derek Kozlowski

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bogdan

  24. 5 out of 5

    George R.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julie K.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Takli

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Sergi

  30. 5 out of 5

    'Aussie Rick'

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