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1 Decatur Deb  Sat, May 28, 2011 7:40:22pm

The Amazon link didn't work. Here is another try.


2 Romantic Heretic  Sat, May 28, 2011 9:14:23pm

Interesting story. Don't often hear the stories of the people who were there these days.

Thanks for that.

3 Shiplord Kirel  Sat, May 28, 2011 11:45:45pm

The destruction of the German synthetic fuel industry was the strategic air forces' single most important contribution to allied victory. It was controversial at the time. British Air Marshall Arthur "Bomber" Harris had long opposed the specific targeting of key industries. He scoffed at what he called "panacea" targets and advocated the general targeting of whole cities, so-called "area bombing." This found its ultimate and most notorious expression in the destruction of Dresden a few weeks before the end of the war.

For a while, though, it appeared that Harris might be right. The Eighths' heroic unescorted attacks on the German ball bearing industry in 1943 were only a minor setback to the Reich war effort. A massive campaign against the German aircraft industry earlier in 1944 resulted in massive losses for the allies, but led the Germans to disperse their aircraft factories and actually increase production. Even the near-miraculous breaching of the Mohne and Eder dams by a special RAF unit in 1943, the famous Dam Busters raid, brought only a short disruption for the Germans.

With the syn-fuel plants, though, the target planners had finally found the Reich's Achilles heel. These facilities were easy to identify, spectacularly vulnerable, and impossible to disperse. They were also absolutely vital to the German war effort. They went up in flames one after another. By the end of the summer, the thousands of new planes coming off the German lines could not be flown for lack of fuel. The Ardennes offensive of late 1944 used up the Germans' last reserves of fuel. Of 1200 Me-262 jet fighter delivered to the Luftwaffe, only 200 ever went into combat--there was no fuel for the others and none to train new pilots.

4 Shiplord Kirel  Sun, May 29, 2011 12:21:16am

Bizarrely enough, Bomber Harris is something of an icon among the Anti-Germans, a sub-group of German communists who are both pro-Israel and pro-US. Odd as it seems to American sensibilities, this is a growing and influential movement on the German left. They are fond of such slogans as "Bomber-Harris, do it again!" and "Bomber-Harris Superstar - Thanks from the red Antifa"

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