The Strategic Bombing Campaign of World War II played a critical role in defeating the Axis powers. The Fifteenth Air Force played a significant role in that campaign. Twentieth-century military historian, Kevin A Mahoney, gives the reader the Fifteenth Air Force Against the Axis: Combat Mission over Europe in World War II by providing a 'detailed combat history of the crucial role played by this air force from November 1943 through May 1945. Presented by month in chronological order, Mahoney describes all the major bombing and fighter missions ... it highlights the purpose and importance of the month's operations, and reviews the Luftwaffe's resistance and changes in tactics and important developments in the Fifteenth Air Force's organization.' Each chapter includes: an introduction; the evaluation of the strategic campaign; the purpose and highlights of that month's operations; the Luftwaffe's resistance and changes in tactics; and alterations in the overall makeup of the Fifteenth Air Force's organization. We see the day-by-day, month-by-month, and year-by-year losses to the crews and aircraft, the shifts in targets, and an overview of how the general war was progressing. In addition to the usual notes and table of contents, the sources and bibliography is simply marvelous as are the four appendixes and list of individual targets. A sample of a typical entry is on page 170: July 6 1944. We learn of attacks in Verona, Italy by fifty-three B-17's with an escort of thirty-six P-51s by parts of two Bomb Groups on railroad marshaling yards. The flak was intense and a smoke screen was present, in addition to being attacked by four German fighters (which they confirmed one shot down), they lost one bomber and one fighter themselves. Details like this extend for several more paragraphs. This work is highly recommended. American Reference Books Annual If you're really interested in details about Fifteenth Air Force in World War II, this is the best book out on the topic. Air Power HistoryVom Verlag:
In Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis: Combat Missions over Europe during World War II, Kevin A. Mahoney provides a detailed combat history of the crucial role played by this air force from November 1943 through May 1945. Presented by month in chronological order, Mahoney describes all the major bombing and fighter missions carried out by this air force within a strategic context. Each chapter includes an introduction describing developments in the evolution of the strategic air campaign against the Germans, highlights the purpose and importance of the month's operations, and reviews the Luftwaffe's resistance and changes in tactics and important developments in the Fifteenth Air Force's organization. Each monthly narrative further explores most missions, detailing the number of aircraft lost during these missions. Losses are based on an exhaustively researched database compiled by Mahoney that contains details of almost 3,000 aircraft. Target damage is mentioned, while enemy opposition is also described for each mission. Appendices include four short essays on bombing operations (planning and flying of missions, tactics and techniques, bomb types, and bombing accuracy), tactics employed by fighter escort in aerial combat and strafing, combat crews and their aircraft (including a comparison of American fighters and bombers, the training of the crews, and their combat tours), and the Fifteenth Air Force command structure (including the use of intelligence, photo and weather reconnaissance, and the considerable effect of weather on Fifteenth Air Force operations). This work of military history is ideal for students and scholars of the air war in Europe.
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