A comprehensive account of the World War II Allied bombing campaign to destroy pivotal Romanian oil refineries—by the retired Marine Corps fighter pilot.
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. Stout’s account 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, as well as that of the fighters, the antiaircraft defenses, even the technique of obscuring the Ploesti complex with smoke.
Stout’s lucid presentation of complex issues at the tactical and strategic levels makes his narrative “a must for those with a special interest in the attacks on Ploesti” (World War II History Magazine).