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Fifteenth Air Force Books

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Available from Scarecrow Press

Special offer. 30% off list price. Download order form.

Errata for first 250 copies

In Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis: Combat Missions over Europe during World War II, Kevin 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 chapter covers one month of combat from November 1943 through the final combat mission on May 1, 1945 and includes an introduction describing developments in the evolution of the strategic air campaign against the Germans that month, highlights the purpose and importance of the month’s operations, reviews the Luftwaffe’s resistance and changes in its tactics, and reviews important development of the 15th 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.

 Appendices include for short essays about bombing operations, fighter operations, the training and combat tours of combat crews, aircraft flown, and the Fifteenth Air Force command structure, the use of intelligence, photo and weather reconnaissance, and the considerable effect of weather on Fifteenth Air Force operations.

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Available from Zenith Press

Commencing operations on November 1, 1943, the Fifteenth Air Force was the direct descendant of the American Ninth and Twelfth Air Forces which had fought in the Mediterranean since the summer of 1942. Moving from North African bases to those in southern Italy, its crews began their series of missions over the Alps to targets inaccessible to other Allied bomber forces based in England. Attacking oil refineries, railyards, aircraft plants, and other important infrastructure, the Fifteenth worked to cripple the German war effort and give the Allies the upper hand in the ongoing air war. Although enemy fighter planes were a major menace, the challenging weather over the Alps and the ubiquitous presence of antiaircraft fire—flak—also took a toll on American bombers throughout the campaign. Featuring captivating photography and eyewitness accounts from the men who survived these missions, Bombing Europe puts you in the cockpit of
these bombers and fighters that helped win the war.

Created in November 1943, the Fifteenth Air Force took the air battle against the Axis to areas throughout Europe that Allied bombers based in England could not reach. Its brave crews—in B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers escorted by P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt, and P-51 Mustang fighters—flew crucial missions to southern Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, including the oil refineries at Ploieşti, Romania, all vital locations to the Nazi war effort. Contending with well-trained enemy fighters, flak, and the challenges of uncertain weather, the Fifteenth’s hard-won successes made a significant contribution to the victory over Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. With riveting text that draws from numerous firsthand accounts and over two hundred stunning archival images, Bombing Europe tells the story of the brave airmen who flew into enemy territory and dropped bombs from the skies all over Europe in an effort to win World War II.

 

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