LOW LEVEL MISSION by Leon Wolff

LOW LEVEL MISSION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The demolition of the Ploesti petrol refineries in Rumania proved to be of serious, perhaps decisive consequence to the outcome of World War II. Given the background of the AAF with regard to origin and status among high military personnel, the author examines the aerial attacks on Ploesti to determine what effects they had strategically, what mistakes were made and corrected, how they influenced the development of air power. Prior to the famous attack in August 1943 there had been no major low-level aerial operations, and Ploesti, by virtue of its critical strategic value, became a testing-ground for the theories and calculations of the tacticians. The scale was enormous in terms of men, hours and equipment, but, tragically, the mission demonstrated a vast discrepancy between the efforts and the results. The timing was imperfect; unanticipated weather conditions disorganized the fleet; the element of surprise was lost; targets which had been assigned to one group were taken by another! above all statistical evaluation showed that no immediately significant damage had been rendered. Subsequent attacks which finished the job used different methods- high altitude flying escorted by fighter planes. In spite of the thematic confusion, the dramatic and interest value of this book rated high for this reader.

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 1957
Publisher: Doubleday