Item description for Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil by Jay A. Stout...
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.
While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air campaign to deny the Ploesti oil complex to the Axis powers, it 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, that of the fighters, the ant-aircraft defenses, even the technique of obscuring the Ploesti complex with smoke.
In the end, Stout's narrative describes the entire Ploesti effort for the very first time in print, and, by proxy, guides the reader through the intricacies of the entire Allied strategic bombing campaign in Europe, and all the weapons and techniques the Axis powers used to parry it. His lucid presentation of complex issues at the tactical and strategic levels is impressive.
Jay Stout's previous books include Hornets Over Kuwait, his Gulf War memoir and, as co-author, The First Hellcat Ace.
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Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jay A. Stout is a retired fighter pilot who works as a senior aviation analyst for one of the world's preeminent defense corporations. During his twenty-year military career he logged a remarkable 4,700 flight hours, including thirty-seven combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. His writing has been read on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and he has been widely hosted as an aviation and military expert on various television and radio news shows including Fox, NPR, and Al Jazeera. He is the author of Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America's Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II; Fighter Group: The 352nd "Blue-Nosed Bastards" in World War II; The Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe: The U.S. Army Air Forces Against Germany in World War II; Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers; Hammer from Above: Marine Air Combat Over Iraq; To Be a U.S. Naval Aviator; Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil Supply; The First Hellcat Ace; and Hornets Over Kuwait.
Reviews - What do customers think about Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil?
72 y o female response Jun 30, 2006
Very hard to read and much technical stuff that I did not understand as I am not an air plane person nor military.
Fortress Ploesti - WW II Air War Revisited Dec 2, 2003
A well researched account and easy read of one of the most effective bombing campaigns of WW II. The author places the reader in each combat crew position involved in the raids, starting with the well documented August 1, 1943 low level raid and then picking up the less recognized high level raids that ran from April 5, 1944 until August 1944 when the Soviet Army took over. Stout covers the action from all the angles, that of the B-24 crews, the Romanian, Bulgarian, and German fighter pilots and indivduals on the ground.
This a must read for WW II buffs, especially for those air crew members of the past and for todays "fly boys" that have a need to understand their heritage. Jay Stout has covered the complete Ploesti Story. I strongly recommend Fortress Ploesti.
The Entire Ploesti Campaign, Told Well! Nov 20, 2003
Having read the advance review copy, I am pleased to record my impressions of this title.
First, let me say that there is a deluge of WWII books coming out these days. Unfortunately, most rehash often-told stories of the war. Fortress Ploesti is not that kind of book. It breaks new ground entirely, and that fact alone makes it a worthwhile addition to the literature on the subject.
The author, himself a combat pilot veteran (Iraq) has long been fascinated with the massive and well-known single bombing expedition of August 1943 against Ploesti. This book, however, includes that mission but also covers in depth all those missions that followed in 1944, a massive strategic campaign of more than twenty missions that had a significant (and yet ironically overlooked) effect on the course of the war.
The author's style is very conversational--easy to read, enjoyable, entertaining, and very enlightening. Included are interviews and recollections of the pilots who participated, including Third Reich pilots, which provides an entirely new perspective on this phase of the war. Stout's experience as a fighter pilot helps describe what these men recalled and experienced. There are also two galleries of photographs, many previously unpublished, but they were not included in my copy of the advance galley.
If you enjoy World War II books in general, and aviation books in particular, you should add this book to your library. You will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.