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Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis: Combat Missions over Europe during World War II

Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis: Combat Missions over Europe during World War II

by Kevin A. Mahoney


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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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810884946
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/16/2013
Pages: 518
Sales rank: 839,482
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Kevin A. Mahoney is a 20th-century military history specialist. He has written articles about military history and is author of Formidable Enemies: The North Korean and Chinese Soldier in the Korean War (2001).

Table of Contents

Preface v

List of Abbreviations vii

Notes on Sources and Statistics Used in Mission Descriptions ix

Maps xvii

1 Creation of the Fifteenth Air Force 1

2 November 1943 5

3 December 1943 19

4 January 1944 33

5 February 1944 53

6 March 1944 67

7 April 1944 81

8 May 1944 103

9 June 1944 133

10 July 1944 163

11 August 1944 195

12 September 1944 223

13 October 1944 245

14 November 1944 265

15 December 1944 287

16 January 1945 311

17 February 1945 321

18 March 1945 347

19 April-May 1945 375

20 Summing Up 401

Appendix 1 Command Structure, Intelligence, Photo Reconnaissance, and Weather 407

Appendix 2 Bomber Operations 411

Appendix 3 Fighter Operations 417

Appendix 4 Crews and Their Aircraft 421

Glossary 425

Source Notes 429

Bibliography 447

Index of Targets Bombed by the Fifteenth Air Force 459

Chapter Introductions and Appendices Index 477

About the Author 485

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