Lessons old and new

Winston Churchill once remarked, 'In war, nothing ever goes according to plan except occasionally, and then by accident.' One of history's best examples of this is the near—disastrous USAAF air raid against the German—run oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania on August 1, 1943. The lessons of this event resonate with relevance and verity to this day. The Ploesti refinery complex was responsible for producing almost 35% of the oil used by the German military—industrial complex and a similar percentage of their aviation fuel. Allied war planners considered this target to be of the utmost strategic importance, and felt, with some justification, that the complete destruction of Ploesti's refineries would have an extremely significant impact on Germany's ability to wage war. The U.S. high command conceived a plan to attack the refineries using two groups of B—24 Liberator bombers, the 367th and the 98th, of the US 9th Air Force based in Libya, and three groups from...(Read Full Article)