Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tidal Wave - Raid on Ploesti - August 1st 1943

Today in 1943
was one of the
bigger attacks
on the Romanian
refineries that
helped feed Hitler's
war machine.

(in elementary school
I must have checked
out a book, Air War
over Europe, I think,
at least 10 times, it had
this picture as its cover)

From the great website http://www.ww2guide.com/oil.shtml

Across the Mediterranean

Despite careful preparation the operation was marred by bad luck from the start, one B-24 crashed on take-off. Since the mission was flown in radio silence the bomber groups became somewhat separated on the long flight across the Mediterranean. Then just off Corfu, Greece the lead aircraft carrying the route navigator inexplicably plunged into the water. A second plane of the 376th with the deputy route navigator followed down to see if there were any survivors. Unable to regain formation the bomber turned back to base. This left the lead bomber group without the expert navigators to guide them through the difficult low-level approach to the target.

Thick clouds greeted the incoming bombers as they approached the mountains. While the two lead groups threaded their way through or under the cloud layers the 98th, 44th and 389th crossed at various altitudes. By the time these three bomber groups were formed up and heading for the first IP (Initial Point) they were 29 minutes behind the 376th and the 93rd.

Confusion and Bravery at Ploesti

B-24 bombers flying low over the burning refineriesMeanwhile not knowing if the other bomber groups were forced to turn back or not the 376th and 93rd made their turn at the first IP of Pitesti toward the final IP of Floresti. However, halfway to the real IP the 376th mistook the town of Targoviste for Floresti, an error that wasn't discovered until they were on the outskirts of Bucharest. At that point Major Gen. Uzal Ent broke radio silence and ordered the two groups to turn north and attack targets of opportunity in the complex of refineries. The carefully worked out bombing plan was foiled as bombers struck the wrong refinery or attacked any target that looked good.

Getting Home

German fighters pursued the bombers as they left bringing down more than a few damaged aircraft. Of the 177 bombers that took part in the mission 54 were lost, a further 53 planes were heavily damaged. It was a costly victory by any measure. The damage to Ploesti was significant but offset by its spair refining capacity and the fact that a raid like this could not be mounted again for quite some time. The Medal of Honor presented to Col. John Riley "Killer" Kane (1907-1996) is one of five presented for the mission, the most ever awarded for a single action. Three of the awards were posthumous: 2nd Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes (-), a native of Alexandria, Louisiana; Lt. Col. Addison Baker (-); and Maj. John L. Jerstad (-). The other Medal of Honor presented to a living recipient for that day's battle was to Col. Leon W. Johnson (1904-1997).

Maybe like the air war over germany we need to identify some key
elements of the enemy and attack it. Currently we are still fruitlessly
bombarding the ball bearing plants of the islamofacsists, we need to be smashing
the refineries and syn-fuel plants instead, the twin towers of islamofacism:
wahabbi islam and the mullahs of Iran need to come down.


Blogger Miles said...

Had enough 8/8/2005

Terrorism -- we don't need to go into the definition, those who claim to be terrorists are pretty much in-your-face about it. And their purpose is to make us live with the threat of a future action that promises hundreds or thousands more killed than they did the last time.

Over the course of the last few years, they always seem to be ahead of us, in that there is always a soft target for them to attack and yet, though they call it a war and our politicians and generals call it a war -- it's not -- in the conventional sense. A war of battling armies.

The recent anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has had me wondering about the peaceful and prosperous Japanese people. Rising from the ashes as they have; to become a valued Ally and worthy competitor in the world marketplace.

To be sure there are those who will always be bitter about the use of atomic weapons and yet for the most part, like the Jews who seem to of gotten over the use of chemicals weapon upon their person and seem to bear no ill will against the German people -- the Asian world for the most part, has followed the lead of the Japanese and they prosper and do not seem to harbor no great hatred for the United States and its people..

North Korea of course - the notable exception; where fascism -- fanaticism rules a closed society.

America and our European allies have for a generation been assaulted by the Muslim terrorists -- armed, financed and given refuge when hunted by the radical fanatical fascist element of the Islamic religion. Even in our own world , we know something of the religious fanatic from Jim Jones and the mass suicides , sniper assassin's killing doctors and supported by the Christian fanatics in our on world.

So here we are 2005, and our best people face an impossible task in the Arab Muslim world. Sort of like jumping in the middle of the flight between Hatfield and McCoy’s and of course - they both turn on the outsider or outsiders as in our case Iraq.

By now some of you probably think you know where I'm going with this - the ultimate threat the terrorists have presented to us here in America and in Europe as well; is the small nuclear weapon stolen or bought from the old Soviet Union or some combination of chemical and biological nasties delivered by what ever convenient means that present themselves at the time.

So back to 2005; our best people , Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy walking into ambushes - killed and maimed by suicide bombers - roadside bombs that no one ever sees them placed -- winning the hearts and minds of the locals from my experience was a fool's errand. Someone is always smiling and glad to tell you what you want to hear – as long as the rifle is slung across your shoulder.

The grief of the wives children and mothers and fathers of our best people makes me weep and I'm riveted to the TV when the interviews and funerals are shown. I can't write about it without tears. It brings Vietnam's losses of our best people; at that time - a time I would just as soon not remember. But now I have to remember the eyes of the face of the father's that looked at me after returning from Vietnam , and you could see it in their ---faces -- why their son - why not me, why couldn't their son have come home.

So the Iranians want a nuclear weapon -- they wanted apiece of US property back 1979 when they took over our embassy. Yes, you bet, I'm still mad about that. I'm still mad about the Palestinians that disgraced themselves and their religion and their people; when they kidnapped and murdered the Jewish athletes at the Olympics in 1968 and you can just go down the list from there in time to now - a hundred other outrages perpetrated on the civilized world by the religious fanatics of the Islamic world.

So here's the plan: a brief notice 72 hours to leave Iran's and Syria’s capital city's before nuclear weapons of enormous destructive capability are placed within the heart of both cities. The area where the bombs will be placed will be cleared with daisy cutters and whatever else is necessary to ensure that the nuclear weapons themselves can be placed in the open for all to see and without any harm to our own troops.

The bombs, if they are tampered with, will explode. If the Western world is attacked again by the Islamic extremists the bombs can be detonated remotely. The placement of the bombs and their size -- are details that I would enjoy working out with the powers that be. The idea guy it’s when I’m at my best.

It's time to take it up a notch and put the Islamic world's population at risk. Let them be on a perpetual heightened orange alert.

What we're doing now is not working, and is a police action and not a job for an Army. It is that simple, wrong people wrong job.

8:38 PM  

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