Osprey Publications Air Campaign 30, The Oil Campaign 1944-45 Draining the Wehrmacht’s Lifeblood

The Oil Campaign 1944-45
Draining the Wehrmacht’s Lifeblood


Air Campaign 30

Author Steven J. Zaloga
Illustrated by Edouard A. Groult


This 96 page book is the 30th book in the Air Campaign series of book that are available from Osprey Publications.

Croation Bf-109 G-14-AS

A new illustrated history of one of the key air campaigns of late World War II – the American effort to cripple Germany’s oil production, and grind its armed forces to a halt.

With retreating German forces losing their oilfields on the Eastern Front, Germany was reliant on its own facilities, particularly for producing synthetic oil from coal. However, these were within range of the increasingly mighty Allied air forces. In 1944 the head of the US Strategic Air Forces, General Carl Spaatz was intent on a new campaign that aimed to cripple the German war machine by depriving it of fuel.

FW-190D-9 Day Fighrer in 1944

The USAAF’s Oil Campaign built up momentum during the summer of 1944 and targeted these refineries and plants with its daylight heavy bombers. Decrypted German communications made it clear that the Oil Campaign was having an effect against the Wehrmacht. Fuel shortages in the autumn of 1944 forced the Luftwaffe to ground most of its combat units except for fighters involved in the defense of the Reich. Fuel shortages also forced the Kriegsmarine to place most of its warships in harbor except for the U-boats and greatly hampered German army campaigns such as the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944-45.


Formation of P-51D Fighters of the 375th Squadron, 361st Fighter Group


  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Attackers Capabilities
    • Allied bomber strength in 1944
    • Royal Air Force
    • US Army Air Forces
  • · Defender’s Capabilities
    • Luftflotte reich
    • Luftwaffe organization
    • Luftwaffe daylight tactics
    • Luftwaffe night tactics
    • Luftwaffe Flak
  • · Campaign Objectives
    • The crucial commodity
    • The Oil Plan
  • · The Campaign
    • Collapsing the German war economy
    • Mission 353: May 12, 1944
    • Ploesti attacks resume
    • Impact of the initial Oil Campaign
    • German countermeasures
    • Bomber Command joins the battle
    • Post-invasion USSTAF Oil Campaign
    • August Oil Campaign
    • Ploesti subdued
    • Summer assessment
    • The Fall 1944 Oil Campaign
    • October missions
    • The November reprieve
    • Hitler’s December gamble
    • Bodenplatte
    • January 1945
    • Luftwaffe demoralization
    • The February decline
    • The final campaign
  • Analysis
  • Further Reading
  • Index

This fascinating book packed with key photos and illustrations examines the controversies and debates over the focus of the US bombing campaign in the final year of the war, and the impact it had on the war effort overall.

B-17G 3rd Bomb Division Over Forben Synthetic Fuel Plant In Ludwigshafen


The USAAF was united with the RAF that one of their major targets during 1944 and 1945 were the oil production facilities of the Wehrmacht. This captivating book looks at the strategic bombing of the oil production, refineries, and storage. The excellent photographs, drawings and maps successfully tell the history of the Allied effort to destroy the German hold on oil facilities.

B-17 With Expended Brass Shells

Wargamers, Modelers, Figure Collectors and Historians will find this book invaluable for reference due to its specific topic. The Wargamers will get information about the different missions the 8th USAAF undertook so as to defeat the Germans. The Modeler and Figure Collectorvwill get fresh ideas for modeling or creating vignettes from all the pictures presented in the book. The Historian will thoroughly enjoy reading this Campaign Series book as it presents the story of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) concentration against the German production oil capabilities. Overall, this book has a broad interest spread across the entire hobby for all readers. It is an excellent book that all readers will enjoy and get knowledge on a topic that is not often discussed on World War II.

Air Campaign 30, The Oil Campaign 1944-45, Draining the Wehrmacht’s lifeblood, is a 96-page paperback book that is available from Osprey Publications.




(The photographs used in this review are copied with the permission of Osprey Publications.)

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