This fascinating book, which contains photographs and some line drawings as well, describes the bombing of Romanian oil plants ( August 1st, 1944 ), a risky mission carried out by the B - 24 Bomber Groups of the 9th U.S.A.A.F. ( mostly ).
|Book cover finish
||Canvas finish, Hardcover ( square back binding )
||First edition, Dedicated copy, Handwritten notes
|Number of pages
||14 x 21 x 3 cm
||LONGMANS, GREEN & CO
What's this all about?
This was once an American air base.
Like scores of others in North Africa - British, Italian, and German - it now stands deserted, if it can be found at all. They lie everywhere along the Mediterranean shores of Egypt, Libya, and Algeria, these abandoned fields. During the war they were urgent necessities for a day, a week, perhaps a season.
( ... ) Back and forth from El Alamein to Bizerta moved the battle line of the ground forces. Countless relics of this fighting still litter the African coastal plains... mangled aircraft, rusted 88 - mm. dual - purpose guns, mess kits, gear, and light armament of the once all - conquering Afrika Korps, the gaunt carcasses of thousands of burn - out, shattered General Sherman, Cruiser, German Mark III and Mark IV tanks, the skeletons of men. To this day the litter is endlessly scattered in the former path of the great armies ; and around key settlements like Tobruk the Arab children still play among the wreckage, and men and women sift the soft sands for something of value.
( ... ) The drifting, probing sands did get in everywhere... in the clothing of the men, in the food they ate, in the blankets, the guns, their eyes, ears, and hair. Worst of all, it go into the airplanes. In time it ruined the valves and the cylinder walls and all other moving parts, clogged up the filters, pitted the propellers, drove maintenance men to distraction, and killed some fliers through engine trouble in flight.
Life, in short, was typically unpleasant for men at war assigned to Ninth Air Force ( Bomber Command ) in Benghazi, Libya, around the middle of 1943.
Meanwhile all day and much of the evening the snarl of engines aloft and on the runways ripped the air, and the wings of the warplanes formed restless patterns of black against the blinding sky. Like death and sleep, time has closed in on this air base, has silenced it, covered it with a film of dust, sand and forgetfulness, and sent its people home.