In his new book, "Forgotten Fifteenth: The Daring Airmen Who Crippled Hitler s War Machine," Tillman brings into focus a seldom-seen multinational cast of characters, including pilots from Axis nations Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria and many more remarkable individuals. They were the first generation of fliersfew of them professionalsto conduct a strategic bombing campaign against a major industrial nation. They suffered steady attrition and occasionally spectacular losses. In so doing, they contributed to the end of the most destructive war in history.
"Forgotten Fifteenth" is the first-ever detailed account of the Fifteenth Air Force in World War II and the brave men that the history books have abandoned until now. Tillman proves this book is a must-read for military history enthusiasts, veterans, and current servicemen."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Noted aviation historian Tillman (Whirlwind) has written the long-overdue first history of the little-known U.S. Fifteenth Air Force, whose mission focus during WWII was southern and eastern Europe. It is a solid chronological history of the unit, from its formation through war’s end, as it flew strategic bombing missions from bases in Italy. Tillman covers all of the major events in the unit’s history, including the famous raids on Ploesti, Romania—the heart of Axis petroleum refining—as well as the first bombing of Germany from the south. He also addresses many lesser known aspects of these operations such as the prisoner rescue of 1944, aerial reconnaissance actions, and the work done in cooperation with Yugoslavian partisans. The sections of the book dedicated to personal experiences in aerial combat bring the challenges and bravery of the aircrews to life. Tillman’s style is engaging and his history is an enjoyable and informative read for serious historians as well as for more general readers with an interest in aviation and military history. (June)