Academic journal article Military Review

Fighting with the Soviets: The Failure of Operation Frantic 1944-1945

Academic journal article Military Review

Fighting with the Soviets: The Failure of Operation Frantic 1944-1945

Article excerpt

FIGHTING WITH THE SOVIETS: The Failure of Operation Fran/w 1944-1945, by Mark J. Conversino. 284 pages. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. 1996. $35.00.

In the spring of 1944, US Army Air Force units arrived in Russia as part of Operation Frantic. US Eighth and Fifteenth Army Air Force heavy bombers conducted "shuttle bombing" over Germany and Eastern Europe from British and Italian bases to and from Russian bases. US bombers also supported the Red Army's westward advance. In June 1944, the first US mission was to strike train marshalling yards at Debrecen, Hungary, to cut train tracks and destroy railcars.

Despite US success, toward the war's end the initial euphoria of SovietAmerican cooperation wore off as relations tensed. Also, the issue of protecting US bases cast a pall over the operation when German air raids, lasting nearly 2 hours, left behind the smoldering wreckage of 43 B-17s and hit every other bomber on the field at one base. Germany's "scorched earth" policy left US air bases in Russia in ruins. Yet, the Red Air Force believed too much defense was "loading" and saw nothing wrong with its air defense system. …

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