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Impact of allied strategic bombing on german oil supply

In the previous infographic, we showed how despite 4 years of extremely heavy bombing on the German weaponry manufacturing plants, the "Strategic" bombing campaign failed to check the expansion of German munition output.

There were successes, but definitely, the numbers show the results were insufficient. The recuperative powers of the German industry were significant.
This infographic shows the other side of the coin, the strategic campaign on the German oil supply.

There were two main sources of oil for Germany. Oil refineries (blue line), like Ploesti in Romania (the main source of oil imports) and synthetic fuels (green line) where chemical plants transformed coal into oil/fuel.
Maximum output was reached in 1943 despite the famous B-24 Ploesti raid. Although there was some loss of refinery capacity, hydrogenation plants in the Reich made up for the loss.

The British, and Russians had attempted to destroy the oil supply for years without any noticeable success. In 1943, Bomber command delivered 96% of the bombs while the AAF dropped 4% (Ploesti included).

However, heavy bombing by the USAAF in the 2nd quarter of 1944 gave immediate results, and the campaign was expanded. The British participated strongly in the campaign from the third quarter of 1944.

Within 12 months, the German oil supply was obliterated.

Why was this campaign so successful?

There are probably three main reasons:

1. By the third quarter of 1944, the German fighter force had lost the battle of air superiority over Germany and allied bombers could attack any target in Germany more easily

2. The bomb-carrying capacity of the allied fleets was enormous by 1944, so every raid delivered a massive amount of bombs. USAAF delivered 55% of bomb tonnage and BC the other 45%.

3. Germans could not disperse oil refineries and hydrogenation plants. They had to defend them where they were.


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