WWII Documentary – Fifteenth Air Force Raid on Ploesti
Narrated by Ronald Reagan, “Air Siege” shows some of the exploits of the Fifteen Air Force in Italy. The film begins with images of American fliers who were shot down over Europe, returning to the American air base at Bari. The film then shifts it focus to Operation Tidal Wave, an air attack by bombers of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) based in Libya and Southern Italy on nine oil refineries around Ploiești, Romania on 1 August 1943, during World War II. It was a strategic bombing mission and part of the “oil campaign” to deny petroleum-based fuel to the Axis. The mission resulted in “no curtailment of overall product output”, and so was deemed unsuccessful.