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Bomb-blasted Nazi oil plant. A U.S. soldier examines the tangle of bomb-blasted pipe lines at the devastated Brabag synthetic oil plant at Zeitz, Germany, captured by troops of the First U.S. Army April 13, 1945. The Zeitz plant normally produced 20 to 25 tons of oil products monthly, its chief outputs being paraffin, benzine, diesel and lubricating oils. Following the commencement of the combined Eighth U.S. Air Force and RAF onslaught against Nazi fuel supplies in the Spring of 1944, production dropped rapidly. The first attack on Zeitz was May 12, 1944, when U.S. B-17 Flying Fortresses hit the plant with results that captured German factory officials recall as "devastating". Heavy pounding of the factory was continued in spite of the installation of deadly Nazi anti-aircraft defenses and special smoke screens and by March, 1945, production was only 15 per cent of the February, 1944, level.
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