This was a German oil plant



This was a German oil plant
My last operation 16 Jan. 45


Shows the effects of an operation that destroyed the synthetic oil plant at Zeitz. Captioned 'My last operation 16 Jan. 45'.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




One newspaper cutting


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[inserted] My Last Operation 16 Jan. 45 [/inserted]

[underlined] NEWS CHRONICLE Friday, February 23, 1945 [/underlined]

This was a German oil plant

British people have become all too familiar with bombing pictures. But examine the two photographs below. They tell more vividly than a dozen communiques the terrible and devastating story of the Allied air attacks on German industry. The place is the synthetic oil plant at Zeitz, near Leipzig. The picture on the left was taken before January 16, 1945: that on the right a month later. The plant employed about 5,000 workers and its output was equal to that of some of the largest plants in the Ruhr. For long periods during the summer of 1944 it was kept out of action by American bombers, but it was managing to produce about half its normal output when R.A.F. Bomber Command attacked on the night of January 16. The photograph taken on February 17 shows destruction so complete that the plant appears to have been abandoned. Normally the enemy begins repairing his damaged oil plants within a few hours of attack. But there is no sign of any attempt at repair work, or of activity of any kind. The plant is a mass of debris among a dense concentration of craters. Most of the pipelines are broken, and all the vital parts of the plant have been hit. Large numbers of storage tanks and cooling towers are destroyed or damaged. The scene is one of wholesale devastation.

[before and after photographs]



“This was a German oil plant,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 20, 2024,

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