• Forgotten Fifteenth

  • The Daring Airmen Who Crippled Hitler's War Machine
  • By: Barrett Tillman
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (415 ratings)

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Forgotten Fifteenth

By: Barrett Tillman
Narrated by: Robertson Dean
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Publisher's Summary

November 1943 to May 1945. The US Army Air Forces waged an unprecedentedly dogged and violent campaign against Hitler's vital oil production and industrial plants on theThird Reich's southern flank. Flying from southern Italy, far from the limelight enjoyed by the Eighth Air Force in England, the Fifteenth Air Force engaged in high-risk missions spanning most of the European continent. The story of the Fifteenth Air Force deserves a prideful place in the annals of American gallantry.

In Forgotten Fifteenth, Barrett Tillman brings into focus a seldom-seen multinational cast of characters, including pilots from Axis nations Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria and many more remarkable individuals. They were the first generation of fliers - few of them professionals - to conduct a strategic bombing campaign against a major industrial nation. They suffered steady attrition and occasionally spectacular losses. In so doing, they contributed to the end of the most destructive war in history.

Forgotten Fifteenth is the first-ever detailed account of the Fifteenth Air Force in World War II and the brave men that history has abandoned. This book is a must-read for military history enthusiasts, veterans, and current servicemen and their families.

©2014 Barrett Tillman (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Forgotten Fifteenth

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written ...; felt like I was a door gunner.

This book is so well researched. The one negative to Audible books is that you can’t view pics, obviously and check out the bibliography.

The research that went into writing this book, must have been exhaustive.
They “Mighty 8th” gets all the press, while the lonely 15th gets little attention.

I know a l lot of the air war in Europe, but the author opened my eyes to the extent of damage the 15th caused, especial;y the oil fields. in Romania and surrounding counties.

I am a picky listener and will praise both the narrator and author. This is a book I will listen to again down the road.

3 people found this helpful

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Holy cow!

I had no idea of the massive numbers of POWs that we’re involved in this theater of war! The author did a great job in the epilogue presenting the total numbers and percentages of people lost in wounded and the percentage of planes that never made it through was just astronomical versus the very poor performance of accuracy of the bombs dropped. After listening to this it is clear that modern society has absolutely no idea what stress and sacrifice is!

3 people found this helpful

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Unbelievable Bomber Force

Thank you Barrett Tillman for this book. The fifteenth bomber squad gets little attention compared to the eighth. That's not to knock the 8th at all, They deserve all their glory and then some. But the 15th did things in the beginning of the war, and during the war, that went virtually unnoticed because of the other events happening. In Italy the 15th did the job that had to be done, and then on continental Europe. The daring raids and selflessness reads like a page turning novel. There are not enough descriptive words to give the men of this generation the sacrificial credit they deserve. From those of us that read in awe of their selflessness, we thank you. Robertson Dean is always brilliant. He gives the voice for the bombers.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Academic but Essential

Great history of a largely ignored Theatre and Air Force of WWII. That being said, this is a more academic style book but still worth reading and learning of the exploits of the Fortgotten Fifteenth.

2 people found this helpful

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Good book.

A good overview of the Fifteenth. It is not as detailed as many books on the Eighth. However in fairness, there is less material available for an author who writes about the Fifteenth. The author put to rest some of the mythology surrounding the Tuskegee Airmen. Post-war, many of those who served continued in reputable, worthwhile careers in the military and in the civilian sector. Unfortunately, a few became politicians (George McGovern, Lloyd Bentsen). All things considered, it was a good book.

2 people found this helpful

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Solid Story worth telling

Would you listen to Forgotten Fifteenth again? Why?

Not again, but I had to hear it. My father flew in a B-17 with the 15th.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No characters. The story is of the 15th.

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Would like to hear more about the men, and the details of the missions. This was more about the 15th as an organizatoin.

Any additional comments?

The 8th gets all the pub!

2 people found this helpful

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Simply outstanding

The meticulous research coupled with genuinely interesting human stories make place this book at the top of my library.
The narration was impeccable as well.

1 person found this helpful

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The tribute 15th AF heroes waited too long for

Very factual yet also loaded with personal stories. Long overdue story of the men who won the southern part of the war in Europe, or died trying, too often in the shadow of the Mighty Eighth. Tillman gives them their due at last.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic history

A riveting account of a forgotten theater. Narration was great! This was one of those books that you could listen to all day long.

1 person found this helpful

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History - It continues to Amaze!

Great Book - Breath taking real adventure with the greatest generation! Aviation meets history class for the "Forgotton Fifteenth".

1 person found this helpful

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  • David
  • 10-25-22

Dull, dull, dull

I did listen to the end; more fool me.
It’s basically a list of dates and statistics and dull information. For example, it lists the types of cameras used in aerial reconnaissance!
With apologies to the brave airman and ground crews, don’t waste your time on this book.

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  • GC
  • 04-05-22

Informative historical catalogue

An Interesting and informative collection of the many dangerous exploits of a brave fighting Squadron during WW2 throughout southern and eastern European theatres of War.

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  • Marea
  • 11-15-21

Totally absorbing

Informative, entertaining and enlightening account of an often overlooked contribution to the war. Fascinating story and excellent narration. Thoroughly recommended.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 10-15-14

A Solid Outing

A solid, informative book covering the Fifteenth airforce. A good overview of the organisation as a whole but it would have been good to hear more details of the missions and men. Whilst there were some more detailed analysis of some missions and "life stories" from those who were there it did start to feel slightly repetitive at times when these details were missed out.

The narrator put in a solid performance but I feel that the book could have benefited from a more passionate, unbiased, individual.

I feel that it was definitely worth a listen as I did expand my knowledge of the Fifteenth airforce but unlike some audiobooks which I have loved it will get a second listen but probably not for quite some time.