USSBS E128-European War-Oil Division-Huels Synthetic Rubber Plant: The United States Strategic Bombing Survey (United States Strategic Bombing Survey-European War)

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The United States Strategic Bombing Survey was established by The Secretary of War on November 3, 1944, pursuant to a directive from President Roosevelt.

This is a digitized copy of one of the microfilmed volumes of the strategic bombing surveys. These were conducted as World War II was coming to a close. Although originally published over six decades ago, these still are a valuable source of information on the effects of the air operations against Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan.

These Strategic Bombing Survey Teams were tasked to enter those areas struck by our strategic bombers as soon as possible after the bombing to assess the effectiveness of the bombing effort and its contribution to the Allied victory. The result of each survey was a detailed, multivolume report that examines every aspect of the bombing campaigns.

The Hues Synthetic Rubber Plant (Chemische Werke Huels), located on the northern fringe of the Ruhr district about 20 miles north of Essen, represents the latest and most modern design in German synthetic rubber plants. Built under the auspices of the Four-Year Plan, it is spaciously planned, covering an area of 541 acres, of which about 10 percent is built up. It is valued at about 400,000,000 Reichsmarks and is operated by the I. G. Farbenindustrie. Its productive capacity increased gradually from 300 tons in August 1940, the first month of production, to 3,900 tons by January 1943, the increase being very rapid in the first year of operation. An all-time peak production of 4,079 tons was achieved in March 1944. Huels was the second-largest Buna plant operating in Germany, its installed capacity equaling about 30 percent of the synthetic rubber producing capacity of the country and about one-third of the production required to cover the German war program, internal economy, and exports to Sweden and the Balkans. Although designed primarily for the production of Buna-S type synthetic rubbers, Huels also turned out several byproducts of military importance, including diethyl benzene, used as a high-octane component for aviation gasoline, diglycol, employed as a glycerin substitute in explosives manufacture, and glycol, used in substantial quantities as an anti-freeze solution.

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