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Rochard
05-14-2011, 01:48 AM
Are war crimes and guilt determined by the winner?

The United States was into firebombing entire cities, killing tens of thousands at a time in the process - not to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki which were really just "bigger bombs".

Was it proper for the Allies to firebomb entire cities while claiming they were valid military targets? When your bombs are killing civilians and children in bulk, isn't that the very definition of a war crime?

And while I'm at it, is dropping bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of people justified by saying "We prevented a full scale invasion of the Japan mainland, thus saving millions of lives"?

Nickdfresh
05-14-2011, 02:19 AM
Been discussed here before:

http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?2006-Bomber-Harris-Criminal-or-Hero

Rochard
05-14-2011, 03:18 AM
Is it acceptable to bump a thread in 2005 and last posted to in 2008?

pdf27
05-14-2011, 04:49 AM
Better that than starting an entirely new one - that way the amount of repetition is reduced.

Rising Sun*
05-14-2011, 06:30 AM
Is it acceptable to bump a thread in 2005 and last posted to in 2008?

In a history forum the past is of primary relevance.

Nickdfresh
05-14-2011, 07:57 AM
I bumped it, in the British forum...

tankgeezer
05-14-2011, 11:16 AM
Quote by Rochard: "And while I'm at it, is dropping bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of people justified by saying "We prevented a full scale invasion of the Japan mainland, thus saving millions of lives"?"
The short answer is yes, it was justified, and you can see all of the thoughts, arguments, and sophistry conjured by that question by following the link below.

http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?3667-Should-the-atomic-bombs-have-been-dropped-on-Hiroshima-and-Nagasaki

forager
05-16-2011, 12:01 PM
Poster appears to have overlooked the London Blitz and other significant bombings by axis forces.
The big difference was with their inability to sustain them.
They continued to do as much harm to civilians as they were able.
The German withdrawal after the insane Ardennes '44 offensive and the Japanese in the Phillipines comes to mind.
Simple fact is they started the immense debacle that was WW2 and we fried a bunch of their asses.
War sucks.

Nickdfresh
05-16-2011, 10:52 PM
Poster appears to have overlooked the London Blitz and other significant bombings by axis forces.
...

Or Warsaw, Rotterdam, the strafing of French refugees, bombings throughout the Soviet Union, etc.

Der Toten Kaiser
07-07-2011, 02:45 PM
Yeah, firebombing was a war crime. They killed hundreds of thousands of innocents children & women in Dresden, Colonia, Leipzig, etc, without having many stratageic sucesses. At hiroshima & nagasaki, they did the same, the quote that they killed thousands but saved millions is a lie, because even after these 2 bombs, japan didn't surrender, the USA had to make a demonstration of power, flying donzens of thousands aircrafts through the clear skies of tokyo. Maybe, if they did this air demonstration before, Japan could have surrendered. Even if not, Soviet Union had just invaded Manchuria, only the fanatical japanese MILITARY didn't want to surrender. The USA just wanted to save the lives of THEIR men, because they could have droped these bombs in military bases, HQ's. I still do not agree with those bombs, no matter what anyone says.

tankgeezer
07-07-2011, 05:14 PM
Aside from the many other reasons, the U.S. did wish to save the lives of American soldiers, right along with those of the other Allied Nations. you may think what you like, thats your right, but you may find yourself in a decided minority.

Der Toten Kaiser
07-07-2011, 07:21 PM
Well you said it, thats my opinion, but I don't care be part of a minority

navyson
07-07-2011, 08:51 PM
The USA just wanted to save the lives of THEIR men

Of course the USA wanted to save the lives of OUR (or allies) men. With the losses in the island hopping campaign, they estimated something like 500,000 casualties invading Japan itself. Why put that on yourself as a country when you have other means to end the war? Why would we save the lives of our enemies? The USA didn't start the war with Japan, THEY started the war with the USA and they got the consequences of their actions.

tankgeezer
07-07-2011, 09:03 PM
Well you said it, thats my opinion, but I don't care be part of a minority Well, this entire question has been done to death in other threads, so I will not contribute to its rehashing here.

Nickdfresh
07-07-2011, 10:54 PM
Yeah, firebombing was a war crime. They killed hundreds of thousands of innocents children & women in Dresden, Colonia, Leipzig, etc, without having many stratageic sucesses.

Quite an arguable point. While I personally think that the Allies pissed away valuable air assets in the campaign and perhaps needlessly killed more civilians than they might have, I don't think anyone objectively studying the campaigns would come away with the idea that there were no "strategic successes." For instances: the fact that the Luftwaffe had to create a massive air defense network substantially weakened them on virtually every other front, Panther tank production suffered as the result of several airstrikes, German industry had to be dispersed resulting in production difficulties and transportation complications, etc...


At hiroshima & nagasaki, they did the same, the quote that they killed thousands but saved millions is a lie, because even after these 2 bombs, japan didn't surrender, the USA had to make a demonstration of power, flying donzens of thousands aircrafts through the clear skies of tokyo. Maybe, if they did this air demonstration before, Japan could have surrendered. Even if not, Soviet Union had just invaded Manchuria, only the fanatical japanese MILITARY didn't want to surrender. The USA just wanted to save the lives of THEIR men, because they could have droped these bombs in military bases, HQ's. I still do not agree with those bombs, no matter what anyone says.

If the U.S. had invaded in Operation Downfall, they inevitably would have dropped bombs on Japanese targets, all the bombs that could have been produced. And some in the military did want to surrender, some didn't. But you can't distill the Japanese Imperial Gov't down to a monolith when in fact there were numerous factions that indeed wanted a peace, even if that didn't mean "unconditional surrender." And if the "fanatical" Japanese didn't surrender from the atomic bombings, then what made them surrender?

Der Toten Kaiser
07-08-2011, 12:53 PM
I just told what did make them surrender. I'm not saying that the invasion of Japan mainland was the best way, but as I told in my previous post, the allies should tried to find another way to end the war with japan, and I say again, why didn't they bomb only militar factories, HQ's, bootcamps, ports, anything vital to the Japanese war effort? and what was the militar & strategic importance of Hiroshima & Nagasaki? For more crazy as it sounds, why didn't they bomb industrial cities, more important, and previously advised the local population of the attack? the japanese air force was completely destroyed! I mean, I think that the USA should have tried any & every option to avoid the nuclear bombs, even if the population ignored advises, the bombing at harbors, factories, etc, didn't make results. only when the only remainder option was the atomic bomb, they should have droped it, even if that prolong the war for months.

Der Toten Kaiser
07-08-2011, 12:59 PM
As you said, if the USA had invaded japan, they would have bombed the things I said before, but I think they should have bombed without invading Japan, because, as you said, there were japanese that wanted peace, and those who didn't want, and probably those who didn't want may had tried to fight the allied soldiers, or commit mass suicide, as they did in Saipan

Der Toten Kaiser
07-08-2011, 01:02 PM
and as tankgeezer said, this kind of topic was "fought to death" before, so I will stop posting here. Remembering that all what I said its my opinion, don't take it by the way I'm the "owner of truth!

Rochard
07-18-2011, 01:15 AM
This turned out to be a fun thread...

flyerhell
09-15-2011, 12:40 AM
Could it possibly be argued that the Germans bombing the UK, France, Warsaw, etc was in the hope of demoralizing the population (similar to the US bombing Japan in 1944-1945) but by the winter of 1945, the war was pretty won (against the Germans)? I can't imagine much benefit that would have been gained from destroying non-industrial German cities that late in the war.

pdf27
09-15-2011, 01:09 AM
Could it possibly be argued that the Germans bombing the UK, France, Warsaw, etc was in the hope of demoralizing the population (similar to the US bombing Japan in 1944-1945) but by the winter of 1945, the war was pretty won (against the Germans)? I can't imagine much benefit that would have been gained from destroying non-industrial German cities that late in the war.
German industry at the time was pretty decentralised, and even if you're just bombing houses that creates refugees who have to be moved, accomodated, etc. Additionally, there really isn't anything else you can do with the heavy bomber fleet the Allies had at the time - nobody could hit precision targets in the weather of winter 1944/45, so both the US and UK spent the winter on area bombing of cities. They were the only two with powerful bomber forces, so they were the only two to use them.

Chevan
09-15-2011, 12:23 PM
... They were the only two with powerful bomber forces, so they were the only two to use them.
You mean they have to bomb just coz they CAN to bomb?

pdf27
09-15-2011, 12:47 PM
You mean they have to bomb just coz they CAN to bomb?
Not have to bomb, but will bomb. If you're in an existential war like WW2 (i.e. the very survival of your nation is at stake) you aren't going to decide not to use a weapon because it isn't very nice to those on the receiving end. The modern angst about collateral damage and laws of war is very recent, well past WW2, and I'm not altogether sure if it's a good thing or not.


I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.
http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html

Chevan
09-15-2011, 01:02 PM
Not have to bomb, but will bomb. If you're in an existential war like WW2 (i.e. the very survival of your nation is at stake) you aren't going to decide not to use a weapon because it isn't very nice to those on the receiving end. The modern angst about collateral damage and laws of war is very recent, well past WW2, and I'm not altogether sure if it's a good thing or not.
agree. In the war for existence it should be stopid not to use all the possible means for victory. The other hand is - are those mean effective/needed or not at the moment. Germans may start in desperative situation of 1945 to use the chemical wearpon, but they seems folowed to certain rules of the war.

flyerhell
09-16-2011, 01:39 AM
agree. In the war for existence it should be stopid not to use all the possible means for victory. The other hand is - are those mean effective/needed or not at the moment. Germans may start in desperative situation of 1945 to use the chemical wearpon, but they seems folowed to certain rules of the war.

and of course, you have to balance the advantages with the disadvantages - for example, is potentially losing some heavy/medium bombers worth bombing a few people's houses?

Chevan
09-16-2011, 04:40 AM
The losing of few superexpensive four-engine bombers can't be economicaly justified by the burning the district of civil's buildings.But if the aim is say the industrial or military district ( that was the SAME during the war) is probably legitime ( just in terms of brindings the maximal effect on enemy, not the moral side , of course).Though the economical side of strategical bombings raids doesn't look enough clear and simple to me.

Rising Sun*
09-16-2011, 07:25 AM
If you're in an existential war like WW2 (i.e. the very survival of your nation is at stake) you aren't going to decide not to use a weapon because it isn't very nice to those on the receiving end.

But nations did decide not to use weapons which weren't very nice to those on the receiving end, before, during and after WWII. For example, aspects of chemical warfare which were often used in WWI were not used in WWII by Allied and Axis powers which had the means to use them. Similarly, dum-dums were avoided and more recently phosphorous bombs and even land mines which were used in past wars are voluntarily not used now.

There are elements of the laws of war and humanitarian law (although much of the latter applied to war and events preceding and during WWII wasn't really invented until the Allies thought it up in the lead up to their post-war war crimes trials) which might explain some of this, but on the other hand the Germans and Japanese in WWII completely ignored both of those areas of law on a huge scale but chose not to use some chemical and other weapons available to them.

I think it's a more complex issue than having the means to use a weapon in an existential war determines that a given nation will use it.

I suspect that one important consideration in choosing to use a weapon is simply possessing a weapon for which there is no proportional counter, be it the Allied heavy bomber forces in Europe or the atom bomb in Japan or the V1 and V2 against Britain, which encourages the possessor to use it without fear of a roughly equivalent or worse response with the same weapon. Contrast that with, say, mustard gas which all major combatants had in WWII but the use of which threatened a form of "mutual assured destruction" in the same or wider theatres.


The modern angst about collateral damage and laws of war is very recent, well past WW2, and I'm not altogether sure if it's a good thing or not.

From an abstract humanitarian viewpoint it is a wonderful and most desirable thing, and I'm all in favour of it.

From a practical and pragmatic viewpoint, I concur that I'm not sure if it is a good thing or not, if only as evidenced by a recent but (in my view) fortunately failed prosecution of some Australian soldiers for killing Afghan civilians in a building in the course of the Australian soldiers killing the Afghan civilian who was firing at the Australian soldiers from that building. In WWII, Korea, or Vietnam it wouldn't have rated more than a mention in an after-action report, if it was mentioned at all. Not to mention, for example, the thousands of French civilians killed by the Allies in various operations before, during and after D-Day. All of this must be horrible beyond understanding if you haven't been there, and undoubtedly worse if you have, but that's the nature of war.

pdf27
09-16-2011, 11:53 AM
The losing of few superexpensive four-engine bombers can't be economicaly justified by the burning the district of civil's buildings.But if the aim is say the industrial or military district ( that was the SAME during the war) is probably legitime ( just in terms of brindings the maximal effect on enemy, not the moral side , of course).Though the economical side of strategical bombings raids doesn't look enough clear and simple to me.

Thing is, by the time of the really contentious raids in 1945 the industrial infrastructure to make heavy bombers was all built up, and the resources could not easily be diverted into something else. The choice then came down to building the bombers or building nothing at all (with the resultant savings being of benefit postwar). The option of e.g. building more tanks instead simply didn't exist - it would have taken several years to convert the infrastructure.

Truce
09-16-2011, 04:05 PM
The USA didn't start the war with Japan, THEY started the war with the USA and they got the consequences of their actions.

Concerning this complex issue, I would like to recommend Day of Deceit
By Robert Stinnett.
It’s a well documented and fascinating book that might just give you some knew insight into the war with Japan.

Nickdfresh
09-16-2011, 07:30 PM
Concerning this complex issue, I would like to recommend Day of Deceit
By Robert Stinnett.
It’s a well documented and fascinating book that might just give you some knew insight into the war with Japan.

Um, no. It isn't actually. From Wiki:


Day of Deceit...First released in December 1999, it received a cautiously positive review in the New York Times[1] and is frequently referenced by proponents of advance knowledge theories.[2] Historians of the period, however, in general reject its thesis, pointing to several key errors and reliance on doubtful sources.[2]

Most actual historians think it is a flaming pile of sensationalist, profiteering shit...

Chevan
09-17-2011, 12:21 PM
Most actual historians think it is a flaming pile of sensationalist, profiteering shit...
Are they the historians who claim the Resun-Suvorov's "Ledocol\IceBreaker" is a serious factorial book?;)

Truce
09-17-2011, 04:00 PM
Nickd,
I am aware of the statements from Wikipedia, but before we throw the whole book out the window I think we should examine more than one perspective about its content.
In reading other reviews I came across a site that presents a couple of different view points.
Here’s a link. http://http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2005/12/07/day-of-deceit/
Whether or not you accept the book as a credible source,
it raises some good questions and is worth the read.

Nickdfresh
09-17-2011, 09:02 PM
Truce, it's not just Wiki I'm going on. He's been denounced by several major historians as being little more than a speculative hack at best, and an irresponsible lying douchebag that bears false witness at worst. I'm not a fan of such distortions and misinformation. And I'm well aware of Antiwar.com as I was sort of anti-(Iraq) war myself. But believe it or not, the U.S. isn't always the evil hare-bringer of the Four Horsemen some would have us believe. It actually can be a fragmented, dysfunctional bastion of multilayered incompetence of the sort that led to both Pearl and 9/11. Besides, the conspiracy theory makes no damn sense anyways! If the U.S. had foreknowledge of the attack, then why not put the forces on full alert on Saturday night, Sunday morning?

And if I want to read a book where a guy just basically makes shit up and distorts facts, I'll write it myself. I'm much more interesting...

Nickdfresh
09-17-2011, 09:07 PM
Are they the historians who claim the Resun-Suvorov's "Ledocol\IceBreaker" is a serious factorial book?;)

Not sure I follow man. I am looking at the thesis on Wiki, interesting.

I can say I'm not a big fan of apologist myths such as those that would have us believe Hitler launched Barbarossa to head off a Soviet invasion of Eastern Europe and Germany...

*After reading the Wiki link now, I follow...

Truce
09-17-2011, 10:12 PM
I can see that you are not open to reasoning about the author and his work, that’s fine; I will disagree for the moment and do some more research about the sources and info in Day of Deceit.

As for foreknowledge of the attack, It seems that Roosevelt was aware of what was going to happen, and made little effort to prevent war with Japan. From some of his speeches and other statements he made, it’s clear that he wanted that war, and only needed a reasonable provocation; which he got after successfully engaging in subtle military actions against the Japanese during the months leading up to December 7th.

Rising Sun*
09-18-2011, 05:41 AM
... which he got after successfully engaging in subtle military actions against the Japanese during the months leading up to December 7th.

I don't know anything about such actions.

Could you elaborate?

Truce
09-18-2011, 11:14 AM
Sure, this is the information I have available thanks to 9/11 reviews.com


-The Us Naval intelligence, chief of Japan desk planned and suggested “8 insults”, which should bring Japan into the war with the US.
President Roosevelt executed this plan immediately and also added some additional insults to further enrage the Japanese.
The most serious one was total blockade of Japanese oil Imports, as agreed between the Americans, British and the Dutch. FDR also declared an all-out embargo against the Japan and forbade them the use Panama Canal, impending Japan’s access to Venezuelan oil.

Further more The Flying Tigers Volunteer air group successfully fighting the Japanese in China with some 90 fairly modern P-40Bs was another effective provocation that is not generally acknowledged by historical accounts of ww2, most of which fail to mention any air combat action prior to 7th December 1941. But at the time the Japanese had already lost about 100 military aircraft, mostly bombers, on account of the Tigers.
After Pearl Harbor these squadrons were some of the hardest hitting in the US Service.

The attack on Pearl Harbor followed some 6 months later. Having broken the Japanese encryption codes, the Americans knew what was going to happen, when and where, but the president did not dispatch this information to Pearl Harbor. Americans even gave their friends the British 3 Magic decrypting machines which automatically opened encrypted Japanese military traffic. But this same information was not available to the commanders of Hawaii. The movement of the fleet was also visible in the very effective radio direction finding network. Japan had an alliance with Germany, and the Germans upheld their promises by declaring the war against the USA right after the Japanese declaration.
Two scapegoats, the navy commander Admiral Husband Kimmel, and the army commander Lt. General Walter Short were found incompetent and demoted as they were allowed to retire. Short died 1949 and Kimmel 1958. In 1995, the US Congress re-examined this decision and endorsed it. Then in 2000 some archive information came to light and the US Senate passed a resolution stating that both had served in Hawaii "competently and professionally". In 1941 they were denied vital information, and even on presidential orders purposefully mislead into believing that the Japanese feet could be expected from the southwest. These commanders have yet to be rehabilited by the Pentagon.

leccy
09-18-2011, 11:40 AM
Sure, this is the information I have available thanks to 9/11 reviews.com


-The Us Naval intelligence, chief of Japan desk planned and suggested “8 insults”, which should bring Japan into the war with the US.
President Roosevelt executed this plan immediately and also added some additional insults to further enrage the Japanese.
The most serious one was total blockade of Japanese oil Imports, as agreed between the Americans, British and the Dutch. FDR also declared an all-out embargo against the Japan and forbade them the use Panama Canal, impending Japan’s access to Venezuelan oil.

Further more The Flying Tigers Volunteer air group successfully fighting the Japanese in China with some 90 fairly modern P-40Bs was another effective provocation that is not generally acknowledged by historical accounts of ww2, most of which fail to mention any air combat action prior to 7th December 1941. But at the time the Japanese had already lost about 100 military aircraft, mostly bombers, on account of the Tigers.
After Pearl Harbor these squadrons were some of the hardest hitting in the US Service.

The attack on Pearl Harbor followed some 6 months later. Having broken the Japanese encryption codes, the Americans knew what was going to happen, when and where, but the president did not dispatch this information to Pearl Harbor. Americans even gave their friends the British 3 Magic decrypting machines which automatically opened encrypted Japanese military traffic. But this same information was not available to the commanders of Hawaii. The movement of the fleet was also visible in the very effective radio direction finding network. Japan had an alliance with Germany, and the Germans upheld their promises by declaring the war against the USA right after the Japanese declaration.
Two scapegoats, the navy commander Admiral Husband Kimmel, and the army commander Lt. General Walter Short were found incompetent and demoted as they were allowed to retire. Short died 1949 and Kimmel 1958. In 1995, the US Congress re-examined this decision and endorsed it. Then in 2000 some archive information came to light and the US Senate passed a resolution stating that both had served in Hawaii "competently and professionally". In 1941 they were denied vital information, and even on presidential orders purposefully mislead into believing that the Japanese feet could be expected from the southwest. These commanders have yet to be rehabilited by the Pentagon.

You may wish to check your facts a little about the Flying Tigers for a start.

The ex RAF (in reality French 1940) order P40B used by the Flying Tigers.
The P-40B was not equipped with a gun sight, bomb rack or provisions for attaching auxiliary fuel tanks to the wing or belly. Much of our effort during training and combat was devoted to makeshift attempts to remedy these deficiencies. The combat record of the First American Volunteer Group in China is even more remarkable because its pilots were aiming their guns through a crude, homemade, ring-and-post gun sight instead of the more accurate optical sights used by the Air Corps and the Royal Air Force.

FIRST COMBAT (which was after Pearl Harbour)

The Third A.V.G. squadron moved to Rangoon on December 12, 1941, to join the R.A.F. in the defense of Rangoon. The First and Second squadrons flew from Toungoo to Kunming on the afternoon of the 18th. The first combat for the A.V.G. occurred over southern Yunnan Province on December 20, 1941. In their first combat, a combination of the First and Second Squadrons, shot down nine out of ten Japanese bombers with a loss of one A.V.G. aircraft. The second engagement brought the Third Squadron onto action over Rangoon on December 23, with the R.A.F. flying beside the Tigers. The total haul of Japs was six bombers and four fighters. The R.A.F. lost five planes and pilots and the A.V.G. lost four planes and two pilots.

Truce
09-18-2011, 04:26 PM
I am not really sure if I get the point of your comment.
Sounds like you’re saying it’s unlikly that the p-40bs could have successfully destroyed Japans military aircraft. :confused:

leccy
09-18-2011, 05:54 PM
I am not really sure if I get the point of your comment.
Sounds like you’re saying it’s unlikly that the p-40bs could have successfully destroyed Japans military aircraft. :confused:

The point is, you said and I quote


Further more The Flying Tigers Volunteer air group successfully fighting the Japanese in China with some 90 fairly modern P-40Bs was another effective provocation that is not generally acknowledged by historical accounts of ww2, most of which fail to mention any air combat action prior to 7th December 1941. But at the time the Japanese had already lost about 100 military aircraft, mostly bombers, on account of the Tigers.

The P40B was not a modern fighter it was an older design ordered by the French, passed to the British when France fell and Britain happily allowed the Chinese to buy in return for getting more modern versions of the P40 instead.
The Flying Tigers did not shoot down any Japanese aircraft until after Pearl Harbour and you claimed they had shot down around 100 prior to pearl Harbour as a 'Casus Belli'

If a basic checkable fact like that is wrong maybe the rest of the claims that are harder to check are likewise iffy.

Rising Sun*
09-18-2011, 07:44 PM
Sure, this is the information I have available thanks to 9/11 reviews.com


-The Us Naval intelligence, chief of Japan desk planned and suggested “8 insults”, which should bring Japan into the war with the US.
President Roosevelt executed this plan immediately and also added some additional insults to further enrage the Japanese.
The most serious one was total blockade of Japanese oil Imports, as agreed between the Americans, British and the Dutch. FDR also declared an all-out embargo against the Japan and forbade them the use Panama Canal, impending Japan’s access to Venezuelan oil.

Further more The Flying Tigers Volunteer air group successfully fighting the Japanese in China with some 90 fairly modern P-40Bs was another effective provocation that is not generally acknowledged by historical accounts of ww2, most of which fail to mention any air combat action prior to 7th December 1941. But at the time the Japanese had already lost about 100 military aircraft, mostly bombers, on account of the Tigers.
After Pearl Harbor these squadrons were some of the hardest hitting in the US Service.

The attack on Pearl Harbor followed some 6 months later. Having broken the Japanese encryption codes, the Americans knew what was going to happen, when and where, but the president did not dispatch this information to Pearl Harbor. Americans even gave their friends the British 3 Magic decrypting machines which automatically opened encrypted Japanese military traffic. But this same information was not available to the commanders of Hawaii. The movement of the fleet was also visible in the very effective radio direction finding network. Japan had an alliance with Germany, and the Germans upheld their promises by declaring the war against the USA right after the Japanese declaration.
Two scapegoats, the navy commander Admiral Husband Kimmel, and the army commander Lt. General Walter Short were found incompetent and demoted as they were allowed to retire. Short died 1949 and Kimmel 1958. In 1995, the US Congress re-examined this decision and endorsed it. Then in 2000 some archive information came to light and the US Senate passed a resolution stating that both had served in Hawaii "competently and professionally". In 1941 they were denied vital information, and even on presidential orders purposefully mislead into believing that the Japanese feet could be expected from the southwest. These commanders have yet to be rehabilited by the Pentagon.

There's nothing new in any of that. It's an interpretation which commends itself to conspiracy theorists with a superficial knowledge and blinkered view of history, but not to anyone with a fuller knowledge dispassionately interpreted.

There is also the difficulty that some of the assertions are completely contradicted by the facts, such as:

1. The Allies expected a Japanese attack but expected it to be in South East Asia, not Pearl Harbor, so there is no basis for the assertion that Roosevelt or anyone else ‘knew’ Pearl Harbor was a target for anything. The basis for that expectation included Japanese naval and troop movements in South East Asia in the weeks preceding 7 December and the knowledge that Japan coveted the resources in that region.
2. The movement of the Japanese Pearl Harbor fleet was not detected, or even detectable, by any Allied radio direction finding network. It could not have been detected because (a) the IJN fleet maintained radio silence and (b) the callsigns of the fleet were assigned to other ships which remained in the vicinity of Japan and those are the signals which, as intended by the Japanese, would have been picked up by the Allies creating the impression that no ships were heading towards Pearl Harbor.
3. Magic was the Japanese diplomatic code. The IJN did not give the Foreign Office details of its operations so they could not have been transmitted in Magic messages even if the Foreign Office had wanted to transmit them. Any relevant material would have been transmitted in the IJN’s codes, which the Allies could not read in 1941. There is no way Roosevelt or anyone else could have learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor from Magic decrypts. There is also the problem that the attack on Pearl was conceived months earlier and the planning was not conducted by radio transmissions.

There is plenty of other factual material to debunk in your quote, but the three points above are enough to demonstrate that it is an unfounded interpretation of history.

Truce
09-18-2011, 08:03 PM
Leccy
Makes sense now. Thanks for clarifying.

Your doubts prompted me to re-examine some of the claims made.
In my internet search I came across multiple sites which offer the same info that I presented, some that include the actual documentation. http://rationalrevolution.net/war/fdr_provoked_the_japanese_attack.htm
http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwarii/a/wwiipaccauses_2.htm
But from what you say there may be inaccuracies. Don’t know quite what to think,
I guess I am not going to rule out any possibilities until I do some deeper digging, and more in-depth research.
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.

Truce
09-18-2011, 08:59 PM
There's nothing new in any of that. It's an interpretation which commends itself to conspiracy theorists with a superficial knowledge and blinkered view of history, but not to anyone with a fuller knowledge dispassionately interpreted.


Just saw your post Rising Sun.
I think it’s a shame you categorize me or my view ect as conspiracy theorist or originating from conspiracy theory.
After all, I am just looking for answers, and wiling to consider a variety of possibilities.
If I was a stubborn block head who did not care about history I would absolutely refuse to listen to any one else’s input.
That’s not the case of course.
I have read over everything you and everyone else has said and will give it some serious thought.
I challenge you to do the same: go to the websites I listed, and sincerely consider those arguments.

Rising Sun*
09-18-2011, 11:17 PM
Just saw your post Rising Sun.
I think it’s a shame you categorize me or my view ect as conspiracy theorist or originating from conspiracy theory.

I didn't categorise you as anything.


I challenge you to do the same: go to the websites I listed, and sincerely consider those arguments.

I couldn't find the 9/11reviews.com source you listed. All I could find was 911review.com http://911review.com/precedent/century/pearlharbor.html , which strikes me as a conspiracy theory site.

I have considered the views expressed there. They are nonsense.

The authors do the usual conspiracy theory thing of taking a few pieces of information; filling in the gaps with their preferred ‘facts’ and distortions; and reaching the desired conclusion in defiance of the facts.

The linked article starts with a paragraph which proves nothing about what Knox or Roosevelt knew about the IJN fleet approaching Pearl Harbor, but the conspiracists will read into it that they knew exactly where the fleet was. If the authors had real evidence that Knox and Roosevelt knew the exact location of the fleet, they would have presented it. They haven't, because there isn't any.

The article goes on to state “On the evening of December 6, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president of the United States, received a message intercepted by the U.S. Navy. Sent from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Washington, the message was encrypted in the top-level Japanese "purple code." But that was no problem. The Americans had cracked the code long before that. It was imperative that the president see the message right away because it revealed that the Japanese, under the heavy pressure of Western economic sanctions, were terminating relations with the United States. Roosevelt read the thirteen-part transmission, looked up and announced, "This means war."

This paragraph reveals the authors’ lack of knowledge or, worse, intentional distortion on some critical points.

First, it gives the impression that the Americans had immediately cracked the whole message, which the authors think was in thirteen parts. In fact, it was in fourteen parts and the fourteenth part was not available until around 8 a.m. on 7 December.

Second, it states that message ‘revealed that the Japanese … were terminating relations with the United States’. The message said nothing of the kind. It merely terminated negotiations, which is a vastly less significant diplomatic step than terminating relations.

The authors then go on to refer to the message as ‘a secret declaration of war’. Nobody who actually bothers to inform themselves by reading the message could possibly come to such a conclusion. As the 1946 Congressional Investigation into the Pearl Harbor Attack noted: “Nowhere in the memorandum was there any indication or intimation of an intention to attack the United States nor, indeed, that formal diplomatic relations were to be broken - merely that it was impossible to reach an agreement through the then current negotiations. P.43 http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/congress/part_1.html

The authors then assert: “The Japanese secret declaration of war never reached the people who needed to hear it the most - Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the unit's commanding general, Walter Short.” If Kimmel and Short had received the message all they would have known was that Japan was breaking off negotiations. There was nothing in the message to indicate to them that Japan was about to attack America, let alone Pearl Harbor.

I could go on, but what I’ve written should be sufficient to demonstrate that the article was written by people who either don’t understand their subject or purposely misrepresent facts to support their desired conclusions.

Nickdfresh
09-19-2011, 12:42 AM
...
I have read over everything you and everyone else has said and will give it some serious thought.
I challenge you to do the same: go to the websites I listed, and sincerely consider those arguments.

Stop looking for the "truth" on the internet. There are too many morons that can post whatever unsubstantiated, opined bullshit as fact without the slightest hint of self-doubt or basic journalistic/scholarly integrity...

Truce
09-19-2011, 10:21 AM
I didn't categorise you as anything.



I couldn't find the 9/11reviews.com source you listed. All I could find was 911review.com http://911review.com/precedent/century/pearlharbor.html , which strikes me as a conspiracy theory site.

I have considered the views expressed there. They are nonsense.

The authors do the usual conspiracy theory thing of taking a few pieces of information; filling in the gaps with their preferred ‘facts’ and distortions; and reaching the desired conclusion in defiance of the facts.

The linked article starts with a paragraph which proves nothing about what Knox or Roosevelt knew about the IJN fleet approaching Pearl Harbor, but the conspiracists will read into it that they knew exactly where the fleet was. If the authors had real evidence that Knox and Roosevelt knew the exact location of the fleet, they would have presented it. They haven't, because there isn't any.

The article goes on to state “On the evening of December 6, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president of the United States, received a message intercepted by the U.S. Navy. Sent from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Washington, the message was encrypted in the top-level Japanese "purple code." But that was no problem. The Americans had cracked the code long before that. It was imperative that the president see the message right away because it revealed that the Japanese, under the heavy pressure of Western economic sanctions, were terminating relations with the United States. Roosevelt read the thirteen-part transmission, looked up and announced, "This means war."

This paragraph reveals the authors’ lack of knowledge or, worse, intentional distortion on some critical points.

First, it gives the impression that the Americans had immediately cracked the whole message, which the authors think was in thirteen parts. In fact, it was in fourteen parts and the fourteenth part was not available until around 8 a.m. on 7 December.

Second, it states that message ‘revealed that the Japanese … were terminating relations with the United States’. The message said nothing of the kind. It merely terminated negotiations, which is a vastly less significant diplomatic step than terminating relations.

The authors then go on to refer to the message as ‘a secret declaration of war’. Nobody who actually bothers to inform themselves by reading the message could possibly come to such a conclusion. As the 1946 Congressional Investigation into the Pearl Harbor Attack noted: “Nowhere in the memorandum was there any indication or intimation of an intention to attack the United States nor, indeed, that formal diplomatic relations were to be broken - merely that it was impossible to reach an agreement through the then current negotiations. P.43 http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/congress/part_1.html

The authors then assert: “The Japanese secret declaration of war never reached the people who needed to hear it the most - Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the unit's commanding general, Walter Short.” If Kimmel and Short had received the message all they would have known was that Japan was breaking off negotiations. There was nothing in the message to indicate to them that Japan was about to attack America, let alone Pearl Harbor.

I could go on, but what I’ve written should be sufficient to demonstrate that the article was written by people who either don’t understand their subject or purposely misrepresent facts to support their desired conclusions.

I had never read the article you ended up reading, but it seems somewhat shallow.
The ones I really wanted you to see are in the post for leccy.
Oh well, thanks for checking it out.
It’s been frustrating but educational.
Best regards.

Truce
09-19-2011, 10:32 AM
Stop looking for the "truth" on the internet. There are too many morons that can post whatever unsubstantiated, opined bullshit as fact without the slightest hint of self-doubt or basic journalistic/scholarly integrity...


Is there anything online that is valid?
I think I have found good reliable sources that deal with the facts and details and even then it’s not satisfactory.
I would like to ask where you get your information from.
Since I am going to start all over again and re-educate my self about Pearl Harbor, both the “conspiracy theory version” and the official story, can you recommend any reading material or any other format of source that is trustworthy?

Chevan
09-20-2011, 06:30 AM
Nick, stop forbid the people to search the true..;)
You know how in the USSR the peoples-dissidents whose political views didn't folow the official line were called? Exactly "morons" and they were forcedly put into Lunatic asylumns. Are you going to reincarnate the sort of USSR here? :mrgreen:

Since I am going to start all over again and re-educate my self about Pearl Harbor, both the “conspiracy theory version” and the official story, can you recommend any reading material or any other format of source that is trustworthy?

Well , i may recommend you the interview with Admiral Kimmel (http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v11/v11p495_Manion.html)
for the start. This man, former commander of Pacific fleet , can't be called moron so easy;)

steben
09-21-2011, 06:09 AM
Nick, stop forbid the people to search the true..;)
You know how in the USSR the peoples-dissidents whose political views didn't folow the official line were called? Exactly "morons" and they were forcedly put into Lunatic asylumns. Are you going to reincarnate the sort of USSR here? :mrgreen:
Well , i may recommend you the interview with Admiral Kimmel (http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v11/v11p495_Manion.html)
for the start. This man, former commander of Pacific fleet , can't be called moron so easy;)

Anecdote;
I remember 9/11 as well. It was a time were Europeans, certainly journalists that were in the US, were seen as terrorists themselves in a short period after the attacks.
My dad was there at that moment, in function as telecom engineer. Meetings were canceled or suspended and got a political colour.
First call went like:
"Dad, are you ok? were you on a plane?"
reaction: "planes? I don't understand, what I can say is that I am not being lynched!"


The US are still at war, and it is a critical climate to talk about war issues, even if it is about other wars.
Hysterical reactions can become very subtle and unconscious. Some Americans still feel they are the only ones that die, the only ones that got hurt and the only ones that care.
The fact is, americans were not used to war "in the face" and still react in an over-compensating way europeans learned to overcome. Again, there wasn't a world war where the most dead were American and certainly when talking civilians.
Talking about "Old World/Europe" in a very negative way, is like stabbing your grandparents in the back because they want to give you advise.

Rising Sun*
09-21-2011, 08:40 AM
Anecdote;
I remember 9/11 as well. It was a time were Europeans, certainly journalists that were in the US, were seen as terrorists themselves in a short period after the attacks.
My dad was there at that moment, in function as telecom engineer. Meetings were canceled or suspended and got a political colour.
First call went like:
"Dad, are you ok? were you on a plane?"
reaction: "planes? I don't understand, what I can say is that I am not being lynched!"

Do you really think that Americans were so stupid as to blame Europeans for an extremist Muslim attack?

Do you have evidence of any instances of any Europeans being lynched, or threatened with being lynched, in the aftermath of 9/11 for being Europeans?

Your recollection of 9/11 and its aftermath, which I also remember well, does not agree with mine.


The US are still at war, and it is a critical climate to talk about war issues, even if it is about other wars. Hysterical reactions can become very subtle and unconscious. Some Americans still feel they are the only ones that die, the only ones that got hurt and the only ones that care.

The US has been at war, or sponsoring a war, with at least one other nation for most of its existence. It is probably the most consistently belligerent nation during the past couple of centuries, although America likes to think of itself as a peaceful nation.

So far as the comparison you have chosen to make between modern Americans and Europeans is concerned, Americans still have some justification for feeling that they are the ones [albeit not the only ones] who die as they have lost rather more troops in wars since WWII than most, probably any, European nations unless, perhaps, one includes the USSR / Russia as a European nation.

Whether those American lives were lost in wars of any benefit to America or anyone else is a different issue but, for example, while Germany's contribution to the Vietnam War era was for a few politically misguided lunatics to play around with the Baader-Meinhof Gang and Italy's was the Red Brigades which together counted casualties in double digits at worst, America lost about 60,000 dead in Vietnam (which is about the same number it lost from a much smaller population in WWI). Americans in that era, who are now in their fifties and sixties, have a very good understanding of the consequences of war and a rather better one than most of their European counterparts of the same age who rely upon their parents' experiences of WWII.


The fact is, americans were not used to war "in the face" and still react in an over-compensating way europeans learned to overcome.

You should read up on the American Civil War. From memory, more
Americans were killed in that war alone than total American deaths in WWI and WWII. The war was on American soil between Americans who often laid waste to their own people and soil, and the victor imposed a harsh occupation upon the loser.

I don't know what you mean by Europeans learning to overcome war 'in the face'. My recollection is that the European victors in WWI imposed harsh terms on the loser and after WWII the European victors brought the losers to 'justice' by trying them for crimes which were largely unknown to law at the time they were committed. Which is what this thread is about.


Again, there wasn't a world war where the most dead were American and certainly when talking civilians.

And, given that Russia / USSR lost the greatest number in both world wars, your point is what?

That France and Germany don't count because, like America, they didn't top your league table of who lost the most?

Or should you be looking at percentages of the population?

But, even then, what does that prove?

You can argue about the impact of America's entry to WWI if you wish, but it is certainly the case that America's contribution to WWII was decisive in giving victory to the Allies against all the Axis powers, which was a victory which the other Allies could not have managed on their own.


Talking about "Old World/Europe" in a very negative way, is like stabbing your grandparents in the back because they want to give you advise.

Talking about America in a very negative and uninformed way is equally undesirable. There is plenty to criticise about America, as there is with every other country, but denigrating it on a body count of war deaths is meaningless and insulting, and especially when America has borne the main burden of defending the rest of the world from despotic regimes since WWII (while also managing to support some of those regimes when it suited America, as it suited other nations in their own interests).

Note: Figures are rough and from memory. I'm happy to be corrected if I'm seriously out.

steben
09-21-2011, 09:46 AM
Do you really think that Americans were so stupid as to blame Europeans for an extremist Muslim attack?

No, they did not and I didn't say that.
But they blame Europe every day for being "wise nose" and "weak" in our thoughts.
I simply say Americans were shocked and kicked around in the dark.
Intelligence is futile in the first 24 hours. In every situation of hazard, whether it is Port-au-Prince or New York. Bush doctrine "with us or against us" is a definition of what was in many heads at the moment.
The fact the terrorists lived and were trained within the US borders, definitely came as an extra shock and loosened tight attitudes towards Europeans.



Do you have evidence of any instances of any Europeans being lynched, or threatened with being lynched, in the aftermath of 9/11 for being Europeans?

:mrgreen:
please, don't go over the edge.
My dad simply made an impression pointing out what happened in the first hours.
Hard words fell and many felt suspicious. Europeans simply didn't walk around with signs saying "I'm with you".
And this is reinforced with other stories of people there. Like I said, most journalists.

Do you really need a recorded tape or some video shoot to overcome the thought it never happened? I'm not judging. If so, no discussion has any sense anymore.



Your recollection of 9/11 and its aftermath, which I also remember well, does not agree with mine.

You don't know my recollection, which is far more complex than one anecdote.




The US has been at war, or sponsoring a war, with at least one other nation for most of its existence. It is probably the most consistently belligerent nation during the past couple of centuries, although America likes to think of itself as a peaceful nation.

well far away of its territory ....



So far as the comparison you have chosen to make between modern Americans and Europeans is concerned, Americans still have some justification for feeling that they are the ones [albeit not the only ones] who die as they have lost rather more troops in wars since WWII than most, probably any, European nations unless, perhaps, one includes the USSR / Russia as a European nation.

Whether those American lives were lost in wars of any benefit to America or anyone else is a different issue but, for example, while Germany's contribution to the Vietnam War era was for a few politically misguided lunatics to play around with the Baader-Meinhof Gang and Italy's was the Red Brigades which together counted casualties in double digits at worst, America lost about 60,000 dead in Vietnam (which is about the same number it lost from a much smaller population in WWI). Americans in that era, who are now in their fifties and sixties, have a very good understanding of the consequences of war and a rather better one than most of their European counterparts of the same age who rely upon their parents' experiences of WWII.

The "experience in terror of war" I refer to is not a simple issue of having troops somewhere. It's about having troops at your door. Repression, food rations,...
My greatgrandmother often talked about comparison between 4 years WWI and 4 years WWII, explaining why the First War was worse for common people. etc...
these stories are way off having troops in Nicaragua or Vietnam in the live of a Kentucky farmer.



You should read up on the American Civil War. From memory, more
Americans were killed in that war alone than total American deaths in WWI and WWII. The war was on American soil between Americans who often laid waste to their own people and soil, and the victor imposed a harsh occupation upon the loser.

wow, and whoosh many decades back you go ... :mrgreen:
I'm sure, really sure Americans would think differently if the Civil War happened yesterday, of course they would. I would.
Europeans youth has different views on things than the elderly have. But the ones having faced years of occupation, in this case a nazi one, are still found alive.
Almost every week there is a WWII related documentary on the screen.



I don't know what you mean by Europeans learning to overcome war 'in the face'. My recollection is that the European victors in WWI imposed harsh terms on the loser and after WWII the European victors brought the losers to 'justice' by trying them for crimes which were largely unknown to law at the time they were committed. Which is what this thread is about.

I was talking about "overcoming" tendency towards aggression and quick judgement by civilians.
It is much more harsh by people that are recently shocked and experienced war in specific way before.
A soldier fights everywhere, a cilivian however exeriences war much more differently if the war is at his door.




And, given that Russia / USSR lost the greatest number in both world wars, your point is what?

That France and Germany don't count because, like America, they didn't top your league table of who lost the most?

Or should you be looking at percentages of the population?

But, even then, what does that prove?



It proves simply that the death, horror and attrition of occupation and war realities happened everywhere across civilians.
For every soldier, a cilivian died. In the US, no civilian was killed in war. Or try to imagine: No american was killed by a collateral Belgian bullet or bomb rightfully aiming for a German, did it? Or by famine being looted by the occupators?
No American ever had to struggle with the situation of cheering for a "liberating" bombing raid that maybe killed two of his cousins or so but at least twenty Germans.....
If you are saying, that's not what it is about, we are elaborating on different things.



You can argue about the impact of America's entry to WWI if you wish, but it is certainly the case that America's contribution to WWII was decisive in giving victory to the Allies against all the Axis powers, which was a victory which the other Allies could not have managed on their own.

The argumentation for the role of the US is irrelevant. It is not because the US did a fair job or not, the civilians had a better live under occupation. Every train or track they bombed was rebuild afterwards, no one argues that. But again, it's about the fact there was no factory bombed in the US. Everyday that was...




Talking about America in a very negative and uninformed way is equally undesirable. There is plenty to criticise about America, as there is with every other country, but denigrating it on a body count of war deaths is meaningless and insulting, and especially when America has borne the main burden of defending the rest of the world from despotic regimes since WWII (while also managing to support some of those regimes when it suited America, as it suited other nations in their own interests).

I repeat: It is not because the US did a fair job or not, the civilians had a better live under occupation
I guess you discussed a lot with boneheads trying to bash america no matter what, but you are mistaking considering my point.
It's all about collective socio-cultural behaviour, which is different in a region that was the frontline through years in two world wars and a regions that waged those wars.
It is on the other hand very insulting to wave goodbye the effort of nations that fought battles only a week and a half but went through two times 4 years of harsh occupation.
It's like only soldiers matter.. which is, as I said, a very easy way out considering the "suffering" in WWII of the US, which is the vast amount of regretful soldier lives ... but no civilian lives.
The number of Belgian soldiers killed in action is a laugh compared to civilian casualties in the years to follow. But if you really think of the battle effort as a laugh, those civilians are even more a laugh, since they are "irrelevant". Which is a shame.

Truce
09-21-2011, 10:41 AM
Nick, stop forbid the people to search the true..;)
You know how in the USSR the peoples-dissidents whose political views didn't folow the official line were called? Exactly "morons" and they were forcedly put into Lunatic asylumns. Are you going to reincarnate the sort of USSR here? :mrgreen:

Well , i may recommend you the interview with Admiral Kimmel (http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v11/v11p495_Manion.html)
for the start. This man, former commander of Pacific fleet , can't be called moron so easy;)

I appreciate the interview Chevan, it’s quite interesting and something I had not seen before.
Thanks much. ;)

royal744
10-08-2011, 01:06 AM
I confess to now being a tad curious about how old Mr. Steben is. I have no recollection of anyone whomsoever being suspicious of Europeans in the aftermath of 9/11. I agree with Rising Sun's citing of the American Civil War as a counter to the statement that the US has not experience war "in its face". Most people, including Europeans, don't know that this was the largest land war that had been fought up to that time and in terms of space, spanned half a continent. Many of the features of this war presaged WWI: heavy use of railroads; siege (trench) warfare in front of Richmond; economic warfare on a grand scale - capture of New Orleans to close off the Mississippi, capture of Brownsville, Texas, by Michigan marines to interdict the cotton trade; use of the Union Navy to blockade a tremendously long coastline; technological advances especially in the form of naval ironclads and movable turrets (Monitor); use of balloons for military observation; use of "instant" communications via telegraph and so on.

Rising Sun*
10-08-2011, 05:24 AM
Many of the features of this war presaged WWI: heavy use of railroads; siege (trench) warfare in front of Richmond; economic warfare on a grand scale - capture of New Orleans to close off the Mississippi, capture of Brownsville, Texas, by Michigan marines to interdict the cotton trade; use of the Union Navy to blockade a tremendously long coastline; technological advances especially in the form of naval ironclads and movable turrets (Monitor); use of balloons for military observation; use of "instant" communications via telegraph and so on.

And submarines.

The Civil War is widely regarded by military historians as the first 'modern war' in the sense of what became the world wars, for all the reasons you mention as well as the type of weapons and tactics used.

Although it was a long time ago, the fact remains that America was the first to experience a modern war and upon a huge scale, with the added bitterness of being a civil war rather than the wars between nations more usually fought in Europe in the same and subsequent periods.

steben
10-08-2011, 10:53 AM
I confess to now being a tad curious about how old Mr. Steben is. I have no recollection of anyone whomsoever being suspicious of Europeans in the aftermath of 9/11.

I'm now 30, my dad is 60.
Simple question; were there Europeans in your proximity at the time?



agree with Rising Sun's citing of the American Civil War as a counter to the statement that the US has not experience war "in its face". Most people, including Europeans, don't know that this was the largest land war that had been fought up to that time and in terms of space, spanned half a continent. Many of the features of this war presaged WWI: heavy use of railroads; siege (trench) warfare in front of Richmond; economic warfare on a grand scale - capture of New Orleans to close off the Mississippi, capture of Brownsville, Texas, by Michigan marines to interdict the cotton trade; use of the Union Navy to blockade a tremendously long coastline; technological advances especially in the form of naval ironclads and movable turrets (Monitor); use of balloons for military observation; use of "instant" communications via telegraph and so on.

The fact remains it's about people, not the specific technology. US citizens never experienced modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power stretched over war years at the doorstep. and never had to live up to ambiguent empathy (I refer to the bombing example).
And yes, today Europeans survivors exist, where US don't.

Nickdfresh
10-08-2011, 11:33 AM
...US citizens never experienced modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power stretched over war years at the doorstep....

Neither have the vast majority of Western Europeans...


And yes, today Europeans survivors exist, where US don't.

Survivors whose views' are largely ignored by the younger generations. What is common ground is that most of the world, West or East, shared the menace of the Cold War and the prospect of nuclear annihilation...

steben
10-08-2011, 12:28 PM
Neither have the vast majority of Western Europeans...


oh dear what's the point of this... :( quite the evasive maneuvre ...
I meant never in history of course!



Survivors whose views' are largely ignored by the younger generations. What is common ground is that most of the world, West or East, shared the menace of the Cold War and the prospect of nuclear annihilation...

Yes common ground.
But Europeans share more than that.
Again, no American today has heard (grand)parent's stories about bombing on their own civil houses, along with a mixed feeling of gratitude AND rage. And actually no American ever did witness it, given the specific cultural/ethnic situation of the Civil War. No friendly fire on your own house ever was cheered at. Did Americans ever witnessed or experienced antisemitic razzia's on own territory?
You all like talking about guns and railroads etc ... but that is not the point is it?

tankgeezer
10-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Steben, neither you, nor anyone here was alive during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, or the U.S. Civil War. That being true, how do you intend to support your quoted assertion?
"And actually no American ever did witness it, given the specific cultural/ethnic situation of the Civil War. No friendly fire on your own house ever was cheered at."
I see that you enjoy arguing more than discussing a point, to a proper conclusion. It may profit you to read the biographies of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. The more part of them lost everything in the struggle, they didnt wail about it, they got on with it. Arguement for its own sake is not the point of these boards, do try to remember that.

Nickdfresh
10-08-2011, 01:26 PM
oh dear what's the point of this... :( quite the evasive maneuvre ...
I meant never in history of course!


It's not evasive. It's the truth! A truth I've been told by former U.S. Army comrades that served in Europe--saying that there was a massive disconnect in the opinions of the older and younger generations.

You weren't alive during or for the extended aftermath of WWII, and I wasn't alive during the American Civil War...


Yes common ground.
But Europeans share more than that.
Again, no American today has heard (grand)parent's stories about bombing on their own civil houses, along with a mixed feeling of gratitude AND rage.

I know several New Yorkers who would strongly contest that!


And actually no American ever did witness it, given the specific cultural/ethnic situation of the Civil War. No friendly fire on your own house ever was cheered at.

Again, most younger Europeans also have not witnessed this!


Did Americans ever witnessed or experienced antisemitic razzia's on own territory?

Into WWII, newspaper want ad's often included "Jews need not apply." And we had our very own special instances of racial and ethnic discord in case you weren't aware of this. No current Americans ever saw the tragedy of the Civil War. But certainly many saw it's impact--and that of "Reconstruction"--that caused civil strife and domestic terrorism in the United States well into the 1960's if not 1970's.


You all like talking about guns and railroads etc ... but that is not the point is it?

I don't recall mentioning either. But I think the point made by others was the sheer scale of the conflict was one of "total war."

steben
10-09-2011, 09:00 AM
- Uh, say what? New Yorkers? :shock: are you talking about "cheering" at 9/11?
- I don't understand why the views of the elderly in Europe are to be rejected ... as if they are dead indeed...
- I don't understand why you refer to US domestic racial struggles when talking about antisemitic (amongst others of course, gypsies, gays,...) razzia's in occupied territories.... when at the same time no one else is allowed to compare nazi Germany and the US on this matter...


Arguement for its own sake is not the point of these boards, do try to remember that.

You mean: if no one listens to arguements, do not waste time. Ok i'll try to remember.
All I know now is that most of you guys discussing this mather don't live in Europe, OR most of you simply are connected to all the "other" Europeans, th eones that seem to be outside my world. :lol:
The things I'm telling don't need arguements over here.

Rising Sun*
10-09-2011, 09:10 AM
US citizens never experienced modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power stretched over war years at the doorstep.


oh dear what's the point of this... :( quite the evasive maneuvre ...
I meant never in history of course!

No, you didn't limit it to 'never in history', but if you had it would have included the American Civil War.

The citizens who most experienced "modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power" were in Western and Eastern Europe 1940-45 under the Germans and in Eastern Europe post-war under the Soviets for rather longer.

As for experiencing "modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power stretched over war years at the doorstep." nobody in Western Europe has experienced that since WWII either as, unless my news sources over the past half century have been seriously deficient, there haven't been any wars in Western Europe since WWII.


And yes, today Europeans survivors exist, where US don't.

And, yes, European survivors of WWII exist. And they exist because of American, Soviet, British, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Indian, Brazilian and sundry other nationalities who fought and defeated the Nazis after the French and BEF had been defeated following King Leopold of Belgium's unexpected surrender.

The people of occupied Western Europe have no experience of waging the modern / industrial WWII against the Nazis and Italians and Japanese over vast distances and the constant loss of soldiers, sailors and airmen during the years the Allies fought a grinding war against the Axis while, unless you happened to be a Jew or homosexual (other than those prominent in Nazi ranks) or Gypsy or in some other group targeted by the Nazis, life in occupied Europe continued rather satisfactorily for most people.

The people of Western Europe undoubtedly suffered various privations (and many benefits for some, but that's been lost under the cloud of bullshit that holds every Frenchman a stout member of the Resistance) under the German occupation as well as being occasional targets of Allied offensive activity, but for about five years from Dunkirk to the German surrender they mostly went about their affairs while people outside Western Europe fought the war which liberated Western Europe from the Nazis.

Most people in Western Europe got a better deal 1940-45 by sitting on their arses under German occupation than the British, Americans and others who fought and died and expended their industrial and economic resources to expel the occupiers.

As indeed did Western Europe benefit during the Cold War from the American and British presence facing the Soviets, not least because Western Europe couldn't have defended itself from a Soviet attack.

steben
10-09-2011, 12:21 PM
No, you didn't limit it to 'never in history', but if you had it would have included the American Civil War.

since when were there foreign occupating powers in USA between 1860-1865?
It seems to me you are unconsciously trying to divert the discussion to "modern war" , but I am not talking about modern war, I am talking about the foreign occupation, the uncertainty and the results of war.



The citizens who most experienced "modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power" were in Western and Eastern Europe 1940-45 under the Germans and in Eastern Europe post-war under the Soviets for rather longer.
As for experiencing "modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power stretched over war years at the doorstep." nobody in Western Europe has experienced that since WWII either as, unless my news sources over the past half century have been seriously deficient, there haven't been any wars in Western Europe since WWII.

so they are dead then and specificaly numb.
I wonder if there are people here about the age of my grandparents. Because I need to now them: they are unuimportant it seems. :(


And, yes, European survivors of WWII exist. And they exist because of American, Soviet, British, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Indian, Brazilian and sundry other nationalities who fought and defeated the Nazis after the French and BEF had been defeated following King Leopold of Belgium's unexpected surrender.

:confused:
What's the point?
Suggesting the French surrendered because of Leopold or what? :lol:
Unexpected? :lol:


The people of occupied Western Europe have no experience of waging the modern / industrial WWII against the Nazis and Italians and Japanese over vast distances and the constant loss of soldiers, sailors and airmen during the years the Allies fought a grinding war against the Axis while, unless you happened to be a Jew or homosexual (other than those prominent in Nazi ranks) or Gypsy or in some other group targeted by the Nazis, life in occupied Europe continued rather satisfactorily for most people.

The people of Western Europe undoubtedly suffered various privations (and many benefits for some, but that's been lost under the cloud of bullshit that holds every Frenchman a stout member of the Resistance) under the German occupation as well as being occasional targets of Allied offensive activity, but for about five years from Dunkirk to the German surrender they mostly went about their affairs while people outside Western Europe fought the war which liberated Western Europe from the Nazis.

Most people in Western Europe got a better deal 1940-45 by sitting on their arses under German occupation than the British, Americans and others who fought and died and expended their industrial and economic resources to expel the occupiers.

Yeah, like no one died over here... :evil: like no one had friends ... like there was no paranoia, no hunger, no chance of a youth if you were 12-14 at 1940...
I'm going to be honest, but I am truly quite disgusted with this part of your posts...


life in occupied Europe continued rather satisfactorily for most people.

:evil: yeah, most people...
except those who died you mean. Or are crippled for life...
As you describe it, it seems we were better of you guys didn't come at all then?
:evil:



As indeed did Western Europe benefit during the Cold War from the American and British presence facing the Soviets, not least because Western Europe couldn't have defended itself from a Soviet attack.

You are not willing or uncapable of seeing things in their context. How can you even expect more from Euro citizens than they already showed during the last century?

tankgeezer
10-09-2011, 12:46 PM
Very cheeky Steben, too much so from someone so new to the site. You'll need to bring your A-game if you want to play tetris here.

Rising Sun*
10-10-2011, 07:54 AM
since when were there foreign occupating powers in USA between 1860-1865?

Depends what you mean by ‘foreign’, but in the Civil War the Union and Confederate forces qualified as ‘foreign’ when in each other’s territory. If you think the Union occupation of the Confederate states (and vice versa) was a gentle occupation, you might like to consider this contemporary account http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/williamson/text.html The Germans were generally much better behaved than that in Western Europe, unless you happened to be one of their target groups. In fact, the German troops occupying France were probably better behaved 1940-44 than the Americans who moved through France in the second half of 1944 if one looks at figures for rape of civilians and other offences against civilians.

I'm not sure that you grasp the scale and impact of the Civil War. From memory, about 10 times more Americans died in that war than in WWI more than half a century later from a much larger population.

I'm also not sure that you grasp the viciousness of the Civil War with guerrilla forces on both sides engaging in actions that in WWII would have qualified as atrocities; nor the devastation that the regular forces wrought on the land, towns and people as they moved across the land; nor the economic impact on the South of its war and defeat.


It seems to me you are unconsciously trying to divert the discussion to "modern war" , but I am not talking about modern war, I am talking about the foreign occupation, the uncertainty and the results of war.

I was merely responding to your statement about “modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power stretched over war years at the doorstep”. That seemed to me to link modern occupation of a foreign power to war years, which seemed to me to be about occupations related to modern war. As we were discussing WWII, I assumed that that was the relevant modern war. Apparently I got that wrong. Could you let me know which occupation of Western Europe you are discussing?



What's the point?
Suggesting the French surrendered because of Leopold or what?
Unexpected?

Leaving aside the fact that Leopold’s actions in capitulating to the Germans were unconstitutional and possibly treasonable, Churchill’s (obviously bitter and rather optimistic as far as defeating the Germans and especially in Poland, but nonetheless militarily accurate view of the effect of Leopold's capitulation on the French and British forces) at the time was expressed to the House of Commons on 4 June 1940 in his 'we shall never surrender' speech. I think you will find that Churchill and others found Leopold's surrender unexpected.


The King of the Belgians had called upon us to come to his aid. Had not this Ruler and his Government severed themselves from the Allies, who rescued their country from extinction in the late war, and had they not sought refuge in what was proved to be a fatal neutrality, the French and British Armies might well at the outset have saved not only Belgium but perhaps even Poland. Yet at the last moment, when Belgium was already invaded, King Leopold called upon us to come to his aid, and even at the last moment we came. He and his brave, efficient Army, nearly half a million strong, guarded our left flank and thus kept open our only line of retreat to the sea. Suddenly, without prior consultation, with the least possible notice, without the advice of his Ministers and upon his own personal act, he sent a plenipotentiary to the German Command, surrendered his Army, and exposed our whole flank and means of retreat.
I asked the House a week ago to suspend its judgment because the facts were not clear, but I do not feel that any reason now exists why we should not form our own opinions upon this pitiful episode. The surrender of the Belgian Army compelled the British at the shortest notice to cover a flank to the sea more than 30 miles in length. Otherwise all would have been cut off, and all would have shared the fate to which King Leopold had condemned the finest Army his country had ever formed. So in doing this and in exposing this flank, as anyone who followed the operations on the map will see, contact was lost between the British and two out of the three corps forming the First French Army, who were still farther from the coast than we were, and it seemed impossible that any large number of Allied troops could reach the coast. http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/speeches/speeches-of-winston-churchill/128-we-shall-fight-on-the-beaches
The French didn’t surrender because of Leopold, nor was Britain forced to evacuate from Dunkirk because of Leopold’s capitulation, but by his unilateral action in making a separate peace with the Germans he pulled the remaining rug out from the other two Allies then fighting the Germans.


Yeah, like no one died over here...
I didn’t say that.

One of my points was that people in occupied Western Europe who weren’t in Nazi target groups, such as Jews, Gypsies, communists and homosexuals, were generally better off and at less risk than those in the armed forces still fighting the Nazis. Much as it may piss off some people now in Europe who want to believe their ancestors were all staunch heroes of the resistance and forced to live on turnip peelings thrown out of Heer kitchens, the fact is that a good proportion of the population in occupied Western European countries were (as were significant elements in Britain) sympathetic to the Nazis and (as would have been the case with those significant elements in Britain if the Nazis had invaded Britain successfully) were quite happy to collaborate with and often profit from the Nazis. The Vichy regime is the best example of this at a government and large scale level. At a lower level I have known people who did rather well out of trading with the Germans in Holland, which was probably the country which was most united in its opposition to the Germans.


like no one had friends ... like there was no paranoia, no hunger, no chance of a youth if you were 12-14 at 1940...

Everything is relative. Take hunger for example. Western Europe was hugely better off than Eastern Europe under the Nazis. See The Annihilation of Superfluous Eaters: Nazi Plans for and Use of Famine in Eastern Europe at http://www.yale.edu/gsp/publications/


I'm going to be honest, but I am truly quite disgusted with this part of your posts...

You mightn’t be if you managed to be less self-pitying as the descendant of an occupied country and more objective about the relative risks and benefits of being in occupied Western Europe compared with being, say, an airman or soldier or sailor engaged in the fighting from 1940 to 1945 which liberated Western Europe.

Many, possibly most, of the Allied airmen who flew over Belgium 1940 to 1944 to attack Germany didn't survive the war. Very few of the Belgians they flew over failed to survive the war. The odds were a lot better for Belgians, or anyone else on the ground in Western Europe, than Allied aircrew fighting to liberate them.

Perhaps you should be disgusted that you want to wallow in "how terrible it was to be in occupied Western Europe where almost all of us survived" instead of being thankful that "while almost all of us survived people outside our country died in droves to liberate us".

It's up to you whether you want to whinge about how a Belgian supposedly was a bit short of food (as were all people in combatant nations to varying degrees) or how a Belgian teenager had a hard time getting a job under the Occupation while British and American teenagers and teenagers from other nations not under occupation were fighting and dying to liberate Belgium and the rest of occupied Europe from the Nazi yoke.

RAF Bomber Command had a death rate around 45%. I expect that the death rate in Belgium, even including Nazi target groups, was somewhat less in even the worst years of the war.


life in occupied Europe continued rather satisfactorily for most people.
yeah, most people...
except those who died you mean. Or are crippled for life...

How’d you like to dig out the death rates for the occupied period in Belgium and demonstrate your implied position that Belgians, and presumably French and Dutch, were dying at death rates five or ten or more times higher than before the war? Then separate the deaths caused by Allied action from the vast numbers you imply were caused by the Germans rounding up the few civilians outside their target groups that the Germans hadn’t starved to death and then executing them by the tens of thousands. I’m taking a gamble here that there might be a spike in deaths during the occupation but I’m also inclined to think that it might have been due more to Allied action than German executions etc.

Could you also provide the figures and rates for people crippled during the occupation compared with beforehand and demonstrate how the Germans caused that?

Rising Sun*
10-10-2011, 07:55 AM
As you describe it, it seems we were better of you guys didn't come at all then?


Again, that’s not what I said.

However, if I was to respond to your comment I’d say that Belgium has every reason to complain about the other Allies liberating it from the Germans as this interfered with the Belgian King’s decision to subject his country to German occupation. What gave Britain and America the right to expel the Germans from Belgium when its King has installed them there?


You are not willing or uncapable of seeing things in their context.

Or might it be that, as someone outside Europe, America, and Britain and whose country did not fight in the Western European land war, I see the context rather more objectively than you do from your perspective as the citizen of a country in Western Europe occupied by the Germans?


How can you even expect more from Euro citizens than they already showed during the last century?

Well, for a start, I think it would have been great if there was less sympathy by Euro citizens with the anti-Semitism espoused by the Nazis, and even better if the non-German (but not necessarily non-Nazi) Euro citizens guilty of those attitudes and the conduct it produced were identified and lumped in with the Nazis. Anti-Semitism wasn’t a Nazi invention and the Nazis didn’t fill the cattle cars all by themselves. Blaming the Nazis alone for the Holocaust is as mistaken as seeing all French people as anti-Nazi members of the Resistance.

steben
10-10-2011, 08:43 AM
Again, that’s not what I said.

However, if I was to respond to your comment I’d say that Belgium has every reason to complain about the other Allies liberating it from the Germans as this interfered with the Belgian King’s decision to subject his country to German occupation. What gave Britain and America the right to expel the Germans from Belgium when its King has installed them there?

hah! that's a very simple one you know.
The Belgian gouvernment went into exile into france and england, making Leopold's actions not only unconstitutional but irrelevant. A vast majority of the people supported the gouvernment, not the King. Ever heard of the monarchist crisis in post-WWII in Belgium?
Leopold III is called "the nazi King" and there are studies concerning his "new order" views way before the war.



Or might it be that, as someone outside Europe, America, and Britain and whose country did not fight in the Western European land war, I see the context rather more objectively than you do from your perspective as the citizen of a country in Western Europe occupied by the Germans?

There would be no discussion if there was no different perspective. That doesn't make for objectivity though...




Well, for a start, I think it would have been great if there was less sympathy by Euro citizens with the anti-Semitism espoused by the Nazis, and even better if the non-German (but not necessarily non-Nazi) Euro citizens guilty of those attitudes and the conduct it produced were identified and lumped in with the Nazis. Anti-Semitism wasn’t a Nazi invention and the Nazis didn’t fill the cattle cars all by themselves. Blaming the Nazis alone for the Holocaust is as mistaken as seeing all French people as anti-Nazi members of the Resistance.

anti-semitism is found everywhere, as it was even found in the homeland of the allied liberators. You can't rout out anti-semitism on itslef, yet you can rout it out of active politics. Just as racism on itself can't be routed out of your own hometown today.

steben
10-10-2011, 09:37 AM
Depends what you mean by ‘foreign’, but in the Civil War the Union and Confederate forces qualified as ‘foreign’ when in each other’s territory. If you think the Union occupation of the Confederate states (and vice versa) was a gentle occupation, you might like to consider this contemporary account http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/williamson/text.html The Germans were generally much better behaved than that in Western Europe, unless you happened to be one of their target groups. In fact, the German troops occupying France were probably better behaved 1940-44 than the Americans who moved through France in the second half of 1944 if one looks at figures for rape of civilians and other offences against civilians.

What you are saying here actually is that the suffering of civilians is always underestimated, exactly what I am trying to define.
Whether friend or foe, every civilian looses a toe.



I'm not sure that you grasp the scale and impact of the Civil War. From memory, about 10 times more Americans died in that war than in WWI more than half a century later from a much larger population.

How can it be differently if the war is fought on another place and you act as an expeditionary force? :confused:



I'm also not sure that you grasp the viciousness of the Civil War with guerrilla forces on both sides engaging in actions that in WWII would have qualified as atrocities; nor the devastation that the regular forces wrought on the land, towns and people as they moved across the land; nor the economic impact on the South of its war and defeat.

I never said the Americans had a lot of fun, my friend. No war is fun. Never. Yet some are more different than others. I gave specific examples, which you waved away as if it were questionable, irrelevant and almost not painful at all with a hint of typical european small mindedness.
It is in fact that small mindedness that rejected a lot of US war politics nowadays. And it was worth it. It could have saved American military lives, which you seem to cheerish more than civilians anyway.



I was merely responding to your statement about “modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power stretched over war years at the doorstep”. That seemed to me to link modern occupation of a foreign power to war years, which seemed to me to be about occupations related to modern war. As we were discussing WWII, I assumed that that was the relevant modern war. Apparently I got that wrong. Could you let me know which occupation of Western Europe you are discussing?

I was partially excluding the Civil War on some points.



Leaving aside the fact that Leopold’s actions in capitulating to the Germans were unconstitutional and possibly treasonable, Churchill’s (obviously bitter and rather optimistic as far as defeating the Germans and especially in Poland, but nonetheless militarily accurate view of the effect of Leopold's capitulation on the French and British forces) at the time was expressed to the House of Commons on 4 June 1940 in his 'we shall never surrender' speech. I think you will find that Churchill and others found Leopold's surrender unexpected.

Ah Politicians ... they think more things than they say and usually what they think is mor important. I remember something like Chamberlain & co ...



http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/speeches/speeches-of-winston-churchill/128-we-shall-fight-on-the-beaches
The French didn’t surrender because of Leopold, nor was Britain forced to evacuate from Dunkirk because of Leopold’s capitulation, but by his unilateral action in making a separate peace with the Germans he pulled the remaining rug out from the other two Allies then fighting the Germans.

Making you blame the population or the descendants?



One of my points was that people in occupied Western Europe who weren’t in Nazi target groups, such as Jews, Gypsies, communists and homosexuals, were generally better off and at less risk than those in the armed forces still fighting the Nazis.

You like comparing the military risks with civilian risks, because it's very fortunate for your views, but it is a complete falacy that I completely reject.
What do you think about the Eastern Europeans who were theoretically "better off" than German soldiers on the Eastern front?



Much as it may piss off some people now in Europe who want to believe their ancestors were all staunch heroes of the resistance and forced to live on turnip peelings thrown out of Heer kitchens, the fact is that a good proportion of the population in occupied Western European countries were (as were significant elements in Britain) sympathetic to the Nazis and (as would have been the case with those significant elements in Britain if the Nazis had invaded Britain successfully) were quite happy to collaborate with and often profit from the Nazis. The Vichy regime is the best example of this at a government and large scale level. At a lower level I have known people who did rather well out of trading with the Germans in Holland, which was probably the country which was most united in its opposition to the Germans.

I cannot see were you make your point about the "rather good life" in occupated territory. You even mention the segregation of the own population. Excellent point. In the DDR, they were even lucky enough to live 45 years in happy good times like that.



Everything is relative. Take hunger for example.

:oops: my god
Why on earth shouldn't the effort of the American or Australian citizens in WWII be relative then?



You mightn’t be if you managed to be less self-pitying as the descendant of an occupied country and more objective about the relative risks and benefits of being in occupied Western Europe compared with being, say, an airman or soldier or sailor engaged in the fighting from 1940 to 1945 which liberated Western Europe.

You continue to blame and therefor hurt the western Europeans twice as much with these words. You say, with other words but nevertheless, that we have it all to blame on ourselves. You laugh with the resistance. You blame western europeans for not delivering true hero soldiers since we were "lazy arsed". And once we were liberated, we simply had to be happy and realise that we always have been happy in occupation. Simply because we didn't have an army any more? That's a pitty and a very small view on society and life.



Many, possibly most, of the Allied airmen who flew over Belgium 1940 to 1944 to attack Germany didn't survive the war. Very few of the Belgians they flew over failed to survive the war. The odds were a lot better for Belgians, or anyone else on the ground in Western Europe, than Allied aircrew fighting to liberate them.

Again, comparing civilians under occupation and active military is falacy.
An occupated people is crucial in the build up of society. Expedetionary military returning to the homeland are paria. Which has painful proof nowadays with the soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
I wonder how much suffering there is nowadays in the US in your eyes... And how the "death rate" of Afghan soldiers is reflected in the overall death rate of the US people.

Americans soldiers in WWI had more food in their trenches than the french/ belgian citizens and surely more than the Germans.. But that can not be a definition of happy times is it?



Perhaps you should be disgusted that you want to wallow in "how terrible it was to be in occupied Western Europe where almost all of us survived" instead of being thankful that "while almost all of us survived people outside our country died in droves to liberate us".

No, I will not. Because I don't do the one thing in expense of the other.
being thankful is not the same as adoration and mental slavery, which I don't exercise.

Are you really saying that not "almost all Americans and Australians" survived WWII, which the western Europeans did indeed in your views?



It's up to you whether you want to whinge about how a Belgian supposedly was a bit short of food (as were all people in combatant nations to varying degrees) or how a Belgian teenager had a hard time getting a job under the Occupation while British and American teenagers and teenagers from other nations not under occupation were fighting and dying to liberate Belgium and the rest of occupied Europe from the Nazi yoke.

How many American en British teenagers were there in 1944?
Were they all fighting? Or were some doing some stupid, silly, unbrave things like organizing their living in war economy?



RAF Bomber Command had a death rate around 45%. I expect that the death rate in Belgium, even including Nazi target groups, was somewhat less in even the worst years of the war.

Hmm death rates... yes that was my point from the beginning...:neutral:
What was the death rate of Belgian POW's in Germany under slave labour?
What was the death rate of Belgian first row personel in POW's in Germany under slave labour? What was the death rate of the few soldiers in Eben Emael? What was the death rate of the few tortured prioners assumed resistors etc?

death rates ...
What's your death rate?

It's clear that you again compare military, in this case parts of military, with a complete population. Again: compare death rate of Belgians with Americans, not just American military.

tankgeezer
10-10-2011, 10:03 AM
Quote by RS*:

"I'm not sure that you grasp the scale and impact of the Civil War. From memory, about 10 times more Americans died in that war than in WWI more than half a century later from a much larger population."

For Steben's benefit, some figures that may give scale to the impact of the American Civil War. They are not all to the last digit, but will render a clear enough image of that war.
Casualties for U.S. soldiers in Viet Nam covering nearly 10 years, 57,000.
Casualties for the Battle of Gettysberg covering 3 days, 51,000

Casualties for U.S. soldiers at Normandy one day, 6,603
Casualties for the Battle of Antietam, (Maryland) one day, 22,717
It is not uncommon to find that families had members on both sides of this war, my own included if my grand mothers recollections are at all accurate. My distant relative Mathew Van Brocklin took part in, and survived the fighting at Harper's Ferry W. Virginia. The maternal side of my family is from the Netherlands, starting with Cornelis Teunissen Van Brackle, Magistrate of Beverwych who arrived in N. America in 1631.

steben
10-10-2011, 10:54 AM
All emotion aside, I can't see the added value in clarifying that a homogeneous American Civil War on American soil costed more American soldier lives than a heterogeneous World war "abroad". That is no more no less than irrefutable logic, no?

What is the link with the statement that there was more American suffering than Belgian in WWII? How do you measure this? By simple ratios's? Relative? Why isn't the American effort "a laugh" compared to the Russian if Belgian effort is "a laugh" compared to the American? etc etc...
Why is it irrelevant that WWII is more recent than the Civil War? Why is it irrelevant to point out that World War (especially the most recent) is very specific in its social-economic impact, still having impact today on europeans' legacy?

royal744
10-10-2011, 11:24 AM
oh dear what's the point of this... :( quite the evasive maneuvre ...
I meant never in history of course!



Yes common ground.
But Europeans share more than that.
Again, no American today has heard (grand)parent's stories about bombing on their own civil houses, along with a mixed feeling of gratitude AND rage. And actually no American ever did witness it, given the specific cultural/ethnic situation of the Civil War. No friendly fire on your own house ever was cheered at. Did Americans ever witnessed or experienced antisemitic razzia's on own territory?
You all like talking about guns and railroads etc ... but that is not the point is it?

Get a life Steben. I'm American. I was also born in Holland during the last year of the war, during the 'honger winter'. My parents experienced the whole war and the whole Nazi occupation. They remember their liberation by the Canadians and Americans. I'm unsure of what point you are making about some supposed moral ascendancy of Europeans because they were occupied by Germans, There is no moral position of superiority on the part of Europeans that derives from this.

And yes, not only am I European, there were plenty of them here (and still are) in the aftermath of 9/11. There were no reprisals against Europeans here. Zero. Nada. Niente. Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as a "homogenous" American population, which you would realize if you lived here longer than ten minutes. For heaven's sake, cut it out.

tankgeezer
10-10-2011, 11:50 AM
Sorry Steben, but as usual your post is too convoluted, and unclear to respond to. In particular, this: "That is no more no less than irrefutable logic, no?" As to your questions, why this, why that, go back through the posts to find your answers. I could put the same question of you. Why is it not relevant that the Civil War took place before WW II ? All of the posts that you refer to are made by others in response to your own posted assertions, which can be quite vague, or general at times. Those who respond to you, are doing so to point out the errors contained in the assertions of some of your posts. countering these factual corrections by resorting to nebulous assessments of value, (why's, if's ,and maybe's, and phases of the moon) does not further the discussion.

steben
10-10-2011, 02:17 PM
Get a life Steben.

We have no life stores in the neighbourhood.



I'm American.
...
And yes, not only am I European,...

you lost me



I was also born in Holland during the last year of the war, during the 'honger winter'. My parents experienced the whole war and the whole Nazi occupation. They remember their liberation by the Canadians and Americans. I'm unsure of what point you are making about some supposed moral ascendancy of Europeans because they were occupied by Germans

My grandparents talk about specificaly 1941-1942 as the worst period, about the loss of people, the double life and smuggling and of course the life as POV in Germany. I'm quite unsure myself there is a uniform story about europeans those days and their recollection of the war. I guess our both legacies are different already.

And yes, I am very interested about your parents' opinion concerning 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan?


There is no moral position of superiority on the part of Europeans that derives from this.

superiority??? Say what? Of course not!



And yes, not only am I European, there were plenty of them here (and still are) in the aftermath of 9/11. There were no reprisals against Europeans here. Zero. Nada. Niente. Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as a "homogenous" American population, which you would realize if you lived here longer than ten minutes. For heaven's sake, cut it out.

I never talked about reprisals, I was merely describing the dark mental issues Americans were struggling with shortly after 9/11.

And its a strange feeling I have to speak about American identity... if you guys are saying it doesn't exist. I'm sure not all your fellow countrymen agree.

steben
10-10-2011, 02:25 PM
Sorry Steben, but as usual your post is too convoluted, and unclear to respond to.

It's easy to dismiss the foreigner on language terms if you yourself are speaking your native language. I try to be as clear as I can.


In particular, this: "That is no more no less than irrefutable logic, no?"

What isn't clear about that?



As to your questions, why this, why that, go back through the posts to find your answers. I could put the same question of you. Why is it not relevant that the Civil War took place before WW II ? All of the posts that you refer to are made by others in response to your own posted assertions, which can be quite vague, or general at times. Those who respond to you, are doing so to point out the errors contained in the assertions of some of your posts. countering these factual corrections by resorting to nebulous assessments of value, (why's, if's ,and maybe's, and phases of the moon) does not further the discussion.

I'm sorry too, but I don't feel my questions are answered.
I feel a sense of denial and fear. And a lot of: get a life and start asking the things we like to hear. I'm quite sure as well, other forums would say I'm saying at least interesting things. Well, they do actually ...
I have a life and it's about fine as it is.

Things as "western europeans were rather doing well under nazi occupation" makes me spin around a bit ...
Try saying this about Jews themselves and you know what I mean. Because most of them were also still alive as well you know. It doesn't mean "it wasn't that bad at all".
They did not have armies as well in the camps. Were they lazy arsed?
Talking about casualties amongst soldiers as response to my statement the US/UK/Australia never experienced nazi occupation is another terrifying thought ... and makes me think I'm talking to a wall of strictly military interested. Just as other forums (slightly less into war subjects) turn their heads when someone starts about military sacrifices ... which is as blind as this.

I really would like an answer on my question why europeans would need to be thankful to get rid of a regime that was apparently that good for us, or at least "not that bad". Let me make it really simple: it was horror and that's why we should be thankful.

tankgeezer
10-10-2011, 06:16 PM
Steben, no one is making fun of your English, just letting you know that you are not often clear in you posts. It can be a problem for those who do not speak English on a daily basis, and everyone here makes allowances, and tries to work around it. The answers you receive will be only as good as the questions you post. Argument for its own sake is not the purpose of the site, and is discouraged. Posting assertions in order to stir up a storm of responses is also discouraged. Its up to you as to what kind of experience you will have here.

burp
10-11-2011, 02:44 AM
In war the first victim is the true.

Yes, who are the bad guy and who made the war atrocity is decided by the victors.
Firebombing is a deliberate act to destroy an entire civil population of a city without using NBC weapons, simply burning them alive. It's a crime.

Rising Sun*
10-11-2011, 06:09 AM
Quote by RS*:

"I'm not sure that you grasp the scale and impact of the Civil War. From memory, about 10 times more Americans died in that war than in WWI more than half a century later from a much larger population."

For Steben's benefit, some figures that may give scale to the impact of the American Civil War. They are not all to the last digit, but will render a clear enough image of that war.
Casualties for U.S. soldiers in Viet Nam covering nearly 10 years, 57,000.
Casualties for the Battle of Gettysberg covering 3 days, 51,000

Casualties for U.S. soldiers at Normandy one day, 6,603
Casualties for the Battle of Antietam, (Maryland) one day, 22,717
It is not uncommon to find that families had members on both sides of this war, my own included if my grand mothers recollections are at all accurate. My distant relative Mathew Van Brocklin took part in, and survived the fighting at Harper's Ferry W. Virginia. The maternal side of my family is from the Netherlands, starting with Cornelis Teunissen Van Brackle, Magistrate of Beverwych who arrived in N. America in 1631.

I think some of your figures might be distorted by mixing casualties with deaths.

The figure you give for Vietnam is about the number I recall for total US deaths (KIA, DOW and other causes), not casualties which is KIA, DOW and other deaths plus WIA and MIA and maybe even SIW and other injuries.

I don't know about the other figures you've mentioned.

tankgeezer
10-11-2011, 07:44 AM
I think some of your figures might be distorted by mixing casualties with deaths.

The figure you give for Vietnam is about the number I recall for total US deaths (KIA, DOW and other causes), not casualties which is KIA, DOW and other deaths plus WIA and MIA and maybe even SIW and other injuries.

I don't know about the other figures you've mentioned.
The term casualty in my usage encompasses wounded,dead, and missing presumed dead. It is a fairly non-specific term, I agree, but it serves to illustrate the point you were making concerning the U.S. civil war.

Chevan
10-11-2011, 08:26 AM
Wow , what a nice thread i missed;)
I look up and cann't hide my delight, seeing the mr steben's enthusiasm. It so reminds me myself couple of years back...
Well seemt his thread is turning into the "Europe vs USA":D. Beeing the proud european ( although nazis claimed i belong to asiatic hordes:)) i have to take the challenge..



The citizens who most experienced "modern/industrial occupation of a foreign power" were in Western and Eastern Europe 1940-45 under the Germans and in Eastern Europe post-war under the Soviets for rather longer.

Soviets had retreated in 1991. The Americans steel in Europe and seems going to place there newest nuclear missles.
Involving the Europe into the new danger race.Who is now occupant?


And, yes, European survivors of WWII exist. And they exist because of American, Soviet, British, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Indian, Brazilian and sundry other nationalities who fought and defeated the Nazis after the French and BEF had been defeated following King Leopold of Belgium's unexpected surrender.

The people of occupied Western Europe have no experience of waging the modern / industrial WWII against the Nazis and Italians and Japanese over vast distances and the constant loss of soldiers, sailors and airmen during the years the Allies fought a grinding war against the Axis while, unless you happened to be a Jew or homosexual (other than those prominent in Nazi ranks) or Gypsy or in some other group targeted by the Nazis, life in occupied Europe continued rather satisfactorily for most people.

If life was comfortable under nazis - why then shall they fight them? And mate,do you really want to record all the ww2 European resistence into the "Jews , Gypsys and homosexuals"?:);)That's something never come in my mind.


As indeed did Western Europe benefit during the Cold War from the American and British presence facing the Soviets, not least because Western Europe couldn't have defended itself from a Soviet attack.
Soviet attack wasn't actualy needed. After ww2 the communist of France , Italy and probably Holland could easy take the power by the legal way via elections. However they were banned soon by the govenmens , intalled by allies.
And while i almost ready to believe the American stayed in Europe to defend them from Soviets - why has they not withdrew after the Soviet threat was self-eliminated. From which enemy the USA now "defend" the Europe? From CHina, Al quaeda,Russia, Iran, domestic anti-semitism or may be want JUST to keep them under control?
This question seems bother europeans more and more.

Rising Sun*
10-11-2011, 09:04 AM
Wow , what a nice thread i missed;)
I look up and cann't hide my delight, seeing the mr steben's enthusiasm. It so reminds me myself couple of years back...
Well seemt his thread is turning into the "Europe vs USA":D. Beeing the proud european ( although nazis claimed i belong to asiatic hordes:)) i have to take the challenge..

Soviets had retreated in 1991.

Well, 1945-1991 is rather longer than 1940-45 for Western Europe.


The Americans steel in Europe and seems going to place there newest nuclear missles.
Involving the Europe into the new danger race.Who is now occupant?

It doesn't matter. In another ten to thirty years China will be the main power on the planet (unless it implodes with another of its mad exercises like the Cultural Revolution) and then your and my children will be wishing that the Yanks were protecting Europe, and that MacArthur had taken out China during the Korean War.


If life was comfortable under nazis - why then shall they fight them? And mate,do you really want to record all the ww2 European resistence into the "Jews , Gypsys and homosexuals"?:);)That's something never come in my mind.

I think you might have misunderstood my comments. I was saying that the average people in occupied Western Europe weren't fighting the Germans 1940-45 because the Germans weren't attacking them, but that the Nazis attacked the Jews, Gypsies etc in those countries.


And while i almost ready to believe the American stayed in Europe to defend them from Soviets - why has they not withdrew after the Soviet threat was self-eliminated. From which enemy the USA now "defend" the Europe? From CHina, Al quaeda,Russia, Iran, domestic anti-semitism or may be want JUST to keep them under control?
This question seems bother europeans more and more.

America has to defend Europe from itself. Before America had military forces in Europe the European nations / peoples had been fighting each other for the past couple of thousand years. Since America has had military forces stationed in Europe there hasn't been a European war (assuming one treats the Balkans as not being part of Europe ;) :D ).

America is a force for peace. ;)

steben
10-11-2011, 09:23 AM
Well, 1945-1991 is rather longer than 1940-45 for Western Europe.

If you do some survey you may find many Europeans want to return to the cold war years much more than world war II. Cold War is synonym for stability. Actually Cold War is strangely enough quite opposite of Warm war.
The fear of the terror is better than the terror itself.



It doesn't matter. In another ten to thirty years China will be the main power on the planet (unless it implodes with another of its mad exercises like the Cultural Revolution) and then your and my children will be wishing that the Yanks were protecting Europe, and that MacArthur had taken out China during the Korean War.

It's exactly this attitude that is a fallacy again. Europeans want to talk to Russia and China and India much more than the USA. Being a former superpower in distress (and probably in decay) doesn't allow for soft alliances with new superpowers. It may seem like accepting your new role as less powerful nation. An attitude European on the other hand excel in. The Eurasian axis is the future for us, whatever the Americans may think about it.



I think you might have misunderstood my comments. I was saying that the average people in occupied Western Europe weren't fighting the Germans 1940-45 because the Germans weren't attacking them, but that the Nazis attacked the Jews, Gypsies etc in those countries.

No the Germans were not merely attacking the Jews, Gypsies etc. Why do you think you are in position of teaching us our own history?
They were an occupating force spreading terror and assuring their grasp on daily life. They were sucking resources, limiting wealth, creating and even drafted manpower in smallminded circles (especially fearful christians that wanted to help fighting bolsjevism). By the way, if they wouldn't have done that, the war really wouldn't have lasted that long.



America has to defend Europe from itself.

The Nazis thought the same. Roman Empire thought the same. Napoleon thought the same.

America needs to defend itself right now more than anything else.


Before America had military forces in Europe the European nations / peoples had been fighting each other for the past couple of thousand years. Since America has had military forces stationed in Europe there hasn't been a European war (assuming one treats the Balkans as not being part of Europe ;) :D ).

America is a force for peace. ;)

Soviets were in Europe too. It was the total of Cold War that allowed peace. Balkan wars reached their peak exactly after the Cold War.

And America has troops everywhere in the world, peace however is not everywhere.

Chevan
10-11-2011, 12:01 PM
It doesn't matter. In another ten to thirty years China will be the main power on the planet (unless it implodes with another of its mad exercises like the Cultural Revolution) and then your and my children will be wishing that the Yanks were protecting Europe, and that MacArthur had taken out China during the Korean War.

But from the antoher hand the rising CHina will feel threat from Europe as American ally and thus will increase their military forces.It is appearing the close circle- the USA will pump the Europe with nuclear missles, targeting to CHina- the CHina will built the new missles , targeting to Europe. Is this prospect you wish for Europe?
Sure the USA will be in winning position- the CHina will attack Europe first intead of USA.But this is dastardly to europeans - to use them as hostages of CHinas military roller.You simply use the Europe in American-China epic battle for survival. What is the profit for Europe? Hardly the chinases plann to invade the western Europe.


I think you might have misunderstood my comments. I was saying that the average people in occupied Western Europe weren't fighting the Germans 1940-45 because the Germans weren't attacking them, but that the Nazis attacked the Jews, Gypsies etc in those countries.

Well may be:) But you seems wrote that the life in Nazis Europe was rather satisfactorily for most people. That imply that the Nazis wasn't so bad for majority, by other words.


America has to defend Europe from itself. Before America had military forces in Europe the European nations / peoples had been fighting each other for the past couple of thousand years. Since America has had military forces stationed in Europe there hasn't been a European war (assuming one treats the Balkans as not being part of Europe ;) :D ).

America is a force for peace. ;)
it WAS forces of peace.A long time ago. Now the "peacemakers" seems lost in countless war conflict around the world that USA provoked itself.And they , obviously , need the help for themself.
I don't actualy wish the evil for the americans. But we all see like involving deeper and deeper into the locals wars the USA getting weaker and vulnerable.But what is MORE DANGER - the americans involve the europeans into the sensless conflict like say in Afganistan.
This is serious and i think that the europeans shall have become the adult and independent. And europeans are obligated to help to americans. But not in the manner the USA imply it.

steben
10-11-2011, 12:11 PM
it WAS forces of peace.A long time ago. Now the "peacemakers" seems lost in countless war conflict around the world that USA provoked itself.And they , obviously , need the help for themself.
I don't actualy wish the evil for the americans. But we all see like involving deeper and deeper into the locals wars the USA getting weaker and vulnerable.But what is MORE DANGER - the americans involve the europeans into the sensless conflict like say in Afganistan.
This is serious and i think that the europeans shall have become the adult and independent. And europeans are obligated to help to americans. But not in the manner the USA imply it.

Military forces only follow the politics set out by the leaders. Whether an army is liberating, peace defending or whatever depends on the (wo)men in charge.
The US are today geopolitical weakening yes. Many nations and empires tackled themselves into war every time they felt "squeezed" into a weak position.

Europe's leaders are on a turning point of playing economical disaster firemen, meddling on with the US, negotiating with eastern neigbours for energy (russian gas fe) and thinking about China. Our royal family for example has made more business trips to China and Russia last years than to all other countries together. Chinese is even being discussed as an element in education.

royal744
10-11-2011, 01:46 PM
We have no life stores in the neighbourhood.


And its a strange feeling I have to speak about American identity... if you guys are saying it doesn't exist. I'm sure not all your fellow countrymen agree.

I think there might be a language problem all right. Nevertheless, Steben, you write English quite well, especially since it is not your native language. I'm not sure if you are trying to be combative, but sometimes you may un-knowingly come across that way and provoke an equal response.

Again, as to homogeneity of the American identity, it is not and has never been homogenous. There are a lot of Americas out there. Perhaps to an outsider it all seems the same and I suppose that is understandable. Maybe to someone who saw a lot of 1950s television re-runs - Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, etc. - it did look all the same. Trust me, it never was. Countries like the US, Canada and Australia were built on immigration and the immigrants arrived in waves from different parts of the world. You must know that. Different ethnic groups experienced discrimination at various times, which discrimination vanished over time as other ethnic groups arrived and became targets of discrimination which, for the most part, was overcome in time. Personally, I love the variety of people who call this their country. It may be our greatest strength - that and the fact that this is a country of second chances, and the kind of place where a couple of working class kids can build computers in their garage and change the world.

My parents passed away some time ago so I cannot ask their opinions on Afghanistan, but I can guess.

steben
10-11-2011, 02:00 PM
I think there might be a language problem all right.

no that was an attempt to make a joke :lol:



Nevertheless, Steben, you write English quite well, especially since it is not your native language. I'm not sure if you are trying to be combative, but sometimes you may un-knowingly come across that way and provoke an equal response.

Everybody does and it is clear that this is perhaps not the right forum.
However there are few forums with a possibility to a discussion as this.
This forum tends to be about the past. I reflect about past and future.



Again, as to homogeneity of the American identity, it is not and has never been homogenous. There are a lot of Americas out there. Perhaps to an outsider it all seems the same and I suppose that is understandable. Maybe to someone who saw a lot of 1950s television re-runs - Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, etc. - it did look all the same. Trust me, it never was. Countries like the US, Canada and Australia were built on immigration and the immigrants arrived in waves from different parts of the world. You must know that. Different ethnic groups experienced discrimination at various times, which discrimination vanished over time as other ethnic groups arrived and became targets of discrimination which, for the most part, was overcome in time. Personally, I love the variety of people who call this their country. It may be our greatest strength - that and the fact that this is a country of second chances, and the kind of place where a couple of working class kids can build computers in their garage and change the world.


Amidst of all mixes there must be a common identity you support.
I wonder whether the US is really as divided for example as some may conclude out of the polarised results of last elections.



My parents passed away some time ago so I cannot ask their opinions on Afghanistan, but I can guess.

Sorry to hear.


ps.: spamspam above :(

royal744
10-11-2011, 02:08 PM
The thing about the American Civil War is that its after-effects are still here today. There's a reason we call it The South and it's not geographical; it's mental. States like South Carolina - where the war began - still see themselves as "proud" rebels, even if their cause was basically in support of people "owning people", in spite of all the blather about "states' rights". Fundamentalist Christian views hold sway over much of the south which may account for the bloc-voting tendencies of the region, although many of them are Episcopalians as opposed to Southern Baptists. If Lincoln had not been shot, the result might have been otherwise, and The South would have become a more congenial place. Texas, fortunately, has one foot in the south and the other in the west, which has helped a bit.

royal744
10-11-2011, 02:18 PM
no that was an attempt to make a joke :lol:

Amidst of all mixes there must be a common identity you support.
I wonder whether the US is really as divided for example as some may conclude out of the polarised results of last elections.



Sorry to hear.


ps.: spamspam above :(

Well, Steben, we shall see, but in all my years here, I have never seen it so divided and mean-spirited as it is today.

What we have in common is the idea that we all have the right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights to back it up. As I said, it has always been a land where the individual can make a difference (in a garage or not) and better him or herself without needing recourse to a family name or "standing" (a Belgian would know what that means) to guarantee one's success. Also, protecting the least among us says a lot about the rest of us.

steben
10-11-2011, 02:33 PM
As a matter of fact, the Civil War intrigues me a lot...
I do believe it has indeed its legacy still today... (although I don't believe its main influence still today is about view on "war as a means" in politics ;) )
I have many thoughts and questions about the war...
Is the war really defined by slavery? Or was it purely about power (Lincoln didn't have a strong political will at first to completely implement abolition) and the fight for a strong central state. And isn't that what still stand today ...
Really interesting is the change in policies of parties. republicans were pro-washington, pro federation etc... Democrats originally had support in the South, confederal thinking.
Today, it seems a bit differently.
And then paleo vs neo conservatives. Perhaps the same conflict.

Nickdfresh
10-11-2011, 07:53 PM
- Uh, say what? New Yorkers? :shock: are you talking about "cheering" at 9/11?

Why are you putting quotations around the word "cheering" as if it was something I stated? And yes, I'm talking about "New Yorkers."


- I don't understand why the views of the elderly in Europe are to be rejected ... as if they are dead indeed...

Neither do I. But I don't think they're as rejected as ignored...


- I don't understand why you refer to US domestic racial struggles when talking about antisemitic (amongst others of course, gypsies, gays,...) razzia's in occupied territories.... when at the same time no one else is allowed to compare nazi Germany and the US on this matter...

When is "no one allowed to compare Nazi Germany and the US?" One can compare, but silly ****ing trite comparisons will be strongly disputed. I would also ask why you think antisemitism was limited to Europe?


You mean: if no one listens to arguements, do not waste time. Ok i'll try to remember.
All I know now is that most of you guys discussing this mather don't live in Europe, OR most of you simply are connected to all the "other" Europeans, th eones that seem to be outside my world. :lol:
The things I'm telling don't need arguements over here.

Um, okay. I know English isn't your first language, but I'm completely lost here...

Nickdfresh
10-11-2011, 07:58 PM
since when were there foreign occupating powers in USA between 1860-1865?
It seems to me you are unconsciously trying to divert the discussion to "modern war" , but I am not talking about modern war, I am talking about the foreign occupation, the uncertainty and the results of war.


Then you're talking about something completely irrelevant as the American South perceived itself as being very much "occupied by a foreign power" during Reconstruction. If you need more on this, then you can research the old axiom that civil wars are far more brutal than bi-national ones. One of my points that sailed over your head was that Union occupation of the South (hence Reconstruction) led to a century of civil strife and terrorism in the southern United States....

Nickdfresh
10-11-2011, 08:20 PM
But from the antoher hand the rising CHina will feel threat from Europe as American ally and thus will increase their military forces.It is appearing the close circle- the USA will pump the Europe with nuclear missles, targeting to CHina- the CHina will built the new missles , targeting to Europe. Is this prospect you wish for Europe?...

Um, China is too busy targeting Taiwan with missiles to give a shit about Europe....

Chevan
10-11-2011, 11:24 PM
Um, China is too busy targeting Taiwan with missiles to give a shit about Europe....
If so, why then the USA constantly puts the more and more nuclear forces in Europe?Hardly to save the Taiwan.

Chevan
10-11-2011, 11:57 PM
Military forces only follow the politics set out by the leaders. Whether an army is liberating, peace defending or whatever depends on the (wo)men in charge.
The US are today geopolitical weakening yes. Many nations and empires tackled themselves into war every time they felt "squeezed" into a weak position.

This is a quite fair point. Actualy the military instability provoke the inner political and economical riots inside USA (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/10/nypd-and-seattle-police-beat-up-protesters.html).While the awerage americans start to wake up , the political elites seems try to suppress any form of real opposition. The situation reminds more and more the last years of Vietman war- the essential part of nation can't answer what the american troops doing abroad.Instead of re-formed its eaternal policy and mobilizing of nation around the economical and social problems - american politics continie the agressive expansionism over planet.This way likely might will have ended badly for USA like for the most of fornmer empires in history.

steben
10-12-2011, 02:18 AM
Um, China is too busy targeting Taiwan with missiles to give a shit about Europe....

Targeting missiles on Taiwan? :shock:
China is very different from classic cold war superpowers...
They simply don't wage war as the West has done.

steben
10-12-2011, 02:21 AM
Then you're talking about something completely irrelevant as the American South perceived itself as being very much "occupied by a foreign power" during Reconstruction. If you need more on this, then you can research the old axiom that civil wars are far more brutal than bi-national ones. One of my points that sailed over your head was that Union occupation of the South (hence Reconstruction) led to a century of civil strife and terrorism in the southern United States....

Referring to the hanging of black people in silly white worn out curtains? :(
Europe had its portion of civil strife and terrorism as well in the hundred years you refer to. Yet the "new order" period is somewhat on a different scale.

steben
10-12-2011, 02:31 AM
Why are you putting quotations around the word "cheering" as if it was something I stated? And yes, I'm talking about "New Yorkers."

Because you replied on my posts on this matter.
Europeans hated and cheered at the Allied bombings. I was explaining the complex situation. If you reply with 9/11, it needs to refer to this complexity, which it obviously doesn't.


Neither do I. But I don't think they're as rejected as ignored...

Yes you "think" just as I am thinking about the US. I live in Europe, I know many of the european elderly in my neighbourhood. You live in the US.
Yet what I think of the US needs to be rubish or obsolete, while your thinking about Europe needs to be the truth in here.
It is not because they are old or have passed away, their views are.
And one of those views is the fierce reluctance towards war as a means in any form.
The position against the Iraqi war was supported all over Europe. Young and old.



When is "no one allowed to compare Nazi Germany and the US?" One can compare, but silly ****ing trite comparisons will be strongly disputed. I would also ask why you think antisemitism was limited to Europe?

It wasn't. But together with all other hatred and political murders, it was only in Nazi Occupation "systemized" on daily industrial life.



Um, okay. I know English isn't your first language, but I'm completely lost here...

I'm not the only one with these opinions. That's about the clue.

Truce
10-12-2011, 11:46 AM
While the average americans starts to wake up , the political elite seems try to suppress any form of real opposition.

Exactly. The main problem we face today is the controlling influence of the people who work behind the scenes, steering the direction of society, and the economy.
The elite as you call them, have successfully discouraged the expression of personal independence and political awareness by unlawfully arresting demonstrators, and members of the press. By designating free speech zones which limit more than promote free speech, conducting unreasonable searches and seizures of personal property, and intimidating the populace with the use of security cameras, swat teems, and the military; not to mention all the subtle brainwashing and misinformation which goes on in this country.


The situation reminds more and more the last years of Vietman war-.

Unfortunately, unlike with Vietnam, we lack widespread opposition to the current wars.
Some are gradually learning that they have a voice, lets hope its not too late to use it….

royal744
10-12-2011, 12:09 PM
I'm fascinated by Mr Steben's opinion of American history. Interesting reading, but I don't think Steben really has a very intimate knowledge of America or its history.

tankgeezer
10-12-2011, 12:15 PM
Quote by Truce:
"Unfortunately, unlike with Vietnam, we lack widespread opposition to the current wars.
Some are gradually learning that they have a voice, lets hope its not too late to use it…."

You might find that it was the media driven opposition, and political interference that caused the Viet Nam war to end as it did. Was it also that voice you spoke of that caused an entire generation of soldiers to be treated as pariahs, and outcasts by their own people, and society ? Having a voice is a fine thing, and not everyone on Earth has that freedom. its another thing altogether to use that voice properly. Remember your responsibilties as a citizen when next election day comes around.

royal744
10-12-2011, 12:24 PM
As a matter of fact, the Civil War intrigues me a lot...
I do believe it has indeed its legacy still today... (although I don't believe its main influence still today is about view on "war as a means" in politics ;) )
I have many thoughts and questions about the war...
Is the war really defined by slavery? Or was it purely about power (Lincoln didn't have a strong political will at first to completely implement abolition) and the fight for a strong central state. And isn't that what still stand today ...
Really interesting is the change in policies of parties. republicans were pro-washington, pro federation etc... Democrats originally had support in the South, confederal thinking.
Today, it seems a bit differently.
And then paleo vs neo conservatives. Perhaps the same conflict.


Yes, Steben, the political parties have completely flipped their positions. Very ironic. Lincoln would be thrown out of the Republican Party today. It is very ironic. The South was traditionally Democratic because the North was Republican. But the South was nearly always (not entirely) very conservative and and mostly very racist even up until the present day. Nixon developed what was called the "southern strategy" which played to southern conservative interests; so did Ronald Reagan. Eventually the conservative South as exemplified by Senator Strom Thurmond and his Dixiecrats became Republicans. Ironically, Strom Thurmond had a black/white baby by one of his house servants.

Many defenders of the Confederacy love to blather about "states' rights" and to insist that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. Ridiculous. If slavery and the "right" to own slaves was not at issue there would have been no civil war. Period.

steben
10-12-2011, 01:57 PM
Yes, Steben, the political parties have completely flipped their positions. Very ironic. Lincoln would be thrown out of the Republican Party today. It is very ironic. The South was traditionally Democratic because the North was Republican. But the South was nearly always (not entirely) very conservative and and mostly very racist even up until the present day. Nixon developed what was called the "southern strategy" which played to southern conservative interests; so did Ronald Reagan. Eventually the conservative South as exemplified by Senator Strom Thurmond and his Dixiecrats became Republicans. Ironically, Strom Thurmond had a black/white baby by one of his house servants.

Many defenders of the Confederacy love to blather about "states' rights" and to insist that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. Ridiculous. If slavery and the "right" to own slaves was not at issue there would have been no civil war. Period.

Perhaps we should take this on another thread ;)
It is my intuition the battle between "central (ic federal) power doctrine" and "independent states (confederal) doctrine" still lives on today in a very common way it did back then. Something found everywhere (including Belgium, very on the surface the recent years ;) )...
Yes slavery was a major factor, but even that factor had many connections with classic economic / political dispute.

Neoconservatives amidst of the republicans, even falling back into laissez faire economics as much as they want, are what many conservatives in Europe call "Jacobinists", abusers of ideological state power. Crusades, pseudoreligious fight against exis of evil, with or against us, etc ... Robespierre would have loved neocons.

tankgeezer
10-12-2011, 03:29 PM
Off Topic would be a good place to continue this line of discussion, you can just begin as a new thread.

Nickdfresh
10-13-2011, 05:39 AM
....

Unfortunately, unlike with Vietnam, we lack widespread opposition to the current wars.
Some are gradually learning that they have a voice, lets hope its not too late to use it….

It's because we no longer have a draft, the professional military is a means to minimize widespread dissent by keeping the middle classes pacified....

Rising Sun*
10-13-2011, 06:01 AM
It's because we no longer have a draft, the professional military is a means to minimize widespread dissent by keeping the middle classes pacified....

By making sure that the casualties are predominantly from the lower classes, and that the middle classes are not at risk because there is no draft forcing them / their children to be at risk?

steben
10-13-2011, 06:12 AM
Is there any proof Vietnam soldiers were middle class as well lower?
Or in particular: that the casualties were evenly spread through the classes?
I can imagine higher education gets you further away from the field.

In other words: is Iraq so much different than Vietnam or any other war in term of drafting soldiers?


a means to minimize widespread dissent by keeping the middle classes pacified....

and blunt towards the soldiers returning home just as in Vietnam years.

Both "camps" have their strong arguments:
War is always a painful means on one hand, yet soldiers often are not as well treated or regarded by their fellow countrymen as well.

Rising Sun*
10-13-2011, 07:45 AM
Is there any proof Vietnam soldiers were middle class as well lower?

I don't think that anyone claims that there were no middle, or upper, class servicemen, and women, in Vietnam. There were. The question is whether there were proportionate representations of those classes, and especially in combat units and more so for American officers having full service periods in combat units rather than short service to get a combat qualification and then return to a base or other non-combat unit.


Or in particular: that the casualties were evenly spread through the classes?

When was anything ever evenly spread through the classes?

But it's not always the case that the privileged avoid the burden. The British and French, and other combatants, lost a significant proportion of their best and brightest, who at the time came primarily from their privileged classes, in WWI. The reverse was true for the Americans and Australians in Vietnam. I don't know about the Koreans, or for that matter the South Vietnamese, in Vietnam.

This review of Christian Appy's book on the topic summarises relevant aspects on Vietnam.


WORKING-CLASS WAR

Christian G. Appy

University of North Carolina Press, $39.95, 363 pp.

I met my first Vietnam War combat veteran in the mid- 1960s while teaching in a community college some sixty miles from New York City. One day, after I had spoken out against the war to a campus antiwar group, a neatly dressed student approached me. I remember him saying, the tension evident in his tightly drawn lips, that he objected to my remarks about the war. What did I know? He had been there and I hadn't.

From that moment on we talked regularly. As I wrote at the time, "I was struck by his anger, his intensity, his bewilderment." He came from an Italian-American working-class family, and his older brothers had all served in the military. Just ninety days away from free-fire zones and sweep-and-destroy missions, with a Purple Heart, he was unable to comprehend the world he left behind in 1965 when he was drafted or the horrors he witnessed at war. He was neither hawk nor dove, but in time it became clear that, as Christian G. Appy writes in this definitive and engrossing study of combat veterans and their economic class, something was eating at his soul.

That "something," writes Appy, an assistant professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who also attended a weekly Vietnam-veteran rap group for six years, was that many of these men--impotent in civilian life as sons of the lower-middle and working class--had become cogs in the world's most lethal military machine and "committed acts and took risks they never imagined themselves capable of from the most heroic to the most savage--in pursuit of a cause they could neither win nor identify nor embrace."

What makes Working-Class War so worthwhile is that it looks into the socioeconomic backgrounds of combat veterans as a way of making sense of their military and postwar experiences, including the frigid welcome they received from an unforgiving public and government. Appy's conclusion is that Vietnam was a class war which drew its troopers--about 80 percent of them--from the poorer and blue-collar classes. He quotes one bitter veteran saying, "It was a case of business as usual. Instead of everybody getting drafted, people who could go to college often did; it was those who couldn't who went into the military." This sort of comment, widely expressed, reflected their profound resentment of people who lived in suburbs, whose kids went to college rather than basic training, and who eventually had better life chances than they. Appy argues as well that this antagonism lay behind much of the fury that was everpresent when workers flew "Love It or Leave It" banners or shouted down and beat up protesting college students, a proposition that Andrew Levinson wrote about in Working Class Majority (1975), that it was more often than not "class and class distinction" and not their support for a war they could barely understand that aroused blue-collar disgust. I remember one veteran, a self-described prowar vet, once shouting at me, "Where were the sons of all the big shots who supported the war?"

Much of this is by now reasonably familiar, thanks in part to Lawrence Baskit and William Strauss's classic accounting in Chance and Circumstance (1978) of who went and who didn't. Yet twenty-eight years after the dispatch of large numbers of troops to defend "freedom" in Vietnam, the reasons for the intervention remain unexamined at the highest political levels other than occasional babble about exorcising the "Vietnam Syndrome." And certainly few have explained at least to my satisfaction why public policy channeled poorer kids into the military.

We know, though we may no longer care, that the National Guard and Reserves were draft havens, effectively closed to black applicants, "whatever their economic status," notes Appy. Congressional, executive branch, and Pentagon families saw that their sons and grandsons were exempted; hawks, neoconservatives, columnists, editorial writers, and publishers who supported every step of escalation and who publicly thirsted for more bombing and violence made sure that their male issue stayed home one way or another; and many of our contemporary "chicken hawks" fled from military service but later, when they were too old for the military, shamelessly backed military interventions and a renewal of the draft. As Appy concludes, "The critics and architects of the war did the talking, while the sons of workers did the fighting." (Personally, I exclude here the relatively few brave souls who became COs, or who went to prison or into exile for their beliefs, and willingly accepted the consequences of their defiance.) But even more: Few now want to own up to the unfair burden placed on the working class and its possible implications.

Nor for that matter have many acknowledged or studied the complex reasons why so many working-class people seemed to support the war, a war that hardly benefited them despite what livingroom heroes were repeatedly telling them. Polls taken at the time revealed that workers reacted much as did the white-collar and professional classes: Survey after survey showed that workers often favored getting out of Vietnam; in 1972, as Appy points out, George McGovern received a larger percentage of worker votes than he got from white-collar professionals.

No one then or now likes to talk about class in America. Then it was shrewder for Nixon and his apologists to prattle on about a supposed "silent majority" yet say nothing about the sacrifices their children were forced to undergo. Today, with millions of once loyal workers transformed into the detritus of a mismanaged and avaricious economic system, class still remains our dirty little secret.

The price we exacted from our working class in Vietnam may be common knowledge, though few Americans or molders of public opinion dwell on it very much; the sentiment remains that we gave them a wall and some parades. What more do they want? But the price for Vietnam veterans who could not adjust is still inordinately high. The Vietnam Veterans of America reported that in March 1992, 19.2 percent or one in five imprisoned criminals were veterans, a large majority. of whom are Vietnam-era vets. About one-third of single homeless males are veterans. Veteran suicide rates exceed those of civilians while post-traumatic stress disorders and diseases resulting from the spraying of toxic defoliants continue to wreak havoc.

Let us hope that care, great care, will be taken in the future before our new president, who was a war protester, emulates Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon and dispatches American young people into a conflict, especially one that does not require equal sacrifices from our elite families, especially those who live or work in Washington, D.C. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1252/is_n8_v120/ai_13794153/?tag=content;col1


I can imagine higher education gets you further away from the field.

During the Vietnam war, in America and Australia higher education got you as far away from the field as it is possible to be if you wanted to be far away. University students generally had their enlistment deferrred until they finished their courses, if they chose to take the deferral.

The same options to avoid service if called up weren't available to apprentice carpenters and trainee metalworkers etc.


In other words: is Iraq so much different than Vietnam or any other war in term of drafting soldiers?

Yes, because America, Britain and Australia had all volunteer armies in Iraq. America and Australia had mixed volunteer and conscripted armies in Vietnam but both abandoned conscription after Vietnam. Britain, which did not have troops in Vietnam, abandoned conscription in the early 1960s.


Both "camps" have their strong arguments:

I can't think of any argument, let alone a strong one, for exempting the more privileged elements of society from bearing their proportionate share of military service as the less privileged elements.

I can think of strong arguments for requiring the more privileged elements of society to bear a greater share of the military service burden in action because they are the ones who benefit most from having their privilege protected. But the rich think that the poor exist to serve their interests and generally it works that way in every country, with many noble exceptions in WWs I and II but relatively few in Vietnam and probably even fewer in Afghanistan and Iraq.

steben
10-13-2011, 08:34 AM
With camps I ment
on one hand the banner waving patriots, that continuously praise and hail the brave soldiers as well as the war itself
on the other hand the mainly midclass protestors.

royal744
10-13-2011, 10:53 AM
I believe that there would be less support for "military adventures" such as Iraq and Afghanistan if we had conscription. In my opinion there was justification for the attack on Afghanistan; that justification vaporized when Al Qaeda retreated into Pakistan, and disappeared completely with the killing of Bin Laden. Afghanistan is never going to have an "American-style" democracy. Same thing in Iraq. There was never any justification for the attack on Iraq and a conscripted army might have revolted when faced with the prospect of being there for more than ten years. An all-volunteer army freed the administration from the constraints of having to deal with draftees and the administration knew and abused that. Conservatives don't want to admit it, but the attack on Iraq if effect delivered that country into the hands of Iran which fought a war with Iraq for many years. Talk about unintended consequences.

In my opinion, we would be better off forging a very strong alliance with the Indians and forget about Pakistan whose fingerprints are all over mischief in Afghanistan. They are completely untrustworthy. For those interested in the subject of Afghanistan, let me recommend a little known but well-written book by James Michener called "Caravans".

steben
10-13-2011, 11:44 AM
I believe that there would be less support for "military adventures" such as Iraq and Afghanistan if we had conscription. In my opinion there was justification for the attack on Afghanistan; that justification vaporized when Al Qaeda retreated into Pakistan, and disappeared completely with the killing of Bin Laden. Afghanistan is never going to have an "American-style" democracy. Same thing in Iraq. There was never any justification for the attack on Iraq and a conscripted army might have revolted when faced with the prospect of being there for more than ten years. An all-volunteer army freed the administration from the constraints of having to deal with draftees and the administration knew and abused that. Conservatives don't want to admit it, but the attack on Iraq if effect delivered that country into the hands of Iran which fought a war with Iraq for many years. Talk about unintended consequences.

In my opinion, we would be better off forging a very strong alliance with the Indians and forget about Pakistan whose fingerprints are all over mischief in Afghanistan. They are completely untrustworthy. For those interested in the subject of Afghanistan, let me recommend a little known but well-written book by James Michener called "Caravans".

Neoconservatives ;)
I call myself a conservative as well.

It's the painful truth that given time and reflection, many Americans might think like you (if they don't already). And that europeans don't think much differently.
9/11 was a symbol of understanding and compassion and Europe supported the Afghan campaign at first. The continued effort however - with diminishing justification - and the Iraq campaign from start in all its aspects, brought an end to this support.

Rising Sun*
10-14-2011, 06:11 AM
With camps I ment
on one hand the banner waving patriots, that continuously praise and hail the brave soldiers as well as the war itself
on the other hand the mainly midclass protestors.

I doubt it's that simple.

"Banner waving patriots" come from all classes, as do those opposed to a given war.

Not all those opposed to a war engage in protests, nor are they by birth necessarily middle class. Some of the most profoundly anti-war people I have met are soldiers who served in wars from WWII to Vietnam, from varying class backgrounds but predominantly working or lower middle class at the time of their enlistment. They have experienced war and understood its ultimate futility once the politicians and the major economic interests who support them have done with the war and resumed relations and trade with the former enemy.

As for "continuously praise and hail the brave soldiers as well as the war itself" that is where governments excel in promising those who enlist a land fit for heroes upon their return, if they return, from the war. And then treating them with varying degrees of contempt once the war is over.

As Goering said in another context, it works the same in all nations.

Rising Sun*
10-14-2011, 06:16 AM
I believe that there would be less support for "military adventures" such as Iraq and Afghanistan if we had conscription.

And there would be considerably less support if conscription worked on the basis that a fair society would require that those who had the most to lose and most to gain from a war would shoulder the greatest burden. This translates to the children of the most wealthy and most powerful being the first to be conscripted and the children of the poorest and least powerful being the last. Better still, conscript the parents on the same basis.

It's a fantasy, but if this could be implemented world wide I think we should see a significant reduction in wars.

steben
10-14-2011, 09:26 AM
And there would be considerably less support if conscription worked on the basis that a fair society would require that those who had the most to lose and most to gain from a war would shoulder the greatest burden. This translates to the children of the most wealthy and most powerful being the first to be conscripted and the children of the poorest and least powerful being the last. Better still, conscript the parents on the same basis.

It's a fantasy, but if this could be implemented world wide I think we should see a significant reduction in wars.

What you describe is the nucleus of communism ;)
"superstructure" vs "substructure" opium for the people etc .... have-nots live in service for the have-lots etc...

steben
10-14-2011, 09:27 AM
I doubt it's that simple.

"Banner waving patriots" come from all classes, as do those opposed to a given war.

Not all those opposed to a war engage in protests, nor are they by birth necessarily middle class. Some of the most profoundly anti-war people I have met are soldiers who served in wars from WWII to Vietnam, from varying class backgrounds but predominantly working or lower middle class at the time of their enlistment. They have experienced war and understood its ultimate futility once the politicians and the major economic interests who support them have done with the war and resumed relations and trade with the former enemy.

As for "continuously praise and hail the brave soldiers as well as the war itself" that is where governments excel in promising those who enlist a land fit for heroes upon their return, if they return, from the war. And then treating them with varying degrees of contempt once the war is over.

As Goering said in another context, it works the same in all nations.

There is however a part of middle class protesting against war AND contempting soldiers

( for my part, I really think a lot of the WWII liberator stories and about dying for the "lazy" euro citizens is as much a gouvernment story as others, comforting the people at home for the loss of soldiers)

royal744
10-14-2011, 11:36 AM
Is there any proof Vietnam soldiers were middle class as well lower?
Or in particular: that the casualties were evenly spread through the classes?
I can imagine higher education gets you further away from the field.

In other words: is Iraq so much different than Vietnam or any other war in term of drafting soldiers?



and blunt towards the soldiers returning home just as in Vietnam years.


Both "camps" have their strong arguments:
War is always a painful means on one hand, yet soldiers often are not as well treated or regarded by their fellow countrymen as well.

Yes, hundreds of thousands of middle class kids went to Vietnam. Many of these were graduated university students. Student deferments lasted only until the end of college. After that, it was open season unless one was employed in an "essential industry" or one's draft lottery number was very high, or service in the Peace Corps and VISTA (I think). Primarily, in my opinion, it was the draft that ended the Vietnam War - returning soldiers and students about to be sent to Vietnam (high school graduates) and post-university graduates resisting the war ("Hell No, We won't Go") and rioting in the streets (remember the Chicago riots during the Democratic Convention and Mayor Daley's 'Police Riot" to suppress them?) against it convinced Lyndon Johnson not to run again and forced Nixon to bring the war to an end. Vietnam was never a threat to anyone. It was a civil war, pure and simple. "Peace with Honor" (my derriere) to a war that should never have been fought at all. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Bush managed to hoax the people one more time in Iraq - shame on us.
So yes, Iraq was very different since there were no draftees at all.

steben
10-26-2011, 03:36 PM
@Rising Sun:

I'll be in Australia this week.
Like it or not, but my sister lives there since a year or 5 and she' getting married ... to an Englishman that lives there as well.
I'll try to "explore the aussie spirit" over there a bit. Very curious.

tankgeezer
10-26-2011, 04:30 PM
Mind the spiders.....

fredl109
10-26-2011, 04:52 PM
Just to put my grain of salt in your discussion gentlemen, the war itself is a crime, and the reason the winner is always the strongest. With the American archives, which now downgrade their military secrets of World War II, we now know more about the ins and outs of this terrible slaughter that this war was.
Regards to all Fred

Rising Sun*
10-27-2011, 06:35 AM
@Rising Sun:

I'll be in Australia this week.
Like it or not, but my sister lives there since a year or 5 and she' getting married ... to an Englishman that lives there as well.

You and your sister are welcome here, but the Englishman may be a different issue. ;) :D


I'll try to "explore the aussie spirit" over there a bit. Very curious.

Good luck finding it.

Whatever it may be beyond normal human spirit in all its forms and breadth, it exists mainly in myth, although that myth serves a useful purpose by inspiring some people to live up to the myth.

Talking about 'Aussie spirit' makes as much sense as the recent fondness in some quarters for referring to something being 'unAustralian'. It means whatever the speaker and audience want it to mean, or not to mean.

Rising Sun*
10-27-2011, 07:29 AM
the war itself is a crime, and the reason the winner is always the strongest.

That doesn't alter the fact that in WWII the winners were the victims of numerous and outrageous criminal acts by the aggressors, who thought they were and in WWII generally were the strongest at the time they started their wars of aggression.

The losers have no grounds to complain about losing the wars they started, especially when the victims were just better fighters with the same types of weapons and tactics the aggressors initiated.

It's all very well for well-intentioned people to abhor the horrors of war as waged by the Allies, but here are some questions for a reality check.
1. Who started the wars and brought the Allied response upon the Axis nations?
2. If Germany and Japan had defeated the Allies, would the fascists and militarists in those countries now be beating their breasts over the weapons and tactics they used, or would they be extolling their martial might and skill and deriding the Allies' lack of the same qualities because they were decadent peoples?
3. If the Axis powers had won, would they now be wringing their hands over their slaughters of millions of innocent civilians, in multiples which vastly exceeded the casualties in all Allied bombing campaigns, or would they still be occupying foreign lands and enslaving the civilians who survived?

War is an obscenity, but the crime is committed by those who start a war of agression, not those who defend themeselves against the aggressor.

steben
10-29-2011, 10:51 PM
That doesn't alter the fact that in WWII the winners were the victims of numerous and outrageous criminal acts by the aggressors, who thought they were and in WWII generally were the strongest at the time they started their wars of aggression.

agreed




The losers have no grounds to complain about losing the wars they started, especially when the victims were just better fighters with the same types of weapons and tactics the aggressors initiated.

agreed



It's all very well for well-intentioned people to abhor the horrors of war as waged by the Allies, but here are some questions for a reality check.
1. Who started the wars and brought the Allied response upon the Axis nations?
2. If Germany and Japan had defeated the Allies, would the fascists and militarists in those countries now be beating their breasts over the weapons and tactics they used, or would they be extolling their martial might and skill and deriding the Allies' lack of the same qualities because they were decadent peoples?
3. If the Axis powers had won, would they now be wringing their hands over their slaughters of millions of innocent civilians, in multiples which vastly exceeded the casualties in all Allied bombing campaigns, or would they still be occupying foreign lands and enslaving the civilians who survived?

the nazi empire would have had the same history as the soviet one in my eyes.
In the end it would have collapsed by its own weight.

And I really think after all those years there would have been internal pacifists and lefties that would have rebelled and reveal the past



War is an obscenity, but the crime is committed by those who start a war of agression, not those who defend themeselves against the aggressor.

I guess it's about the same with murder of a murderer
taking right in your own hands etc...
Is killing a killer without a trial a crime?
And does such a trial would excuse the first crime? I say it does not.

fredl109
10-30-2011, 05:04 PM
That doesn't alter the fact that in WWII the winners were the victims of numerous and outrageous criminal acts by the aggressors, who thought they were and in WWII generally were the strongest at the time they started their wars of aggression.

The losers have no grounds to complain about losing the wars they started, especially when the victims were just better fighters with the same types of weapons and tactics the aggressors initiated.

It's all very well for well-intentioned people to abhor the horrors of war as waged by the Allies, but here are some questions for a reality check.
1. Who started the wars and brought the Allied response upon the Axis nations?
2. If Germany and Japan had defeated the Allies, would the fascists and militarists in those countries now be beating their breasts over the weapons and tactics they used, or would they be extolling their martial might and skill and deriding the Allies' lack of the same qualities because they were decadent peoples?
3. If the Axis powers had won, would they now be wringing their hands over their slaughters of millions of innocent civilians, in multiples which vastly exceeded the casualties in all Allied bombing campaigns, or would they still be occupying foreign lands and enslaving the civilians who survived?

War is an obscenity, but the crime is committed by those who start a war of agression, not those who defend themeselves against the aggressor.

You are quite right Rising Sun, but my point was not to say that Germany and his henchmen were the victims, I think absolutely no opponent, but we must recognize one thing that the bombing such as those of Dresden and Hamburg, have nothing to do with a tactic of war, but rather an absurd belief which reminds those who have decided that to raze a city and kill all its peoples shorten the war, big mistake because the opposite always happens and people conspire against the oppressor, while the oppressor himself is the leader of this people, Hiler did exactly the same mistake with the bombing of London. It is obviously that the acts committed by the Germans and Japanese during the Second World War were unspeakable, but that does not relieve the responsibility of their own allies in fact, the bombing of the district of Minamata by the American B29 that I recall cost the lives of over one hundred thousand Japanese civilians, was it your view justified by military tactics, ask yourself this question.
friendships Fred

royal744
11-02-2011, 03:19 PM
No doubt, Fred. The Pacific War was a savage affair, probably more savage than the European War. Considering that the best bombsight technology was pitifully inadequate to the task, the allies admitted as much and reverted to area bombing. Debates on this topic are interesting, but the application of current morality ex-post facto seems futile. The allies did not begin this war and if the axis had not initiated it, there would have been no casualties at all.

Rising Sun*
11-03-2011, 09:03 AM
You are quite right Rising Sun, but my point was not to say that Germany and his henchmen were the victims, I think absolutely no opponent, but we must recognize one thing that the bombing such as those of Dresden and Hamburg, have nothing to do with a tactic of war, but rather an absurd belief which reminds those who have decided that to raze a city and kill all its peoples shorten the war, big mistake because the opposite always happens and people conspire against the oppressor, while the oppressor himself is the leader of this people, Hiler did exactly the same mistake with the bombing of London.

And Rotterdam and Coventry and sundry other places which had death tolls which were quite minor compared with what the Allies did in Western Europe within a few years.

However, if one overcomes the horror of the bombings as perceived at the time, the fact is that there were usually legitimate military reasons for such bombings well beyond razing a city and killing its residents to shorten the war.

Coventry was a significant war industry centre.

Dresden was a significant war industry and transport centre which the Soviets wanted neutralised to assist their advance.


It is obviously that the acts committed by the Germans and Japanese during the Second World War were unspeakable, but that does not relieve the responsibility of their own allies in fact, the bombing of the district of Minamata by the American B29 that I recall cost the lives of over one hundred thousand Japanese civilians, was it your view justified by military tactics, ask yourself this question.

I don’t recall any Allied units in Europe, or elsewhere, which even began to do anything like the vileness of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen in the East (let alone the Nazi extermination camps) or the Japanese pretty much wherever they went and found Chinese or Anglos, all of which was visited upon innocent and defenceless civilians.

Let’s get the Japanese unspeakable acts into perspective against what the Allies did to Japan. Actually, why bother? There is no comparison between the militarily judged Allied bombing campaigns aimed at bringing the war to a swift conclusion against an enemy which could have surrendered at any time after it became clear it was going to lose and, on the other hand, the vile Japanese depredations as they advanced in their conquests, such as their predilection for torturing and bayoneting unarmed prisoners and civilians across their arc of influence from China to Guadalcanal.

The Allied actions were generally a response to the total and amoral war initiated and waged by the Axis powers in contravention of the contemporary laws of war, not to mention the faintest notions of human decency

At a specific level, do you think that it was wrong for Lt Col Clem Cummings to order at Milne Bay that he didn’t want his Australian troops of the 2/9th Bn to take any Japanese prisoners, indeed that his final order was ‘I don't want any bloody prisoners - and I don't think you will get any. Kill them all.”?

Do you think that Cummings’ order might have been influenced by the dead Australian troops found wired to trees and tortured in various ways and bayoneted by the Japanese?

Do you think that Cummings and his troops might have been inclined to contempt for the Japanese by specific acts such an Australian soldier found dead with his own bayonet shoved up his arse by the Japanese?

Might it not be that such gratuitous barbarity by the Japanese, long before we knew of their equally gratuitous barbarity on the Bataan Death March and the Burma Railway and just about everywhere else these brutes went about their monstrous offences against humanity, naturally engendered in the Allies that they were righteously engaged in exterminating worthless brutes whose stock in trade was offences against humanity?

Because, frankly, I share that common opinion of the time and can’t see any logical or moral reason against it. Unless one happens to be a Japanese militarist of the time.

That's sad for the poor bastards in Japan who copped the Allied bombings, but it's no more sad for them than for the poor bastards who copped the enslavement, mindless brutality, torture, and death as the Sons of Nippon spread southwards in a war of naked aggression run by people whose morals and views of the laws of war make chimpanzees seem sophisticated.

fredl109
11-03-2011, 04:24 PM
Men do not doubt that I agree with you, this does that I set the sides of the civil, not because they never requested and are always the victims regardless of their edges. The madness of some have paid a huge to their people, while the German Nazi and not all Japanese warriors were not fanatics. and when I think there still gents who think that a good war would solve many problems, keep me from these crazy gentlemen, who n'on still not understand that leprosy is ala war of humanity.
friendships Fred

Rising Sun*
11-19-2011, 06:33 AM
Arithmetic lacks moral content but perhaps it can be instructive on the issue of the relative morality of firebombing and nuclear bombing of Japanese cities.

While the figures for casualties in Japan’s wars of aggression in China and the Pacific are rubbery, not least because nobody knows for sure, the following are as good as any. Japan lost about 2.7 million people in WWII of whom a little under 600,000 were civilians. China lost about 15 million people. About a million Vietnamese died in the great famine of 1944-45 after the Japanese forced farmers to replant their rice fields with fibre crops to aid the Japanese war effort. A similar number starved to death in the Philippines and more than two million died in the Dutch East Indies through Japanese mismanagement or the diversion of civilian food crops. Peter Thompson, Pacific Fury, William Heinemann, Sydney, 2008, pp. 491-2

Then we can look at the vast range of other murderous exercises by the Japanese, such as the Burma Railway where about 13,000 Allied POWS died and, although it is usually ignored or forgotten in the West, somewhere around 100,000 Asian labourers also died under the heel of Nippon. Or the loss of perhaps 100,000 Filipinos in Manila in 1945 as the Japanese retreated. Not to mention perhaps a couple of hundred thousand 'comfort women' drawn from Korea and conquered territories (but never from Japan).

What is missing from these selected figures is the proportion of the populations killed and abused.

But the proportion of the populations killed is also missing from the condemnation by critics of nuclear weapons being used against Japan. Instead they focus on the admitted horror of roughly 225,000 more or less immediate casualties as their whole argument. Which happens to be around the same number of the rather more individual, brutal and senseless victims of Nippon on just the Burma Railway and Manila in 1945 (forgetting Manila in 1942 after it was declared an open city). Or about a quarter of the deaths Japan caused by the famine in Vietnam. Or one eighth of those in the NEI. And nowhere even remotely near the deaths in China at the hands of Nippon. Which the critics of the firebombing and nuclear bombing choose to ignore, along with a long list of other arithmetically and morally inconvenient actions by Nippon.

Arithmetically, the Japanese have nothing to complain about.

Morally, they have even less to complain about.

And anyone who thinks Japan was an innocent victim because it was firebombed or nuked suffers from selective arithmetical, moral and historical blindness. Or just plain ignorance.

Nickdfresh
11-19-2011, 10:02 AM
Just posted this in the photo section as interestingly this question is popping up there under Harris' "Grim Reaper" portrait. (http://www.ww2incolor.com/britain/BomberHarris.html)

Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris will always remain a polarizing figure. Not only on his seemingly ruthless decisions, but also as to whether his style of bombing campaign not only was the most effective use of Allied air assets, but also the best use of the the industrial bases of both Britain and America in general. And as to whether there were better, slightly less bloody alternatives to his plans of area bombing cities. Personally, Harris is far from my favorite Allied war chief, as far as air marshals go, I prefer Ike's deputy--the vastly unheralded Sir Arthur Tedder (who couldn't stand either Harris, nor Monty IIRC).

In any case, whether Harris was purposely targeting civilians, or he was just bombing targets and areas in spite of them, is subject of debate. But one thing is for certain, the accuracy of aerial delivered WWII ordnance was almost completely random, especially while conducting operations at night, there was little alternative but to sadly, tragically destroy large segments of the civil population located near industrial targets.

...

royal744
11-19-2011, 07:43 PM
Soviet attack wasn't actualy needed. After ww2 the communist of France , Italy and probably Holland could easy take the power by the legal way via elections. However they were banned soon by the govenmens , intalled by allies.
And while i almost ready to believe the American stayed in Europe to defend them from Soviets - why has they not withdrew after the Soviet threat was self-eliminated. From which enemy the USA now "defend" the Europe? From CHina, Al quaeda,Russia, Iran, domestic anti-semitism or may be want JUST to keep them under control?
This question seems bother europeans more and more.

Relax, Chevan. Most Americans are wondering why we continue to have soldiers and airmen in Europe. Most want them out of there. It's an unnecessary expense for no gain. If we want to have a presence in Europe, port facilities are basically all that we need and we already have those as well as some forward air bases in Germany and in Great Britain. I doubt the Europeans are "nervous" about American troops in the neighborhood. They are probably nervous about losing the millions of dollars they earn supplying these bases and troops, however. They'll get over it and move on. Americans don't control Europe. The Europeans do.

Maybe what makes everyone nervous is a man called Putin who seems to be addicted to power and who shuttles between the presidency and premiership as if it were a game of badminton, making a mockery out of the word "democracy". When he retires and disappears from public life will I truly believe that Russia is on the way to becoming a democracy. Until then, it remains in the orbit of a quasi dicta- oh well, you can finish that word yourself.

We know from unhappy experience that the only thing "legal" about Communists winning elections in post-war Europe is the election itself, after which there would be no more elections except for the "Potemkin" kind. Thank you, no.

fredl109
11-20-2011, 06:26 AM
Hi, Are you sure you have reason my dear Royal744, the United States are 'they so providential that? Chevan has some reason in the fact that many people do not know the Russian mentality and as you would not think like a slave you will not have to understand, if we compare the égémonies of the two peoples, Americans lag far in the lead I think, have a bit if the Vietnamese needed you, if the lifestyle that you give them their proper. Nobody is a prophet in his country and every people is different and the real mistake is to believe that one can impose his lifestyle around ignoring the roots of the people own themselves.
friendships Fred

PS: This is not a criticism against you, may simply reflect that one must have when it comes to the history of every people and that your ausi ​​well for the Russians than the Americans.

royal744
11-22-2011, 10:04 AM
Hi, Are you sure you have reason my dear Royal744, the United States are 'they so providential that? Chevan has some reason in the fact that many people do not know the Russian mentality and as you would not think like a slave you will not have to understand, if we compare the égémonies of the two peoples, Americans lag far in the lead I think, have a bit if the Vietnamese needed you, if the lifestyle that you give them their proper. Nobody is a prophet in his country and every people is different and the real mistake is to believe that one can impose his lifestyle around ignoring the roots of the people own themselves.
friendships Fred

PS: This is not a criticism against you, may simply reflect that one must have when it comes to the history of every people and that your ausi ​​well for the Russians than the Americans.

I'm sorry, Fredl but I have difficulty understanding what you are trying to say. Tu peux ecrire en Francais si tu veux, pourvu que tu emploies des termes simples et utilises une structure des phrases simples.

Miguel Ortego
12-01-2011, 05:56 PM
Well, I think Firebombings are war crimes indeed. But if thrde crimes are put on trial or not depends on who have committed them and who won the war. Of course I would not expect to see Harris in a tial for war crimes even I think he's a war criminal

Rising Sun*
12-02-2011, 05:25 AM
Well, I think Firebombings are war crimes indeed.

What about other types of bombing?

I understand the natural human sentiments behind greater opposition to the intentional infliction of injury and death by some methods, but in the end does it make any difference what is used to injure or kill?

Given a choice, I'd rather die instantly from a clean head or heart shot. Whether it was from a lead .22 or an incendiary .50 or a .303 dum-dum or an anti-tank round that magically went off on my helmet or cigarette case is immaterial to me.

However, I very much don't like the idea of dying at the wrong end of a flamethrower, phosphorous anything, garotte or bayonet. I also don't like the idea of being permanently maimed by an anti-personnel (or anti-tank or anti-anything else) mine or a flechette or shrapnel from a land or aerial weapon.

But some of these weapons are still perfectly 'legal' in warfare while others aren't and others are subject to campaigns to 'outlaw' them (although I have yet to see any do-gooders mount a campaign to outlaw IED's, fertilizer bombs, etc which are traditionally used by people with no regard for law, life or anything but their own fanatical beliefs and absolutely no concern for whom they kill or injure), for no good reason that I can see. They all kill and do nasty things to people in different ways.

If firebombing is wrong, isn't all other bombing wrong?

If all other bombing isn't wrong, what's wrong with firebombing?

tankgeezer
12-02-2011, 07:30 PM
*****

fredl109
12-06-2011, 11:27 AM
I'm sorry, Fredl but I have difficulty understanding what you are trying to say. Tu peux ecrire en Francais si tu veux, pourvu que tu emploies des termes simples et utilises une structure des phrases simples.

Bonjour Royal744, je te présente mes excuses, car j'ai un problème de traduction avec Google Translate. Et cela ma trompé sur ton post. Tu a en partie raison, et Chevan aussi. La présence américaine en Europe a été un facteur de paix, il faut le reconnaitre. Mais la difficulté aujourd'hui, c'est qu'il n'y a plus "l'enemie" russe et cela pose le problème de savoir quel est notre enemie actuel. C'est un des grands problèmes car pendant des années on savait contre qui se protèger. Par contre je voudrais savoir se que tu dit dans cette phrase, le traducteur ne la traduit pas dans le bon sens. Peux tu me dire le sens de ta phrase " We know from unhappy experience that the only thing "legal" about Communists winning elections in post-war Europe is the election itself, after which there would be no more elections except for the "Potemkin" kind. Thank you, no. " Et pardon de mettre un peu emporté, mon anglais date de plus de 30 ans et j'ai un peu de mal à comprendre le sens des phrases.
Amitiés Fred

horst
12-15-2011, 03:48 PM
What about other types of bombing?

I understand the natural human sentiments behind greater opposition to the intentional infliction of injury and death by some methods, but in the end does it make any difference what is used to injure or kill?

Given a choice, I'd rather die instantly from a clean head or heart shot. Whether it was from a lead .22 or an incendiary .50 or a .303 dum-dum or an anti-tank round that magically went off on my helmet or cigarette case is immaterial to me.

However, I very much don't like the idea of dying at the wrong end of a flamethrower, phosphorous anything, garotte or bayonet. I also don't like the idea of being permanently maimed by an anti-personnel (or anti-tank or anti-anything else) mine or a flechette or shrapnel from a land or aerial weapon.

But some of these weapons are still perfectly 'legal' in warfare while others aren't and others are subject to campaigns to 'outlaw' them (although I have yet to see any do-gooders mount a campaign to outlaw IED's, fertilizer bombs, etc which are traditionally used by people with no regard for law, life or anything but their own fanatical beliefs and absolutely no concern for whom they kill or injure), for no good reason that I can see. They all kill and do nasty things to people in different ways.

If firebombing is wrong, isn't all other bombing wrong?

If all other bombing isn't wrong, what's wrong with firebombing?

I think the difference is very simple: flamethrowers, garottes, bayonets, anti-personnel mines or flechettes are arms intended to be used in the battlefield, between soldiers, while firebombing was mainly used against defenseless civilians as it happened in Dresden or Tokyo. Same as you, given a choice I would prefer to die instantly with a clean head or heart shot while carrying or even better shooting an assault rifle against the enemy than been fried at home along with my sons and wife during a firebombing .
Regards,

Nickdfresh
12-15-2011, 05:58 PM
I think the difference is very simple: flamethrowers, garottes, bayonets, anti-personnel mines or flechettes are arms intended to be used in the battlefield, between soldiers, while firebombing was mainly used against defenseless civilians as it happened in Dresden or Tokyo. Same as you, given a choice I would prefer to die instantly with a clean head or heart shot while carrying or even better shooting an assault rifle against the enemy than been fried at home along with my sons and wife during a firebombing .

Regards,

What about artillery? Because I notice that is conspicuously absent from your list? And almost every weapon you've mentioned indeed has been used in urban areas against "targets" that may have been, inadvertently or on purpose, civilians...

leccy
12-15-2011, 06:29 PM
Whenever bombing of civilian targets is brought up people always mention Dresden and the Atomic bombs, seemingly forgetting that Germany and Japan did likewise to other cities. They were successful in more or less ways but it was not all as one sided as many would try and portray.

Rising Sun*
12-16-2011, 03:32 AM
I think the difference is very simple: flamethrowers, garottes, bayonets, anti-personnel mines or flechettes are arms intended to be used in the battlefield, between soldiers, while firebombing was mainly used against defenseless civilians as it happened in Dresden or Tokyo.

Good point.

And I'd condemn the Allies for it if they had started bombing civilians as part of WWII. But they didn't. They just got a lot better at it than the Axis as the war progressed. Coventry and Rotterdam were outrages at the time, but compared with the casualties in later Allied raids they were minor.

Still, the Axis started bombing civilians, and murdering them in their tens of thousands in other ways long before the Allies mounted any major bombing campaigns, let alone firebombing. It's simply a case of the biter bit.

That doesn't make it morally justifiable, but I don't see much in war that is morally justifiable apart from exercising the right to defend one's nation against an aggressor. In practice the exercise of that right is pragmatic rather than moral, so if the enemy is using gas or firebombing or any other weapon why shouldn't you? Sticking to Marquis of Queensberry rules in a gutter fight is a sure way to get beaten. You don't have to feel good about kicking the other guy in the balls or poking his eye out with your thumb and biting his nose off, but if that's what you have to do to survive an attack by an aggressor who's kicking you in the balls and trying to poke your eye out with his thumb and trying to bite your nose off then, although it's not conduct I want to see, I don't have a problem with it. And I don't see any grounds for complaint by the aggressor, or anyone else, if you used his way of fighting more successfully against him than he managed against you.

tankgeezer
12-16-2011, 02:14 PM
******

Rising Sun*
12-17-2011, 08:13 AM
Whenever bombing of civilian targets is brought up people always mention Dresden and the Atomic bombs, seemingly forgetting that Germany and Japan did likewise to other cities. They were successful in more or less ways but it was not all as one sided as many would try and portray.

There is also a significant degree of inexcusable ethnic arrogance and or historical ignorance in the comments which routinely come from those well-intentioned but emotionally rather than historically informed critics of firebombing and the atomic bombs.

Although some have heard of Nanking, I have yet to find anyone in social discussion who opposes the atomic bombing of Japan (I have yet to find anyone outside moderately serious military history circles who has the faintest notion that firebombing did more damage in Japan than atomic bombs) who has the faintest idea about, among the many mass-homicidal actions of the Japanese directed at other races, the well-documented Sook Ching massacres or what the Japanese did in Manila in 1941 and 1945 or what the Japanese did on the Bataan Death March in 1942 or at Sandakan in 1945.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but Japan’s depredations throughout Asia and South East Asia deprive it of all right to complain about reaping the whirlwind it sowed.

Japan didn’t get firebombed or nuked because of, as some would have it, amoral capriciousness by the Allies. It happened because Japan embarked upon the most brutal, vicious and unjustified campaign of aggression and enslavement in the past few centuries and because Japan wouldn’t surrender even when it knew it was beaten.

Every military action that happened to Japan was its fault, from start to finish, just as it wasn’t the fault of every nation that Japan attacked and invaded that it was attacked and invaded by Japan, from start to finish.

Compared with Germany, which ultimately was defeated by troops on its soil who destroyed what was left from the air bombing as they advanced across the land, Japan got off bloody lightly by surrendering after, so far as the populace was concerned in comparison with Germany, a relatively short and limited war from the air.

All things considered, Japan and the Japanese got off lightly. Not that this is an allowable view when confronted with the emotional outrage of ill-informed teachers, social workers and others of almost no knowledge on the subjects upon which they hold well-meaning and passionate beliefs founded, unfortunately, in passionate ignorance.

muscogeemike
12-17-2011, 11:28 AM
Well said.

There is something trivial and even malevolent with “Monday morning quarterbacking” and historical revision (and I’m as guilty as anybody else).

Decisions are made by people on the wire - with their *** on the line. These people rarely have all necessary information and they sometimes ignore what is available. Sometimes they are held accountable - often they are not.

Perhaps this quote sums it up “Now and again in history long-forgotten decisions and long-suppressed emotions, under the direction of some invisible impulse, generate elemental forces which, like gigantic and slowly rolling dice, work out their horrible and destructive course, guided by chance alone.” IF ONLY IT HAD NOT BEEN SUCH A WET SUMMER; Theodore K. Rabb. From WHAT IF?, edited by Robert Cowlet

Nickdfresh
12-17-2011, 12:40 PM
Riffing off RS*, I wonder how many "critics" realize that Japan was 'terror-bombing' China by 1931--often without the faintest notion of going after military or industrial targets...

Rising Sun*
12-18-2011, 06:45 AM
Riffing off RS*, I wonder how many "critics" realize that Japan was 'terror-bombing' China by 1931--often without the faintest notion of going after military or industrial targets...

That is consistent with their depredations in Manila, twice, and Singapore against other Asians who lacked the good fortune to be sons of Nihon.

Or having two Japanese officers engaged in a contest to see who could kill the most Chinese with their swords. Which most probably, despite later revisionism by the remnant nationalists, fascists, militarists in Japan, probably consisted mostly or exclusively of killing defenceless prisoners, a skill in which the heroic Japanese were extraordinarly adept even compared with the worst of their German allies.

Or that Japan was dragooning tens of thousands of Asian labourers onto the Burma Railway and treating many of them even worse than the Allied POWs, improbable as that may seem, to the extent that the Asian labourers suffered both a much higher death rate and a higher number of deaths than the Allies, and probably a higher number of deaths than Japanese killed at Nagasaki (figures for both are rubbery). But who ever hears about the poor bloody Asian labourers deceived and dragooned into working for the Japanese on the Railway, often believing that they would get the good wages promised by the Japanese instead of the beatings and countless untreated diseases and deaths they got, without the benefit of military organisation and training and other things such as medical officers which helped the Allied POWS to survive at a better rate?

horst
12-19-2011, 04:30 PM
Good point.

And I'd condemn the Allies for it if they had started bombing civilians as part of WWII. But they didn't. They just got a lot better at it than the Axis as the war progressed. Coventry and Rotterdam were outrages at the time, but compared with the casualties in later Allied raids they were minor.

Still, the Axis started bombing civilians, and murdering them in their tens of thousands in other ways long before the Allies mounted any major bombing campaigns, let alone firebombing. It's simply a case of the biter bit.

That doesn't make it morally justifiable, but I don't see much in war that is morally justifiable apart from exercising the right to defend one's nation against an aggressor. In practice the exercise of that right is pragmatic rather than moral, so if the enemy is using gas or firebombing or any other weapon why shouldn't you? Sticking to Marquis of Queensberry rules in a gutter fight is a sure way to get beaten. You don't have to feel good about kicking the other guy in the balls or poking his eye out with your thumb and biting his nose off, but if that's what you have to do to survive an attack by an aggressor who's kicking you in the balls and trying to poke your eye out with his thumb and trying to bite your nose off then, although it's not conduct I want to see, I don't have a problem with it. And I don't see any grounds for complaint by the aggressor, or anyone else, if you used his way of fighting more successfully against him than he managed against you.


This doesn’t seem to be accurate,

Rotterdam 14 th of May 1940, ( 800-900 killed, british propaganda inflated the number of civilian casualties by a factor of 30, http://www.enotes.com/topic/Strategic_bombing_during_World_War_II ) and Warsaw were different cases since those were defended cities in the front line, hence bombing were not against Hague convention Arts. 25 and 27 and Coventry bombing (568 killed) was in September, long after the nightmare started on May 11th 1940 when the first RAF raid on the interior of Germany took place in Mönchengladbach , 35 Hampden and Whitley airplanes threw their bombs over streets and rail roads. ( Jörg Friedrich, El Incendio, pag. 72)
“On the night of May 17/18, RAF Bomber Command bombed oil installations in Hamburg and Bremen; the H.E. and 400 incendiaries dropped caused six large, one moderately large and 29 small fires. As a result of the attack, 47 people were killed and 127 were wounded.[91][92] Railway yards at Cologne were attacked on the same night.[92] During May, Essen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Hanover were attacked in a similar fashion by Bomber Command. In June, attacks were made on Dortmund, Mannheim, Frankfurt and Bochum” Wiki Quote.
Rotterdam was Churchill’s excuse for authorizing the attack of german civil targets east of the Rhine. Churchill justified his decision in a letter to the French signed on May 16th 1940:
"I have examined today with the War Cabinet and all the experts the request which you made to me last night and this morning for further fighter squadrons. We are all agreed that it is better to draw the enemy on to this Island by striking at his vitals, and thus to aid the common cause."
On the other side Hitler directive number 17 states:
5. I reserve to myself the right to decide on terror attacks as measures of reprisal. With this directive Hitler prohibits the Luftwaffe from conducting terror raids except on direct orders from him.

Furthermore, Hermann Göring stablished the following regarding the matter:
The war against England is to be restricted to destructive attacks against industry and air force targets which have weak defensive forces. ... The most thorough study of the target concerned, that is vital points of the target, is a pre-requisite for success. It is also stressed that every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary loss of life amongst the civilian population.
Hermann Göring Wood and Dempster, 2003. p. 117.

This conduct of Germany towards Britain is endorsed by Sir Basil Collier in his book the Battle of Britain:
“Although the plan adopted by the Luftwaffe early September had mentioned attacks on the population of large cities, detailed records of the raids made during the autumn and the winter of 1940-41 does not suggest that indiscriminate bombing of the civilians was intended. The points of aim selected were largely factories and docks. Other objectives specifically allotted to bomber-crews included the City of London and the governmental quarter rounds Whitehall”
A wiki quote support this:
“In addition to the conclusions of Sir Basil Collier to that effect there are also for example the 1949 memoirs of General Henry H. Arnold who had been in London 1941 and support Colliers estimate, and Harris noted in 1947 that the Germans had failed to take the opportunity to destroy English cities by concentrated incendiary bombing.”

Regards,

horst
12-19-2011, 04:34 PM
What about artillery? Because I notice that is conspicuously absent from your list? And almost every weapon you've mentioned indeed has been used in urban areas against "targets" that may have been, inadvertently or on purpose, civilians...
Exceptionally yes Nick,but only as an unwanted byproduct, artillery used against urban areas implies that the front line is near that areas which must be defended military targets. Evacuation is possible and desirable under that circumstances. On the other side when it comes to firebombing, assassinate and terrorize unaware civilians is the strategy in itself, let’s ask the highest authority on this art:
“The ultimate aim of the attack on a town area is to breake the morale of the population which occupies it. To ensure this, we must achieve two things: first, we must make the town physically uninhabitable and, secondly, we must make the people conscious of constant personal danger. The immediate aim, is therefore, twofold, namely, to produce: i) destruction and ii) the fear of death.”
Despatch on war operations, 23rd February, 1942, to 8th May, 1945
Sir Arthur Travers Harris

Nickdfresh
12-19-2011, 08:16 PM
Exceptionally yes Nick,but only as an unwanted byproduct, artillery used against urban areas implies that the front line is near that areas which must be defended military targets. Evacuation is possible and desirable under that circumstances.

Actually, it wasn't always possible. And as desirable as evacuation is, this was often verboten by the Nazi "golden eagles." In any case, the residents of many a besieged city were no more able to flee an artillery bombardment than they were air attack as they were often encircled. Secondly, cities would be "military targets" in your view as they were indeed "defended"...


On the other side when it comes to firebombing, assassinate and terrorize unaware civilians is the strategy in itself, let’s ask the highest authority on this art:
“The ultimate aim of the attack on a town area is to breake the morale of the population which occupies it. To ensure this, we must achieve two things: first, we must make the town physically uninhabitable and, secondly, we must make the people conscious of constant personal danger. The immediate aim, is therefore, twofold, namely, to produce: i) destruction and ii) the fear of death.”
Despatch on war operations, 23rd February, 1942, to 8th May, 1945
Sir Arthur Travers Harris

I'm not really interested in Harris' harebrained ideas. However, the legality of such is consistent as British bombers were hitting defended cities at night with little in way of accurate bombing methodologies available. But while I am not particularly fond of Harris nor his methodologies, his beliefs were actually altruistic as he sought to end the war as soon as possible--and genuinely believed that sustained air power could do so virtually alone--with comparatively less loss of life than there otherwise would have been...

Nickdfresh
12-19-2011, 08:19 PM
This doesn’t seem to be accurate,

...
Furthermore, Hermann Göring stablished the following regarding the matter:
The war against England is to be restricted to destructive attacks against industry and air force targets which have weak defensive forces. ... The most thorough study of the target concerned, that is vital points of the target, is a pre-requisite for success. It is also stressed that every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary loss of life amongst the civilian population.
Hermann Göring Wood and Dempster, 2003. p. 117.

... [/I]

Regards,

A meaningless, babbling quote out-of-context as Göring was referring to German policy prior to sustained attacks on population centers...

And Luftwaffe bombing killed over 17,000 Yugoslavians in one night as well...

leccy
12-20-2011, 06:49 AM
This doesn’t seem to be accurate,

Rotterdam 14 th of May 1940, ( 800-900 killed, british propaganda inflated the number of civilian casualties by a factor of 30, http://www.enotes.com/topic/Strategic_bombing_during_World_War_II ) and Warsaw were different cases since those were defended cities in the front line, hence bombing were not against Hague convention Arts. 25 and 27 and Coventry bombing (568 killed) was in September, long after the nightmare started on May 11th 1940 when the first RAF raid on the interior of Germany took place in Mönchengladbach , 35 Hampden and Whitley airplanes threw their bombs over streets and rail roads. ( Jörg Friedrich, El Incendio, pag. 72)
“On the night of May 17/18, RAF Bomber Command bombed oil installations in Hamburg and Bremen; the H.E. and 400 incendiaries dropped caused six large, one moderately large and 29 small fires. As a result of the attack, 47 people were killed and 127 were wounded.[91][92] Railway yards at Cologne were attacked on the same night.[92] During May, Essen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Hanover were attacked in a similar fashion by Bomber Command. In June, attacks were made on Dortmund, Mannheim, Frankfurt and Bochum” Wiki Quote.
Rotterdam was Churchill’s excuse for authorizing the attack of german civil targets east of the Rhine. Churchill justified his decision in a letter to the French signed on May 16th 1940:
"I have examined today with the War Cabinet and all the experts the request which you made to me last night and this morning for further fighter squadrons. We are all agreed that it is better to draw the enemy on to this Island by striking at his vitals, and thus to aid the common cause."
On the other side Hitler directive number 17 states:
5. I reserve to myself the right to decide on terror attacks as measures of reprisal. With this directive Hitler prohibits the Luftwaffe from conducting terror raids except on direct orders from him.

Furthermore, Hermann Göring stablished the following regarding the matter:
The war against England is to be restricted to destructive attacks against industry and air force targets which have weak defensive forces. ... The most thorough study of the target concerned, that is vital points of the target, is a pre-requisite for success. It is also stressed that every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary loss of life amongst the civilian population.
Hermann Göring Wood and Dempster, 2003. p. 117.

This conduct of Germany towards Britain is endorsed by Sir Basil Collier in his book the Battle of Britain:
“Although the plan adopted by the Luftwaffe early September had mentioned attacks on the population of large cities, detailed records of the raids made during the autumn and the winter of 1940-41 does not suggest that indiscriminate bombing of the civilians was intended. The points of aim selected were largely factories and docks. Other objectives specifically allotted to bomber-crews included the City of London and the governmental quarter rounds Whitehall”
A wiki quote support this:
“In addition to the conclusions of Sir Basil Collier to that effect there are also for example the 1949 memoirs of General Henry H. Arnold who had been in London 1941 and support Colliers estimate, and Harris noted in 1947 that the Germans had failed to take the opportunity to destroy English cities by concentrated incendiary bombing.”

Regards,

Ok you cherry picked some quotes from an article directly copied from wikipedia, the same article that also has this near the beginning.


In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and the Luftwaffe (German air force) began providing tactical support to the German Army. The Luftwaffe also began eliminating strategic objectives and bombing cities in Poland. France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany and the UK's Royal Air Force began attacking German warships along the German coast with the North Sea.[7] Meanwhile, the German bombing of Poland became an indiscriminate[8] and unrestricted aerial bombardment campaign.

I could also add in Guernica where Oberst Wolfram Freiherr Von Richthofen the Chief of Staff of the Condor legion, told the Condor Legion pilots to "disregard the civilians in the interest of keeping up the speed of the advance". He also said to General Emilio Mola (Nationalist Commander of the region), "Nothing is unreasonable that can destroy enemy morale and quickly". The claims that the bombing was only targeting the bridge are not borne out by the Legions use of large numbers of light incendiaries which subsequently caused the fires that they used as an excuse for the blind bombing that followed, no bombs hit the bridge at all during the raids.

Boutte
02-02-2012, 11:17 AM
There is also a significant degree of inexcusable ethnic arrogance and or historical ignorance in the comments which routinely come from those well-intentioned but emotionally rather than historically informed critics of firebombing and the atomic bombs.

Although some have heard of Nanking, I have yet to find anyone in social discussion who opposes the atomic bombing of Japan (I have yet to find anyone outside moderately serious military history circles who has the faintest notion that firebombing did more damage in Japan than atomic bombs) who has the faintest idea about, among the many mass-homicidal actions of the Japanese directed at other races, the well-documented Sook Ching massacres or what the Japanese did in Manila in 1941 and 1945 or what the Japanese did on the Bataan Death March in 1942 or at Sandakan in 1945.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but Japan’s depredations throughout Asia and South East Asia deprive it of all right to complain about reaping the whirlwind it sowed.

Japan didn’t get firebombed or nuked because of, as some would have it, amoral capriciousness by the Allies. It happened because Japan embarked upon the most brutal, vicious and unjustified campaign of aggression and enslavement in the past few centuries and because Japan wouldn’t surrender even when it knew it was beaten.

Every military action that happened to Japan was its fault, from start to finish, just as it wasn’t the fault of every nation that Japan attacked and invaded that it was attacked and invaded by Japan, from start to finish.

Compared with Germany, which ultimately was defeated by troops on its soil who destroyed what was left from the air bombing as they advanced across the land, Japan got off bloody lightly by surrendering after, so far as the populace was concerned in comparison with Germany, a relatively short and limited war from the air.

All things considered, Japan and the Japanese got off lightly. Not that this is an allowable view when confronted with the emotional outrage of ill-informed teachers, social workers and others of almost no knowledge on the subjects upon which they hold well-meaning and passionate beliefs founded, unfortunately, in passionate ignorance.
Very well stated.

Further more, the Japanese war industry wasn't concentrated in one or two regions. It was spread through the urban landscape of the country.


A meaningless, babbling quote out-of-context as Göring was referring to German policy prior to sustained attacks on population centers...

And Luftwaffe bombing killed over 17,000 Yugoslavians in one night as well...

The fact is that this was total war. It wasn't just my military against yours. It was our people against your people. Hitler coined the phrase "war of annihilation" to to describe the war in the East. The Germans weren't just making war against nations but against other peoples. His intent was not to occupy eastern Europe it was to enslave it's people and steal it's resources.

Fire bombing the population of countries involved such activities is solid military strategy. It weakens a nation's will to fight and depletes it's man power both as a source of military recruits and to work in it's industry. The people who grow the food to feed the armies, manufacture arms and munitions and provide the motivation of the troops in the field are every bit as much a legitimate target as a Panzer division.

If the US had to kill 100,000 Japanese to save one single American soldier, sailor or airman it was justified in doing so. They were our mortal enemies. The japanese military were brutal beasts and the very face of unrestrained evil and brutality.

tankgeezer
02-06-2012, 10:06 PM
In a history forum the past is of primary relevance. Then why have you not contributed anything of historic significance in your posts? One wonders....

fredl109
02-08-2012, 08:08 AM
Then the I am completely okay with you Tankgeezer, first I would like to know that is under the pseudo goodlily, because I didn't see its post, and I will want to know also why he/it made a such post and what are its argument to be able to say such a thing.
Fred regards

Nickdfresh
02-08-2012, 05:40 PM
Goodly was probably a spammer trying to build up its post count...

Nickdfresh
02-08-2012, 05:50 PM
....
Fire bombing the population of countries involved such activities is solid military strategy.

Or it could have been, arguably, largely a waste of resources as production was hardly halted and was merely decentralized by Germany. Rather than firebombing population centers, the Allies may well have been better off following the "Transportation Plan" used prior to Normandy, where 'concentric' bombing focused on communications and transport centers such as rail yards that could not so easily be dispersed...


It weakens a nation's will to fight and depletes it's man power both as a source of military recruits and to work in it's industry.

Little evidence exists that any populations "will to fight" was depleted. And I have no idea how manpower was depleted by strategic bombing other than to create a "third front" pinning down the Luftwaffe...


The people who grow the food to feed the armies,

Not in cities they don't!


...manufacture arms and munitions and provide the motivation of the troops in the field are every bit as much a legitimate target as a Panzer division.

Many of the "people" manufacturing arms were slave laborers from Allied, occupied nations. Also, Germany simply began buying ammunition from neutral countries to avoid shortages...


If the US had to kill 100,000 Japanese to save one single American soldier, sailor or airman it was justified in doing so.

That's pretty spurious logic. But how was killing men, women, and baking children on their mothers' backs as they ran away from the flames really "saving" U.S. servicemen?


They were our mortal enemies. The japanese military were brutal beasts and the very face of unrestrained evil and brutality.

But you're not talking about the military, you're talking about civilians...

leccy
02-08-2012, 05:52 PM
There are some bots who act like this account did, made to look like they are actual people but in reality looking for keywords on a site and responding in a set way.

tankgeezer
02-08-2012, 06:43 PM
In either of his 4 guises he did the same sorts of things. Either posted complete nonsense, or cut, and pasted parts of other's posts, presenting them as his own. Like Nick said, just padding his post count.(maybe he thought he'd win a prize....)

Boutte
02-09-2012, 04:59 PM
Or it could have been, arguably, largely a waste of resources as production was hardly halted and was merely decentralized by Germany. Rather than firebombing population centers, the Allies may well have been better off following the "Transportation Plan" used prior to Normandy, where 'concentric' bombing focused on communications and transport centers such as rail yards that could not so easily be dispersed...
That, as you say, is arguable.



Little evidence exists that any populations "will to fight" was depleted. And I have no idea how manpower was depleted by strategic bombing other than to create a "third front" pinning down the Luftwaffe...
When you deplete the population you deplete manpower. When you create refugees you put a strain the available resources. There are a lot of "possible" benefits. Who knew at the time what was going to work and what wasn't?




Not in cities they don't!



Many of the "people" manufacturing arms were slave laborers from Allied, occupied nations. Also, Germany simply began buying ammunition from neutral countries to avoid shortages...



That's pretty spurious logic. But how was killing men, women, and baking children on their mothers' backs as they ran away from the flames really "saving" U.S. servicemen?



But you're not talking about the military, you're talking about civilians...
It just seems too easy for us to sit here with 70 years worth of hindsight and condemn the people who were forced to make these kinds of decisions. If you destroy the infrastructure of a nation does that not contribute greatly to diminishing that country's ability to make war? Do you think that American leadership firebombed Japanese cities because they enjoyed the thought of baking babies or because they thought it was the most effective way to defeat the enemy? (An enemy that killed over 20 million Chinese. Most of whom were civilians I might add.)

The fact is that strategic bombing would have eventually brought Japan to it's knees. Even with out nuclear weapons Japan could not have held out for another year and there was already a strong peace movement even within the military. There would have been no need for an invasion.

Cojimar 1945
02-11-2012, 07:41 PM
This was mentioned elsewhere but I would think the Crimean War would count as the first modern war given the lack of advancements between it and the American Civil War. The American Civil War could be considered the first modern war in the western hemisphere.

Cojimar 1945
02-11-2012, 07:43 PM
As for scale, I believe the level of carnage in the American Civil War was actually less than in some earlier wars such as the Seven Years War. However, the number of soldiers mobilized may have exceeded any of the pre-Napoleonic wars.

Nickdfresh
02-12-2012, 05:57 AM
.....

When you deplete the population you deplete manpower.

That seems like sort of an argument the Nazi's would have made to get rid of the Jews.

In any case, it's hard to get rid of manpower when the majority of the able-bodied male population is already at the front or in bunkers/shelters...


When you create refugees you put a strain the available resources. There are a lot of "possible" benefits. Who knew at the time what was going to work and what wasn't?

The majority of refugees were not caused by bombing. They were usually fleeing the advance of enemy armies. In any case, considering the losses we suffered in the ETA air war, creating refugees seems like a massively weak military logic in relation to the resources put into the air forces...


It just seems too easy for us to sit here with 70 years worth of hindsight and condemn the people who were forced to make these kinds of decisions.

I haven't condemned anybody, here at least...


If you destroy the infrastructure of a nation does that not contribute greatly to diminishing that country's ability to make war?

That greatly depends on what infrastructure one is targeting. As stated, Germany was able to actually increase its industrial production despite around-the-clock Anglo-American bombing. I'll say there are many caveats to that. But in my view, the way bombing was carried out was somewhat a waste of resources...


Do you think that American leadership firebombed Japanese cities because they enjoyed the thought of baking babies or because they thought it was the most effective way to defeat the enemy? (An enemy that killed over 20 million Chinese. Most of whom were civilians I might add.)

No, I do not think the vast majority enjoyed killing the Japanese people. I do believe that Curtis LeMay was a bit of a psychopath as was Bomber Harris. LeMay especially showed this towards the end of his career when he attempted to goad JFK around the Cuban Missile Crisis...

I'm well aware of what the Japanese did to the Chinese people. That didn't make firebombing particularly effective, however, as we were just mainly killing civilians ourselves that had little in the way of power to topple the Imperial militarist gov't...


The fact is that strategic bombing would have eventually brought Japan to it's knees. Even with out nuclear weapons Japan could not have held out for another year and there was already a strong peace movement even within the military. There would have been no need for an invasion.

All evidence to the contrary. Strategic bombing didn't really show itself as particularly effective against Japan as they lacked targets and industry to attack. The only thing that could possibly have broken the IJA's will to fight without an invasion was mass starvation, which would have taken months if not years longer, and then the Russians were coming. We almost certainly would have invaded had not the atom bombs been dropped...

Rising Sun*
02-13-2012, 06:20 AM
The fact is that strategic bombing would have eventually brought Japan to it's knees.

It was the naval blockade which was strangling Japan, and which had pretty much brought Japan to its knees before the atom bombs were dropped. But that could not by itself have brought Japan to its surrender, any more than relentless conventional bombing would have.


Even with out nuclear weapons Japan could not have held out for another year

The militarists and the Emperor were quite willing to hold out to the last man, woman and child for however long it took, and were making prepartions to that end by arming and training the civilian populace with wooden spears etc.


and there was already a strong peace movement even within the military.

I wasn't aware of that. Can you point to any evidence?

My understanding is that if there was any peace movement in the military it wasn't strong and it wasn't where it mattered, which was the military leadership.

The actions of the military, both army and navy, in the dying days of the war are not consistent with any ambitions for peace.



There would have been no need for an invasion.

What was the alternative? Let Japan keep its territory and assets in China and its homeland?

Japan was not going to surrender until, metaphorically, the Allies had their boot on its throat and a cocked gun pointed at its head with the clear intention of using it if Japan did not surrender.

This was achieved by dropping of the atomic bombs combined with, in the same few days, the overwhelming defeats and rapid advances by the Soviets on Japanese forces in Manchuria and the realisation that if Japan didn't surrender it could be invaded by the Soviets as well as the other Allies, assuming that Japan wasn't wiped out by more atomic weapons.

EagleMMDCXVI
02-13-2012, 02:15 PM
The militarists and the Emperor were quite willing to hold out to the last man, woman and child for however long it took, and were making prepartions to that end by arming and training the civilian populace with wooden spears etc.



On this I remember reading about the proposed invasion and in the article there was an interview with a Japanese woman who would of been a just a kid in during the invasion and the government gave her some kind of icepick or something like that and told her that as she had to kill at least one American before she was killed. I will try and find that article.

muscogeemike
02-13-2012, 02:25 PM
On this I remember reading about the proposed invasion and in the article there was an interview with a Japanese woman who would of been a just a kid in during the invasion and the government gave her some kind of icepick or something like that and told her that as she had to kill at least one American before she was killed. I will try and find that article.

I was stationed in Yokohama in the late '60's, there were still tunnels in the hills used a bomb shelters. I spoke to people who experienced this era and they confirm what you say. They were encouraged to kill or maim any invaders - any way they could.

Cojimar 1945
05-28-2012, 02:42 PM
Japan was already in a very bad situation without atom bombs or the Russian intervention. The allies were quite capable of destroying Japanese cities through conventional bombing raids on a massive scale. Is there any evidence that the bombs made a major difference in bringing about surrender and that the Russian intervention alone would not have achieved the same result?

Cojimar 1945
05-28-2012, 02:52 PM
Also, I was under the impression that regimes assisted by western countries such as South Korea in the Korean war and the south Vietnamese regime in the Vietnam war engaged in terrible atrocities. Wouldn't this mean that western countries that provided support for these regimes bear some guilt for atrocities that were committed? People are talking about the Japanese reaping what they sowed but didn't the United States, Australia, Britain, etc. provide aid to regimes that engaged in terrible actions such as mass executions of suspected leftists?

I would be interested in knowing what people's opinions are as to what the public in the west knew regarding the atrocities of the south Korean and south Vietnamese regimes and whether they can claim to have a clean conscience when supporting people engaging in activities reminiscent of what the Japanese did.

tankgeezer
05-28-2012, 03:57 PM
Japan was already in a very bad situation without atom bombs or the Russian intervention. The allies were quite capable of destroying Japanese cities through conventional bombing raids on a massive scale. Is there any evidence that the bombs made a major difference in bringing about surrender and that the Russian intervention alone would not have achieved the same result?

The question of A-Bombs right, or wrong has been thoroughly addressed in the linked thread. If anyone would like to add to that particular discussion please use the link. http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?3667-Should-the-atomic-bombs-have-been-dropped-on-Hiroshima-and-Nagasaki/page60&highlight=should+atomic+bombs+have+been+used+on+ja pan

royal744
05-28-2012, 09:11 PM
We know from unhappy experience that the only thing "legal" about Communists winning elections in post-war Europe is the election itself, after which there would be no more elections except for the "Potemkin" kind. Thank you, no. " Et pardon de mettre un peu emporté, mon anglais date de plus de 30 ans et j'ai un peu de mal à comprendre le sens des phrases.
Amitiés Fred

Nous savons a cause de notre malheureux experience avec les elections dans les pays comme Polande, Hongrie, et Czecoslovakie par exemple, que la deniere election "legal" c'est la premiere election. Après ca, toute les elections sont de la variete "Potempkin", soi-distant faux comme une triste piece de theatre. Merci, non.

Cojimar 1945
06-05-2012, 05:57 PM
tankgeezer, do you have any thoughts as to ethical issues with the U.S. supporting regimes that engage in terrible atrocities? I can't understand how someone can be genuinely outraged at Japanese atrocities yet condone the U.S. providing support for people engaged in similar activities. Are you suggesting that the south Vietnamese regime was not involved in actions reminiscent of what the Japanese did?

tankgeezer
06-05-2012, 07:31 PM
I wasn't addressing any of the points you now describe, I was only addressing that your last comment (#162) belonged in a different thread, one which deals specifically with that subject.

Cojimar 1945
06-09-2012, 07:54 PM
Yes, I think I understand what you are saying about one of the points belonging in a different thread.

However, I am interested in people's thoughts as to ethical issues involved in some of the postwar policies of western countries.

It appears to me that after the war the United States provided considerable financial and military support for regimes guilty of the same sort of atrocities as the Japanese. I am curious as to how people can justify this sort of conduct. If the Japanese actions were wrong why provide assistance to governments that are doing the same things. I cannot see how you could be genuinely outraged by Japanese treatment of U.S. POWs but not be upset over things the south Vietnamese did.

tankgeezer
06-09-2012, 08:21 PM
I have no doubt that any number of members will have something to say about your questions.

Nickdfresh
06-10-2012, 09:26 AM
Yes, I think I understand what you are saying about one of the points belonging in a different thread.

That is a different thread, and one not easy to relate to those not experience the existential threat of nuclear holocaust during the Cold War...


However, I am interested in people's thoughts as to ethical issues involved in some of the postwar policies of western countries.

It appears to me that after the war the United States provided considerable financial and military support for regimes guilty of the same sort of atrocities as the Japanese....

Then don't speak in generalizations. Specifically, which regimes and which human rights abuses. You're going to have a very difficult time finding the equivalent to the Rape of Nanking...

Cojimar 1945
06-10-2012, 02:04 PM
Another example would be the behavior of the South Vietnamese regime towards dissidents.

Nickdfresh
06-17-2012, 10:37 AM
All discussion regarding atrocities committed by the South Korean gov't during the 1950-53 civil war have been moved to this thread: Masscre in Korea (http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?4327-Massacre-in-Korea)

Please continue any discussion on this topic there...

Chevan
06-17-2012, 11:29 AM
OK. Back to original topic.
How do you think, gents, does exist the way of use the firebombing tactic effectively against enemy military power not making civils to suffer so much?

Cojimar 1945
06-17-2012, 11:17 PM
The topic I was trying to discuss is general atrocious behavior by the western allies in the postwar period and is broader than just the atrocities in the Korean war.

If people are outraged by the behavior of the axis powers than shouldn't they also be upset about actions committed by many of the regimes supported by the west?

Cojimar 1945
06-17-2012, 11:22 PM
I suppose I don't see why moral standards would suddenly undergo a massive transformation in 1945 and make people accept conduct that was previously viewed as outrageous. Why would people have any reason to be upset with Hitler if only a short period later they choose to condone the very actions held against the nazis?

Chevan
06-17-2012, 11:24 PM
If people are outraged by the behavior of the axis powers than shouldn't they also be upset about actions committed by many of the regimes supported by the west?
Which exaclty actions of pro-western regimes do you mind?

pdf27
06-18-2012, 06:44 AM
OK. Back to original topic.How do you think, gents, does exist the way of use the firebombing tactic effectively against enemy military power not making civils to suffer so much?There are a handful of legitimate targets that won't hit civilians too badly (fuel dumps and oil refineries). That's about it though - the reality is that until the advent of guided weapons military targets are so small and hardened that they're very difficult to destroy without destroying the entire city they're surrounded by using either incendiaries or nuclear weapons. Carpet bombing military forces in the field was effective on the few times it was attempted, but was a horrendously inefficient use of resources.

Chevan
06-18-2012, 07:22 AM
So the only effective tactic was to bomb the cities , surrounded the military objects, otherwise it should be the waste of resources.But goal , anyway, was to damage the military industrial targets , not civils?

pdf27
06-18-2012, 08:08 PM
So the only effective tactic was to bomb the cities , surrounded the military objects, otherwise it should be the waste of resources.But goal , anyway, was to damage the military industrial targets , not civils?Several problems leading to this:1) At the time, few of the population lived in the suburbs. Instead, most of them lived in high-density housing surrounding the factories themselves.2) The UK knew from experience in 1940 that just bombing factories didn't do much good - machine tools need a direct hit with a big bomb to destroy them. Fire does a slightly better job, but the best way is to destroy the transport links that provide it with raw material, the electricity and water supplies it needs to function and scare away the workers. As the raid on Coventry demonstrated, destroying a city centre is one of the few ways to actually do this - and probably the only practical one prior to late 1944.3) Bombing in the early war was extremely inaccurate - the average miss distance for a heavy bomber in 1940 at night was 5-10% of the distance flown, and it was suicidal to attack by day outside the range of fighter cover. Tales of bombers hitting the wrong country were common. It wasn't until the USAAF came in with long range fighters and the willingness to take horrendous casualties that the Luftwaffe was ground down and day bombing again became practical. Even then, until pretty much spring 1945 the average miss distance of the USAAF during the day was higher than that of Bomber Command during the night. The reality is that hitting point targets only became possible on a war-winning scale with the invention of laser-guided weapons and their widespread introduction in the 1980s. Until then, it was area/carpet bombing, strikes by fighter-bombers against small, point targets that didn't need big bomb loads or long range, or nothing at all.Essentially, until about 1980 the options were to send in short-ranged fighter-bombers using eyesight to hit targets accurately, send in heavy bombers to destroy an area (the same tactic as was used with nuclear weapons - they didn't need to be all that accurate either, although electronic aids meant they weren't too bad compared to WW2 bombers) or leave targets unmolested. A further issue is that the UK simply didn't have the infrastructure or manpower to fight Germany in any other way but with heavy bombers until the entry of the USA into the war - they could build an amphibious army to invade Europe, or an Air Force, but not both. Given the horrible memories of the Trenches, they decided early on to try for the air option - and by the time the US entered the war and gave them other options it was too late to change course.This meant that the British had the choice of doing nothing but blockade Germany and finance various resistance movements (essentially exactly what they did in the Napoleonic Wars) or try night area bombing of city centres. The latter was considered politically unacceptable for various reasons (notably the fact that fear of invasion was very real when the decision was made) so they went with area bombing.The USAAC were trapped by their own doctrine that precision bombing by day was a war-winning weapon. This was developed in the 1920s when the service was fighting for survival - and when they applied it in Europe they had a rather unpleasant surprise when it became apparent that the sort of precision they were anticipating simply wasn't possible in real world conditions. Faced with the same problem as the British, they adopted the same solution - area bombing until they could develop the technology to attack with real accuracy.

leccy
06-29-2012, 05:11 AM
I found this comment in Spiegel Online


'Bomber Command Made Decisive Contribution'

Professor Rolf-Dieter Müller, a German military historian who headed a commission investigating the extent of the civilian casualties in Dresden, said: "Germans have a contradictory and difficult relationship with the bombing campaign because the civilian losses were so great and one has the impression that Bomber Command wasn't just bent on destroying Hitler's war machine but on terrorizing the civilian population and crushing morale."
"But Bomber Command made a decisive contribution towards the Allied victory over Germany," Müller told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Without the Allied air raids, Hitler would have been able to carry on the war longer and more terribly, possibly with the use of poison gas and even nuclear weapons. In my opinion, the bombing was not just legitimate but even a necessary instrument to help end the war."

"Is it justified in war to factor in civilian losses and collateral damage? We judge by different standards today than in the 1940s. One overlooks the fact that the bombing crews suffered immense losses themselves, it wasn't a cakewalk for the RAF or the United States Air Force. Germany must respect the fact that the British see the need to honor the bombing crews with a memorial."

pdf27
06-29-2012, 02:32 PM
It's further complicated by the effect on the Army of the fact that the very type of man who 20 years before had formed the junior officers and senior NCOs of the BEF signed up en masse for Bomber Command instead. This accounts for a large part of why the performance of the British Army in WW2 was so poor, and why units frequently failed to attack after taking far lighter casualties than their fathers had kept attacking after.

I'm personally coming around to the view that Bomber Command was the logical way to proceed when it wasn't certain that the US would join the war. When it was, the logic behind it went away - but by that time the UK had put so many resources and personnel into it that it simply couldn't change over before the end of the war. With perfect hindsight Bomber Command should have been a great deal smaller and focussed mostly on tactical bombing with a few squadrons doing the sort of thing 617 ended up doing. The personnel and industrial capacity saved should have gone into the Army, Coastal Command and RAF Army Co-operation.

Cojimar 1945
07-27-2012, 12:49 AM
Chevan, I am referring to general treatment of people who fell afoul of the people in charge (critics, suspected leftists, political rivals). The South Vietnamese and South Koreans seem like good examples of fairly brutal regimes but there may have also been some in South America that were fairly horrific.

TrailApe
08-10-2012, 07:56 AM
"This accounts for a large part of why the performance of the British Army in WW2 was so poor, and why units frequently failed to attack after taking far lighter casualties than their fathers had kept attacking after."

Pdf27.

I’m quite interested in this thread as it’s one of those where the current attitudes of our society could quite easily clash with those of our forefathers who had to live through those times – and keep our society in existence.

However, your statement above really grabbed my attention.

I’ll put this in context, at the minute I’m reading a lot about the Normandy invasion and so far the accounts and literature I have read seem to differ widely from your view. I’ll admit that prior to my reading, the prevalent viewpoint would agree with what you stated, mainly through ‘Hollywood’ (nothing against Joe Public in the US who have to live with that version of history also) and some authors who may have an agenda to boost their sales.

When you get into the accounts of the action at unit level, this certainly is disproved. I’ve just finished reading a description of the fighting for Hill 112 (Operation Jupiter) where the Wessex Division came up against various SS Panzer and Infantry divisions. The fighting around Maltot seems to be have been particular vicious and often came down to the going in with the bayonet. Note that these were not ersatz German units but Waffen SS and Wehrmacht veterans of the Eastern Front.

It’s interesting that the author of this book feels he needs to state that he will keep ‘editorial comment' to a minimum and allow the narrative to speak for itself, so possibly he feels that some publications have ignored the achievments and focussed on the negatives.

Have you any particular examples of where the BA performance in WW2 was so poor – or is it more of a ‘perceived truth’ that you feel that this is the case (as I had prior to my reading)

pdf27
08-10-2012, 12:37 PM
Bit tricky as funnily enough I wasn't there, but here goes...

Demographics - the very men you need for junior leaders (officers and NCOs) were also the very men the RAF was trying to recruit. The Navy was smaller than in WW1, but this was more than compensated for by the expansion of the RAF. This meant that the army was short of men in these slots.
Guards Armoured/Paras/etc. - the Guards Armoured division in particular was explicitly an attempt to deal with the problem of recruiting mentioned above. Additionally, they were almost used in the "stormtrooper" role the Germans had at the end of WW1. One of the immense achievements of the BEF in WW1 was that any division could do this work - something no other army managed, and the UK didn't manage in WW2.
Secondary Sources - fairly consistent on this, and I tend to read the more serious books. The Right of the Line by John Terraine, although a book about the RAF, does go into this in some detail (in the section on Army co-operation - his thesis there was essentially that the British Army in Normandy was unwilling to attack without overwhelming air support, largely due to a failure of junior leadership accompanied by an unwillingness to take casualties - with the result being that they took higher casualties than necessary).
Current British Army doctrine - when I was in the TA, we were always taught to use Mission Command (always tell someone what they are to achieve, not how to do it). At the time I was told this was due to the Germans using such a system in WW2 while the British were more prescriptive. This feeds into the original comment - people were told to "launch an attack" rather than "destroy all enemy in this position and occupy the ground in order to support a further attack by 1 Bn Blankshire Regiment".

In essence, once committed to the attack and in defence they fought well. The problem was in willingness to attack - which won't show up in reports of actual combat. Casualties were certainly high (IIRC Sidney Jary was the only platoon commander to survive uninjured from Normandy to VE day), but the same could be said about WW1 - when the life expectancy of a platoon commander was six weeks during periods of major combat.

383man
08-14-2012, 11:18 AM
No way is that a war crime of the US fire bombing Japenese cities. These men did what they had to as it saved many American lives and the US did not start the war with a sneak attack killing over 2000 people. Japan asked for it in my opinion. You know the airmen were doing what they were told to do but when the Japenese killed and tortured prisnors of war that was just evil as they did not have to do that. That was not an act of was as that was murder but the fire boming were part of war. Ron

akgeronimo501
09-13-2012, 06:06 PM
The victors will always write the history. That will never change. As far as fire bombing and the use of Nuclear Weapons, I would simply tell the Japanese, don't start a war you can't finish. They jumped on the big dog and took a grade A butt whipping for it. You can't simply apply politics of the present on the past. If you had taken a vote of Americans in 1945 and told them you have a bomb that would wipe out the islands of Japan totally should we use it? I expect you would be shocked by the 90% of people that would have voted yes. Maybe even higher. They gave them a chance warned them of it's power the Japanese CHOSE not to surrender. Then Truman gave them a chance to surrender after the first one, still no surrender. The Japanese have no one to blame but themselves.

JR*
09-14-2012, 10:20 AM
Interesting sub-thread in this thread regarding the alleged underperformance of the British Army. I don't actually buy the idea of underperformance, simpliciter. A few thoughts, however. First, regarding comparisons with the performance of the WW2 Brits with that of their WW1 fathers - the latter were certainly a highly aggressive bunch. On the Western Front, the Germans were generally unenthusiastic about facing the British (élite units in particular), in view of the latter's enthusiasm for trench raiding, sniping, and conducting low-level bombardment in the form of shrapnel and trench mortering. I recently heard a statistic to the effect that, while some 40-50 German and French generals were killed on the Western Front in WW1, the British total was in excess of 70. Definite indications of aggressiveness - if not necessarily of intelligence.

The British were, as much as any other power, severely scarred by the experience of WW1. It is, I believe, no accident that the Brits, who invented the tank, came up with the basic strategic and tactical ideas that led to the Blitzkrieg. These ideas - however delusive they may have proved in practice - were aimed at the possibility of achieving victory without having to go through a grinding "war of materiel" like WW1, Western Front style, with the enormous casualties that this entailed. The German panzer enthusiasts who took up these ideas may have had a more positive view - was it Guderian who said, "where the tanks go, Victory follows" ? However, avoiding the "Storm of Steel" scenario, in which huge numbers of soldiers were ground into Eternity for, in many cases, little gain must certainly have been a motive for the interwar Reichswehr in developing its own advanced theories of mobile warfare. If this sort of thinking might, in the British Army, have resulted in a certain reticence as regards launching overly-energetic, less-than-promising attacks, this is perhaps less than surprising, especially in the absence of a coherent alternative offensive theory (or, at least, accepted offensive theory) among higher British commanders.

There is an overall pattern in British military history, going back at least to the Napoleonic Wars, that suggests a preference for pragmatic approaches to attack and defence. Wellington could be a very aggressive general. However, a hallmark of his style was the concealment of his infantry by using natural topography until opportunity justified their exposure. Mind you, when I refer to "British Military History", I should perhaps refer primarily to the British Army. The Royal Navy had a tradition of extreme aggressiveness, going back to the reign of Queen Anne, at least. The ideal Royal Navy commander was not the prudent, pragmatic admiral (like Admiral Byng - hanged for cowardice for saving his fleet by avoiding engagement with a superior French force in the 18th century). Rather, the ideal was something like Vice-Admiral Benbow (eponymous of the "Admiral Benbow Inn" in Stephenson's "Treasure Island"). Benbow was cruising with his small flotilla in the Caribbean in the early 18th century, when he encountered a superior French fleet. Did Benbow exercise prudence, and withdraw ? No - he immediately attacked, initiating a 3-day battle in which the British were victorious. Half way through this battle, one of Benbow's lower legs was carried away by a French cannon ball. His reaction was to have his wound bound, his hammock slung on the deck, and to continue in command from that station until victory was won. A few days later, he died of blood poisoning - but he had done his duty as a Royal Navy officer. Little wonder that they conquered much of the world. The RAF, clearly, came to share something of this spirit. But then, with air warfare, there was always that sense that, as with war on the sea, effective engagement in such actions implied acceptance that there was usually little possibility of retreat. It would be "Death or Glory" - and those willing to accept this fully (as in the Royal Navy and, to an extent, the RAF) had at least that much advantage over any enemy falling short on such acceptance. If the Army, on land, were sometimes less inclined to fight "at the yardarm" in any and all circumstances, well, that might be understood as signifying understandable (and indeed dutiful) prudence. Just some thoughts ... Best regards, JR.

Vonss
10-17-2012, 12:22 AM
Yes! Both Germany and Japan would've been pulled up for that act after losing the war. Reverse roles and I do believe Germany and Japan would've acted in the same manner. Its disturbing how men think when they feel so powerful.