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Bluffcove
05-30-2005, 04:07 AM
What are peoples views of Bomber Harris?

Man of Stoat
05-30-2005, 04:15 AM
He did go a bit OTT on a few occasions where it wasn't strictly necessary...

BDL
05-30-2005, 06:06 AM
Did what he had to do. There was no other way to attack Germany in those days, he had to use area bombing because that's all we could use.

Bluffcove
05-30-2005, 06:25 AM
BDL, Dresden? and Firestorm tactics?

Mosquito raid on the prison shows we were capable of accuracy,

Im only playing devils advocate, and trying to start a thread that is reliant on opinion rather than fact.

Gen. Sandworm
05-30-2005, 08:58 AM
Not sure what Bomber Harris did? Could you explain.........more? I get the general sense but not the specifics.

Man of Stoat
05-30-2005, 09:16 AM
He was the chief of Bomber Command in WW2, and ordered a lot of the big night-time raids against cities - google or wikipedia to find out more.

BDL
05-30-2005, 11:29 AM
BDL, Dresden? and Firestorm tactics?

Mosquito raid on the prison shows we were capable of accuracy,

Im only playing devils advocate, and trying to start a thread that is reliant on opinion rather than fact.

The small raids by the Mosquito squadrons were very accurate, but were only made on very small targets and (if I recall correctly) a lot of training before the big day. I also believe they were made in the day?

If the Mossies had attacked Germany during the day in anything other than tiny raids (which would not have been big enough to hurt German industry all that much), they would have been slaughtered in the way that the USAAF was. They had to use large formations of very heavy bombers to move enough bombs to attack the large industrial areas, those heavy bombers were not accurate enough to hit the factories in any kind of precise way. It's unfortunate that so many civillians had to die, but it was war and it had to be done (and it was against the country that had invented bombing civillians on a large scale).

IMO Dresden was a legitimate target - one of the main transport hubs for moving supplies to the Eastern Front. Again, what happened is a pity, but these things happen during total war.

Voluntary Escaper
05-30-2005, 11:59 AM
He should have been sacked. He was insubordinate in pursuing the massive urban bombing campaign, when he had been directed to focus on key military and economic targets.

I doubt he ordered any act that was egregious enough by the standards of the time to constitute a "war crime". Area bombing had been advocated by all major military nations as a legitimate instrument of war. However, the bombing of cities (particularly the fire raid on Dresden) caused massively disproportionate casualties for any military advantage gained.

Bomber Command should have focused its efforts on strategic economic targets - particularly fuel production - and on flattening the Wehrmacht to assist the ground offensive.

2nd of foot
05-30-2005, 03:25 PM
I think he had too much power and was a law onto himself. Bomber command (BC) got the cream of the crop as far as recruits. Ministry of supply gave priority to BC for equipment and slowed down the introduction of a decent engine for tanks, the meteor based on the merlin.

His refusal to allocate recourses to support ground forces should have got him sacked. He had lost sight of the big picture and could only see his little world. His continuing belief that bombing would win the war showed his inability to see the big picture.

His early work was good and at a time when it was the only method we had of fighting back should not be forgotten. But he lost his way and his commanders lost control over him. If you think of the way that army commanders were treated it is surprising he got away with it.

Having said all this the way he and BC was treated after the war was disgraceful

Gen. Sandworm
05-30-2005, 04:05 PM
Well from what I read ill have to go with 'A Bastard but "YOUR" Bastard' :D

Walther
05-30-2005, 04:10 PM
I understand that Dresden was bombed on request of the Russians, because they assumed that Dresden was a centre for supplies and reinforcements sent to the eastern front.

Jan

Iron Yeoman
05-31-2005, 10:00 AM
Although what he did could be considered a little bit OTT, it was a TOTAL war. Nasty things have to be done to get results, even if that result was the worsening of German morale, lets not forget the Germans bombed British cities as well, in short they're all as bad as each other. I have no doubt that had the Axis won then Harris would have been had up for war crimes the same way Goering was, but he was 'our' bastard after all.

LargeBrew
05-31-2005, 10:56 PM
It's easy with the benifit of hindsight to look back and critisize the tactics used in the air war. I'm sure that at the time you would be hard pressed to find critics amongst the citizens of London, Liverpool, Birmingham,Glasgow and particularly Coventry. Even with a contolled media you can't hide home losses and this has to have effected the moral of frontline forces.
Area bombing wasn't about hitting strategic targets it was about bringing the war to the front door of the people who put Hitler in power.
Harris may have been a bastard but he was the right bastard at the right time.

pdf27
06-01-2005, 04:19 PM
Plus, the entire tactic of night area bombing was forced on the RAF by the aircraft technology available to them and with the approval of their political leadership. Harris was merely the executor of civilan policy, and nothing he did violated the accepted laws of war at the time (the Hague convention for example explicitly bans only the bombardment of totally undefended cities and the deliberate destruction of certain types of building). If you want to blame someone for the bombing tactics of WW2, try Douhet.

Sturmtruppen
06-04-2005, 12:41 PM
your bastard.

Bladensburg
06-04-2005, 01:46 PM
Hmm, well I suppose Argentina was quite friendly to fleeing Nazis so that's a fair point. :wink:

Sturmtruppen
06-04-2005, 01:53 PM
Hmm, well I suppose Argentina was quite friendly to fleeing Nazis

and???

Sturmtruppen
06-04-2005, 01:53 PM
Well from what I read ill have to go with 'A Bastard but "YOUR" Bastard' :D

the same.

pdf27
06-04-2005, 03:53 PM
Well from what I read ill have to go with 'A Bastard but "YOUR" Bastard' :D
I suppose I probably ought to point out here that for much of the war the RAF (bombing at night) had an average miss distance from the target smaller than the USAAF (bombing by day). Sounds strange but it's actually true - by the time the USAAF was actually launching sizeable raids the RAF had largely solved their navigational difficulties and were bombing reasonably accurately.
Oh, and trying to seperate out the actions of the western allies during WW2 is pointless at this level - the US, British and Commonwealth/Imperial forces were integrated to a very deep level and their policies were virtually indistinguishable towards the enemy. The choices made on night/day bombing were actually enforced by aircraft type available rather than doctrine - it's worth noting here that Curtis E. Lemay was quite happy to have his bombers run night area raids of Japan (including the most lethal raid in history, more so than the A-bomb raids) once he had the B-29s available.

Gen. Sandworm
06-04-2005, 04:30 PM
Well from what I read ill have to go with 'A Bastard but "YOUR" Bastard' :D
I suppose I probably ought to point out here that for much of the war the RAF (bombing at night) had an average miss distance from the target smaller than the USAAF (bombing by day). Sounds strange but it's actually true - by the time the USAAF was actually launching sizeable raids the RAF had largely solved their navigational difficulties and were bombing reasonably accurately.
Oh, and trying to seperate out the actions of the western allies during WW2 is pointless at this level - the US, British and Commonwealth/Imperial forces were integrated to a very deep level and their policies were virtually indistinguishable towards the enemy. The choices made on night/day bombing were actually enforced by aircraft type available rather than doctrine - it's worth noting here that Curtis E. Lemay was quite happy to have his bombers run night area raids of Japan (including the most lethal raid in history, more so than the A-bomb raids) once he had the B-29s available.

Agreed. Didnt say we didnt have our own bastards. Just said that this one was your bastard. :D Yet you cant really make a huge distinction between the US and UK. Never before in History have 2 countries worked together so closely in a war.

pdf27
06-04-2005, 04:40 PM
Never before in History have 2 countries worked together so closely in a war.
British and Dominion forces in both world wars? British and Hannoverian forces in the late 1600s? British and Portugese forces during the Peninsular war? Not convinced by that statement...

Gen. Sandworm
06-04-2005, 11:23 PM
Never before in History have 2 countries worked together so closely in a war.
British and Dominion forces in both world wars? British and Hannoverian forces in the late 1600s? British and Portugese forces during the Peninsular war? Not convinced by that statement...

WTFOFMGBBQ :?: :?: :?: I think you would have just been better off saying that the only fighting done in all of WW2 was in North Africa. To belittle my statement is almost belittling utter vastness of that war.

Firstly, I group Dominion forces into the British catagory and here is why:

http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Dominion

The US gave you so much stuff under the land lease act its not funny. And thats before we were declared Allies. Naturally you repaid the favor thru other means (equally as much IMO) when we did join the alliance. But what assitance did you send your Dominion forces??? IMO your "former" colonies came more to your aid than vice versa.

The US and UK traded just about everything possilbe to help further the war effort and the eventual defeat of the Axis powers. You said that yourself. ...trying to seperate out the actions of the western allies during WW2 is pointless at this level - the US, British and Commonwealth/Imperial forces were integrated to a very deep level and their policies were virtually indistinguishable towards the enemy. About the only things we didnt give each other were things of the highest national security. And there wasnt alot. Before D-day 1 in every 15 men in England were US soliders. And where were these US soliders staying? Mostly in the homes of your countrymen and women. If you go to Malta and see the headquarters there. You will see Eisenhowers desk right down the hall from Alexanders.

Lets say that the Nazi's had got somekind of alien help. :D Getting serious now. LOL. And that the Axis powers had conquered the world. Who do you think most of the poor bastards at their f*cked up war crimes trial would have been??? Minus the Russians. Leaders of the the UK and the US. They aint going to be messin with some captain of a New Zealand regiment, who was ultimately under UK command anyhow.

And your other forces you talk about. Portugese and Hannoverian. Those wars dont compare. And i seriously doubt that they could compare to the integration of the US and UK forces of WW2. WW2 was the largest conflict ever known and hopefully it will end that way.

I know this probably sound as thou im trying to knock you and that is not my intention. But sorry I am not "convinced" You might argue my outlook of Dominion (interesting term BTW) forces. So change my statement number to 3 then. US-UK-Former parts of the UK. So i stand by my statement. Although applied to another conflict "We must all hang together or else we will surely all hang separately" would be very befitting quote in regards to our WW2 alliance.

So bomber Harris may have been "your" bastard but we take as much responsibility for him as you do. :D :lol:

pdf27
06-05-2005, 05:05 AM
Never before in History have 2 countries worked together so closely in a war.
British and Dominion forces in both world wars? British and Hannoverian forces in the late 1600s? British and Portugese forces during the Peninsular war? Not convinced by that statement...

WTFOFMGBBQ :?: :?: :?: I think you would have just been better off saying that the only fighting done in all of WW2 was in North Africa. To belittle my statement is almost belittling utter vastness of that war.
I'm not having a go at the scale of US co-operation/aid, rather at the suggestion that it was completely unprecedented for two countries to co-operate that closely. In the case of the Dominion and Hannoverian forces, they both had the same king as the UK at the time but were still independent countries. This would force military co-operation to be very close indeed. In the case of the British and Portugese forces during the Peninsular war, the Portugese put Wellington in charge of all their forces - giving a unified command structure nearly 150 years before the US/UK did so.


But what assitance did you send your Dominion forces??? IMO your "former" colonies came more to your aid than vice versa.
Equipment and training. They were all equipped almost exclusively with British pattern equipment (despite occasional other designs like the Ross rifle, which were usually unsuccessful - the Dominions simply didn't have the industrial capacity to arm themselves), and were protected by the RN. The Dominions contributed more to the British Empire on land than they got back, but at sea it was a very different story - the RN was massively larger and more capable than any dominion navies (who were integrated into and controlled from the Admiralty in any case).


You might argue my outlook of Dominion (interesting term BTW) forces.
Dominion is the technical term for a state that was formerly in the British Empire but is now self-governing with the British Monarch as head of state. I think this still applies to Australia, Canada and New Zealand, although I would have to check.

IRONMAN
06-12-2005, 04:14 PM
I do not approve of bombing civilians, but I see no problem in bombing an area if it is filled with factories or other legitimate targets. However, in all fairness, I must say that the US did the same thing over Japan near the end of the war when the Japanese would not surrender. I saw a documentary that discussed it and showed night-time incindiary raids over Japan by US bombers. They dropped huge amounts of incindiary bombs from low altitude over Japanese cities. Many civilians died in the terrible fires that resulted.

The thing is, the Japanese split up the work of making goods for the war and they did it in their own homes. The documentary showed Japanese footage of them making all manner of things, even metal things, in their homes with materials provided by the Japanese government. So, you could say that the civilian areas had become military tagets legitimately. It's a touchy subject though.

I can understand the feeling of wanting to though. The Japanese were ruthless. They bombed military field hospitals in the Pacific and their treatment of POW's was just as inhumane as the Germans was. I don't think it is an excuse for area bombing though, no matter who did it.

Tubbyboy
06-12-2005, 04:50 PM
I can understand the feeling of wanting to though. The Japanese were ruthless. They bombed military field hospitals in the Pacific and their treatment of POW's was just as inhumane as the Germans was. I don't think it is an excuse for area bombing though, no matter who did it.

I think that the Japanese treatment of POWs was actually a lot worse than the Germans.

The treatment of other prisoners - Jews, political prisoners, homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovahs witnesses (although I can understand that one :D), the retarded and others, however is an entirely different topic and one that IMO should never be forgotten.

Bladensburg
06-12-2005, 08:22 PM
IIRC Lend/Lease wasn't all one way, billions of pounds worth of UK owned companies and investments were liquidated by the US. One of the reasons Britain was so shakey after the war was the loss of these overseas investments.

Firefly
06-17-2005, 03:48 PM
IIRC Lend/Lease wasn't all one way, billions of pounds worth of UK owned companies and investments were liquidated by the US. One of the reasons Britain was so shakey after the war was the loss of these overseas investments.

As in WW1, the british bought goods from US (no Lend lease then) and had to sell their investments in US to a large extent. I think that before WW1 the Brits owned about 1/3 of US companies etc. Mind you, i think the Chinese own a fair proportion of US bonds now, same story, diffrent era.

1000ydstare
08-06-2005, 08:29 AM
Bomber Harris was the man. And not a criminal.

The first bombing missions of the war were by Handly Page Hampdens against naval targets, because factories were classed as private property.

It was the germans who opened it right out to total war. They were the first to bomb civialians and the first to move the bombing on to the capital ie london.

Their stukas were used against unarmed ie usually civialian targets, mainly due to the fact that when they were used against countries like France and Britain with a higher level of technology than, say, Poland they suffered higher losses. They were extremely vulnerable in their "dive".

Just because the Germans lost, and their cities were ruined doesn't make Bomber Harris a bad man. He fought using their rules, and won. Dresden happened long after the inferno of Coventry.

arhob1
10-26-2005, 03:57 PM
Someone above said:

"Area bombing had been advocated by all major military nations as a legitimate instrument of war. However, the bombing of cities (particularly the fire raid on Dresden) caused massively disproportionate casualties for any military advantage gained. "

In a full-on general war how do you decide what is proportionate and what is not?

From my point of view if bombing Dresden saved a single allied life and killed 20000 Germans then fair enough. We were at war after all. Imagine the hypothetical situation where you had to explain to a British widow that her husband had died because we didn't have the guts to area bomb the town producing the aircraft that killed him because of a "disproportionate risk" to German civilians. Wouldn't she ask whose side we were actually on? What if it was your life?

In the 3-4 years he was in command of Bomber Command he had a tough job to do which morals 60 years later and out of context struggle to understand. Personally I think him and his men were heroes. It is an absoluet trevesty that Churchill distanced himself from Harris after the war and Bomber Command never got a campaign medal. Albert Speir himself said that the allied bombing campaign was the biggest factor (or one of them - sorry I forget exactly) in Germany losing the war.

We owe those bomber command chaps a huge debt.

PS - The Brits recently helped the Germans to finish rebuilding the Frauen Kirsche in dresden - I wonder if the Germans will ever help to rebuild the many bombed our British Cathedrals/churches?

Topor
10-26-2005, 08:06 PM
What happened at Guernica tore up the Rule Book & we all know who sanctioned THAT action.
Harris fought his War the best way he could, with the less than perfect instrument available to him & I am certain that if the Luftwaffe had built up a heavy bomber force, then they would have used the same strategy.

Firefly
10-27-2005, 04:42 AM
What happened at Guernica tore up the Rule Book & we all know who sanctioned THAT action.
Harris fought his War the best way he could, with the less than perfect instrument available to him & I am certain that if the Luftwaffe had built up a heavy bomber force, then they would have used the same strategy.

Not quite true, when the Bomber Command chiefs proposed bombing the Rhur in 1940, the government dissallowed it as it was an attack on private property.

I think what finally turned Bopmber Command around was the German Blitz on London. From then on it was given a purpose and a leader in Harris that stuck to his theories of bombing incessantly.

It was at that time the only real way the British could take the war to Germany and a great many RAF crews paid for this with their lives.

I do however personally believe that Harris got sucked into his own Spin. I think that instead of area bombing cities to de-house workers, he could have went after the transportation and Oil networks as a priority. But as has been said often and is still true, hindsight is a wonderfull thing.

2nd of foot
10-27-2005, 08:54 AM
I am some way into Bomber Command by Hastings but have put it down for a number of weeks now. I have just got to the part when Harris takes command. I will look over what I have read to get accurate info and post again. but it has highlighted a number of thing that I was not aware of ie the bombing of private property and who had the idea behind strategic bombing.

Topor
10-27-2005, 09:18 AM
Firefly

At the time, Area Bombing was about the best the RAF could achieve:
Most crews did not have the navigational or bomb aiming skills to hit anything smaller than a city & often missed those as well.
It wasn't until Pathfinders, Master Bombers, Oboe, H2S, etc., were introduced that they could bomb with any semblance of accuracy & even then it was only exceptional crews like those of 617Sqn who had the skills to be effective.
Both the Oil & Transportation plans which came later in the war relied heavily on the USAAF daylight raids for hitting small targets with accuracy, whilst the RAF went for larger targets, such as marshalling yards.
Even 617Sqn had trouble hitting targets such as canals & viaducts at night.

Twitch1
10-28-2005, 04:50 PM
I see no problem with the fact that the raid was simply meant to kill as many people- military and civilians as possible plus destroy as many structures as possible. Loss of human life is always regretable but it was unrestricted warfare.

Had the Luftwaffe enjoyed a long-range bomber force they would have gladly instigated the same raid on England earlier in the war.

It is lame to once again attempt to project today's morality or social conscience into the past but unfortunately that's what lots of folks do. They have no feel for what the mood was anywhere during the war and that it was seen as a "win at any cost to stop Hitler."

By the same token when V-1s and larger V-2s rained down on the civilians of Holland, Belgium and England how "rude" was that? Apart from the reasonable treatment of each others POWs and not employing bio/chemical agents it was no holds barred with the Germans. Modern people keep attempting to read some rules and morality into a global war. It's absurd.

Then we must consider the Tokyo napalm raids that killed many more civilians than were killed in Dresden. Is that too something "illegal?"

If someone desires to view events of the war through the distortion of the concept that civilians are somehow magically immune to injury in some fantasy rules of war that never existed save for some peoples' minds, they have failed to immerse themselves in history.

The German war industry began dispersing early on when Allied air attacks began gutting normal factory complexes. It's real easy to target a huge facility that builds Messerschmitts in ONE location. Break that manufacturing system into several parts and place them in clandestined locales that actually increased production after dispersion, and you might as well bomb hell out of everything just to make sure you got the intended target.

This may not apply to Dresden but you get the idea. As we bombed the easily targetable war materiel facilities the Germans dispersed them and production increased!

On March 9, 1945 Lemay began the concerted fire bombing of Japanese cities. Why? Because Jap civvies were makeing war products in their dispesed facilities in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe. These raids were effective in that before the next round of napalm attacks leaflets wee dropped waring of the fact and 8.5 million fled to the country to escape frying. With them in out of the urban areas war production nose dived.

And even with that they didn't surrender but prepared a hellatious defensive network of Kyushu and Hokkaido that was to be "last man" mentality.

The Dresden raid was done to please the Russians since they continually complained that they were suffering higher casualties relative to the Allies. Their revengful tactics had a name. It was called "terrorisation." GB was pressured by the Russians to wreak havoc amongst the German civilians.

The initial concept plan for Dresden was not instigated by Harris himself at all. It came from higher up. Can't you picture Churchill being lobbied by Stalin to step up to the plate and "go Russian" on those crazy Nazis?

General Antonov made three specific requests for Allied assistance to the Russians:

a. To speed up the advance of the Allied troops on the Western Front, for which the present situation is very favorable: (1) To defeat the Germans on the Eastern Front. (2) To defeat the German groupings which have advanced into the Ardennes. (3) The weakening of the German forces in the West in connection with the shifting of their reserves to the East (It is desirable to begin the advance during the first half of February).
b. By air action on communications hinder the enemy from carrying out the shifting of his troops to the East from the Western Front, from Norway, and from Italy (In particular, to paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig).
c. Not permit the enemy to remove his forces from Italy


The Viet Cong used our dislike for seeing innocent civilians injured in Vietnam. I saw daily how they exploited and used them as chattel to sucker us into fights. They had absolutely no conscience about ending their lives so they could get a response from us. This was not isolated but was done on an ongoing, daily basis.

Non-combatants have always been in harm's way in warfare. They've been exploited by either side as they saw fit to gain advantages over their enemy. I say non-combatants and not innocents because many of the adults were engaged in war materiel production. They were contributing to the war effort.

This delusion that in January 1945 the war was all but over is hogwash. Hitler had just pulled off the Ardennes Offensive and we still hadn't landed on Iwo Jima or Okinawa that produced the most horriffic blood letting yet. The kamikazes were doing their thing in the Pacific and more German jets were hammering Allied bombers.

We only know that the war was "almost" over in a relative sense because we're sitting on our butts 60 here years later. No one knew how long the carnage would go on back then. This is why it is flawed to second guess "what they shoulda done was...."

We never knew then whether our enemies would use bio-chemical warfare as a last ditch effort. It's so easy to look back 60 years and conclude that wasn't a factor worth considering. Believe me it was considered by fighting men in early 1945.

I don't see anyone justifying the Nazi depoyment of V-1 and V-2 rockets that were made ONLY to kill civilians. I don't see anyone imagining that the Germans wouldn't have unleashed vicious bombing attacks on civilians had they possessed a substantial force of heavy bombers either. So why does it makes sense in the turmoil of times and fog of war that this one event was more evil than any other? The Brits were in their 6TH YEAR of eating Nazi crap and they were damned tired of it! Does anyone really believe that some bleating voice of tempering military actions would have been listened to then?

Dresden was the 7th largest Geman city with primary importance as a communications center. It was, in February 1945, known to contain at least 110 factories and industrial enterprises that were legitimate military targets, and were reported to have employed 50,000 workers in arms plants alone. Among these were dispersed aircraft components factories; a poison gas factory (Chemische Fabric Goye and Company); an anti-aircraft and field gun factory (Lehman); the great Zeiss Ikon A.G., Germany’s most important optical goods manufactory; and, among others, factories engaged in the production of electrical and X-ray apparatus (Koch and Sterzel A.G.), gears and differentials (Saxoniswerke), and electric gauges (Gebruder Bassler). Specific military installations in Dresden in February 1945 included barracks and hutted camps and at least one munitions storage depot.

The Berlin-Leipzig-Dresden railway complex was a major transportation crossroads logistically involved in the movement of German troops.

Here's the cities by population with the total bomb tonnage expended for the entire war:
Berlin- 4,339,000 67,607.6 tons, Hamberg- 1,129,000 38,687.6 tons,
Munich- 841,000 27,110.9 tons, Cologne 772,000 44,923.2 tons, Leipzig- 707,000 11,616.4 tons, Essen- 667,000 37,938.0 tons, Dresden- 642,000 7,100.5 tons.

The Russians pressured the other Allies for this raid. It's in the books. As a target of interest this came from ABOVE Harris. Harris and company only laid out the tactics.

There are no actual rules of war. Yes politicians may sit around and debate idealistic goals that combatants should strive for in the next war but when that conflict comes the rules mean nothing. All that exists is the collective moral code in practice by a given society at a given time.

This moral code may be something such as American and British airmen not strafing enemy pilots in their parachutes. And while this was not widespread in the Japanese Imperical Navy the Army practiced it often. Same goes for POW issues. While the Japs starved, beheaded, tortured and used them as slave labor, their prisoners, the western Allies treated theirs splendidly. The Japanese had no qualms about using biological and chemical weapons on a daily basis for 10 years in China. I dare say the British would not see that as cricket and follow suit.

I say this without malice or prejudice- please believe it from one who experienced it, there are no rules in war. There is only an accounting in the aftermath. If the city had been Liverpool and the Nazis were the victors would it be viewed the same? If the city was Manilla and the Japanese had won would they have wrung their hands? At any rate one can easily be clinical and dissect complex events in detached hindsight to rationalize any end they desire.

War crimes trials were in one sense to segregate torture, starvation, medical experimentation, perversion, mutilation, forced labor and such from an 88 mm artillery barrage that killed many civilians in a French village or bombing mission misses.

The fact that the aforementioned acts are commited at a very personal level often with a resulting euphoric satisfaction on the part of the perpetrator separates them from aerial bombing, artillery attacks or naval rifle bombardment.

There could be a case for the persecution of air-to-ground attack as a whole. What could be less fair? Why those new fangled aeroplanes come outta the heavens like wrathful angels killing poor soldiers on the ground without warning! The old fogies that dictate what the next conflict's fighting will be like (and are always wrong) could have lobbied that aerial warfare is abominal given the amount of destruction that can be unleashed upon the earth sometimes killing non-combatants.

I see this silly-azzed attempt for people of today to 2nd guess earlier generations and project morals in hindsight and never understand why that whole scenario is totally flawed.

arhob1
10-28-2005, 05:41 PM
Twitch1 - that was a heck of a post - but I agree with everything you said.

Your statement:

"This delusion that in January 1945 the war was all but over is hogwash. Hitler had just pulled off the Ardennes Offensive and we still hadn't landed on Iwo Jima or Okinawa that produced the most horriffic blood letting yet. The kamikazes were doing their thing in the Pacific and more German jets were hammering Allied bombers. We only know that the war was "almost" over in a relative sense because we're sitting on our butts 60 here years later. No one knew how long the carnage would go on back then. This is why it is flawed to second guess "what they shoulda done was...." "

.....is absolutely true. It winds me up no end when people since the war (11 May 1945 on!) state that there was no need to keep bombing Germany and Dresden in particular as teh war was nearly over. Yeah right it was. What with jet aircraft, Battle of the Bulge and so on, it could have gone on for many many months and certainly could have gone either way at many times during its course.

I take confort from the fact that those who say that area bombing wasn't justified are ignorant of the facts and ignorant of what living under the Nazis would have meant.

PS - I'm still bitter about the fact that the Bomber Command chaps were belittled and marginalised after the war and DID NOT receive a camapign medal - an utter travesty.

Good post Twitch1.

Firefly
10-28-2005, 07:21 PM
Good post matey. I agree, total war means total war.

Although by late 44 the RAF were as accurate by night as the USAF was by day.

The USAF was never that accurrate anyway, they never did put their pickle into the barrewl, the Norden was a great bombsight for Texas, but was something different for Europe.


Damn good post though..................

Walther
11-02-2005, 09:33 AM
PS - The Brits recently helped the Germans to finish rebuilding the Frauen Kirsche in dresden - I wonder if the Germans will ever help to rebuild the many bombed our British Cathedrals/churches?

You just made a funny translation error:

Church in German is "Kirche"
"Kirsche" means cherry.

You just said that the British helped the Germeans to rebuild their women's cherries, .... after having popped them 60 years ago? :D

Jan

Crab_to_be
11-02-2005, 09:49 AM
PS - The Brits recently helped the Germans to finish rebuilding the Frauen Kirsche in dresden - I wonder if the Germans will ever help to rebuild the many bombed our British Cathedrals/churches?

You just made a funny translation error:

Church in German is "Kirche"
"Kirsche" means cherry.

You just said that the British helped the Germeans to rebuild their women's cherries, .... after having popped them 60 years ago? :D

Jan

Does that idiom work in German or only when translated to English?

arhob1
11-04-2005, 05:11 PM
Well picked up Walther!!!

:oops:

x100!

1000ydstare
11-06-2005, 01:32 PM
Off topic everybody.

Just noticed walther that I have two PMs sitting in my outbox to you. Have you checked you PM box recently or did they just not go?

Cash
12-05-2005, 11:37 AM
The definitive Harris biography is well worth reading -

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/1853675555.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

WaistGunner
01-09-2006, 02:39 PM
I have to go with "bastard but OUR bastard". All the allies were in it together. I love reading about the bombers of WWII more then anything. I have always felt that the daylight strategic bambings of the US and the night raids by our British allies were the perfect one-two combination punch. I have read and heard so many times of one tactic being superior to the other but considering the day and the tech available I say the two working in conjunction were a perfect harmony. As for Harris specifically, I admit to not knowing as much about him as I should but he has always seemed to me to have been the perfect man to do one extremely difficult job. Besides, from what I have read I have never heard of the US giving our allies the Norden bombsite. If they were opposed to area bombing on morale principle wouldn't thay have assisted our friends in becoming more accurate? If any has head of non-American planes having the Norden I would be very interested in more information.

pdf27
01-10-2006, 02:57 AM
Besides, from what I have read I have never heard of the US giving our allies the Norden bombsite. If they were opposed to area bombing on morale principle wouldn't thay have assisted our friends in becoming more accurate? If any has head of non-American planes having the Norden I would be very interested in more information.
617 Squadron in their post-dambusters incarnation were equipped with a sight of similar accuracy (may be related, I'm not sure) and were trained up to use it to a very high degree of accuracy (e.g. hitting bridges and tunnels with single bombs from high altitude). RAF bombing policy was such that it would not have been able to make use of such a sight on the rest of their bombers anyway.
It is highly arguable that the Norden bombsight was used to it's full potential anyway, given that for a surprisingly large fraction of the war the average miss distance of the RAF area bombing by night was actually less than the USAF "precision" bombing by day.

WaistGunner
01-10-2006, 03:23 PM
pdf27,

Thank you for the lead. I hadn't heard about the accuracy comparisions between the two. It really gives me something to delve into more.

Firefly
01-10-2006, 03:30 PM
Check out the size of the Grand Slam carried by the Lanc and dropped accurately on targets such as the Bielefield Viaduct:

http://www.johnmullen.org.uk/aerospce/pics/bombs.htm

pdf27
01-10-2006, 06:13 PM
pdf27,

Thank you for the lead. I hadn't heard about the accuracy comparisions between the two. It really gives me something to delve into more.
There's rather a good book on the squadron that should give you a good starting point by Paul Brickhill called "The Dam Busters" which IIRC covers the entire war for 617 squadron from their formation for the dams raid through the rest of the war as specialised droppers of very large bombs indeed (Tallboy/Grand Slam).
At least, I think that's the book - been a while since I read it and the copy is at my parent's house so I can't check it. That should give you enough basic information on sight designations, uses, tactics, etc. to start digging properly.

Digger
09-28-2006, 06:37 PM
G'day,

Okay I'm late on this debate too. You must excuse me. You guys have pretty well covered the debate and the only thing I will add is that like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Dresden stirs emotions in people who for the most part, did not live under the threat of war. The people of today have little understanding of total war and perhaps the most vicious totalarian regimes ever.

One small point. pdf27 raised the subject of the RN protecting the dominions. The RN was seen very little in Australian and New Zealand waters, especially after Singapore.

Regards to all,
Digger.

pdf27
09-29-2006, 09:31 AM
One small point. pdf27 raised the subject of the RN protecting the dominions. The RN was seen very little in Australian and New Zealand waters, especially after Singapore.
IIRC most of them were hiding at Trincomalee, using the threat of a "fleet in being" to tie down the Japanese to an extent. They were probably too weak to do much else at the time.
In any case, the prewar plan was for the RN to protect the Dominions (they after all didn't have their own navies capable of doing so). However as they say no plan survives contact with the enemy, and this one certainly didn't.

Digger
09-29-2006, 09:55 AM
G'day,

All RAN units were eventually withdrawn to Australia and suffered heavily against the Japanese Imperial Navy. Likewise the Royal Navy copped a battering and there wasn't much of a naval presence left to cover the dominions.

Back to Bomber Harris, during the war he was much admired and of course received a knighthood. Personally he was greatly affected by the Coventry bombing and one can only guess the emotions stirred in him. In reality he wanted to get the job done and if that meant blasting every German city to rubble, so be it. Britain did not ask for war, and I can understand his reasoning.

I think a lot of the bad press began when Churchill, ever the politician abandoned him after negative news reports about the raid. Churchill could see his political future slipping away if he remained too close. As it was he was dumped at the first elections after the war.

Regards to all,
Digger.

Chevan
09-29-2006, 03:36 PM
According with the standards of Nuremberg tribunal Bomber Harris had to be hung as the war criminal.
With the burning by napalm and by the phosphoric bombs of German's cities it were always aimed into the center section. He didn't interested military objects or plants. Terror and genocide of German population was its central objective. The bombing of Dresden of 13-14 February 1945 was the worst criminal.
The simple fact that he did its job not could be considering as justification.
Nazi criminals, also simply did its work.

Nickdfresh
09-29-2006, 03:38 PM
I do believe I heard that Harris was some what shunned in post-War British society, and that he was truly thought of as "our bastard," which he indeed was. Along with Gen. Curtis LeMay, was our American bastard.

Nickdfresh
09-29-2006, 03:40 PM
According with the standards of Nuremberg tribunal Bomber Harris had to be hung as the war criminal...


Sure, right after Stalin and most of the Soviet High Command.

Chevan
09-29-2006, 03:47 PM
Sure, right after Stalin and most of the Soviet High Command.
Agree .
Together with Trumen, Cherchill and all of allied Airforce Hight Command for genocide of Japanese cities.

Nickdfresh
09-29-2006, 04:40 PM
Agree .
Together with Trumen, Cherchill and all of allied Airforce Hight Command for genocide of Japanese cities.

We'll need more judges and lawyers.:)

Who said this?:

"Killing ______ didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I _____ the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal."

"Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier. "

Chevan
09-29-2006, 05:07 PM
We'll need more judges and lawyers.:)

Who said this?:

"Killing ______ didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I _____ the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal."

"Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier. "

I don't know :)
Really who said this?

Nickdfresh
09-29-2006, 05:34 PM
Gen. Curtis LeMay USAF -A certifiable nutcase by the Kennedy Administration....

pdf27
09-30-2006, 05:40 AM
According with the standards of Nuremberg tribunal Bomber Harris had to be hung as the war criminal.
Normally I just let your insinuations pass by, but I can't just let this one slide as it's too blatant.
The counts at Nuremberg were:
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crime against peace
3) War crimes
4) Crimes against humanity
They all have clear (ish) legal definitions. Counts 1 and 2 do not apply to Harris. Count 3 he is innocent of, as the international law of the time governing war crimes was the Hague convention of 1907. This explicitly permits the bombardment of cities, provided they are defended (on the ground) and the attackers make an attempt to avoid those protected places that the defenders have clearly marked. Count 4 deals with genocide, etc. which again he was not involved in.



With the burning by napalm and by the phosphoric bombs of German's cities it were always aimed into the center section. He didn't interested military objects or plants. Terror and genocide of German population was its central objective. The bombing of Dresden of 13-14 February 1945 was the worst criminal.
The simple fact that he did its job not could be considering as justification.
Nazi criminals, also simply did its work.
Nope, but the fact that such attacks were explicitly permitted by the Hague convention could indeed be considered justification. Incidentally, learn a bit about the effects of weapons before going off on a rant - the British leaned at Coventry, London and a few other places that the most effective way to take out the industry in a town is to burn the centre down (as happened at Coventry). Machine tools are fiendishly hard to destroy with explosives (needing practically a direct hit - during the battle of Britain they would literally sweep them off, hang a tarpaulin overhead and get back to work). However, all of the services they need (water, electricity, transport, etc.) would at the time go through the town centres. Destroy them and the industry is paralysed - hence the policy of attacking town centres.

Chevan
09-30-2006, 08:40 AM
The counts at Nuremberg were:
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crime against peace
3) War crimes
4) Crimes against humanity

Hi pdf.
You are the "danger" opponent , my respect ;)

Is your life principle:" brevity - sister of the talent" ;)


According to st. 6 regulations of International Military Tribunal war criminals were those, who completed any of the enumerated crimes. All military crimes were divided into three groups:

1. crime against the peace, namely: planning, preparation, unbinding or conducting aggressive war in the disturbance of international contracts, agreements or assertions or the participation in the general plan or the plot, directed toward the realization of any of the actions outlined above.

2. military crimes, namely: the disturbance of laws or customs of war. They include the murders, tortures or withdrawal into the servitude or for other purposes of the citizen of the territory occupied; murder or the torture of prisoners of war or those, who are located in the sea; the murder of hostages; the robbery of public or private property; senseless destruction cities or villages; the destruction, not justified by military necessity, and other crimes.

3. crime against humanity, namely: murder, destruction, enslavement, reference and other cruelties, perfected in the attitude of citizen to either during the war or the pursuit on the political, racial or religious motives for the purpose of realization either in connection with any crime, which is subject to the jurisdiction of tribunal, regardless of the fact, were these actions the disturbance of the internal right of the country, where they were perfected, or not.



... Counts 1 and 2 do not apply to Harris.
Oops, are you sure ?,... ;)

So tell me plaese what was the military necessity of burning Dresden? And killing at least 25 000 civils (according reducing British data)
As you know official target was the railway station ( which began to work in whole power already next day).

P.S.
I think if Nuremberg tribunal was the law court above the war criminals and not pitiful public by violence above germans, then all chief war criminals would not be placed in the building of the law court

Firefly
09-30-2006, 10:13 AM
Guys, we already had the Dresden thread and this is definately not going to be taken over discussing Dresden. Chevan, if you want to discuss Harris this is fine, if you want to make it a Dresden discussion, it is not fine.

If you continue with this line I will have to think seriously about removing any posts.

I wont have this thread hijacked for your War Crininal agenda!

If you wish to discuss War Criminals, open a new thread.

Nickdfresh
09-30-2006, 10:26 AM
Yeah, and hold all generals accountable to the same standards you hold British Air Marshals too.

You could on and on expanding the list by accusing ground war generals of targeting civilian areas with artillery. Or not maintaining the "good-order and conduct," the discipline, of their troops.

And I am no fan of Bomber Harris or Crazy LeMay...

Chevan
09-30-2006, 04:47 PM
Guys, we already had the Dresden thread and this is definately not going to be taken over discussing Dresden. Chevan, if you want to discuss Harris this is fine, if you want to make it a Dresden discussion, it is not fine.

Firefly , indeed i didn't wish to repeat again Dresden thread .
I just posted my personal oppinion about Harris( by the way very interesting person) and explained why.
But pdf began "to play the old plate" and I was forced to answer.


If you continue with this line I will have to think seriously about removing any posts.


OK is for me.

Firefly
09-30-2006, 06:17 PM
Thats fine. Regarding Harris, we cannot label him with todays values or indeed take him out of context.

Harris was a bomber exponent between the wars at a time when it was thought that bombers were paramount. Indeed before about 1937 the whole of the RAF was geared around bombers and not fighters. The fighter pilots were regarded somewhat as second class and an irrelavance to the RAF.

You could say that the whole of the RAF was imbued with the bomber spirit and so it isnt surprising to see Bomber Command attempting with the tools at hand from late 1942 to realise the pre-war theories of Douhet etc.

What I'm really trying to say is that the man was like many many others, a product of his time.

Lancer44
10-02-2006, 03:22 AM
I think that all members participating in this discussion seems to forget about psychological effect which bombing of German cities had on German soldiers at the fronts. All fronts. Also German administration of occupied countries all over Europe was subjected to intense psychological pressure.

It's something which is hard to measure, but certainly bombing and thinking about families being subjected to it was not so nice for German soldiers.
Once again, area bombing was not invented by Britons or Yanks.

And now a small off topic:
Couple of days ago I get email from my friend in Poland. he is a professional historian of WWII and his special field is RAF, Luftwaffe and air war.
He was invited to the ceremony of decorating pilots which participated in bombing campaigns.
So far all glory went to fighter pilots and the last surviving pilots of Lancasters and Wellingtons deserved recognition.
The whole event started with speach by Polish Air Force General - active service now - which for 20 minutes was mumbling about pilots which were thinking about Warsaw when bombing Germany and some other patriotic crap.

The next was a real bomber pilot. Elderly's fellow speach was very short, he said: "I don't remember thinking about Warsaw or about anything... I'm sure that we all were thinking just about two things - one - how to get over the target, and drop the s..t, and the second - how to get f..k out of there. Thank you very much for attention."
And walked off the stage.
He used exact words in Polish and the whole assembly was left speechless for about a minute, but after initial consternation everything was as planned:
medal, flowers, salute, medal, flowers salute, medal, flowers, salute...

Cheers,

Lancer44

Chevan
10-02-2006, 08:15 AM
I think that all members participating in this discussion seems to forget about psychological effect which bombing of German cities had on German soldiers at the fronts. All fronts. Also German administration of occupied countries all over Europe was subjected to intense psychological pressure.

It's something which is hard to measure, but certainly bombing and thinking about families being subjected to it was not so nice for German soldiers.
Once again, area bombing was not invented by Britons or Yanks.

Agree , mate
But dont't forget about Hoebbels propoganda. Each allies bombing of german cities were used by Hoebbels in it dirty aims. He tryed to represent the fatal war as the "defence war of Germany". He all times tryed overstated the victims of bombing ( and honestly speaking, USAF and RAF very helped for him by its unhuman "firestorm"-tactic).
He also very like to picture the violence on the civilians as tupical behavior of Red Army soldiers.( and again :actions of some soviet soldiers helped for the Hoebbels)
It's amazing but even in most end of war germans continied to believe the Hitler and of couse the Hoebbles propoganda made them more fanatical.
Remember about Breslay - the most sensless and cruel battle after the fall of Berlin.


And now a small off topic:
Couple of days ago I get email from my friend in Poland. he is a professional historian of WWII and his special field is RAF, Luftwaffe and air war.
He was invited to the ceremony of decorating pilots which participated in bombing campaigns.
So far all glory went to fighter pilots and the last surviving pilots of Lancasters and Wellingtons deserved recognition.
The whole event started with speach by Polish Air Force General - active service now - which for 20 minutes was mumbling about pilots which were thinking about Warsaw when bombing Germany and some other patriotic crap.

The next was a real bomber pilot. Elderly's fellow speach was very short, he said: "I don't remember thinking about Warsaw or about anything... I'm sure that we all were thinking just about two things - one - how to get over the target, and drop the s..t, and the second - how to get f..k out of there. Thank you very much for attention."
And walked off the stage.
He used exact words in Polish and the whole assembly was left speechless for about a minute, but after initial consternation everything was as planned:
medal, flowers, salute, medal, flowers salute, medal, flowers, salute...

Cheers,

Lancer44

nice story ..
Drop the shit - ang get f..k out of here :)

Nickdfresh
10-02-2006, 10:36 AM
You can make an argument that some Germans fought more fanatically as the result of the bombing. I once saw an interview with an ex-SS soldier that fought in Normandy saying that was one of the reasons the SS fought like devils there. But at the same time, you could argue that there was significant demoralization and loss of faith in the Nazi gov't to some extent.

And Lancer, I've heard those very sentiments echoed by other pilots. The War for most of them was simply a missions to mission struggle of survival, fear, and boredom.

Digger
10-02-2006, 10:44 AM
G'day,

It's all very easy to be critical and revisionist of Harris some sixty plus years later, but was the alternative? How was Britain to carry the war to Nazi Germany, remembering other than the Soviet Union, no one else was in the fight.

I say hats off for Britain standing alone and carrying the fight to the third Reich. It was a battle of survival and Harris knew it. He also knew that if the Germans did finish off the Soviet Union , then the second Battle Of Britain could have been infinately worse.

Every bomb dropped on Germany had an effect of some sort and in a small way helped keep the Soviet Union in the fight.

Regards to all'
Digger.

Chevan
10-03-2006, 04:42 AM
Hi Digger

G'day,

It's all very easy to be critical and revisionist of Harris some sixty plus years later, but was the alternative?

Yes it was, indeed. It was the point, during the war Britain could be much more effectively fight with Germans by land ground forces.
As you could be know the RAF absorded at least half of war budget of GB.
If the this enormous means was directed to the creation a great landing troops, Britain woold has a very poverful army already in 1942-43.
Instead of lend-lise to the USSR, together with US they could be landing in France and f..k the Germans already in the end 1942, while the 70% of german war mashine were in Eastern front.
Certainly it could be more bloody for allies , but they really could save the Europe from the Stalin.And finished this war in the 1943.

10 000 aircrafts, 15 000 tanks , 500 000 trucks and millions of ammunition of leand-lise - this enough to create at least 10 air and 5 tanks full complected armis.
This great forces could easy to crush the Germans in France.
But western leaders "prefered to help" the Stalin. And let him to spend the russian lives for his political ambitions. They let him to "liberate" the Eastern Europe , because they were afraided a "big loses" during the landing in France in 1942-43. But they are not disturbed about big material loses of North sea supplies (like PQ-17 ecample)
They prefered to send the lend-lise wearpon and wait while Red Army crashed in bloody 's battles the germans troops in the East till 1944.


How was Britain to carry the war to Nazi Germany, remembering other than the Soviet Union, no one else was in the fight.

no one else was in the fight?? ... in 1943-45 when Harris did "its work"


I say hats off for Britain standing alone and carrying the fight to the third Reich. It was a battle of survival and Harris knew it. He also knew that if the Germans did finish off the Soviet Union , then the second Battle Of Britain could have been infinately worse.

Do you hear about Stalingrad battle when each side (german and soviet) lose about 1000-2000 lives in every 24 hours.
So, most of East front battles were the simular - the real battles for survival.
In 1944-45 during the Harris's bombing of cities, already was absolutly clear thet Germany couldn't win the war and Second Battle for the Britain will never be.


Every bomb dropped on Germany had an effect of some sort and in a small way helped keep the Soviet Union in the fight.

too small way helped...
Much more effect could be if instead of the expencive strategic flying armadas Britains and US would have the more poverful landing troops and was able to more effective crashed the german forces.

But this , certainly don't touching the allies pilots, who very bravery and excellent made its work.
I just think that Britain could choose more effective way of fight with germans, not just "decreased the moral of soldiers" by cruel bombing the cities.

Cheers.

Digger
10-03-2006, 06:53 AM
G'day,

By defination the bombing campaign of germany by RAF Bomber Command was well underway in 1940 and gradually increased in tempo from 1941. Until Barbarossa Britain was truly alone. Having said that there was not a glimmer of hope on the horizon until the Soviet counterattack at the gates of Moscow.

Officially America entered the war on 7/12/41, but it was to be August the following year the USAAF 8th Air Force began it's bombing campaign, but it was to be another twelve months before the American bombing reached an appreciable level. And then the Americans were defeated at Schweinfurt and Regansburg.

So by mid 1942 the Soviets were still in the fight but they were being belted back towards Stalingrad. No one is denying the Soviet contribution to victory, but in the dark days of 1942 the possibility of Soviet defeat was still very real. This was why Stalin called on Britain to increase the tempo of bombing against Germany.

Of course the size of British forces were expanding, but by need and attrition they were being drawn to other areas-North Africa, the Mederterranean, the Far East. Britain's resources were stretched. The raid on Dieppe proved there was much more to be learned and improved upon before a full scale invasion of the continent. An attempt to invade before German industry, transport and infrastructure had been seriously weakened, would have led to a disaster that would have taken years to recover from.

Make no mistake as abhorrent as it may be, the bombing of Germany helped in the defeat of Hitler's regime. For one it was the single major contributor to the defeat of the Luftwaffe. And with the Luftwaffe beaten, the great victories of 1944 on the eastern front as well as the western front were assured.

Regards to all,
Digger.

Nickdfresh
10-03-2006, 12:04 PM
The Allied air campaign also tied down enormous German resources involved in air defense, and helped remove the Luftwaffe effectively as an offensive force and engaged it in a battle of attrition that could be won by superior Allied production.

Oh yeah, it also seriously disrupted their supply of fuels and lubricants.

pdf27
10-03-2006, 01:32 PM
2. military crimes, namely: the disturbance of laws or customs of war. They include the murders, tortures or withdrawal into the servitude or for other purposes of the citizen of the territory occupied; murder or the torture of prisoners of war or those, who are located in the sea; the murder of hostages; the robbery of public or private property; senseless destruction cities or villages; the destruction, not justified by military necessity, and other crimes.
I'll limit myself to this statement to avoid a threadjack. "Military Necessity" is clearly defined in the 1907 Hague convention. If a town is being used by the enemy for military purposes, is defended (on the ground - i.e. has not been declared an open city) and attempts are made to avoid hitting all clearly marked noncombatant targets, bombardment is specifically legal.

The part you've highlighted would rather apply to the destruction of places like Lidice or Oradour-sur-Glaine. These were undefended from the Germans (being in German occupied territory at the time) and contained neither combatants nor Allied war industries.

Chevan
10-03-2006, 03:25 PM
I'll limit myself to this statement to avoid a threadjack. "Military Necessity" is clearly defined in the 1907 Hague convention. If a town is being used by the enemy for military purposes, is defended (on the ground - i.e. has not been declared an open city) and attempts are made to avoid hitting all clearly marked noncombatant targets, bombardment is specifically legal.

Hague convention 1907 , dear pdf, never was used in Nurenberg tribunal.
It was a spesial 4-sides agreements of governments of USA-USSR-GB-France
which bacame the basis of creation of International War tribunal(Nurnberg).
It was so called London's agreement ( 8 august of 1945). This International Tribunal has own its regulations of rules( see above my post )


The part you've highlighted would rather apply to the destruction of places like Lidice or Oradour-sur-Glaine. These were undefended from the Germans (being in German occupied territory at the time) and contained neither combatants nor Allied war industries.
I think there are the many peoples , who couldn't answere were the Lidice or Oradour more undefended then Dresded from the sky or not.
And was the Dresden cultural centre (together with refugees) used for the military purposes?

redcoat
10-21-2006, 08:14 PM
I think there are the many peoples , who couldn't answere were the Lidice or Oradour more undefended then Dresded from the sky or not.
Then many people don't understand the laws of war.
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/hague02.htm
The murder of the civilians in the occupied villages were clear breaches of the rules of war (Hague 1899), Dresden wasn't

And was the Dresden cultural centre (together with refugees) used for the military purposes?
Being a European you should know that towns and cities in WW2 didn't have seperate areas for industry and culture, they were dotted all around the towns and cities. There weren't industrial estates in the 1940's ,people lived next to their places of work.

Nickdfresh
10-21-2006, 09:38 PM
I do have a question though. I think the simplistic casting of Bomber Harris as a complete contrast as either a heroic warrior, or demonic baby-killer, are far too simplistic notions here.

But I do recall hearing that Harris was something of a pariah or outcast in British aristocratic society after WII, largely due to his tactics and planning in the War. Is this incorrect, or is there some truth to this? I'd be interested in the point of view of those in the UK or Commonwealth most of all, who will not politicize this into some "East vs. West" rivalry.

Chevan
10-23-2006, 03:54 PM
Then many people don't understand the laws of war.
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/hague02.htm
The murder of the civilians in the occupied villages were clear breaches of the rules of war (Hague 1899), Dresden wasn't

Specialy for you i repeat: Hague convention (1899, 1907 , 1921 and else) wasn't the basic documents for pirsute of the WW2 war criminals.
It was the spesial Inernational Military Law which was developed in august of 1945(befor the Nurnberg tribunal work).
The states-victors developed the rules for the executing of germans war criminals, but they absolutly forgot that it could be applied for its own war action during WW2.
Absolutly any side had the own war criminals, but in 1945 the main principle was "the victors do not judge".


Being a European you should know that towns and cities in WW2 didn't have seperate areas for industry and culture, they were dotted all around the towns and cities. There weren't industrial estates in the 1940's ,people lived next to their places of work.

Being a European? Who's the European , me?;)
Yes , certainly i am the european. :) Who is offend the my Europe?

Redcoat , if you think that RAF bombed centre of Dresden because it was near the realway station - the single war importaint object in town, you make a big mistake. 13 feb 1945 in Dresden the weather was excellent and bombers could grop the bomb from the low altitude. Besides this there were no the germans fighters in the sky. The RAF could easy destoed the realway station to the crushed stone, but they prefered to burn the centre of city.
Why? may be the british pilots had the problems with the sight - certainly no.
Because the real aim was the centre of city - you could easy be convinced if read the Harris memoirs "Strategic bombings" (London. 1947)

Well i think it bagan to repeat the Dresden thread again, my apologies gentlements.
:)

Chevan
10-23-2006, 03:56 PM
I do have a question though. I think the simplistic casting of Bomber Harris as a complete contrast as either a heroic warrior, or demonic baby-killer, are far too simplistic notions here.



Indeed, i agree with. In any case Harris was salient personality.

2nd of foot
10-23-2006, 05:55 PM
[quote=]13 feb 1945 in Dresden the weather was excellent and bombers could grop the bomb from the low altitude. Besides this there were no the germans fighters in the sky.[quote/]

Bugger, did someone forget to invite the Luftwaffe? On enemy! Lets drop to a 1000ft and get every one on target, what ho.

But we are at radio silence, how will they know?

Just have to follow me them.

But we do not fly in formation, we make our own way to the target, bomb at the altitude ordered, and fly home.

Never mind they are bound to see me down here and not drop any bombs on me as I go in and out of the smoke.

As Harris said “those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind”.

Chevan
10-24-2006, 04:36 AM
Bugger, did someone forget to invite the Luftwaffe? On enemy! Lets drop to a 1000ft and get every one on target, what ho.

But we are at radio silence, how will they know?

Just have to follow me them.

But we do not fly in formation, we make our own way to the target, bomb at the altitude ordered, and fly home.

Never mind they are bound to see me down here and not drop any bombs on me as I go in and out of the smoke.

Yes i know, the accuracy of carpet bombing were extremaly low. The tactic of application of B-17 or Lancasters was the mass acting by close formation. I read the the story whan after the bombing in Italy allies position was hit the on distance over 12 km from the german "target". Strategic bombers of WW2 were the very rough weapon.(therefore unhuman in cities)


As Harris said “those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind”.

somthing prompt to me that this famouse statement were invented not by Harris.

Firefly
10-24-2006, 04:34 PM
Harris actually said something very similar to the statement.

"They have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind"

Its well documented.

George Eller
10-24-2006, 11:52 PM
Harris actually said something very similar to the statement.

"They have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind"

Its well documented.
-

Hosea 8:7

"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind..."

KJV

-

2nd of foot
10-25-2006, 03:37 PM
The tactics used by the 8th AF and BC was different. 6th AF bombed at high altitude in formation and in daylight and BC did it at night and not in formation. Course, TOT and altitude were given at a briefing that afternoon and each aircraft made its own way to the target, not in formation. That is my point and shoots down your comment.

And the whirlwind is about the Germans started bombing civilians first, so people in glasshouses shouldn’t through stones.

D502
10-26-2006, 12:11 PM
...so people in glasshouses shouldn’t through stones.

You're not serious, are you?

I voted "A pragmatic wartime leader". From a sober point-of-view...

Gen. Sandworm
10-27-2006, 05:30 AM
You're not serious, are you?

I voted "A pragmatic wartime leader". From a sober point-of-view...

Nice Avatar D502 that was my very old one. Anyhow I voted a bastard but our bastard. Im not british but the americans had plenty of basdards like Curtis Lemay.........so thats my take on it.

Nickdfresh
10-27-2006, 05:13 PM
Nice Avatar D502 that was my very old one. Anyhow I voted a bastard but our bastard. Im not british but the americans had plenty of basdards like Curtis Lemay.........so thats my take on it.

Maybe we should have a "bastard-off" to see which bomber general was the biggest bastard of all? ;)

Poor Old Spike
10-27-2006, 10:09 PM
Hitler bombed my mam in Leicester England in 1940 but missed.
He also area-bombed other Brit cities.
So I applaud Harris's famous quote -
"They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind"..

Digger
10-28-2006, 03:57 PM
The trouble with modern history is we tend to be too revisionist when it comes to topics such as WWII. It's all very nice to sit back in our nice, comfortable homes, our warm and fuzzy lifestyles and bitch and moan how hard life is for us. Similarly we can in our leisure time hypothesize how WWII could have been fought differently.

It's so easy to fall into this way of thinking, because we never flew in a narrow metal tube loaded with bombs and fuel while high explosives were flung at us and fighters tried to shoot us down. All these men and Harris were trying to do was to end a war not started by them, to defeat a crazed madman whose view of the world was a perfect blond Ayran race who either exterminated or enslaved anyone not fitting their vision of a perfect master race.

For all of you who complain about Harris, Bomber Command and the tactics used to defeat Hitler's regime, remember it was men like these, as well as the men of all Allied nations who fought, died and eventually won a war so you could live in your nice comfortable suburban box and judge their deeds.

Regards to all,
Digger.

Flammpanzer
01-21-2007, 12:33 PM
Did what he had to do. There was no other way to attack Germany in those days, he had to use area bombing because that's all we could use.

especially "newer" historians are sure that it would have been better to attack only military targets and not to kill hundred thousands of helpless children and women (600.000 estimated, millions homeless).


So I applaud Harris's famous quote -
"They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind"..

if you have in mind that half of all 7000 ever built lancaster were brought down, it was even a high price for the BC. a good quote for the defenders, which I as a german applaud to ... so that`s the other side.

there are also facts that show that these bombardments of the cities had hardly no influence on the lenght of the war. the aim was to demoralize the germans, but like the british under the blitz, the germans were not demoralized, they only knew that there was sheer terror against them.

by allied understanding, if he was a german, he is a war criminal. there is no discussion about german attacks on civilians and it is the same cruel, unnecessary and damned thing, but even this is no legitimation (in my mind) to do the same and to feel free to do it. but as we all knew, tribunals were only done by the winners. it is often forgotten that the brits bombed german cities early in the war (on the german coast in the north-west), so it is not the point to say it is so important to find out who started the slaughter.

"die geschichte schreiben die sieger." (the story is always written by the winners).

DER BRAND

ALS FEUER VOM HIMMEL FIEL

2 newer german books about the bombings, interesting to read.

Chevan
01-21-2007, 01:02 PM
Ha Flammpanzer
And welcome to the board.
Thanks for the post,finally we saw here the real German oppinion whithout ***-licking of victors.


... it is often forgotten that the brits bombed german cities early in the war (on the german coast in the north-west), so it is not the point to say it is so important to find out who started the slaughter.

This is interesting i think. What can you tell us about early british bombings of Germany?

Cheers.

Egorka
01-21-2007, 02:49 PM
The amount of the british bombers lost in the attack:
1941 - 2.5%
1942 - 4.0%
1943 - 3.7%
1944 - 2.2%
1945 - 1.1%

Regarding the early allied bombing, "the first one took place on the 16-May-1940 against targets in Ruhr area, Hamburg, Hannover and Aachen. After that the bombings continue practicaly uninterupted with slow increase in intencity".

Chevan
01-21-2007, 02:57 PM
Thanks mate.
So am i right understand , the Britain began to bomb the Germany first?

redcoat
01-21-2007, 03:05 PM
it is often forgotten that the brits bombed german cities early in the war (on the german coast in the north-west), so it is not the point to say it is so important to find out who started the slaughter.


Nonsense.
The RAF was banned from bombing any land targets in Germany at the start of the war. They were allowed only to attack warships at sea, and were not even allowed to attack warships too close to the shore, in case of civilian casualties.

In March 1940 the Germans bombed a number of land based military targets in Scotland, killing a civilian. The RAF were then allowed to attack a German seaplane base on the island of Hornum in retaliation, chosen because it was well away from civilian areas.

The RAF were not allowed to attack targets in Germany until the 11th May 1940, after German bombing attacks on towns and cities in the west. At that point the RAF were allowed to bomb road and railway targets west of the Rhine.

The RAF were still not allowed to bomb industrial targets in Germany until after the raid on Rotterdam, when the prohibition was lifted. They were expected to bring their bombs back if the individual factory they were supposed to bomb was not identified.


It was not until after the area attacks on Coventry and a number of other British cities in late 1940 that the RAF was allowed to used the same tactics in their attacks on Germany,

The first German town or city to be bombed in WW2 in which there were civilian casualties was the town of Freiburg on the 10th May 1940. There were 57 deaths, of which 22 were children. The ironic bit of this sad story is that the airforce which had bombed Freiburg was the Luftwaffe !!!!!!!
Three He-111s had lost their way on a bombing mission to Dijon airfield in France, and bombed Freiburg in error.

The Germans never let out the true information, but used this attack as an excuse for their own bombing campaign on Allied towns and cities

Chevan
01-21-2007, 03:16 PM
Nonsense.
The RAF was banned from bombing any land targets in Germany at the start of the war. They were allowed only to attack warships at sea, and were not even allowed to attack warships too close to the shore, in case of civilian casualties.

In March 1940 the Germans bombed a number of land based military targets in Scotland, killing a civilian. The RAF were then allowed to attack a German seaplane base on the island of Hornum in retaliation, chosen because it was well away from civilian areas.

The RAF were not allowed to attack targets in Germany until the 11th May1940, after German bombing attacks on towns and cities in the west. At that point the RAF were allowed to bomb road and railway targets west of the Rhine.

The RAF were still not allowed to bomb industrial targets in Germany until after the raid on Rotterdam, when the prohibition was lifted. They were expected to bring their bombs back if the individual factory they were supposed to bomb was not identified.


It was not until after the area attacks on Coventry and a number of other British cities in late 1940 that the RAF was allowed to used the same tactics in their attacks on Germany,

Well we see the point. Good redcoat.
Are any other opinions gentlemens?

Flammpanzer
01-21-2007, 04:21 PM
So am i right understand , the Britain began to bomb the Germany first?

that way it is not true (and I have never said or meant it that way by the way) but "nonsense" will not get it either, I think. I just tried to say that both sides started early with the bombing of civilians.


The amount of the british bombers lost in the attack:
1941 - 2.5%
1942 - 4.0%
1943 - 3.7%
1944 - 2.2%
1945 - 1.1%

regarding the losses of british heavy bombers: the information can be found in the book "als feuer vom himmel fiel" from stephan burgdorff and christian habbe, bonn 2004. (I found the information in other british (!) literature, too.) they relate to actual data from the BC and documents. the loss rate was some times over 10%, so the numbers named here seem too low, but I can understand that some like to believe that the BC was a brave, effective and nealy unbeatable weapon. but reality was a bit different: the total loss of british crew members that took part in the bombings is rated with 55.000 airmen, so the loss of 600.000 civil lives was not for nothing. sorry, it is hard to say that, but when I hear how mr. harris is adored here, I only could puke ... there is no doubt that germany and the germans of those days have a great guilt to bear, but I do not think it was heroic or neccessary to kill civilians in such a great manner - on both sides.

jens

Chevan
01-21-2007, 04:47 PM
regarding the losses of british heavy bombers: the information can be found in the book "als feuer vom himmel fiel" from stephan burgdorff and christian habbe, bonn 2004. (I found the information in other british (!) literature, too.) they relate to actual data from the BC and documents. the loss rate was some times over 10%, so the numbers named here seem too low, but I can understand that some like to believe that the BC was a brave, effective and nealy unbeatable weapon. but reality was a bit different: the total loss of british crew members that took part in the bombings is rated with 55.000 airmen, so the loss of 600.000 civil lives was not for nothing. sorry, it is hard to say that, bit when I hear how mr. harris is adored here, I could puke ...

jens

OK now i understand.
And i have to agree that the strategic bombing was the most wasteful and sensless way to fight with Germany. The whole half of Britain budget were lost for the "effective" bombers.
Moreover some our britains friend even proved for themself that those strategic bombings distracted the large part of the German defense industry. So therefore it was legitime and usefull;)
Even in Dresden some of western historians founded the "importaint" war industry objects like the Optic plant. But what's strange this plant "accidentally" didn't got into the zone of carpet bombing. Even the realway station was damaged insignificantly. But the centre of city was a goal for the bombers -they simply killed refugers and sitizents.


bit when I hear how mr. harris is adored here, I could puke ...

That's the REAL germans think - Do you see our Britis/US friends?
And who will say more that the genocide of german population was needed for the "great war effect"?

Cheers.

Egorka
01-21-2007, 05:32 PM
The bomber loss number are from a 1947 year book. And note that they are given per year. One given attack could have higher lose rate, of course.

redcoat
01-21-2007, 06:20 PM
that way it is not true (and I have never said or meant it that way by the way) but "nonsense" will not get it either, I think. I just tried to say that both sides started early with the bombing of civilians.

The Germans started September 1 1939,
Britain May 11th 1940.

redcoat
01-21-2007, 06:42 PM
. sorry, it is hard to say that, but when I hear how mr. harris is adored here, I only could puke ...
I get the same urge when people start singing the praises of the Waffen SS

2nd of foot
01-21-2007, 06:54 PM
The Germans started September 1 1939,
Britain May 11th 1940.

No Red coat you are forgetting Spain Poland, and Holland Britain was just one in a long line. The Germans made it quite clear from the start that they saw civilians as a legitimate target. They viewed the terrorisation of the people as a way of to victory.

Egorka
01-23-2007, 05:03 AM
2nd of foot:
According to your logic UK should also start extermination of jews... just because Germans did it. Rediculous, right?
Or maybe we should be resposible of our dids and not blame the other side so much... just curious...

Chevan
01-23-2007, 07:38 AM
I get the same urge when people start singing the praises of the Waffen SS

Absolutly agree redcoat.
But I think you have to agree that Waffen SS it's not justification for Bomber Harris's unhuman tactic of firebombing civilians.

2nd of foot
01-23-2007, 10:27 AM
2nd of foot:
According to your logic UK should also start extermination of jews... just because Germans did it. Rediculous, right?
Or maybe we should be resposible of our dids and not blame the other side so much... just curious...

Not at all. I was referring to Redcoat who said that:-


The Germans started September 1 1939,

As has been pointed out the RAF at the start of the war was specifically ordered not to attack civilian target even if they were being used for military work as they were classed as private property. It was a political decision not an operational one and until it was seen that Germany was willing to attack UK civilian targets the politicians would not let the RAF attack non-military targets. Within Britain politicians control the military not the other way round.

Were as I pointed out the Germans specifically targeted civilians and civilian property to cause terror as a process of war not as a side effect. This is a tactic they used in the first war with Zeppelin raids on Britain, a tactic that was very effective in causing terror in the civil populas. Max Hasting in his book Bomber Command suggests that this was a major factor in Trenchard’s view on the concept of future operation of the RAF and how airpower could win wars.

Using your warped logic the British should have attacked the USSR because Germany did.

Egorka
01-23-2007, 04:37 PM
2nd of foot:
It is all right. But it should also be mentioned that at the end of the war UK killed roughly 10 times more civilians in Germany than Germany in UK. Only Drezden almost made them even.

But you are right the Germans started.

.

Flammpanzer
01-24-2007, 01:20 PM
sorry for the posts before. no idea how this comes.


hello friends!

first of all, I know, it is a really delicate topic, I fully can understand any brit who has no problems with the attacks because the germans did the same resp. started.


Were as I pointed out the Germans specifically targeted civilians and civilian property to cause terror as a process of war not as a side effect.

when you compare the productivity of the german inudstry, you will find out that the highest output was in 1944 (due to decentalitzation of production and other measures), the effect of destroying industry was there, of course, but it was far less than expected. more effective where the attacks to destroy any kind of oil and gas-production and the infrastructure (railroads, streets).

regarding the german terror-bombing mentioned:

it should be said that cities like rotterdam and warsaw f. e. were military targets per definition (defended, not willing to surrender). even many of the earlier attacks on london where often pointed to targets with a military background (oil-dumps etc.).

sorry for offending anyone (if so), I just tried to make clear the view "from the other side". it is a question of morale, I guess. okay, we started at least, but is it moralic to do the same in a even bader manner? no. is it moralic to kill so many civilians? I do not mention holocaust here, because this has nothing to do with the bombardment - there never should be any sort of comparison between the two. this was without doubt the biggest crime of all time, but every normal thinking human should be aware that such a mass-slaughter is a crime and so Harris is a true criminal, allthough he is "yours".

btw: churchill thought over the use of poison gas to rot out any german. maybe it was pity because the german poison gas at that time was far superior to the allied and the response could have bring some surprise to the other side. (respecting your point of view, but please understand the the other.)

jens

pdf27
01-24-2007, 02:08 PM
more effective where the attacks to destroy any kind of oil and gas-production and the infrastructure (railroads, streets).
We know that now - largely thanks to the postwar report of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. The problem is, we didn't know that at the time, and furthermore the air forces we had were supported by a huge industrial base and were only capable of efficiently attacking certain types of target. RAF Bomber Command for instance was (with a few exceptions) incapable of hitting precision targets reliably.


it should be said that cities like rotterdam and warsaw f. e. were military targets per definition (defended, not willing to surrender).
Following strictly the rules of the Hague convention in force at the time, this is true. However, it is also true - to the same extent - of Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, etc. You may want to rethink your arguament in this case...

Chevan
01-25-2007, 12:42 AM
We know that now - largely thanks to the postwar report of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. The problem is, we didn't know that at the time, and furthermore the air forces we had were supported by a huge industrial base and were only capable of efficiently attacking certain types of target. RAF Bomber Command for instance was (with a few exceptions) incapable of hitting precision targets reliably.

Hi pdf glad to see you again.
Firstly it's wrong the British high command didn't know about more effective bombing of oil plants and strategic industry. But this objects were good protected by the AAA means -much better than cities. They refuse it. Instead it was taken the Harris plan - total distraction German cities as more "convenient target".


Following strictly the rules of the Hague convention in force at the time, this is true. However, it is also true - to the same extent - of Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, etc. You may want to rethink your arguament in this case...

Right this is true. The bombing the cities which had a importaint military objects ( or enemy troops) is not forbidden.
But as you've already know the senslees distruction of cities , villages ( i.e. hadn't military mean) is the matter of Nurenberg tribunal ;)

Cheers.

Chevan
01-25-2007, 12:48 AM
Did what he had to do. There was no other way to attack Germany in those days, he had to use area bombing because that's all we could use.

This is wrong becouse already after june 1944 was open second front.As you may be know the most cruel and senslees firebombing was in preiod after landing in France i/e/ summer 1944 - march 1945
Moreover there was a point if not dear strategic bombing ( which absorbed a great part of British war budget) they could landed early.

But we go around the whole thread;)

Cheers

Flammpanzer
01-25-2007, 07:11 AM
Following strictly the rules of the Hague convention in force at the time, this is true. However, it is also true - to the same extent - of Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, etc. You may want to rethink your arguament in this case...

no. as I mentioned before: it`s a question of morale and ehtics. do I have to commit the same crime it someone does this to me? maybe, I can understand the reaction of course but this makes Harris not an innocent war-hero at all. and we are talking about him here. I did not try to excuse any attacks of that sort but I have the feeling that there is a strong belief that the german airforce only tried to wipe out all cities of the reich-enemies and that the mass-bombardments were a logic answer to the luftwaffe-raids. many of the earlier attacks of the luftwaffe were taken out to military or strategic targets int the cities and civil losses were accepted indeed. BUT even coventry was a valuable target by their means as they tried to destroy industry, this was the first aim and NOT to kill as many inhabitants as possible! so there are always slight differences that are overlooked. to pick out dresden - it now seems quite clear that this city had NO military (only masses of fleeing persons and some soldiers hasting back from the east got stuck there) value at all. it was pure mass-murder, nothing else. no matter with what oher attacks this will be excused. and once again for all: I do not try to excuse any German aggression and I understand responses from the other, but there happended enough bad to innocents that was not heroic, even the winners did it.

but maybe we are turning around here in fact. :neutral:

jens

pdf27
01-25-2007, 02:21 PM
Hi pdf glad to see you again.
Firstly it's wrong the British high command didn't know about more effective bombing of oil plants and strategic industry. But this objects were good protected by the AAA means -much better than cities. They refuse it. Instead it was taken the Harris plan - total distraction German cities as more "convenient target".
Yeah, I stick my head above the parapet somewhat at random from time to time. I feel a bit like a gopher actually!
Have you got a source on the protection of oil refineries and the like by flak? That's a new statement to me, and given the propensity of the RAF to bomb the Ruhr (a heavily industrial target) on a regular basis it seems rather odd to me that the RAF would be deliberately ignoring such targets. They were taking such horrendous losses anyway (only U-boat crews suffered higher proportional casualties in the entire war) that a small amount of incremental risk for a greater effect would probably have been accepted.


Right this is true. The bombing the cities which had a importaint military objects ( or enemy troops) is not forbidden.
But as you've already know the senslees distruction of cities , villages ( i.e. hadn't military mean) is the matter of Nurenberg tribunal ;)
Are you thinking of Oradour-sur-Glaine, Lidice and the like? They're the only sort of cases I can think of which ended up before the Allied Military Commission, and the difference is that under the Hague convention these places were undefended, in that there were no ground troops offering resistance to the Germans moving in. That's the critical difference - one was legal under Hague 1907 (however morally objectionable) the other illegal.

redcoat
01-25-2007, 03:17 PM
no. as I mentioned before: it`s a question of morale and ehtics. do I have to commit the same crime it someone does this to me? maybe, I can understand the reaction of course but this makes Harris not an innocent war-hero at all. and we are talking about him here.
Seeing that I've already explained in another thread that no Luftwaffe officer ever faced criminal charges over the bombing of British civilian targets, why should it be any different for Harris ???





I did not try to excuse any attacks of that sort but I have the feeling that there is a strong belief that the german airforce only tried to wipe out all cities of the reich-enemies and that the mass-bombardments were a logic answer to the luftwaffe-raids. many of the earlier attacks of the luftwaffe were taken out to military or strategic targets int the cities and civil losses were accepted indeed. BUT even coventry was a valuable target by their means as they tried to destroy industry, this was the first aim and NOT to kill as many inhabitants as possible! so there are always slight differences that are overlooked. to pick out dresden - it now seems quite clear that this city had NO military (only masses of fleeing persons and some soldiers hasting back from the east got stuck there) value at all.
According to the 1944 handbook of the German Army High Command’s Weapon Office, the city of Dresden contained 127 factories that had been assigned their own three-letter manufacturing codes…. This assured secrecy, while at the same time allowing military authorities to identify individual weapons, munitions, and military equipment back to their manufacturing sources. ……

As the 1942 Dresdner Jahrbook (Dresden Yearbook) boasted:
Anyone who knows Dresden only as a cultural city, with its immortal architectural monuments and unique landscape environment, would rightly be very surprised to be made aware of the extensive and versatile industrial activity, with all its varied ramifications, that make Dresden.. one of the foremost industrial locations.

There is also the fact that Dresden was the junction of three great trunk routes in the German railway system: (1) Berlin-Prague-Vienna, (2) Munich-Breslau, and (3) Hamburg-Leipzig. As a key center in the dense Berlin-Leipzig railway complex, Dresden was connected to both cities by two main lines. The density, volume, and importance of the Dresden-Saxony railway system within the German geography and economy is seen in the fact that in 1939 Saxony was seventh in area among the major German states, ranked seventh in its railway mileage, but ranked third in the total tonnage carried by rail.


Both, or either of, these facts make Dresden a legitimate target

redcoat
01-25-2007, 03:41 PM
About the effectiveness of the bombing.

In Jan 1945 Albert Speer compiled a report on German industry which said that in 1944 bombing had cost them 31% of aircraft production, 35% of tank production and 42% of truck production.

Flammpanzer
01-26-2007, 12:46 PM
Both, or either of, these facts make Dresden a legitimate target

if you try hard you always manage to make a civil target legitime for bombing. it`s just the same with cities like coventry where also industrial plants were bombed - it is the same argument the other way round but not many brits will accept that, I guess. but I have to admit we are turning around somehow.



In Jan 1945 Albert Speer compiled a report on German industry which said that in 1944 bombing had cost them 31% of aircraft production, 35% of tank production and 42% of truck production.

this is the result of the bombing of industrial complexes, not becaue they bombed the houses and the people. even the argument to wipe out the workers will not prove because there were masses of slave workers.


Seeing that I've already explained in another thread that no Luftwaffe officer ever faced criminal charges over the bombing of British civilian targets, why should it be any different for Harris ???

this is exactly what I mean: it is always the question of equality here: the germans and japanese have not deserved a better treating because they acted the same. but to fight crime with crime makes the whole thing not a good one and harris not a hero. but there are slight differences in the way people here deal with the past. except some stupid neo-nazis, nobody here would celebrate a person like hermann göring f. e.. it seems, this is different in other countries.

jens

redcoat
01-26-2007, 07:25 PM
if you try hard you always manage to make a civil target legitime for bombing. it`s just the same with cities like coventry where also industrial plants were bombed - it is the same argument the other way round but not many brits will accept that, I guess. but I have to admit we are turning around somehow.
Seeing the British have never considered the bombing of Coventry a war crime as such, why should we consider Dresden to be a war crime ?




this is the result of the bombing of industrial complexes, not becaue they bombed the houses and the people. even the argument to wipe out the workers will not prove because there were masses of slave workers.
Not so.
The British copied the tactic of area bombing not out of revenge, but because they had noted that disrupting the infrastructure( housing, utilities, etc) of the workforce and their families had as an important effect on production as bombing the factories did.



this is exactly what I mean: it is always the question of equality here: the germans and japanese have not deserved a better treating because they acted the same. but to fight crime with crime makes the whole thing not a good one and harris not a hero. but there are slight differences in the way people here deal with the past. except some stupid neo-nazis, nobody here would celebrate a person like hermann göring f. e.. it seems, this is different in other countries.

jens
It is a question of equality. The bombing of Britain by the Germans isn't considered a war crime, so why should the bombing of Germany be considered a war crime ??????

Egorka
01-28-2007, 03:19 PM
Redcoat:

So you agree that they bombed 600.000 civilians (children, women, elderly) on purpose? Right?

Chevan
01-28-2007, 04:03 PM
Have you got a source on the protection of oil refineries and the like by flak? That's a new statement to me, and given the propensity of the RAF to bomb the Ruhr (a heavily industrial target) on a regular basis it seems rather odd to me that the RAF would be deliberately ignoring such targets.
Well our "fovorite" J.Fuller wrote in "Second world war"

To destroy with the aid of those existed then means entire or large part of the German defense industry was clearly impossible. It was considered that the military plants of Germany were placed in the territory into 130 sq. miles and to subject to their bombardments even for several years it would require, possibly, such astronomical quantity of aircraft, that all industrial resources of England would not make it possible to build them.
This is why one ought not to have undertaken the attempt, which, however, was made. If Churchill thought strategically, instead of thinking about the devastation, then it would become clear that the objects of bombardments had to be not industrial enterprises themselves, but their energy sources, i.e., coal and oil. If these sources steadily were weakened, then in the final analysis German industry to 90% was stopped.
Against this there were only two possible objections. The first consisted in the fact that carbon mines is difficult to destroy, and the second - that the oil is produced in few and, therefore, strongly protected points; therefore films on them would bypass very dear
The first difficulty, however, it was not more than that being seeming. If we continuously bombard the railroads, which lead into the carbon regions of the ruhr and saar (each roads they were close purposes), then coal could not be exported.
However, none of these arguments, probably, was not discussed also for that simple reason, that the destruction of industry was only the part of the general plan of the devastation of Germany and terrorization of its citizen. In any case, this is confirmed by the measures, which up to the spring 1944 can be distributed to two stages: 1) economic offensive, 2) moral offensive.

And my notice:
In Romanian oil fields Ploeshty there was a powerfull AAA-defence.
It was much easy to bomb the germans cities then the strategic objects indeed.


Are you thinking of Oradour-sur-Glaine, Lidice and the like? They're the only sort of cases I can think of which ended up before the Allied Military Commission, and the difference is that under the Hague convention these places were undefended, in that there were no ground troops offering resistance to the Germans moving in. That's the critical difference - one was legal under Hague 1907 (however morally objectionable) the other illegal.
We have already discussed this early, right. So i don't wish to repit it again especially for you dear pdf.


Cheers.

Chevan
01-28-2007, 04:35 PM
Seeing the British have never considered the bombing of Coventry a war crime as such, why should we consider Dresden to be a war crime ?

becouse Germans didn't used the carpet firebombing tactic agains centres of cities which had not millitary sence ( i/e/ against civilians). This tactic let to burn the civilians in the scale which couldn't be equaled with Coventry.
Moreover the mass killing of germans was the primary goal of strategic bombing.
unlike the britain Germany never spended the half of war budger to the bombing which was directed mostly to the terrorizing of civilians.


It is a question of equality. The bombing of Britain by the Germans isn't considered a war crime, so why should the bombing of Germany be considered a war crime ??????
This is personal problem of allies- why they didn't demand to judge the Goering also and for terrible bombing of Britain.
I heared it was the spesial point not to create the danger juridical precident. In fact the Nurenderg city ( like and other german cities) was fully distructed by allies bombing.
So it would be much easy to hung Goering for the Holocaust then for his real crimes.

Cheers.

redcoat
01-29-2007, 08:10 AM
So it would be much easy to hung Goering for the Holocaust then for his real crimes.

Cheers.
So in your view the holocaust wasn't real then ?

Chevan
01-29-2007, 08:38 AM
So in your view the holocaust wasn't real then ?
Holocaust really was, but the figure of 6 million is very exaggerated and has no real basis.
The official "theory of Holocaust" try to represent the killing the jews as the main goal for the Nazi. This is wrong becouse the his main task was to capture the Eastern territories and people as the slaves. The killing of low races ( and the jews partically) particulary was n't primary aim for the Hitler.
If you wath to the statistic of millions victims you 'll learn that the reall henocide was in the East for the Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish and Russian native peoples (which had n't any relation to the jews).
But jewish mass-media tryed to represent the jews as the main victims of Nazi. This is wrong IMO.
If you wish you could believe this, but just simple critic analysis give to you the refuse some of its arguments.

Cheers.

Egorka
01-29-2007, 10:24 AM
Redcoat:

Here we go again... Holocaust card being played...

BDL
01-29-2007, 12:00 PM
Redcoat:

So you agree that they bombed 600.000 civilians (children, women, elderly) on purpose? Right?

1,000 heavy bombers don't generally arrive over a city and drop 10,000,000-odd pounds of high explosives by accident...

pdf27
01-29-2007, 02:45 PM
This is wrong becouse the his main task was to capture the Eastern territories and people as the slaves. The killing of low races ( and the jews partically) particulary was n't primary aim for the Hitler.
Wasn't he after "Lebensraum" (literally, room in which to live) rather than slaves? If so, surely it would be a matter of national policy to depopulate the captured reasons. Certainly, the Germans made quite a good start on depopulating the areas of Poland and the Soviet Union they captured. In Poland something like 25% of the population died during the war.

redcoat
01-29-2007, 04:59 PM
Redcoat:

So you agree that they bombed 600.000 civilians (children, women, elderly) on purpose? Right?
Odd that you missed out the word 'men' in your list of civilians :roll:

redcoat
01-29-2007, 05:07 PM
becouse Germans didn't used the carpet firebombing tactic agains centres of cities which had not millitary sence ( i/e/ against civilians).

Bath, Canterbury, Cambridge, etc, are all well known industrial areas, of course :roll:


Moreover the mass killing of germans was the primary goal of strategic bombing.
Quite simply that's a total and utter lie.
The goal was to disrupt both the infostructure, and the civilian populations in the towns enough to effect the German war effort

redcoat
01-29-2007, 05:12 PM
Redcoat:

Here we go again... Holocaust card being played...
I'm not the one downplaying it.
Just as a matter of interest, do you agree with him that the 'jewish' holocaust was in his words 'very exaggerated' and the 6 million figure is wrong.

pdf27
01-29-2007, 05:59 PM
Quite simply that's a total and utter lie.
The goal was to disrupt both the infostructure, and the civilian populations in the towns enough to effect the German war effort
Not exactly - more like one of a number of goals. At certain points of the war Harris would quite likely have exterminated every single German if given the choice, and been backed wholeheartedly by the population of the allies. That he - thankfully - lacked the means to do so limited the destruction he was able to do.
Incidentally, with the technology of the time it was very difficult indeed to destroy industrial targets without hitting the workers very hard. The workforce would live literally just outside the factory gates in many cases, and accurately targeting such a factory in blackout conditions with primitive instrumentation and under fire is very hard indeed. Hence the switch to area bombing - which in practice means you are targeting the civilian population.

Besides, "lie" implies he knows he is being mendacious. Quite apart from whether he is speaking the truth or not (and I suspect few if any people alive today can answer that question) if it is a sincerely held belief on his part - something we have no reason to doubt - it is not a lie.

Egorka
01-29-2007, 06:36 PM
Odd that you missed out the word 'men' in your list of civilians :roll:

Well you see, I just wanted to be on a coservative side, so that you would not accuse me of exaggeration. ;)


I'm not the one downplaying it.
Just as a matter of interest, do you agree with him that the 'jewish' holocaust was in his words 'very exaggerated' and the 6 million figure is wrong.
Yes, I agree. 6 million is a symbolic number. There is Holocaust memorial in France, where six light projectors shoot in to the sky from the six sides of the David's star. It is this kind of symbolism I am talking about.

In my humble oppinion, the real figure is about 4 million, which does not make it any easier for the jewish victims diring the war.


Best rgards
Igor Korenev

Egorka
01-29-2007, 06:44 PM
Wasn't he after "Lebensraum" (literally, room in which to live) rather than slaves? If so, surely it would be a matter of national policy to depopulate the captured reasons. Certainly, the Germans made quite a good start on depopulating the areas of Poland and the Soviet Union they captured. In Poland something like 25% of the population died during the war.
Poland was the eastern territory for Hitler. Just like Ukraina, Belorussia and Russia were. The Lebensraum implied depopulation by many different ways (including Holocaust).

Regarding the percentages it is not that clear I guess. It depends in which borders take the countries and if counting by nationalities or not.
This is a quote from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#endnote_Poland):
"Losses by ethnic group were 3,100,000 Jews; 2,000,000 ethnic Poles; 500,000 Ukrainians and Belarusians."
The total population of Poland before 01-sep-1939 was app. 35 million. The Poles were about 25 millions. 3.5 million jews, app. 5 million Ukraininas, app. 1 million Belorussians, app. 1 million Germans.
Most of the poles lived in the area soon to be occupied by Germany.
All of the Ukrainins and belorussians and most of the jews (app. 2 mill) were in area soon to be taken back by USSR.

So the percentage numbers change dramaticaly depending on this factors. If you just remove the stats for 2 millions of jewish population, that was almost completely completely killed during the war, the situation shifts dramaticaly.

But this of course does not show, that Poland was not one of the country that suffered enourmous death rate during WW2.


Best regards
Igor Korenev

pdf27
01-30-2007, 01:51 PM
May also depend on how you count deaths. AIUI (please correct me if I'm wrong) the Germans deprived the Poles of many resources such as adequate food, medical supplies, etc. This will have led to a greatly increased death rate.
However, I had forgotten that "Poland" has been a rather elastic concept this century. It's quite possible that the figure I was quoting is a before and after number for the population living within the boundaries of Poland as a state - in which case it becomes rather useless.

Egorka
01-30-2007, 03:39 PM
pdf27:

May also depend on how you count deaths.
I think if one reads "XXX losses" it normally means all death causes. This is especially true when talking about a whole country, where any unnatural death (murder, famine, ect) are counted as losses. Sometimes even unborn children are concidered as losses.

pdf27
01-30-2007, 06:20 PM
Can be, problem is that people are often very cavalier in how they do the counting. This can lead from only counting the easy official statistics (which will only show cases where there is a clear, attributable cause of death) to rectal extractions intended to support the author's point.

Chevan
01-31-2007, 06:04 AM
Moreover the mass killing of germans was the primary goal of strategic bombing


Quite simply that's a total and utter lie.

Oh really.
well open please the memoirs book of Harris :"Bomber offencive". London. 1947


....The basic objects of defense industry was to be searched for, where they occur in any country of peace, i.e., in cities themselves. One should especially emphasize that besides as in Essen( when was killed a lot of civilians-my comment Chevan) we never made with the object of film any specific plant.The destroyed enterprise in the city we always considered as additional success. The center of city always remained our main purpose. All old German cities are most densely build ot to to center, and the outskirts of them always more or are less free from the buildings. Therefore center section it is municipal is especially sensitive to the incendiary bombs

So as could you see if not the german industry was the goal for the Harris then what was it for?
Certainly the terrorizing and killing of population - the "favorite method" of Nazi when they bombed London, Warsaw , Gernica and ets (but just in much less scale.)

OR may be Harris lied?


The goal was to disrupt both the infostructure, and the civilian populations in the towns enough to effect the German war effort
But the barbarian way which Harris choose for the disrupt the German infostructure was via the mass killing of peoples. It was the Nazi tactic to terrorised the population and killing the civilians but in MUCH MORE scale.

Cheers.

Chevan
01-31-2007, 06:45 AM
Hence the switch to area bombing - which in practice means you are targeting the civilian population.


I have not to agree.
The killing of civilians was the not forced measure in the Harris tactic. Don't forget about psychological reasons and politic.
There is no doubt that Britain people wished the retrebution for Germans after the cynical Blitz bombardment of UK. And therefore the Churchill in his public speech useed this point as the importaint for the justification of bombing.(Remenber about "Wind and whirlwind").
I can understand britains i that time.
But the problem was that not many peoples in Britain knew that this "retribution" planned as the mass slaughter of German polpulation ( abot 50% victims were the women and 20% - children).
To be the honest after the war when true about "effectiveness" of bombing come to the surface many people in Britain were agitated of this murder. The firebombing of Germany caused at least 10 times more death of civilians than both US and UK civils victims in entire WW2.
Even W.Churchill was frightened of responsibility and he was forced to remove from Harris.
Poor Harris after the war become the "scapegoat" together with strategic RAF high command . Certainly it was not only his blame. He just did it's work as "good soldier".
But many Nazi "good soldier" were shooted for less dirty work.

Cheers.

Flammpanzer
01-31-2007, 12:44 PM
It is a question of equality. The bombing of Britain by the Germans isn't considered a war crime, so why should the bombing of Germany be considered a war crime ??????

okay, I now understand. it is no crime at all to kill 600.00 civilians? to me, both sides commites a true war crime when killing civilians for no really obvious reason (I pointed out why earlier). the us 8th air fleet did those permanet attacks on targets like factories and railroads f. e., but most effects are achieved with explosive bombs, not with fire-bombs. there were also civil losses by the us and they also used the strategy of wiping out living-areas, but the brits did that with a greater success and IT WAS the main aim of the BC. earlier in another thread, I related to those statements that showed off a proud attitude towards the effects of the BC ("applaud ont he result"), maybe some of those posters should think about that twice. but reflecting own parts of history that were not so glorious in a most objective way seems not easy for some sons of the winners. I do not want to hear any sorry, but please understand that I can find nothing heroic or good in killing helpless and defendless people in such a way. again: this is a crime and a to built up a statue for harris is the wrong way ...

I also agree that Goering was never charged for his Luftterror, because this would have had a bad effect for the allied side.

personally, I find it a bit dangerous to bring in the holocaust-card as someone named it here - especially as a german. there should never be a direct comparison between the holocaust-victims and those of the bombing-nights.

jens

pdf27
01-31-2007, 01:32 PM
And therefore the Churchill in his public speech useed this point as the importaint for the justification of bombing.(Remenber about "Wind and whirlwind").
I think you're overstating the importance of this phrase. It's a direct biblical quote (Hosea 8:7) and nicely fits in with Churchill's rhetorical turn of phrase.


So as could you see if not the german industry was the goal for the Harris then what was it for?
British experience from the Blitz - notably at Coventry - was that it was far more destructive to bomb the centre of a target than attempt attacks on factories. If you hit a factory with anything but extremely heavy bombs (and I'm thinking 5 tonne + in size) you can pretty much dust off the machine tools, sling a tarpaulin over the roof and resume production. The British knew this from their experience on the recieving end during the Blitz.
However, if you hit the centre of a town you generally knock out water and electricity supplies to the factories around that town. The factories are out of action until these essential supplies are restored, and as they will have been damaged over a wide area the restoration work is much harder than if they were at a single point.
How true this lesson was for Germany, I don't know (the USSBS may have further data on this). However, it is what the British believed at the time and it did influence their decision making process.


the us 8th air fleet did those permanet attacks on targets like factories and railroads f. e., but most effects are achieved with explosive bombs, not with fire-bombs.
I don't agree with that (see above). Until very late in the war the bombloads dropped by the US were simply too light and the bombs too small to do very much damage to factories (although they could do quite a lot of damage to what they were producing, hence the drive to bury or decentralise).
There are exceptions to this - largely for things like the Fischer-Tropsch plants for producing synthetic fuels - but these are mainly places that would burn down of their own accord given half a chance.

Egorka
01-31-2007, 05:45 PM
Hello!

Does anyone have text in English of the RAFs "moral area bombing" directrice from February 1942?

And does any one have a text in English of the paper leaflets dropped by the RAF on Germany in August - October 1942. I read it in Russian. And it say among other that "it is not for revenge", but nontheless "we will hunt you down mercilessly". And it was not told about German generals, but about ordinary people.

I think if we could post these two documents here, it may clear some issues.

Best regrads
Igor Korenev

Egorka
07-03-2007, 05:09 AM
Hello!

It has been mentioned in here by someone that it was Russians that asked for the bombing of Dresden. So the claim is that the British just did what Russians asked them to do.

Does anyone have an info (with references to the sources) about what exactly did Russians ask for?
Common! Lets get some life into our forum! Some fresh going fight of ideas! ;)

Rising Sun*
07-03-2007, 07:44 AM
It has been mentioned in here by someone that it was Russians that asked for the bombing of Dresden. So the claim is that the British just did what Russians asked them to do.

Stalin didn't have any success getting the other Allies to open the Second Front in 1943.

Then again, the Americans didn't have any success getting Churchill to do it in 1943, either.

Things must have improved by early 1945 when Dresden was bombed, despite America and Britain by that stage worrying about how to deal with the Russian bear if it kept going westwards, or even just stayed where it was, after Germany was defeated.. ;)


Does anyone have an info (with references to the sources) about what exactly did Russians ask for?


The Russian Request for Allied Bombing of Communications in the Dresden Area:

17. The Allied-Russian interchanges that had begun in the closing months of 1944 and had become, with the passing of time, more frequent and more specific, culminated in the ARGONAUT Conferences of January-February 1945. On 4 February, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, together with their foreign secretaries and military advisors, assembled at Yalta to present definitive and specific plans, and requests, for bringing the war against Germany to a victorious conclusion, by the summer of 1945, if possible (Other considerations involved in the ARGONAUT deliberations are not pertinent or relevant here). At this meeting, Marshal Stalin asked Army General Antonov, Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, to outline to the Conference the situation existing on the Eastern Front and to describe Russia’s plans for subsequent operations. At the conclusion of his extended presentation, General Antonov made three specific requests for Allied assistance to the Russians: 27

Our wishes are:
a. To speed up the advance of the Allied troops on the Western Front, for which the present situation is very favorable: (1) To defeat the Germans on the Eastern Front. (2) To defeat the German groupings which have advanced into the Ardennes. (3) The weakening of the German forces in the West in connection with the shifting of their reserves to the East (It is desirable to begin the advance during the first half of February).
b. By air action on communications hinder the enemy from carrying out the shifting of his troops to the East from the Western Front, from Norway, and from Italy (In particular, to paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig).
c. Not permit the enemy to remove his forces from Italy.

18. It was the specific Russian request for bombing communications, coupled with the emphasis on forcing troops to shift from west to east through communications centers, that led to the Allied bombings of Dresden. The structure of the Berlin-Leipzig-Dresden railway complex, as outlined in paragraph 8 above, required that Dresden, as well as Berlin and Leipzig, be bombed. Therefore Allied air authorities concluded that the bombing of Dresden would have to be undertaken (1) in order to implement strategic objectives, of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians, and now agreed upon at the highest levels of governmental authority, and (2) to respond to the specific Russian request presented to the Allies by General Antonov to “paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig.” http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:_iXt0skUZNwJ:https://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm+Strategic+Bombing+in+Relation+to+the+P resent+Russian+Offensive&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=au [Website is down so I've had to use Google cache]

P.S. I've come into this thread late, so if this has already been posted I'm sorry.


Common! Lets get some life into our forum! Some fresh going fight of ideas! ;)

So, I'm not the only one bored with the dull state, or total lack of, debate lately? :D

Digger
07-03-2007, 08:46 AM
Well RS, I hate to tell you the dull state of this site is common on other sites too, probably because most members are enjoying the northern summer.

The other problem is since you've joined you've kicked off five million threads and there is nothing left to talk about:shock:

I believe there is only one way we can rectify this situation;)

Regards digger

Rising Sun*
07-03-2007, 09:04 AM
Well RS, I hate to tell you the dull state of this site is common on other sites too, probably because most members are enjoying the northern summer.

I suspected that.

I suppose they're entitled to enjoy their pale imitations of a real summer. :D


The other problem is since you've joined you've kicked off five million threads and there is nothing left to talk about:shock:

I believe there is only one way we can rectify this situation;)


So, the solution is that I go north for the summer; locate Egorka, Chevan and others, and force them back to their keyboards? :D

Rising Sun*
07-03-2007, 09:14 AM
I believe there is only one way we can rectify this situation;)

Regards digger

P.S. I realise that there is another solution available, but I'm not into seppuku.

Or all that fond of a culture which extols it, as shall soon become apparent in a post in the A bomb thread which, even allowing for the gentle delights of the northern summer, ought to drag someone away from their hired deck chair (How can a chair on a beach be a chair for a deck on a ship?) on a rough pebbled beach with no surf.

They don't know what they're missing down here. :D

Egorka
07-03-2007, 03:15 PM
Stalin didn't have any success getting the other Allies to open the Second Front in 1943.
Yes, despite their own promise. ;)

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:_iXt0skUZNwJ:https://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm+Strategic+Bombing+in+Relation+to+the+P resent+Russian+Offensive&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=au [Website is down so I've had to use Google cache]


Yes, I know of this page but have not read it yet - could not connect even to Google cash page... So thanks for that!

I still have to read it through. But the first comments are:


Formally USSR did not ask to bomb Dresden.
USSR asked to bomb "junctions" (I guess these are the transport junctions), not the city center.
The infamous air raid was not the first and not the biggest one over Dresden, yet the civilian casualties were the highest.


Did I get it correct so far?

Digger
07-03-2007, 06:12 PM
RS, go forth young man and share some vodka with our Russian friends:D

Dresden was the major transport junction(outside of Berlin)and virtually all rail traffic going to the Eastern Front passed through.

The major rail yard in the suburb of Friedrichstadt is next to the city centre. Immediately south of the city centre were more substantial rail yards and industry in the suburb of Sudvorstadt.

Significantly there were two major rail junctions in the area defined as the city centre, one of these junctions immediately west of the main railway station. There is also a misconception the city centres of German cities were devoid of worthwhile military targets.

Regards digger

Rising Sun*
07-03-2007, 08:18 PM
Yes, I know of this page but have not read it yet - could not connect even to Google cash page... So thanks for that!


Formally USSR did not ask to bomb Dresden.
USSR asked to bomb "junctions" (I guess these are the transport junctions), not the city center.


Did I get it correct so far?

That's my reading of it. Russia wanted transport junctions bombed and the other Allies apparently selected Dresden as one of those points, although the following paper concludes that Russia wanted the "Dresden area" bombed which isn't necessarily the same thing as bombing the city of Dresden.

In case you can't get onto the site (it's very slow even on cache today, but I'm using a different ISP now) I'll post the full thing as it's an interesting analysis that contradicts a lot of the popular myths about the Dresden bombing. Unfortunately the tables don't maintain their format. It'll take a few posts.


HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE 14-15 FEBRUARY 1945
BOMBINGS OF DRESDEN


Prepared by:
USAF Historical Division
Research Studies Institute
Air University

I. INTRODUCTION:

1. The reasons for and the nature and consequences of the bombing of Dresden, Germany, by Allied air forces on 14-15 February 1945 have repeatedly been the subject of official and semi-official inquiries and of rumor and exaggeration by uninformed or inadequately informed persons. Moreover, the Communists have with increasing frequency and by means of distortion and falsification used the February 1945 Allied bombings of Dresden as a basis for disseminating anti-Western and anti-American propaganda. From time to time there appears in letters of inquiry to the United States Air Force evidence that American nationals are themselves being taken in by the Communist propaganda line concerning the February 1945 bombings of Dresden.

2. The purpose of this historical analysis, based in its entirety on existing official documents and on standard reference sources, is to provide a more detailed and definitive account of the reasons for and the nature and consequences of the February 1945 Dresden bombings than has heretofore been available. The narrative portion of this historical analysis sets forth a framework for arriving at definitive answers to such recurring questions concerning the February 1945 bombings of Dresden as the following:

a. Was Dresden a legitimate military target?
b. What strategic objectives, of mutual importance to the Allies and to the Russians, underlay the bombings of Dresden?
c. Did the Russians request that Dresden be bombed by allied air forces?
d. On whose recommendation, whether by an individual or by a committee, and by what authority were Allied air forces ordered to bomb Dresden?
e. Were the Russians officially informed by the Allies concerning the intended date of and the forces to be committed to the bombing of Dresden?
f. With what forces and with what means did the Allied forces bomb Dresden?
g. What were the specific target objectives in the Dresden bombings?
h. What were the immediate and actual consequences of the Dresden bombings on the physical structure and the populace of the city?
i. Were the Dresden bombings in any way a deviation from established bombing policies set forth in official bombing directives?
j. Were the specific forces and means employed in the Dresden bombings similar to or different from the forces and means employed by the Allies in other aerial attacks on comparable targets in Germany?
k. In what specific ways and to what degree did the bombings of Dresden achieve or support the strategic objectives that underlay the attack and were of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians?

3. Each statement of fact in the narrative portion of this analysis is, as indicated in the reference notes, a citation from a standard reference work or is authenticated or amplified in the supporting documents that are attached herewith. These latter comprise an official and definitive case history of the bombings of Dresden.

4. In as much as it is exclusively the 14-15 February 1945 bombings of Dresden that have repeatedly been the subject of inquiry and controversy and the basis of Communist propaganda, the subsequent historical analysis and the attached supporting documents are primarily concerned with and relevant to the February bombings only. Nevertheless, as a matter of record, the following is an authoritative tabulation of all Allied bombings of Dresden: 1



Date
Target Area
Force
Acft
High Explosive bombs on target (tons)
Incediary bombs on target (tons)
Total
7/10/44
Marshalling Yards

8th AF
30
72.5

72.5
16/1/45
Marshalling Yards

8th AF
133
279.8
41.6
321.4
14/2/45
City Area

RAF BC
772
1477.7
1181.6
2659.3
14/2/45
Marshalling Yards

8th AF
316
487.7
294.3
782.0
15/2/45
Marshalling Yards

8th AF
211
465.6

465.6
2/3/45
Marshalling Yards

8th AF
406
940.3
140.5
1080.8
17/4/45
Marshalling Yards

8th AF
572
1526.4
164.5
1690.9
17/4/45
Industrial Area

8th AF
8
28.0

28.0


II. ANALYSIS: Dresden as a Military Target

5. At the outbreak of World War II, Dresden was the seventh largest city in Germany proper.2 With a population of 642,143 in 1939, Dresden was exceeded in size only by Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Leipzig, and Essen, in that order.3 The serial bombardments sustained during World War II by the seven largest cities of Germany are shown in Chart A.

6. Situated 71 miles E.S.E. from Leipzig and 111 miles S. of Berlin, by rail, Dresden was one of the greatest commercial and transportation centers of Germany and the historic capital of the important and populous state of Saxony.4 It was, however, because of its geographical location and topography and as a primary communications center that Dresden assumed major significance as a military target in February 1945, as the Allied ground forces moved eastward and the Russian armies moved westward in the great combined operations designed to entrap and crush the Germans into final defeat.

7. Geographically and topographically, Dresden commanded two great and historic traffic routes of primary military significance: north-south between Germany and Czechoslovakia through the valley and gorge of the Elbe river, and east-west along the foot of the central European uplands.5 The geographical and topographical importance of Dresden as the lower bastion in the vast Allied-Russian war of movement against the Germans in the closing months of the war in Europe.

8. As a primary communications center, Dresden was the junction of three great trunk routes in the German railway system: (1) Berlin-Prague-Vienna, (2) Munich-Breslau, and (3) Hamburg-Leipzig. As a key center in the dense Berlin-Leipzig railway complex, Dresden was connected to both cities by two main lines.6 The density, volume, and importance of the Dresden-Saxony railway system within the German geography and e economy is seen in the facts that in 1939 Saxony was seventh in area among the major German states, ranked seventh in its railway mileage, but ranked third in the total tonnage carried by rail.7

9. In addition to its geographical position and topography and its primary importance as a communications center, Dresden was, in February 1945, known to contain at least 110 factories and industrial enterprises that were legitimate military targets, and were reported to have employed 50,000 workers in arms plants alone.8 Among these were dispersed aircraft components factories; a poison gas factory (Chemische Fabric Goye and Company); an anti-aircraft and field gun factory (Lehman); the great Zeiss Ikon A.G., Germany’s most important optical goods manufactory; and, among others, factories engaged in the production of electrical and X-ray apparatus (Koch and Sterzel A.G.), gears and differentials (Saxoniswerke), and electric gauges (Gebruder Bassler).9

10. Specific military installations in Dresden in February 1945 included barracks and hutted camps and at least one munitions storage depot.10

11. Dresden was protected by antiaircraft defenses , antiaircraft guns and searchlights, in anticipation of Allied air raids against the city.11 The Dresden air defenses were under the Combined Dresden (Corps Area IV) and Berlin (Corps Area III) Luftwaffe Administration Commands.12

Strategic Objectives, of Mutual Importance to the Allies and the Russians:

12. As early as 1943, the Allies and Russians had begun high-level consultations for the conduct of the war against Germany; in essence, for combined operations designed to defeat Germany by Allied bombardment from the air, by Allied ground operations against Germany from the west, and by Russian operations against the Germans from the west, and by Russian operations against the Germans from the East. At the Tehran Conference (28 November-11 December 1943) between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, the grand strategy for these combined operations was outlined and agreed upon by the three powers.13 Details for executing the grand strategy were not considered at the conference, but were to be worked out by the individual forces in keeping with the fortunes and progress of the war.14

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13. In the closing months of 1944, Allied land advances in the west and Russian advances from the east, coupled with the ever-growing devastation from aerial attacks by the Allied heavy bomber forces, made it apparent that early in 1945 Germany proper could be invaded from both fronts and that the Allied strategic air forces would be more and more called upon to give direct support to these vast land operations. In September and October 1944 the Allies and the Russians began the exchange of information on their specific plans for operations designed to bring the war to a close in 1945.15 Simultaneously, the Allies and the Russians laid the general groundwork for closer cooperation and assistance in their forthcoming operations.16

14. On 14 December 1944, the American Ambassador to Russia, Mr. Averill Harriman, personally stated to Marshal Stalin that General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), “was very anxious to operate in concert with the Russians and to help the Russian armies whenever such support might be needed.”17 Ambassador Harriman specifically discussed with Stalin the use of Allied air forces in the Mediterranean in support of Russian land operations in the Balkans.18 While there was no direct mention, in the 14 December conversations between Stalin and Harriman, of the employment of the massive Allied strategic air forces operating from the west, it was to be assumed that these forces would be used to support Russians operations on the Eastern front.

15. On 23 December 1944, President Roosevelt informed Stalin that--given the Marshal’s permission General Eisenhower would be instructed to send a representative to Moscow to “discuss with you the situation in the west and its relation to the Russian front in order that information essential to our efforts may be available to all of us.”19 On 26 December Stalin stated his acceptance of President Roosevelt’s proposal.20 The officer designated to confer with Stalin was Marshal of the RAF, Sir Arthur Tedder, Deputy Supreme Commander, SHAEF, and immediately responsible to the Supreme Commander for all Allied air operations. Among the topics discussed by Stalin and Tedder at their meeting on 15 January 1945 was the employment of the Allied strategic air forces in the forthcoming combined operations. Tedder outlined to Stalin the “application of the Allied air effort with particular reference to strategic bombing of communications as represented by oil targets, railroads and waterways.”21 There was also specific discussion of the problem that would face the Russians if the Germans attempted to shift forces from the west to the east and of the necessity of preventing this possibility.22

16. Therefore, on 25 January 1945, the Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee of the British War Cabinet, which was responsible for preparing such analyses for the Allied air forces, presented to Marshal Tedder, through appropriate channels, a working paper entitled “Strategic Bombing in Relation to the Present Russian Offensive.23 The findings of this authoritative body were as follows:

The degree of success achieved by the present Russian offensive is likely to have a decisive effect on the length of the war. We consider, therefore, that the assistance which might be given to the Russians during the next few weeks by the British and American strategic bomber forces justifies an urgent review of their employment to this end.24
It is probable that the Germans will be compelled to withdraw forces, particularly panzer divisions, from the Western Front to reinforce the East . . . . To what extent air bombardment can delay the move eastwards of these or other divisions destined for the Eastern Front is . . . an operational matter. It is understood that far-reaching results have already been achieved in the West by disruptive effect of Allied air attacks on marshalling yards and communications generally. These have hitherto been aimed at assistance to the Western Front and should now be considered in relation to delaying the transfer of forces eastwards.25

For the next several days these recommendations were carefully studied and evaluated by the appropriate authorities in the Supreme Commander’s staff, particularly among those immediately responsible to him for planning and authorizing air operations. On 31 January, the decision was made by the Deputy Supreme Commander Tedder and his air staff that the second priority for the Allied strategic air forces should be the “attack of BERLIN, LEIPZIG, DRESDEN and associated cities where heavy attack will . . . hamper movement of reinforcements from other fronts.”26 As of 31 January 1945, the Allied decision to establish Dresden as a second priority target, because it was a primary communications center and in support of the Russian armies, was by no means unilateral. The decision was founded on basic and explicit exchanges of information between the Allies and Russia and was clearly a strategic decision of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians.27

The Russian Request for Allied Bombing of Communications in the Dresden Area:

17. The Allied-Russian interchanges that had begun in the closing months of 1944 and had become, with the passing of time, more frequent and more specific, culminated in the ARGONAUT Conferences of January-February 1945. On 4 February, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, together with their foreign secretaries and military advisors, assembled at Yalta to present definitive and specific plans, and requests, for bringing the war against Germany to a victorious conclusion, by the summer of 1945, if possible (Other considerations involved in the ARGONAUT deliberations are not pertinent or relevant here). At this meeting, Marshal Stalin asked Army General Antonov, Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, to outline to the Conference the situation existing on the Eastern Front and to describe Russia’s plans for subsequent operations. At the conclusion of his extended presentation, General Antonov made three specific requests for Allied assistance to the Russians: 27

Our wishes are:
a. To speed up the advance of the Allied troops on the Western Front, for which the present situation is very favorable: (1) To defeat the Germans on the Eastern Front. (2) To defeat the German groupings which have advanced into the Ardennes. (3) The weakening of the German forces in the West in connection with the shifting of their reserves to the East (It is desirable to begin the advance during the first half of February).
b. By air action on communications hinder the enemy from carrying out the shifting of his troops to the East from the Western Front, from Norway, and from Italy (In particular, to paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig).
c. Not permit the enemy to remove his forces from Italy.

18. It was the specific Russian request for bombing communications, coupled with the emphasis on forcing troops to shift from west to east through communications centers, that led to the Allied bombings of Dresden. The structure of the Berlin-Leipzig-Dresden railway complex, as outlined in paragraph 8 above, required that Dresden, as well as Berlin and Leipzig, be bombed. Therefore Allied air authorities concluded that the bombing of Dresden would have to be undertaken (1) in order to implement strategic objectives, of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians, and now agreed upon at the highest levels of governmental authority, and (2) to respond to the specific Russian request presented to the Allies by General Antonov to “paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig.”

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The Recommendation and Authority for the Allied Air Forces’ Bombing of Dresden:

19. On 8 February 1945 SHAEF (Air) informed the RAF Bomber Command and the United States Strategic Air Forces that Dresden was among a number of targets that had been selected for bombing because of their importance in relation to the movements of military forces to the Eastern Front.28 This action, based upon the authoritative recommendation of the Combined Strategic Targets Committee, SHAEF (Air), and in turn based upon the recommendations of the Joint Intelligence Committee (see paragraph 16 above), was in keeping with the procedural structure and authority set up in SHAEF for the conduct of aerial operations by Allied forces.29

20. Allied aerial operations were ultimately the responsibility of the Supreme Commander, General Eisenhower, though normally he delegated the immediate authority for employment of Allied air forces to his Deputy Supreme Commander, Marshal Tedder. The latter, in turn, relied upon the commanders of the RAF Bomber Command and the United States Strategic Air Forces (General Carl Spaatz, Commanding) for the actual conduct of specific strategic aerial operations. The top commanders of the Allied strategic bomber forces were required to conduct all of their operations within the framework of bombing directives laid down to them by the Combined Chiefs of Staff (the British Chiefs of Staff and the American Joint Chiefs of Staff). In February 1945, when SHAEF (Air) directed the bombing of Dresden in immediate support of the Russians and in keeping with strategic objectives of mutual interest to the Allies and the Russians, the strategic objectives of mutual interest o the Allies and the Russians, the strategic bomber forces were operating under the authority of the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) “Directive No. 3 for the Strategic Air Forces in Europe,” dated 12 January 1945.30 The second priority, after bombing of the German petroleum industry for the Allied strategic air forces was, in that directive, listed as the bombing of “German lines of communications.”31 The authority for and the ordering of the bombing of Dresden by Allied strategic air forces and the steps taken to carry out these orders were therefore within the framework of the existing basic CCS Directive No. 3 governing the operations of the Allied strategic air forces in Europe.

Information Officially Given to the Russians by the Allies Concerning the Intended Date of and the Forces to be Committed to the Bombing of Dresden:

21. Although the exact procedures for maintaining day to day liaison between the Russians and the Allies on Allied bombing operations was for a long time the subject of negotiation between the Allies and the Russians, certain procedures for such liaison were nevertheless in effect prior to the Allied bombings of Dresden.32 Therefore, the following actions were taken by Allied authorities to notify the Russians that in accordance with their expressed wishes as to actions and timing, stated at the ARGONAUT Conference on 4 February 1945, Allied strategic air forces would bomb Dresden during the first half of February.33

22. On 7 February 1945, General Spaatz, Commanding General, United States Strategic Air Forces, informed Major General J. R. Deane, Chief of the United States Military Mission, Moscow, that the communications targets for strategic bombing by the Eighth Air Force were, in the order of their priority, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Cheanitz (and others of lesser importance).34 On the same date, General Spaatz also notified General Deane that a 24-hour advance notice of the intention to conduct actual bombing operations against Dresden (and the other targets of mutual concern to the Russians and the Allies) would be forwarded in order that General Deane might so notify the Russians.35 Moscow notified the proper Russian authority that Dresden was among the targets selected for strategic bombing by the American Eighth Air Force.36 On February, General Spaatz informed the United States Military Mission that, weather permitting, the Eighth Air Force intended to attack the Dresden Marshalling Yards with a force of 1200 to 1400 bomber planes on 13 February.37 On 12 February, therefore, the Russians were informed of the Americans’ intention to bomb Dresden.38 Weather conditions did not permit the Eighth Air Force to carry out its attack against Dresden on 13 February.39 Accordingly, on 13 February by similar procedures the Americans informed the Russians, that the Eighth Air Force would attack the Dresden Marshalling Yards on the 14th.40 Subsequently, the Russians were informed by the Americans that Dresden, together with the other high priority communications centers targets, would be subject to attack whenever weather conditions permitted.41

The Forces and Means Employed by the Allies in the Bombing of Dresden:

23. In the Dresden bombing attacks of 14-15 February 1945 the American Eighth Air Force and the RAF Bomber Command together employed a total of 1299 bomber aircraft (527 from the Eighth Air Force, 722 from the RAF Bomber Command) for a total weight, on targets, of 3906.9 tons. Of this tonnage, 1247.6 tons were expanded by the Eighth Air Force, 2659.3 tons by the RAF Bomber Command. The Americans employed 953.3 tons of high explosive bombs and 294.3 tons of incendiary bombs--all aimed at the Dresden Marshalling Yards. The British employed 1477.7 tons of high explosive bombs and 1181.6 tons of incendiary bombs--all aimed against the Dresden city area.42 The American aircraft used H2X (radar) bombing method, with visual assists, and the British used the marker and visual method.43

Specific Target Objectives in the Dresden Area:

24. As related in paragraphs 5-11 above, Dresden became a military target as (1), and of overriding importance, a primary communications center in the Berlin-Leipzig-Dresden railway complex; (2) as an important industrial and manufacturing center directly associated with the production of aircraft components and other military items, including poison gas, anti-aircraft and field guns, and small guns; and (3) as an area containing specific military installations. The night raid by the RAF Bomber Command was intended to devastate the city area itself and thereby choke communications within the city and disrupt the normal civilian life upon which the larger communications activities and the manufacturing enterprises of the city depended. Further, the widespread area raid conducted by the British entailed bombing strikes against the many industrial plants throughout the city which were thus to be construed as specific targets within the larger pattern of the area raid.44 The Eighth Air Force raids, which were by daylight and followed, on the 14th and 15th February, the night raid of the British (13/14 February), were directed against rail activities in the city.45

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The Immediate Consequences of the Dresden Bombings on the Physical Structure and Populace of the City:

25. The RAF Bomber Command’s are raid on Dresden, conducted on the night of 13/14 February 1945, resulted in fires that did great damage to the city proper, particularly in the older and more densely built up areas.46 Early official Allied post-strike reports estimated that 85 per cent of the fully built-up city area was destroyed, that the old part of the city, which comprised the greater portion of the built-up areas was largely wiped out, that the majority of buildings in the inner suburbs was gutted, and that in the outer suburbs, few buildings were effected by the area bombing attack. Virtually all major public buildings appeared heavily gutted or severely damaged. Public utilities, and facilities such as slaughter houses, warehouses, and distribution centers, were severely affected.47 A very large number of the city’s industrial facilities were destroyed or severely damaged,48 with perhaps a four-fifth’s reduction in the productive capacity of the arms plants.49 Later British assessments, which were more conservative, concluded that 23 per cent of the city’s industrial buildings were seriously damaged and that 56 per cent of the non-industrial buildings (exclusive of dwellings) had been heavily damaged. Of the total number of dwelling units in the city proper, 78,000 were regarded as demolished, 27,70 temporarily uninhabitable but ultimately repairable, and 64,500 readily repairable from minor damage. This later assessment indicated that 80 per cent of the city’s housing units had undergone some degree of damage and that 50 per cent of the dwellings had been demolished or seriously damaged.50

26. The Eighth Air Force raids against the city’s railway facilities on 14 and 15 February resulted in severe and extensive damage that entirely paralyzed communications. The city’s passenger terminals and major freight stations, warehouses, and storage sheds were, when not totally destroyed, so severely damaged that they were unusable. Roundhouses, railway repair and work shops, coal stations, and other operating facilities, were destroyed, gutted, or severely damaged. The railway bridges over the Elbe river--vital to incoming and outgoing traffic--were rendered unusable and remained closed to traffic for many weeks after the raids.51

27. Casualties among the Dresden populace were inevitably very heavy in consequence of the fires that swept over the city following the RAF area raid on the night of 13/14 February. In addition to its normal population, the city had experienced a heavy influx of refugees from the east and of evacuees from bombings in other areas, particularly from Berlin.52 The exact number of casualties from the Dresden bombings can never be firmly established.53 Contemporary British estimates were that from 8,200 to 16,400 persons were killed and that similar numbers of persons may have been seriously injured.54 Most of the latest German post-war estimates are that about 25,000 persons were killed and about 30,000 were wounded, virtually all of these being casualties from the RAF incendiary attack of 13/14 February.55 Although the latest available post-war accounts play up the “terroristic” aspects of the Dresden bombings, it is significant that they accept much lower casualty figures than those circulated by the Germans immediately after the raids and, from time to time, in the years immediately following the war.56 The most distorted account of the Dresden bombings--one that may have become the basis of Communist propaganda against the Allies, particularly against the Americans, in recent years--was prepared by two former German general officers for the Historical Division, European Command (U.S.A.) in 1948.57 In this account, the number of dead from the Dresden bombings was declared to be 250,000. That this figure may be the probable number of dead, multiplied by ten for the sake of exaggeration, becomes apparent by comparing the weight of the Dresden bombings of 14-15 February 1945 with the total tonnages expanded by the Allies against the six other largest German cities (see Chart A) and by comparing the various estimates of the Dresden casualties with the best estimate of the total casualties suffered by the Germans from all Allied bombings during World War II.

28. Shown in the following chart are the total tonnages of bombs that were expanded by the Allies against the six cities in Germany that were larger in population than Dresden:



City Population in 1939
Total Bomb Tonnages

Berlin
4,339,000
67,607.6

Hamberg
1,129,000
38,687.6

Munich
841,000
27,110.9

Cologne
772,000
44,923.2

Leipzig
707,000
11,616.4

Essen
667,000
37,938.0

Dresden
642,000
7,100.5



The United States Strategic Bombing Survey estimated that 305,000 persons were killed and 780,000 were wounded as the consequence of all Allied bombings against Germany in World War II,58 from a total Allied bomb expenditure of 3,697,473.59 It may therefore be presumed that the estimates of 25,000 dead and 30,000 wounded, as presented in most of the latest available German estimates of the Dresden bombings, are reasonable and acceptable.

29. Despite the lack of accurate statistics on the number of killed and wounded in the Dresden raid, as well as in other Allied bombings of German cities, it would appear from such estimates as are available that the casualties suffered in the Dresden bombings were not disproportionate to those suffered in area attacks on other German cities. The reports of the United States Bombing Survey give specific estimates of the dead for only four of the German cities which were subject to fire raids during area attacks.60 Assuming that there may probably have been about 1,000,000 people in Dresden on the night the 13/14 February RAF attack,61 these are the comparative death rates in Dresden and the four cities for which the United States Strategic Bombing Survey has given estimates of moralities from incendiary area attacks:62


City
Population
Killed
Percentage rate

Darmstadt
109,000
8,100
.075

Kassel
220,000
8,659
.039

Dresden
1,000,000
25,000
.025

Hamberg
1,738,000
41,800
.024

Wuppertal
400,000
5,219
.013

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The Dresden Bombings Within the Framework of Established Policies Set Forth in Official Bombing Directives:

30. The original Combined Chiefs of Staff Directive governing employment of the British and American strategic air forces established the authoritative principle that the primary effort of the RAF Bomber Command should be the mass destruction of important German industrial areas and population centers by night area bombing and that the primary effort of the American Eighth Air Force should be daylight precision bombing of key installations within the larger industrial and population centers attacked by the RAF Bomber Command.63 (Area raids are defined and described in Section J, below). This joint and complementary effort of the British and American strategic air forces was authorized by the Combined Chiefs of Staff in order to accomplish “the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened.”64 Approved in principle by the Combined Chiefs of Staff on 21 January 1943,65 and specifically inaugurated on 10 June 1943,66 the combined British and American strategic bomber offensive against Germany continued with ever-mounting power until 16 April 1945, when all strategic/air operations against Germany ceased.67 As the war progressed, there were certain alterations in the operational control of the Allied strategic air forces and in the order of priorities assigned to target systems and objectives. (See paragraphs 19-20 above.) By and large, however, there was no alteration in the fundamental principle that American strategic air forces in Europe would engage only in daylight precision raids against specific installations and that night area raids would be conducted by the British. Aside from technological differences in aircraft and equipment that justified the differences in American and British bombing methods, American authorities were, throughout the war in Europe, opposed to the use of American forces in area or “morals” bombings.68

31. Falling within the established pattern of combined British and American strategic air operations against Germany, the 14-15 February bombings of Dresden , particularly the RAF night area raid, were a shattering and devastating blow to the physical structure, the economy, and the life of the city. The achievement of such a blow was necessarily the purpose of the Allied bombings, in consequence of the fact that Dresden, like other great German cities, was a legitimate military target, and vulnerable to Allied air power. It is, however, understandable that the surviving Dresden populace should have regarded the bombings as even more devastating and death-dealing than they actually were,69 and that the bombings were seized upon by the German authorities as a means of conducting psychological warfare against the Allies in the closing months of the war. The distorted and highly exaggerated accounts of the admittedly grim casualties suffered in Dresden issued by German propaganda agencies immediately following the bombings,70 coupled with an inadvertent and misinformed Allied news release concerning the Dresden and other simultaneous bombings, let to an investigation by Headquarters, Army Air Forces, of the purpose and character of the current American strategic bombing operations in Europe.

32. At a meeting with Allied press correspondents on 16 February 1945 a member of the SHAEF public relations staff released inaccurate and misleading statements concerning the current Allied bombing operations against German cities, primarily against communications centers, among which Dresden was obviously included.71 American press accounts of the remarks made to newsmen at SHAEF implied that the American and British bombing forces had begun a deliberate campaign of indiscriminate terror bombing” against German cities, thereby deviating from long-established policies concerning the employment of Allied strategic air power.72 Confirmed with the sensational American news stories and the German propaganda “plants” in the foreign press, Headquarters, Army Air Forces, in Washington, at once demanded from American air authorities in Europe a full explanation of the basis of the lurid press accounts and insisted that American bombing forces must not deviate from official bombing policy, either as to objectives and priorities or as to bombing methods.73

33. Headquarters, United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe, strongly emphasized the following six points in the replies that were immediately dispatched to Washington: (1) it had always been the policy of the American forces that civilian targets were not suitable military objectives; (2) there had been no change in the American policy of precision bombing of military objectives; (3) attacks against German communications were listed as the second priority objective in the Combined Chiefs of Staff “Directive No. 3 for the Strategic Air Forces in Europe (see paragraph 20 above): (4) the power of the Russian advance was regarded ads the greatest strategic factor in the war at that time and should be, as the situation dictated, supported; (5) Dresden, and other key communications centers, had been attacked as targets important to the Eastern Front; (6) the attacks on Dresden and other communications centers were appreciated by the Russians.74 This information satisfied Headquarters, AAF that all open questions concerning the current operations of the American strategic air forces in Europe had been satisfactorily resolved and that the American forces in Europe had been satisfactorily resolved and that the American forces were operating in strict conformity with established bombing policies.75

34. A few weeks later, the issue of the Dresden bombings was reviewed by the Secretary of War. On 6 March 1945, the Secretary was informed by General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, that Dresden had been bombed on 14-15 February because it was a communications center of great importance, through which reinforcements passed to reach the Russian front, and because the city was closely related to German potentialities for launching a counterattack against the southern wing of the Russian offensive, and that standard bombing methods had been used in the Allied air attacks against Dresden.76 With General Marshall’s statement to the Secretary of War, the issue of the Dresden bombings within the framework of established bombing policies was considered closed.77

The Specific Forces and Means Employed in the Dresden Bombings in Relation to the Forces and Means Employed by the Allies in Other Aerial Attacks on Comparable Targets in Germany:

35. The Allied bombings of Dresden on 14-15 February 1945 were an example of the standard pattern of RAF night area bombing, followed by Eighth Air Force daylight precision attacks against specific installations in the general area--in this instance, attacks against the Dresden Marshalling Yards. A comparative analysis of the forces and means employed by the respective strategic air forces requires, first, a definition and description of area bombing operations.

36. As defined by the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, area attacks were raids “intentionally directed against a city area by more than 100 bombers with a bomb weight in excess of 100 tons, which destroyed more than 2 per cent of the residential buildings in the city attacked.”78 Area raids had four principal characteristics: they were generally made at night; they were made against large cities; they were designed to spread destruction over a wide area rather than to knock out any specific factory or installations; and they were intended primarily to destroy morals, particularly the morals of industrial workers.79 During World War II, Allied air forces--primarily the RAF--dropped more than half a million tons of bombs in area raids on 61 German cities with populations of more than 100,000.80 The Strategic Bombing Survey estimated that the area raids against these 62 German cities totally destroyed or severely damaged 3,600,000 residential units (some 20 per cent of all the dwelling units in Germany) and that the raids killed about 300,000 people, injured some 760,000 and rendered 7,500,000 persons homeless.81 Against at least 40 of the largest cities in Germany, the RAF conducted fire raids as a specific means of area bombing, and it conducted raids on at least eight other cities that were not among the 62 with populations of more than 100,000.82 Moreover, against certain of the largest cities in Germany the RAF conducted more than one fire raid; for example, at least six against Berlin, at least five each against Hamburg, Munich, and Essen, and at least two against Cologne.83

37. The forces and means employed by the RAF in the area bombing of Dresden were significantly, but not unduly large: 722 heavy bombers dropped 1477.7 tons of high explosives and 1181.6 tons of incendiaries, a total weight of 2659.3 tons.84 In its sustained area raids on Hamburg in 1943, the RAF had used comparable numbers of aircraft in single raids; for example, 740 heavy bombers on 24/25 July, 739 on 28/29 July, and 726 on 29/30 July.85 In other area raids, the British had dispatched such tonnages as 11,773 tons of high explosive and 4,106 tons of incendiaries against Cologne on 9 October 1944, 4,368 tons of high explosives and 3,846 tons of incendiaries against Hamburg on 7 August 1943, and 3,476 tons of high explosives and 3,814 tons of incendiaries against Frankfurt-am-Main on 24 March 1944.86

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38. In its 14 February daylight precision attacks on the Dresden Marshalling Yards, the Eighth Air Force employed 316 heavy bombers on the 14th for a tonnage of 487.7 tons of high explosives and 294.3 tons of incendiaries, a combined tonnage of 782 tons, and in its attacks on 15 February it employed 211 heavy bombers and 465.6 tons of high explosives (no incendiaries)--a total of 527 bombers and 1247.6 tons in the two days operations.87 In an attack on railway stations in Berlin on 26 February 1945 the Eighth Air Force employed 1089 heavy bombers for a total tonnage of 2778 tons, and in an attack on the Nurnberg Marshalling Yards on 21 February 1945 the Eighth employed 1198 heavy bombers for a total tonnage of 2868.8 tons.88 Analysis of the Eighth Air Force’s operational missions indicates, in fact, that the goals of the attacks on the Dresden Marshalling Yards was relatively small as compared with many sources of precision attacks in which it employed larger forces and means.89

The Specific Ways and the Degrees to Which the Dresden Bombings Achieved or Supported the Strategic Objectives that Underlay the Attack and wars of Mutual Importance to the Allies and the Russians:

39. The Allied bombings of Dresden on 14-15 February 1945 were one of many major air actions undertaken to bring about the defeat of Germany by a combination of Allied air operations, of Allied ground operations against Germany from the west, and Russian operations against Germany from the east. No single action, whether by land, sea, or air, could of itself bring about the defeat of Germany. Each specific action, through whatever medium or by whatever force, was--if successful--an action that contributed to ultimate victory. The Allied bombings of Dresden were by no means either the largest or the most important air actions that were specific contributions to the defeat of Germany. Nevertheless, the bombing of Dresden was by its design and the degree of success achieved a highly significant air action.

40. The major significance of the Dresden bombings lay in the fact that they were among several immediate and highly successful air actions made in response to the specific Russian request, given by General Antonov at the ARGONAUT Conference, less than two weeks earlier, for Allied air support of the Russian offensive on the Eastern Front. Had the German communications centers leading to that front--among which Dresden was uniquely important--not been successfully attacked by Allied strategic air forces, there can be little doubt that the course of the European war might have been considerably prolonged.90 At the time of the Dresden bombings, Marshal Koniev’s armies were less than seventy miles east of Dresden and by virtue of their extended positions highly vulnerable to German counterattack, provided the Germans could pass reinforcements through Dresden.91 With communications through Dresden made impossible as a consequence of the Allied bombings, the Russian salient in that area was rendered safe throughout the ensuing months of the war.92

41. Of secondary significance, but by no means negligible, was the destruction or disruption of Dresden’s manufacturing activities, particularly of military goods, and the further reduction of Germany’s critically short railway rolling stock and operating facilities. Again, the death and destruction inflicted on the largest German city that had not before undergone large--scale bombing was almost certainly a major contribution to the final weakening of the will of the German people to resist. While the Americans, happily, cannot and would not claim credit for this aspect of the Dresden bombings, the fact remains that the RAF area raid on the city was the last of the instances during World War II in Europe when the shock effects of area bombing resulted in nearly total demoralization of a great enemy city.93

42. The ultimate significance of the Dresden bombings in terms of the strategic objectives that underlay the attack and were of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians is evident in statements bearing on the last phase of operations that were designed to bring about the final defeat of Germany. On 28 March 1945, in a personal message to Marshal Stalin, General Eisenhower, outlined his plans for total defeat of the German ground forces in the west and stated that his final task would be to divide the enemy’s forces “by joining hands with your forces.”94 The best axis on which to effect the junction of forces, General Eisenhower stated, would be a line through Erfurt-Leipzig-Dresden.95 On 1 April Marshal Stalin replied to General Eisenhower: “Your plan of dividing the German forces by means of the union of Soviet armies with your armies completely falls in with the plan of the Soviet High Command. I also agree that the place of the junction of your and the Soviet Armies should be in the area of Erfurt-Leipzig-Dresden.”96 Less than four weeks later, on 27 April, American and Russian forces joined at Torgau, on the Elbe river near Leipzig, and Hitler’s Germany had been cut in two.97 Eleven days later, on V-E Day (8 May 1945), in the final military action in the war against Germany, Marshal Koniev’s armies entered and captured Dresden. The war in Europe was over.98

III. CONCLUSION

The foregoing historical analysis establishes the following definitive answers to the recurring questions concerning the February 1945 bombings of Dresden by Allied strategic air forces: a. Dresden was a legitimate military target. b. Strategic objectives, of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians, underlay the bombings of Dresden. c. The Russians requested that the Dresden area be bombed by Allied air forces. d. The Supreme Allied Commander, his Deputy Supreme Commander, and the key British and American operational air authorities recommended and ordered the bombing of Dresden. e. The Russians were officially informed by the Allies concerning the intended date of and the forces to be committed to the bombing of Dresden. f. The RAF Bomber Command employed 772 heavy bombers, 1477.7 tons of high explosive and 1181.6 tons of incendiary bombs, and American Eighth Air Force employed a total of 527 heavy bombers, 953.3 tons of high explosive and 294.3 tons of incendiary bombs, in the 14-15 February bombings of Dresden. g. The specific target objectives in the Dresden bombings were, for the RAF Bomber Command, the Dresden city area, including industrial plants, communications, military installations, and for the American Eighth Air Force, the Dresden Marshalling Yards and railway facilities. h. The immediate and actual consequences of the Dresden bombings were destruction or severe damage to at least 23 per cent of the city’s industrial buildings; severe damage to at least 56 per cent of the city’s non-industrial buildings (exclusive of dwellings); destruction or severe damage to at least 50 percent of the residential units in the city’s non-industrial buildings (exclusive of dwellings); destruction or severe damage to at least 50 percent of the residential units in the city, and at least some damage to 80 per cent of the city’s dwellings; the total disruption of the city as a major communications center, in consequence of destruction and damage inflicted on its railway facilities; and death to probably 25,000 persons and serious injury to probably 30,000 others, virtually all of these casualties being the result of the RAF area raid. i. The Dresden bombings were in no way a deviation from established bombing policies set forth in official bombing directives. j. The specific forces and means employed in the Dresden bombings were in keeping with the forces and means employed by the Allies in other aerial attacks on comparable targets in Germany. k. The Dresden bombings achieved the strategic objectives that underlay the attack and were of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians.


Allied Aerial Bombardments of the Seven Largest German Cities99
Chart A


City
Population in 1939

American Tonnage British Tonnage
Total Tonnage

Berlin
4,339,000
22,090.3
45,517
67,607.3

Hamburg
1,129,000
17,104.6
22,583
39,687.6

Munich
841,000
11,471.4
7,858
27,110.9

Cologne
772,000
10,211.2
34,712
44,923.2

Leipzig
707,000
5,410.4
6,206
11,616.4

Essen
667,000
1,518.0
36,420
37,938.0

Dresden
642,000
4,441.2
2,659.3
7,100.5

Rising Sun*
07-03-2007, 08:27 PM
continued

NOTES:

1. Statistics on 8th Air Force bombing from Eighth Air Force Target Summary, Period 17 August 1942 thru 8 May 1945, p. 20. Supporting Document No. 1, Statistics on RAF Bomber Command bombing from Allied Air Attacks Against Targets in Dresden, Headquarters, United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe, Office of the Commanding General, p 1. Supporting Document No. 2.

2. Census of 17 May 1939 as reported in The Statesman’s Year Book, London, 1945, p. 960. Within Greater Germany, which after 1938 included Austria, Dresden ranked eight in size.

3. Statistisches Handbuch von Duetschland: 1928-1944 (Statistical Handbuch of Germany, 1928-1944), Munich, 1949, p. 19

4. Encyclopedia Brittanica, Chicago, 1948, Vol. IV, p. 646

5. Chambers Encyclopedia, New York, 1950, Vol. IV, p. 636.

6. Chambers Encyclopedia, New York, 1950, Vol. IV, p. 636.

7. Statistisches Handbuch von Deutschland: 1928-1944, Munich, 1949, p. 8 (for land area), p. 343 (for railway mileage, and p. 353 (for railway tonnage).

8. Dresden, Germany, City Area, Economic Reports, Vol. No. 2, Headquarters U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, 10 July 1945; and OSS London, No. B-1799/4, 3 March 1945, in same item.

9. Interpretation Report No. K. 4171, Dresden, 22 March 19145, Supporting Document No. 3.

10. Interpretation Report No. K. 4171, Dresden, 22 March 1945, Supporting Document No. 3.

11. OSS London, T-3472, Germany: Air/Political, Conditions in Dresden, 6 April 1945, in same source as footnote 8.

12. MS NO. P-050, Historical Division, European Command

13. United States Army in World War II: The European Theatre of Operations: Cross-Channel Attack, Washington, D. C., 1951, pp. 121-126. (This volume is by G. A. Harrison.)

14. Ibid.

15. OCTAGON Summary, Office No. 691, United States Military Mission Moscow, 16 September 1944; Memorandum of Conversation, Marshal I. Y. Stalin, Prime Minister Churchill, Ambassador Harriman, Moscow, 14 October 1944.

16. Ibid.

17. Memorandum, Conversation between the American Ambassador, Mr. Harriman, and Marshal I. V. Stalin, 14 December 1944. Supporting Document No. 4

18. Ibid.

19. Message, SHAEF 1659 WARX-82070, 25 December 1944. Supporting Document No. 5.

20. Message, WARX-82144 SHAEF, 26 December 1944. Supporting Document No. 6.

21. Memorandum of Conference with Marshal Stalin, 15 January 1945. Supporting Document No. 7.

22. Same item and Message 22378, U.S. Military Mission Moscow, 16 January 1945. Supporting Document No. 8.

23. J.I.C. (45) 31 (O) (Revised Final), 25 January 1945. Supporting Document No. 9.

24. Ibid.

25. Ibid.

26. Message, SHAEF SCM OUT 4025 1274A, 31 January 1945 . Supporting Document No. 11.

27. ARGONAUT Conference Minutes of the Plenary Meeting between the U.S.A., Great Britain, and the U.S.S.R., held in Livadia Palace, Yalta, on Sunday, 4 February 1945, at 1700. Supporting Document No. 12.

28. Message, Air Ministry NSW 207, Serial No. 7/9, 8 February 1945. Supporting Document No. 13.

29. Message, SHAEF SCM IM 5157, 14 January 1945. Supporting Document No. 14.

30. Supporting Document No. 15.

31. Ibid.

32. Message, ARGONAUT-OUT-43, 061739Z, 6 February 1945, Supporting Document No. 16; Message HQ USTAAF UA-53861, 7 February 1945, Supporting Document No. 17; letter, Maj. Gen. S. P. Spalding, Acting Chief, U.S. Military Mission (Moscow), to Maj. Gen. N. V. Slavin, Assistant Chief of Staff of Red Army, 8 February 1945, Supporting Document No. 18; Message, ARGONAUT 122, 10 February 1945, Supporting Document No. 19; letter, Spalding to Slavin, 10 February 1945 , Supporting Document No. 20; Message, HQ HAAF MI-45899, 11 February 1945, Supporting Document No. 21.

33. Supporting Document No. 12

34. Message, USTAAF UA-53861, 7 February 1945. Supporting Document No. 22. It must be presumed that the Commander-in-Chief, RAF Bomber Command, forwarded a similar message to the British Military Mission, Moscow, although the documentary sources that would verify this fact are not available at the present time to the USAF.

35. Ibid.

36. Letter, Maj. Gen. S. P. Spalding, Acting Chief, U.S. Military Mission, Moscow, to Maj. Gen. N. V. Slavin, Assistant Chief of Staff of Red Army, 8 February 1945. Supporting Document No. 23.

37. Message, HQ USTAFF US-642102, 12 February 1945. Supporting Document No. 24.

38. Letter, Maj. Gen. E. W. Hill, Chief, Air Division, U.S. Military Mission, Moscow, to Maj. Gen. N. V. Slavin, Assistant Chief of Staff of Red Army, 12 February 1945. Supporting Document No. 25. Again, it must be presumed that similar information was conveyed to the Russians by the British, through the British Military Mission, indicating that the RAF Bomber Command was preparing to strike Dresden.

39. Message, Eighth Air Force D-63497, 13 February 1945. Supporting Document No. 26.

40. Message, Eighth Air Force D-0010, 13 February 1945, Supporting Document No. 27; Letter, Lt. Col. D. V. Anderson, Executive Officer, Air Division, U.S. Military Mission, Moscow, to Maj. Gen. N. V. Slavin, Assistant Chief of Staff of Red Army, 13 February 1945, Supporting Document No. 28.

41. Message, HQ USTAFF UAX-64452, 18 February 1945. Supporting Document No. 29.

42. All figures in this paragraph taken from Eighth Air Force Target Summary, Period 17 August 1942 thru 8 May 1945, p. 20, and Allied Air Attacks Against Targets in Dresden. Headquarters, United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe, p.1. Supporting Documents Nos. 1 and 2.

43. Ibid.

44. See Supporting Document No. 3 and footnote 8.

45. See Supporting Documents Nos. 1 and 3.

46. RAF incendiary raids on 32 German cities (exclusive of Dresden) with populations over 100,000 are described and analyzed in Fire Raids on German Cities. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division, 1947. Especially pertinent sections of this document are reproduced in Supporting Documents Nos. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35.

47. Supporting Document No. 3.

48. Ibid.

49. OSS London, T-3472, Germany: Air/Political, Conditions in Dresden, 6 April 1945. Endnotes 8 and 11.

50. Air Ministry, RE. 8. Area Attack Assessment: Dresden, undated (filed 30 October 1945). Supporting Document No. 35.

51. Supporting Document No. 3.

52. Contemporary estimates of one number of refugees and evacuees in Dresden in February 1945 ranged from several hundred thousand into several millions. See Supporting Document No. 2 (second enclosure thereto) and extract from Keesing’s Contemporary Archives, 1943-1946, p. 7054, in Supporting Document No. 36.

53. Supporting Document No. 34.

54. Air Ministry RE. 8, Area Attack: Dresden. Supporting Document No. 35.

55. Supporting documents Nos. 37 and 38.

56. Supporting Document No. 2 (second enclosure thereto) for examples of the propaganda releases issued by the Germans immediately following the bombings.

57. MS No. P-050, Historical Division, European Command

58. Overall Report (European War), United States Strategic Bombing Survey, 30 September 1945, p. 95

59. Ibid.

Rising Sun*
07-03-2007, 08:27 PM
final

60. Fire Raids on German Cities, United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division, January 1945. Supporting Document No. 34.

61. Contemporary estimates of one number of refugees and evacuees in Dresden in February 1945 ranged from several hundred thousand into several millions. Supporting Document No. 2 and extract from Keesing’s Contemporary Archives, 1943-1946, p. 7054, in Supporting Document No. 36.

62. The Report of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, used as the basis for this comparison does not list the number of injured in the fire raids cited.

63. CCS 166/1/D, 21 January 1943.

64. Ibid.

65. Ibid.

66. Report of Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker on USAAF Activities in the UK Covering Period from February 20, 1942 to 31 December 1943.

67. USTAFF Message 161551B, 16 April 1945.

68. A basic statement of the American objectives to participating in area and morale bombing in Europe is contained in the remarks of General H. H. Arnold and Admiral William D. Leahy in the minutes of Joint Chiefs of Staff, 176th Meeting, 14 September 1944.

69. On 14 February, following the RAF area bombing of the city, Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the German SS, sent this message to the head of the SS in Dresden: “The attacks were obviously severe, yet every first air raid gives the impression that the town has been completely destroyed.” Supporting Document No. 2

70. Same item, and Supporting Document No. 27

71. War Department Message CM-IN-18753, 19 February 1945.

72. War Department Message CM-IN-39730, 18 February 1945. Support Document No. 39.

73. War Department Message CM-OUT-39222, 17 February 1945. Support Document No. 40.

74. War Department Message CM-IN-18652 and 18745 , 18 and 19 February 1945. Supporting Documents Nos. 41 and 42.

75. War Department Message CM-OUT-39954, 19 February 1945. See Supporting Document No. 43.

76. Memorandum for the Secretary of War, by G. C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, 6 March 1945. Supporting Document No. 44.

77. Official files for 1945 do not contain further significant reference to the Dresden bombings of 14-15 February 1945.

78. Over-all Report (European War), United States Strategic Bombing Survey, p. 72.

79. Over-all Report (European War), United States Strategic Bombing Survey, p. 71.

80. Over-all Report (European War), United States Strategic Bombing Survey, p. 72.

81. Ibid.

82. Fire Raids on German Cities, United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Table No. 2.

83. Fire Raids on German Cities, United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Tables Nos. 4 and 5.

84. See paragraph 23, above.

85. A Detailed Study of the Effects of Area Bombing on Hamburg, United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Area Studies Division, January 1947.

86. Fire Raids on German Cities, United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Table No. 5.

87. See paragraph 23, above.

88. Eighth Air Force Target Summary, Period 17 August 1942 thru 8 May 1945.

89. Ibid.

90. Memorandum for the Secretary of War, by G. C. Marshall, 6 March 1945, Supporting Document No. 44

91. See Map No. II.

92. See Maps III-V.

93. Over-All (European), United States Strategic Bombing Survey, p. 74.

94. SHAEF Message 18264, 28 March 1945. Supporting Document No. 45.

95. Ibid.

96. Telegram from Marshal I. Stalin to General Eisenhower, 1 April 1945. Supporting Document No. 46.

97. David Marley, The Daily Telegraph Story of the War: January 1st-September 9th, 1945, London, 1946, p. 142.

98. Facts on File Yearbook 1945, New York, 1945, p. 142.

99. For American bomb tonnages, Eight Air Force Target Summary, Period 17 August 1942 thru 8 May 1945, and Fifteenth Air Force Daily Bombing Operations by Target; for Britian tonnages, War

Egorka
07-04-2007, 03:01 AM
RS, go forth young man and share some vodka with our Russian friends:D

Dresden was the major transport junction(outside of Berlin)and virtually all rail traffic going to the Eastern Front passed through.

The major rail yard in the suburb of Friedrichstadt is next to the city centre. Immediately south of the city centre were more substantial rail yards and industry in the suburb of Sudvorstadt.

Significantly there were two major rail junctions in the area defined as the city centre, one of these junctions immediately west of the main railway station. There is also a misconception the city centres of German cities were devoid of worthwhile military targets.

Regards digger

Erhhh... is this what you mean?

And yet once again: the revisionist idea that Stalin asked Chirchil to attack civilians in Dresden is fata morgana!

http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/mappinghist/dresden-lg.jpg

http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/mappinghist/zone-lg.jpg

Digger
07-04-2007, 03:30 AM
Errr, what do you mean mate?:shock:

Regards digger

Egorka
07-04-2007, 06:26 AM
Errr, what do you mean mate?:shock:

Regards digger

You explaned about the location of the transport junctions in Dresden.
And I presented to all of us here the maps of the Dresden city areas developed by the British in 1943. This is for all us to see how the transport, industry and civilian housing areas were placed.

Interesting, is not it?

Digger
07-04-2007, 09:53 AM
As a map, it is interesting.

Regards digger

Rising Sun*
07-04-2007, 09:56 AM
As a map, it is interesting.

Regards digger

It would be more interesting if I could read the legend on it.

Digger
07-04-2007, 10:14 AM
The point I was making. It's not much use without a readable legend.

Regards digger

Egorka
07-04-2007, 06:20 PM
The point I was making. It's not much use without a readable legend.

Regards digger

There is more info here: http://www.bl.uk/learning/artimages/mappingminds/war/guideextract/guidetozonemaps1943.html

The areas are color coded: blue - industry; black - railroad structures; red - different density housing areas.

Chevan
07-05-2007, 01:10 AM
It has been mentioned in here by someone that it was Russians that asked for the bombing of Dresden. So the claim is that the British just did what Russians asked them to do.

Does anyone have an info (with references to the sources) about what exactly did Russians ask for?
Common! Lets get some life into our forum! Some fresh going fight of ideas! ;)
http://www.gorod.lv/novosti/28534/sekretnyie_protokolyi_bombit_drezden_ne_prosili
Here is the some of interesting material about "Who did ask to bomb the Dresden":)


THE USSR never requested Anglo-American allies during World War II to bomb Dresden.
About this testify the declassified protocols of the meeting of the past 4-11 February of 1945 Yalta conference, demonstrated in the documentary film "Dresden. Chronicle of tragedy ".
The film, taken by director Aleksey Denisov, was shown on Monday in the evening by television channel "Russia". He tells about the bombardment, by which underwent Dresden from the side of British and American Air Force 13 and on 14 February, 1945, reports RIA . Then on the whole of 1400 aircraft dropped to the city 650 thousand incendiary bombs hundreds of bombs with a weight of from two to four tons, as a result of which perished tens of thousands people. Each yr, 13 February on entire East and central Germany into 22:10 into the memory about the victims of Dresden church bells rang. Chime continued 20 minutes - exactly so many, the first attack on the city how much lasted.
"to the vexation of American authorities this tradition was extended also in West Germany. Attempting to stop similar actions, on 11 February, 1953, U.S. State Department declared, that the bombardment of Dresden allegedly was undertaken in response to the persistent requests of Soviet side in the course of Yalta conference. It is interesting that these assertions began to again appear in the newest European films about the Dresden tragedy ", notes the author and the director of film.
Today, according to him, it is possible to already documentary refute this myth of the times of the "Cold War". Denisov it demonstrated minutes of the meeting of the Yalta conference, which no one saw to the present day and which were declassified specially for the film.
"precisely at these sessions were discussed questions of the coordination of actions of allies in the final stage of war. Dresden city is mentioned only one time - and that in connection with drawing of the boundary between the Anglo-American and Soviet troops, it emphasizes Denisov. - A about which actually here requested Soviet command, so this about inflicting of impacts on the railroad junctions of Berlin and Leipzig in connection with the fact that the Germans already moved against us from western front on the order of 20 divisions and were collected to move about 30 more. Specifically, this request was entrusted in the written form to Roosevelt and to Churchill
The precise number of victims of bombing cannot be determined, until now. In THE USA and Great Britain speaks about 35 thousand those be killeden; however, the majority of historians considers that not less than 135 thousand people perished. As a result of airstrike in essence residential sections and monuments of architecture were destroyed. The at the same time largest sorting stations of Dresden were barely obtained damages. The main railroad bridge through Elba and large military airfield in the environments of city proved to be untouched. Because of this the regular movement of the trains through Dresden for the troop movement to the eastern front was restored by the Germans in all in the twenty-four hours.
In the film the opinions of the number of the historians, who connect the bombardment of the Dresden with the desire of western allies to demonstrate their power of the advancing Red Army, are given - troops of marshal Konev was situated up to that moment only in 100 kilometers from Dresden. "there is an evidence of the fact that the Anglo-American allies planned this military action to conduct to the beginning of Yalta conference or during it. Then becomes clear, that this, obviously, some means of possible pressure in the Soviet Union in order to somehow attempt to change the position of the Stalin", says historian Vladimir Shum.
As the author of film notes, "the tendency of British command to attain the fastest end of war with the aid of the total destruction of German it is municipal with the citizen it did not lead to the desired result". The purpose to demoralize German population and to force to capitulate not was achieved it.
.
So as we could to see the myth about "soviet request to bomb the Dresden" has appeared from the US department right after the Korean War when the Soviet firstly fight with americans.
Unfortinatelly i have not seen this film yet.
Cheers.

Chevan
07-05-2007, 01:30 AM
...It was the specific Russian request for bombing communications, coupled with the emphasis on forcing troops to shift from west to east through communications centers, that led to the Allied bombings of Dresden. The structure of the Berlin-Leipzig-Dresden railway complex, as outlined in paragraph 8 above, required that Dresden, as well as Berlin and Leipzig, be bombed. Therefore Allied air authorities concluded that the bombing of Dresden would have to be undertaken (1) in order to implement strategic objectives, of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians, and now agreed upon at the highest levels of governmental authority, and (2) to respond to the specific Russian request presented to the Allies by General Antonov to “paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig.”
So gues as it absolutly right noticed the RS the ALLIES themself decided to bomb the Dresden.;)
But that is strange .... the OFFICIAL targed of bombing raid - the realway complex was practically untouched.Thus this bombing raid has no relation to the Soviet request for the bombing of Germans realway complex of Berlin-Leipzig indeed.
This makes us to arise the next question - what was the REAL aim of bombing?
According Harris strategy - the centre of city ( i.e. population together with refugees).
I heared if the 8 USAAF at least try to bomb the realway station - to the contrast the RAF bombed only and mainly the centre of city.
Certainly the carpet bombing method is far from the precision - but in this way for what were spend the millions of dollars, the handreds of toons of bombs and the thousands of hours of working time - rather for the henocide of the german population then for the real military nesserity?

Chevan
07-05-2007, 01:45 AM
You explaned about the location of the transport junctions in Dresden.
And I presented to all of us here the maps of the Dresden city areas developed by the British in 1943. This is for all us to see how the transport, industry and civilian housing areas were placed.

Interesting, is not it?

I think it should be good to compare the both maps of the bombing areas and the map that you presented.
How do youthing what percent of the REAL military objects of Dresden lied in the bombing zone?

Chevan
07-05-2007, 02:06 AM
One more aspect gentlements.
I know for the sure that during the last phase of the WW2 Stalin demand for the soviet hight command to save as much as it was possible the GErmans idustrial areas and objects ( that will be in the soviet zone of occupation).As it wrote the british historian Alan Clark in his book "Barbarossa" Stalin ordered the Gukov to save the Silezia industrial area ( the second large german industry area after the Rur) when he prepeared the offensive to the germany in early 1945.
In fact already in the beginning of the 1945 the soviet -allies relations was worsting constantly - there is no any doubt that all politic look for the future.
In March 1945 the Churcilll prdered to developed the war plan "Unthinkable" - the strike on the Soviet troops in Europe.
So there is no any doubts the Stalin was wanted to save the German industry for the future when it should be usefulll in the war with former allies.
In this prospect - ( althouth it hard to believe ) in the 1945 the Soviet command do not wish devastate the neither Gernas industry nor the germans cities - the need all for the own use in future. ALL WHAT THEY WAS NEEED to stop the moving the germans troops in the Eastern front - THEREFORE THEY asked the allies to bomb ONLY the realway complex of Germany.
To the contrast the allies ( who clearly understand the situation) need to bomb the everyting in Eastern Germany as much as they can. Thus they were INTERESTED TO DESTRUCT the whole cities and areas in the future Soviet zone.
I read in one book ( and as we know from the forum) the Allies hight command had a SELECTIVE approach to the bombing targets. For instance we know the american property in Germany ( The FORD palnts) WERE NOT BOMBED. To the contrast the Easter Germany got the most devastating bombing raids in the 1944-45. In this way the Bombing of Drestden were nothing special - it was the approach of allies- to destroy the everethin that could be usefull for the future Cold war by enemy.

Cheers.

Egorka
07-05-2007, 03:20 AM
I think it should be good to compare the both maps of the bombing areas and the map that you presented.
How do youthing what percent of the REAL military objects of Dresden lied in the bombing zone?

Hello Chevan!!! it has been some time!

Yes, that would be great to see a map/diagram showing the result of the bombing. Do you have it?

Chevan
07-05-2007, 03:27 AM
the continie...
Thus the tragedy of Dresden and other german cities was resault of Allies approach ( and view of future world sitiation).
The allies tactic in the last phase of WW2 had a several aims:
1. To liquidate the European competitors industry potential ( Germans) after the war as much as they could- in this proospect the "millitary necessarity" was just a covered justifiacaion.
The military damage was the minimal - to the contrast the mass annihilation of germans industry ( including the civils) and cities with population..
As we could it see in the Dresden - the millitary aim was the last that the allies thought about;)
This was a most brutal case of firebombing - and the Nazy propoganda has immediatelly used it in its dirty aims.
2. Do not get the any industry and property to the hand of Soviets - coz they could use it in the future possible war against allies.
In this way the devastation of Germans cities and areas REALLY had a military sense.
Not for the WW2, but for the Cold war.
So i wish to say the civilian victims of Dresden and other devastating cities in 1945- were the first victims of Cold war - it was resauld of western allies approach for the World Strategic Power views after the war.

Cheers.

Chevan
07-05-2007, 03:31 AM
Hello Chevan!!! it has been some time!

Yes, that would be great to see a map/diagram showing the result of the bombing. Do you have it?

Hey Egorka.;)
Yes it seems i know where we could get the map of bombing zone - from the Wiki.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/88/Dresden1945-3.jpghttp://www.bl.uk/learning/images/mappinghist/dresden.jpg
Left:The former city plan of Dresden with the amount of destruction rendered
Black, total destruction; checkered, partially damaged
Right:The map of Dresden with definition of odjects area for the Allies pilots:The areas are color coded: blue - industry; black - railroad structures; red - different density housing areas

Digger
07-05-2007, 03:31 AM
I forgot, the bombing of Dresden was another giant Western Allied conspiracy of breathtaking proportions against the Soviet Union.

Yes Stalin did not mention Dresden at Yalta, that was left to General Antonov the Red Army deputy chief of staff to hash out with the British delegation. the only specific mention of Dresden by Antonov was in regard to the bomb line which ran through Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and through to Zagreb. This was requested by Antonov as a requirement to prevent the flow of German reinforcements from the west and from Norway.

While the Dresden raid was singuarly most devestating raid by RAF Bomber Command and the US 8th AF, the overall damage was less than the damage on other cities due to accumulated raids, especially in the Ruhr.

The idea that the raids on Berlin and Dresden in this period were to deny Soviet 'spoils of war" is pure poppycock.

Regards digger

Chevan
07-05-2007, 03:54 AM
I forgot, the bombing of Dresden was another giant Western Allied conspiracy of breathtaking proportions against the Soviet Union.

Yes Stalin did not mention Dresden at Yalta, that was left to General Antonov the Red Army deputy chief of staff to hash out with the British delegation. the only specific mention of Dresden by Antonov was in regard to the bomb line which ran through Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and through to Zagreb. This was requested by Antonov as a requirement to prevent the flow of German reinforcements from the west and from Norway.

Exactly mate..
The goal of the soviet asks for the allies AF was to prevent the reinforcement of the Germans troops- no one told about bombinfg of cities, plants , industial objects and population areas.
The SUCH destruction of Dresden was very unpleasant surprise for the Soviet command - the allies burned practically all the city but the ( and consequentally the Soviet could not any more captured it;) To the contrast - the realway station and strategic brige - still was able to work.
I think you should agree - what sence of the SIMULAR destruction of Dresden had for the Soviet- Zero.
The Dresden could be very great "spoil of war" for the Stalin. But after the bombing- it was nothing more then the hills of crushed stones.

Cheers.

Digger
07-05-2007, 04:27 AM
Quoting from Frederick Taylor's book'Dresden"

Page 243

The Americans now-delayed role was still dependent on the weather. They had nevertheless, on February 12. let the Soviet General Staff know through the US military mission in Moscow, of their plans to bomb the (Dresden) marshaling yards on the following day. This was strictly in accordance with the bombings line agreement requested by the Soviets at Yalta. The British were criticized for arrogance in not also formally advising the Soviets of their own linked raid.If the Soviets as Churchill's interpretar at Yalta Hugh Lunghi asserts, specifically requested on two seperate occasions that Dresden be bombed, then there would be even less reason for the British to feel compelled, less than ten days later, yo dispatch a formal notification of such an intention. The object of the agreement was in any case, supposed to avoid accidental bombing of Russian forces, and the front was still sixty miles distant.

So as can be seen the Soviet High Command were aware of the impending raid, though not aware of British involvement. It also must be pointed out, negotiations between the Soviets and Americans were ongoing over the possibility of daylight shuttle raids of utilizing bases in the western Ukraine, around Poltava, against targets in Eastern Germany.

Regards digger

Digger
07-05-2007, 04:36 AM
As for claims the Dresden raid was mounted to deprive the Soviet Union of war booty, 796 Lancasters took part in the raid. Yet nearly one month later on the evenings of March11 and 12 against the Ruhr cities of Essen and Dortmund consisted of 1,079 and 1,108 bombers repectively.

Regards digger

Chevan
07-05-2007, 04:58 AM
So as can be seen the Soviet High Command were aware of the impending raid, though not aware of British involvement. It also must be pointed out, negotiations between the Soviets and Americans were ongoing over the possibility of daylight shuttle raids of utilizing bases in the western Ukraine, around Poltava, against targets in Eastern Germany.

Regards digger

Sure mate the Soviet command knew about raids ( as it was planned in Yalta conference and in the negorations of Military staff).
But no one in the Soviet side did know the plans to drope the bombs DIRECTRLY to the centre of City- as we saw the military resauls was Zero in this way.
Do not mix the wishes of Soviets to crush the Germans realway sistem and the PERSONAL will of alles to strike the city of Dresden - No one from the western stuff did noticed this plan for the soviet command.
In this way the dozen of Lancasters that could carefully bombed out the Bridge through the Elba - this action should has A MACH MORE MILITARY PROFIT for the soviet side then the whole destruction of sity by a thousand of the USAAF/RAF bombers.
True the soviet side knoew about reids but no one know about REAL aims and tactic thet allies used for.

Chevan
07-05-2007, 05:21 AM
As for claims the Dresden raid was mounted to deprive the Soviet Union of war booty, 796 Lancasters took part in the raid. Yet nearly one month later on the evenings of March11 and 12 against the Ruhr cities of Essen and Dortmund consisted of 1,079 and 1,108 bombers repectively.

Regards digger
Mate it were 796 Lancasters ONLY in first attack on evening of 13 feb ,Next attack through the 3 hour - 529 Lancasters , third attack - morning 14 feb - 311 USAAF B-17.
The total scope of dropped bomb FOR 13 hours - 3 900 tonns !!!! - this MUCH more than for the Essen and Dortmud.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden
But the my point is not that- The Dresden was not the biggest victim of firebombing.
As we could see from the map the of Dresden above - to parallize the transport system of Dresden it was need to drope the several bombs at the brige and realway station - not the firebombing of city with a million of population and refugees.
The square of military objects of sity consists - no more few percent of firebombing zone -the the MOST of military objects WERE OUT OF ZONE bombing.
In the resault - the dresden bombing has a "glory" the most unhuman and unsensless firebombing raid in WW2.

Rising Sun*
07-05-2007, 05:39 AM
One more aspect gentlements.
I know for the sure that during the last phase of the WW2 Stalin demand for the soviet hight command to save as much as it was possible the GErmans idustrial areas and objects ( that will be in the soviet zone of occupation).As it wrote the british historian Alan Clark in his book "Barbarossa" Stalin ordered the Gukov to save the Silezia industrial area ( the second large german industry area after the Rur) when he prepeared the offensive to the germany in early 1945.
In fact already in the beginning of the 1945 the soviet -allies relations was worsting constantly - there is no any doubt that all politic look for the future.
In March 1945 the Churcilll prdered to developed the war plan "Unthinkable" - the strike on the Soviet troops in Europe.
So there is no any doubts the Stalin was wanted to save the German industry for the future when it should be usefulll in the war with former allies.
In this prospect - ( althouth it hard to believe ) in the 1945 the Soviet command do not wish devastate the neither Gernas industry nor the germans cities - the need all for the own use in future. ALL WHAT THEY WAS NEEED to stop the moving the germans troops in the Eastern front - THEREFORE THEY asked the allies to bomb ONLY the realway complex of Germany.
To the contrast the allies ( who clearly understand the situation) need to bomb the everyting in Eastern Germany as much as they can. Thus they were INTERESTED TO DESTRUCT the whole cities and areas in the future Soviet zone.
I read in one book ( and as we know from the forum) the Allies hight command had a SELECTIVE approach to the bombing targets. For instance we know the american property in Germany ( The FORD palnts) WERE NOT BOMBED. To the contrast the Easter Germany got the most devastating bombing raids in the 1944-45. In this way the Bombing of Drestden were nothing special - it was the approach of allies- to destroy the everethin that could be usefull for the future Cold war by enemy.

Cheers.

For this theory to stand up, the Americans and British had to know that Stalin had given orders to capture industrial equipment.

Did they?

Digger
07-05-2007, 05:41 AM
Chevan, nothing can alter the fact Harris intent from the time he took over RAF Bomber Command was the destruction of Germany's cities. As effective or not as this policy may have been it was a direct response to Hitler's avowed destruction of British cities and the threatened invasion of England and this policy was supported by Churchill, the British government and people.

Like it or not this policy played a part in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The associated loss of German lives was to be expected but hardly mourned by anyone on the Allied side during the war, including Josef Stalin who knew the Allied bombing campaign was diverting Luftwaffe attention from the Eastern front and impeding the ability of German industry to supply the German armed forces, which became critical to the German forces fighting in the East.

It is rarely mentioned roughly the same number of Soviet citizens were killed by Luftwaffe bombing raids as German civilians killed by the Allied strategic bombing offensive. Where are the shelves of books on the subject of the four days of Luftwaffe bombing raids against Stalingrad, killing 40,000 civilians, What about the 800,000 plus civilians of Leningrad killed by bombing shelling and siege? Other Soviet cities such as Minsk, Kiev Sebastapol suffered similar fates. Where are the mounds of books devoted to telling their story? True the conventions of war allow almost any tactic of destruction against a defended fortress town(as in Konigsberg) and the people within it once it has refused to surrender. But is such a thing on such a scale. morally less or more than the bombing of Dresden?

Remember by this stage of the war Hitler had washed his hands of the German people, and yet the German people as much as they suffered under bombing and the deprivation it caused, did not rise up against the very regime and man who had abandoned them. As far as the British, the Americans and the Soviets fighting against Nazi Germany at this stage of the war there was a common purpose-the destruction of the enemy until the terms of unconditional surrender were met. If this did not happen, then Germany would be destroyed and if need be so would it's people. A sad fact but true and ratified by ALL the Allied partners.

Regards digger.

Digger
07-05-2007, 05:48 AM
German cities suffering more than 50% destruction of buildings, industry, infrastructure.

Eastern Germany-Berlin and Dresden.

Western Germany-Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Frankfurt, Essen, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Monchengladbach and Cologne.

The theory Allied bombing was to destroy German cities that would fall under Soviet occupation does not hold up.

Regards digger

Rising Sun*
07-05-2007, 07:43 AM
Sure mate the Soviet command knew about raids ( as it was planned in Yalta conference and in the negorations of Military staff).
But no one in the Soviet side did know the plans to drope the bombs DIRECTRLY to the centre of City-

Given the not very accurate bombing in WWII and the location of the railway targets around the city centre, any raid on the railway targets was bound to hit a lot of the centre of the city, and a lot of other residential and industrial areas. The Soviets had to know this. If it was of great importance to them to avoid this, one expects that they would have objected when informed of the impending raids 24 hours beforehand.


Do not mix the wishes of Soviets to crush the Germans realway sistem and the PERSONAL will of alles to strike the city of Dresden - No one from the western stuff did noticed this plan for the soviet command.
In this way the dozen of Lancasters that could carefully bombed out the Bridge through the Elba - this action should has A MACH MORE MILITARY PROFIT for the soviet side then the whole destruction of sity by a thousand of the USAAF/RAF bombers.
True the soviet side knoew about reids but no one know about REAL aims and tactic thet allies used for.

From the USAF Historical report I quoted at #143.


The night raid by the RAF Bomber Command was intended to devastate the city area itself and thereby choke communications within the city and disrupt the normal civilian life upon which the larger communications activities and the manufacturing enterprises of the city depended. Further, the widespread area raid conducted by the British entailed bombing strikes against the many industrial plants throughout the city which were thus to be construed as specific targets within the larger pattern of the area raid.

There's nothing remarkable about this in pattern bombing, horrible though it may be for the people on the ground.

The aim, as expressed in the quote, of choking communications etc by bombing the city is a reasonable approach.

Leaving aside the intended effect on civilian morale, it's related to the choice between blowing up trains or planes and a train drivers' or pilots' assembly point. Killing, injuring and disrupting the people who can use things of military value can be just as, often more, effective than destroying the equipment they use. Sometimes they don't even use equipment, which is why in WWII a surprising amount of artillery could be directed at just one MP directing traffic at a road junction. In Dresden there weren't nice specific targets like MP's at road (or rail) junctions or train drivers' assembly points, but with the city in flames and everyone occupied with survival or firefighting etc they weren't going to be running the trains on time either.

Which is what the Soviets wanted.

Rising Sun*
07-05-2007, 07:55 AM
Chevan

Separate issue.

Good to see you back.

Have you been soaking up some of that weak sunshine you think is summer up there, instead of attending to this forum? :D

Chevan
07-05-2007, 09:00 AM
Chevan

Separate issue.

Good to see you back.

Have you been soaking up some of that weak sunshine you think is summer up there, instead of attending to this forum? :D

Thanks RS, nice to see you too mate;)
Yea i was a little busy on the work for our forum.
Try to bring the few fresh ideas for this thread as Egorka asked;)
The f..king sunshine has tired me : +40 in the shade.
And how are you, i hope the winter in Australia is not like in Stalingrad in 1942;)

Chevan
07-05-2007, 09:08 AM
For this theory to stand up, the Americans and British had to know that Stalin had given orders to capture industrial equipment.

Did they?

Sure they knew Rising Sun.
There were no any doubts that the Soviets should try to cupture as much as the could - the soviet economic and industry had a total shortage of everething , the lands liberated from the germans were fully robbered and devastated. The tehnologic lack of soviet undustry forced the Red Army to captured the ANY equipment , materials and everithing that could be usefull ....
Especially in the prospect of future problems with allies ( if the Lend-lise would stopped).

Digger
07-05-2007, 09:13 AM
Not as cold as Stalingrad my friend, but cold enough for us:roll: At the moment it would blow a dog off a chain. Lot's of wind damge around Sydney and across the state tonight.

Stay warm mate;)

Regards digger

Egorka
07-05-2007, 09:53 AM
Alarm! Too friendly! :!:

Inspiration: "The Western civilization is the pest of the world!"

Ahhhh... feel so much better now...

Rising Sun*
07-05-2007, 09:53 AM
Thanks RS, nice to see you too mate

Yea i was a little busy on the work for our forum.

An old Australian saying, contadicting the view of the temperance movement, is "Work is the curse of the drinking classes."


Try to bring the few fresh ideas for this thread as Egorka asked

Mate, he's been doing a sterling job holding up the Russian end, but it's a bit much to expect him to do it all by himself. :D


The f..king sunshine has tired me : +40 in the shade.

That's global warming for you. Bloody China!


And how are you, i hope the winter in Australia is not like in Stalingrad in 1942

Nah, mate, nothing like Stalingrad in '42.

For a start, there's no snow! :D

And, better still, we're not being shot at by Germans. :D

Or, even better still, the Russians aren't shooting at us, 'cos they were wild boys. :mrgreen:

But it gets really cold here in winter. Down to 3 or 4 degrees C. Some days it's so cold we can't go surfing, even with good wetsuits and the biggest southern swells. So, when there's nothing else to do, we just drink and think.

But it's hard to do both, so mostly we just drink.

Rising Sun*
07-05-2007, 10:04 AM
Sure they knew Rising Sun.
There were no any doubts that the Soviets should try to cupture as much as the could - the soviet economic and industry had a total shortage of everething , the lands liberated from the germans were fully robbered and devastated. The tehnologic lack of soviet undustry forced the Red Army to captured the ANY equipment , materials and everithing that could be usefull ....
Especially in the prospect of future problems with allies ( if the Lend-lise would stopped).

How does this fit in with the view you have expressed in other threads that Lend Lease and other non-Soviet Allied support wasn't all that important to the Russian industrial and military powerhouse which steamrolled the Germans who committed everything that mattered to their eastern front, where the Soviet almost single-handedly defeated Germany?

If the Soviets could produce all they needed, what did it matter if the states they wanted as buffers against Western European attacks didn't have any industrial capacity to capture?

Rising Sun*
07-05-2007, 10:08 AM
Alarm! Too friendly! :!:

Inspiration: "The Western civilization is the pest of the world!"

Phonetic translation may cause problems.

Correct version is:

"The Western civilisation is the pissed of the world."

"Pissed" here means drunk.

Result: Westerners are friendly drunks.

No cause for alarm! :D

pdf27
07-05-2007, 02:22 PM
An old Australian saying, contadicting the view of the temperance movement, is "Work is the curse of the drinking classes."
This is what you get when you have a nation descended from criminals, they'll nick anything ;)
That particular saying is originally by Oscar Wilde, who IIRC never even visited the antipodes!

Egorka
07-05-2007, 03:24 PM
Rising Sun* wrote:
How does this fit in with the view you have expressed in other threads that Lend Lease and other non-Soviet Allied support wasn't all that important to the Russian industrial and military powerhouse which steamrolled the Germans who committed everything that mattered to their eastern front, where the Soviet almost single-handedly defeated Germany?

Here we go again! "almost single-handedly" my ***!

Rising Sun, listen. I hope your were just being sarcastic. Right? Because I am tired to repeat that no normal person claims that the Soviet almost single-handedly defeated Germany. By the way it is not Germany. It is almost whole Europe under the German rule.

Anyway, Chevan and I were arguing that the lend-lease was not THE reason USSR did what it did. LL was a nice and very needed addition to the main effort.

Is not it also obvious that the winning powers take the retributions the way they want (almost). Especially a winner like USSR which devastation from the war was enormous. So the Western Allies had NO doubt that Stalin wants to get the booty. On the other hand I do not think that USA/UK specificaly tried to destroy the potential USSR booty. But I do not completely rule out that it could be part of their logic in the case of Dresden.

Digger
07-05-2007, 08:18 PM
The thing is, you guys have missed the point about Harris and consequently your thoughts are wide of the mark. But this is common.

Now if you attacked Harris' record from the standpoint of OIL, then you have a sound arguement. This was Harris' big mistake, refusing to budge from his policy of destroying German cities, which he and Churchill and the British cabinet saw as a legitimate war aim.

Had the RAF switched to bombing oil targets heavily in 1944, then the war may have been shortened by six to twelve months.

Regards digger

Egorka
07-06-2007, 02:45 AM
The thing is, you guys have missed the point about Harris and consequently your thoughts are wide of the mark. But this is common.

Now if you attacked Harris' record from the standpoint of OIL, then you have a sound arguement. This was Harris' big mistake, refusing to budge from his policy of destroying German cities, which he and Churchill and the British cabinet saw as a legitimate war aim.

Had the RAF switched to bombing oil targets heavily in 1944, then the war may have been shortened by six to twelve months.

Regards digger

Digger,

That is right. And I believe it has been mentioned in this thread as well.
But this is a thechnical question. The other side of the medal was that, as you well put it, "his policy of destroying German cities, which he and Churchill and the British cabinet saw as a legitimate war aim".

And this explains it all.

You see fx. Japanese were seeing civilians of diferent races as ligitimate subjects for biological experiments. The British cabinet saw civil populated town centers as targets too. I am not claiming that this are comparable in magnitude, but it is in the same direction. And in case you want to comment: NO, I do not think that russians were angels.

I even kind of understand the British cabinet logic. But lets be open about it and admit that they bombed civilians on purpose. Many people deny it.

Rising Sun*
07-06-2007, 10:15 AM
This is what you get when you have a nation descended from criminals, they'll nick anything ;)

Naturally!

We're descended from the best criminal stock.

British.

And, creme de la creme, Irish. :D

And here's today's example of what the Irish strain can do in the modern world.


Police charge hit-run tram hoon
July 6, 2007 - 2:23PM

Police have charged a man over a hit-run collision involving a tram at St Kilda, in Melbourne's inner-south, last night.

St Kilda detectives had been told an errant motorist appeared do a burnout in busy Acland Street at 8.30pm before he lost control of his silver Ford sedan and slammed into a stationary tram.

Police spokeswoman Alison Noonan said the motorist then took off and almost hit a policeman who was helping paramedics treat a drug-affected man in an unrelated nearby incident.

"Fortunately, the offending driver was kind enough to leave the car's bumper bar, with number plate still attached, on the tram tracks," Ms Noonan said.

Police found and seized the rest of the car in Elsternwick late this morning, and it was towed to the Victoria Forensic Science Centre in Macleod.

St Kilda detectives this afternoon charged a 28-year-old Sydenham man with a number of driving offences which included conduct endangering life, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while disqualified.

He has been released on bail to appear at the Melbourne Magistrate's Court on September 20 this year. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/police-charge-hitrun-tram-hoon/2007/07/06/1183351412291.html



That particular saying is originally by Oscar Wilde, who IIRC never even visited the antipodes!

Probably best that he didn't.

Reading Gaol would have been a lot more congenial than the land that abhors poofters (e.g. the Monty Python 'No poofters' sketch) although, rather more than the Royal Navy, we were founded on rum, buggery and the lash. Not that you'll find that in the standard histories which seem to think that nothing untoward might have happened in a colony full of male criminals and male soldiers guarding them with nary a woman in sight. Although there was the occasional (usually commuted) sentence of death among the British prisoners in the early days for the unnatural act of the abominable crime of buggery.

Oscar would have been sore pressed down here. :D

Rising Sun*
07-06-2007, 10:41 AM
Here we go again! "almost single-handedly" my ***!
You have a donkey? How do you manage to feed it in Copenhagen? :D


Rising Sun, listen. I hope your were just being sarcastic. Right?

Sarcastic? Moi? :D


Because I am tired to repeat that no normal person claims that the Soviet almost single-handedly defeated Germany.

Mate, that's not the way a lot of the Russian stuff has come over. It might not be what was intended or the way it was seen by the posters, but there was a strong line that Russia / Soviets faced the biggest number of German forces (which no one disputes) and that the effort and effect of the other Allies was marginal. And that was a view that a number of other members picked up, not just me. At its most ridiculous the same line wanted to demonstrate that by coming in in the last few days of the war against Japan Russia / Soviets faced the biggest and worst Japanese forces that ever existed, after defeating much the same in 1939. And, oddly enough, this "Russsia / Soviets always faced the biggest forces" attitude happens to be reinforced by your next sentence after the last quote.


By the way it is not Germany. It is almost whole Europe under the German rule.

Didn't this apply also to the other Allies?


Is not it also obvious that the winning powers take the retributions the way they want (almost).

No.

I don't think there was much in the way of retribution in the Western zone, apart from the Nuremburg trials.



Especially a winner like USSR which devastation from the war was enormous.

If great suffering justifies retribution, how come Poland got such a shitty deal from both Germany and Russia before, during and after the war?


So the Western Allies had NO doubt that Stalin wants to get the booty.

This has been asserted in an earlier post.

Where is the evidence?

pdf27
07-06-2007, 11:46 AM
Reading Gaol would have been a lot more congenial than the land that abhors poofters (e.g. the Monty Python 'No poofters' sketch) although, rather more than the Royal Navy, we were founded on rum, buggery and the lash. Not that you'll find that in the standard histories which seem to think that nothing untoward might have happened in a colony full of male criminals and male soldiers guarding them with nary a woman in sight. Although there was the occasional (usually commuted) sentence of death among the British prisoners in the early days for the unnatural act of the abominable crime of buggery.
IIRC at one point they shipped out an entire boatload of women prisoners specially sentenced to transportation just to make sure the colony got off to a good start. If that isn't prior planning and preparation, I don't know what is!

Egorka
07-06-2007, 04:09 PM
Mate, that's not the way a lot of the Russian stuff has come over. It might not be what was intended or the way it was seen by the posters, but there was a strong line that Russia / Soviets faced the biggest number of German forces (which no one disputes) and that the effort and effect of the other Allies was marginal.
I have a surprise for you: I can say EXACTLY the same about the US/UK view on the WW2. Just listen to it: "Mate, that's not the way a lot of the American/British stuff has come over. ". And so on...

It is only when you really understand that, we, russians (in fact it is far from only ethnic russians as Russia is a multinational state) get so much of this what you complained about, you will realise the situation is rather in your favor than in ours. You won the propaganda war and you control most of the media channels in the world. So do not wory the game is still going on by your rules.

I just want to say that I get just as much (probably more) of that crap that you mentioned.


And that was a view that a number of other members picked up, not just me. At its most ridiculous the same line wanted to demonstrate that by coming in in the last few days of the war against Japan Russia / Soviets faced the biggest and worst Japanese forces that ever existed, after defeating much the same in 1939.
Again. The discussion about the Kwantung army in 1945 was driven by the statements by my openents about complete insignificanse of the Soviet actions. Yes I do think that it had impact even at that late stage. But I never claimed that USSR had overal comparable to US/UK impact on Japan. So there is no point to make it up.

Again try to imaging that you are wrong and then see at the problem. It is called to be open minded. I strife to do as much as possible.


And, oddly enough, this "Russsia / Soviets always faced the biggest forces" attitude happens to be reinforced by your next sentence after the last quote.
What are you talking about? Which "last quote"?



By the way it is not Germany. It is almost whole Europe under the German rule.Didn't this apply also to the other Allies?
Of course it did apply to the other Allies.



Is not it also obvious that the winning powers take the retributions the way they want (almost).
No.
I don't think there was much in the way of retribution in the Western zone, apart from the Nuremburg trials.

If great suffering justifies retribution, how come Poland got such a shitty deal from both Germany and Russia before, during and after the war?

I made a mistake. I didn't mean retribution but Contribution - the loosing side pays the winers for the restoration of the economy plus extra charge. Though retribution was , unfortunately, part of the equation too.

So USSR stripped most of the material goods like cars, wires, phones, ect and took it to USSR. The western allies did not need the german hardware so they drained other things like the patents and all kinds of knowhows (they already had satisfied they urge for REtrebution during the strategic bombing companes).



So the Western Allies had NO doubt that Stalin wants to get the booty.
This has been asserted in an earlier post.

Where is the evidence?

Did not Chirchil said something like I would even make deal with devil if it could only help aginst Hitler. And later after his realisation that Stalin was bigger threat he said: "Gentlemen, it appears that we have slain the wrong pig".

What kind of evidence you expected?

Digger
07-06-2007, 05:46 PM
Egorka, Churchills hatred of Communism is well known and from what I am aware has never been really hidden. I think I'll start a thread about that subject.

Repatriations. This is a dirty word for me, because as much as the victors of any war snare the spoils, this inevitably leads to continued hatred and animosity. The roots of WWII may very well have their origins in the Treaty of Versailles, but also the Brest Liovosk Treaty as well. The terms of this treaty were far harsher than the Treaty of Versailles, so any Soviet war repatriations at the conclusion of WWII should be seen in a different light.

Regards digger.

Egorka
07-06-2007, 06:57 PM
Egorka, Churchills hatred of Communism is well known and from what I am aware has never been really hidden. I think I'll start a thread about that subject.
That is right. I just wanted to show it was natural that Churchill expected Stalin to do things, he (W.C.) considered to be bad. Hense repatriations were expected.



Repatriations. This is a dirty word for me, because as much as the victors of any war snare the spoils, this inevitably leads to continued hatred and animosity. The roots of WWII may very well have their origins in the Treaty of Versailles, but also the Brest Liovosk Treaty as well. The terms of this treaty were far harsher than the Treaty of Versailles, so any Soviet war repatriations at the conclusion of WWII should be seen in a different light.

Regards digger.

In Russian "Repatriations" is "Контрибуции", it's a word copy loaned from French, I guess, word meaning "Contributions".

Dirty word? Yeahhh, kind of. I guess by it self it is not dirty. It is the scale of repatriations that makes it dirty. And I agree with you that the outcome of Versailles and Brest Litovsk had contributed heavily to the known historical events discussed here.

Rising Sun*
07-08-2007, 06:34 AM
I have a surprise for you: I can say EXACTLY the same about the US/UK view on the WW2. Just listen to it: "Mate, that's not the way a lot of the American/British stuff has come over. ". And so on...

It is only when you really understand that, we, russians (in fact it is far from only ethnic russians as Russia is a multinational state) get so much of this what you complained about, you will realise the situation is rather in your favor than in ours. You won the propaganda war and you control most of the media channels in the world. So do not wory the game is still going on by your rules.

I just want to say that I get just as much (probably more) of that crap that you mentioned.

Fair enough.

I think we're both, and others on both sides of this aspect of the war, responding in exactly the same way: We feel that our nation's effort hasn't been adequately recognised by others.

Mainly because, inevitably, the starting point for most of us is our own nation's experience.

We're probably all a bit sensitive about misconceptions about what our own nation did, suffered, and experienced. And much better informed on that aspect than on what happened in other nations.

Still, at least on this forum we are able to put forward our own views and challenge others' views, rather than just sucking up whatever history is handed down to us by our own nation.

It may surprise you to know that I've learnt a lot from the debates here about Russian / Soviet aspects of the war and have a better understanding of that contribution from those debates.

There would be no debate if we all saw everything the same way.

Having said that, I still don't understand why you and Chevan think that the most important battles in the war were fought in and by the USSR when anybody can see that they were fought on Australia's frontiers. :D (To avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary hostility, this is an intentionally silly comment to illustrate the points I just made.)

Rising Sun*
07-08-2007, 06:38 AM
That is right. I just wanted to show it was natural that Churchill expected Stalin to do things, he (W.C.) considered to be bad. Hense repatriations were expected.



In Russian "Repatriations" is "Контрибуции", it's a word copy loaned from French, I guess, word meaning "Contributions".

Dirty word? Yeahhh, kind of. I guess by it self it is not dirty. It is the scale of repatriations that makes it dirty. And I agree with you that the outcome of Versailles and Brest Litovsk had contributed heavily to the known historical events discussed here.


Egorka and Digger

Are you talking about repatriations or reparations?

Repatriation is sending people back to their homeland. After WWII, that was an awful exercise, particularly for many people sent back to the Soviet bloc but also for others who were sent back to other homelands where things had changed since they left and they were now seen as having been on the wrong side or having done the wrong thing.

Reparations is financial or other (such as Stalin using German POW's for a decade or so after the war as slave labour) compensation for war damage.

Nickdfresh
07-08-2007, 12:12 PM
the continie...
Thus the tragedy of Dresden and other german cities was resault of Allies approach ( and view of future world sitiation).
The allies tactic in the last phase of WW2 had a several aims:
1. To liquidate the European competitors industry potential ( Germans) after the war as much as they could- in this proospect the "millitary necessarity" was just a covered justifiacaion...

Cheers.


So we can give them all that Marshall Plan booty, eh?:D (or those tens of thousands of trucks that were the backbone of the Soviet logistical system)

That's a laughable assertion, and one contradicted by actual history...

Nickdfresh
07-08-2007, 12:29 PM
Digger,

That is right. And I believe it has been mentioned in this thread as well.
But this is a thechnical question. The other side of the medal was that, as you well put it, "his policy of destroying German cities, which he and Churchill and the British cabinet saw as a legitimate war aim".

And this explains it all.

You see fx. Japanese were seeing civilians of diferent races as ligitimate subjects for biological experiments. The British cabinet saw civil populated town centers as targets too. I am not claiming that this are comparable in magnitude, but it is in the same direction. And in case you want to comment: NO, I do not think that russians were angels.

I even kind of understand the British cabinet logic. But lets be open about it and admit that they bombed civilians on purpose. Many people deny it.

I don't disagree. They were targeting workers, as was the USAAF albeit on a smaller scale...

We can make a circular argument on this all day. But the fact is that strategic bombing was the only means in which the British could initially and effectively fight Germany. The Bombing of Dresden was the culmination of this policy (even after they had rebuilt their land forces), and while I find it morally objectionable, it was technically legal under the laws of warfare. It was a defended city, although I've read it's defenses were reduced because many of the 88s had been taken to the front for use as anti-tank guns.

But I find many arguments against Bomber Harris, who was by all means a ruthless bastard that was shunned by society after the war, to be a little disingenuous when not balanced against the cumulative brutality exercised by all nations and all sides of the conflict. And the Red Army did benefit from it, and I'm not sure I recall any moral aggrandizing coming out of Moscow from it until long after the War was over. And honestly, I think it was more an expression of the fear of US air power more than it was any genuine sort of actual moral outrage. In hindsight, the killing of 30,000+ people almost seems like a small affair, quite sadly...

Chevan
07-09-2007, 03:41 AM
So we can give them all that Marshall Plan booty, eh?:D (or those tens of thousands of trucks that were the backbone of the Soviet logistical system)

That's a laughable assertion, and one contradicted by actual history...
Hi Nick;)
Really a such luaghtable assertion?
I don't think so firstly coz we know for sure that American property in Germany were not bombed- thus the allies BOMBED it SELECTIVELY. Was it luaghtable assertion on you mind;)
Second - the Marshal plan was MAINLY aimed for the USA profit - to get the Europe credits for bying the American goods.
This fact helped the USA economy get rich and avoid the post-war economic crisys.
Shortly speaking ,they spreaded it economical influence over the western Europe.
True, the Marshal credits helped the Europe for the first time- but IT WAS NOT INVESTITIONS- it was not aimed for the restruction and restore of European industrial power.
I 've read in one of the book ( westerr germany author) that the direct resault of the Marhall plan was that the most of European corporation got the new american masters. The Europe losed the controll for the manies of former its own plants and ets.
So the influece of Marshall plan was not strongly positive for the Europe - this helped the USA to spread its controll over European industry and economic and subdue it politically.
I do not say it was definitelly bad in the conditions of Cold war - but it had a other side - the pure american interests.
So i/m really do not see the reason why the USA/UK could not bombed out the Germnas industry in the last mounts of war- to liqudate the European competitors.
Considering the fact that in this last period of war all USA/UK/USSR war strategy was determined not as much the military goals as the political post war aims - this fact IMO could explain the sensless destruction of Germans cities in last months of war.

Cheers.

Chevan
07-09-2007, 04:34 AM
Not as cold as Stalingrad my friend, but cold enough for us:




it gets really cold here in winter. Down to 3 or 4 degrees C

i/m always knew you assians are heat-loving molly-coddles;)
-3-4 C- it so terrible for the mid winter :);)
Last winter in Krasnodar in january -35C we call it the "Germans dream in Russia".
I'll never forget the one of the man in forum INosmi.ru wrote last winter:
"Такие морозы зря пропадают - и как назло ни одного немца под Москвой"
"there is a such great frosts comes to nothing- damn, no one germans near the Moscow"
HE wrote it when in the Moscow was -42 C.
:D
Cheers.

Chevan
07-09-2007, 05:32 AM
Chevan, nothing can alter the fact Harris intent from the time he took over RAF Bomber Command was the destruction of Germany's cities. As effective or not as this policy may have been it was a direct response to Hitler's avowed destruction of British cities and the threatened invasion of England and this policy was supported by Churchill, the British government and people.

hmm mate i doubt the British peoples even knew what the Harris tactic mean in reality.
Also do not right after the war when the Britains has know about resault of firebombing - the political scandal had place in theBritain. Even the Churchill was forced get the distance form the Harris. Harris has beed the scapegoat.


Like it or not this policy played a part in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The associated loss of German lives was to be expected but hardly mourned by anyone on the Allied side during the war, including Josef Stalin who knew the Allied bombing campaign was diverting Luftwaffe attention from the Eastern front and impeding the ability of German industry to supply the German armed forces, which became critical to the German forces fighting in the East.

Mate sorry but i think you should agree the "diverting Luftwaffe attention" is a TOO SMALL what could add the tho greatest allies power USA and UK to the fight with Germans.
With such success i can tell you that the the Allies spend in vain the enourmous resourses trying to "Win the war" by the strategic bombing.


It is rarely mentioned roughly the same number of Soviet citizens were killed by Luftwaffe bombing raids as German civilians killed by the Allied strategic bombing offensive. Where are the shelves of books on the subject of the four days of Luftwaffe bombing raids against Stalingrad, killing 40,000 civilians, What about the 800,000 plus civilians of Leningrad killed by bombing shelling and siege? Other Soviet cities such as Minsk, Kiev Sebastapol suffered similar fates. Where are the mounds of books devoted to telling their story? True the conventions of war allow almost any tactic of destruction against a defended fortress town(as in Konigsberg) and the people within it once it has refused to surrender. But is such a thing on such a scale. morally less or more than the bombing of Dresden?

You perfectly right here Digger.
Nobody regreted for Germans in the 1943-45. Neither Stalin nor anybody in the USSR.
Right after the henocide in the East the Germans feels TOO SMALL on own skin.
The Nazy killed a millions of peoples- but have we the right to REPEAT their "great acheivements"?
What for ?
Sure i thankfull for the Harris - he forced the German population feel the terror- the TOO INSIGNIFICANT payback for the crimes in the East.
But i have to say the payback is not the GOAL for us right?( Or ain this way what are we better the Nazy right)
We have to win this war - as quick as well.
So from this perspective the Harris tactic was nothing more then slaughtering of the 600 000 of Germans for the 60 000 of Britains in the ww2.
Coz after all that i've learned fromt the firebombing - this did not helped as much as it try to present today.
The most sensless firebombing were in the LAST MOUNTH of the war. There were a some of the cities except Dresden:
Bombing of Mainz — 27 February 1945
Bombing of Würzburg — 16 March 1945
Bombing of Hildesheim — 23 March 1945
I/m strongly doubt that cities had a military meaning for the collapsed Germany.


Remember by this stage of the war Hitler had washed his hands of the German people, and yet the German people as much as they suffered under bombing and the deprivation it caused, did not rise up against the very regime and man who had abandoned them. As far as the British, the Americans and the Soviets fighting against Nazi Germany at this stage of the war there was a common purpose-the destruction of the enemy until the terms of unconditional surrender were met. If this did not happen, then Germany would be destroyed and if need be so would it's people. A sad fact but true and ratified by ALL the Allied partners.

.

Not Germany would be destroed but Nazy regime and Germans military forces.
I hope you do not with to destroy the whole state - you are not Nazy right;)
The main task ol of us was to crush the Nazism - or to help Germans to do it themself ( to make the upheaval and finished the Hitler as they try to do in aug 1944).
But you right the "UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER" made then fatal ( like and Japanes).
But this is the whole other thread;)

Rising Sun*
07-10-2007, 07:25 AM
i/m always knew you assians are heat-loving molly-coddles
-3-4 C- it so terrible for the mid winter :)
...

HE wrote it when in the Moscow was -42 C.
:D
Cheers.

Mate, it's not all beer and skittles down here. 3 to 4 C (NOT -3 to -4C - -- way too cold for us) wasn't mid-winter. It's a lot colder in mid-winter. I've actually been in places in mid-winter where it was maybe -1 to -2C at not much above sea level. Or maybe not, because it was Fahrenheit then and I don't know what 28 to 30F is in C. :D

It strikes me that there is a remarkable coincidence in the facts that, depending upon alcohol content, vodka (commonly known as 'rocket fuel' among my older generation down here who viewed any spirit that wasn't rum as rocket fuel) freezes at anything up to -40C and beer freezes not much beyond -1C. Could there be greater evidence of man's ability to adapt to his environment? :D

Tham
07-19-2007, 12:12 PM
Harris seemed pretty dumb and stubborn to me.

He failed, or refused to admit rather, that German nightfighters were easily homing on to Monica with their Flensburg FuG 227, one of the first RWRs, even when the evidence was overwhelming.

Common sense would have told anyone that it was stupid to use an active tail warning radar, which could easily be detected and was pretty much useless from the countless false alarms of other friendly bombers all around it anyway.

Monica was probably responsible for more losses in bombers and aircrew lives than any other device.

And he refused again to acknowledge that the German fighters were attacking from below with their angled cannons, let alone direct the installation of ventral sighting domes and defensive guns, when the evidence finally became irrefutable.

His stupidity and stubborness certainly caused a good proportion of the 55,000 lives lost.

pdf27
07-19-2007, 01:16 PM
His stupidity and stubborness certainly caused a good proportion of the 55,000 lives lost.
Maybe so, but it is unarguable that without him there would never have been an effective bomber command. Harris inherited a command that was probably losing more aircrew through accidents than they were killing Germans, and turned it into a weapon that could destroy whole cities in a single night. That is a colossal achievement by anybody's standards.

I think you're also being rather harsh with the "stupidity" arguament. Both of those examples are cases where the evidence as available to him was very much more limited than that available to you now and which you are basing your decisions on. Furthermore, they are actually pretty minor matters that would be delegated to specialists within his staff - he would take and act on their advice in these matters.
You're ignoring some of his real strategic blunders like the battle of Berlin, while glossing over cases where he got things very, very right - the introduction of Window, H2S, 1,000 bomber raids and intruder Mosquitoes being four that spring to mind. In each case he was right and the received wisdom from on high was against him.

Tham
07-19-2007, 01:58 PM
Thanks for correcting me, Pdf27.

Yes, I acknowledge that my views of him were rather harsh, given the time frame which he was in when electronic warfare was pretty much in its infancy.

However, I remember reading at least one book, years ago, on Bomber Command operations in which he and his staff were similarly harshly criticized by the author for their shortsightedness,
two of which were the Monica and Schrage Muzik
aspects.

Window, while innovative, was a disaster during
Nuremberg. I think H2S, for the blurry radar images it provided, carried an unacceptable weight and drag penalty. Former RAF servicemen whom I talked to at the Defence Services Asia event in Kuala Lumpur some years ago also mentioned that H2S didn't serve much usefulness.

pdf27
07-19-2007, 03:14 PM
Window, while innovative, was a disaster during
Nuremberg.
How? It is never anything but a handicap to the defender, and the Luftwaffe were too week to use it effectively over the UK


I think H2S, for the blurry radar images it provided, carried an unacceptable weight and drag penalty. Former RAF servicemen whom I talked to at the Defence Services Asia event in Kuala Lumpur some years ago also mentioned that H2S didn't serve much usefulness.
It wasn't fantastic, but given the alternatives was incredibly useful. It changed Bomber Command from a clear weather/moonlit only force to an all weather/dark night force far more capable of hitting the right country. When combined with Pathfinders it was very, very effective when compared to what went before. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking every bomber carried it - only a few did, and they rarely carried a proper bomb load. Flares and target indicators were the usual load.


And it was in fact a war crime even under the rules back then to target civilians, especially late in the war, say 1944 or 1945, when the writing about the end of the war was already on the wall.
No, it wasn't - go away and read the Hague convention again. Bombardment of a town is legitimate if the enemy occupy it, are defending it from your land forces and have not declared it an open city. The bombarding power are however obliged to try to miss churches, hospitals and the like - which should be clearly marked by the defender.
International law changed a great deal immediately after WW2 - you are applying modern standards of law to events before they existed.

1000ydstare
07-19-2007, 04:01 PM
it wasn't a breach of the hague convention to bomb cities.

If it was, then the Germans breached prior to the bombing of German cities.

Even the dam busting raids didnot breach any regulations (except those brought in after the war).

Over concern and pity tend to be directed at the German cities because of the destruction involved. It is worth pointing out that the Germans were the first to target cities in this way.... the deliberate targeting and firebombing of residential areas.

That they suffered more, is irrelevant.

Chevan
07-19-2007, 04:33 PM
How? It is never anything but a handicap to the defender, and the Luftwaffe were too week to use it effectively over the UK

.

Sorry to interrupt you guys but let me add a bit.
The reason of the uneffective Bombing of Britain in 1940-41 was the rought paritet of air forces - the RAF had not a less power then the Luftwaffe.Plus RAF had the advantage - the close airfieldsand friendly AAA-artillery.
in the end of the war the germans had a lack of everything - the total aircraft of the Union air-defense system was in the best times no more then the 350-400 aircrafts( in mid of 1943) .
in 1945 it was no more 250. At the same time allies could reach the Absolute supriority ( the strategic armades consists of 600-1000 of bombers plus 200-350 escort fighter) . the germans had no any ability for the defence, simply coz they had no enought fighters atthat time.
As it was proved in Korea in 1951-53 even the relatively small groups of speed fighter ( about 40-60) were able to naitralized the group of allies strategic bombers B-29 with the escort fighters( 80-100 aircrafts).
For instance the flight of Mig-15 without any special optics and super-radar was able to shot down 10-15% of the bombers- too much for the days bombing raids.
Germans who already in the end of 1944 had the fighter that could fly with speed 800-840 km/h ( more then the allies could even dreamed with Meteor;))
they had a real chance to change the situation in tha sky- but the ability of german industry and lack of everething did not let them to do it.
Even if they was able to produse the 1000 of fighter per lasts month - the lack of fuel and experienced pilots do not let them to use it in full power.

Drake
07-19-2007, 04:37 PM
No, it wasn't - go away and read the Hague convention again. Bombardment of a town is legitimate if the enemy occupy it, are defending it from your land forces and have not declared it an open city. The bombarding power are however obliged to try to miss churches, hospitals and the like - which should be clearly marked by the defender.
International law changed a great deal immediately after WW2 - you are applying modern standards of law to events before they existed.

I didn't say it was illegal to bombard cities. I said it was illegal if the intended target was the civilian population.

pdf27
07-19-2007, 06:51 PM
I didn't say it was illegal to bombard cities. I said it was illegal if the intended target was the civilian population.
Which it never was with Bomber Command, at least not officially. It was merely a terrible accident that all these civilians lived next door to the factory they worked in, and the RAF was anyway lucky to hit the right country early on in the war.

It's worth pointing out at this point that the Germans did explicitly bombard cities with the intent of killing civilians - Belgrade being perhaps the most obvious and well documented (by the Germans) example.

In any case, I'd still like to see any evidence that bombardment of cities with the intent of killing the civilian population was illegal at the time. Prior to WW2 there were so far as I'm aware no laws against it (despite it being held since antiquity as morally unjustifiable), and indeed many theorists thought of it as the most humane way to wage war.
The only one you can argue on is the "laws and customs of war", as it is a long-established custom that noncombatants may not be explicitly targeted. That is still more custom than law however - and bombardment has by it's very nature always been considered largely random.

Nickdfresh
07-19-2007, 09:37 PM
Hi Nick;)
Really a such luaghtable assertion?

Why yes, yes it is. But that's my opinion. Take it or leave it my friend...


I don't think so firstly coz we know for sure that American property in Germany were not bombed- thus the allies BOMBED it SELECTIVELY. Was it luaghtable assertion on you mind;)

No. We don't "know" this at all. I believe the internet speculations you refer too involve deliberately missing some Ford factory or something. Well, I think this can be refuted since it is quite clear by the RISE in levels of German manufacturing in 1944 that Allied strategic bombing was largely nullified by Speers dispersion of the Reich's weapons' industries. They were missing a lot of factories because they were too spread out to sufficiently target and commit aircraft too...

So, you could say that a lot of GERMAN property was "missed" as well, including Krupp, Mercedes, and Opel factories that were also not hit by bombing raids...


Second - the Marshal plan was MAINLY aimed for the USA profit - to get the Europe credits for bying the American goods.
This fact helped the USA economy get rich and avoid the post-war economic crisys.
Shortly speaking ,they spreaded it economical influence over the western Europe.
True, the Marshal credits helped the Europe for the first time- but IT WAS NOT INVESTITIONS- it was not aimed for the restruction and restore of European industrial power.


Oh, those dastardly Americans! Helping to rebuild European industries just so we could selfishly trade goods and services with them. The poor children of Europe. Who will save them from a boundless variety of consumer goods?


I 've read in one of the book ( westerr germany author) that the direct resault of the Marhall plan was that the most of European corporation got the new american masters. The Europe losed the controll for the manies of former its own plants and ets.
So the influece of Marshall plan was not strongly positive for the Europe - this helped the USA to spread its controll over European industry and economic and subdue it politically.

Interesting. I'd love to see actual evidence, and specific examples, of this as a long term affect. I mean, it's not like Dahlmer-Benz owned Chrysler or anything...


I do not say it was definitelly bad in the conditions of Cold war - but it had a other side - the pure american interests.

How could something benificial to Europe, enjoying amongst the highest standards of living in the world be "pure American interest(s)?"


So i/m really do not see the reason why the USA/UK could not bombed out the Germnas industry in the last mounts of war- to liqudate the European competitors.
Considering the fact that in this last period of war all USA/UK/USSR war strategy was determined not as much the military goals as the political post war aims - this fact IMO could explain the sensless destruction of Germans cities in last months of war.

Cheers.

Well, I do think strategic bombing could have been put to better use than to simply firebombing population centers. But there was an urgent sense to get it all over with. Was there not?

Cheers with beers

Nickdfresh
07-19-2007, 09:49 PM
...

Over concern and pity tend to be directed at the German cities because of the destruction involved. It is worth pointing out that the Germans were the first to target cities in this way.... the deliberate targeting and firebombing of residential areas.

That they suffered more, is irrelevant.

I don't agree. It was excessive and unnecessary, but legal, by any standard...

Drake
07-19-2007, 10:38 PM
Which it never was with Bomber Command, at least not officially. It was merely a terrible accident that all these civilians lived next door to the factory they worked in, and the RAF was anyway lucky to hit the right country early on in the war.

Do you really believe that the attack on Dresden for example was for anything else but sheer terror? Again I have to point out it is fairly easy to understand the motivation, but two wrongs don't make a right.



It's worth pointing out at this point that the Germans did explicitly bombard cities with the intent of killing civilians - Belgrade being perhaps the most obvious and well documented (by the Germans) example.

I know, I explicitly mentioned Guernica for that being something like the testing ground for terror bombing. I don't intend to downplay the role the germans of that time played in that bloody mess.



In any case, I'd still like to see any evidence that bombardment of cities with the intent of killing the civilian population was illegal at the time. Prior to WW2 there were so far as I'm aware no laws against it (despite it being held since antiquity as morally unjustifiable), and indeed many theorists thought of it as the most humane way to wage war.
The only one you can argue on is the "laws and customs of war", as it is a long-established custom that noncombatants may not be explicitly targeted. That is still more custom than law however - and bombardment has by it's very nature always been considered largely random.

This is tricky I have to admit, it largely depends on how you interprete and prioritize some of the laws in the Hague Convention but because it was not made for aerial warfare this is pure speculation. I agree that there simply was no international law on the conduct of aerial warfare simply because it was not known by the time of the original convention.

But I think we can also agree that there was no military need for some of the later city raids and that they were if not illegal by the time at least morally more than dubious.
By todays standards Mr. Harris would share a cell with Mr. Milosevic, but I agree that it is highly unfair to judge him that way.

Chevan
07-20-2007, 02:27 AM
Why yes, yes it is. But that's my opinion. Take it or leave it my friend...

OK Nick i will take it ;)


No. We don't "know" this at all. I believe the internet speculations you refer too involve deliberately missing some Ford factory or something. Well, I think this can be refuted since it is quite clear by the RISE in levels of German manufacturing in 1944 that Allied strategic bombing was largely nullified by Speers dispersion of the Reich's weapons' industries. They were missing a lot of factories because they were too spread out to sufficiently target and commit aircraft too...

So, you could say that a lot of GERMAN property was "missed" as well, including Krupp, Mercedes, and Opel factories that were also not hit by bombing raids...

I do not kow about Krupp, Mersedec and Opel but the that what i found in net:)

.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0760700095/qid=1116229290/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/002-0580726-5939223?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
....The outbreak of war in September 1939 resulted inevitably in the full conversion by GM and Ford of their Axis plants to the production of military aircraft and trucks.... On the ground, GM and Ford subsidiaries built nearly 90 percent of the armored "mule" 3-ton half-trucks and more than 70 percent of the Reich's medium and heavy-duty trucks. These vehicles, according to American intelligence reports, served as "the backbone of the German Army transportation system."....

So do you see the allies could be more effectively bother the Germans army not with the fireboming but the bombing the Ford plans. But they did not , right?


Oh, those dastardly Americans! Helping to rebuild European industries just so we could selfishly trade goods and services with them. The poor children of Europe. Who will save them from a boundless variety of consumer goods?

:D
really they are dastard ?
They saved the Europe from a communism ( but the voluntary pay of Europe for this saving was the full american military ( NATO) and financial submission). I did say this bad - but this madal has other dark side;)

How could something benificial to Europe, enjoying amongst the highest standards of living in the world be "pure American interest(s)?"

The standards in Europe could be even higher then in America without the finantial subordination- How could you know?
Why for instance the standards of life in the Japane ( who avoided the Marshall plan) are higher then in the Europe?
How do you think the Germans who reached much more befor during the War ( in technological sence) today are forced to catch up the Japanes( who mostly saved its economical and finantial independence after the war)?


Well, I do think strategic bombing could have been put to better use than to simply firebombing population centers. But there was an urgent sense to get it all over with. Was there not?

Mate , really firebombing had the urgent sense in the last phase of the war?
I think for the violation of transport sistem of Germany by the usial targeted bombings raids should be much effective in war sense. For instane in Dresden allies burned out a whole city but the strategical bridged was undamaged( the few Lancasters could damage it fully)
Cheers with vodka.

Tham
07-20-2007, 11:41 AM
How? It is never anything but a handicap to the defender, and
the Luftwaffe were too weak to use it effectively over the UK.


As I recall reading a book on Nuremberg years ago,
(I don't think it is the one by Martin Middlebrook),
bomber crews frantically threw out bales of Window.

It didn't make any difference - some 300 German
night fighters, including quite a number of Wild
Boar day fighters, easily found them in the clear
moonlight.

The links below appear to confirm Harris as a
stubborn commander who had input from many staff
advisiors, as you mentioned, but refused to listen
to them, at least on this raid. He probably considered
his men "expendable" in his obsession to wreak
mass destruction and death on the German cities.

He virtually sent over 500 men to their deaths
for nothing on this raid.

http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%20history/WW2/bombing%20of%20Nuremberg.htm

http://www.valourandhorror.com/BC/Raids/NurmbrgA.php

http://www.valourandhorror.com/P_Reply/Sup_bc.php


Even when Schrage Muzik was common knowledge
(and British intelligence must have in fact known of
this even long before this) and British bombers were
being shot down in droves, Harris did nothing.
Even a simple window on the floor and a single .50
caliber machine gun would have made a big difference.
Harris just allowed his hapless men to be shot down
like flies. The German pilots must have thought
this was an arcade duck-shooting game. So goes
the caption " ...... and the next one please ! "

He also did nothing to improve the bombers'
pitiful .303 armament. A single .50 Browning
would have been far more effective than the
twin .303s on the front and dorsal turrets.
Similarly, a single Oerlikon FF would have been
far harder hitting than the four "pea shooters"
in the tail turret.

Despite intense running firefights with the
night fighters to and from Nuremberg, the
bombers shot down a mere 11 fighters.

Contrast the Lancaster's and Halifax's armament
with the Japanese Kawanishi HK82 "Emily" flying
boat, which had no less than FIVE Type 99 cannon.

What still puzzles me to this day is why Mosquitoes
were never used as escorts at this point. The
German night fighters were basically not very fast
aircraft, being heavily laden with large radar antenna
and sets. Just about 100 Mosquitoes would easily have
caused a lot of havoc to the 300 night fighters.

Nickdfresh
07-20-2007, 03:58 PM
Do you really believe that the attack on Dresden for example was for anything else but sheer terror? Again I have to point out it is fairly easy to understand the motivation, but two wrongs don't make a right.
....

You may wish to read this thread (http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3103). Unfortunately, it is locked because it became very, very ugly and contentious...

But an interesting read with some very knowledgeable posters nevertheless...

Firefly
07-20-2007, 05:00 PM
As to Harris, go back in time and ask the men. Hindsight is great but the boys in 1942/45 didnt think the same of him that some do today.

I know they didnt know what he did, but then, its like saying Patton was great while forgetting about some of his moves too, especially where he threw his men away indiscriminately trying to take forts that could easily be bypassed.

pdf27
07-20-2007, 07:21 PM
Do you really believe that the attack on Dresden for example was for anything else but sheer terror? Again I have to point out it is fairly easy to understand the motivation, but two wrongs don't make a right.
Actually I think it was a combination of a tactical raid against a major railway junction (and given the abilities of Bomber Command at the time, the only way they had of destroying a specific railway junction was to burn down the city around it) and bureacratic inertia.


This is tricky I have to admit, it largely depends on how you interprete and prioritize some of the laws in the Hague Convention but because it was not made for aerial warfare this is pure speculation. I agree that there simply was no international law on the conduct of aerial warfare simply because it was not known by the time of the original convention.
Personally I take aerial bombardment as a subset of bombardment - the parallells are IMHO pretty clear - in which case the Hague convention explicitly deals with it. There was IIRC some form of convention on aerial bombardment prior to WW1, but the fact that none of the contracting powers every abided by it is clear evidence to me that it never came into force.


But I think we can also agree that there was no military need for some of the later city raids and that they were if not illegal by the time at least morally more than dubious.
By todays standards Mr. Harris would share a cell with Mr. Milosevic, but I agree that it is highly unfair to judge him that way.
Concur, to an extent. However, my attitude is that when you're fighting an opponent who is willing to violate the laws and customs of war in such a way (as the Germans clearly were during WW2) and you are not clearly able to crush them with conventional military force then it is perhaps acceptable to make an example of them as to where frightfulness will lead. Some form of deterrent to committing atrocities is needed, even if it is only "we will do unto you worse than you do unto anyone else". This has very limited applicability - most despots make war against the wishes of their populace - but Hitler was democratically elected and had the support of the overwhelming majority of Germans. As such there is at least a case to be made.


As I recall reading a book on Nuremberg years ago, (I don't think it is the one by Martin Middlebrook), bomber crews frantically threw out bales of Window.

It didn't make any difference - some 300 German night fighters, including quite a number of Wild Boar day fighters, easily found them in the clear
moonlight.
That is one hell of a long way from saying Window was ineffective. That is merely down to an operational planning issue where the bomber force was misused and could not take full advantage of Window. I guarantee you that had they not used it casualties would have been higher still - radar will always outrange eyesight on even the clearest of nights. Furthermore Wilde Sau night fighters were not equipped with radar anyway so Window would be irrelevant.


He probably considered his men "expendable" in his obsession to wreak mass destruction and death on the German cities.
They were. Harris was fighting a battle of attrition in which your men are deliberately expended in return for causing substantially more damage to the enemy. He lost a number of individual battles (Berlin and Nuremberg being perhaps the most obvious) but won his private war. Whether it was a war worth fighting is way above his pay grade - that's a matter for the cabinet and the Imperial General Staff.


Even a simple window on the floor and a single .50 caliber machine gun would have made a big difference. Harris just allowed his hapless men to be shot down like flies. The German pilots must have thought this was an arcade duck-shooting game. So goes the caption " ...... and the next one please ! "
Right... so a single .50 cal hand-aimed machine gun is really going to be a decent defence against 4 x 30mm cannon in a fixed mounting. Adding the extra MG position and the crewman to man it will increase your personnel losses by 10% right off, reduce your cruise speed and operational ceiling by a substantial amount (hence making you much more vulnerable to Flak and night fighters) and give you hardly any increased chance of survival. Have you ever tried to pick out a camouflaged object against a dark background at night? It's all but impossible - the overwhelming likelihood is that the first this gunner would know the enemy were there would be when they saw the muzzle flashes. By then, it's way too late to do any good and they're quite possibly dead anyway.


He also did nothing to improve the bombers' pitiful .303 armament. A single .50 Browning would have been far more effective than the twin .303s on the front and dorsal turrets. Similarly, a single Oerlikon FF would have been far harder hitting than the four "pea shooters" in the tail turret.
So what? The primary duty of the gunners was to warn the pilot when a night fighter got close so that he could commence evasive action. Putting down suppressive fire on the enemy night fighters to aid in breaking contact was a rather distant second, and actually shooting down the enemy was a distant afterthought. Effective range at night is so short and the chances of a hit so low that the primary purpose of the defensive machine guns is to distract the oncoming nightfighter and hopefully scare it off. That requires a high rate of fire and fast traverse - in other words the characteristics of a small caliber machine gun. Hitting power is irrelevant - it would take a minor miracle to actually hit the attacker enough to shoot them down no matter what the calibre.


Contrast the Lancaster's and Halifax's armament with the Japanese Kawanishi HK82 "Emily" flying boat, which had no less than FIVE Type 99 cannon.
Purely and simply the difference in fighting by day and night. Cannon are a liability for a bomber at night as mentioned above. In daylight however the additional range is very useful.


What still puzzles me to this day is why Mosquitoes were never used as escorts at this point. The German night fighters were basically not very fast aircraft, being heavily laden with large radar antenna and sets. Just about 100 Mosquitoes would easily have caused a lot of havoc to the 300 night fighters.
Limited numbers of night fighter Mosquitoes were available - the airframes were all needed for defensive purposes in the UK and as Pathfinders for the main force (where they were of far more use than as night intruders). Furthermore, the UK wasn't willing to take the slightest risk of the Germans getting hold of centimetric radar fighter sets at this point (they were still using what by UK standards were obselete sets) so the early night intruders were all Beaufighters fitted with obselete AI radar (Mk IV IIRC).

Drake
07-20-2007, 08:56 PM
Hitler was democratically elected and had the support of the overwhelming majority of Germans


Uh, this democracy thing was pretty much done by mid 1933 after the Ermächtigungsgesetz (Which only passed cause the SA prevented SPD and others from voting). He was assigned as Chancellor by Hindenburg and got his power from parliament with the votes of the conservatives who clearly had no clue what they were doing and I'm not sure if their voters would have approved his election.
It is very hard to tell how many actually approved his later doings and I am absolutely sure, that if you would've done a survey in august 39: "Should we start yet another war" the vote would've been a very clear no, despite all the propaganda and mass psychology. But I agree he was pretty well liked in the first part of his reign. He hadn't done much damage to the majority of the population up until then. Just to some minorities and people have a tendency to look the other way. Civil courage is unfortunately a pretty rare commodity in a dictatorship. Most people just want to live their lives and I personally don't put blame on them, cause I am not entirely sure if I would've found the courage to stand up against the nazis, because it was well known what happened to those who did. Most likely I would've left as well. Fear is a very powerful weapon.
The really smart germans of course immediatly realized the extent of the mistake most prominent would be Albert Einstein, who left Germany practically on the very day of Hitlers rise to power. He was jewish, but I believe he would've done so even if not, as have many others.



Personally I take aerial bombardment as a subset of bombardment - the parallells are IMHO pretty clear - in which case the Hague convention explicitly deals with it. There was IIRC some form of convention on aerial bombardment prior to WW1, but the fact that none of the contracting powers every abided by it is clear evidence to me that it never came into force.


This is one of the articles that could apply, yes. But that's why I said it would be very tricky lawyerbabble. It also states in article 23:

Besides the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially prohibited:
To employ arms, projectiles, or material of a nature to cause superfluous injury; (I would count inceniaries such as napalm under this rule)

When it comes to this "defended part" it becomes again very tricky. The airspace over germany was defended, so basically not even the smallest village was undefended. But you could also count a peasant with a fork as defender under the rules of this convention, yet I would find it highly inappropriate to blast him out of his pants with an mp;). It becomes obvious the bombardment part was intended to be used in case of an actually besieged city, it was simply unsuitable and outdated for the kind of conflict at hand. But let's say it applies. It states :

-In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps should be taken to spare as far as possible edifices devoted to religion, art, science, and charity, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not used at the same time for military purposes.

I am not sure to what extend there were markings in dresden for example and I also give credit that aerial bombardment was very unprecise, but the allies didn't even try there. They simply used a big flat hammer.

One point I would want to add to the "It was illegal only later, so don't blame him" part of the conversation:
The laws under which several of the crimes the nazi leaders were prosecuted for in the nuremberg trials (very rightfully i might add) such as preparations for waging an aggressive war and crimes against humanity were invented only after the war. So technically speaking they wouldn't have applied as by the time they commited the crime, it wasn't one.

Another point I would want to add, is that it's a very nice change to find a decent and civilized dialogue in an internet forum about a possibly very controversial topic.

redcoat
07-20-2007, 09:36 PM
One point I would want to add to the "It was illegal only later, so don't blame him" part of the conversation:
The laws under which several of the crimes the nazi leaders were prosecuted for in the nuremberg trials (very rightfully i might add) such as preparations for waging an aggressive war and crimes against humanity were invented only after the war. So technically speaking they wouldn't have applied as by the time they commited the crime, it wasn't one.

The reason the Allies were able to bring charges against the Nazi leadership for the preparation and waging of aggressive war was because Germany had signed the Kellogg Briand pact in 1928, which outlawed such practices

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kellogg-Briand_Pact

Drake
07-20-2007, 09:48 PM
Uh right :shock: then the other one :cool:

Nickdfresh
07-21-2007, 12:55 AM
...This has very limited applicability - most despots make war against the wishes of their populace - but Hitler was democratically elected and had the support of the overwhelming majority of Germans. As such there is at least a case to be made.


...


But Hitler wasn't democratically elected. He was appointed...

Nickdfresh
07-21-2007, 01:04 AM
Uh, this democracy thing was pretty much done by mid 1933 after the Ermächtigungsgesetz (Which only passed cause the SA prevented SPD and others from voting). He was assigned as Chancellor by Hindenburg and got his power from parliament with the votes of the conservatives who clearly had no clue what they were doing and I'm not sure if their voters would have approved his election.
It is very hard to tell how many actually approved his later doings and I am absolutely sure, that if you would've done a survey in august 39: "Should we start yet another war" the vote would've been a very clear no, despite all the propaganda and mass psychology...

Only 33% of Germans ever actually voted FOR Hitler...

Tham
07-21-2007, 11:54 AM
Right... so a single .50 cal hand-aimed machine gun is really going to be a decent defence against 4 x 30mm cannon in a fixed mounting.

The "versus" comparator is quite superficial and arbitrary, and is a common misconception amongst many people.

If the .50 caliber rounds hit the German night fighter, they are going to do their same damage regardless of how many 20 or 30 mm guns the enemy aircraft has. If they hit, they hit. Or at least throw the German off-aim. The heavy cannons don't do anything to "protect" or save the night fighter.

This is similar to the common misconception that the Bf109F, with a single 20 mm in the centerline, is "less heavily armed" than the Spitfire's two 20 mms. Most times, I believe only one of the Spitfire's cannon will hit the target, due to the spaced-out wing mounting, regardless of convergence corrections.

And if your reasoning is logical, then one might as well not do anything and sit down, shaking legs in their bombers, as cannon fodder to be shot down like flies.

The British didn't even have any ventral remote-
controlled .50 caliber turrets anyway, let alone 20 mm ones, and night vision devices were only a dream at that time. The suggested ventral window and hand-aimed .50 Browning was a fast, stop-gap measure in the face of countless Schrage Muzik losses. It was also suggested
by the British author of that book I mentioned earlier. The radio operator or navigator could perhaps man that gun when approaching the target, negating the need for an extra man.

Unless you have better ideas.

pdf27
07-21-2007, 05:29 PM
But I agree he was pretty well liked in the first part of his reign. He hadn't done much damage to the majority of the population up until then. Just to some minorities and people have a tendency to look the other way.
I was more referring to the end of the war. Even in 1945 when Germany had clearly lost, very large numbers of Germans were prepared to fight to the death to extend Nazi rule by a few days. This included almost the entire civilian population.


Civil courage is unfortunately a pretty rare commodity in a dictatorship. Most people just want to live their lives and I personally don't put blame on them, cause I am not entirely sure if I would've found the courage to stand up against the nazis, because it was well known what happened to those who did.
So what? In failing to oppose them you - IMHO of course - become guilty of their crimes to almost the same extent as the perpetrators. That is something I wouldn't be willing to have on my conscience.


This is one of the articles that could apply, yes. But that's why I said it would be very tricky lawyerbabble. It also states in article 23:
Besides the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially prohibited:
To employ arms, projectiles, or material of a nature to cause superfluous injury; (I would count inceniaries such as napalm under this rule)
That's the St Petersburg Declaration, which is generally taken to outlaw expanding or explosive bullets fired by a manportable shoulder-fired firearm (that's what was agreed at the time).
Personally, I think "superfluous injury" is a nonsensical concept in a military weapon - they are specifically designed to kill people, and the way you do that is by causing the maximum possible amount of injury to your target.


When it comes to this "defended part" it becomes again very tricky. The airspace over germany was defended, so basically not even the smallest village was undefended. But you could also count a peasant with a fork as defender under the rules of this convention, yet I would find it highly inappropriate to blast him out of his pants with an mp;). It becomes obvious the bombardment part was intended to be used in case of an actually besieged city, it was simply unsuitable and outdated for the kind of conflict at hand.
Arguably so, but there seems to be nothing in the text to prevent you extending it to a whole besieged country. If you do, then ground defences become relevant - even if they are a hell of a long way away from the target. Aircraft in this case are treated as simply very long range artillery, which to my mind seems appropriate.


One point I would want to add to the "It was illegal only later, so don't blame him" part of the conversation:
The laws under which several of the crimes the nazi leaders were prosecuted for in the nuremberg trials (very rightfully i might add) such as preparations for waging an aggressive war and crimes against humanity were invented only after the war. So technically speaking they wouldn't have applied as by the time they commited the crime, it wasn't one.
Waging agressive war seems to me to be somewhat of an ex post facto crime - ever since the Treaty of Westphalia it had been assumed that a head of state had the right to wage war and that this was somewhere close to an unlimited right (compared to previous moral views). Crimes against humanity are not a postwar invention however - they merely encompass a very large number of individual crimes of murder, which was a crime under the German criminal law prior to the war.

pdf27
07-21-2007, 05:34 PM
The "versus" comparator is quite superficial and arbitrary, and is a common misconception amongst many people.
Hardly - see the rest of it for the analysis.


If the .50 caliber rounds hit the German night fighter, they are going to do their same damage regardless of how many 20 or 30 mm guns the enemy aircraft has. If they hit, they hit. Or at least throw the German off-aim. The heavy cannons don't do anything to "protect" or save the night fighter.
Umm... given the relative positions and the chance of the bomber spotting the nightfighter in time, the cannon will probably work by killing the gunner before he gets a shot off.


This is similar to the common misconception that the Bf109F, with a single 20 mm in the centerline, is "less heavily armed" than the Spitfire's two 20 mms. Most times, I believe only one of the Spitfire's cannon will hit the target, due to the spaced-out wing mounting, regardless of convergence corrections.
Depends on harmonisation and range. Chances are, all the Spitfire guns will hit as many times as the Bf109 gun hits - deflection shooting errors are rather bigger than convergance errors.


And if your reasoning is logical, then one might as well not do anything and sit down, shaking legs in their bombers, as cannon fodder to be shot down like flies.
Pretty much British postwar rationale. Note that NO British bomber since the Lancaster has had any form of defensive armament.


The radio operator or navigator could perhaps man that gun when approaching the target, negating the need for an extra man.
IIRC they were the front gunner at the time. Approaching the target the main danger was the Wilde Sau fighters anyway. Schrage Musik was more a danger on the in/out routes.

redcoat
07-21-2007, 05:52 PM
The British didn't even have any ventral remote-
controlled .50 caliber turrets anyway, let alone 20 mm ones, and night vision devices were only a dream at that time. The suggested ventral window and hand-aimed .50 Browning was a fast, stop-gap measure in the face of countless Schrage Muzik losses. It was also suggested
by the British author of that book I mentioned earlier. The radio operator or navigator could perhaps man that gun when approaching the target, negating the need for an extra man.

Unless you have better ideas.
Bomber Command had mainly solved the Schrage Muzik problem by the spring of 1944, when most of the bombers were fitted with 'Fishpond', a warning radar which showed them when an aircraft was below and behind them, and losses dropped sharply.

Drake
07-21-2007, 08:53 PM
I was more referring to the end of the war. Even in 1945 when Germany had clearly lost, very large numbers of Germans were prepared to fight to the death to extend Nazi rule by a few days. This included almost the entire civilian population.


There were many reasons why germans kept fighting, but I doubt the reason for the majority was to keep hitler in power.



So what? In failing to oppose them you - IMHO of course - become guilty of their crimes to almost the same extent as the perpetrators. That is something I wouldn't be willing to have on my conscience.


I wouldn't want it on me either, but sometimes your choices are very limited.
I think it's pretty easy and pretentious in the comfort and safety we live in today to say : "I would have, could have". And I'm sure a lot of people felt guilty after the war for looking the other way, doing nothing.
But I have a little thought experiment for you. Let's assume you're in a bank and suddenly a bank robber comes in, heavily armed, and takes all the money.
I assume you are obviously and clearly guilty of armed robbery and taking of hostages, as are all the other customers.



Personally, I think "superfluous injury" is a nonsensical concept in a military weapon - they are specifically designed to kill people, and the way you do that is by causing the maximum possible amount of injury to your target.


I guess the point should limit the suffering of the poor souls that survive. Burning alive is possibly the most horrible thing I can imagine, surviving it might be just as horrible for the rest of your life. But I agree that its a very odd concept considering the purpose of weapons.

pdf27
07-22-2007, 03:47 PM
But I have a little thought experiment for you. Let's assume you're in a bank and suddenly a bank robber comes in, heavily armed, and takes all the money.
I assume you are obviously and clearly guilty of armed robbery and taking of hostages, as are all the other customers.
Non-sequitor - you're suggesting that you should risk your own life and that of others around you to save money for a third party. A better simile would be a situation where the bank robbery has gone wrong, the robbers have taken everyone in the bank hostage and are starting to murder them to force the police to give in. What kind of person are you if you just ignore them doing that?


I guess the point should limit the suffering of the poor souls that survive. Burning alive is possibly the most horrible thing I can imagine, surviving it might be just as horrible for the rest of your life. But I agree that its a very odd concept considering the purpose of weapons.
Napalm is hardly the only weapon to cause terrible burns. Just about any high explosive will do that, as will smoke rounds (which contain white phosphorous).

Drake
07-22-2007, 06:56 PM
Non-sequitor - you're suggesting that you should risk your own life and that of others around you to save money for a third party. A better simile would be a situation where the bank robbery has gone wrong, the robbers have taken everyone in the bank hostage and are starting to murder them to force the police to give in. What kind of person are you if you just ignore them doing that?

Possibly a hostage as all the others. There is nothing you can do about it, except dying first if you don't happen to call yourself John Mclane.
If I was the police chief with a capable specialized counter terrorist force such as the gsg9 here in germany I would order an immediate rescue attempt. But that is precisely the situation the population found itself in. They were many, as usual in a hostage situation, but a small (in relative numbers, absolute there were possibly several 100000 of hardcore nazi, SA had over 500000 members in 1933) group was in absolute control over life and death. There were only very few persons who would've had a chance to do anything about it, cause they had an organisation to rely on, namely the generals of the army, but even for them it was very difficult and they risked not only their lives but also those of their beloved. It has been proven time and again in world history, that the population in a dictatorship can hardly hope to do anything without major help from the outside if the dictators are willing to use force to remain in power. (June 17th 1953 in east germany, Prague in the sixties, tien an men etc.) There were those in germany who stood up publicly to serve as a beacon of morale and justice, such as the white rose and several catholic and protestant priests, but they simply vanished in the cellars of the gestapo.
The only persons who should have been really ashamed and punished afterwards were imho those who used the situation for personal gain. But when it comes to the average joe I don't think that we have the moral high ground to judge him for his actions or better inactions.

pdf27
07-23-2007, 02:54 AM
They were many, as usual in a hostage situation, but a small (in relative numbers, absolute there were possibly several 100000 of hardcore nazi, SA had over 500000 members in 1933) group was in absolute control over life and death. There were only very few persons who would've had a chance to do anything about it, cause they had an organisation to rely on, namely the generals of the army, but even for them it was very difficult and they risked not only their lives but also those of their beloved.
Every occupied nation in Europe had some sort of effective resistance organisation except Germany. Are you trying to persuade me that having the entire Wehrmacht breathing down your neck is somehow less scary and dangerous than the NSDAP members in Germany?

Drake
07-23-2007, 12:56 PM
Every occupied nation in Europe had some sort of effective resistance organisation except Germany. Are you trying to persuade me that having the entire Wehrmacht breathing down your neck is somehow less scary and dangerous than the NSDAP members in Germany?

I guess the fear of reprisal didn't differ here or there.
You are right, there were people who did the things they could all over europe. There were also just as many collaborateurs, probably much more.
But the overwhelming part of the occupied population just wanted to live on and so they found themselves in the same situation as most of the german civilians.
But I think we have an entirely different opinion when it comes to the "effective" part. The resistance in europe was never anything but a little harassment in the grand scheme of things.
And it is simply not true, that the germans did nothing. There were people in germany helping jews and doing whatever all those others did (in secrecy), just as anywhere else. And I indeed believe, that it was much more difficult to actually organize something in germany than anywhere else, because the grip the nazi had on germany was much more firm (intelligence wise) than in occupied territory. An organization requires a tremendous amount of secrecy and the capability of the nazi to uncover such "plots" was much bigger in germany than anywhere else, simply due to the fact, that this has long been their base of operation and they had years prior to the war to establish the necessary means to counter such action.
The interesting question here seems to be, what precisely you would have expected from the german population? Overthrowing the government? You still seem unable to grasp the concept of a dictatorship. And I have to point out again, that we are talking about average joe here, not the adolf followers, who I have no intention to defend in any way.

Nickdfresh
07-23-2007, 03:23 PM
Every occupied nation in Europe had some sort of effective resistance organisation except Germany...

Most resistance organizations were minimally effective and really had a very small overall impact on the War. With the possible exception of the Balkans, they tied down few German troops, and were kept in check by security forces that were often partially comprised of their own traitor countrymen...

There was a core of anti-Nazi officers that were centered within the Wehrmacht, most notably at the HQ of 'Army Group Centre' on the Eastern Front (where Von Stauffenberg began his agitations as he witnessed what was often open contempt for Hitler and the brutal methods only alienating the Soviet populations). I read speculations by John Keegan that Hitler was actually in some danger when he visited the command in 1942 (I think), when things were beginning to go badly...

And I think the point must be made that the Nazis controlled Germany and Austria before they controlled any other nation, and had stifled any dissent by the late thirties. (by WWII, it was an offense punishable by death to listen to the BBC!) But there were numerous plots to kill Hitler, but the Wehrmacht officers that hated him were victims of their own initial successes...

pdf27
07-23-2007, 06:58 PM
Most resistance organizations were minimally effective and really had a very small overall impact on the War. With the possible exception of the Balkans, they tied down few German troops, and were kept in check by security forces that were often partially comprised of their own traitor countrymen...
The Danes and Norwegians achieved a fair bit. In any case, the point is that they tried and the Germans didn't


There was a core of anti-Nazi officers that were centered within the Wehrmacht, most notably at the HQ of 'Army Group Centre' on the Eastern Front (where Von Stauffenberg began his agitations as he witnessed what was often open contempt for Hitler and the brutal methods only alienating the Soviet populations). I read speculations by John Keegan that Hitler was actually in some danger when he visited the command in 1942 (I think), when things were beginning to go badly...
Anti-Nazi is a rather misleading tag for them, although "when things were beginning to go badly" hits the nail squarely on the head. All of the plots within the Wehrmacht aimed at removing Hitler were based on the premise that if he was removed Germany would either do better or be able to negotiate a favourable peace treaty that would enable it to maintain it's gains. There was never any sense that what they had done was morally wrong, merely hard-headed practicality seeking to maximise what they could get out of it for Germany. That, IMHO, makes them virtually as bad as the Nazis.

Rising Sun*
07-23-2007, 08:49 PM
It's not comparing apples with apples to compare resistance movements in occupied Europe with what happened, or didn't happen, in Germany.

Resistance movements in occupied countries were opposing an external enemy.

Germans would be opposing and taking up arms against their own people and nation. It's a lot harder to do that than to oppose another nation.

Another problem is that the aim and result for occupied countries was simple: eject the invader and regain our independence, not that it turned out that way for a lot of countries.

What would have happened in Germany if the Nazis had been toppled? Whatever evils might have underpinned and been committed by the Nazis, they at least brought a far greater stability to the vast bulk of the German people than they had known in recent memory. It would have been difficult for many Germans to work to destroy that and risk creating even more turbulent times than they experienced 1918-33.

Drake
07-24-2007, 08:28 AM
The Danes and Norwegians achieved a fair bit. In any case, the point is that they tried and the Germans didn't.

You should seriously consider polishing your knowledge of german history during that period. Your statements that they did nothing are plain and simply wrong. And while I have no intention to hide the lights of those in the resistence movements under a bushel, as I consider that highly disrespectful given the personal risks they have taken, their achievements were minimal. Usually the best they could do is provide some intelligence to the allies, which those had to verify anyway. I don't doubt their commitment, but there simply was no way in hell, they could've helped themselves in any way to get rid of the german occupation without the allies actually defeating nazi germany.
So coincidentally the only hope they had, besides nazi defeat, was, that those germans who did nothing, achieve a change of government.



Anti-Nazi is a rather misleading tag for them, although "when things were beginning to go badly" hits the nail squarely on the head. All of the plots within the Wehrmacht aimed at removing Hitler were based on the premise that if he was removed Germany would either do better or be able to negotiate a favourable peace treaty that would enable it to maintain it's gains. There was never any sense that what they had done was morally wrong, merely hard-headed practicality seeking to maximise what they could get out of it for Germany. That, IMHO, makes them virtually as bad as the Nazis.

There were plots even before the war, for example during the Czech crisis. The military elite wanted to remove him there, despite all of hitlers "achievements" and despite the fact, that they had sworn an oath to him personally, which by that time really meant a LOT to a prussian officer.
If the French and British hadn't sold out Czechoslovakia there and Hitler would've declared war, his reign would've been over with a pretty high probability. But you have of course to wait for an opportunity to remove an existing government, you are not working in a void. After the fall of france there was a period of time, where hitler was practically untouchable. The common general in germany had always mostly been a prussian catholic noble, they were not exactly friends of hitler or his policies to start with, although happy that "their" military was again getting stronger as it should be in their eyes. And of course they would've tried to negotiate a favorable peace, after all it was the not so favorable peace of WW1, that gave Hitler the ammunition to bombard the Weimar Republic from the very beginning.
I doubt however, that they would've insisted on anything but west prussia and the other areas with a majority german population which was german anyway prior to ww1. They didn't share Hitlers dream of Lebensraum.

Egorka
07-24-2007, 05:38 PM
Off topic:

Drake, I am actually rahter happy we have such an active German forum member who pedals the German point of view.
It is very good for the discussion!

P.S: It does not mean I agree with everything you say. ;)

Rising Sun*
07-25-2007, 10:36 AM
Off topic:

Drake, I am actually rahter happy we have such an active German forum member who pedals the German point of view.
It is very good for the discussion!

P.S: It does not mean I agree with everything you say. ;)

Drake

I'm glad to see you, and your well argued views, too.

[Just quietly, between you and me, Egorka is fine as long as you present your arguments in figures. Make sure they're big figures because he's Russian and he's not used to anything under millions :D]

Drake
07-25-2007, 11:50 AM
Uh, thanks ;) :oops:

Nickdfresh
07-25-2007, 04:31 PM
The Danes and Norwegians achieved a fair bit. In any case, the point is that they tried and the Germans didn't

The Danes presented essentially no military resistance to the Germans. They also surrendered with firing nary a shot.

And the Norwegians had benefit of close ties to, and significant training by, the SOE, OSS, and SAS. In fact, they were essentially very well trained and equipped SAS members that happened to be Norwegian. They were also operating in a sparsely populated frozen tundra which made direct reprisals against Norwegian civilians, by the Nazis, less practical as a deterrent...

History has shown that the best "resistance organizations" against the Nazi Germans were essentially intelligence gatherers in nature. Proactive military resistance was retributive harshly, and resistance organizations themselves were relatively easy to penetrate by the Gestapo, indigenous fifth columnists, or Abwehr, since they were predominately based on a conventional military organization, and not cellular structures generally speaking...

And of course, there were a number of German agents, communist and otherwise, that served the Allied cause. Including an unnamed, and to this day unknown, German spy that delivered the secrets of the Nazi bomb program; this allowed the Norwegian commandos to be as "effective" as they were in stopping it...

And we'll have to agree to disagree that there was no resistance to Hitler in the Third Reich. For there in fact was...


Anti-Nazi is a rather misleading tag for them, although "when things were beginning to go badly" hits the nail squarely on the head. All of the plots within the Wehrmacht aimed at removing Hitler were based on the premise that if he was removed Germany would either do better or be able to negotiate a favourable peace treaty that would enable it to maintain it's gains. There was never any sense that what they had done was morally wrong, merely hard-headed practicality seeking to maximise what they could get out of it for Germany. That, IMHO, makes them virtually as bad as the Nazis.

It is true that the motives of the coup plotters was largely nationalistic. They were patriots, as any German that fought Hitler, but many were also pious Christians genuinely disgusted with the treatment of the Jews and of the peoples living under Nazi occupation. They also rightly saw these policies as not only evil incarnate, but as even counterproductive to their mission of conquest, or later, defense as resources were spent and otherwise potentially sympathetic indigenous populations alienated...

And as pointed out by Drake, to judge those Germans that took a stand against Hitler as "virtually as bad as the Nazis" is a profoundly unfair, even unconscionable, statement to make, since they risked the loss of everything, including (their perception, reinforced by propaganda and threats even if it wasn't necessarily true in many cases) their wives and children...

ww2artist
09-03-2007, 04:56 AM
Thinking of how the Luftwaffe hit London during the Blitz, how they later launched V1s and V2s that indiscriminately fell on any target, how they murdered the Jews, and also the way in which allied airman were beaten to death by civilians, I think Bomber Harris did what he had to do. Those are just a few incidents that were carried out by Germany, and I'm sure it wasn't just the SS that carried out these atrocities.
Daylight raids were far too costly for the RAF, and anyway, the USAAF with their Norden bomb sights took that one, so night-time was the only suitable time for RAF large scale raids and even these produced heavy losses.
No, not a hero, or a bastard, but someone who got the job done. We were in all out war! Germany wasn't going to surrender anytime soon, they were still gassing Jews right up to the moment the Allies arrived at the camps. They still fought on even with the Russians within the suburbs of Berlin. That type of fanaticism had to be defeated by any means necessary. Those old men and young boys defending their home city could have thrown down their weapons and surrendered at any time. And before anyone says that the Russians acted like savages to the people of Berlin, think of the atrocities in any villages or towns committed by Germans as they advanced through Russia!

Egorka
09-03-2007, 08:18 AM
Hello ww2 artist,
Welcome to the forum!

Thinking of how the Luftwaffe hit London during the Blitz, how they later launched V1s and V2s that indiscriminately fell on any target,
That is right. But fact still remains that there were killed more than 10 times the number of german civilians than British in the same kind of actions.


how they murdered the Jews,
Presumeably the Allied command knew NOTHING about the extermination in the concentration camps. So this argument is not correct.


and also the way in which allied airman were beaten to death by civilians,
Yes, it is ugly. But I do nto know what whould happened to the German pilots if half a million Brits were killed in bombing. What do you think?

Regards
Igor

Firefly
09-04-2007, 04:21 PM
That is right. But fact still remains that there were killed more than 10 times the number of german civilians than British in the same kind of actions.

Hmm, I wonder how many Jews were gassed by the UK compared to how many that Germany did.

Your argument isnt exactly valid is it?

How many foreign labourers were killed by the bombings that could have been saved if only the Germans allowed them into air raid shelters?

Nickdfresh
09-05-2007, 10:05 AM
Or the 250,000 Germans that were killed in The Battle of Berlin? Did it matter if they were killed via bombing, starvation, or Soviet artillery "firesacks?"

redcoat
09-05-2007, 03:41 PM
Hello ww2 artist,
Welcome to the forum!

That is right. But fact still remains that there were killed more than 10 times the number of german civilians than British in the same kind of actions.
its a little hypocritical to complain if the enemy uses the tactics you first used on them, more effectively



Presumeably the Allied command knew NOTHING about the extermination in the concentration camps. So this argument is not correct.
The Allies while not fully aware of the scale of the holocaust at the death camps were fully aware of the SS death squads operating in the East.



Yes, it is ugly. But I do nto know what whould happened to the German pilots if half a million Brits were killed in bombing. What do you think?

Regards
Igor
There are a couple of instances where German pilots were attacked by mobs. However this type of behaviour was never encouraged by the British authorities, unlike in Germany.

generalderpanzertruppen
03-16-2008, 06:28 AM
It beats me why the RAF thought that Germany would cave in after sustained bombing of civilian targets in the first place. It didn't work when the Luftwaffe tried it on England, why did they think that Germans would fold any quicker? Yet they kept it up for years, with no real apparent slowdown by the German war machine. Arms production of all kinds actually went up IIRC during the peak of British bombing. What exactly did they think they were achieving? Or was it more of a revenge campaign?

Nickdfresh
03-16-2008, 09:31 AM
It beats me why the RAF thought that Germany would cave in after sustained bombing of civilian targets in the first place. It didn't work when the Luftwaffe tried it on England, why did they think that Germans would fold any quicker? Yet they kept it up for years, with no real apparent slowdown by the German war machine. Arms production of all kinds actually went up IIRC during the peak of British bombing. What exactly did they think they were achieving? Or was it more of a revenge campaign?

There's some truth to this. But it should be noted that Germany only went over to a full War economy in 1942, and the dispersion of industry from major metropolitan areas to rural areas caused disruption in the German production and made it more difficult to get their equipment to the front and still forced them to consume more resources, increasing the cost of unit production. Not to mention that the Germans also enjoyed over-designing things and producing overly complex machines.

Also, don't underestimate the resources the Luftwaffe had to pour into defending the Reich against air attacks, and how the diversion of those resources starved them in terms of air power and guns on the Eastern Front...


But I agree, there was a better way to use the Allied strategic air power advantage that would ultimately have been more humane, and effective...

Nickdfresh
03-16-2008, 09:50 AM
...
Harris said that if a hundred thousand civilians died to save one british soldier that was an acceptable price, i cant agree more,crushing majority of germans were nazi supporters, today they are different people but back then even wholesale extermination of the german people to save the lives of their victims i would find acceptable, germans of WW2 deserved total war, they deserved every death, every rape, every bomb.
...
Harris was not a hero but i find his approach extremely healthy( even if not politically correct ) under the circumstances.

But he didn't really save any British soldiers with area bombing, certainly not that many. In fact, if Harris had had his way, the air power of Bomber Command and the 8th AF never would have been used in direct support prior too, and during, the Normandy campaign, which would have cost thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Western Allied soldiers their lives. This was simply because Harris had decried the use of air power in direct support of armies, despite the fact it had shown to be quite effective and accurate when used in conjunction of direct offensive actions of said armies..

Covenanter
03-16-2008, 09:52 AM
But he didn't really save any British soldiers with area bombing, certainly not that many. In fact, if Harris had had his way, the air power of Bomber Command and the 8th AF never would have been used in direct support prior too, and during, the Normandy campaign, which would have cost thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Western Allied soldiers their lives. This was simply because Harris had decried the use of air power in direct support of armies, despite the fact it had shown to be quite effective and accurate when used in conjunction of direct offensive actions of said armies..


That Harris shunned the direct bomber support is a massive mistake on his part, regardless one cannot underastimate the value of terror warfare, it wouldnt work on Russians but Germany was already aware that it lost the war so further crushing its morale would ceirtanly make it easier.

Nickdfresh
03-16-2008, 10:07 AM
What the Luftwaffe tried on England wasn't comparable with the Allied bombing campaign against Germany, nor did Germany run such a sustained campaign as the Allies did against Germany.

Germany never had a heavy bomber, let alone thousands of them, that could inflict anything like the damage on England that the Allies inflicted on Germany.

Popular history throws up Rotterdam and Coventry in conjunction with Dresden and Cologne and Hamburg and even Tokyo as examples of the power of and death visited by bombers.

Check out the death tolls and you'll find that Rotterdam and Coventry weren't in the same league. They were just terrible in the early days of the war when there wasn't anything worse to compare them with. That came later, in the Allied campaigns against the Axis powers.

True. But it was the thought that counts. I don't agree with the Allied campaign, but having said that, it is too often simply distilled down to a "whirlwind" campaign of punition. I think the historical evidence doesn't really bear this out and the UK/US bomber crews clearly were sent with the mandate to smash German industry, not to conduct a localized genocide. The only ways they effectively could attack the Third Reich in 1941-1944, by air...

But that in no way justifies the wanton killing of civilians by area bombing...

Nickdfresh
03-16-2008, 10:18 AM
That Harris shunned the direct bomber support is a massive mistake on his part, regardless one cannot underastimate the value of terror warfare, it wouldnt work on Russians but Germany was already aware that it lost the war so further crushing its morale would ceirtanly make it easier.


There was absolutely no direct correlation between terror bombing, and the breaking of the German will to fight. Indeed, many at the front fought harder as they were pissed. For the very same reasons the Russians did...

Feel free to provide evidence/studies to the contrary...And your opinions are being dangerously masked as fact here.

I've been in this thread and have in a sense egged in on. You guys need to cool the Poland vs. German blood feud, or this thread is getting closed!

I think I'm going to separate this off as it is since we're getting off topic...

Nickdfresh
03-16-2008, 10:33 AM
That Harris shunned the direct bomber support is a massive mistake on his part, regardless one cannot underastimate the value of terror warfare, it wouldnt work on Russians but Germany was already aware that it lost the war so further crushing its morale would ceirtanly make it easier.

Harris should have been replaced by Gen. Eisenhower's aide, Air Marshal Arthur Tedder...

Nickdfresh
03-16-2008, 10:35 AM
Closing this thread, temporarily, to let things cool off...

Firefly
03-16-2008, 04:22 PM
Heres my problem.

While interesting, this debate has stepped outside the bounds of the Thread title.

Maybe someone could start a new thread about nazism and just how they came to power in 1930's germany?

Ive always wondered how a nation who gave us sciences and great composers and literature and humanities and so much more could basically be hijacked by a bunch of complete thugs and be complicit in the whole thing.

But this thread is for bomber Harris, his rights, his wrongs and the actions that he took and the effects of those actions.

Cheers......