WWII Allied Bombing

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WWII Allied Bombing

Postby kabuki » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:58 pm

Was the Allied bombing of German cities, especially Dresden, a crime against humanity?
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby BjornP » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:11 pm

You might want to give HH show #42 "Logical Insanity" a listen, and read the threads devoted to it. ;)

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=32450

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=32363

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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Inquizitr » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:15 pm

Sure, burning women and children to death with incendiary bombs for no other reason than to try and break a countries morale, is moral. And slaughtering squaws and papooses was justified as well, for retribution. The CIA setting up death squads in Nicaragua to defend the US puppet regime from Communists was also justified. Don't you get it? anything the government does is justified even burning children (1,000's at a time) to death.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Smitty-48 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:38 pm

Bomber Command Heroes Finally Get Their Memorial

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The Bomber Command Memorial statue is long overdue. It was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on June 28, 2012 in London.

London is littered with monuments to those who fought in the wars of the bloody 20th century, for King, Empire and at times democracy. There’s even one to the animals who served and died in British military service. Now, finally, the men of Bomber Command, who carried out the allies’ least-loved campaign of World War II, have their well-deserved memorial.

It comes fully 67 years after the guns fell silent, and for good reason. Even during the war there was misgiving about the policy of saturation bombing of German cities adopted by Air Marshall Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris. That grew into revulsion when it became clear that something like half a million German civilians had died — not as a result of what we now call “collateral damage,” but due to deliberate targeting of city centres in an unsuccessful effort to break the will of the enemy.

There was no campaign medal for the aircrews and for many years no honours for Harris. It took until now for a private campaign involving such high-profile figures as the late Bee Gee, Robin Gibb, to build the elaborate memorial on the edge of Green Park in central London that was formally unveiled last week by the Queen.

The moral dilemma of the bombing campaign — is killing hundreds of thousands of civilians justified in the cause of defeating an unalloyed evil like Naziism? — will never be resolved. Canadians went through that debate 20 years ago when the CBC aired a documentary, The Valour and the Horror, that confronted the brutal reality of bombing defenceless civilians.

None of that, however, detracts from the heroism of the 125,000 men, about 10,000 of them Canadian, who served in Bomber Command. The Green Park memorial is dedicated to the 55,573 who died. Another 18,000 were wounded or taken prisoner, for an appalling casualty rate of 60 per cent — the highest of any service.

Their average age was just 22, and they did what they were told to do at a time when London and other British cities were being mercilessly bombed from the other side. Mike Lewis, a Canadian pilot, put it this way in a new British documentary about the campaign: “You can’t have experienced the Blitz without getting a very natural human reaction of wanting to punch back. So I punched back.” The old men who drew up the plans to decimate Dresden and Hamburg have answered for their deeds. The young men who flew the planes and dropped the bombs deserve their moment of official recognition, at last.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editoria ... r-memorial


Bomber Command Hero Says Memorial Is 'long overdue'


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A WAR hero from Flackwell Heath says a memorial to the thousands of airmen led from RAF High Wycombe who lost their lives during the Second World War is 'long overdue'.

It was unveiled for the first time by the Queen seventy years after renowned war hero Sir Arthur Harris took up the post of commander-in-chief at Bomber Command.

RAF veteran Charlie Darby, who flew 30 missions with Bomber Command, was one of many people invited along to the official unveiling in London's Green Park on Thursday June 28.

The 88-year-old said it was "a privilege" to attend the event.

Mr Darby said: "It's a long time overdue but it's there.

"We saw it on the big screen as we were sitting back a long way in Green Park. We're going up at a later date."

Mr Darby served as a tail gunner with the Bomber Command unit and had a couple of near misses while on missions, the closest being when his crew managed to shake off a German fighter plane over the Ruhr valley.

From 1940 Bomber Command had its headquarters at RAF High Wycombe in Naphill and raids on the enemy were co-ordinated from there.

A total of 55,573 members of Bomber Command were killed in action during air raids over Germany during the war and the statue is dedicated to their memory.

Reflecting on his time in Bomber Command, Mr Darby said: "I served in an Australian Squadron because my pilot was Australian.

"I joined in 1943 at the age of 19. I flew 30 operations, 15 in daylight and 15 at night. From there you were grounded for six months and given a rest from operations. Mine was in January 1945 - the end was getting near and there was no way I was going back up."

Mark Williams, branch secretary of the High Wycombe Royal British Legion, watched the ceremony on TV.

He said: "It was a lovely ceremony, but then everything involving the Queen is.

"More than 55,000 out of 110,000 of those that served never came back and they should have been honoured like this many years ago. It's long overdue.
"

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/98 ... _overdue_/
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Inquizitr » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:14 am

Wow, a wall of text about how brave the bombers were. Yes, they faced danger, from people trying to not get blown up or crushed under debris. But only 2 sentences on those innocent civilians. I do not blame the pilots or air crews, they were following orders. But I think it is a cowardly tactic. The bombing of civilians is terrorism. Killing non-combatants to try and bring down the morale of a nation more than likely would have the opposite effect. It sure did not work on North Vietnam and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings and raised greater ire against the war at home. The strangling of supply routes to Japan probably had more to do with their surrender than the killing of nearly a million people with ordnance. Dresden had little military signifigance. The industrial centers were not targeted. But the cultural center of this ancient city was destroyed. It was clearly a bombing of retribution. A childish tactic that should be below a great nation.
The Nazis did use indiscriminate tactics, bombing Poland's civilian centers. They also used concentration camps and brick ovens to deal what they considered their internal enemies. Should we also adopt that policy?
Collateral damage in an attempt to destroy a countries ability to manufacture war machines is understandable. But intentional killing of women and children is unjustifiable.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Smitty-48 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:11 pm

Can't have it both ways. If it's Crimes Against Humanity, the aircrews, certainly the commissioned officers, are indicted, as "just following orders" has been negated by the Nuremberg Principles.

Now, for Inquizitur et al, to twist themselves into a pretzel to retroactively criminalize the force, while stating that they aren't criminalizing the aircrews, thus contradicting themselves as they try to have their cake and eat it too, is hardly surprising, but for Carlin to do it on the show, is a real disappointment.

I honestly have more respect for people who just have the courage of their convictions and state openly that it was a war crime and the air crews are war criminals, which is the only option the law actually allows for, since they would have been bound to refuse the mission and take the courts martial/firing squad to comply with the law (even though, and lets be clear about this; the Nuremberg law that we are discussing here, wasn't on the books at the time and is being applied retroactively), than the people who try to pick the pepper out of the fly shit, with the pissant "criminal mission, but just following orders" contradictory blather.

I may disagree with those twats who make no distinction between the Nazis and the Allies, but I have more respect for their willingness to embrace their doctrine in a unified and consistent manner, rather than trying to have it both ways.

If you're going to declare the air crews to be war criminals, than just do it. Don't try to do it by nudge-nudge, wink-wink innuendo, so you can avoid the implications of your argument, cause that's a cop out.

I'll argue the law. I have argued the law. Nobody here seems to actually give a shit about the law, that they are holding up as a their principles. As soon as you point out that the law was not applicable, the hypocrites immediately shift the goal posts and start to call it "terrorism" and "cowardly" etc, while at the same time ducking, by saying they "don't blame the aircrews", because they "were just following orders"... which is actually against the very law, which these little twats declared was the principle that they were arguing, in the first place.

Dan thinks I'm mad at him.. but I'm not mad at him, I'm just disappointed that he would align and associate himself with this brand of weak shit, on his flagship show.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby jxc » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:56 pm

Inquizitr wrote:Collateral damage in an attempt to destroy a countries ability to manufacture war machines is understandable. But intentional killing of women and children is unjustifiable.


I'm curious to know which allied bombing raid(s) intentionally targeted women and children, specifically.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Smitty-48 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:09 pm

jxc wrote:
Inquizitr wrote:Collateral damage in an attempt to destroy a countries ability to manufacture war machines is understandable. But intentional killing of women and children is unjustifiable.


I'm curious to know which allied bombing raid(s) intentionally targeted women and children, specifically.


It isn't actually relevant to the law. The law, and the applicable law at the time was; the Hague Convention, had no clauses governing air bombardment. However, even if you apply the Naval clauses on bombardment, it didn't say anything about women and children. It said that if there was an undefended city, in a country that wasn't fighting back and trying to sink you, you couldn't just bombard that city from the sea.

The point was not to spare women and children, the point was that you couldn't just pummel a defenseless city into the dust, when they weren't fighting back and defending themselves, or taking any offensive action against your forces and/or civilians.

Now, if it was a heavily defended city, in a country that was a fortress, mobilized for total war of annihilation against you, including bombing your cites and waging unrestricted submarine warfare to starve you out, in an ongoing campaign of unprovoked and genocidal aggression? Legitimate target. Bombs away. Not pretty. Not nice. But it was legal, at the time.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby jxc » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:27 pm

Smitty-48 wrote:It isn't actually relevant to the law. The law, and the applicable law at the time was; the Hague Convention, had no clauses governing air bombardment. However, even if you apply the Naval clauses on bombardment, it didn't say anything about women and children. It said that if there was an undefended city, in a country that wasn't fighting back and trying to sink you, you couldn't just bombard that city from the sea.


Fair enough. My curiosity was prompted by Inquizitr's unjustifiable "intentional killing of women and children" comment. What women and children (not collaterally, but as targets) were intentionally killed by allied bombing?


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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Smitty-48 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:32 pm

jxc wrote:Fair enough. My curiosity was prompted by Inquizitr's unjustifiable "intentional killing of women and children" comment. What women and children (not collaterally, but as targets) were intentionally killed by allied bombing?


Well, I'm not saying that the women and children were not targeted. They were targeted. What I'm saying is that in that extreme circumstance, they were legitimate targets, and it was the Germans themselves, who made them into that.

The Germans forced the issue, and disregarded the law, to the point where they invited their own annihilation, right down to the wood, and while terrible, is was just, legal, moral and righteous, both in spirit and by the letter of the law of the time.

They brought the roof down on their own women and children, through their policies, doctrine and strategy. They provoked it, they refused to give quarter, and they were an existential threat to everybody else's women and children, after everybody else had bent over backwards to appease them and avoid the war, including selling whole nations down the river, and handing them over to the SS... which, Britain and Canada rightly concluded; had to be stopped, in extremis, by any and all means necessary, before there was nobody left to enforce any laws whatsoever.

The law of armed conflict says you cannot bomb a church, or a school, except, however, if the enemy occupies a church, or a school and then uses them as fortresses to attack you. At that point, they cease to be a church, or a school and become legitimate military targets and the criminals, are the ones using said churches and schools as battle positions, not the people who are being forced to bomb them, by the enemies choice to do that.

If Britain and Canada had launched an unprovoked, illegal, genocidal war of aggression without quarter on Germany, it might be different, but that's not what Britain and Canada did. Quite the opposite. The Germans bear all the responsibility for the war, including their own civilian casualties, both legally and morally.

And for those who truck out "the British bombed Berlin first", I say that it was in the context of the existential threat of aggressive total war , standing alone in the wake of the loss of France, facing ongoing unrestricted submarine warfare to starve them into submission, the imminent destruction of the RAF, and Hitlers stated threat to annihilate Britain, totally, by bombardment then invasion, if they did not capitulate. Britain and Canada did not open the war, in September 1939, by launching a thousand bomber raid on Dresden. What they did was; just sat there, waiting for the Germans to attack, which turned out to be a big mistake, that came close to causing their defeat and destruction.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:32 pm

jxc wrote:
Smitty-48 wrote:It isn't actually relevant to the law. The law, and the applicable law at the time was; the Hague Convention, had no clauses governing air bombardment. However, even if you apply the Naval clauses on bombardment, it didn't say anything about women and children. It said that if there was an undefended city, in a country that wasn't fighting back and trying to sink you, you couldn't just bombard that city from the sea.


Fair enough. My curiosity was prompted by Inquizitr's unjustifiable "intentional killing of women and children" comment. What women and children (not collaterally, but as targets) were intentionally killed by allied bombing?


jxc



Are you serious? We firebombed several cities with the express objective of exterminating the inhabitants. You don't firebomb a city just to destroy a factory, after all. You create a storm like that to kill people.

Beyond that.. What the hell was Nagasaki but a flagrant attack on citizens? There were no military targets there. Their actual target was a Cathedral steeple.

While it's not exactly fair to judge people in hindsight for what happened in such an awful conflict, where human values were tossed out the window by pretty much everybody, it is just as silly to pretend like we didn't target civilians when it is rather obvious civilians became the principle target of strategic air campaigns.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Smitty-48 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:40 pm

These Monday Morning Quarterbacks are good at throwing "war criminal" about... but I don't see anybody presenting the alternative strategy to bombardment.

You'd think at least Hanoi Dan would have finished his show by saying; "Now, here's how I would have done it instead..."

Pretty easy to point fingers and make retroactive, blanket indictments from your high horse, without having to come down and present a viable and realistic alternative, within the context of the war as it was, for the participants at the time.

"The Hague Convention says you can't bombard a defenseless city from the sea, therefore the whole of World War Two is a war crime"
??? Weak.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby jxc » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:50 pm

Dr. Strangelove wrote:Beyond that.. What the hell was Nagasaki but a flagrant attack on citizens? There were no military targets there. Their actual target was a Cathedral steeple.


The Kokura Arsenal was actually the primary target. But poor visibility forced them to the secondary: the Mitsubishi Torpedo Plant at Nagasaki. The Urakami Cathedral steeple was a navigation landmark, not the target.

Maybe it was a non-military torpedo plant?
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Smitty-48 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:20 pm

Whether or not there was a military target in any particular city is not as salient as the fact that if you said "Just bomb military, don't bomb cities" the enemy would just move his military into the cities to protect it, using the cities as human shields... as everybody does now.

They understood, at the time, that the entire country was mobilized and that to designate areas "out of bounds", in a total war of annihilation, was pointless, since the center of gravity, was the entire nation, not just its uniformed military.

Even of you don't bomb, the city will be destroyed, with artillery, when the ground forces arrive to evict the enemy military, after suffering horrendous casualties just getting to the city, which is, in essence, re-fighting World War One all over again. Methinks that plan, would not have gone over so well, with the electorate, whose teenage boys would have been the ones drafted, to march on those cities, without preparing the ground, holistically, with widespread bombardment of the enemy state first.

In addition, the idea that the Germans would have capitulated, or capitulated sooner, if they were not bombed, also seems like naive balderdash. Why would they surrender, if your troops have to face the meat grinder, fighting their way across France, while the German cities and industrial capacity went untouched? Again; World War One all over. They did not capitulate sooner, in WWI, even when they were starving and had suffered unbelievable losses at the Front.
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Re: WWII Allied Bombing

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:31 pm

jxc wrote:
Dr. Strangelove wrote:Beyond that.. What the hell was Nagasaki but a flagrant attack on citizens? There were no military targets there. Their actual target was a Cathedral steeple.


The Kokura Arsenal was actually the primary target. But poor visibility forced them to the secondary: the Mitsubishi Torpedo Plant at Nagasaki. The Urakami Cathedral steeple was a navigation landmark, not the target.

Maybe it was a non-military torpedo plant?



Lulz. I guess it was just coincidence that this terrible military target was spared any bombardment, even as the rest of the nation was relentlessly firebombed. Please. They cultivated those targets. They purposely did not strike with conventional attacks because they wanted to gauge the impact of atomic weapons on population centers. It was an experiment as much as an attack.
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