The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:24 am

Holy moly! :shock: :shock:
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:47 am

LOL
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Balsamo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:58 am

Balmoral95 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Fritz Berg and the bombing of Dresden:

https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3240&p=121543#p121543


The gem in that thread is this mess:

https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?p=121551#p121551


In the sense that the Allies solved Dresden well known parking problem ?

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:00 am

LOL X 2

I lost patience with Scott’s rambling but Berg’s rant does make visiting entertaining.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:03 am

As I've been laid up a bit, my wife and I have been watching the documentary series World War II in Colour on Netflix. I will just say that Jeff_36 would not like the episode on the bombing war.

It's a weird documentary, with a voiceover but no interviews with historians, etc. The footage is amazing - but colorized, sometimes inexpertly. There are many judgment calls with which one (me, for example) might disagree, but, as a general history of the war on video in 13 parts, it is worth watching, the images are over the top.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:00 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:As I've been laid up a bit, my wife and I have been watching the documentary series World War II in Colour on Netflix. I will just say that Jeff_36 would not like the episode on the bombing war.

It's a weird documentary, with a voiceover but no interviews with historians, etc. The footage is amazing - but colorized, sometimes inexpertly. There are many judgment calls with which one (me, for example) might disagree, but, as a general history of the war on video in 13 parts, it is worth watching, the images are over the top.



I watched that one a couple of years ago on the Military Channel (now AHC). I agree, worth watching if you have some time.

I have a book on hold called “Fire and Fury: the Allied Bombing Campaign, 1942-1945.” I’m due to get it in May, I’ll add to this thread.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:57 pm

relevant here, I think, is Citino's judgment - Citino sees the Battle of the Bulge as a good example of the role of the air power of the western Allies in Germany's defeat in the war: "The Battle of the Bulge demonstrated, one more time, just 'how the Allies won' the war against the Wehrmacht. Tactical airpower - not numbers of men and tanks, or logistical and economic dominance - was the decisive weapon for the Anglo-Americans." Citino, The Wehrmacht's Last Stand, p 413
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:16 pm

On 23 August 1942 the Luftwaffe carried out a "calling card" raid on Stalingrad using 600 bombers - "the massive use of incendiaries started fires that could be seen forty miles away, gutted immense portions of the city, and inflicted a huge death toll." (Citino, Death of the Wehrmacht, p 248) Citino explicitly compares this bombing to Dresden and argues, relying on Hayward, that earlier death toll estimates for the Stalingrad incendiary attack must be revised downward to 25,000 (p 367). Thousands of more civilians were killed in a similar raid on Stalingrad on 3 September (p 249).
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:54 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:On 23 August 1942 the Luftwaffe carried out a "calling card" raid on Stalingrad using 600 bombers - "the massive use of incendiaries started fires that could be seen forty miles away, gutted immense portions of the city, and inflicted a huge death toll." (Citino, Death of the Wehrmacht, p 248) Citino explicitly compares this bombing to Dresden and argues, relying on Hayward, that earlier death toll estimates for the Stalingrad incendiary attack must be revised downward to 25,000 (p 367). Thousands of more civilians were killed in a similar raid on Stalingrad on 3 September (p 249).



We started talking about this here:

http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=28568&hilit=Stalingrad

Balsamo made some good points regarding the weaknesses of the Luftwaffe for strategic bombing, it’s possible the numbers were much lower than the 25,000.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:56 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:On 23 August 1942 the Luftwaffe carried out a "calling card" raid on Stalingrad using 600 bombers - "the massive use of incendiaries started fires that could be seen forty miles away, gutted immense portions of the city, and inflicted a huge death toll." (Citino, Death of the Wehrmacht, p 248) Citino explicitly compares this bombing to Dresden and argues, relying on Hayward, that earlier death toll estimates for the Stalingrad incendiary attack must be revised downward to 25,000 (p 367). Thousands of more civilians were killed in a similar raid on Stalingrad on 3 September (p 249).



We started talking about this here:

http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=28568&hilit=Stalingrad

Balsamo made some good points regarding the weaknesses of the Luftwaffe for strategic bombing, it’s possible the numbers were much lower than the 25,000.

Thanks, I blanked on that thread, you covered this a lot better there - I dunno on the data, just that Citino says that original estimates were closer to 50,000 and that Hayward's recent work makes a reasonable case for 25,000
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:00 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:On 23 August 1942 the Luftwaffe carried out a "calling card" raid on Stalingrad using 600 bombers - "the massive use of incendiaries started fires that could be seen forty miles away, gutted immense portions of the city, and inflicted a huge death toll." (Citino, Death of the Wehrmacht, p 248) Citino explicitly compares this bombing to Dresden and argues, relying on Hayward, that earlier death toll estimates for the Stalingrad incendiary attack must be revised downward to 25,000 (p 367). Thousands of more civilians were killed in a similar raid on Stalingrad on 3 September (p 249).



We started talking about this here:

http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=28568&hilit=Stalingrad

Balsamo made some good points regarding the weaknesses of the Luftwaffe for strategic bombing, it’s possible the numbers were much lower than the 25,000.

Thanks, I blanked on that thread, you covered this a lot better there - I dunno on the data, just that Citino says that original estimates were closer to 50,000 and that Hayward's recent work makes a reasonable case for 25,000



Going from memory (a spotty proposition at best), I think Beevor said 40,000. I’d have to get it again to see, it was a loan from the library.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:24 pm

That's the figure that Citino dismisses as "much too high."
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:25 pm

darn good memory, dude!
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:27 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:darn good memory, dude!



The sad thing is there are days when I wander into a room and then can’t remember why I went in there.

:mrgreen:
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:27 pm

LOL
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:33 pm

Atkinson summarizes the Allies' strategic air campaign in volume 3 of his Liberation Trilogy (pp 353-360): he doesn't cite Overy but his conclusions are similar to Overy's, maybe more negative about US capabilities and claims.

Atkinson observes that US bombing was so inaccurate that its results were much like Harris' in destroying residential urban areas and killing civilians. He "credits" the US with developing especially horrific incendiaries, e.g., the M-76 Block Burner. OTOH in Atkinson's estimation the US, given the inherent lack of precision of its bombing, had less effect than the British - its bombs lacking the punch of the British bombs, its planes dropping significantly fewer tons of explosives, and its bombs having high defect rates.

As for Harris, Atkinson describes his terror bombing and so-called de-housing campaign as "wanting both militarily and morally." He quotes an Allied intelligence report assessing that there were "no grounds for supposing that the effects of area bombing on civilian morale would contribute to Germany's collapse." Atkinson quotes Harris in 1947 recognizing that his strategy, "to break the enemy's morale" by means of the "bombing of German industrial cities" (Atkinson calls the missions "terror raids"), was "totally unsound."

Atkinson deems the effects of the bombing campaign on German morale and petroleum production to be significant - but not decisive. Atkinson's tally is 131 German cities bombed in the bombing war and 400,000 civilians killed - with 7 million made homeless.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:24 pm

Weigley, in Eisenhower's Lieutenants, gives some important background on the American component of the strategic air campaign.

He attributes the thinking behind the American approach in large part to Carl Spaatz, who by 1944 was commander of US Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF) in Europe. Before this Spaatz had been key to developing US air doctrine and had long argued for a strategic conception relying on daytime precision bombing of the enemy's "vital targets," focusing on economic sources of enemy military strength and in particular electricity, petroleum, and transportation. As we know, this conception differed to that of the British, which emphasized, in Weigley's words, "indiscriminate bombing of cities at night." For Spaatz, air power could help destroy the enemy's military capacity by attacking and destroying "the very source of the armed forces' power: the economy that sustained them, and in the German instance, the petroleum that moved tanks and assault guns, the panzers and panzer grenadiers."

Despite the continued growth of the German economy under Allied aerial assault, Spaatz believed that a sustained air war against key economic targets could succeed. During 1943, he argued, the Allied strategic bombing campaign was diverted, e.g., to the Mediterranean, and unfocused (e.g., night-time attacks "aimed more at German morale than at critical economic targets favored by the Americans").

For Overlord (the Normandy operation), in a paper from March 1944 entitled "Plan for the Completion of the Combined Bomber Offensive," Spaatz prioritized the air war as follows: 1) fuel (German synthetic oil plants, oil refineries in Romania and elsewhere in southern and central Europe), 2) German air force, 3) rubber and tire production of the Axis, and 4) as to France proper in direct support of the invasion, "bridge-busting" by aerial bombardment.

Spaatz's proposal would not, however, be accepted by the Allies. Rather, a plan, developed by Leigh-Mallory, the British commander of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force, won approval. This plan focused on destruction of enemy railway marshaling yards and rail hubs. Spaatz objected on two grounds: first, the rail system was so vast, and so small a portion of it needed by the military, that the chance of success was remote; second, the targeting would cause unacceptably high civilian casualties. The British War Cabinet, concerned now about civilian casualties, on moral as well as political grounds, was reluctant to accept Leigh-Mallory's plan. Bomber Harris also opposed the plan. Bomber Command wanted to be excepted from whatever plan was chosen in order to continue with its preferred "strategic area bombing" campaign. In the end, needing an air strategy that would offer quick results in blunting Germany's response to the forthcoming Normandy invasion, Eisenhower threw in with Leigh-Mallory's plan, arguing that Spaatz's petroleum plan would not achieve results quickly enough.

In the end, the Overlord air strategy had its main focus on rail marshaling years and rail hubs. Elements of Spaatz's plan - air superiority, including destruction of the Luftwaffe - were added to Leigh-Mallory's plan. And it was decided to pursue the petroleum strategy as soon as Overlord permitted.

The British War Cabinet agreed to a compromise - maximum 10,000 civilian deaths in the rail center bombing campaign. Eisenhower, who had referred to the concern for civilian causalities as "details of a few targets," continued to back the Leigh-Mallory plan. The number of civilian casualties, according to Weigley, would be fewer than feared and "probably came close to Churchill's maximum tolerable figure." Still, Weigley judges that the campaign failed to meet the traditional "test of compensation and proportionality." Post-bombing surveys showed that the chief impact of the bombings was, as Spaatz had feared, to reduce civilian rail traffic, of little concern to the German occupier, rather than to seriously impair German military use of the rail system. Montgomery's army assessed the bombing, from a military standpoint, as "pin-pricking." SHAEF concluded on the eve of D-Day that the German military still possessed rail capacity in excess of its needs despite the bombing. Post-war Allied evaluations would reach similar conclusions. (OTOH, undertaken on the initiative of the US 9th Air Force, a bridge-busting campaign added into the mix was very successful, as the Americans developed new methods for taking out bridges and as a result German movement of troops and materiel was significantly hampered.)

Weigley, Eisenhower's Lieutenants, pp 56-64
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:21 pm

This Weigley book, which I am reading very slowly for a variety of reasons, one of which is that I am consulting 3-4 maps for each battle plus googling photos of the fighting, is just excellent. On the air war, Weigley takes a position very critical of Bomber Command and Harris, arguing that their focus not only did not succeed but diverted resources from more productive avenues.

"Still," he writes of the campaigns eastward after the liberation of Paris and northeast following Dragoon, "not the least disconcerting aspect of the German revival was the continuing rise of German war production in the face of the Bomber Offensive. The only critical shortages hampering German war industry in the autumn of 1944, after a summer in which the Allied heavy bombers had returned their main effort overwhelmingly to their independent [strategic] campaign, were in oil and communications."

Recall that Spaatz had advocated just this focus - petroleum and communications - months earlier. But Bomber Harris continued to push city bombing. Portal, the British air chief, had become so frustrated with Harris' inclination to resist control and bomb his own way, that he advocated changing organization to rein Harris in. Portal had come around to Spaatz's Petroleum Plan and wanted to find a way to turn Harris' planes to helping with attacks that seemed to be doing harm to the German war effort.

"Yet the new arrangement made little difference to the heavy bombers' availability for the ground campaign, Harris' participation in the Oil Plan, or anything else. . . . [because] Harris became more independent than before," pursuing his terror-bombing; in part this result came because Harris' removal from the direct authority of SHAEF took him out from under the one commander, Eisenhower, whose clout he would at least sometimes heed.

In any event, Weigley says, less than 15% of strategic bombing effort in summer was against Germany's oil and synthetic petroleum production; with that, German monthly production fell to about 10-20% of monthly needs. Weigley cites the growing ineffectiveness of panzer brigades as a consequence of the declining fuel output of the Reich.

"But Portal could not prevail on Harris to bring the great weight of Bomber Command to Spaatz's aid; and after a late summer climax of the Oil Plan . . . a rainy autumn closed in and the oil campaign fell off." Thus Germany's oil production would recover somewhat in fall 1944 and marginally ease the military supply situation.

Weigley observes that this period was the peak of Allied strategic bombing; "At the same time and into the autumn, German war production also achieved ever higher peaks," in part because Speer began to take up the excess capacity in the German economy. One response of the Allies was to re-kick-start the Transportation Plan, targeting rail hubs, marshaling yards, etc within the Reich, whilst maintaining priority on oil.

Reading Weigley it strikes me as possible that Harris' terror campaign was not only immoral and unsuccessful; it undermined and dissipated a coherent bombing strategy, to the detriment of the Allies' war effort. Weigley, his book published in 1981, anticipates some of Overy's argument.

pp 377-379
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:06 pm

Since we dived into hypotheticals about chemical and bacteriological agents in this thread, I'll drop this here: According to Bellamy, there were several suspected instances of Soviet use of chemical weapons in contravention of the USSR's pledge to adhere to the 1925 Geneva Protocol on chemical and bacteriological warfare. The Germans investigated each and decided that in all but one case no such weapons had been used and thus "no further steps were taken by the German high command."

In the final case, a captured Soviet officer told the Germans that he had fired 3 shells containing a chemical agent, lewisite, during fighting near Sevastopol during April 1942. His explanation was that shells marked for lewisite were mistakenly brought to his position and that the Soviet command had sent investigators to determine what had happened and why. The Germans "refused to take any steps whatever, evidently being convinced that there was no planned and premeditated use of war gases," in the words of a postwar US investigation conducted using a former German officer.

Bellamy cites the "professional" and even "legalistic" manner in which both the German and Soviet war machines dealt with these instances, preventing escalation; the reason for such forbearance was the fear of what the other side might do - and the code followed was the Geneva Protocol.

OTOH Bellamy says that in the battles to capture the fortress at Sevastopol in Crimea, the Germans used "toxic smoke" - probably non-persistent chemical agents - to deal with Soviet fighters entrenched there in catacombs and caves. He cites also credible reports of the Germans using similar agents in similar circumstances, although not in as "widespread" a manner, at Odessa in 1941 and in May 1942 during the battle for Kerch, to the east in Crimea. The general German ban on using these weapons in Bellamy's opinion limited their use to these few cases - and German commanders complained of their hands being tied.

Bellamy, Absolute War, pp 461-463
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:30 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:On 23 August 1942 the Luftwaffe carried out a "calling card" raid on Stalingrad using 600 bombers - "the massive use of incendiaries started fires that could be seen forty miles away, gutted immense portions of the city, and inflicted a huge death toll." (Citino, Death of the Wehrmacht, p 248) Citino explicitly compares this bombing to Dresden and argues, relying on Hayward, that earlier death toll estimates for the Stalingrad incendiary attack must be revised downward to 25,000 (p 367). Thousands of more civilians were killed in a similar raid on Stalingrad on 3 September (p 249).



We started talking about this here:

http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=28568&hilit=Stalingrad

Balsamo made some good points regarding the weaknesses of the Luftwaffe for strategic bombing, it’s possible the numbers were much lower than the 25,000.

Thanks, I blanked on that thread, you covered this a lot better there - I dunno on the data, just that Citino says that original estimates were closer to 50,000 and that Hayward's recent work makes a reasonable case for 25,000



Going from memory (a spotty proposition at best), I think Beevor said 40,000. I’d have to get it again to see, it was a loan from the library.

Bellamy (c2007) gives 40,000 as the death toll. He adds that as civilians fled Stalingrad, trying to get east across the Volga, German planes targeted them. (p 507)
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:23 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Bellamy (c2007) gives 40,000 as the death toll. He adds that as civilians fled Stalingrad, trying to get east across the Volga, German planes targeted them. (p 507)



That's entirely possible if we include civilians outside of the city trying to cross the Volga. I don't know, I think I want more solid data. Did he give a source for his numbers?
When my son had his barmitzvah, and his wedding, there was no family whatsoever -that’s the way the second and third generation feel the Holocaust, they miss their family. My son hasn’t experienced a family life –having uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers. There is just that hole.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:28 am

Unfortunately, there was no footnote. Recalling your post, I wondered if he had drawn on Beevor.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:02 am

That’s possible. I’ll need to take a look at it again.

That book I got, “Fire and Fury,” turned out to be a dud.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:35 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Bellamy (c2007) gives 40,000 as the death toll. He adds that as civilians fled Stalingrad, trying to get east across the Volga, German planes targeted them. (p 507)


Beevor in his book on WW II states that 40,000 is an estimate.

It isn’t footnoted. That’s frustrating.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:36 pm

I still think that number is lower but I’d need more sources to look at.
When my son had his barmitzvah, and his wedding, there was no family whatsoever -that’s the way the second and third generation feel the Holocaust, they miss their family. My son hasn’t experienced a family life –having uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers. There is just that hole.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:42 pm

An oddball conversation among German generals, recorded at the Trent Park detention center, June 1945, concerning the KL film shown the POWs there:
HEIM: The air raid on DRESDEN was a different matter after all.

DITTMAR: Certainly that was quite different from this direct torture of individuals.

HEIM: This slow, intentional systematic murder.

DITTMAR: That's why it can't be compared.

HEIM: The other [DRESDEN] could at least be called warfare in the last analysis.

DITTMAR: You could see there that that was not the only purpose -

HEIM: But this is an absolute disgrace. . . .

FINK (enters): One needs to have seen a film like that.

HEIM: RÖHRICHT said that compared with the 200,000 at DRESDEN -

FINK (excitedly): It can't be compared with DRESDEN!

DITTMAR: That's too weak an argument.

FINK: The Russian method of shooting in the back of the neck is a kindness -

DITTMAR: In comparison with this vileness.

Neitzel, ed, Tapping Hitler's Generals, p 234
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue May 01, 2018 2:28 pm

A less widely discussed case is the German bombing of Belgrade at the outset of Operation Strafgericht, the German invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, another famous "preventive war" fought by the Third Reich. According to Prusin in Serbia under the Swastika (pp 23-26), along with railway and other strategic targets, when German bombers and fighters attacked Belgrade, they launched terror strikes against "residential areas, strafing streets and houses." The German air force dropped bombs on hospitals, schools, churches, and crowded marketplaces. German planes also hit at columns of refugees fleeing along main roads. Yugoslav air defenses relied on small calibre guns and proved ineffective in denting the German attacks. Niš and other cities were hit in the days after the opening assault on Belgrade, and Belgrade was hit a second time. Prusin estimates deaths in Belgrade between 2,270 and 4,000 and in Niš at 900.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue May 01, 2018 2:33 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:A less widely discussed case is the German bombing of Belgrade at the outset of Operation Strafgericht, the German invasion of Yugoslavia in March 1941, another famous "preventive war" fought by the Third Reich. According to Prusin in Serbia under the Swastika (pp 23-26), along with railway and other strategic targets, when German bombers and fighters attacked Belgrade, they launched terror strikes again "residential areas, strafing streets and houses." The German air force dropped bombs on hospitals, schools, churches, and crowded marketplaces. German planes also hit at columns of refugees fleeing along main roads. Yugoslav air defenses relied on small calibre guns and proved ineffective in denting the German attacks. Niš and other cities were hit in the days after the opening assault on Belgrade, and Belgrade was hit a second time. Prusin estimates deaths in Belgrade between 2,270 and 4,000 and in Niš at 900.


I brought this up to deniers like been-there in the past. They get all emotional about Allied bombing when the Germans committed the same actions, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Not saying the Allies were right but both sides did bomb each other’s cities. The difference is scale, the Luftwaffe lacked truly heavy bombers due to a lack of resources.
When my son had his barmitzvah, and his wedding, there was no family whatsoever -that’s the way the second and third generation feel the Holocaust, they miss their family. My son hasn’t experienced a family life –having uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers. There is just that hole.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue May 01, 2018 2:52 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I brought this up to deniers like been-there in the past. They get all emotional about Allied bombing when the Germans committed the same actions, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Not saying the Allies were right but both sides did bomb each other’s cities. The difference is scale, the Luftwaffe lacked truly heavy bombers due to a lack of resources.

Yup.

Language can be an enemy of understanding in all this. "Strategic bombing" is not synonymous with Harris' "area bombing" program, which targeted civilians and morale. That the Germans lacked "strategic bombing" capacity via its not building out a true heavy bomber program does not mean that all German bombing was "tactical" in the sense of close support of ground operations. Here, and as we've seen elsewhere, despite the deficit in heavy bombers, the German air force used terror bombing tactics.

And it is indeed possible to be critical of the Allies and the USSR for certain of their actions without doing so to provide cover for German war crimes. Katyn is a classic case. Been-there and that lot give away their game taking the stance you describe.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue May 01, 2018 3:21 pm

When my son had his barmitzvah, and his wedding, there was no family whatsoever -that’s the way the second and third generation feel the Holocaust, they miss their family. My son hasn’t experienced a family life –having uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers. There is just that hole.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun May 06, 2018 2:30 pm

Arguably the reprisal and hostage actions undertaken by the German military and police formations in their counter-insurgency efforts and other terror tactics, such as Nacht und Nebel, backfired, steeling - even encouraging - resistance in countries occupied by the Germans.

Chapoutot quotes from Dönitz's famous 17 September 1942 rescue order (p 263). This order, the Laconia-Befehl, followed by a few days an Allied attack on the Germans' attempt to rescue passengers on the sinking British ocean liner RMS Laconia. Dönitz's order read:
To all Commanding Officers:

1. No attempt of any kind must be made to rescue members of ships sunk, and this includes picking up persons in the water and putting them in lifeboats, righting capsized lifeboats, and handing over food and water. Rescue runs counter to the most elementary demands of warfare for the destruction of enemy ships and crews.

2. Orders for bringing back captains and chief engineers still apply.

3. Rescue the shipwrecked only if their statements will be of importance for your boat.

4. Be harsh. Bear in mind that the enemy takes no regard of women and children in his bombing attacks on German cities.

Chapoutot highlights the boldfaced line. (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/05-09-46.asp)

Chapoutot also cites Rendulic's 29 October 1944 commentary on Hitler's order concerning civilians in Norway, which Rendulic passed along to the troops (p 266):
Troops will understand the measures to be taken once for it has been explained to them that the barbaric methods of the air raid war against the German homeland and its cultural patrimony have brought greater misfortune to the German population than the measure we must undertake in Norway . . .

It is not out of the realm of possibility that messages like these fortified German troops, encouraging them to fight harder, hold out, maintain morale, avenge Allied atrocities, and even more closely embrace the use of "harsh measures" in warfare - the exact opposite effect claimed by Bomber Harris for the area bombing of German cities.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944


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