The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:59 pm

SM............really? "The sphincter is tight on this one."

Ha, ha.

A minor misspeak is to be admitted and laughed at....otherwise, your credibility is totally drawn into question.

Bad Form.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:06 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Supporting the point that Nuking Germany was not possible.



Again, I'm drifting into a theoretical area here.

Let's say at some point, things get bogged down. Hitler steps back from his implacable "stand and die" mode and allows his generals freer reign to conduct a defense, keeping the Soviets at bay.

Or, the Battle of the Bulge is more successful, driving British and US troops back, throwing off the timetable and stabilizing the front lines further back from German soil.

Could we see the possibility of an atomic strike on Germany? Based on what Overy is saying I say no, the US clearly targeted military targets while the British targeted cities. The bomb was a US, not British, project by then.

Of course, it also appears that the fear of a GERMAN bomb drove this project from the beginning, making it a counter to any atomic weapons the Germans were making.

Thoughts?

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:11 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Monstrous wrote:What to say? That the bombings was just one of many monstrosities? (no relationship to Monstrous)

Just look at this!!!
http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Claimed_ma ... WII_Allies


I rest my case you guys. These events, while unfortunate, were understandable in the context of the time. Goose steppers and Himmler-humpers like this jerkoff here have used them as a platform for their propaganda.

All I'll say about this matter is that if you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows.

So what? Monstrous is a {!#%@} idiot. Know-nothingism doesn't cut it - the US had a strategy different to Harris's. Why?

So here's a question: by 1944-1945 the Allies had the capacity to use chemical, biological and atomic warfare against German cities. You've said that anything goes. Should they have use biological agents, e.g., anthrax, or poison gases to kill large numbers of German civilians? (I think you've already endorsed atomic weapons . . . right?)


I have not endorsed atomic weapons for Germany. I view bombing as a means of tightening the screws. You want to put pressure and deliver as much pain as possible to force them to quit. Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive.

Japan was different. The level of fanaticism there made measures of the utmost extremity necessary.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:12 pm

Counterfactuals are always interesting.....the closer to reality the better.

How would "things get bogged down?"

Did Germany have materiel, bullets, and oil that it did not use?????

But....lets avoid reality and just suppose? A bomb is a bomb. Strategic Bombing is strategic bombing. More people killed in conventional fire bombing than in the Nukes.

The point of WAR---is to get it over with asap. Something the Generals stress at every opportunity.......its why chemicals and biologicals are not favored...when they backfire and wipe yourself out...... the troops aren't happy.

There isn't one rational reason not to use Nukes......that doesn't exclude Humanitarian goals and values.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:13 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Well, Jeff_36 has already written that he approved of the use of atomic bomb, so I didn't press that issue. Nor did I get into specifics with gas or germ warfare - gas warfare was possible actually before 1944, during 1944 and 1945 Portal and Churchill discussed conditions under which gas might be used; germ warfare research was pushed forward in 1944 but not until April 1945 were sufficient agents available for effective use; and atomic weapons were available by summer 1945. I actually didn't want to get into the detail (dirty bombs, which agents, etc) but to focus on the "should" question, which is now kind of getting lost.

However, further discussion could get into specifics of atomic warfare: atomic weapons were, of course, used in August 1945, and Overy alludes to Allied consideration of using atomic weapons in Europe, too, should the war last deeper into 1945. That's something I wasn't aware of. The point pretty much knocks the legs out from under the Alperovitz thesis. (My recollection is same as Jeffk's - a few weeks before Hiroshima and Nagasaki was first test). Anyway, since atomic weapons were used, we don't need hypotheticals.

Biological and chemical (gas) warfare was planned and workable (Churchill advocated using gas, but his military chiefs were opposed) although, according to Overy not until April 1945 - from the air, which would not endanger troops. The Allies settled on preparing retaliatory strikes using gas - not going to gas warfare first. But, again, I am interested in Jeff_36's opinion whether the Allies should have escalated to use of gas and/or biological warfare.


Churchill considered the use of poison gas in 1940 if the Germans successfully invaded the British Isles.

So, Overy wrote that the bomb was a consideration if the war went on into 1945.
Think about the historical implications if that happened, an atomic weapon used against Berlin......

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:16 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Supporting the point that Nuking Germany was not possible.



Again, I'm drifting into a theoretical area here.

Let's say at some point, things get bogged down. Hitler steps back from his implacable "stand and die" mode and allows his generals freer reign to conduct a defense, keeping the Soviets at bay.

Or, the Battle of the Bulge is more successful, driving British and US troops back, throwing off the timetable and stabilizing the front lines further back from German soil.

Could we see the possibility of an atomic strike on Germany? Based on what Overy is saying I say no, the US clearly targeted military targets while the British targeted cities. The bomb was a US, not British, project by then.

Of course, it also appears that the fear of a GERMAN bomb drove this project from the beginning, making it a counter to any atomic weapons the Germans were making.

Thoughts?

this is what I was getting at before bobbo confused the issue
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:17 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Monstrous wrote:What to say? That the bombings was just one of many monstrosities? (no relationship to Monstrous)

Just look at this!!!
http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Claimed_ma ... WII_Allies


I rest my case you guys. These events, while unfortunate, were understandable in the context of the time. Goose steppers and Himmler-humpers like this jerkoff here have used them as a platform for their propaganda.

All I'll say about this matter is that if you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows.

So what? Monstrous is a {!#%@} idiot. Know-nothingism doesn't cut it - the US had a strategy different to Harris's. Why?

So here's a question: by 1944-1945 the Allies had the capacity to use chemical, biological and atomic warfare against German cities. You've said that anything goes. Should they have use biological agents, e.g., anthrax, or poison gases to kill large numbers of German civilians? (I think you've already endorsed atomic weapons . . . right?)


I have not endorsed atomic weapons for Germany. I view bombing as a means of tightening the screws. You want to put pressure and deliver as much pain as possible to force them to quit. Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive.

Japan was different. The level of fanaticism there made measures of the utmost extremity necessary.

Let me get this straight. Ok to bomb Japan but not Germany? Because of fanaticism? Right? (You do realize that the purpose of the RAF's area bombing program was precisely to obliterate as much of the cities as they could . . . ?)

What about gas or germ warfare against German cities?
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:17 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive.


You've seen the pictures of bombed out Germany at eh end of the War? No different a look than Hiroshima.

Obliterate the country? No. First Nukes were "small" city busters.

Say................who here if you had to choose would prefer being Nuked vs starved to death vs gutted with a rusty gladius?
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:22 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Let me get this straight. Ok to bomb Japan but not Germany? Because of fanaticism?
Coupled with the reasonable estimates of Allied casualties to invade and occupy that land. ...........Yes. do you disagree???

Statistical Mechanic wrote:What about gas or germ warfare against German cities?
A matter of opinion as to how effective those weapons can be versus backfires versus alternatives available.....whatever it takes to get the WAR over with asap.

No one wants to be the last person to die in a war..............
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:23 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Could we see the possibility of an atomic strike on Germany? Based on what Overy is saying I say no, the US clearly targeted military targets while the British targeted cities. The bomb was a US, not British, project by then.

Except that by late 1944/early 1944, as Overy describes it, the US policy - for various reasons - vs British policy was almost a distinction without a difference. And it was after all the US which used atomic weapons in Japan.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:24 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Counterfactuals are always interesting.....the closer to reality the better.

How would "things get bogged down?"

Did Germany have materiel, bullets, and oil that it did not use?????

But....lets avoid reality and just suppose? A bomb is a bomb. Strategic Bombing is strategic bombing. More people killed in conventional fire bombing than in the Nukes.

The point of WAR---is to get it over with asap. Something the Generals stress at every opportunity.......its why chemicals and biologicals are not favored...when they backfire and wipe yourself out...... the troops aren't happy.

There isn't one rational reason not to use Nukes......that doesn't exclude Humanitarian goals and values.


I think we are looking at a real possibility it gets used.

The allies looked at Germany as a much bigger threat. So, wiping out Berlin with a strong possibility you decapitate the Nazi government is a powerful temptation.
It also has the benefit of shock value regarding the Soviets (Stalin knew about the bomb but I think it pulverizing Berlin would have given him pause).

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:29 pm

Decapitating the Leadership/Bunker Busting---a whole new dimension I hadn't fantasized about.

Time and Place????
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:32 pm

There's another very interesting question in all this: why weren't biological agents or gas warfare used?

If the point is to use any means to get the enemy to surrender, why didn't the Allies use gas warfare in 1944? or germ agents in 1945? Is the only reason fear of "reciprocity"? Was it on account technical issues? Also, why didn't Hitler?

It is interesting that Overy's discussion, thus far, about what was most effective supports a somewhat different line of thought . . .
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Tallboy » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:58 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Excellent post, Balsamo.

I agree. very well stated.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:07 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive.


You've seen the pictures of bombed out Germany at eh end of the War? No different a look than Hiroshima.

Obliterate the country? No. First Nukes were "small" city busters.

Say................who here if you had to choose would prefer being Nuked vs starved to death vs gutted with a rusty gladius?


Nuked...definitely. One minute there, the next, you are gone. Nothing left. One of the creepiest things I ever saw were pictures of walls in Hiroshima. The blast actually left "shadows," impressions of people at the moment the blast wave hit them.
Now, the thing that would suck is if you were at the periphery of the explosion. I don't relish dying of radiation poison.
You also have to consider the fact that burning survivors jumped into the water to relieve their burning.....only to boil to death because the blast made the water boil.

So....ground zero....definitely. Anything else, not so much.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:11 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Monstrous wrote:What to say? That the bombings was just one of many monstrosities? (no relationship to Monstrous)

Just look at this!!!
http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Claimed_ma ... WII_Allies


I rest my case you guys. These events, while unfortunate, were understandable in the context of the time. Goose steppers and Himmler-humpers like this jerkoff here have used them as a platform for their propaganda.

All I'll say about this matter is that if you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows.

So what? Monstrous is a {!#%@} idiot. Know-nothingism doesn't cut it - the US had a strategy different to Harris's. Why?

So here's a question: by 1944-1945 the Allies had the capacity to use chemical, biological and atomic warfare against German cities. You've said that anything goes. Should they have use biological agents, e.g., anthrax, or poison gases to kill large numbers of German civilians? (I think you've already endorsed atomic weapons . . . right?)


I have not endorsed atomic weapons for Germany. I view bombing as a means of tightening the screws. You want to put pressure and deliver as much pain as possible to force them to quit. Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive.

Japan was different. The level of fanaticism there made measures of the utmost extremity necessary.

Let me get this straight. Ok to bomb Japan but not Germany? Because of fanaticism? Right? (You do realize that the purpose of the RAF's area bombing program was precisely to obliterate as much of the cities as they could . . . ?)

What about gas or germ warfare against German cities?


I was discussing the difference in mentality between Germany and Japan's Emperor-Worshiping cult.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:27 pm

But I am asking what Allied policy should have been. You wrote that "You want to put pressure and deliver as much pain as possible to force them to quit. Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive." That's not correct, selective use of atomic weapons would have obliterated urban areas, the very goal of the area bombing war.

Again, according to Overy, one reason the Allies didn't go to gas warfare was that it would fail to obliterate the cities, which bombing would achieve. Bombing was seen as preferable by RAFA officials - by early 1945 there were enough gas stocks to equate to 25% of the bombing - because it killed large numbers and destroyed property (houses, equipment, factories, etc). Obliteration was a factor in their preferring bombing.

As to fanaticism, whatever the motivation, the German war effort held together and, er, soldiered on - and one "rationale" for the bombing of Dresden was the perception that the Germans were continuing tenaciously. So why not atomic weapons if the goal is shortening the war and any means is ok? Why is ok on a subjective ground (the Japanese are cult-fanatics) to hit the Japanese for continuing to fight but not the Nazis?

But, back to my question, should the Allies have used gas warfare and biological warfare against the Germans?
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:38 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:But, back to my question, should the Allies have used gas warfare and biological warfare against the Germans?

Asked and answered four times now and not responded to/engaged: No. Gas and biological are too imprecise and can backfire against your own side.

Are you going to ask the same question for the fifth time???

.........or why not ask whether or not the Allies should have used the Nuke against Germany as soon as it was available in Early July?
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:47 pm

bobbo, I think one can't really answer a question for Jeff?

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:48 pm

Is bobbo trying to put words into Jeff's mouth? Or did bobbo answer and I didn't see his reply 'cuz he's still on ignore and he thinks I was asking him, not Jeff? LOL
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:53 pm

Dunno what he thinks, but yes, his response(s) was/were to your question...

bobbo wrote:No. Gas and biological are too imprecise and can backfire against your own side.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:56 pm

Well, I don't read his posts, unless they get quoted, and I wasn't asking him. If he thinks his unread replies answer for Jeff_36, he's wacko.

(And if that's what he thinks, fine. That doesn't explain why the Allies prepared plans for use of these agents in case of an attack against them, but . . . I don't read his posts anyway. I am wondering about Jeff_36's pov. That's why I've asked him.)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:30 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:But I am asking what Allied policy should have been. You wrote that "You want to put pressure and deliver as much pain as possible to force them to quit. Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive." That's not correct, selective use of atomic weapons would have obliterated urban areas, the very goal of the area bombing war.


I concede that this is true, but there would have been dangerous environmental health impacts (think Chernobyl) that would render areas of Germany uninhabitable and that would have hindered the post-Hitler rebuilding of Germany and its reintroduction into the global community.

Again, according to Overy, one reason the Allies didn't go to gas warfare was that it would fail to obliterate the cities, which bombing would achieve. Bombing was seen as preferable by RAFA officials - by early 1945 there were enough gas stocks to equate to 25% of the bombing - because it killed large numbers and destroyed property (houses, equipment, factories, etc). Obliteration was a factor in their preferring bombing.


Ok, I accept that obliteration was the goal. I think that Nukes would have been a bad idea because of the long-term effects.

As to fanaticism, whatever the motivation, the German war effort held together and, er, soldiered on - and one "rationale" for the bombing of Dresden was the perception that the Germans were continuing tenaciously.


Hit em' until they quit.


But, back to my question, should the Allies have used gas warfare and biological warfare against the Germans?


No. I don't think they should have used it because it is dirty. At least you can retain dignity by using strategic bombing through its effects on the Nazi death machine. Gas warfare would have damaged no factories and destroyed zero infrastructure.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:34 pm

As for the targeting of cities -let's face it, the Germans had done it in Poland in 1939, several months before the British decided to embark upon strategic bombing.

As I have said, it was unpleasant but they deserved every bomb. And it must happen again if any nation shall seek to replicate the path of Nazi Germany.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:48 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:As for the targeting of cities -let's face it, the Germans had done it in Poland in 1939 and in Rotterdam in 1940. Both of these incidents occurred before the British decided to embark upon strategic bombing...

I haven't followed too closely and might not be in sync at all, but have you read this earlier post by StatMech?

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:53 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:As for the targeting of cities -let's face it, the Germans had done it in Poland in 1939 and in Rotterdam in 1940. Both of these incidents occurred before the British decided to embark upon strategic bombing...

I haven't followed too closely and might not be in sync at all, but have you read this earlier post by StatMech?


Ok, well I will remove my reference to Rotterdam then.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:54 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:But I am asking what Allied policy should have been. You wrote that "You want to put pressure and deliver as much pain as possible to force them to quit. Atomic weapons would simply obliterate the country and would be counter productive." That's not correct, selective use of atomic weapons would have obliterated urban areas, the very goal of the area bombing war.


I concede that this is true, but there would have been dangerous environmental health impacts (think Chernobyl) that would render areas of Germany uninhabitable and that would have hindered the post-Hitler rebuilding of Germany and its reintroduction into the global community.

Antrhax, yes, although I don't know that this was known at the time. I don't know about botulism. But nerve gas? I believe Sarin decays much more quickly. Of course, atomic bombs . . . think Chernobyl . . .

Jeff_36 wrote:Ok, I accept that obliteration was the goal. I think that Nukes would have been a bad idea because of the long-term effects.

But acceptable in Japan?

Jeff_36 wrote:No. I don't think they should have used it because it is dirty. At least you can retain dignity by using strategic bombing through its effects on the Nazi death machine. Gas warfare would have damaged no factories and destroyed zero infrastructure.

Well, I don't think dignity enters into this, but atomic weapons were also "dirty."

Why did the Americans favor different bombing strategy to focusing on area bombing of cities?
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:58 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:No. I don't think they should have used it because it is dirty. At least you can retain dignity by using strategic bombing through its effects on the Nazi death machine. Gas warfare would have damaged no factories and destroyed zero infrastructure.

Well, I don't think dignity enters into this, but atomic weapons were also "dirty."

Why did the Americans favor different bombing strategy to focusing on area bombing of cities?


I think they had a different set of priorities. And maybe the British, having experienced Nazi blockade and arial assaults of their own, were in the mood for vengeance. I know that the doctrine was implemented before the blitz, but maybe the brutality of the German bombing of the UK played into the sheer scale of the British strategic bombing.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:59 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:As for the targeting of cities -let's face it, the Germans had done it in Poland in 1939, several months before the British decided to embark upon strategic bombing.

Not according to Overy. In his view, the bombing of Warsaw was classic operational bombing ("a model of operational warfare" with a wide margin of error and civilian casualites) against an enemy in a city that didn't surrender. That is different to Douhetism and to Harrisism.

Jeff_36 wrote:.As I have said, it was unpleasant but they deserved every bomb. And it must happen again if any nation shall seek to replicate the path of Nazi Germany.

Well, it is not clear to me that 2- and 3-year-olds who happen to have been born in the wrong place deserved every bomb. But what if it wasn't effective? What if the Allies couldn't determine if it was effective? What if there were better uses of scarce resources?
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:02 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:No. I don't think they should have used it because it is dirty. At least you can retain dignity by using strategic bombing through its effects on the Nazi death machine. Gas warfare would have damaged no factories and destroyed zero infrastructure.

Well, I don't think dignity enters into this, but atomic weapons were also "dirty."

Why did the Americans favor different bombing strategy to focusing on area bombing of cities?


I think they had a different set of priorities.

According to Overy, they had different priorities because they had different views of effective strategy to win the war. And did their homework differently.

Jeff_36 wrote:And maybe the British, having experienced Nazi blockade and arial assaults of their own, were in the mood for vengeance. I know that the doctrine was implemented before the blitz, but maybe the brutality of the German bombing of the UK played into the sheer scale of the British strategic bombing.

Perhaps. But is it dignified to unleash holy hell on children - even if it isn't effective - because of vengeance?

You're confusing me more and more. Was the urban bombing program the best way to end the war quickly, or was it justifiable revenge, a punitive campaign to exact many times the pain on the enemy that the enemy had exacted on the British?
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:06 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:As for the targeting of cities -let's face it, the Germans had done it in Poland in 1939, several months before the British decided to embark upon strategic bombing.

Not according to Overy. In his view, the bombing of Warsaw was classic operational bombing ("a model of operational warfare" with a wide margin of error and civilian casualites) against an enemy in a city that didn't surrender. That is different to Douhetism and to Harrisism.


Well in my opinion Germany in 1944-45 was one big fortress that wouldn't surrender. That necessitated tactics that were ugly but entirely justifiable to defeat the menace. I will remind the viwers of this forum that the Germans did far worse in terms of strategic bombing in Russia and that no one can draw moral equivalence between the allies and the Nazis here, especially between the Western Allies and the Nazis.


Well, it is not clear to me that 2- and 3-year-olds who happen to have been born in the wrong place deserved every bomb. But what if it wasn't effective? What if the Allies couldn't determine if it was effective? What if there were better uses of scarce resources?


The German war production was shattered, I think that it was effective in that regard. But in hindsight maybe the bombing of cities was an unnecessary waste of resources. We must remember that thus was not a genocide at all, Dresden, Hamburg, and Cologne all had industrial or strategic value.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:07 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:And maybe the British, having experienced Nazi blockade and arial assaults of their own, were in the mood for vengeance. I know that the doctrine was implemented before the blitz, but maybe the brutality of the German bombing of the UK played into the sheer scale of the British strategic bombing.

Perhaps. But is it dignified to unleash holy hell on children - even if it isn't effective - because of vengeance?

You're confusing me more and more. Was the urban bombing program the best way to end the war quickly, or was it justifiable revenge, a punitive campaign to exact many times the pain on the enemy that the enemy had exacted on the British?


A little bit of both, but IMO the pragmatic considerations are primary. Its not like they did thus for shits and giggles or to reduce the population in preparation for ethnic realignment.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:30 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:As for the targeting of cities -let's face it, the Germans had done it in Poland in 1939, several months before the British decided to embark upon strategic bombing.

Not according to Overy. In his view, the bombing of Warsaw was classic operational bombing ("a model of operational warfare" with a wide margin of error and civilian casualites) against an enemy in a city that didn't surrender. That is different to Douhetism and to Harrisism.


Well in my opinion Germany in 1944-45 was one big fortress that wouldn't surrender.

So was Japan in 1945. Why is it ok to use atomic weapons in Japan but not Germany?

Jeff_36 wrote:That necessitated tactics that were ugly but entirely justifiable to defeat the menace.

War is ugly, for crissakes. Why is it justifiable to target civilians - especially if you don't even know if it will help "defeat the menace"?

Jeff_36 wrote:I will remind the viwers of this forum that the Germans did far worse in terms of strategic bombing in Russia and that no one can draw moral equivalence between the allies and the Nazis here, especially between the Western Allies and the Nazis.

I sound like a broken record, but according to Overy you're not correct. The scale of casualties in the bombing of the USSR was far lower than from the Allied bombing of German cities, more in line with the Blitz, and most of the bombing was in support of operations and/or targeted industry, port areas, transport hubs, and the like. In no way am I minimizing this, but I am trying to track with what I am reading and understand the distinctions Overy makes. The German bombing, according to Overy, was in support of ground operations and military engagements on the ground. Of course, the siege of Leningrad went far beyond this - but Overy makes the point that the damage to Leningrad and its population didn't come from bombing per se. So it is correct to explain that the German war on civilians in the USSR, taking the case of Leningrad (and we can look at counter-insurgency and other aspects of German operations as well), was criminal. But it is not correct to say, from my limited understanding, that "the Germans did far worse in terms of strategic bombing in Russia." I hope that isn't our standard, though, that the Germans were as bad or worse.

Jeff_36 wrote:The German war production was shattered, I think that it was effective in that regard.

You may have missed some posts I made. Overy says that what shattered German production was not mainly the area bombing program of the RAF but the Americans' alternative strategy. This post, in which I quoted Overy's conclusion.

Jeff_36 wrote: But in hindsight maybe the bombing of cities was an unnecessary waste of resources. We must remember that thus was not a genocide at all, Dresden, Hamburg, and Cologne all had industrial or strategic value.

I've not, and Overy hasn't, argued that the area bombing of cities was a genocide. (I've not reached the end of his book, but his only mention of genocide so far has been to argue against the charge made against Churchill on the basis of his having written in favor of exterminatory raids.) But the evidence shows that much of the RAF bombing, and some of the American bombing, was not against industrial or strategic targets but against people and their residential areas. Overy's conclusion is that what truly degraded German capacity to wage war was the more targeted bombing as in the oil and transport bombing programs led by the US Air Force.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:32 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:And maybe the British, having experienced Nazi blockade and arial assaults of their own, were in the mood for vengeance. I know that the doctrine was implemented before the blitz, but maybe the brutality of the German bombing of the UK played into the sheer scale of the British strategic bombing.

Perhaps. But is it dignified to unleash holy hell on children - even if it isn't effective - because of vengeance?

You're confusing me more and more. Was the urban bombing program the best way to end the war quickly, or was it justifiable revenge, a punitive campaign to exact many times the pain on the enemy that the enemy had exacted on the British?


A little bit of both, but IMO the pragmatic considerations are primary. Its not like they did thus for shits and giggles or to reduce the population in preparation for ethnic realignment.

Overy's conclusion will evaluate this question, but, if your ground is mainly pragmatic, from what I've read of Overy so far, deep into 1945, you should on empirical grounds have deep concerns about the RAF civilian bombing program. See link posted above.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:04 am

Right away there is a descrepancy. 500,000 died as a result of German strategic bombing in Russia. Ovary, IIRC puts the number of German casualties as 353,000.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:12 am

Jeff_36 wrote:Right away there is a descrepancy. 500,000 died as a result of German strategic bombing in Russia. Ovary, IIRC puts the number of German casualties as 353,000.

p 225 "Table 4.1: Soviet Civilian Casualties from Bombing, 1941-5" shows a total of 51,526 Soviet civilians killed from German bombing. Note: "The half-million deaths from bombing claimed in later Soviet publications must be regarded as a rhetorical statistic . . ." Next?
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:48 am

I'll be honest, I understand that the goal of the bombing campaign wast to destroy cities and infrastructure, kill industrial workers, create a refugee problem and destroy the German Morale. In my view the normal standards of logic do not apply when you are fighting a foe as savage and brutal as the Third Reich, extreme measures are in order. You have to remember that this was a new tactic, and that in hindsight, the US method was more effective. I concede that. But that doesn't make me feel sorry for the Third Reich at all, you reap what you sow after all.

Can you explain to me the difference between Overy's opinions on the morality of strategic bombing and the opinions of, say, Fredrich Berg or Thomas Dalton? Because I am having trouble differentiating.....

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:13 am

Jeff_36 wrote:I'll be honest, I understand that the goal of the bombing campaign wast to destroy cities and infrastructure, kill industrial workers, create a refugee problem and destroy the German Morale. In my view the normal standards of logic do not apply when you are fighting a foe as savage and brutal as the Third Reich, extreme measures are in order. You have to remember that this was a new tactic, and that in hindsight, the US method was more effective. I concede that. But that doesn't make me feel sorry for the Third Reich at all, you reap what you sow after all.

But it is precisely to defeat the Third Reich that it was important to choose and utilize the most effective strategy. (Concern for civilians - fore example, children who happened to be born in Frankfurt - is different to concern for the Nazi leadership and regime, the Third Reich. A battle to destroy the Third Reich is not the same thing as a battle against children and their parents living in a German city.)

Jeff_36 wrote:Can you explain to me the difference between Overy's opinions on the morality of strategic bombing and the opinions of, say, Fredrich Berg or Thomas Dalton? Because I am having trouble differentiating.....

I can't because I don't know what Berg or Dalton says about it. The thing I've been trying to do in this thread is clarify what the hell the strategies were and what was done. In that vein, I feel the need to distinguish strategic bombing, which is a broader concept, from area bombing that targets civilians. Strategic bombing differs to operational bombing; similarly, strategic bombing to destroy military assets, strategic bombing of production and transportation assets, and strategic bombing of residential areas and civilians may blend but each is different in intent, usefulness, and impact.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby ryu » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:50 am

Remindes me of the denier documentary Hellstrom...they should see this thread...

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:53 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:There's another very interesting question in all this: why weren't biological agents or gas warfare used?

If the point is to use any means to get the enemy to surrender, why didn't the Allies use gas warfare in 1944? or germ agents in 1945? Is the only reason fear of "reciprocity"? Was it on account technical issues? Also, why didn't Hitler?

It is interesting that Overy's discussion, thus far, about what was most effective supports a somewhat different line of thought . . .


Because that would have been a breach of positive international laws!
Use of gas was positively prohibited after World War 1 during which it had been used.
This prohibition is present in many documents - some which have not been ratified - but the Geneva protocol of 1925 was signed and ratified.

As we know, there is always this arguments that Aerial Warfare was not positively forbidden - a point i do not completely agree with but which is defendable - but in this case, there were no ambiguities.

I could also add that the fact gas had been used - and left awful memories to those who participated in ww1 - helped the prohibition to be respected.


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