The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeff_36 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:47 pm

Once again I will say that it is not that complicated an issue at all morally speaking. Yes the allied decision to adopt strategic bombing occurred a few months before the German reign of terror over London commenced but that is irrelevant - the Germans had engaged in strategic bombing in Poland, Spain and the Netherlands by that point, showing absolutely zero regard for the rules of war and carrying out said actions with the utmost brutality. The British, besieged and desperate, were confronted by an ominous foe that had showed no hesitation to gleefully attack civilian populations and made the decision to fight fire with fire. There is nothing wrong with that decision, I would have done it myself as would every man here.

There is an old saying that my grandfather used to tell me, If you ride with the devil, you dance when the music stops. That is the story of the strategic bombing of Germany. They had illegally invaded and occupied a multitude of nations, they were engaged in genocide against European Jews, they were engaged in quasi-genocide against Poles and Russians, they were abducting children from their families, and were committing nauseating atrocities against Prisoners of War. If the bombing was not comeuppance then AI don't know what it was. We must also not forget the value that came from destroying the industrial capacity of the enemy, how it hampered their war effort and how it helped to win the war. That is not something to be ashamed of, rather - it's war. They would have done far worse had the shoe been in the other foot. If a few Dresdens were what it took to secure victory, then so be it. And remember - this is Nazi Germany we are talking about here, they made the bed that they layed down in and they bought the lot that was given to them in blood money - these were the consequences. As Balsamo said, it may not have been direct retaliation for the Third Reich's innumerable crimes, but said crimes makes it very, very difficult to find even an ounce of sympathy for them. As I said in my initial post it was a case of chickens coming home to roost. How do you gentlemen propose we would have gone about the defeat of Nazi Germany without the destruction of its war machine?

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:56 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:......and made the decision to fight fire with fire.
Interesting rhetoric a la Trump: "He started it." Yes, Tit for Tat "sounds" justified. But is fighting fire with fire THE BEST WAY to defend yourself/win the war? If so.......I say that is what a country MUST DO. Its the very highest MORAL thing to do. Sadly, SM and his ilk are full of deceptively appealing, but ultimately failing, emotional appeals......to Losers of War.

Point is: its only very special limited cases where you fight fire with fire. Usually..... its water.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:18 pm

A lot of strawmen in this post, and some curious reasoning:
Jeff_36 wrote:Once again I will say that it is not that complicated an issue at all morally speaking. Yes the allied decision to adopt strategic bombing occurred a few months before the German reign of terror over London commenced but that is irrelevant - the Germans had engaged in strategic bombing in Poland, Spain and the Netherlands by that point, showing absolutely zero regard for the rules of war and carrying out said actions with the utmost brutality. The British, besieged and desperate, were confronted by an ominous foe that had showed no hesitation to gleefully attack civilian populations and made the decision to fight fire with fire. There is nothing wrong with that decision, I would have done it myself as would every man here.
Even if you're right, and I won't repeat myself, the bombing of Dresden, e.g., has nothing to do with any of this.
Jeff_36 wrote:There is an old saying that my grandfather used to tell me, If you ride with the devil, you dance when the music stops. That is the story of the strategic bombing of Germany. They had illegally invaded and occupied a multitude of nations, they were engaged in genocide against European Jews, they were engaged in quasi-genocide against Poles and Russians, they were abducting children from their families, and were committing nauseating atrocities against Prisoners of War.
What on earth does a catalogue if German wrongdoing - some totally unrelated to the topic at hand - have to do with area bombing of German cities and/ore targeting civilians in this bombing?
Jeff_36 wrote:the industrial capacity of the enemy,
Which is a different question. Does anyone argue that military-industrial infrastructure is not a legitimate target?
Jeff_36 wrote:If a few Dresdens were what it took to secure victory, then so be it.
I don't know about the range of literature on Dresden but I have not read that this bombing or others like it hastened the conclusion of the war.
Jeff_36 wrote:How do you gentlemen propose we would have gone about the defeat of Nazi Germany without the destruction of its war machine?
:strawman:
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:35 pm

Before 5 minutes ago, all I knew about Dresden was that it was the setting for Kurt Vonneguts "Slaughterhouse Five" containing one of my favorite lines in literature: "Billy was as spastic in Time, as he was in space." IE--an exemplar of the cruelty and meaningless on War in that a city filled with civilians and no military targets of note was "FIRE bombed." A particularly nasty way to go: sucking the oxygen out of the air suffocating people to death...........hmmm, probably better than burning to death? Lets see...so that and that some POW's or a POW camp was also hit in the same raid.

So..............to the wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_o ... rld_War_II.

Seems Dresden was a flat out target with military value. The complaint is: "Critics of the bombing argue that Dresden was a cultural landmark of little or no strategic significance, and that the attacks were indiscriminate area bombing and not proportionate to the commensurate military gains.[9][10]" /// The key being: "not proportionate." In WAR===proportionality is NONSENSE. In WAR==>you kill the enemy...as fast and as often as you can. Anything else, is to invite defeat.

I'd rather be immoral, than dead. .................................................... YOU?...........YOUR family????

EDIT: I could add: I actually toured Dresden...all because of Vonnegut. The old city center has been reconstructed with such accuracy that I thought it actually needed to be rehabbed. Beautiful setting and layout. Gave me almost a mystical feeling....and an abhorrence of war. WAR...... to be avoided at all costs. Not to be made otherwise acceptable.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:48 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:. . . they were engaged in genocide against European Jews. . .
So, again, I don't agree that these are easy questions. Jeffk's thread has motivated me to order a few books on the bombing of German cities including one on Dresden. Reading through a few things I can find online, it isn't clear to me that the bombing of Dresden, to stick with that case for a bit, was primarily focused on, or executed against, military or industrial targets (one argument I read about Dresden says that the attack was meant to, and carried out to, largely to wreak havoc and sow confusion, in part by adding to the "heavy flow of refugees" in eastern Germany). You can't just say Dresden was one of Germany's major cities, it lay to the east, the Allies had to do what they could to help the Soviet advance in the east, and Dresden was a transport hub with significant industry - presto: hit the city with area bombing and incendiaries. So what - if the attack had a design and logic different to hitting mainly the industry and transportation sites in the city?

So there's a lot debatable here, some of it factual, and moral ambiguity exists, not simplicity and clear answers. Along with this there are interesting questions about how to wage war - whether you declare city populations and strike at them under a doctrine of necessity and hitting the enemy hard and doing anything to win. Some of the discussion here seems to me to beg some basic questions: what works? what did work? what could have been expected to work? what was frustration and brutalization, what was sound strategy?

In my view, you don't get to declare the existence of a hard military challenge, a city that has military significance, and then conclude that therefore anything goes. Which is what a lot of this discussion sounds like.

Throwing in the industrial-military value of Dresden is muddying the important issue, which Jeffk asked about: the OP asked not whether the bombing of targets of military importance is justified but whether the bombing of citizens has a moral basis or is militarily sound. In other words, the first question is whether attacks like that on Dresden were in fact terror attacks on civilians - yes or no or in part? - and then, if yes or in part, to Jeffk's question, are terror attacks justified and/or effective and, if so, under what circumstances? But let's be clear about what it is we're defending or calling into question: I am not criticizing bombing of industrial facilities or military targets; I am questioning bombing meant to cause widespread civilian casualties, or carried out in a way that will do this, and to spread terror amongst civilians.

But arguments like this one - that a justification for such an attack is that the Nazis were committing genocide against European Jews - just don't make any sense to me at all. Hell, the Allies wouldn't bomb the rail lines into Auschwitz, but you want to explain the targeting and destruction of 10s of 1000s citizens in German cities on account of the Holocaust? I don't buy it.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:14 pm

SM==you are making the "disproportionate" argument mentioned in the wiki.

something only winners of War are in a position to consider.

Bombing a transportation hub too debatable? How about bombing dams, dikes, and levees? No one disagrees those are military targets.....even though they aren't. They are civilian targets that bog down the military......like transportation hubs.

I like how you maintain your clinical detachment.

Nit picking and dithering.........because we can. We won the war and can complain of instances that we never took action against, and never will........so that we can Hold trials in Nuremberg....just as winners always do.

Isn't the whole issue more about hypocrisy than anything else?
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Balsamo » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:22 pm

Jeff:
the Germans had engaged in strategic bombing in Poland, Spain and the Netherlands by that point, showing absolutely zero regard for the rules of war and carrying out said actions with the utmost brutality.
You are mistaken, Jeff.
Again, i will repeat it sloowly, strategic bombing is not defined by the fact it bombs cities. You can bomb a city tactically whether through the Air, the land or the see.
Bombing targets where civilians are is not contrary to rules of war.

Now regarding Guernica, there are arguments to consider it as contrary to the rule of war. The city was 15 miles behind the frontline. The attack was extraordinary brutal given the size of the city.
Everyone is free to have an opinion, but then i would warn you not to succumb to double standards here, because even tiny Guernica held one of the most important Spanish weapon factory, as well as a garnison.

Whether it was a Strategic bombing or a tactical one is also open to debate, but forced is to notice that combats were taking place not far away.

Another point it took place within a civil war, not a war between two signatories of the Hague convention.
The British, besieged and desperate, were confronted by an ominous foe that had showed no hesitation to gleefully attack civilian populations and made the decision to fight fire with fire. There is nothing wrong with that decision, I would have done it myself as would every man here.
A very passionate statement here.
I just don't know the point you want to make.
I can state with passion that if a pedophile rapes my baby girl, i would gladly kill him with my own hand, and by doing so would gladly commit a murder. private justice is nevertheless illegal. No one would really blame me but i would still faced criminal charges.

As i said earlier, if the reason by Great Britain to resort to Strategic Bombing had been motivated by all the atrocities committed or to be committed by the Nazi regime - but it was NOT - even then it would not change the fact that it did resort to a new way of making war which were absolutely outside (that is not backed) by any customary or positive international Laws of war.

The first British heavy bomber was ready as soon as November 1940.

The problem with emotional consideration is that again - if you do not succumb to double standards - you could use the same logic to excuse a terrorist killing hundreds of people because his entire family has been killed by a US drone somewhere in a country no one cares about.

And sorry, but whatever the excuses, i personally do not excuse any act of terrorism.
We must also not forget the value that came from destroying the industrial capacity of the enemy, how it hampered their war effort and how it helped to win the war. That is not something to be ashamed of, rather - it's war. They would have done far worse had the shoe been in the other foot. If a few Dresdens were what it took to secure victory, then so be it.
More passion than facts, here.
- First the value and efficiency of Strategic Bombing was purely theoretical at that time. But the issue here is not about that. Had the RAF really concentrated on the industrial capacities, it would have made a difference sooner. Speer recognized that the will to destroy every cities in Germany allowed him to gain time, and produce more weapons for longer that could have been. Jeffkk1970 pointed rightly that Germany was producing more weapons of all kinds in 1944-45 than for the whole period 39-43.
Given the high rate of loss among the Bombers squadrons, again i am not sure the whole doctrine was so effective.

Did it help to win the war? maybe...but as you know, in my views, Germany lost the war at the end of 1941, and i would say that the Red Army with all the supports it got from its western allies was more determinant in the victory that the destruction of cities.

As the original discussion was about Dresden, and that you support it, then how can you blame Guernica?
It was even more disproportionate, had no influence on the military situation as the German Army was already in a desperate situation, the Red Army closing to Berlin. Dresden did not secure anything, victory was already secured.
And remember - this is Nazi Germany we are talking about here, they made the bed that they layed down in and they bought the lot that was given to them in blood money - these were the consequences. As Balsamo said, it may not have been direct retaliation for the Third Reich's innumerable crimes, but said crimes makes it very, very difficult to find even an ounce of sympathy for them.
By this standards, crimes against the Russians should be exonerated? I personally despise Stalin and his regime, his numerous murders prior to the war, his insanity that led to the death by starvation of millions of Ukrainians, his rape of Poland, the deportation of hundreds of thousands Poles, Balts, etc to the Goulag, etc. etc.
But i still feel sympathy for the population of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and every single villages that were destroyed.

This is why emotions and emotional considerations, are enemies.
If the nature of a regime has influence on whether to decide if a crime has been committed, because the victims does not deserve sympathy because of their political regime, then why should we considered what took place in Russia as a crime, or even of we'd admit politely that indeed some actions were criminal; why not conclude that, still after all Stalin has done, it is difficult to have any sympathy for the Russian population?
Wouldn't that be the same?

And just to be nasty, the Russians were not even covered by international laws, they did not signed any of the important international Conventions (to those tempted to say yes, only the Tsarist regime did).
Nevertheless, Nazi did commit crimes in Russia.
How do you gentlemen propose we would have gone about the defeat of Nazi Germany without the destruction of its war machine?
This is not the topic of this thread.

Personally, and i think i said that, i do not judge Great Britain to have adopted Strategic Bombing as a doctrine. In her position, it was kind of the only thing - along with the blockade - it could do.
I don't think Statmec has ever suggested that Strategic bombing was THE CRIME, neither.
No, the criminal aspect is the introduction of the "destruction of a people's will to fight" within the doctrine. The RAF doctrine was not only about the destruction of communication, and industrial capacities. And i even dare to say that regarding industrial capacities, it failed.
What should be really thought about are the consequences for having introduced the concept that civilians populations were a legitimate target per se. That was a criminal mistake, because regarding this objective, it also failed.

The red army was rushing through the Reich, took Berlin, and the dictator killed himself. That would have happened with or without Dresden, and at the same date, May 1945.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:34 pm

Balsamo wrote: The problem with emotional consideration is that again - if you do not succumb to double standards - you could use the same logic to excuse a terrorist killing hundreds of people because his entire family has been killed by a US drone somewhere in a country no one cares about.

And sorry, but whatever the excuses, i personally do not excuse any act of terrorism. .
Which attack is the terrorist attack? The first one by Drone...or the second one in retaliation/defense all taking place without declared War?

What standard ARE you using?
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Balsamo » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:39 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Balsamo wrote: The problem with emotional consideration is that again - if you do not succumb to double standards - you could use the same logic to excuse a terrorist killing hundreds of people because his entire family has been killed by a US drone somewhere in a country no one cares about.

And sorry, but whatever the excuses, i personally do not excuse any act of terrorism. .
Which attack is the terrorist attack? The first one by Drone...or the second one in retaliation/defense all taking place without declared War?

What standard ARE you using?
None,
I cry over the crumbling of international norms and all post world war dreams we might have had that is taking place.

In this position, i would confront both positions the same way. The use of drones in the so called "war against terror" disregards any previous norms, not only international ones, but even national ones. It seems we are now to be allowed just to kill, to use military force as a way to promote any regional policies, quite the contrary of what the post war dream was about.
The same way, there is no justification whatsoever to killing innocent people as a retaliation.
But it seems that this new doctrine is kind of accepted by both camps, so well welcome to a new era of barbarity.

And as we are living in a very dump era, where intellectuals are starting to become suspects, i guess no one will ask if this mess has any exit in sight in the first place? Are those new doctrines effective and efficient? Who cares, let's just do it.
There is such a tremendous number of passionate and emotional reasons to keep doing it.

Some here were shocked when Trump says that in order to fight terrorism, one should kill their family. There were some screams and objections, but it is already happening. In fact, we are not even hypocrite anymore...well kind of, still hypocrite in speeches, but not in behavior.
Last edited by Balsamo on Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:40 pm

Balsamo wrote:
How do you gentlemen propose we would have gone about the defeat of Nazi Germany without the destruction of its war machine?
This is not the topic of this thread.
Indeed. And I propose a method just the same: destroy the war machine, don't target and terrorize civilians.
Balsamo wrote:I don't think Statmec has ever suggested that Strategic bombing was THE CRIME, neither.
As you state it, we agree. I've understood strategic bombing to aim at destruction of capacity of the enemy to fight, both materially and psychologically. If that means sapping the will to continue by destroying the military, industrial, logistical, etc basis for the enemy to fight, I think that's legitimate. If the "psychological" side slips over into terrorizing civilians, and carrying out mass murder to do this, I think there are both moral and legal problems for whoever does this.

Or to put it more simply: we are not discussing the targeting and destruction of Germany's industry, railways, communications, etc. That's not what the OP was about and no one here has raised pacifist objections to such actions. To keep bringing this up is both a red herring and muddled thinking.

I very much agree with your asking people here to think about the war crimes against civilians in the USSR - which don't have to do with approving Stalin's government, the Communist party, or its methods and tactics. That (Stalin's evil) is, in fact, the Nazi justification for the Commissar Order and other criminal orders.
Balsamo wrote:What should be really thought about are the consequences for having introduced the concept that civilians populations were a legitimate target per se. That was a criminal mistake, because regarding this objective, it also failed.
Fully agree.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Xcalibur » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:08 pm


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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:19 pm

Balsamo wrote:
What should be really thought about are the consequences for having introduced the concept that civilians populations were a legitimate target per se. That was a criminal mistake, because regarding this objective, it also failed.
How many examples are there of that? Seems there is almost always a military component that justifies an attack even where the majority, even great majority of those killed are civilian? EG: Dresden, Guernica.

Civilian only attacks seem to appear only very recently, committed by the USA...and claimed to be either mistakes or errors. Flimsy==and in my view extremely immoral as there is no declared war........ just business.

A total ........muddle. Enough to shift the discussion to: NO MORE WAR.......or continue the dithering on how to engage in war by following rules. See the difference?
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Balsamo » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:28 pm

Euh yes, what should we focus on?

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Balsamo » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:30 pm

Bobbo,
How many examples are there of that? Seems there is almost always a military component that justifies an attack even where the majority, even great majority of those killed are civilian? EG: Dresden, Guernica.
This is why i gave the existing norms as of 1940 regarding the question of military component, and the rules around them.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Balsamo » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:37 pm

I hope your intention are not resurrect the "Streit" i had with Sergey about those silly "number games"... ;)

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Xcalibur » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:40 pm

Balsamo wrote:
I hope your intention are not resurrect the "Streit" i had with Sergey about those silly "number games"... ;)
:lol: No..

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Xcalibur » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:42 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Euh yes, what should we focus on?

In general I thought it an interesting thread on the topic. There are quite a few more at AHF so I started with an early one...

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:52 am

First, I want to thank you all for contributing to what I posted.
Second, this is exactly what I wanted.

To me, war operates in a very hazy, very grey area.

I think we all agree that the genocidal actions of the Nazis towards the Jews, the Soviet POWs, the Poles, etc. are all inexcusable. Hitler bears the responsibility of this, as well as the horrors of war visited on Europe.
But, what about the subsequent actions of the allies?
The mass bombing of Germany killed around 600,000 German citizens. This includes not only men of military age but the elderly, women and children (BTW, that number is only an estimate. I've seen higher and lower numbers).
It left millions homeless and destroyed buildings that were centuries old.
Was it justified? Well, I've seen convincing arguments for both sides.
This is just Germany. The allies also bombed targets in Western Europe in preparation for D-Day. Those that died were not Germans but citizens of countries the allies wanted to LIBERATE.
Was that justified? Well, military necessity argues that targeting railway junctions and other facilities to prevent the movement of German troops was justified.
The technology of the time prevented true pinpoint targeting. We now have drones that could target a Volkswagen Bug traveling 75 miles an hour on a freeway in LA, but innocent bystanders still die.
I also look at what was going on at that time. It's easy to criticize the Allied Bombing Campaign 70 years later but these men were dealing with stresses and pressures we can't imagine. Hindsight is easy.
I'm glad we could spend some time on this. I'll be glad to see what else anyone else has to say about this.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:05 am

There's not in this thread, IMO, an empirical base sufficient for me to take this further. I'm confused, having poked around this afternoon and now having read the AHF thread Xcalibur linked to, about some basic issues on the Allied area bombing and, sticking with Dresden, what was planned and how it was executed in February 1945. Two of the books I ordered should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday. I am away the latter part of the week, and will read as much as I can.

The empirical question includes three points that have come up in this thread - the military value and goals of the attack on Dresden (also the relevance of the city's industry), the technology of the time in relation to precision targeting, and the question of hindsight. I don't know how to think through these points without more evidence about the situation in February 1945 and what decisions were made and carried through.

IMO one central question that we need more evidence to answer is about the thinking behind the Dresden mission and what targets were prioritized. What was the bombing meant to accomplish, how was it planned, and how was it carried out? To cut to the chase, if the raids focused on the city in general or on the civilian population, and made industry/transport secondary, then we have one question, which, as I understood it, was the question in the OP. In this case, whether the bombing was precision or not is entirely beside the point. The issue is the targeting of a large civilian population and whether doing so is ever justifiable.

But if the attack on Dresden went after mainly industrial and military targets of consequence, then we have a different question - and the accuracy of bombing is very relevant. (I am making the general assumption, which is valid based on what I've read about the war, that the war continued, neither the Allies nor Germany viewed it as concluded - and the "revisionist" canard that Germany was defeated and the raid was thus gratuitous can be rejected; but that leaves unresolved questions about objectives, the choices of targets, execution, and proportionality.)

There's also evidence available to us, it seems, about "hindsight" vs "foresight"; one article I read today argues that earlier in the war Allied planners reflected on the impact of bombing campaigns on civilians, but that by the time of Dresden, the planners had become so inured to the war and so brutalized that their group conscience was entirely "unburdened" by such considerations. Yet, other things I read today suggest that soul-searching among some Allied officials began almost at once. So the question I have here is whether it is really apt to put too much emphasis on hindsight. Related to that is the question, knowing all we know, how should the decision have been made, say, about Dresden? Asking this latter question makes me feel that hindsight isn't all that easy - or obvious, as I don't think in retrospect we'd all agree.

So I will be back to this thread in a bit.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:45 am

Balsamo wrote:
You are mistaken, Jeff.
Again, i will repeat it sloowly, strategic bombing is not defined by the fact it bombs cities. You can bomb a city tactically whether through the Air, the land or the see.
Bombing targets where civilians are is not contrary to rules of war.
I understand fully. I am speaking from a moral standpoint - the Germans had no right to bitch about bombing cities with civilians, they had done it many times themselves, often with devastating results. They are thus in no position to complain when they receive equivalent treatment. To do soa amounts to hypocrisy.

I will confess that the prominence of the bombing campaign in denier materiel and in other Nazi apologia in contemporary times has very muched influenced my stance. When I hear about "Allied bombing" the first thing that comes to mind is Been-There and Zundel.

Another point it took place within a civil war, not a war between two signatories of the Hague convention.
I am not aware if Nazi Germany signed the Huge convention or not. If they did then they certainly did not conduct themselves in accordance with its values.
A very passionate statement here.
I just don't know the point you want to make.
I can state with passion that if a pedophile rapes my baby girl, i would gladly kill him with my own hand, and by doing so would gladly commit a murder. private justice is nevertheless illegal. No one would really blame me but i would still faced criminal charges.
Its the same moral logic. The likes of Been-There have no right to use the bombing of Germany as an example of a great outrage (some even refer to it as a Holocaust, easily the most offensive set of labeling I have ever heard in my life) when by all accounts they had it coming.
As i said earlier, if the reason by Great Britain to resort to Strategic Bombing had been motivated by all the atrocities committed or to be committed by the Nazi regime - but it was NOT - even then it would not change the fact that it did resort to a new way of making war which were absolutely outside (that is not backed) by any customary or positive international Laws of war.
You are correct but I am speaking more from a moral standpoint. I am motivated by the use of the Bombing of Germany as an example of a great war crime by deniers, many attempt to use it to draw moral equivalence between the democratic western allies and the totalitarian, genocidal Nazis. It sickens me to no small extent. They payed dearly for their crimes, and I'm not upset at all.
The first British heavy bomber was ready as soon as November 1940.
The Germans bombed civilians in Warsaw in 1939 and in Rotterdam and many other places in the spring of 1940.
The problem with emotional consideration is that again - if you do not succumb to double standards - you could use the same logic to excuse a terrorist killing hundreds of people because his entire family has been killed by a US drone somewhere in a country no one cares about.
Different circumstances. Drones are a means of self defense against terror. The Nazis were waging aggressive war and committing all manner of atrocities. It is more comparable to a father who kills the rapist of his child.

By this standards, crimes against the Russians should be exonerated? I personally despise Stalin and his regime, his numerous murders prior to the war, his insanity that led to the death by starvation of millions of Ukrainians, his rape of Poland, the deportation of hundreds of thousands Poles, Balts, etc to the Goulag, etc. etc.
But i still feel sympathy for the population of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and every single villages that were destroyed.
That is a major case of apples and oranges. Allow me to explain.
First, from 1933-1939 Stalin was more than content to tear his own country to shreds and basically cripple his military and economy in a fit of paranoid lunacy. Was it despicable? absolutely, but remember that Nazi Germany was actively expanding its borders at a time when the USSR was engaged in cannibalism on a massive scale. And as much as the Russian people suffered under Stalin, they fared far worse under Nazi occupation and would have faced armageddon in the event of a Nazi victory. You cannot justify crimes against a civilian population by citing a regime that oppresses the same population, it is a pure logical contradiction.

From 1939-1941 The USSR committed a wide range of despicable acts in the Baltics and in Eastern Poland as you rightfully pointed out, but these differ from Nazi atrocities both in scale and in nature. The Soviet outrages in the Baltics and Eastern Poland were acts committed by the Government of the USSR, and were likely not received with any popularity by the broader populace. Brutal actions against innocent Russians and Belorussians cannot be seen as a logical reaction when one considers that the Soviet atrocities were carried out on behalf of a narrow group of red freaks in power for political reasons.

Contrast that with Nazi atrocities, which were not only far larger in scale and intention, but were carried out on behalf of the German population. The goal of Barbarossa was to clear room for Lebensraum, it was a national mission. This is not to say that every German was complicit, hell no they were not, but rather that they were to benefit greatly from these barbaric plans, and that the aforementioned atrocities were carried out for them, whereas the Soviet invasions of the Baltics and Poland benefited absolutely zero Russians outside the Kremlin. IIRC Barbarossa nad the invasion of Poland were supported by most Germans.

And finally, in objective terms, Germany started the war, they brought hell everywhere they went, they cooked up a plan for continental subjugation of Mongol proportions, and they payed for it.
If the nature of a regime has influence on whether to decide if a crime has been committed, because the victims does not deserve sympathy because of their political regime, then why should we considered what took place in Russia as a crime, or even of we'd admit politely that indeed some actions were criminal; why not conclude that, still after all Stalin has done, it is difficult to have any sympathy for the Russian population?
Wouldn't that be the same?
Alas, because the Russians did not chose Stalin and did not support him. The Germans elected Hitler and stayed with him through his mad quest. You ride with the Devil, you dance when the music stops.

Let me phrase it in contemporary terms. Stalinist Russia was very much like Assad's Syria and Nazi Germany was very much like Daesh. Both are unspeakabley horrible, but which would you prefer to destroy sooner?
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:47 am

On a side note: several years ago I met a number of Veterans of the RCAF who had served as crew members on Lancasters over Germany. None of them expressed any regret for the missions they flew and all of them were rightfully quite proud of their contributions to victory.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:50 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Balsamo wrote:
You are mistaken, Jeff.
Again, i will repeat it sloowly, strategic bombing is not defined by the fact it bombs cities. You can bomb a city tactically whether through the Air, the land or the see.
Bombing targets where civilians are is not contrary to rules of war.
I understand fully. I am speaking from a moral standpoint - the Germans had no right to bitch about bombing cities with civilians, they had done it many times themselves, often with devastating results. They are thus in no position to complain when they receive equivalent treatment. To do soa amounts to hypocrisy.

I will confess that the prominence of the bombing campaign in denier materiel and in other Nazi apologia in contemporary times has very muched influenced my stance. When I hear about "Allied bombing" the first thing that comes to mind is Been-There and Zundel.
Morality is not a tit-for-tat with Goebbels or with deniers. The question asked in the OP wasn't whether deniers are right about Dresden. It is more along the lines what should the Allies have done.

Besides which, Irving is shredded to the point where he's made a laughingstock in the thread at AHF which Xcalibur linked to. But there are complexities and open questions left - ones not satisfactorily answered by repeating that Germany started the war, the war was for conquest, the Germans were barbaric and were regularly guilty of atrocities, and the war had to be won. What's being asked is what is in, what is out in winning the war and why.

You bring up ISIS, which is pertinent. Trump, Cruz and others have argued that the US commit war crimes in Syria and Iraq (e.g., torture, area or carpet bombing) because, er, ISIS started it, ISIS are barbaric and regularly commit atrocities, ISIS is hellbent on expansion and conquest, and ISIS has to be defeated. If some Islamist somewhere, defending ISIS, rants and raves about US war crimes, it doesn't matter to how we decide what we should do - and if the decision is against torture and carpet bombing, it isn't giving comfort to Islamism or credence to Islamism bitching to decide that way.

You can tell been-there he's full of {!#%@}, and then have a meaningful discussion of issues and problems. In fact, to explore the moral, practical, and historical issues meaningfully, you first do have to tell been-there and all they are full of {!#%@} - and then have a real conversation. :)
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by nickterry » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:17 am

As some may know, my PhD supervisor was Richard Overy, who has written and commented extensively on these issues; I've discussed them numerous times when he was writing The Bombing War and seen him give numerous seminar/workshop papers on the subject

Interview between Laurence Rees and Richard Overy
http://ww2history.com/experts/Richard_O ... ea_bombing

Chapter - 'The Postwar Debate'
http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/mar ... Debate.pdf

^
note that the linked chapter is on the website of Harold Marcuse, a specialist in Holocaust memory

A very detailed piece on the bombing of Dresden by a blogger, Aaron Cripps, with 141 references and a good grasp of the literature and legal sources
https://aaroncrippsblog.wordpress.com/2 ... f-dresden/

Peter Hitchens, a notoriously conservative Daily Mail journalist, takes the Overy line
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/ ... ed-up.html

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:31 am

nickterry wrote:As some may know, my PhD supervisor was Richard Overy,
Which is one of the reasons why the very first book I will be reading as threatened above - it arrives tomorrow or Wednesday - is Overy's The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (indeed!); the other reason is what I've read by Overy is really thought provoking and well argued. The other two books I ordered are Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945, a collection of papers on Dresden, and Taylor's Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945. Thanks for the additional references, one of which appears to be from Firestorm . . .

UPDATE: excellent reading which goes a long toward answering my questions about empirical issues and my concern that we clarify what we're "debating." Thanks for these, Nick. Still, I plan to read the books I mentioned before getting all long-winded and text-wally again. But I strongly recommend the reading Nick proposed.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:42 am

Jeff_36 wrote:On a side note: several years ago I met a number of Veterans of the RCAF who had served as crew members on Lancasters over Germany. None of them expressed any regret for the missions they flew and all of them were rightfully quite proud of their contributions to victory.
As are the Germans who bombed.........everything. Pilots are like that. Its how well you bomb.......not what you bomb.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by nickterry » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:43 am

I hope you ordered the UK edition, as the US edition (The Bombers and the Bombed) was heavily truncated; the editors were mainly interested in US-related bombing material and not in the comparative picture that the UK edition offers.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:24 am

nickterry wrote:I hope you ordered the UK edition, as the US edition (The Bombers and the Bombed) was heavily truncated; the editors were mainly interested in US-related bombing material and not in the comparative picture that the UK edition offers.
I noticed that and did order the full UK edition. :)
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:41 pm

I read the Rees piece, I'll read the others later.
I enjoy Rees as an author and his BBC documentaries are excellent. I'd recommend his book on Auschwitz as a good starting point for anyone on the Holocaust. His book WW II Behind Closed Doors is also really good.
Reading Overy you can tell the struggle that historians have over the allied bombing campaign.
Michael Burleigh in his book "Moral Combat" brings up Churchill's second thoughts after Dresden.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
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“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:48 pm

I'm sorry gents, but I cannot bring myself to weep for the ruin of Nazi Germany. I'm not Been-There, and I have no affiliation with the German NDP. I am happy that they were defeated the way they were and I am not sorry. The bombings of Dresen, Cologne, Hamburg and other places does not bother me at all. What goes around comes around and in this case it came right around.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Balsamo » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:26 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
nickterry wrote:As some may know, my PhD supervisor was Richard Overy,
Which is one of the reasons why the very first book I will be reading as threatened above - it arrives tomorrow or Wednesday - is Overy's The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (indeed!); the other reason is what I've read by Overy is really thought provoking and well argued. The other two books I ordered are Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945, a collection of papers on Dresden, and Taylor's Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945. Thanks for the additional references, one of which appears to be from Firestorm . . .

UPDATE: excellent reading which goes a long toward answering my questions about empirical issues and my concern that we clarify what we're "debating." Thanks for these, Nick. Still, I plan to read the books I mentioned before getting all long-winded and text-wally again. But I strongly recommend the reading Nick proposed.
If you read Tayor's book on Dresden, which prompted my first reaction, then you should also have a look on Jorg Friedrich, "the Fire" which i consider the other side of the same coin (referring to Taylor), Overy's is the best though.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:54 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:I'm sorry gents, but I cannot bring myself to weep for the ruin of Nazi Germany. I'm not Been-There, and I have no affiliation with the German NDP. I am happy that they were defeated the way they were and I am not sorry. The bombings of Dresen, Cologne, Hamburg and other places does not bother me at all. What goes around comes around and in this case it came right around.
I don't weep for Hitler, who died by his own hand while Berlin burned around him.
I certainly don't weep for the other criminals who died by noose or by their own hands.
To some extent the argument that the Nazis reaped what they sowed is understandable. The Red Army soldiers who found the burned villages, corpses of the innocent and the camps where innocent Soviet citizens were interred were in no mood to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent on their way to Berlin. The same thing holds for the British soldiers who suffered through the Blitz, or the French who endured four years of occupation.
But when I say "understandable" it doesn't mean I condone what the allies did in the skies and during the invasion.
I still look at the bombing campaign as justified in its idea. The idea was to destroy the German ability to run its military machine and to combat the Germans in the only way possible while the British and US built up their armies for a return to Europe. This also assisted their Soviet ally.
But, when you look at the end result, cities smashed, German civilians killed or left homeless, it becomes troubling.
I also realize that strategic bombing was a brand new practice.
So, I'm still torn about this issue. I understand the military necessity but I'm also troubled by the innocents (not just Germans) who suffered as a result.
I also realize that it took the combined efforts of the three most industrialized nations on earth to defeat Nazi Germany.
Could that have happened without the methods those countries used? I don't know.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:05 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
nickterry wrote:As some may know, my PhD supervisor was Richard Overy,
Which is one of the reasons why the very first book I will be reading as threatened above - it arrives tomorrow or Wednesday - is Overy's The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (indeed!); the other reason is what I've read by Overy is really thought provoking and well argued. The other two books I ordered are Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945, a collection of papers on Dresden, and Taylor's Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945. Thanks for the additional references, one of which appears to be from Firestorm . . .

UPDATE: excellent reading which goes a long toward answering my questions about empirical issues and my concern that we clarify what we're "debating." Thanks for these, Nick. Still, I plan to read the books I mentioned before getting all long-winded and text-wally again. But I strongly recommend the reading Nick proposed.
If you read Tayor's book on Dresden, which prompted my first reaction, then you should also have a look on Jorg Friedrich, "the Fire" which i consider the other side of the same coin (referring to Taylor), Overy's is the best though.
Freidrich's book is beloved in Neo-Nazi circles in Germany and has been harshly criticized for making no mention of the Rotterdam Blitz or German bombing of civilians in Poland. I would put it in the same category as an average CODOH or Metapedia screed.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Balsamo » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:00 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
nickterry wrote:As some may know, my PhD supervisor was Richard Overy,
Which is one of the reasons why the very first book I will be reading as threatened above - it arrives tomorrow or Wednesday - is Overy's The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (indeed!); the other reason is what I've read by Overy is really thought provoking and well argued. The other two books I ordered are Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945, a collection of papers on Dresden, and Taylor's Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945. Thanks for the additional references, one of which appears to be from Firestorm . . .

UPDATE: excellent reading which goes a long toward answering my questions about empirical issues and my concern that we clarify what we're "debating." Thanks for these, Nick. Still, I plan to read the books I mentioned before getting all long-winded and text-wally again. But I strongly recommend the reading Nick proposed.
If you read Tayor's book on Dresden, which prompted my first reaction, then you should also have a look on Jorg Friedrich, "the Fire" which i consider the other side of the same coin (referring to Taylor), Overy's is the best though.
Freidrich's book is beloved in Neo-Nazi circles in Germany and has been harshly criticized for making no mention of the Rotterdam Blitz or German bombing of civilians in Poland. I would put it in the same category as an average CODOH or Metapedia screed.
So i guess you did not read the book.
If some authors have some success among Deniers, it is not their fault, actually he had a great success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies, and i guess one can say that there are no hundreds of thousands of deniers in Germany. Arno Mayer also had some success among deniers who cherry-picked what they wanted from his work.

Friedrich is not a denier nor a neo-nazi.
That being said, if i associated his book with Taylor's, describing both as sides of a single coin, is because their represent their respective extreme, both displaying some biased approaches, "biased" may not be the correct word, here. You learn many things from both points of view, and therefore, both are quite complementary if the objective is to grasp the whole dimension of the debate.
This is why i advised Statmec to have a look at both.

By the way, Taylor makes a lot of omissions too, and this attitude to compare the bombing of Weilun or Rotterdam to the Strategic Bombing's doctrine is a display of ignorance or dishonesty. The harsh reaction to Friedrich books are mostly of the same vain as the "to quoque" expressed by Deniers, when they are based on such points. I agree with some critics regarding his provocative style, as the use of word of Holocaust - rightly etymologically - but there was no need to do that, but well that's his style. But that is more like emotional reaction, than concrete ones.

Anyway, It is quite obvious that it is one of those subjects where sensitivities makes some reactions quite comparable with Denier's approach. Always putting unrelated matters in parallel.


You will have noticed that i am not dressing any parallels in my posts. I am not opposing bad RAF vs good Luftwaffe, as it would be absurd.
And Friedrich does not do that neither.
He also wrote "Das Gesetz des Krieges" where he is quite critical, to say the least, toward the Wehrmacht in the East, i doubt your deniers would love that one.
So i would appreciate if you could refrain from condemning works and authors for the only reason that Wiki says that some neo-nazis liked some part of it. Read them and make your own conclusions.

I have to do a paper now, and i am still digesting Statmec last posts, so i will be back later

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:21 pm

I'm a little surprised that our resident HD haven't weighed in.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:56 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:I'm sorry gents, but I cannot bring myself to weep for the ruin of Nazi Germany. I'm not Been-There, and I have no affiliation with the German NDP. I am happy that they were defeated the way they were and I am not sorry. The bombings of Dresen, Cologne, Hamburg and other places does not bother me at all. What goes around comes around and in this case it came right around.
the meaning of that is that you have no morality of your own OR that your morlaity is that War allows for no limits/rules at all.

Fair enough.......if that is what you mean to say.

I mostly agree with that BUT ONLY in the context of: how can we get this WAR over with asap with as little loss of life and property to ourselves as possible. Morality does not enter into that evaluation either.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:01 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:. . . the bombing campaign as justified in its idea. The idea was to destroy the German ability to run its military machine and to combat the Germans in the only way possible while the British and US built up their armies for a return to Europe. This also assisted their Soviet ally.
Reading through what Nick linked to, it isn't so clear as all that.

As to expressing concern about Allied targeting civilians being equated with weeping for Nazi Germany - as the other Jeff posted - I am at a loss for words.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:08 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I'm a little surprised that our resident HD haven't weighed in.
Have they been around at all? I think David is in drive-by mode, and dropped something off earlier today. But beyond that, they seem MIA lately.
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:30 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:I'm a little surprised that our resident HD haven't weighed in.
Have they been around at all? I think David is in drive-by mode, and dropped something off earlier today. But beyond that, they seem MIA lately.
I believe I saw him snooping around.
Isn't Mary Q temporarily banned?
I think we chased Monstrous off.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Xcalibur » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:07 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:. . . the bombing campaign as justified in its idea. The idea was to destroy the German ability to run its military machine and to combat the Germans in the only way possible while the British and US built up their armies for a return to Europe. This also assisted their Soviet ally.
Reading through what Nick linked to, it isn't so clear as all that.

As to expressing concern about Allied targeting civilians being equated with weeping for Nazi Germany - as the other Jeff posted - I am at a loss for words.

>"the bombing campaign as justified in its idea."

I'm not clear on that at all. Conceptually I think it proved to be a rather mixed bag of results militarily. Harris was convinced he and Bomber Command were contributing in a major way toward a shorter war and ultimate victory... He won't be the first general staff officer to bamboozle both himself and a C-in-C with exaggerated claims about his command's effectiveness.

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Re: The Bombing Campaigns of the Allies and the Germans

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:38 am

Xcalibur wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:. . . the bombing campaign as justified in its idea. The idea was to destroy the German ability to run its military machine and to combat the Germans in the only way possible while the British and US built up their armies for a return to Europe. This also assisted their Soviet ally.
Reading through what Nick linked to, it isn't so clear as all that.

As to expressing concern about Allied targeting civilians being equated with weeping for Nazi Germany - as the other Jeff posted - I am at a loss for words.

>"the bombing campaign as justified in its idea."

I'm not clear on that at all. Conceptually I think it proved to be a rather mixed bag of results militarily. Harris was convinced he and Bomber Command were contributing in a major way toward a shorter war and ultimate victory... He won't be the first general staff officer to bamboozle both himself and a C-in-C with exaggerated claims about his command's effectiveness.
It was a mixed bag. The Luftwaffe, RAF and USAAF all deceived themselves on how well each one contributed.

The Luftwaffe exaggerated how many RAF fighters they shot down and the damage they caused during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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