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WW2 RAF Bombing Campaign

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2012 at 23:47
For anyone seriously interested in whose arse was handed to whom in daylight on just one day in September 1940, http://www.battleofbritain1940.net/0041.html

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...The pilots of the Hurricanes and Spitfires showed no mercy. It made no difference whether the bombers were crippled or not, some, which it was obvious that they would never make it back, were shot down, the broken hulks of German aircraft could be seen from the outskirts of London to the Channel coast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 08:00
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:


Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

I guessed from your reaction that you ment nothing about US aid so I asked the 2nd question so now I want clarification on what....

"How about that given British history in the preceding 3 centuries, it just may have given them a shred of decency to hang on to for their historical salvation."

Means?

No one is saying the UK should sit back as the Luftwaffe bombed them. The British had radar and night fighters on standby. They could actually tell when the Luftwaffe aircraft were taking off in France. Bombers are not fighters. With France well within range of the RAF, what they could have done was concentrate on targeting German MILITARY targets during the hours of daylight. They would have no problem with fighter cover for their bombers. I can't say because of the British conduct they would be damned forever. Their conduct prior to WW2 had long since had them damned by history forever.


Is this the same RAF that never appeared in daylight without getting it arse handed to it?

It is, perhaps you forgot that over Germany the RAFBC was without fighter cover.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 08:03
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

For anyone seriously interested in whose arse was handed to whom in daylight on just one day in September 1940, http://www.battleofbritain1940.net/0041.html

[QUOTE]
...The pilots of the Hurricanes and Spitfires showed no mercy. It made no difference whether the bombers were crippled or not, some, which it was obvious that they would never make it back, were shot down, the broken hulks of German aircraft could be seen from the outskirts of London to the Channel coast.


Fighters on bombers.

Give it up Graham.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 08:19
Wait a second. You were just saying that over Germany the RAFBC were without fighter cover. So what is the difference between the RAFBC command getting hit fighters on bombers and The Germans getting hit fighters on bombers?

The Germans gave up on daylight raids over UK, just like the RAF gave up on Germany daylight raids.

But again, I am comparing the Germans to the British, which is wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 08:33

On the evening of August 24th, A German Bomber formation accidentally bombed some non-military targets in London. Winston Churchill immediately ordered reprisal attacks on non military German targets in Berlin. This prompted a furious response from Hitler, who ordered that a blitz campaign of bombing start immediately on London. This began on September 7th, when a massive 330 tons of bombs were dropped on London.

The bombing of London continued for 57 consecutive nights. While it caused devastation in that city, it meant that the grinding pressure was taken off the RAF. The British were soon recovered from the Losses received over the previous months and had quickly gained the upper hand over the Luftwaffe, destroying some 380 aircraft for a loss of just 178 of their own. The bravery and tenacity of the RAF pilots prompted Churchill to utter perhaps his most famous words ; "˜Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owned by so many to so few.'

As mentioned, the German switch of objective from British fighter bases to mass daylight raids on London lost them the Battle of Britain.

http://www.essortment.com/wwii-london-blitz-1940-24353.html


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 08:36
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

Wait a second. You were just saying that over Germany the RAFBC were without fighter cover. So what is the difference between the RAFBC command getting hit fighters on bombers and The Germans getting hit fighters on bombers?

The Germans gave up on daylight raids over UK, just like the RAF gave up on Germany daylight raids.

But again, I am comparing the Germans to the British, which is wrong.

You have answered your own question.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 19:18
I think I have Birddogged around the issue enough to get what your saying Buckskins.

The Germans, were not morally right to bomb civilian targets. 
The British were morally wrong to copy the Germans and bomb German cities.
The British went even further than the Germans and turned night bombing into a disgusting art-form that killed thousands of German innocents who provided nothing to the German war effort. 
It was a complete waste of of US logistics. 
If the British had any moral dignity they would have concentrated on daylight bombing of German military targets in France.
Japan was a cottage industry and low altitude firebombing of Japanese cities was justified. 
The Atomic bombings fully justified because of the Japanese surrender that saved the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers, not to mention Japanese that would have been lost in an invasion of Japan?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 21:39
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

For anyone seriously interested in whose arse was handed to whom in daylight on just one day in September 1940, http://www.battleofbritain1940.net/0041.html

Quote
...The pilots of the Hurricanes and Spitfires showed no mercy. It made no difference whether the bombers were crippled or not, some, which it was obvious that they would never make it back, were shot down, the broken hulks of German aircraft could be seen from the outskirts of London to the Channel coast.

Fighters on bombers.

Stop making things up and read the piece. There was 'massive support' from Bf109s and Bf110s for the German bombers. Luftwaffe fighter bases in France were easily within range. 

You ought to be able to accept the word of the German ace Adolf Galland, or were all the German commanders 'clowns' the way you dismiss Göring?

Quote
Galland's Messerschmitt Bf 109 E

From June 1940 on, Galland flew as the Gruppenkommandeur of III./Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26), fighting in the Battle of Britain with Messerschmitt Bf 109 "Emils". On 19 July 1940, he was promoted to Major and JG 26 moved to the Pas de Calais, where they were to remain for the next 18 months with III./JG 26 based at Caffiers.[47]

On 24 July 1940 almost 40 Bf 109s of III./JG 26 took off for operations over the English Channel. They were met by 12 No. 54 Squadron Spitfires. The Spitfires forced the larger number of Bf 109s into a turning battle that ran down the Germans' fuel. Galland recalled being impressed by the Spitfire's ability to out-manoeuvre Bf 109s at low speed and turning on to the Bf 109s within little airspace. Only executing a "Split S"; a long curving dive that the Spitfire could not follow, could his aircraft escape back to France at low altitude. The II./Jagdgeschwader 52 covered their retreat, losing two Bf 109s to Spitfires from No. 610 Squadron. During the action, two Spitfires were shot down for the loss of four Bf 109s. Galland was shocked by the aggression shown by the relatively inexperienced and outnumbered RAF and realised there would be no quick and easy victory.[48]

As the battles over the Channel continued, Galland shot down Spitfires on 25 July and 28 July.[49] On 1 August 1940, Galland was awarded the Knight's Cross for his 17 victories. Galland continued to make fighter sweeps over southern England before the main assault opened. On 11 August 1940, Galland's unit engaged No. 74 Squadron. In a brief dogfight, one Spitfire was shot down. During these battles the RAF seemed to know just where and when to send their aircraft. This made Galland suspect a high level of organisation was at work controlling RAF fighters. The cloudy British skies made it a dangerous place against an enemy that had an effective ground control system. Galland resolved to fly higher, where he could see most things and where the Bf 109 performed at its best.[50]

By 15 August 1940, in two weeks fighting over Britain, Galland had increased his own score to 22. This put him to within three victories of Mölders, who had claimed the highest number of enemy aircraft destroyed and who was wounded and grounded with a damaged knee.[51] By mid-August, Hermann Göring's dissatisfaction with the performance of his fighters led him to replace several of the pre-war Jagdgeschwader (fighter wing) commanders with younger and combat experienced aviators.[52]

Galland was summoned to Karinhall on 18 August 1940, and missed the intense air battle that day, known as The Hardest Day. During the meeting Göring insisted that, in combat, Bf 109 fighters escort Bf 110s, which could not survive against single-engine fighters. As high-scoring aces, both Galland and Mölders shared their concerns that close escort of Bf 110s and bombers robbed fighter pilots of their freedom to roam and engage the enemy of their own terms. They also pointed to the fact that German bombers flew at medium altitudes and low speed, the best height area and speed for the manoeuvrability of the Spitfire. Galland resented his pilots having to carry out a task unsuited to their equipment but Göring would not move from his position.[53] Galland returned to action on 22 August replacing Gotthard Handrick as Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26.[54]

During the Battle of Britain, in a front line General Officer briefing on Luftwaffe tactics, Göring asked what his pilots needed to win the battle. Werner Möldersreplied that he would like the Bf 109 to be fitted with more powerful engines. Galland replied: "I should like an outfit of Spitfires for my squadron." which left Göring speechless with rage.[55] Galland still preferred the Bf 109 for offensive sweeps, but he perceived the Spitfire to be a better defensive fighter, owing to its manoeuvrability.[56] 

[/QUOTE]

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 21:49
Ohh I love the smell of arguing in the morning!!!Ying Yang
My point exactly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 21:59
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

On the evening of August 24th, A German Bomber formation accidentally bombed some non-military targets in London. Winston Churchill immediately ordered reprisal attacks on non military German targets in Berlin. This prompted a furious response from Hitler, who ordered that a blitz campaign of bombing start immediately on London. This began on September 7th, when a massive 330 tons of bombs were dropped on London.

At least now you've dropped your silly claim that the Luftwaffe bombed London accidentally.

Quote

The bombing of London continued for 57 consecutive nights. While it caused devastation in that city, it meant that the grinding pressure was taken off the RAF. The British were soon recovered from the Losses received over the previous months and had quickly gained the upper hand over the Luftwaffe, destroying some 380 aircraft for a loss of just 178 of their own. The bravery and tenacity of the RAF pilots prompted Churchill to utter perhaps his most famous words ; "˜Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owned by so many to so few.'

As mentioned, the German switch of objective from British fighter bases to mass daylight raids on London lost them the Battle of Britain.

http://www.essortment.com/wwii-london-blitz-1940-24353.html

Basically that's part of the general German campaign after the war to blame all the failures on Hitler and other high Nazis. In fact the early German attacks included non-military targets (including the machine-gunning of civilians in the street by fighter planes) and had done since early July as reported in what I quoted earlier. (And as pointed out by other people, Luftwaffe leaders had no difficulties earlier about bombing Rotterdam, or dive-bombing refugees on the road.) 

Essentially as Galland indicated, Luftwaffe attempts to do anything in daytime were beaten off by superior aircraft organised more efficiently, aided by superior technology still then secret (Galland knew something was going on, but had no idea of the existence of radar), with the benefit of home ground, and the further benefit of superior production figures.

The rest is excuses. 

Actually, there's a case to be made that Churchill's speech about 'the Few' was in fact largely propaganda designed to boost national pride and morale. The reality was that the RAF had many advantages going for them: this was no Thermopylae. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2012 at 04:02
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

I think I have Birddogged around the issue enough to get what your saying Buckskins.

The Germans, were not morally right to bomb civilian targets. 
The British were morally wrong to copy the Germans and bomb German cities.
The British went even further than the Germans and turned night bombing into a disgusting art-form that killed thousands of German innocents who provided nothing to the German war effort. 
It was a complete waste of of US logistics. 
If the British had any moral dignity they would have concentrated on daylight bombing of German military targets in France.
Japan was a cottage industry and low altitude firebombing of Japanese cities was justified. 
The Atomic bombings fully justified because of the Japanese surrender that saved the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers, not to mention Japanese that would have been lost in an invasion of Japan?

You're a quick study Birddog.Big smile

The British did not copy the Germans. The Germans bombed inadvertently, Churchill freaked and in his mind, retaliated on Berlin. It's a wonder Churchill never did it earlier. When he bombed Berlin it took the heat right off the RAF who were losing the fight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2012 at 04:33
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

On the evening of August 24th, A German Bomber formation accidentally bombed some non-military targets in London. Winston Churchill immediately ordered reprisal attacks on non military German targets in Berlin. This prompted a furious response from Hitler, who ordered that a blitz campaign of bombing start immediately on London. This began on September 7th, when a massive 330 tons of bombs were dropped on London.

At least now you've dropped your silly claim that the Luftwaffe bombed London accidentally.

Quote

The bombing of London continued for 57 consecutive nights. While it caused devastation in that city, it meant that the grinding pressure was taken off the RAF. The British were soon recovered from the Losses received over the previous months and had quickly gained the upper hand over the Luftwaffe, destroying some 380 aircraft for a loss of just 178 of their own. The bravery and tenacity of the RAF pilots prompted Churchill to utter perhaps his most famous words ; "˜Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owned by so many to so few.'

As mentioned, the German switch of objective from British fighter bases to mass daylight raids on London lost them the Battle of Britain.

http://www.essortment.com/wwii-london-blitz-1940-24353.html

Basically that's part of the general German campaign after the war to blame all the failures on Hitler and other high Nazis. In fact the early German attacks included non-military targets (including the machine-gunning of civilians in the street by fighter planes) and had done since early July as reported in what I quoted earlier. (And as pointed out by other people, Luftwaffe leaders had no difficulties earlier about bombing Rotterdam, or dive-bombing refugees on the road.) 

Essentially as Galland indicated, Luftwaffe attempts to do anything in daytime were beaten off by superior aircraft organised more efficiently, aided by superior technology still then secret (Galland knew something was going on, but had no idea of the existence of radar), with the benefit of home ground, and the further benefit of superior production figures.

The rest is excuses. 

Actually, there's a case to be made that Churchill's speech about 'the Few' was in fact largely propaganda designed to boost national pride and morale. The reality was that the RAF had many advantages going for them: this was no Thermopylae. 



" A German Bomber formation accidentally bombed some non-military targets in London." Try to keep it real Graham.

The Luftwaffe was not beaten off. I may remind you that German fighters had something like 20 minutes of fighting time over London due to their fuel capacity. Most of the RAF kills were on bombers, and it's true they were hammered. It so happens I met Galland in Spain prior to his passing. I have his signed photo. Neither in his conversations or in his biography does he say any such thing. He knew Hitler was no General and Goering was a buffoon. He figures the BOB was a draw and I agreed with him.

I have said it before and I'll say it again. The Germans never won the BOB because of stupid decisions by Goering and Hitler. When they switched from bombing RAF assets to bombing London it gave the RAF an opportunity to recover. Hitler was more interested in the Soviet Union and would not tolerate Berlin being bombed. May I also point out the so called Battle of Berlin,( I wonder what the Soviet Union thought of the inappropriate name) was halted by Britain due to unsustainable losses. Even our Flying Fortress's  were hammered prior to round trip fighter cover.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2012 at 06:13
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

" A German Bomber formation accidentally bombed some non-military targets in London." Try to keep it real Graham.
And a whole stack of other German bomber formations bombed 
Guernica:
Quote The number of victims of the attack is disputed; The Basque government reported 1,654 people killed, although modern speculations suggests between 126 to 400 civilians died.[1][2][3] Russian archives reveal 800 deaths on May 1, 1937, but this number may not include victims who later died of their injuries in hospitals or whose bodies were discovered buried in the rubble.[4] The bombing has often been considered one of the first raids in the history of modern military aviation on a defenceless civilian population,
Poland:  
Originally posted by wikipedia wikipedia wrote:

The Luftwaffe also began eliminating strategic objectives and bombing cities and civilian population in Poland in an indiscriminate[11] and unrestricted aerial bombardment campaign.
Rotterdam,
Quote The Germans used the threat of bombing Rotterdam to try to get the Dutch to come to terms and surrender. After a second ultimatum had been issued by the Germans, it appeared their effort had failed and, on 14 May 1940, Luftwaffe bombers were ordered to bomb Rotterdam in an effort to force the capitulation of the besieged city.[74] The controversial bombing targeted the center of the besieged city, instead of providing direct tactical support for the hard-pressed German 22nd Infantry Division
The southern UK including Southampton:
Quote After the German victory in the Battle of France, the Luftwaffe turned its attention to the United Kingdom. The scale of the attack increased greatly in July, with 258 civilians killed, and again in August with 1,075 dead.[12] 
All quotes from wikipedia, and references in brackets are those given by wikipedia.
Quote
The Luftwaffe was not beaten off. 
It gave a bloody good imitation.
Quote
I may remind you that German fighters had something like 20 minutes of fighting time over London due to their fuel capacity. 
You said earlier there were no German fighters involved. 'Fighters against bombers' you wrote.
As for the 20 minutes, I already pointed out that the RAF had all the advantages. That's why they won so decisively.
Quote
Most of the RAF kills were on bombers, and it's true they were hammered. 
So were their fighters. 
Quote
It so happens I met Galland in Spain prior to his passing. I have his signed photo. Neither in his conversations or in his biography does he say any such thing. He knew Hitler was no General and Goering was a buffoon. He figures the BOB was a draw and I agreed with him.
In war when a draw ensues, it means the attacker lost and the defender won. Put otherwise, ion 1940 all Britain needed was a draw. Germany needed a quick victory. It didn't get one, and largely as a result lost the war.

I'd like to see a more authoritative reference to what Galland said than that. You were a teenager I suppose? And spoke German? Where did you meet him? And who do you think made up all the wikipedia quotes? 
Quote
I have said it before and I'll say it again. The Germans never won the BOB because of stupid decisions by Goering and Hitler.
The standard excuse. And it was the politicians that let Germany down in 1918?
Göring and Hitler may have made stupid decisions but they only did so after the Battle of Britain was already lost. (Actually I don't think the blitz was a mistake. While it proved relatively ineffectual, it didn't lead to any lost opportunities. What else was there to do? Attack the Soviet Union?)




Edited by gcle2003 - 11 Jul 2012 at 06:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2012 at 07:39
The Germans never bombed any civilians until they accidentally bombed London.
The British were morally wrong to bomb German cities.
The British turned night bombing into a disgusting art-form that killed thousands of German innocents who provided nothing to the German war effort. 
It was a complete waste of of US logistics. 
If the British had any moral dignity they would have concentrated on daylight bombing of German military targets in France.
Japan was a cottage industry and low altitude firebombing of Japanese cities was justified. 
The Atomic bombings fully justified because of the Japanese surrender that saved the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers, not to mention Japanese that would have been lost in an invasion of Japan?

Edited by Birddog - 11 Jul 2012 at 08:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 10:22
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

The Germans never bombed any civilians until they accidentally bombed London.
The British were morally wrong to bomb German cities.
The British turned night bombing into a disgusting art-form that killed thousands of German innocents who provided nothing to the German war effort. 
It was a complete waste of of US logistics. 
If the British had any moral dignity they would have concentrated on daylight bombing of German military targets in France.
Japan was a cottage industry and low altitude firebombing of Japanese cities was justified. 
The Atomic bombings fully justified because of the Japanese surrender that saved the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers, not to mention Japanese that would have been lost in an invasion of Japan?

I say it again Birddog, you're a quick study.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 10:34
You win Graham. I had no idea Rotterdam, Poland, and Guernica were in London. The rest of your post is equally laughable.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oswald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 11:12
Luftwaffe losses in the Battle of Britain included 533 Me109 & 229 Me110, atotal of 762. Bomber losses included 74 Ju 87, 281 Ju 88, 171 Do 17 & 246 He 111, a total of 772. I don't think the RAF mostly shot down bombers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 11:49
I once read that the RAF actually had huge reserves available that they never committed to the BOB - the reason being the doctrine that sector by sector defence had to be maintained at all times.
 
A more flexible defence might have resulted in even greater losses for the Luftwaffe.
 
As always  in any battle, either side could have done things differently to a greater or lesser degree.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 17:23
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:



You win Graham. I had no idea Rotterdam, Poland, and Guernica were in London. The rest of your post is equally laughable.




Where the Germans morally correct in bombing Rotterdam, Poland and Guernica?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 18:50
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:



You win Graham. I had no idea Rotterdam, Poland, and Guernica were in London. The rest of your post is equally laughable.




Where the Germans morally correct in bombing Rotterdam, Poland and Guernica?
 
I doubt it. I think Hitler wanted to make a name for himself, like most leaders do, by conquering Poland, which partially failed, again. Why is it that when ever Russia and Germany take shots at eachother, Poland always gets it? I mean seriously! It happened in both World wars! It's like they're cats fighting over a food bowl ( an unpleasent morning suprise a few minutes ago), and for some reason, the bigger cat always wins ( Russia being the big kitty LOL)!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2012 at 08:34
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:



You win Graham. I had no idea Rotterdam, Poland, and Guernica were in London. The rest of your post is equally laughable.




Where the Germans morally correct in bombing Rotterdam, Poland and Guernica?

They were not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2012 at 09:23
Did the Japaneses deliberately bomb American Civilians?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2012 at 09:29
If you mean Pearl Harbor, I would say they were more interested in the number they did on our navy and aircraft. Then there was the Aleutians where we had no military, only civilians in the islands they occupied for a while.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2012 at 12:49
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

If you mean Pearl Harbor, I would say they were more interested in the number they did on our navy and aircraft. Then there was the Aleutians where we had no military, only civilians in the islands they occupied for a while.
 
Yes, and the ports that were Americn-controlled in the east.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2012 at 07:33
Originally posted by Lao Tse Lao Tse wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

If you mean Pearl Harbor, I would say they were more interested in the number they did on our navy and aircraft. Then there was the Aleutians where we had no military, only civilians in the islands they occupied for a while.
 
Yes, and the ports that were Americn-controlled in the east.

Indeed so Lao, China was of course a different story. What the Japanese did to the Chinese people was to say the least, a national disgrace. I can't help thinking that their overall behavior during WW2 was a historical anomaly of the Bushido code.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2012 at 09:23
Getting my head around the morality of bombing of civilians.

Germans are immoral to bomb Poles and Dane civilians.

Germans accidentally bomb London.

British immoral to retaliate with Bombing of Berlin.

Germans immoral to Blitz London and other British cities.

British immoral to bomb Germany and other Axis cities.

Americans fully justified with firebombing of Japanese civilians because cottage industry made them a military target.

Atomic bombing of two cities justified because it ended the war.

So is the killing of an civilian justified if they contribute to the enemies war effort, or if the killing of civilians can quickly bring an end to a war? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2012 at 09:40
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

Getting my head around the morality of bombing of civilians.

Germans are immoral to bomb Poles and Dane civilians.

Germans accidentally bomb London.

British immoral to retaliate with Bombing of Berlin.

Germans immoral to Blitz London and other British cities.

British immoral to bomb Germany and other Axis cities.

Americans fully justified with firebombing of Japanese civilians because cottage industry made them a military target.

Atomic bombing of two cities justified because it ended the war.

So is the killing of an civilian justified if they contribute to the enemies war effort, or if the killing of civilians can quickly bring an end to a war? 
Ethically this is a complex area. But in terms of the W. European theatre one thing we do know is that the allied bombing campaign was far more effective when it went after the transport and energy infrastructure than when it was trying to "dehouse" people.
 
In terms of the atomic bomb it might be argued that this was a rare case where it was very clear that a lesser evil would end a much greater evil i.e. the deaths of 200,000 people would prevent the deaths of perhaps two-five million people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2012 at 10:30
When thinking of the ethical problems associated with civilian bombing between Nazi Germany and Britain, I am careful never to fall into the trap of thinking the Brits ever actually sank to the level of the Nazis with their aerial campaign.

Graham mentioned in another thread his anecdotal experience in seeing a young girl machine gunned by Nazi pilots while walking down the road. My own great uncle, during my last visit to Bedfordshire, told me an anecdote of his own which corroborates this. In the early stages of the war the town of Luton (where my mother's side comes from, yes yes I know it isn't the nicest place) still held a village(1) fair every once in a while out of tradition on a Sunday.

During the course of gathering, my great uncle told me of how a German fighter suddenly descended out of the clouds upon the entirely civilian crowd in the town's centre. When close enough, the pilot then immediately opened fire indiscriminately into the crowd. There were no military installations, the guy wasn't doing a bombing raid and had some cause to think that perhaps he might disable a radar station or munitions factory. He saw a large gathering of civilians and decided to thin the herd.

No sooner had he spurted his ammo into the helpless civilians at close range, a Spitfire followed him from out of the same band of clouds, hot on his tail. An almighty cheer went up from the crowd as the RAF pilot chased his Luftwaffe foe. The Spitefire won the day, shooting down the enemy.

But what is really striking about this, is the fact the Luftwaffe pilot knew he had an RAF man hot on his tail. And despite that, he still had the steely resolved to concentrate his final energies into exterminating ordinary people at close range, going about their village business as they had been for a thousand years or more.

Tales like this are not uncommon. So let's dispell the fallacy that the Brits sunk to the level of the Nazis. It's just not true.

Regarding the comparison of bombing strategies, the Brits also did not sink to the level of the Nazis. The Luftwaffe, to their own great disadvantage, deliberately switched to the bombing of civilian areas after attacking RAF bases. It was a boon for the Brits to endure civilian damage and take the heat off the RAF. Compare that with British bombing strategy (focusing on operational targets) and again we have a clear difference.

(1) Village is the right word. Luton was listed in none other than the Doomesday Book, and was at that point a modest agricultural settlement not terribly far north from the King's seat of power.


Edited by Constantine XI - 15 Aug 2012 at 12:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2012 at 11:01
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

When thinking of the ethical problems associated with civilian bombing between Nazi Germany and Britain, I am careful never to fall into the trap of thinking the Brits ever actually sank to the level of the Nazis with their aerial campaign.

Graham mentioned in another thread his anecdotal experience in seeing a young girl machine gunned by Nazi pilots while walking down the road. My own great uncle, during my last visit to Bedfordshire, told me an anecdote of his own which corroborates this. In the early stages of the war the town of Luton (where my mother's side comes from, yes yes I know it isn't the nicest place) still held a village(1) fair every once in a while out of tradition on a Sunday.

During the course of gathering, my great uncle told me of how a German fighter suddenly descended out of the clouds upon the entirely civilian crowd in the town's centre. When close enough, the pilot then immediately opened fire indiscriminately into the crowd. There were no military installations, the guy wasn't doing a bombing raid and had some cause to think that perhaps he might disable a radar station or munitions factory. He saw a large gathering of civilians and decided to thin the herd.

No sooner had he spurted his ammo into the helpless civilians at close range, a Spitfire followed him from out of the same band of clouds, hot on his tail. An almighty cheer went up from the crowd as the RAF pilot chased his Luftwaffe foe. The Spitefire won the day, shooting down the enemy.

But what is really striking about this, is the fact the Luftwaffe pilot knew he had an RAF man hot on his tail. And despite that, he still had the steely resolved to concentrate his final energies into exterminating ordinary people at close range, going about their village business as they had been for a thousand years or more.

Tales like this are not uncommon. So let's dispell the fallacy that the Brits sunk to the level of the Nazis. It's just not true.

Regarding the comparison of bombing strategies, the Brits also did not sink to the level of the Nazis. The Luftwaffe, to their own great disadvantage, deliberately switched to the bombing of civilian areas after attacking RAF bases. It was a boon for the Brits to endure civilian damage and take the heat off the RAF. Compare that with British bombing strategy (focusing on operational targets) and again we have a clear difference.

(1) Village is the right word. Luton was listed in none other than the Domesday Book, and was at that point a modest agricultural settlement not terribly far north from the King's seat of power.
A colleague of mine ( now deceased) told another of how he machine gunned German POWs during the war (in the Normandy campaign). It happened quite often.
 
I rather doubt that no civilians were ever shot up by allied pilots. One hopes not...but clearly they would not have been holding summer fairs and the like by then so perhaps offered less of a target.
 
Dehousing was the term used by Bomber Command - it was about bombing the civilian population.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2012 at 13:11
I know this is a little off topic But did the US ever use the Hydrogen Bomb in battle?
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