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WW2 RAF Bombing Campaign

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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 22:09
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

That's like asking if you prefer murder or rape. They are both illegal.
 
As I said, ethics and law are two different concepts.  I might steal food from a shop, which would be illegal. But if I was starving through no fault of my own, well ethically it is not to be condemned.
 
Bombing civilian areas is simply illegal under international law. That is well established I believe.
I think bombing general residential areas in order to "dehouse" war workers is illegal under the Geneva conventions then and now.
 
Of course the fact that it is illegal does not mean it is always unethical. As I said, I think a good ethical argument can be made for dropping the nuclear bombs on Japanese cities  (far more than the fire bomb raids which were never likely to force Japanese surrender).  HOwever, it is never going to make those acts legal. 

I take your point. However that something is illegal now doesn't mean it was illegal at the time. I don't think there were any legal restraints on strategic bombing at the time, whatever the situation is now. It's worth noting that at Nüremberg bombing civilian areas was not designated a war crime (or any kind of crime).

So with regard to ww2 the question of legality doesn't arise. All bombing was legal. 
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Buckskins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 07:34
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

"They are rather good at pointing the nuclear finger at the Americans without admitting to their own gross crimes"

The dropping of nukes on Japan was a legal act of war, and not a gross crime.
It's very difficulty to see how dropping a nuclear bomb that kills tens of thousands of civilians can ever be construed as a legal act of war.

It was a legal act of war because it saved allied and Japanese lives.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 07:52
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

I am trying to get my head around your argument.

The British bombing of German civilians is immoral and disgusting. This is what you have said.

The Bombing of Japanese civilians by Americans is fully justified. I am asking why?

At that stage of the war Japanese industry was a cottage industry manufacturing products for the war effort. If your point is Americans bombed civilians, your correct. Dresden may illustrate the point you are trying to make more clearly. The difference is the USAAF did most of it's fighting during the hours of daylight and mostly bombed military production, enemy combatants and their equipment. The RAFBC primary mission all during WW2 was the murder of German civilians in the middle of the night.


From my understanding of it, the British adopted the tactic of night bombing because of the attrition rate that daylight bombing had proven to be for them, yes they had tried that first primarily for accuracy. However, daylight bombing for them was not feasible given the loss of material and manpower that they would be hard pressed in making up. Switching to night bombing was not wrong, nor was it brutal, it was a matter of practical common sense for them.



There were plenty of daylight military targets for them in France. They would have no problem with fighter cover for bombing German targets. Night time bombing of German civilians during the hours of darkness is questioned because most kids are asleep. As are old people, women, the wounded and ill. In other words, those that could not fight back. Apart from doing what they did and when they did it, it's more than worth a mention that the USAAF fought in the daytime and took it on the nose. Their primary targets were German war effort products, military, supplies, and the Luftwaffe. The USAAF were hammered for it, but they never turned back from a mission due to losses, not ever. How anyone can say to target during the hours of daylight was no more accurate that during the hours of darkness is nothing more than spin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 08:06
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

"They are rather good at pointing the nuclear finger at the Americans without admitting to their own gross crimes"

The dropping of nukes on Japan was a legal act of war, and not a gross crime.

Agreed. But then it follows that so too was the firebombing of Dresden.

Dresden was a legal act of senseless inhumanity. Dresden was all but untouched all through the war because it was of no, or little military value. This was simply a continuation of the British policy of killing German civilians. The USAAFBC was asked for assistance and to our shame it was given.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 09:47
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:


There were plenty of daylight military targets for them in France. They would have no problem with fighter cover for bombing German targets. Night time bombing of German civilians during the hours of darkness is questioned because most kids are asleep. As are old people, women, the wounded and ill. In other words, those that could not fight back. Apart from doing what they did and when they did it, it's more than worth a mention that the USAAF fought in the daytime and took it on the nose. Their primary targets were German war effort products, military, supplies, and the Luftwaffe. The USAAF were hammered for it, but they never turned back from a mission due to losses, not ever. How anyone can say to target during the hours of daylight was no more accurate that during the hours of darkness is nothing more than spin.
 
After "taking it on the nose" the US decided the safest tactic was to fly in tight formation with lots of well armed aircraft, and fighter cover if at all possible. This method did not work well at night. One could say it did work out better for the airmen, as they had less casualties than the RAF. It didn't make much difference to the German's however, as bombing was still notoriously inaccurate:
 

"...Using tactics devised from pre-war experiments it was standard USAAF practice to fly over hostile territory in large tight formations relying upon the massed machine guns of the formation for defence.  Only the bombing leader or his deputy would use their Norden bombsights with the remainder of the formation, dropping their bombs upon sight of the leader’s weapons leaving the aircraft.

 It was therefore not surprising that only 31% of American bombs would fall within a radius of 1000ft of the target. Further factors were thought to be due to inaccurate settings on their bombsights and higher than specified manufacturing tolerances...."

http://www.lancaster-archive.com/bc_maiorbombsights.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oswald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 12:27
The Combined Bomber Offensive was an Anglo American offensive of strategic bombing during WWII in Europe. The Combined Chiefs of Staff determined at the Casablanca Conference (Jan 43) that the objective was -: The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic systems, undermining the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally flawed. Every opportunity to be taken to attack Germany by day to destroy objectives that are unsuitable for night attack, to sustain continuous pressure on German morale, to impose heavy losses on German day fighter force and to conserve German fighter force away from Russian and Mediterranean theatres of war. 
The combined efforts of RAF & USAAF Bomber Commands on German towns was not limited to Dresden - Operation Gomorrah, for instance resulted in 10,000 more deaths in Hamburg than what occurred in Dresden. There was also Frankfurt, Cologne as well, of course, Berlin.
To quote a comment on the History Channel -: "The fact is that the targeting of civilians with the intent of killing as many as possible in order to break morale and bring an end to the war was already well within the capacity of the USAAF before the advent of atomic weapons" - the firebombing of Tokyo resulted in 100,000 deaths. I do not accept that the RAF were any worse.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2012 at 07:12
Accept what you want.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2013 at 12:43
"The USAAF were hammered for it, but they never turned back from a mission due to losses, not ever. How anyone can say to target during the hours of daylight was no more accurate that during the hours of darkness is nothing more than spin."


Apart from all USAAF activity being temporarily suspended because of losses, just one day saw more US bombers skedaddle to neutral Switzerland as RAF Bomber Command crews did during the whole war. Wartime photographs of Dubendorf airfield in Switzerland with ranks of parked USAAF bombers look like an American airbase Meanwhile in neutral Sweden American bombers were so plentiful they used by SAAB as commercial aircraft.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2013 at 14:48
It is estimated that Strategic bombing killed around 500,000 germane civilians. The Luftwaffe killed many more. Only in Soviet Union it killed more than 500,000 civilians.
Source; The Second World War" by Anthony Beevor.
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