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AWL_Spinner
04-26-2007, 02:31 AM
Unusual but welcome for the beeb to pick up on some of the less well known aspects of the WWII preamble.

BBC Story: Guernica Legacy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6583639.stm)

general_kalle
04-26-2007, 08:33 AM
have you seen Pablo Picassos work of it?

PraetorHonoris
04-26-2007, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by AWL_Spinner:
Unusual but welcome for the beeb to pick up on some of the less well known aspects of the WWII preamble.

BBC Story: Guernica Legacy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6583639.stm)

A lot of nonsense there, this is story of the attack as told by record files:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=108063

Waldo.Pepper
04-26-2007, 12:50 PM
PraetorHonoris

I read you entire post on the linked page. It was very good. One sentence of yours does interest me above all others.

"Nonetheless, there is nothing that proves an attack on the civilian population for the purpose of terror."

This sentence of yours has caused a question to spring to my mind. If you don't mind - why is it important to you to cite that there is 'nothing to prove' I.E. - no evidence?

What does this lack of evidence prove, if anything, to you? (in the Guernica case).

leitmotiv
04-26-2007, 01:10 PM
The only book which attempts to deal with this gnarly subject objectively is by a pair of British journalists and is 31 years old:

DAY GUERNICA DIED. Gordon Thomas and Max Gordon-Witts. Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, London, 1976. ISBN: 978-0340190432

I read it in 1981 for my Master's thesis in history. As I recall, the authors noted, the town had a small arms factory which made it a military target. It was also full of soldiers who were regrouping. The bridge was a strategic target because knocking it down would hinder the movement of the soldiers to the front. The Germans were supposedly aiming for the bridge and the factory. They missed the bridge, the bombs plunged into the town causing scores of casualties, setting fires, and wreaking havoc. Can't recall the result of the factory attack. In sum, war is hell.

PraetorHonoris
04-26-2007, 01:17 PM
Leitmotiv, read the text, you'll find the German archive file for the attack order. No factory involved.

Waldo, in this particular case it is no simple lack of evidence but there is ample evidence showing what was aimed for, including orders, diary notes and evaluations. In none of them, civilians play a significant role as you can see. The files are cited correctly and precisely, so you can read them up (if you can read German, for I don't know any translation).

Kurfurst__
04-26-2007, 02:57 PM
IIRC the tactical plan was to bomb down the bridge, and turn the nearby houses alongside the road into rubble, so they would block the road.

The bombing methods were rather primitive... it was done IIRC with early version of the Heinkel 111 B, which lacked the Lofte bombsight, while the rest of the force was compromised of... Ju 52s, which carried firebombs, but since the Ju 52 did not have a bomb bay, the stuff was actually manually thrown out by the crew with shovels. There were also biplane fighters that also strafed the little running up and down below.

One can imagine the results. Naturally the case was hugely inflated by the leftie press at the time, and the story was sold as an unprecedented level of barbarity, with the casulty numbers hugely inflated.

And that's pretty much how it went into popular history.

Waldo.Pepper
04-26-2007, 03:34 PM
I don't mean to start an argument or be insulting. Only to have a discussion. So if I insult or hurt your feelings that was not my intention and apologize straight away.


ample evidence showing what was aimed for

Even if I were to agree with this, (and I tend to). You still have (revealingly I think) attempted to avoid answering my question which I will take pains to restate -

What does this lack of evidence prove, if anything, to you? (in the Guernica case).

What can a lack of evidence prove for any issue?

An example to illustrate - there is also a considerable lack of evidence that I, myself, personally, had anything to do with the the London Subway Bombing, or the Madrid bombing. But this lack of evidence does not exonerate me. (What does exonerate me is evidence that proves that I never travelled to London/Madrid, ever met, heard of, had any dealings with any of the conspirators etc. Evidence of innocence is valuable. Lack of evidence is not.)

I think that even if there was no evidence of a deliberate attempt of a terror attack on the civilian population, a reasonable person of the time could have expected the terror that followed.

The Military men of the time, Luftwaffe - Condor Legion members included of course, knew what they were doing. They read the popular air power theorists of the day which predicted and in some cases advocated the terrorizing of the civilian population. Surely you would not be trying to suggest that they were ignorant of such writing? (That would be to admit ignorance on their part - which I believe you would equate to a form of weakness - and I don't think you could allow that). After all they were the professionals not us.

This is why I think of your thinking as being that of a near apologist. Specifically it seems that you do not handle the material in an even handed manner. You seem to me to seek every opportunity to minimize the culpability of the actions of the German military under the Nazi regime. This bias of yours is undetected deep within your thinking on a subconscious level. It then it creeps into your choice of words - specifically when you say that there is no evidence of something - as if that proves something!

If it does not prove something - they why say it? The answer to the why say it question seems to me to be part of your effort at propping up and repairing the damaged reputation of the Germany military under the Nazi regime.

All of your activity is of course conducted under the harmless banner of just trying to "set the record straight." Which of course is what Zundel and others continue to claim.

HuninMunin
04-26-2007, 04:10 PM
Its about correcting the puplic opinion I guess - it's hard to be German and read thing about "crimes" that were not commited; as if we didn't have to deal with enough crimes in our past....

I don't know if he agrees with me hear, but 60 years of bashing and shame are enough, as a German you just can't stand the worlds attitude towards these things - can you even imagine growing up learning, reading amd hearing that your country and your ancestors have been acting in the worst possible way?

Then, with that background and all the feelings towards your nation, read about Guernica - inform yourself and NOT be insulted by all the anti-german agenda present where it should not be...

PraetorHonoris
04-26-2007, 05:01 PM
Waldo, I think I answered straight on point. We do have no evidence for a terror attack and ample evidence for an attack on infrastructure. Both factors in conjunction, the lack of evidence for the first claim, and the existence of ample evidence for the second claim, prove to me the second case to be true, the first to be untrue. I won't separate these factors from each other, that would be nonsense as both exist and need to be taken into consideration.

Sure the Luftwaffe knew about Trenchard and Douhet etc, as the evaluations of the Spanish missions clearly shows. They also show that Guernica was not evaluated or yet alone regarded as such a terror attack (it's all in the text). The claim of yours as I perceive it, the awareness of Douhet's theories and a following, nowhere proven, expectation of caused terror was a proof for a terror attack, is contrasted by numerous archive files, diary entries etc. clearly stating the target, goals and results of the attack as seen by the Luftwaffe, not revealing any expectation of terror. Civilians don't matter there.

You should not care too much for my psyche; I did research, that's the result. Again the material is presented with clear, precise, and correct citation of archive files and other stuff. Just like everyone else you are free to read them... In case of Guernica there is no culpability to minimize, other than the unconcerned endangering of the civil population, which was pointed out. If there is one, go prove it.
you are of course also free to continue with your *feelings* on my motivation, I think Simon hit it: I don't see any reason not to object information based on obviously wrong, invidious propaganda with the help of well-grounded evidence.

However, only one of these choices will be resulting in a constructive discussion on Guernica and the attack of Legion Condor. :-/

EDITED

leitmotiv
04-26-2007, 05:23 PM
The point is, you can't have a "terror attack" on a town full of soldiers, with a factory producing arms, and with a strategically important bridge. The whole Guernica myth was founded on the pastoral image of a sunny town full of happy people cruelly bombed to ruin by bloodthirsty flying fascists. The painting by Picasso made this a literal fact in the minds of many even to this day. The facts are more mundane. War is extremely unpleasant. In 1937 they did not have GPS-guided bombs. The kette of He 111s tried to clobber the bridge with a precise, low-altitude run, but missed. The less-precise Ju 52s dumped all over the place. Inefficiency became "fascist barbarism."

M_Gunz
04-26-2007, 05:55 PM
Did they move the civilians out? And who were the biplanes stafing?

So if there are military targets, factories or soldiers then it is not to be taken badly...
and people who agree should then not complain when others operate(d) the same way.

leitmotiv
04-26-2007, 06:32 PM
Both sides in that war behaved barbarously, as Hemingway noted in FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS---mass executions, mass rapes, and add to that the Communists turning on their own side and slaughtering the anarchists. Not a light-hearted gambol through the daisies.

djetz
04-26-2007, 08:43 PM
You don't attack a stone bridge with incindiaries and machine guns.

I doubt you'd find a written order anywhere ever that says "kill civilians" - that doesn't mean that killing civilians wasn't an important part of the mission. Of course it was. It's extremely disingenuous to claim otherwise. You want a paper trail for war crimes? Even the Nazis weren't that stupid.

The republican airforce in the region had already been wiped out. With no opposition, bombers could easily have demolished the bridge if they'd wanted to. They left the bridge alone because the Nationalist army needed to use it themselves.

Which they did. They didn't want to destroy the armament factories, they wanted to take them over. Which they did. It's understandable that they claimed innocence of terror bombing - who wouldn't? But it's not very convincing. The absence of a paper trail isn't proof of anything, except perhaps the fore-knowledge of guilt.

PraetorHonoris
04-27-2007, 12:45 AM
The bridge was not the sole target, moreover the loadout including incendiaries was nothing but standart loadout for such an attack for understandable reasons. The fighter bombing part was not restricted on Guernica but part of a greater operation to trap the Republican forces, thus all movement on the streets was to be surpressed. During that operation they were shot by AAA and Republican fighters - so much for no resistance!
Richthofen's diary e.g. includes some notes concerning German crimes, just like German evaluations of the SCW (which were never meant to be published by the nazis!) concerning aerial attacks on civilians do exist. But not in case of Guernica, simply because Guernica was no such attack.

It was a successful operation interupting enemy traffic, trapping enemy units, and preventing their retreat, which is what happened. Just read the text on AHF for exact notes in archive files, diaries and modern academic literature, instead of repeating common myths.

Kurfurst__
04-27-2007, 01:43 AM
Originally posted by djetz:
You don't attack a stone bridge with incindiaries and machine guns.

I doubt you'd find a written order anywhere ever that says "kill civilians" - that doesn't mean that killing civilians wasn't an important part of the mission. Of course it was. It's extremely disingenuous to claim otherwise. You want a paper trail for war crimes? Even the Nazis weren't that stupid.

The republican airforce in the region had already been wiped out. With no opposition, bombers could easily have demolished the bridge if they'd wanted to. They left the bridge alone because the Nationalist army needed to use it themselves.

Which they did. They didn't want to destroy the armament factories, they wanted to take them over. Which they did. It's understandable that they claimed innocence of terror bombing - who wouldn't? But it's not very convincing. The absence of a paper trail isn't proof of anything, except perhaps the fore-knowledge of guilt.

Basically you argue that the lack of any evidence to the intent being terror bombing IS an evidence to terror bombing. We're entering the world of fiction here.

I find it utterly bizarre that the nazi regime would throughly document the death camps but would be shy to document the intent of bombing the population of a small village in spain with a couple of hundred of civillian dead.

Fact is, soldiers execute the orders they're given, they can't 'guess' the 'hidden will' of their superiors. If such intent would have exist, there surely would have been remains of written orders - these weren't for the public so there was no reason to be shy in them, or testimonials of some of the aircrew about such orders being given to them. For both much greater and much smaller war crimes such evidence exist.

Fact there's none in the case of Guernice. Fact that the technological capabilities of the time was limited, I have an aerial photo from a US Bomber Group that was obviously aiming for a RR bridge. They dropped more than a hundred bombs on it, and the bomb patter is admirably tight within a couple of yards, but there's still not a single hit on the bridge itself. One may guess where the bombs landed, yup in the sorrounding area, and I am sure a few dozen civvies were killed in the process. Was that the goal? Obviously not. IMHO no bombing can be regarded as terror bombing, unless this is the clearly articulated or at least clearly implied goal in the orders. If not, it's not. If a bomber crew is told to hit a bridge it will try to hit that bridge. It doesn't mean they are going to score on that bridge.

This can be totally ignored of course and any sort of alternate, ad hoc claims can be made but it's hard to take something seriously that is not supported by anything but rhetorics. IMHO such POVs are set into concreate and arguing with such is pointless, it's not based on any rational reasoning.

Heliopause
04-27-2007, 02:31 AM
The first basque town to be bombed was Durango. As no reporters were there this remained unknown. The second bombing of a town in Basque country (cutting of the retreating enemy troops at Guernica) became known to the world. This by the same journalist who a couple off years before had told the world about the Italians using poising gas in Ethiopia.

djetz
04-27-2007, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by djetz:
The absence of a paper trail isn't proof of anything, except perhaps the fore-knowledge of guilt.

Basically you argue that the lack of any evidence to the intent being terror bombing IS an evidence to terror bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, I say that the lack of written evidence doesn't prove anything, except possibly a guilty conscience. It's pretty silly to claim I said anything else immediately after quoting what I did say.

Can you show me an example of ANY airforce that did not deliberately target civilians in the 30s and 40s?

Alternately, can you show me any written orders by any military anywhere ever that say anything along the lines of "Mission Target: civilians."

Insisting the Guernica raid was only aimed at legitimate military targets is ridiculous. The Luftwaffe targeted civilians. So, sooner or later, did everyone else. Dresden was a military target, too. Had a heck of a lot more military hardware and transport infrastructure than Guernica did, and yet neo-Nazis love claiming it didn't have any.

PraetorHonoris
04-27-2007, 06:22 AM
The only ridiculous thing here is your persistence in ignoring the material presented on AHF, while not presenting a shred of evidence on your own.

M_Gunz
04-27-2007, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by djetz:
Alternately, can you show me any written orders by any military anywhere ever that say anything along the lines of "Mission Target: civilians."

Well there was this guy known as "Bomber Harris" who IIRC did include civilians as targets.
I can't say for sure about the 8th AF beyond their results....
And beaucoup fighter sweeps where "if it moves, shoot it" included people without uniforms.
Also the people of Rotterdam might have something to say on the subject.

But other than that I'd have to actually dig in the old memory box for a while.

Blutarski2004
04-27-2007, 07:19 AM
Lack of evidence is lack of evidence. To imply that the records of an opponent are suspect because they contain nothing to buttress one's own argument is non-sensical.

Insufficient time has passed since the era of facism and WW2 for the baleful influence of propaganda upon the historical record to have been fully excised. The case of Guernica is but one example.

Bewolf
04-27-2007, 07:22 AM
A bit of topic, but Rotterdam (and Warsaw) is an entirely different matter. Both cities were targets of a land campaign and got declared "fortress" cities.
They got bombed only after they didn't surrender to the approaching ground troops. It was not a deliberate terror attack. Rotterdam is particulary tragic as the city actually DID surrender just moments before the bombers dropped their bombs, those getting the signal to abandon their run too late. Still, in this case everything followed international law back in those days.

NagaSadow84
04-27-2007, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by djetz:
Can you show me an example of ANY airforce that did not deliberately target civilians in the 30s and 40s?


The Luftwaffe abandoned the terror-bombing-doctrine in 1935. They thought it would only strengthen the will of the enemy to resist.

M_Gunz
04-27-2007, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
A bit of topic, but Rotterdam (and Warsaw) is an entirely different matter. Both cities were targets of a land campaign and got declared "fortress" cities.
They got bombed only after they didn't surrender to the approaching ground troops. It was not a deliberate terror attack. Rotterdam is particulary tragic as the city actually DID surrender just moments before the bombers dropped their bombs, those getting the signal to abandon their run too late. Still, in this case everything followed international law back in those days.

Where you get information about moments before the bombers dropped the bombs?

M_Gunz
04-27-2007, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by NagaSadow84:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by djetz:
Can you show me an example of ANY airforce that did not deliberately target civilians in the 30s and 40s?


The Luftwaffe abandoned the terror-bombing-doctrine in 1935. They thought it would only strengthen the will of the enemy to resist. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

They un-abandoned it after Berlin was hit. Unless you count BoB to the London Blitz and the
V-1's and V-2's as military strikes? Or perhaps that wasn't terror-bombing just "vengeance"?

I don't excuse what the Allies did to many German cities either and those attacks had the
same effect of strengthening the will of Germany to resist. I call the rhetoric of those
who decided to do those things as excuses. What happens happens, the labels mean little.

Terror has been a military tool as far back in history as I know.

luftluuver
04-27-2007, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
The point is, you can't have a "terror attack" on a town full of soldiers, with a factory producing arms, and with a strategically important bridge. The whole Guernica myth was founded on the pastoral image of a sunny town full of happy people cruelly bombed to ruin by bloodthirsty flying fascists. The painting by Picasso made this a literal fact in the minds of many even to this day. The facts are more mundane. War is extremely unpleasant. In 1937 they did not have GPS-guided bombs. The kette of He 111s tried to clobber the bridge with a precise, low-altitude run, but missed. The less-precise Ju 52s dumped all over the place. Inefficiency became "fascist barbarism."

So with that since Dresden had soldiers, Flak, a rail hub and war facories, we should hear no more about the terror attack on Dresden.

a secret report to Berlin was uncovered in which Von Richthofen stated, "...the concentrated attack on Guernica was the greatest success," making the dubious intent of the mission clear

Two Heinkel He 111s, one Dornier Do 17, eighteen Ju 52 "Behelfsbombers", and three Italian SM.79s were assigned for the mission and underwent a load-out consisting of medium explosive bombs (250kg), light explosive bombs (50kg) and incendiaries (1kg).

Incendiaries to knock out a stone bridge? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

luftluuver
04-27-2007, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by NagaSadow84:
The Luftwaffe abandoned the terror-bombing-doctrine in 1935. They thought it would only strengthen the will of the enemy to resist.
Operation Punishment was the code name for the German bombing of Belgrade during the invasion of Yugoslavia. The Luftwaffe bombed the city on April 6 (Palm Sunday) without a declaration of war, continuing bombing until April 10. More than 500 bombing sorties were flown against Belgrade in three waves coming from Romania where German forces were assembled for the attack on the Soviet Union, and killing more than 17,500 civilians. Most of the government officials fled, and the Yugoslav army began to collapse.

Bewolf
04-27-2007, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
A bit of topic, but Rotterdam (and Warsaw) is an entirely different matter. Both cities were targets of a land campaign and got declared "fortress" cities.
They got bombed only after they didn't surrender to the approaching ground troops. It was not a deliberate terror attack. Rotterdam is particulary tragic as the city actually DID surrender just moments before the bombers dropped their bombs, those getting the signal to abandon their run too late. Still, in this case everything followed international law back in those days.

Where you get information about moments before the bombers dropped the bombs? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually that is a well known story. The bombers were on their way to bomb the city after negotiations for a surrender failed. Only in the very last minutes did the dutch agree. A flare was fired giving the bombers the signal to turn around, but was only seen in the moment the lead bomber gave orders to drop. Most bombers dropped, some managed to stop before it was too late. Let me find some sources on the net.

Bewolf
04-27-2007, 09:31 AM
http://www.holland.com/oorlogssporen/gb/index.html?page...operations/1940.html (http://www.holland.com/oorlogssporen/gb/index.html?page=http://www.holland.com/oorlogssporen/gb/operations/1940.html)

http://www.answers.com/topic/rotterdam-blitz

That should give some info. I once read an eye witness account of the happening. Long time ago though, I have no idea anymore where exactly that was in, but I will try to dig it up.

FliegerAas
04-27-2007, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
[...]

Incendiaries to knock out a stone bridge? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

The answer to this was given more than once in this thread, so eventually reading before posting wouldn't be a bad idea.


As for Dresden, the tiny difference is, that the allies never pretended to have any other intention as trying to kill as many civilians as possible in this raid.

Bewolf
04-27-2007, 09:49 AM
Which does not make the bombing any better, though. Bombing civillians is a crime, no matter what and no matter if Guernica, Rotterdam, Coventry, Hamburg or Dresden or all the small villages and towns in late 44/45 for as simple reasons as having a road through their city center.
And I have the certain feeling that those that had to endure such a bombing do not care much if their suffering was intended or just colatoral damage.

NagaSadow84
04-27-2007, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
They un-abandoned it after Berlin was hit. Unless you count BoB to the London Blitz


No, they didn't. In 1940 Hitler forbade terror-attacks against London, even though the Luftwaffe Chief of Staff Jeschionek petitioned for it.


Originally posted by M_Gunz:
V-1's and V-2's as military strikes? Or perhaps that wasn't terror-bombing just "vengeance"?


Well, they were called "vengeance-weapons" for a reason.

NagaSadow84
04-27-2007, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by NagaSadow84:
The Luftwaffe abandoned the terror-bombing-doctrine in 1935. They thought it would only strengthen the will of the enemy to resist.
Operation Punishment was the code name for the German bombing of Belgrade during the invasion of Yugoslavia. The Luftwaffe bombed the city on April 6 (Palm Sunday) without a declaration of war, continuing bombing until April 10. More than 500 bombing sorties were flown against Belgrade in three waves coming from Romania where German forces were assembled for the attack on the Soviet Union, and killing more than 17,500 civilians. Most of the government officials fled, and the Yugoslav army began to collapse. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

"Most of the government officials fled, and the Yugoslav army began to collapse."
That was the whole point of the attacks. The bombardment targeted the nerve-center of the Yugoslav army, was therefore legitimate.

Heliopause
04-27-2007, 11:44 AM
The first ultimatum at Rotterdam was handwritten and not signed by the germans. The Dutch commander of the city was backed by the Dutch Army commander Winkelman in sending the negotiaters back to get a more official (and signed) surrender document.

HuninMunin
04-27-2007, 12:38 PM
Winkelman played for time - he did not refuse the first letter because he had to...
General der Artillerie Georg v. Küchler, commanding the 3rd army of the Wehrmacht, ordered Rudolf Schmidt ( commander of the XXXIX. Panzerkorps wich sieged Rotterdam): "[...] nichts unversucht zu lassen, um unnötiges Blutvergießen unter der holländischen Zivilbevölkerung zu vermeiden."
Free translation: Avoid unneccecary bloodshed under the dutch non-combatants with all means.

On the day before the attack General Student ( predecesor Schmidt) had given exact maps of a target triangle to KG 54 ( wich was to deliver the blow) in wich the dutch resistance had fortified, again to avoid civilian casulties as far as possible.

As the negotiantions where still going ( delayed by General Winkelmann and Colonel Scharroo ) Schmidt ordered to delay the attack - but the bombers were allready on the way.
Atempts to reach them via radio failed; the Ia of the second Luftflotte Rieckhoff tries to intercept the bombers in his 109.

Even though the city has not surrendered Student and Schmidt fire their signal rockets to tell the bombers to abbort the target.
It was too late.
57 of over 100 He 111 dropped their bombs:
159 SC250, 1150 SC50 - 97 tons of explosive.
Rotterdam surrendered 2 hours later.
In the evening General Winkelmann offered the complete surrender of his armed forces...

It was hardly a strike against civilians.

Aaron_GT
04-27-2007, 01:18 PM
Fact there's none in the case of Guernice. Fact that the technological capabilities of the time was limited, I have an aerial photo from a US Bomber Group that was obviously aiming for a RR bridge. They dropped more than a hundred bombs on it, and the bomb patter is admirably tight within a couple of yards, but there's still not a single hit on the bridge itself. One may guess where the bombs landed, yup in the sorrounding area, and I am sure a few dozen civvies were killed in the process.

Did they drop many incendiaries on the bridge?

djetz
04-27-2007, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by FliegerAas:
As for Dresden, the tiny difference is, that the allies never pretended to have any other intention as trying to kill as many civilians as possible in this raid.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

The Soviets requested the Allied air attack on Dresden because it was being used as a staging point for a German counter attack on the eastern front.

In 1944, the German Army High Command's Weapons Office listed 127 medium-to-large factories and workshops which supplied the army with material.

Dresden contained the Zeiss-Ikon optical factory and the Siemens glass factory, both of which were entirely devoted to manufacturing military gunsights. The immediate suburbs contained factories building radar and electronics components, and fuses for anti-aircraft shells. Other factories produced gas masks, engines for Junkers aircraft and cockpit parts for Messerschmitt fighters.

Not to mention the transport infrastructure.

So, the allies didn't need to "pretend" anything.

I'm not saying that the allies didn't also intend to kill German civilians, of course they did. But the only pretence here is that Dresden was not a very important military target.

jannaspookie
04-27-2007, 01:43 PM
Christ, you guys are getting way OT. I understand a debate about Guernica, but Dresden? Some people around here seem to be just waiting for a chance to whine and b!tch. I won't name any names, but certain individuals do this in thread after thread.

jarink
04-27-2007, 02:19 PM
A copy of the US Strategic Bombing Survey summary report for Europe can be found here (http://www.anesi.com/ussbs02.htm).

Scroll down to the bottom of page 14 for info on civilians.



Official German statistics place total casualties from air attack -- including German civilians, foreigners, and members of the armed forces in cities that were being attacked -- at 250,253 killed for the period from January 1, 1943, to January 31, 1945, and 305,455 wounded badly enough to require hospitalization, during the period from October 1, 1943, to January 31, 1945. A careful examination of these data, together with checks against the records of individual cities that were attacked, indicates that they are too low. A revised estimate prepared by the Survey (which is also a minimum) places total casualties for the entire period of the war at 305,000 killed and 780,000 wounded. More reliable statistics are available on damage to housing. According to these, 485,000 residential buildings were totally destroyed by air attack and 415,000 were heavily damaged, making a total of 20 percent of all dwelling units in Germany. In some 50 cities that were primary targets of the air attack, the proportion of destroyed or heavily damaged dwelling units is about 40 percent. The result of all these attacks was to render homeless some 7,500,000 German civilians.

In the Pacific, LeMay used the B-29 to burn Japanese cities (and their inhabitants) to the ground.



On 9 March 1945, a basic revision in the method of B-29 attack was instituted. It was decided to bomb the four principal Japanese cities at night from altitudes averaging 7,000 feet. Japanese weakness in night fighters and antiaircraft made this program feasible. Incendiaries were used instead of high-explosive bombs and the lower altitude permitted a substantial increase in bomb load per plane. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven tons of bombs were dropped on Tokyo in the first attack. The chosen areas were saturated. Fifteen square miles of Tokyo's most densely populated area were burned to the ground. The weight and intensity of this attack caught the Japanese by surprise. No subsequent urban area attack was equally destructive. Two days later, an attack of similar magnitude on Nagoya destroyed 2 square miles. In a period of 10 days starting 9 March, a total of 1,595 sorties delivered 9,373 tons of bombs against Tokyo, Nagoya, Osake, and Kobe destroying 31 square miles of those cities at a cost of 22 airplanes. The generally destructive effect of incendiary attacks against Japanese cities had been demonstrated.

I think it's difficult to project 'modern' values and ideals about the sanctity of civilian lives on the people running the wars in the early 1900s. They did what they did since they felt it was the best way to win the war for their side. Remember, a lot of these commanders grew up with the gas attacks and mass slaughter of WWI. Killing people was OK, as long at it was the enemy.

My grandfather was a B-17 bombardier. He said that while they were never explicitly ordered to bomb civilians, it was generally accepted that 'precision' bombing in 1943 meant only half the bombs hit within a mile of the target (on a good day). Bombing a factory in the middle of a city automatically meant civilian casualties from the factory workers that lived nearby. He and most other vets I have talked to didn't have a problem with that. They saw those civilians as the enemy.

What's really odd is that most of those that actually fought in WWII have learned to forgive one another and many have become friends once they had a change to meet. Strange that so many of us that weren't there are still fighting about it.

MB_Avro_UK
04-27-2007, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by jarink:
A copy of the US Strategic Bombing Survey summary report for Europe can be found here (http://www.anesi.com/ussbs02.htm).

Scroll down to the bottom of page 14 for info on civilians.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Official German statistics place total casualties from air attack -- including German civilians, foreigners, and members of the armed forces in cities that were being attacked -- at 250,253 killed for the period from January 1, 1943, to January 31, 1945, and 305,455 wounded badly enough to require hospitalization, during the period from October 1, 1943, to January 31, 1945. A careful examination of these data, together with checks against the records of individual cities that were attacked, indicates that they are too low. A revised estimate prepared by the Survey (which is also a minimum) places total casualties for the entire period of the war at 305,000 killed and 780,000 wounded. More reliable statistics are available on damage to housing. According to these, 485,000 residential buildings were totally destroyed by air attack and 415,000 were heavily damaged, making a total of 20 percent of all dwelling units in Germany. In some 50 cities that were primary targets of the air attack, the proportion of destroyed or heavily damaged dwelling units is about 40 percent. The result of all these attacks was to render homeless some 7,500,000 German civilians.

In the Pacific, LeMay used the B-29 to burn Japanese cities (and their inhabitants) to the ground.



On 9 March 1945, a basic revision in the method of B-29 attack was instituted. It was decided to bomb the four principal Japanese cities at night from altitudes averaging 7,000 feet. Japanese weakness in night fighters and antiaircraft made this program feasible. Incendiaries were used instead of high-explosive bombs and the lower altitude permitted a substantial increase in bomb load per plane. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven tons of bombs were dropped on Tokyo in the first attack. The chosen areas were saturated. Fifteen square miles of Tokyo's most densely populated area were burned to the ground. The weight and intensity of this attack caught the Japanese by surprise. No subsequent urban area attack was equally destructive. Two days later, an attack of similar magnitude on Nagoya destroyed 2 square miles. In a period of 10 days starting 9 March, a total of 1,595 sorties delivered 9,373 tons of bombs against Tokyo, Nagoya, Osake, and Kobe destroying 31 square miles of those cities at a cost of 22 airplanes. The generally destructive effect of incendiary attacks against Japanese cities had been demonstrated.

I think it's difficult to project 'modern' values and ideals about the sanctity of civilian lives on the people running the wars in the early 1900s. They did what they did since they felt it was the best way to win the war for their side. Remember, a lot of these commanders grew up with the gas attacks and mass slaughter of WWI. Killing people was OK, as long at it was the enemy.

My grandfather was a B-17 bombardier. He said that while they were never explicitly ordered to bomb civilians, it was generally accepted that 'precision' bombing in 1943 meant only half the bombs hit within a mile of the target (on a good day). Bombing a factory in the middle of a city automatically meant civilian casualties from the factory workers that lived nearby. He and most other vets I have talked to didn't have a problem with that. They saw those civilians as the enemy.

What's really odd is that most of those that actually fought in WWII have learned to forgive one another and many have become friends once they had a change to meet. Strange that so many of us that weren't there are still fighting about it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

We are all looking back with the benefit of hindsight and our 2007 moralities. War was different then.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Aaron_GT
04-27-2007, 03:18 PM
What's really odd is that most of those that actually fought in WWII have learned to forgive one another and many have become friends once they had a change to meet.

99.9% of the people who had to do the killing in WW2 were ordinary, decent folk forced into that situation by circumstance. After WW2 they went back to being ordinary folks as much as possible. Whether this is a good or bad thing (ordinary people can do sometimes brutal things in wars) is another matter and I don't know the answer to that one at all. Sometimes extreme things are the only things that will allow the darker forces to be defeated.