Strategic bombing during World War II

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RF
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Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby RF » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:55 am

Had Goering the gumption to go for construction of heavy bombers starting pre-war I don't see why not. They would also have been very useful during the Battle of Britain.

But Hitler and Goering decided pre-war that the Luftwaffe didn't need heavy bombers in any great number.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:51 pm

But Hitler and Goering decided pre-war that the Luftwaffe didn't need heavy bombers in any great number.


Correct. The Germans never intended to produce zone carpeting or targeting cities for strategic bombing. The Conventry episode was only in response to previous British bombing of civilian areas in the Germany, as we all know.

The idea of burning alive civilians in a great scale was completely allied, not axis as Hamburg, Heilbron and Dresden shows. The British used the heavy bombers as the Lancasters for mass murder to a degree that even Spaatz was horrified.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby boredatwork » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:37 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Correct. The Germans never intended to produce zone carpeting or targeting cities for strategic bombing. The Conventry episode was only in response to previous British bombing of civilian areas in the Germany, as we all know.

The idea of burning alive civilians in a great scale was completely allied, not axis as Hamburg, Heilbron and Dresden shows. The British used the heavy bombers as the Lancasters for mass murder to a degree that even Spaatz was horrified.


You do realise that the idea was an Italian's, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Douhet , and that it was a theory that had strong pre-war support in many countries, including Germany?

And I'm sorry to burst your morality bubble but your claim that Germany only resorted to area bombing as a response to British bombing of Germany is nonsense. Google Warsaw or Rotterdam, both occasions where the Germans deliberately targeted the civilian population in order to terrorise them into surrender.

That they (or subsequant bombing of Britain) didn't approach Dresden or Hamburg in scale was ONLY due to the scale of available German resources at the time, NOT due to any moral hesitation on the German's part. (Scale being relative - Germany had the largest and most effective bomber fleet in 1940 - it wasn't until Jan 1941 that the RAF got it's first Heavy Bomber, and it wasn't until 1942 that Bomber Command launched raids which exceeded the effectiveness of the Blitz.)
Last edited by boredatwork on Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby RF » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:59 pm

boredatwork wrote: Google Warsaw or Rotterdam, both occasions where the Germans deliberately targeted the civilian population in order to terrorise them into surrender.
.


This statement does need to be qualified.

Warsaw was bombed initially because it was a military target, the hub of the Polish transportation system and Polish mobilisation. After the first week it was a battlefield, as on 8 September a Panzer assault on Warsaw was roughly handled because the tanks had outrun their infantry and ground artillery support. Stukas had to fill the gap.

Rotterdam was bombed as a civilian target - but the intention to bomb was subject to the Dutch rejecting German calls for surrender on May 14 1940. The Dutch did surrender but at a point where it was too late to recall the bombers.
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Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby boredatwork » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:00 pm

RF wrote:Warsaw was bombed initially because it was a military target, the hub of the Polish transportation system and Polish mobilisation. After the first week it was a battlefield, as on 8 September a Panzer assault on Warsaw was roughly handled because the tanks had outrun their infantry and ground artillery support. Stukas had to fill the gap.


The issue wasn't them using Stukas, the issue was with them using anything and everything else that could possibly drop a bomb.

Were there targets of military worth in Warsaw? Absolutely. But could not the same be said of the majority of other cities bombed during the war?

The Luftwaffe had already gained an appreciation of how difficult it was to hit military targets in civilian areas. Look at Guernica where many aircraft attacked a bridge (a legit military target) and despite orders NOT to target civilian areas at least 200 civilians died (lowest estimate) and the bridge (and several arms factories) wasn't touched. What they did gain was an appreciation for the psychological possibilities of terror bombing. (Republican resistance around Guernica collapsed in the wake of the attack.)

In Warsaw there wasn't even an attempt to minimize casualties. Given Karl's claim that it was the Allies who had the idea of burning alive civilians perhaps he would explain how he can rationalize the indiscriminate shovelling of incindiaries out of the backs of Ju-52 transports to set the city on fire. Or why subsequant raids, despite the fact the smoke from the burning city obscured anything of military value, dropped their bombs into the smoke anyways?


Again I don't think the Allied bombing campaign was anything to be proud of, but I disagree that morally it was somehow worse than what the Germans themselves did. The only reason the Germans never launched them in a similar scale was lack of resources, not lack of intent.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby alecsandros » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:51 pm

boredatwork wrote:
Again I don't think the Allied bombing campaign was anything to be proud of, but I disagree that morally it was somehow worse than what the Germans themselves did. The only reason the Germans never launched them in a similar scale was lack of resources, not lack of intent.


Hi Michael,

I wouldn't be so definitive about that assesment. The most important aspect to keep in mind is necessary versus strategic.

Lutwaffe usualy bombed cities given war constraints (necessity to quickly capture Warsaw for instance) while the Allies made a strategy out of terrorizing the population. 1000-bomber raids concentrated specifically against large cities started since 1942 and lasted throughout the war. Koln, Dresda, Tokyo, are just some examples.

In fact, heavyweight historians (L. Hart is the first that comes to my mind) have already put the strategic air offensive to the wall, questioned its results, and narrowly accused the allied high command of genocide. Which I wholeheartedly agree.

I hope you don';t get me wrong: of course it's WRONG to bomb civilian targets, no matter if you're nazi, commie, tommie, or whatever. In fact, it's WRONG to bomb anything, as we're all human beings and war is an ancestral heritage of which we would be lucky to escape from. But for the purpose of this discussion, historicaly speaking, the allied air command made catastrophic moral mistakes, and they should have been trialed at Nurnberg, along with all the other mass-murderers.


P.S.: Saying the nazis would have done the same, if they would have had the resources, is like saying the Titanic wouldn't have sunk, if its captain would have seen the iceberg in time: it is a theory. But one that can not be proven correct or not, as logn as all the people involved in it are no longer among us, not to mention the equipment and general historical context needed to reconstrutct it.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:51 pm

On Rotterdam the issue was that the Army General gave an utlimatum to the Dutch resistance to surrender. The Dutch did have an artillery battery threatening the German advance so the Germans were clear that they will bomb and flatened the area.
The Dutch decided to surrender but did not advise the Germans that they will delay on accepting the ultimatum. So the Germans sent the bombers and one third of them drop their bombs before they were recalled.
1000 civilians got killed. As you see, it wasn't Hiroshima as the allied propaganda claim... more or less as the couple of hundred in Guernica.

Dresden: 135,000 dead.

Coventry: 600 killed and 1,000 injured. Less than 1 km2 destroyed.

Hamburg: 42,000 killed. 250,000 homes destroyed.

The good thing was that the Germans never surrender to that genocide terrorist campaing from the British butcher Harris. Ther Germans fought until Berlin was captured by the main allied forces from the soviets whilst western allied strategic diversionary forces stand still far away.

The Germans never considered part of their warfare doctrine to destroy civilian populations as the allies did as part of their methodologic genocide effort.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby boredatwork » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:32 pm

I wouldn't be so definitive about that assesment. The most important aspect to keep in mind is necessary versus strategic.


Again I think this is a double standard - when the Luftwaffe was able to bomb a civilian population to induce it's surrender, with the full force that they were capable of at the time, it's necessity. When the allies bomb a civilian population 2 years later in the hopes of inducing it to surrender, with the successful examples of Rotterdam, Warsaw, and Belgrade to draw upon it's genocide. I agree that with hindsight the resources spent on Bomber Command's Germany campaign could have been better applied elsewhere. However at the time, particularly in 1942 it was a reasonable theory that bombing a civilian population might cause it to sue for peace.

alecsandros wrote:P.S.: Saying the nazis would have done the same, if they would have had the resources, is like saying the Titanic wouldn't have sunk, if its captain would have seen the iceberg in time: it is a theory. But one that can not be proven correct or not, as logn as all the people involved in it are no longer among us, not to mention the equipment and general historical context needed to reconstrutct it.


True it can't be proven either way but you can make inferences based on reasoned argument. To use your example "If its captain would have seen the iceberg in time" would the Titanic have sunk? Obviously there are many possibilities. It's possible he could have had a heart attack at that moment and not ordered the turn. The steering gear could have broken down at that moment. He could have been suicidal and decided to ram it. However the reasonable inference is, that since the steering gear functioned after it was too late, the captain was not acting pecularly, and he survived to go down with his ship, the likelyhood was the ship would turn and avoid the iceberg.

The point being of course that you can't make the type of value judgements that the Germans were less genocidal than the allies simply because they never had the oportunity to bomb on the same scale. If Hitler had unlimited fuel and 1000 four engined bombers in 1942 what do you think is the likelyhood he wouldn't have used them to continue the blitz and flatten London? Or if the Germans had developed the bomb before the allies? We'll never know for sure IF they would have used it, but realistically what do you think the odds are they wouldn't have?

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Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby boredatwork » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:38 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Dresden: 135,000 dead.

Coventry: 600 killed and 1,000 injured. Less than 1 km2 destroyed.

Hamburg: 42,000 killed. 250,000 homes destroyed.


Small damage for small bombers. For accurate comparison's sake you should post the amount of damage that the genocidal allies were doing to German cities with their small bombers in the fall of 1940.


The good thing was that the Germans never surrender to that genocide terrorist campaing from the British butcher Harris. Ther Germans fought until Berlin was captured by the main allied forces from the soviets whilst western allied strategic diversionary forces stand still far away.


Yes it's great that the Germans didn't seek peace in 1942 after the 1st 1000 bomber raid. It allowed millions more Germans to be killed for no purpose, more of their cities flattened, their country divided and occupied, ensured soviet dominance of eastern Europe for half a century, and gave them time to conduct their own genocidal campaign against the 6 million Jews in concentration camps.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:09 am

boreatwork:

You are not getting the issue here. The Germans bomb Warsaw or Rotterdam as part of their tactical operations on the field. After those two attacks the Germans did not attack any more cities, not even in England. However the British bombed Germany in an strategic level since Day 1.

You are saying the Germans killed small because they were not up to kill more. That's false becuase it runs into the assumption that because the nazis were "nazis" then they would have commit genocide against all it's enemies. A lie. Why? Because if we see History the Germans were not keen to attack cities or target civilians in terror attacks as the allies did in a methodological way.

The information that boreatwork is as follows:

March 28, 1942: Lubeck, 441 tons of bombs, 25,000 people losing their houses (not factories) destroyed, 320 dead.

May 23, 1943: Wuppethal-Bremen, 1,895 tons of bombs, 118,000 people losing their houses destroyed (not factories), 2,450 dead.

July 24rd-27th, 29th, 1943: Hamburg, 6,597 tons of bombs, 753,000 people losing their houses destroyed, 43,000 dead.

October 22nd, 1943: Cassel, 1,823 tons of bombs, 150,000 losing their houses destroyed, 5,830 dead.

September 11th, 1944: Darmstadt, 872 tons of bombs, 70,000 losing their houses destroyed,12,300 dead.

October 19th, 1944: Brunswick, 847 tons of bombs, 80,000 losing their houses houses destroyed, 531 dead.

February 13rd, 1945: Dresden, 2,978 tons of bombs, 400,000 loding their houses destroyed, 135,000 dead

So, their is a wide disparity in the number of bombers sent, the tons of bombs used and the causalites inflicted. The RAF knew that so that is why they hired profesor Lindemann (yes... Lindeman believe it or not) to access the problem.

The British with Lindeman and Bessunsa Butt studied since the very begining of the WWII about the allied necesity to destroy German morale via massive carpet bombing targeting civilians.

As we know the Germans never did such a thing, to comision and study the destruction of civilian population in order to defeat the enemy.

We have clear why Coventry was attacked, once and then left alone.

But the allies attacked Germany in the most criminal deliberate way for five years with the sole purpose of killing old men, women and children. There is plain documentation to prove this point easily.
Last edited by Karl Heidenreich on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:13 am

For example, the Blitz by the end of 1940 cost the lives of 13,339 persons. How long it took the Germans to achieve this number? How long it took to the British to killl 135,000 in Dresden?

Why? Because the Germans were not trying to win by killing as the British did.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:26 am

Since february 14th, 1942 it was instructed to the British Bomber Command that their prime mission was to attack inhabited areas in some specific cities and, next day the chief of the General Air Staff made some clarifications to the annex that stipulated the list of this cities, written by Sir Charles Portal to his adjuntant Noman Bartolomey:

"Reference: DIRECTIVE FOR NEW BOMBING RAIDS. I do suppose that it has been very clear that the 100 targets must be edificated zones and NOT, for example, docks or manufacturing plants. If this is not clear enough, must be understood from now on once and for all."

The curious thing is that this was written before Arthur Harris arrived to take charge of the Bomber Command. So, it was not "only" Harris but he was on line with a certain military aerial policy of the British way to conduct the war.

So the British intentions in this regards was no different from the SS Einsatzgruppen.

Regards,
Last edited by Karl Heidenreich on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:30 am

The strategic bombing against Germany is a topic which I have been studying with horror on the allied disinformation campaign that surround it. That has taken me since December 2010 but decided to keep it for me considering that it could bring a lot of heat to this or any other forum.

However is someone wants to come up and challenge the facts I will be posting the reality of them. And believe me: there is a load of realities that could be given.

My guest!
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Byron Angel » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:37 am

Latest research, making use of records that had been sequestered in East Germany since the end of WW2, puts the Dresden death toll at about 25,000. The figure of 135,000 deaths was a Goebbels propaganda claim that was perpetuated by the East Germans for Cold War political purposes. Dresden was the principal railroad nexus for traffic moving through East Germany to the Eastern Front and, as such, was targeted at the insistence of the Soviets as a preliminary to their Spring 45 offensive into Prussia. It also was home to a respectable number of engineering facilities that specialized in manufacture of high precision military instruments - bomb sights, gun sights, cameras, artillery fuses, etc.

This is not meant to diminish in any way the particular event or the horror of modern war in general; it is solely offered to put Dresden in a proper historical perspective.

My personal opinion is that the British night-bombing campaign, and its ultimate offspring of random terror bombing of civilian targets because they were the only targets that the RAF could really attack, was a colossal waste of lives and treasure. Its ultimate rationale was to find some way, any way, to justify the massive expense of building a strategic bombing force between the wars that proved technologically unable to achieve its goals and objectives. Its ultimate result was to prove that the arguments and theories of Douhet and his acolytes regarding a rapid demoralization of the civilian population of one's enemy through strategic attack of its urban centers were false.

I recommend "Dresden", by Frederick Taylor, as a useful and objective analysis of the attack, its genesis, and its consequences.

B

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby RF » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:59 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:So the British intentions in this regards was no different from the SS Einsatzgruppen.


Not quite.

The British were operating so as to win a war they didn't start. They were going to carpet bomb the aggressor in return for the Blitz. It wasn't an excercise in racial or ethnic cleansing based on racist ideology, against a defenceless foe. British losses were heavy. How many battle casualties did the SS Einsatzgruppen sustain during their shooting and gassing escapades?
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