RF wrote: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.
I'm not sure that's quite correct. The German economy was pretty stressed in the 30's. So if the Germans had gone for a strategic airforce they would have had to give up something else. The question is what? They couldn't very well give up their tactical airforce as they needed it to supplement thier artillery. Not sure how much of the KM they would have had to give up to build a strategic airforce but this might have been the best option. On the otherhand if they gave up much of it Norway was out of the question as was a signficant attemtp to starve Britain. Certainly they couldn't have afforded to give up much of the Heer. Germany simply couldn't afford everything and it's not clear to me that they could have done all that much better with a different mix, indeed I suspect that most alternative mixes would have resulted in them doing somewhat worse.
Karl Heidenreich wrote: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.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:RF:
The RAF strategic bombing on Germany started even before the Blitz. The Blitz was not initially intended against the London populace and was only after the RAF targeting of German cities, including Berlin, that Hitler shifted the targets from military ones to downtown London.
IF we look at http://www.history-timelines.org.uk/eve ... of-ww2.htm
it notest only that the RAF attacked the German Navy and I beleive they were prohibited from attacking ships in port or at least those tied up to the warf. I guess this counts as strategic bombing but it certainly wasn't directed against civilians.
In http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/t ... w2time.htm it mentions the above and the next air raid listed against a city is the LW raid on Paris June 3 1940.
http://london.allinfo-about.com/features/timeline.html indicates the first major air raid agains London is on 7 Sept 1940.
http://www.rafbombercommand.com/timelin ... _1940.html goes into more detail. For 3 Sept 1939 it states:
German ships were considered the only legitimate target for the RAF at this time
ON 3 Dec 1939
Bomber Command attacks German seaplanes near Sylt (a North Sea island on the extreme northern tip of Germany). They are only allowed to attack aircraft and boats - the island itself is ‘off limits’
Strategic bombing? Probably but certainly not aimed at civilians. Finally on 17 March 1940
43 Whitley and Hampden bombers attack seaplane bases on the island of Sylt.
This was the first attack on a German land target and the largest raid of the war so far. It was launched in reprisal for a raid on British ships in the Orkneys when some bombs were dropped on land and one civilian killed.
Note that it's in response to a German raid.
On 10 May we finally get:
RAF drops first bombs on German mainland
Hardly day 1 is it? And I believe that the targets were still clearly military at that point. Then on 14 May:
The Luftwaffe bombs Rotterdam - a completely undefended city.
This act of aggression was the catalyst for Britain’s bombers to begin unrestricted attacks on industrial targets in Germany itself - in the full knowledge that stray bombs might kill civilians
PLS note also that the attack on Rotterdam was clearly a strategic and not a tactical attack. Then on 24 August:
First German bombs fall on central London - probably unintentionally
Churchill orders a swift reply: The first RAF mission to bomb Berlin.
The events of the 24th / 25th August were the turning point of the Battle of Britain: The bombing of Berlin, though ineffective, so infuriated Hitler that he ordered a direct attack on London.
Wiki says about that raid:
The first RAF raid on Berlin took place on the night of 25 August 1940; 95 aircraft were dispatched to bomb Tempelhof Airport near the centre of Berlin and Siemensstadt, of which 81 dropped their bombs in and around Berlin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of ... rld_War_II
http://www.rafbombercommand.com/timelin ... _1941.html
Hardly indescriminant now is it? And what follows on 7 September:
The ‘Blitz’ on Britain’s cities had begun - London would endure 57 nights of bombing without respite. 43,000 civilians would be killed, half of them in London, and more than one million homes destroyed or damaged in London alone. Other cities that were to suffer included Belfast, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Sheffield, Swansea, Liverpool Hull, Manchester, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Southampton.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:...
This renders the aim of the incendiary bombings over Tokio unto a new light. If the Americans do not share British's desire for genocide in Europe and avoided it and instead dedicated to precision daylight bombing of industrial and military targets instead of defenseless cities, and this type of strategic attacks served no practical purpose there, why the burning of Tokio in the greatest single airborne genocide ever took place? When Germany was evidence enough that the Axis powers will not surrender at the face of terror attacks and the Japanese were by far more fanatical than the nazis ever were, why the US insisted in this reproachable action? There is also the question that the US already knew, by then, that it was capable of delivering nuclear bombs that could change the outcome of the conflict, why to proceed with the Tokio bombings?
Well first of all it wasn't genocide. Second one has to consider the differences in the way Japanese industury was organized from that of Germany. Much of Japanese industry was spread out all over the vaious cities in small shops. No concentrated factories to hit.
But not a single conventional strategic bombing, nor against Germany nor Japan produced such a result. The only thing that produced was to strenghted the will of those countries to fight back against deliberte criminal attempts to destroy this same will by terror. This was plain evident since Hamburg's one. When this "offensive" failed it was evident that strategic bombing served no purpose and need to be aborted for another kind of aerail campaign, basically tactical air support to the field armies.
But of course they expected it too and in some cases it came very close to haveing a much more substantial effect they just shifted targets too soon. One can also argue that the final attacks vs transportation infrastructure and fuel did indeed produce some very significant effects.
alecsandros wrote:... I still think that all of us on this topic share pretty much the same core knowledge about the allied strategic bombing. What sets us apart is the value that we place on it. For me and Karl, as it seems, random mass air-attacks on civilians, leading to million of deaths, weigh very much on the scales. For me, at least, this is a case of war crime, and the scale makes it genocide. ...
What was and was not a war crime was well defined at the time and the air raids mentioned were not clearly not considered such. Furthermore genocide is also a well defined term and said raids don't meet the legal or common defintions of it.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:.. However I found that there IS a difference in the doctrines involved here. The British started their Strategic Bombing Campaign in 1939 and then never stopped until the surrendering of the Germans (by territorial occupation of allied armies, not by effect of this particular campaign) as did the Germans.
But the high peak of the German strategic bombing, which was at first directed to military or port instalations, when did not produced the effect that the Germans expected then stopped.
As we have seen not quite right. The British like the Germans initially targeted miliatary objectives only but the Germans shifted to indescrimant bombing first.
The Blitz ended in May 1941.
Perhaps but that doesn't mean that German startegic bombing efforts ended then. It's also worth noteing why they stopped. They were loosing too much material and personel to too little effect especially once thay had more targets in the EAst.
As with Warsaw and Rotterdam it was part of the German blitzkrieg group of tactics and operations: to win a certain battle or campaign.
Rotterdam was strategic and not tactical or operational. It was also clearly aimed at civilians. The British effort was also aimed at winning a campaign by the way. They just had a better vision of how long it would take.
The Blitz was part of the preparation of Sea Lion or, in it's defect, to produce the surrender of Britain. But by May 1941 it was obvious it serve no purpose.
It was obvious before then as were the losses involved. No points for the Germans here.
... But the British conitnued with their aerial offensive despite the fact it wasn't giving any results neither. The best example was the Hamburg bombing, which led to nothing more than a destroyed city.
Which of course is incorrect. The British strategic bombing effort did have signficant results. That they were not as great as was hoped doesn't mean they didn't exist.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:The total death-roll, "primarily women and children," was expected to reach
25,000; fewer than a hundred of the dead were servicemen. Of the
dead recovered by then, 6,865 had been cremated in one of the city
squares. A total of 35,000 people were listed as "missing".
It's obvius that of the total death toll we have still to add the 35,000 missing.
25,000 women and children.
Several flaws here.
1) Of the 35,000 mentioned as missing it is stated that 10,000 were later found to be alive. So total of about 25,000.
2) "primarily woment and childred" does not equate to all women and childred.
For details see:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26977893/ns ... estimated/
http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 92,00.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... ought.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -show.html
Note in the above 25,000 is considered the upper limit and 18,000 is considered more likely.