Strategic bombing during World War II

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby lwd » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:13 pm

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.

Simply incorrect.
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.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:50 pm

Lee,

Despite the fact that I am glad to see you around here again I also see that you decided to be the one giving lectures again. And ex tempori ones for that matter. Some of them, as the fact of the 35,000 people dispareared at Dresden already boreatwork corrected. You need to address the last post before you decided to share your infinite wisdom.

On the other hand the mouthfull of incorrections or mistakes in your post claim to God for an answer. But I will not be the one do it. You are just betting in an "argument and counter argument" folly and I am about to turn over my latest project and return to my country for vacations. I will not waste my well deserved vacations time researching to shut your mouth. I know that your target is to create a frustating enviroment anyway and that even if evidence and proof is brought forward contrary to your pre concieved beliefs you will keep silent a month and then start again.

One little thing though, I see that now, despite what you have said before, you decided to use wikipedia as the cornerstone of your argument. On the issue of the Strategic Genocide I will tell you that wikipedia has a lot of info but also still lacks of a lot of it: there are authors and books omited, which is curiuous. Please read "Bombing of the European Axis Powers. A Historical Digest of the Combined Bomber Offensive 1939-1945" by RIchard G. Davis; the US Army Report of Occupation 1945-1946 and David Irving's book on the bombing of Dresden.

Have a nice day, week and month.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby lwd » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:58 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote: ... I also see that you decided to be the one giving lectures again.

Well I wouldn't consider my post a lecture but you can if you want. In any case I don't see it as an unreasonable response to your rant.
You need to address the last post before you decided to share your infinite wisdom.

??? I'm not sure what post you are talking about here? yours or someone else's? In any case I don't accept you as the authority on I need to do to post. For someone with as many flaws in their data and reasoning it seems a bit hypocritical for you to make such statements.
On the other hand the mouthfull of incorrections or mistakes in your post claim to God for an answer.

Just what are you saying here?
... You are just betting in an "argument and counter argument" folly

So reasoned debate is folly but throwing out unsupportted and inaccurate numbers isn't.
[qutoe]I know that your target is to create a frustating enviroment anyway and that even if evidence and proof is brought forward contrary to your pre concieved beliefs you will keep silent a month and then start again. [/quote]
Talk about preconcieved beliefs. I would hardly consider an environment where facts are important frustrating but then some do I guess. Furthermore if you look back through my postings on this board you will find a fair number where I admit that I was proved wrong. Of course there are also quite a few where so called "proofs" fell short of that standard at least in my book.
One little thing though, I see that now, despite what you have said before, you decided to use wikipedia as the cornerstone of your argument.

Not really. They are a convient source and not in disagreement with other things I have read. If you have a better source feel free to use it.
On the issue of the Strategic Genocide I will tell you that wikipedia has a lot of info but also still lacks of a lot of it: there are authors and books omited, which is curiuous.

Curious? There will obviously be authors left out of such articles. The point is that the allied strategic bombing campaign at least as far as attacking cities goes was in large part a reaction to Germany doing so first. Furthermore it was not against the conventions of war at the time nor does it fit the defintion of genocide.
Please read "Bombing of the European Axis Powers. A Historical Digest of the Combined Bomber Offensive 1939-1945" by RIchard G. Davis; the US Army Report of Occupation 1945-1946 and David Irving's book on the bombing of Dresden.

Irving has been so throughly discredited that I see absolutly no reason to even consider looking at his works. Just what in the other two works do you consider relevant?

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:22 pm

:whistle:
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby lwd » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:38 pm


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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:54 pm

Tonight we have the VIP act for our Barranquilla project and tomorrow the grand openning. Saturday I will travel to Cartagena to visit the huge Spanish forts that protected the city against naval action from the pirates and seaborne enemies.
However I will take some time to make a couple of points, not to start a futile confrontation.

I am NOT saying here, and maybe I have not been clear enough on this, that ALL strategic bombing was useless or genocidical.

Of course the bombing of the factories that produced parts for Tiger tanks or Messerchmitts or Focke Wulf or U Boats were very justified targets. By destroying them the allies were avoiding the high casualties that those weapons produced by the higher skilled German tank, air or sub aces.

Also the destruction of oil facilities, tanks, pipes, railways, bridges, dams, military bases, V rocket platforms, headquaters, etc. was also necesarry and a military priority. The bombing of Berlin as political center of an evil empire could be regarded in the same terms. Also other targets as the extermination camps railways, gas chamber facilities and ovens could have been seen in the same light and it's a pitty that they were never targeted.

In the same line of thought the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki can be regarded as necesarry and moral because those actions were the reason why Japan surrendered. It is also an argument that those people that died there would have died anyway in a scenario that involved Olimpic and Coronet plus many millions more.

What I am discussing here is the carpet or area bombing that the British (not the US) decided to pursue against residential and populated areas as a means to achieve surrender by terror. Something that didn't work and was highly inmoral. Even American generals as Spaatz were against that. American crews would have not accepted to participate in certain actions if not lied about the targets.

My argument is against the lies of the allies: telling the world they tried to destroy factories in Heilbron or Cassel that were not simply there. Destroying railways junctions that were left untouched at Dresden as the so called military factories but the bombing blaze ocurring just in downtown in order to burn alive women and children. Maintaining a falacy that the soviets requested the destruction of a city populated by refugees, without military HQ or formations, not even AA batteries, just to please the murdering instincts of Bomber Harris and his accolites. Where is the soviet request for the bombing? Where is the supporting evidence of such a claim?

No mention have been done on the Memo that I brought forward, it has been ignored as has been ignored other evidence in other threads. Smoke screens and argumentative sentences is what we have got.

On David Irving. The ad hominen attack do not hold just because of itself. Beevor or Keegan still maintain that it is Irving and not them the most knowlodgable historian of WWII despite his positions. When the Bombing of Dresden was written Irving's position were not as radical as those ten years later. From the quotation that boreatwork brings forward it is obvious that Irving tries honestly to seek the thruth and not a personal agenda. Also we know that the greatest collection of nazi papers and documents is in Irving's hand and is called the Irving Collection. Because of him many historians could have been able to refer to this documentations that Irving maintain open to every scholar. Another thing: he has never denied the Holcaust but the way the German authoirities organized it; he has never denied the nazi atrocities neither. His "reputation" has been attacked by political reasons of groups that find it's economical and financial interests affected by anti-common wisdom claims.

Now, to work and home. Regards
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby lwd » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:55 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:... What I am discussing here is the carpet or area bombing that the British (not the US) decided to pursue against residential and populated areas as a means to achieve surrender by terror.

But US bombing was far from the precision that some seem to think. Furthermore the targets were often in or adjacent to residential areas and certainly were in populated areas. In some ways the British "de houseing" campaign can be regarded as more of an acknowledgement of reality than any serious change in focus.
Something that didn't work and was highly inmoral.

A couple of problems with this:
1: You say that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were moral because they worked but the British attacks were immoral because they didn't work? Am I the only one that sees a problem with that?
2: They didn't know what would and would work. Indeed several prominent military theorist in the pre war period thought that it would work. Also it did work in the case of Holland.
My argument is against the lies of the allies: telling the world they tried to destroy factories in Heilbron or Cassel that were not simply there.

Did they know they weren't there?
...Maintaining a falacy that the soviets requested the destruction of a city populated by refugees, without military HQ or formations, not even AA batteries, just to please the murdering instincts of Bomber Harris and his accolites. Where is the soviet request for the bombing? Where is the supporting evidence of such a claim?

Well just a quick look at the wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of ... rld_War_II reveals the following:
The American inquiry established that the Soviets, pursuant to allied agreements for the United States and the United Kingdom to provide air support for the Soviet offensive toward Berlin, had requested area bombing of Dresden in order to prevent a counter attack through Dresden, or the use of Dresden as a regrouping point after a strategic retreat

Which lists: USAF, II. Section ANALYSIS: Dresden as a Military Target, ¶ 33, 34. as a source.
and
The USAFHD report states that Dresden was protected by anti-aircraft defences, antiaircraft guns, and searchlights, under the Combined Dresden (Corps Area IV) and Berlin (Corps Area III) Luftwaffe Administration Commands.

Which lists: Angell (1953) as it source.
and
Colonel Harold E. Cook, a US POW held in the Friedrichstadt marshaling yard the night before the attacks, later said that "I saw with my own eyes that Dresden was an armed camp: thousands of German troops, tanks and artillery and miles of freight cars loaded with supplies supporting and transporting German logistics towards the east to meet the Russians."

No mention have been done on the Memo that I brought forward, it has been ignored as has been ignored other evidence in other threads. ...

Perhaps that is because you haven't done so. What you have done is extract one sentance from the memo and supplied none of the context.
On David Irving. The ad hominen attack do not hold just because of itself. Beevor or Keegan still maintain that it is Irving and not them the most knowlodgable historian of WWII despite his positions. When the Bombing of Dresden was written Irving's position were not as radical as those ten years later.

He may be knowledgdable but it's clear even at that point he was cherry picking and falsifying data as well as being intentionally misleading.
. His "reputation" has been attacked by political reasons of groups that find it's economical and financial interests affected by anti-common wisdom claims.

That may also be true but it's been proven that he has been far from honest with what he has written in his work to the point that they are totally untrustworthy.

Some threads that discussing Irving and Dresden:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... g#p1501111
... I know David Irving claimed there was no AA artillery by the time when Dresden was bombed, but this is completely not true. For example in 1983 in Dresden-Altfranken a wreck of a Flak 88 destroyed during the bombing was dug out. ...

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... g#p1319065
The libel trial showed that even those primary sources which could be tracked down frequently were unfaithful to Irving's translations of them.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... g#p1313457
It is a question of the nature and extent of the shortcomings. Much history is lazy, badly researched and unwarrantedly opinionated, but Irving's shortcomings is of a different order and magnitude - in essence and in scale. Firstly, direct falsification and manipulation of historical sources is an extraordinary occurrence, and is something the reputation of no historian survives. This is something radically different from lazy re-quoting of badly researched figures. Secondly, I quite frankly can't think of any historian I have ever read (save perhaps for some eastern bloc literature) that writes with such an extreme bias as Irving does.
...
The man was convicted for historical fraud, for crying out loud. This is not an example of peer review prejudice.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/apr/11/irving1
The charges which I have found to be substantially true include the charges that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence;

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... g#p1301877
Irving interpreted Voigt’s number of approx. 35,000 dead as 135,000 ...
...
Between the various editions (English) and translations (German) of Irving’s books from 1963 and 1967, Irving included a new source, namely the “Tagesbefehl Nr. 47, Luftangriff auf Dresden” (dated 22 March 1945), which put the final death toll at approx. 202,000 and estimated the final number at approx. 250,000. Irving featured this source in his 1966 English and 1967 German edition and printed it in the appendices. This was the basis for his later frequently maintained claim of “250,000 deaths in Dresden”. Irving had referred to a study of this source in one of his prior publications (in the 1963 edition), describing it as a forgery. By 1966, he had, however, changed his mind completely after having seen the document himself, now claiming that it was not a forgery, but authentic. What was the reason for Irving changing his mind so drastically?

The source in Irving’s hands was, in fact, “a carbon copy of a typed copy of a handwritten transcript of an extract from an unknown document, unauthenticated by any distinguishing marks such as a signature or an official stamp of any description” (Evans, op. cit., p. 162f., on the development of this argument, see the preceding page). And Irving presumably knew that this was not the brilliant source he claimed it was, but a rather weak one indeed. Nonetheless the source was prominently featured as authentic, and Irving asked his publishers (England, Germany, Italy) to emphasize it in the next editions.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... g#p1247753
His first book, on Dresden, falsified the number of dead by a factor of ten. He admitted that at the time but has now retracted his admission - he continues to refer to "250,000 dead" in his speeches.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Byron Angel » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:32 am

What I find quite interesting about Mr Irving's situation is that no one had a bad word to say about either his academic career or his scholarship prior to publication of "Hitler's War". Very shortly after that, Irving's image in the media suddenly was transformed into that of an unprincipled, sloppy agenda-driven hack historian whose work should never be permitted to darken the door of another publishing house or professional journal.

Forgive me, but I remain rather skeptical about this current image of Mr Irving, which impresses me as a well-financed smear job by people interested in neutralizing him and his book ...... much like the treatment that the once "golden child" Seymour Hersh received after publication of "The Dark Side of Camelot".

Strictly my opinion, of course.


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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:24 pm

Byron,

What you state is very interesting. Some of us have notice it too. The good thing is that Beevor and Keegan, no amateurs at all, support Irving's research and work and use his material for their own publications. So, I can care less now on some other's talking head opinion on him. A 88mm flak gun in a city with a million inhabitants do not make it "AA defended", it only shows one gun.

Seen that the core of arguments have not been even been addressed yet.

I have "Hitler's War" but have not read it yet.

Anyway... the grand opening is a HUGE success. I have been notified that I am returning to Costa Rica for a couple weeks rest and get prepared to be a legionare again: to Cali this next time. So, no time for the neverending futile discussions with "american" dogmatism.
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby lwd » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:49 pm

Byron Angel wrote:What I find quite interesting about Mr Irving's situation is that no one had a bad word to say about either his academic career or his scholarship prior to publication of "Hitler's War".

Just looking at the wiki article on him this appears to be incorrect. In any case it's not all that surprising. Irving was never an academic historian so his work wasn't peer reviewed. So only after he started making controversial statements did people take a close look at his work.
Very shortly after that, Irving's image in the media suddenly was transformed into that of an unprincipled, sloppy agenda-driven hack historian whose work should never be permitted to darken the door of another publishing house or professional journal.

Did he ever publish in professional journals? In any case it was after that the nature of his work started becoming clear. Sloppy is hardly the term I would use in any case as sloppy would tend to indicate errors in both sides of an issue which is hardly the case with the majority of his.
Forgive me, but I remain rather skeptical about this current image of Mr Irving, which impresses me as a well-financed smear job by people interested in neutralizing him and his book ...... much like the treatment that the once "golden child" Seymour Hersh received after publication of "The Dark Side of Camelot".

It may be well financed but it is hardly a "smear job". He stands convicted by his own words. Indeed just looking at his Dresden numbers and his use of disproven ones after the fact makes his agenda clear.

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Byron,
The good thing is that Beevor and Keegan, no amateurs at all, support Irving's research and work and use his material for their own publications. So, I can care less now on some other's talking head opinion on him. A 88mm flak gun in a city with a million inhabitants do not make it "AA defended", it only shows one gun.

Do they really? Keegan certainly has some good things to say about some of Irving's work and some rather negative things to say about other parts of it. I haven't seen anything on how he deals with Irving's "selective" use of data especially the cases where it appears he made it up. As for Beevor here is the only quote of his I can find "supporting" Irving
Anthony Beevor, the military historian, said: “However nauseating, these people should be confronted in debate rather than chucked into jail and turned into martyrs.”

From: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/ ... 733099.ece
I agree with Beevor in this case by the way but it hardly seems supportive.
Seen that the core of arguments have not been even been addressed yet.
What do you consider the "core of arguments"? If it's Irving you are referring to his Dresden numbers alone are sufficient to condemn him no matter how great his knowledge or skill as an archivist.
The core of what a So, no time for the neverending futile discussions with "american" dogmatism.

This sort of thing really does show how weak your position is. You make a weak attempt at refuting an argument that you don't like then try to categorize your opponents as "dogmatic", "close minded", or something similar. If there have been "rhetorical tricks" used in this thread I suggest this is by far the most common and you have been the source of most of it. Too bad really. You used to at least try to make fact and logic based constructs.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Byron Angel » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:57 pm

You miss my point, LWD. I'm not arguing the merits of Irving's work either pro or con. People can review Irving's writings themselves and draw their own conclusions on that issue. I'm simply observing that the attacks upon him reflected (IMHO) a large, highly organized, well financed and orchestrated program of character assassinaton undertaken by powerful interests.

The similarities to the vilification campaign against Seymour Hersh after publication of "The Dark Side of Camelot" are quite striking.

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby lwd » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:45 pm

Byron Angel wrote:You miss my point, LWD. I'm not arguing the merits of Irving's work either pro or con. People can review Irving's writings themselves and draw their own conclusions on that issue. I'm simply observing that the attacks upon him reflected (IMHO) a large, highly organized, well financed and orchestrated program of character assassinaton undertaken by powerful interests.

Not from where I stand but then I tend to ignore a lot of the material in the "popular" press. The "attacks" I've seen don't look organized, well financed, or orchistrated but then he hardly rates a mention over here and I'd likely miss it when he does.

boredatwork
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby boredatwork » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:49 pm

I just finished reading Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris' memoirs - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/185367 ... prod_title . Generally the focus is on the politics, production, and technology that moulded the bomber command offensive along with an analysis of the successes and failures of the bombing campaign.

It was written in 1947 so much new information has since come to light. However it was still an interesting read.

While undoubtably biased to a degree I didn't find it nearly as self serving as many other memoirs I've read. He has no remorse or appology for the large number of civilian casualties caused, but neither does he revel in them. Instead he regards them merely as an unavoidable by-product to conducting the campaign - akin to the large numbers of civilians that used to die during sieges of towns and castles. Where he does show a bit of irritation is the post-war tendency for the government to distance itself from the bombing thereby give the impression that he was solely responsible.

He scathingly reffers to the economists and their revolving lists of specific industrial targets which if bombed would bring Germany to it's knees. He makes a pretty convincing case why such strategies, which he calls "Panacea targets" were bound to fail, particularly given the resources of bomber command at the time. For example the size of the force, the inability to hit precision targets, the weather as well as the length of the summer nights which all would add up to the unlikelyhood that a single industry could be fully destroyed. However to his credit he does concede the oil campaign (which Bomber Command fully contributed to despite his misgivings) proved much more effective than he had forseen.

Likewise he criticizes the other services, the Army for their pre-war love of the horse, and the Admiralty for their faith in Battleships at the expense of air power. Though again to his credit he predicted the RAF would be encumbered with a similar lethargy by those who insisted on retaining the bomber which in his view (this in in 1947) would be as obsolete in the next major war as the battleship was then. (the future according to Harris belonging to Nuclear missiles and suitcase sized atomic weapons.)

Byron Angel
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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Byron Angel » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:55 pm

boredatwork wrote:I just finished reading Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris' memoirs - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/185367 ... prod_title . Generally the focus is on the politics, production, and technology that moulded the bomber command offensive along with an analysis of the successes and failures of the bombing campaign.

It was written in 1947 so much new information has since come to light. However it was still an interesting read.

While undoubtably biased to a degree I didn't find it nearly as self serving as many other memoirs I've read. He has no remorse or appology for the large number of civilian casualties caused, but neither does he revel in them. Instead he regards them merely as an unavoidable by-product to conducting the campaign - akin to the large numbers of civilians that used to die during sieges of towns and castles. Where he does show a bit of irritation is the post-war tendency for the government to distance itself from the bombing thereby give the impression that he was solely responsible.

He scathingly reffers to the economists and their revolving lists of specific industrial targets which if bombed would bring Germany to it's knees. He makes a pretty convincing case why such strategies, which he calls "Panacea targets" were bound to fail, particularly given the resources of bomber command at the time. For example the size of the force, the inability to hit precision targets, the weather as well as the length of the summer nights which all would add up to the unlikelyhood that a single industry could be fully destroyed. However to his credit he does concede the oil campaign (which Bomber Command fully contributed to despite his misgivings) proved much more effective than he had forseen.

Likewise he criticizes the other services, the Army for their pre-war love of the horse, and the Admiralty for their faith in Battleships at the expense of air power. Though again to his credit he predicted the RAF would be encumbered with a similar lethargy by those who insisted on retaining the bomber which in his view (this in in 1947) would be as obsolete in the next major war as the battleship was then. (the future according to Harris belonging to Nuclear missiles and suitcase sized atomic weapons.)



..... IMHO, the treatment of Harris and Bomber Command by the postwar UK government was unforgiveably shabby and hypocritical. Harris was given an inadequate tool to accomplish impossible tasks. He nevertheless undertook the job and purposefully and single-mindedly led Bomber Command through a six year campaign in which it suffered absolutely jaw-dropping casualties. The British government exhibited no apparent qualms whatsoever about the methods employed by Harris to accomplish those taks. When the bullets stop flying, however, Harris and Bomber Command were assigned one last mission to perform for Great Britain - that of official pariah and scapegoat to assuage the government's suddenly resurgent moral conscience.

One peripheral comment about the RN and airpower - RN policies toward airpower were severely restricted by the RAF, which held effective domain over all military aviation between the wars. Money that might have been very well spent toward naval aviation (and Coastal Command for that matter) was instead devoted to strategic bombing assets. British naval aviation was very much a Cinderella step-child.

B

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Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Byron Angel » Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:07 am

lwd wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:You miss my point, LWD. I'm not arguing the merits of Irving's work either pro or con. People can review Irving's writings themselves and draw their own conclusions on that issue. I'm simply observing that the attacks upon him reflected (IMHO) a large, highly organized, well financed and orchestrated program of character assassinaton undertaken by powerful interests.

Not from where I stand but then I tend to ignore a lot of the material in the "popular" press. The "attacks" I've seen don't look organized, well financed, or orchistrated but then he hardly rates a mention over here and I'd likely miss it when he does.



..... If one doesn't pay much attention to "the popular press", then the campaign to blacken Hersh's name would likewise have escaped notice. But I assure you that Hersh's name was well and truly and comprehensively blackened by the Kennedy clan and their supporters within said popular press. The attacks upon Irving reached the US like an avalanche via the very same popular press channels. It is the vehicle of convenience and choice for those properly connected.

You and I will apparently have to agree to disagree on this issue, I think.

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