This Week in History: The firebombing of Dresden
[*******#8F8F8F][FONT=Verdana]By MICHAEL OMER-MAN[/FONT][/COLOR][*******#8f8f8f]
The attack on Dresden has remained the center of lasting controversy over the legitimacy of carpet-bombing.
Sow the wind . . . .reap the whirlwind
I thought the attack involving units of the Nazi Condor Legion on Guernica, Spain
was a classic example of distributing death from above
seems that one is one of many conveniently forgotten by some, when targeting the actions of the R.A.F.
However, if Adolf had kept his military inside of Germany's borders,
then grief and suffering would have been spared to the population of many countries.
May the civil victims of such actions + Rest In Peace +
As if the Guernica Bombing had anything to do with it. The British arrived at the idea of area bombing quite independently (for instance, Churchill explicitely supported the bombing with poison gas to fight insurrections in todays Iraq already in the 1920ts). Later it were the not the Germans, but the British, who made the systematic bombing of the civilian population the main part of their war effort.
As far as the "However, if Adolf had kept his military inside of Germany's borders, then grief and suffering would have been spared to the population of many countries" comments are concerned, I am sometimes tempted to answer that, if the British and French hadn't declared war on Germany, perhaps WWII may not have happened. People seem always to forget that, Stalin had Poland also invaded, and that the Western Powers did still not declare war on the Sovietunion (instead they sent out their diplomats for the purpose of forming an alliance with the Eastern dictator, as early as October of 1939, which Stlain however rejected). This bit at least seems to be quite likely: Had Britain and France declared war against the Sovietunion two days after Stalin had Finland invaded and made an alliance with Germany against the Sovetunion instead the other way round, our history books would today tell us that WWII had begun on November the 30th 1939 and that the Soviet population is collectively responsible for it. Assuming that the Sovietunion had lost the war, that is.
Let's not kid ourselves (argh, I am beginning to sound like Obama, see what you have done to me Connaught?): The bombing of Dresden was a warcrime, pure and simple. It's aim was the killing of Dresden's civilians, the refugees tha flooded the city included. (By contrast, the bombing of Coventry, back then a nexus of the British arms industry, had the destruction of the industrial plants criss-crossing the town as objective. Naturally, that is a warcrime according to the British). Overall it's fascinating to see how very little the so called Allies regret their own atrocities, even to this very day. Tell me what you will, but this is simply moral double standard. The willingness to kill civilians, was very much present among the western democracies, who allegedly fought for nothing but freedom (allied with Stalin), justice (by fire bombing women and children) and the end of genocide (although the fate of the Jews seems to have been not overly on their minds at the time of the war).
The more I learn about WWII, the more cynical I get. This war as well as its ending was a far cry from the simple black and white affair as which mainstream history paints it. And as far as learning from history is concerned, it seems to me that the people of the victorious nations have learned not enough from it (they learn largely the covenient elements that fuel their self-gratification). The defeated Germans, on the other hand, have apprently learned far too much from the experience. They developed an almost masochist mind-set with downright self-destructive tendencies. Commemorating the civilian victims of Dresden has become all but impossible in todays Germany. And for the record, they were just that: victims, who were, for a change, not killed by evil Nazis, as the typical "storm and whirlwind" comments want to make us believe, but instead deliberately destroyed by Allied soldiers. This action, allegedly meant to support the Soviet troops, even happened at a time when the war against Germany was almost over. And only three month later, Churchill had the British generals work on a plan to attack the Sovietunion with the support of German troops ("to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire"), called "Operation Unthinkable".
Dresden was at that point on of the few completely big intact citys in germany. As such it had important industrial and infrastructural pontential. If say hitler decided to abandone berlin and move the fight to the alps dresden most likely would have been used as a transportational hub. At that time it might have been prudent to deny him this options , since its very easy to continue fighting in a mountainus area with a limited number of troops for years. But maybe it was alos just revenge for the the over 30 000 killed civilians in london by the germans, about which btw nobody in germany gave a single **** at that time. That is the problem if you call for a total war, somebody might respond in kind.
Bush Lawyer, that's me!
Tell me Kitsune, was the flying of German bombers over Warsaw shovelling incendaries out the doors a "targetted attack on war industries" too?
L O L A
Two wrongs don't make a right.
The area bombing of cities in WW2 was a crime, no matter who did it and when.
Not to mention the use of "Vengeance Weapons" that destroyed 10,000s of private homes a day at the height of the campaign.
Originally Posted by TheKiwi
The bottom line is "War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the
sooner it will be over."
Originally Posted by JCR
Apparently when you read this kind of thread (the last one lats year ended close like this one is ont the path to be), the motto "winners are writting history" seems true.
For me massive bombing of civilian areas were, are and will be for ever a war crime (as per the Geneva and other conventions)
But well when you are bomber Harris or the big fat Herman Goering pushing for it for the sack of your own career and because you are so self inflated of your own importance and ego, between the two, only one would see his actions justified and excused because he was on the winners side.........
Some kind of reversed Goldwin point in instance .............
To be pedantic what was the Zeppelin and Gotha Bombings in WWI but deliberate attacks on the CivPop? Churchill didnt invent that did he?
Originally Posted by Kitsune
Welcome to the concept of "total war". Google it.
I think its time to read "Slaughterhouse Five" again.
Did any of the other bombings happen this week in the past? No.
It's not about if it was right or wrong , it's about that a whole lot of people died and they should be remembered.
Instead we get these sh i tful tit for tat arguments who started what wnd when .
When the anniversary of these other bombings come around we should start a thread about them too , because they too need and should be remembered.
My grandfather got killed in a RAF raid on the factory he was working in.
Do I hate the brits for that ? No.
I blame Hitler and his cronies to bring my homeland into a position where another civilized country finds in necessary to do something like this.
So can we just shut the f up with these endless arguments and just sit there in front of the screen and think of these people ,some of whom may have been involved in the war
but many that weren't and didn't have a choice where to live their lives.
I will not enter into a debate about this .
It's just too childish.
Last edited by Bleifuss; 02-13-2012 at 02:54 AM.
Reason: too angry to type straight
No, the crime was when Adolf marched his little tin soldiers into sovereign realms to occupy and conquer and enslave those citizens, while the war was going his way, it is being touted as acceptable, particularly by the history revisionist mentality mob, when the tide turns against old "one ball" and his gang, all the hands go up and cry "boo! hoo! no fair."
Originally Posted by Kitsune
At the end of the day, the responsibility for deaths of the citizens of Dresden and other German cities, along with all other deaths in Europe, North Africa, is laid squarely at the feet of one person, Hitler.
The concept of "Open Cities" had been around since pre-WW1, the fact that Hitler did not allow the use of such a concept, is again the sole responsibility of Hitler.
I met the lady in Australia told me that she was living on the outskirt of Dresden and witness the terrible event.
Rest In Peace.
For starters, Dresden wasn't targeted because of it's industrial capacity, it was targeted because it was a major command, control and logistical hub for the collapsing Eastern Front and at the time, directly supplied the Army Group A troops facing the Soviet Silesian Offensive. The attack on Dresden was specifically requested by the Soviets, as they were encircling Breslau and were extremely concerned about a German counter attack coming to the relief of the city garrison.
The aim of the raid was to destroy the bridges and lines of communication over the Elbe.
Even so, Harris at first turned down the the request as he didn't believe the conditions in early February we're suitable to the long navigation legs involved or that the attack would achieve the desired effect. He was overruled by Tedder and so requested his orders in formal writing directly from Eisenhower before he would agree to carrying out the raid.