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Allied Terror bombing of Germany

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Tomcat, Nov 10, 2014.

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  1. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    And civilian targets during the Spanish Civil War which wasn't even affecting the well-being of Germany unless you consider a left-leaning government a threat.
     
  2. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Do you realize that I wasn't refering to your post? I was just aluding to Napoleon's exile at St. Hellena. And, finally, do you really think that every word you wrote deserves attention?

    Seriously now. Do you think that the Allies would ever negotiate with war criminals who were leading the Nazi Germany? That country had to be beaten at the battlefield and undergo a total re-design from the top to the bottom. Not just a face-lift of the murderous regime. That was the intention of the Allies when they declared the requirement for the unconditional surrender. A pacified Germany.
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The problem with Versailles is the allies allowed the German army to not be part of the surrender, which helped enforce the belief that the army had not been defeated. It was also in WW1 that the German army deliberately killed civilians, the most notorious was Leuvan where a medieval library with thousands of priceless documents and books was burned and civilians killed
     
  4. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    A demand for the Unconditional Surrender of Germany was issued by the leaders of the "United Nations" because they believed that the Junker class could not be trusted to make lasting peace. This means the generals of the conspiracy against Hitler must themselves be removed from positions of power--which is of course a demand they were opposed to, even if they succeeded to overthrow the Nazi Party. The Allies wanted regime change, war crime trials, and political controls over post-war Berlin that would ensure the demise of German militarism. That wasn't something most German armed forces commanders could swallow, including the anti-Nazis.
     
  5. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    IIRC Italian bombers attacked the bridge at Guernica, the Condor Legion targeted the town itself, what exactly they wanted to achieve there is not very clear, evaluating the shock/disruption effect is the best explanation I found.

    The British WW1 blockade of foodstuffs was probably illegal according to the treaties then in force and caused a lot more deaths than the Zeppelins, Giants and Gotha combined, unleashing the second horseman of the apocalypse also paved the way for the third with the 1918/1919 influenza epidemic. If we blame the Germans for what happened in the USSR occupied territories in WW2 why not the British for WW1?. We are talking of tens of thousands of deaths here.

    To quote a very nefarious personage "at one point quantitative differences become qualitative differences" , from that perspective the WW1 bombings were something pretty different from the WW2 mass destructions.

    <NITPICK> IIRC the "Paris Gun" was never called a Berta, that name (that like various WW2 era Bruno and Siegfried guns, references a then prominent member of the Krupp family) is generally used to refer to the 420mm siege mortars, the Paris gun was a much modified naval 15" retubed to 210mm. to get unprecedented range. </NITPICK>
     
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  6. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The Blockade seems to have had its most severe effects after the armistice, and probably played part in the uprisings that rocked the country. But that didn't prevent the "Stab in the Back" myth from forming. I guess memories even in those days were more than mildly selective.

    As it would later, Germany had continued to fight well past what was reasonable to expect of its population.

    You'll get no apologies for the naval blockade from me. It was the correct strategic move. Not what Germany wanted or was expecting. Germany wanted a close blockade, and naval battles of their choosing. Well, tough.

    Surely it is up to the leadership, to ascertain that they have sufficient foodstuffs to feed their population. Securing amply food for the civilian population always has played a part in warfare, and always will. You really shouldn't count on the generosity of your enemies, as you slaughter their men.
     
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  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    During WWI,everyone was blockading everyone,and,it is not because there were more German casualties than British that the British blockade was illegal .
     
  8. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Clearly, Versailles was too generous. With harsher post-war treatment the play-off (WW2) wouldn't have been necessary at all.
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The British policy was in contravention of international law on two major points.

    First, in regard to the character of the blockade, it violated the Declaration of Paris of 1856, which Britain itself had signed, and which, among other things, permitted "close" but not "distant" blockades. A belligerent was allowed to station ships near the three-mile limit to stop traffic with an enemy's ports; it was not allowed simply to declare areas of the high seas comprising the approaches to the enemy's coast to be off-limits.

    ...the second and even more complex question: that of contraband. Briefly, following the lead of the Hague Conference of 1907, the Declaration of London of 1909 considered food to be "conditional contraband," that is, subject to interception and capture only when intended for the use of the enemy's military forces. This was part of the painstaking effort, extending over generations, to strip war of its most savage aspects by establishing a sharp distinction between combatants and noncombatants. Among the corollaries of this was that food not intended for military use could legitimately be transported to a neutral port, even if it ultimately found its way to the enemy's territory. The House of Lords had refused its consent to the Declaration of London, which did not, consequently, come into full force. Still, as the US government pointed out to the British at the start of the war, the declaration's provisions were in keeping "with the generally recognized principles of international law." As an indication of this, the British admiralty had incorporated the Declaration into its manuals.

    (the above from http://mises.org/daily/4308)

    The number of Civilian deaths caused by starvation as a consequence of the blockade is still debated. Estimates vary between 760,000 to none.

    Of course, during the blockade, German soldiers were not dying of starvation. And by 1914, a three mile limit was neither practical nor sensible.

    [​IMG]

    Algésiras class was a late type of 90-gun ships of the line, launched in 1855.
    Speed, 12-13 knots, Displacement 5040 tonnes. Timber construction.

    [​IMG]
    König Class battleship, 10 x 30.5 cm guns, 14 x 15 cm guns, 10 x 8.8 cm guns, 5 torpedo tubes. Launched 1913, commissioned 1914.
    Speed 21 knots, Displacement 29,100 tonnes.

    The range and destructive power of naval armament and improved dramatically.
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Having read through this topic I must agree with Lou, the 'other guy started it' and the 'they did worse' arguments alone do not make entirely convincing cases for the allied use of either strategic bombing or blockades in and of themselves, though they can not entirely discounted either.

    In any prolonged conflict, terror becomes a default tactic, or at least a unintended consequence war.

    Both tactics employed upon on Germany and Japan were part necessity brought on in part by a lack of any better option and unquestionably an effective method to hurt the enemy in a winner takes all conflict.
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Germany started a total war (with a lot of atrocities),it tried to starve Britain,thus,it should not whine when Britain was starving Germany .In a total war,civilians are not innocent: they are helping the military.
     
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  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    (the above from http://mises.org/daily/4308)

    The number of Civilian deaths caused by starvation as a consequence of the blockade is still debated. Estimates vary between 760,000 to none.


    The more I read from MISES, the less reliable MISES is becoming :the author of the article is using the opportunity to express his hostility and hatred towards Britain,not something uncommon in certain circles in the US .

    About the victims : 760000 is propaganda .

    number of civilian deaths in Germany :

    1913 :945,835

    excess (compared to 1913)

    in 1914 : 42,369
    in 1915: 8,871
    in 1916: 11,751
    in 1917: 68,598
    in 1918: 271,047
    in 1919 :71,449

    Total: 474,085

    In this total are included the victims of the Spanish flu .


    Source : Die Einwirkung des Krieges aud Bevölkerungsbewegubg,Einkommen und Lebenshaltung in Deutschland (by :Dr R.Meerwarth),cited in The Allied Food Blockade of Germany (Table II)
     
  13. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    It was not the left-"leaning" government which was the threat. The major one was it's inability/unwillingness to control the several communist and anarchist movements operating more or less freely under it's wings. Naturally the Spanish previous political history gave plenty of reasons for them to exist, but nevertheless they were threats for the rest of Europe too - as several examples have proven.

    I'm not defending any civilian bombings, but the Spanish Civil War was much more complicated than "the good Republicans" and "the evil Nationalists".

    It certainly appeared so.

    You certainly seem to think so...

    Obviously you did not understand my post. I wrote that the Germans should have been given the option to oust the Nazies and then get the possibility for peace. I never even hinted that the Nazies could have stayed in power - in one way or the other.

    The Allied requirement caused millions of Allied and Axis casualties - both military and civilian, not to even mention cultural losses.
     
  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    In note 5 of the MISES article,it is claimed that there were no German atrocities in Belgium:someone who,100 years after the facts,dares to deny the truth,can be put in the same corner of people as Harry (better Adolf ) Barnes and Adolf Irving .

    The Mises Institute should be warned that it will lose all credibility if it continues to call upon liars :the German atrocities in Belgium 100 year ago are facts,as are the existence of Auschwitz and other such places .
     
  15. Hop

    Hop Member

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    Germany was a continental land based power. The UK and US were not. It's fairly natural that doctrine evolved differently. The Luftwaffe believed quicker results would be achieved in support of the army rather than in purely air operations.

    However, the Luftwaffe didn't neglegt strategic bombing. They compiled a list of targets to be attacked in the UK in the late 30s. Food storage targets were allocated the "56" target code, eg the Weaver flour mill in Swansea was target number 5650. How could a flour mill in Swansea, 400 miles from the German border, be anything other than a strategic target?



    The first RAF attack on German warships was on 4 September. I find it hard to believe that the massive German bombing of Poland over the preceeding days didn't result in any civilian casualties.



    The first Bomber Command operation after the start of the battle of France was an attack on Dutch airfields that had been captured by the Germans. That was followed by attacks on bridges just inside the German border. Attacks on industry came later.



    The Blitz wasn't part of an imminent invasion or ongoing ground operation. It was the German response to the same problem that caused the RAF to focus on strategic bombing. What's remarkable is that all the methods the RAF later used against Germany were pioneered by the Luftwaffe against the UK. Pathfinders, electronic aids, high proportion of incendiaries, de-housing etc were all part of the repetoire of the Luftwaffe in 1940/41.



    That's a valid argument. British policy at the start of the war was to ban all bombing of targets on land. Only warships a sufficient distance from land could be attacked.

    However, the RAF didn't begin bombing targets in Germany until after the Luftwaffe began bombing targets in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Luftwaffe flew strategic attacks against targets in French towns beginning on the night of 9/10 May. Were these attacks on cities, or on targets in cities?



    The RAF were not allowed to attack Wilhelmshaven at the start of the war. The orders to the bomber crews were specific: only warships a sufficient distance from land could be attacked. The Luftwaffe attacked targets on land in Scotland. James Isbister was killed when a bomb exploded in the road outside his house.



    The first night bombing of targets in Germany followed the first night bombings of targets in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. You can't pretend that RAF bombing was somehow different to what the Germans began on the night of 9/10 May.



    The Luftwaffe launched a large attack on targets around Paris on 3 June. Hundreds of bombers were involved, and about 100 civilians killed.

    The French responded by sending 1 bomber to attack Berlin on 7 June.



    There was a large difference in method.

    The first deliberate attack on London was the bombing of Croydon airfield on 15 August. 60 civilians in a soap factory close to the airfield were killed. A couple of days later the Germans bombed an electricity substation in Wimbledon, killing another 15 civilians. These were attacks on targets in the city, not attacks on the city itself.

    The first RAF raid on Berlin on the 25 August was aimed at targets in the city. The majority of bombers couldn't identify the targets, and brought their bombs back, as they were under orders not to jettison bombs over Germany.

    What happened on 7 September was very different. The target was no longer a factory, airfield or bridge, it was the city itself. Whereas British bombers were still under orders only to attack their assigned military/industrial targets, the Luftwaffe were told to bomb anything in London.



    No, there aren't. By the time the RAF dropped its first bomb on Germany the Luftwaffe had killed thousands of Poles, hundreds of Norwegians, tens of French, Belgian and Dutch civilians. And about 60 Germans in the town of Freiburg, which they bombed by mistake, thinking it was Dijon.

    In 1940 the RAF killed less than 1,000 German civilians. The Germans killed about 23,000 British civilians. In the whole of 1940, 1941 and 1942 the RAF killed about as many civilians as the Luftwaffe managed in September 1940.

    The Germans began the bombing of targets in western Europe, they also escalated small scale bombing raids into incendiary area attacks on cities.
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Air attacks on Belgian cities in may 1940 (the list is incomplete)

    Leuven : 101 dead

    Hannut and Namur : 52

    Charleroi : 80 +

    StNiklaas : 90

    Nivelles : 37

    Tournai : 100 +

    Lokeren : 54

    Antwerp and suburbs : 19

    province of Limburg : 210

    Oostende : 50

    Ypres : 200 +

    Veurne : 28

    Wevelgem : 18

    Poperinge : between 150 and 250

    The total number of victims could be 1500
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I would think that Italy's example would do almost as well.
     
  18. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The city of Leningrad was to be razed to the ground so what is the difference if it is bombs or shells
     
  19. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    What happened in Italy could not happen in Germany, Italy had a king that could, and did, legally delegitimize Mussolini, the officer corps swore fealty to the king not the fascist regime. That made the historical bloodless overthrow of Mussolini possible . Nothing similar could happen in Germany, the officers would be in a much greater moral quandary and there was no higher authority to oppose Hitler.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    But the implication was certainly there that replacing the Nazis and surrendering would likely mean at least reasonable treatment.
     
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