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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. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Hello Luftikus. I don't believe anyone said one life is worth more than another. The civilians have always been the hostages of war . They are much more than colateral damage. Wars are started by politicians who send their armies: the civilians pay the ultimate price.
    In the end there are mothers who moarn for their fallen loved ones and a crying mother has no nationality. May they al rest in peace :poppy:
     
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  2. Luftikus

    Luftikus Member

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    You are so right! Thank you!
     
  3. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Skip, please stay on-topic. This topic is entitled "Allied Terror bombing of Germany". The most of us claim that the attribute "terror" can not be justified.
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Now you are playing with my patience Tamino. Don't make me say what I did not say. I came here to settle things and you jump on me like I stole your favourite toy.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    As to your first sentence no one made that argument so either you misunderstood of it's a straw man.

    As regards to the second collateral casualties have been a constant in warfare and there is little way to eliminate them. In the last couple centuries efforts have been made to minimize or at least reduce them. However, especially when fighting a war of survival vs a regime like Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan winning is going to be the main goal of most regimes if they have any chance at it and a level of collateral casualties will be accepted to that end. If you look at the deliberations concerning some events such as dropping the atomic bombs you will find that there was indeed some considerable concern as regards to civilian casualties even for the opposing side at least among some of the powers. The fact remains that it was within the rules of warfare of the times and thus considered acceptable.

    By the way the term "Terror bombing" is considered by most here to be inappropriate because in the current vernacular it has come to mean activities (i.e. bombing) whose sole or at least main purpose was to produce terror. The allied bombing was aimed at the destruction or degradation of military and military support structures. That said I'm sure the raids did indeed result in many civilians undergoing truly terrifying experiences.
     
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  6. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    wrong question :it is no question of justification :all German cities were legitime military objects,the fact that there were civilians living in these cities is irrelevant .In the old days,the cities were attacked by artillery,causing a lot of civilian casualties,and in WWII they were attacked by aircraft and artillery,causing a lot of civilian casualties .

    Nothing did change,only the use of other weapons .
     
  7. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    In no way shape or form did the Allies devalue the lives of innocent men, women or children. On the contrary, it effected many airmen well after the war. This was not a tool of revenge, it was a strategic military campaign that had regretful consequences. Although, yes, I am an American, I am in no way biased towards the victors, I am a person who has a moral compass like the other members of this fine forum. I understand your feelings on the subject (especially when it hits close to home) and I respect your opinion on the matter, however, sheer numbers of those who perished in those regretful final months of the war do not quantify terror or lack of human decency on the part of the Allies.

    There were 5 extermination camps (not to mention numerous concentration sub camps with illegal slave labor and starvation) all designed and operated (and celebrated for swift functionality) with one purpose: murder. In addition, elite Aktion Reinhard killing squads and police with the sole purpose of murder. Also, the T4 euthanasia programme carried out murdering thousands of ethnic Germans. One cannot hide from the veil of evil that was demonstrated during the mass murder of 12 million innocents (and that is a rough figure) who were not a strategic objective other than to wipe them off the face of the earth. The "sh$! the Germans did" during the war was not combat related so it can never be argued in comparison.

    Bombing military targets was a necessity of war, which in duration should never have lasted up to the Spring of '45. Yes innocent people, too many, were killed as a result, which is a horror. However it was not the intent.
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Ah, yes, Tamino if you have issues with forum staff, you can address it with me privately.

    Giving this thread a cursory looking over, though, I would probably as likely ask you with the greatest of politeness to suck it up, Buttercup.
     
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  9. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Well said!
     
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  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Sometimes I'm a bit of a poet :S!
     
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  11. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    And didn't even know it....
     
  12. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    A real genius is seldom understood in its own time.
     
  13. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Or mind....
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Personally I still don´t get it why not change in certain point to bombing of oil refineries or ball-bearing factories. At some point revenge is done and like the BoB we know bombing civilians is not the answer or did Hitler win by BoB? If Hitler had concetrated the V weapons to invasion beaches the war might have seen a different angle, as well as if Hitler had made jet fighters instead of builtding bombers to attack London in 1944. Instead he wanted vengeange weapons. And by 1944 the German arms production figures were at peak, and soldiers in books say they desired to get back to front to kill Allied soldiers because their families were dead by bombing. I would not say that the morale of the soldiers was low due to bombing.
     
  15. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    I read that a lot of that had something to do with how a lot of German factories were moving underground because of the heavier bombing.
     
  16. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Instead, they should have build shelters for the civilians first.
    Another efficient solution to the problem was simple: unconditional surrender.
    What I wanted to say is that the destiny of the German civilians was exclusively in hands of the German government, a government elected by the German population and government fiercely supported by the German population. They have made a bad choice.
     
  17. dude_really

    dude_really Doesn't Play Well With Others

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    my contribution to this thread:

    I 've read only a couple of comments in beginning and few in the middle, but some/many people miss some pointers:


    1) Germany did not bombard civilian centres per sé in 1939-1940. If (SELECTED PART OF ) cities were bombarded (Warsaw, Rotterdam, etc) it was always under the pretext that there were enemy positions in those parts of town (Paris didnt get bombarded in 1940 ?!!). And there were ! (As a rotterdam native , I have learned to understand that eventually).
    Given that FLEET of He111 were NOT very accurate, it is understandable and an accepted form of 'collateral damage' (modern word, old habit, also with the brits, italians, etc) to go ahead with the bombard mission.
    UNTIL during the BoB when Luftwaffe focussed on military targets (as much as possible, given intelligence and clear sighting..CLOUDS in UK ?), it was the BRITISH RAF decided to bombard CIVILIANS in Berlin to make a stance. Nothing more than a target of frustration as Harris could not make a punch/use of his small ineffective bomber fleet.
    only THEN out of anger the Nazis took up the gauntlet and decided to bombard civilians for the reason of terrorbombing with he111 and in 44-45 with V1-V2.
    A factor of decision making in this is that the british decisionmakers probably remembered how the german zeppelins started bombarding London.
    Nevertheless, there is a clear causality between the 1st berlin bombing and all mayhem following it.


    2) Idolation of Hitler by not more than 30% of germans at its height in 1933/1935 ..or maybe after Austria anschluss (which politician would NOT reap benefits of a nonviolent anschluss??..N-Ireland, hmm?) is NO argument to assume that these germans wanted all the wars that followed, and should be punished with their civilian (NOT MILITARY) lives !
    You may assume these were ignorant simpleminded germans, and so are the gross majority of todays US population, but that is NO REASON to validate large scale civilian terrorbombardment or 9-11 for that matter.



    The thing to realise with these bombardments and Abomb throwing is that beside who started what, there should be a sense of limitation/restraint when one gets the upper hand, to stop.

    Imagine a school fight; boy A slaps you on the head, you struggle with him, finally you get him on the floor...you slap him, and again, then you stand up, and football kick him in the face, and again. and again, and again.
    Now, question your moral; is this just? is this legit ? Do you get approval from police and parents, when you say "well, HE started it.." ??

    To make the comparison more to realism; it should be ; boy A slapped you in the face and you decided to facekick the head of his sister.
    Understand the similarity now ?
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Harris did not command Bomber Command in 1940 and the attacks on British/Belgian and French cities started already before the attacks on London and on Berlin .Besides,the RAF did not decide to bombard civilians in Berlin in 1940:you can't select civilians to be bombarded .

    The simple fact was that if during WWII you attacked military objects,there were inevitably civilian casualties because the industries of the different warrying countries were concentrated in the cities
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The German targets from what I've read were not necessarily military targets but often industrial and logistics ones the same as the British. If you have sources that demonstrate that the British were targeting non military related targets prior to the Germans please source them?

    Was not the 1st Berlin raid aimed at military or military support targets though? By the same logic one could state that there was a causality link between earlier German raids and the one on Berlin as well.

    The objective of the allies was to end the war as quickly as possible with the minimum of casualties. Dragging it on could have been far worse.

    Poor analogy. A better one might be a bully walks up and slaps you in the face, you slap him back but he slaps you twice so you punch him and he slaps you again. At this point rather than letting the fight continue you kick him in the groin and end the fight. As long as he refuses to give you you keep going. Once the Germans surrendered the bombing stopped. Same with the Japanese.

    This is an even worse analogy. It simply has no bearing on the topic at hand.
     
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  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The first Berlin bombing was meant for the Tempelhof Airport, or actually I thought originally it was a mistake bombing, but anyway Hitler got angry and decided to bomb London to kingdom come after that. I am not going to argue with Harris´ strategy but if I had to be in charge of the lives of those pilots I´d want to end the war faster by destroying important military factories. Bob proved in my mind that he was wrong. Just like every general believes that 48-h hour artillery strike kills the enemy in their trenches and bunkers. History teaches us nothing like they say....
     
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