Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Sir Arthur Harris-Chief of Bomber Command-War Criminal?

Discussion in 'Sacred Cows and Dead Horses' started by pauledward, Feb 22, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    I'll be up front and say in one word answer to the posted title is Harris a war criminal............ NO. pretty simple and effective. gather all the reserach you want my postings from the first page have not changed in the slightest.
     
    Skipper likes this.
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,380


    Not about aviation ? So was Bomber Harris growing cabbage then ? :rolleyes:
    I'd appreciate You guys stop beating around the bush.

    Remember some of our members are Raf and Rcaf veterans. They really don't need to read this kind of discussion and when they are gone, if someone is going to defend Harris , it'll be me. And so I will educate my children too. Trends and political correctness will never erase the heroism of those RAF men who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
    There will always be someone to start a dead horse debate like this one , but as long I will live, the fallen RAF chaps may rest in peace and so can Bomber Harris . :poppy:
     
    Tamino and Gebirgsjaeger like this.
  3. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    289
    Skipper, only a blind, one legged fool can deny the heroism of the RAF, RCAF and not to forget the USAAF( not commanded by Sir A. Harris) and in that case i´m with you!

    My Grandmothers and my Mother in law and their family had been on the recieving end of the bomber fleets and they never said anything bad about them. They only blamed Hitler and the "Reichsjaegermeister" and their party for this sh§§.

    I think that you and others will know that i don´t like Sir Arthur Harris that much, but i´m fair enought to say that he and his men did only their jobs! And they did it good! So he and any single crewman deserves our respect. Enough said!
     
    SKYLINEDRIVE likes this.
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    Coming from a Bavarian this makes it even more relevant. Thank you Ulrich. I would have said the same for other nationalities. It took guts to fly those days, and flying was a passion and had nothing to do with politics.
     
  5. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    289
    You´re welcome Skipper! It was only fair.
     
    Skipper likes this.
  6. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    953
    I think most of us can agree Harris was not the nicest of folk...As to crimes though...If we do look to that....Raf in Iraq...Afghanistan...No not today...pre ww2...Italians Abyssinia...Germans...Guernecca..Japan pick your own Chinese city...all pre ww2...Zepplins ww1...went for cities not armanents etc...even in ww1...I do not think that much of Harris but a war criminal he was not.
     
  7. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,576
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    Whatever stasi tells, you're right. Everything has started in Guernica, Warsaw, Belgrade, Athens ...
     
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    WW2 bomb tennis games between England and Gemrany were actually a direct continuation of the WW1 bombings which were still deeply in the minds of soldiers and civilians from both sides during in 1939-40. After 1918, the Kaiser had been accused of allowing the bombing of civilian targets as early as 1915.

    " The Kaiser extended the, so far theoretical, ambit of the London raids in May 1915, allowing attacks anywhere east of the Tower of London. On 31 May, Captain Linnarz again commandedLZ.38 on the first London raid"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeppelin

    T
    he WW1 bombings were forgotten after the terrible WW2 ones, because the Zeppelin campaigns were in fact almost insignificant compared to the more modern ones, but the principle remains the same. If WW1 technology would have allowed massive bombings in 1915 against civilian targets, they would have taken place.
     
  9. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,700
    Likes Received:
    1,072
    It never ceases to amaze me that actions that caused massive destruction or deaths upon the antagonists, be they 'civilian or military', are constantly construed in an attempted to pass judgment as being "unfair". Like it or not the truth is, anyone who abets the ability to wage War is a target. If not for the production of material to supply the troops fighting on the front lines the soldier would be unarmed, unfed and a stagnant force of impotent strength. In my opinion, if a Nation goes to War - the entire Nation goes to war. When the United States joined the effort the Axis were not fighting just the 1% who stood in harms way but an entire Nation. There is no doubt if Germany had had the ability to bomb the massive manufacturing capabilities, which by the way was produced, maintained, & exploited by "Civilians" they would have. Same goes for Germany and Japan. You want a "Fair War"? Put all war manufacturing in isolated areas. Hide as best you can and employ only Military personnel.
    Maybe it would be a good idea if those who plan to invade another sovereign Nation think about the Civilian populations of both their own and the one they intend to exploit and plan accordingly.
     
  10. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    wish it could be true Biak but the innocents always and I mean always suffer the worst during combat engagement.
     
  11. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,700
    Likes Received:
    1,072
    Absolutely Erich, But many times there is a fine line of just who the innocent are. Say the innocent in Germany refused to work in a munitions factory; besides being labeled as traitors most would likely have been shot. If those same people are killed by the enemy it then becomes an atrocity wrought about by those who were attacked. Either way no one wins. As I said in another thread - There is no such thing as a 'Clean War".
    It seems that too many times if "your" side is winning National Pride carries the day, once your side loses the advantage the cries of indignation arise.
     
  12. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,755
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I agree Roger. No matter how you slice it, the innocent suffer. However, the government makes policy, and people buy into it. That said, the Allies at least attempted to redress the wrongs post-war. I don't think either Japan or Germany would have been as magnanimous.
     
  13. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,576
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    Excellent point of view!

    Bombing of Germany could have been instantaneously prevented just by the decision of Hitler. Only he could have stopped suffering of German people by accepting unconditional surrender but he wanted to wage his lost war until the last German. Hitler was a simple coward who postponed his imminent end by squandering lives of ordinary German citizens. The duty of RAF was to save British citizens; Führer's task was to save Germans. He and Göring failed nobody else.
     
  14. Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    5
    Oh dear!-the usual revisionist garbage about Arthur Harris, Dresden and alleged ''war crimes''-Firstly Dresden was a major industrial war centre when it was bombed containing over 200 Nazi war industries including making the fins for 'the ''Doodlebugs' which were indiscimatley killing British civilians in southern England at the time of the 1945 Dresden raid.
    My answer-especially to whining Germans or German -Americans as in this case is always the same. In 1939 just after war was declared, a proposal was put before the British war Cabinet to firebomb the German Black Forest. Sir Kingsley Wood a leading British Mnister said ''We can't do that!-it's private property!''
    Now to the original poster pray tell me the name of just one of Hitler's Nazi hierarchy who said ''We can't bomb Coven try, Rotterdam London Belgrade or Warsaw-they are private property...!''?
    Fact none of them ever did. What changed Sir Kingsley Wood;s mind was watching the Nazi Luftwaffe trying to exterminate London on December 28 1940 by firebombing when six Wren churches and countless ordinary Londoners lost their homes.
    My point the Nazi Luftwaffe started the area bombing of civilians -we the allies finished it so no German now or today has any grounds for valid complaint of any kind about the firebombing of Dresden Hamburg Pforzheim or any other Nazi German vcity wasted by Arthur Harris and Bomber Command.
    Simply my opinion ?-No the opinion also of the Burgomeister and Bishop of Hamburg Grmany who said during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the firebombing ofHamburg in 1993 -'' What happened to our forebears n July 1943 was deserved -the price our forefathers righly paid for supporting Nazism -so please spare us garbage about Arthur Harris that great , good and noble British patriot being a war criminal.
     
    Tamino likes this.
  15. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19,529
    Likes Received:
    2,372
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Unlike the completely arbitrary Baedekker Raids.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    and the circle is complete and we are having a thousandth Dresden thread again. Gentlemen this is leading nowhere. I think we all agree that saying Harris is war criminal would be Revisionism , so I suggest we all move on to other horizons and make a final conclusion to this thread.
    So unless some of you want to argue this over and over again, I will soon end this thread.
     
  17. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,640
    Likes Received:
    152
    Before you close this one down, Skipper, I would like a parting shot for posterity.

    "Bomber Command" was composed of aircrew and support staff from ALL OVER EUROPE.

    this campaign was not just about Britons 'getting their own back'.

    The Whirlwind was made up of vengeful individuals who came together for the simple purpose of finishing the thing and therefore being able to go back to what was left of their homes.

    Without German agression, there would have been no Poles, No Australians, no Frenchmen, No Canadians, no Yanks, no Dutchmen, no Belgians, no Norwegians, no Danes.

    If Harris is considered a war criminal, then all of these men who simply wanted to get home in the fastest way they knew, would be accessories to the fact.

    But they aren't. They and all the others that didn't make it home carried the war home to the laughing German people. If Albert Speer had the 'fear of God' put into him, then it's certain that Harris succeeded beyond his exspectations. We should have given Harris all that he asked for and MORE. It would, most certainly, have shortened the war.

    All this makes Harris and Bomber Command "MISUNDERSTOOD HEROES."

    Thanks Skipper.

    Chew on that, whinging people.


    BTW....If the atonal airs don't suit you, think of whatn it is you are actually complaining about.

    This is a SILENT means of communication. TONE is all 'in your head'. Just thought I would point out the bleeding obvious.
     
  18. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    By all means Volga, I precisley wanted to leav ethis open for those of you who wanted to add a final word..
     
  19. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    34
    If we want to find a more rational answer of the question if Sir Arthur Harris-Chief of Bomber Command was a War-criminal or much better if a bombing against civilian targets were war-crimes in thesence of the laws of war we should read the Hague Convention of 1899 and 1907 carefully. Both conferences included negotiations concerning the laws of war and war crimes. I read a lot of justifications for the bombing - I agree with some of them- but if we would try to analyse the bombing on the criterion of the Hague Convention we maybe have to consider another result ... maybe. Like I said before-it plays no rule if it was a bombing of LW or RAF, it plays no rule if it was Warsaw, Coventry, London, Hamburg or Dresden. And it plays no rule who bombed first ... I don´t agree if someone argued that there are no laws of war
     
  20. freebird

    freebird Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    54
    Sorry, but that's not at all what the intent of the Hague conventions was.
    When the Japanese executed nurses, civilians & the wives of servicemen in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaya & the Dutch East Indies the Allies were horrified and called it a war crime, but by your criteria it would be acceptable as they are citizens of a nation at war.

    There are different opinions if indiscriminate city bombing was morally justifiable, but as Harris was acting under direction of his superiors, the responsibility would ultimately rest with Churchill & FDR.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page