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The Bombing of Germany

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Steve Petersen, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    If you immagine Fermi, Einstein and the other escaped Jews working for their country of origin the Allies are in big trouble.
     
  2. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    I always found it somewhat "sickly funny" how Hitler had everything he needed from square one was literally in his palm but his own mediocrity prevented him from getting his German empire that was a very real possibility.
     
  3. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    You´re both are so true on this topic!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  4. menright

    menright Member

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    With reference to the comment,

    "Now you will say" Oh my god, now he brings Dresden onto the plate!" Yes i will, because at this point it was not longer neccessary to bomb the cities. In late 44 and the few months of 45 there was nothing in the german industry to be afraid for."

    ___________________

    It seems the bombing of Dresden was much more a product of some geo-political bargaining with the Russians at Yalta in very early February 1945 than a Harris-driven event.

    It was a part - not the sole object - of a resurrected form of Operation 'Thunderclap', the main targets of which were Chemnitz, Dresden and Leipzig. 'Thunderclap' was mooted in the heady days of August the previous year, around the time the breakout was in full swing, to send a profound message: to the Germans and at the same time to the Russians.

    'Thunderclap' was designed for maximum mayhem. Whilst Harris is clearly implicated, it is worth noting that it was Portal who initiated the idea and pressed for it, aided by Churchill, who strongly supported it.

    I suggested a few posts back that the context of the times needs be balanced against the powers of hindsight. At the time of the mid-February raids on these and other cities incorporated in the 'Thunderclap' project, The Allies were not all that sure of victory, certainly not as sure as the quoted section above suggests. Operation 'Market Garden' had not delivered the promised turn into the Ruhr. The Ardennes Offensive had shaken Allied confidence further. German jet fighter technology was seen to be a new threat. V-2 rockets were still hitting England and very-recently liberated parts of Europe such as Antwerp.

    There was also Japan. Some estimates put its defeat out to 1946 or 1947.

    Dresden needs, I think, to be set against these factors rather than be employed as a single determining instance of profound injustice and indulgence.

    Michael
     
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  5. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Michael,

    there are some good points above, but they sure had some reports of the intelligence service about the shortages the Wehrmacht had and i am sure that they had good eyes to see what the Wehrmacht were able to do. At some spots they weren´t bad like at the Ardennes but if you will overlook the complete theatre, you can only see one direction into that the Wehrmacht moved, Backwards! Good, some say a enemy is fighting harder on his own territory but with what? A few tanks which hadn´t enough fuel, Artillery which often had not one complete set of ammo for a day, Soldiers that started to use enemies rifles for the lack of good made own ones and to less ammo? Or at last an Luftwaffe which was only a shadow of itself? Maybe that the Dresden Bombing was a political decision but the ones after and some before like onto the destroyed city of cologne were only a waste of bombs. That was like kicking in the face of an enemy that is on the ground and had no chance to defend himself.

    And to estimate the surrender of Japan in 1947 was not a masterpiece of work too!

    My opinion!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  6. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Ulrich,

    Yes, a fair observation on your part and thanks.

    Perhaps these matters will never find common ground.

    I have interviewed hundreds of aircrew, mostly Australian, involved in the air war over Europe. They too have a wide range of views. Several participated in the Dresden sequence. From their recollections, I get the impression that anything that ended the losses, the strain and the interruption the war had brought to their otherwise civilian lives was worth it. Just to end it.

    Regards,

    Michael
     
  7. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Michael,

    thank you for your fair way to see the other side!!!

    It would be interesting to read some of those reports. And to say the truth, if i were on your side during the WWII, i`ve seen it the same way. If it isn´t to much effort and of course if you would like to share them, then please send some of the reports of the crew men.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Location:
    London, England.
    'Nothing in German industry to be afraid of' in late 1944/early 1945.

    The last V-2 fell on London on March 27th, 1945. Friendly bombs ?
     
  9. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Ulrich,

    The full account was about 200,000 words and was edited to 75,000.

    That may be a bit of a large post!

    The alternative is at: Longueville Media - <h1>Flyers far away</h1>Australian aircrew in Europe during World War II

    Regards,

    Michael
     
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  10. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Hi Micheal,

    many thanks for the Link! It is a good reading and i am trying to get your book over here. Maybe that amazon has it. Thanks again for the good discussion, its always great to talk to an experienced man.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  11. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Martin,

    i meant that there was no chance for the Wehrmacht or Luftwaffe to develop new things in mass and quality to change the war. They had some things yes, but with an look to the numbers of production of the V2 and the few ready ones that were found by the allies at " Nordbau Dora" you can see that they were never important for winning the war or only to change the results of war.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  12. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    :( Nothing to find! Only oversea shipping for nearly the half price of the Book! Hope i can find it somewhere.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I disagree that Harris had no reasonto bomb cities in 1945. He was bombing cities since 1942,it was the only thing he could and would to .If he was not bombing cities in 1945,the alternative was to send Bomber Command on leave till the end of the war .
    Harris and Spaatz were looking at the post-war period,where an independant airforce (especially the bombers) would reduce army and navy in an auxiliary role .This only would be possible if the Bombers could prove the rightness of the Douhet theory;destroying traffic infrastructure and other tings would not benefit the bombers .
     
  14. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    must agree with Martin although the LW Nachtjagd was paltry by spring of 45 it still could put on a good show for the folks down below, the industry was still cranking it up and it needed to be terminated at whatever cost. And although the Soviets were knocking strongly on the eastern door of Germany the Germans were putting up stiff resistance like never before in the war to stop the red tide.
     
  15. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    LJAD,

    in 1945 it wasn´t neccessary to bomb cities for my opinion. It would have helped a lot too, to bomb the areas where the remaining german troops have been. Winston Churchill wrote a note to General Ismay and the British Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Air Staff of the direction:

    "It seems to me that the moment has come when the bombing of German cities to increase, only to terrorism, although other excuses are given, should be reconsidered. Otherwise, we will control a devastated land ... The destruction of Dresden, the execution of Allied bombing raids from now on seriously in question. ... I need look for a more precise focus on military targets ... instead of mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, such as imposing this also may be. "

    And for Dresden, they dropped 3.163 tons of busting bombs(SP?) and 711 tons of phosporic bombs from 13th til 15th feb. 1945. Seems to be enough for that city.

    Dont take me wrong, i am not one of the guys which are saying that this was a warcrime, no but it wasn´t really neccessary to do.

    And to bomb cities for the reason that otherwise the bomber crew´s were unemployed or bored to death mmh.....

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  16. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Good point Erich, but to destroy the NJG´s abilitys it were good to destroy the airfields and the facilities the FuMG´s and so on. There are statistics to find, that say that the areal bombing wasn´t so successful in destroying the industry as they should have been.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    remember Ulrich the concept of putting industrial might underground and of course the German made every use of the land to conceal little secrets besides strafing everything by day/night to pieces. Agreed Dresden and Pforzheim were a waste of human life for the little effects to none on the German industry but that is another defunct thread we must leave way behind us..........
     
  18. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Yep, agree Erich! In my opinion were the bombings until an specific point neccessary and that pointwas reached in Dezember 44. After that the bombing of cities to break the will of the citizens weren´t neccessary or helpful. From January 45 on, it would have been much better to bomb the strategical more important points like Airfields, Railways, Depots and so on. Thats the way i had acted maybe wrong but my way.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    of course,it was not necessary (from a military POV) to bomb the German cities in 1945,and,IMHO,the area bombings were ,from a military POV,senseless .But for Harris ,the area bombings had as aim that the Douhet theory was right:that the destruction of Dresden would result in the collaps of Germany .And,if it didn't,Harris would destroy another city,and another,and another,...After Dresden,there was Pforzheim,the destruction of which was totally senseless .
    I know the letter of Churchill(written after Dresden),but Harris did not care,he totally was out of control:he would destroy every German village to prove he was right .
     
  20. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    LJAD,

    Thats correct! He wasn´t any longer under control. Spaatz had knewn this too and i read a lot of reports of the USAAF bomber pilots which had dropped their bombs at another target than the ordered one. A human gestureduring inhuman times!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     

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