ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags war crime charges , winston churchill , World War II history

Reply
Old 21st November 2008, 06:58 PM   #1
moon1969
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,288
Winston Churchill a war criminal?

Is Winston Churchill a war criminal because of the Bombing of Dresden during WW2? Does that make him a war criminal?
moon1969 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2008, 07:10 PM   #2
geni
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
geni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28,185
Originally Posted by moon1969 View Post
Is Winston Churchill a war criminal because of the Bombing of Dresden during WW2? Does that make him a war criminal?
How would you suggest the bombing of Dresden was unlawful at that point?
geni is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2008, 01:04 AM   #3
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by moon1969 View Post
Is Winston Churchill a war criminal because of the Bombing of Dresden during WW2? Does that make him a war criminal?
Why is Dresden to be treated differently from any of the other many bombing raids conducted by Bomber Command? You do realize that the results at Dresden in Feb. of 1945 were a fluke, yes? Firestorms could not be created on command. If they could, then the RAF would have burned to the ground after Hamburg in 1943 another half-dozen or so German cities and quite possibly ended the war.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2008, 05:08 AM   #4
Zep
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 26,699
Read the history and writings of Air Chief Marshall Arthur Harris on the subject. Then get back to us.
Zep is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2008, 07:50 AM   #5
Gord_in_Toronto
Penultimate Amazing
 
Gord_in_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,647
Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Why is Dresden to be treated differently from any of the other many bombing raids conducted by Bomber Command? You do realize that the results at Dresden in Feb. of 1945 were a fluke, yes? Firestorms could not be created on command. If they could, then the RAF would have burned to the ground after Hamburg in 1943 another half-dozen or so German cities and quite possibly ended the war.
The "Crime of Dresden" is based on the theory that it was not a manufacturing centre and thus bombing it was a war crime because it was de facto an attack only against civilians. However, I remember a radio discussion of the bombing of Dresden on the radio a few years ago. Toward the end of the show a lady phoned in to say that she was working in a ball-bearing factory in Dresden at the time of the bombing and thus critical war components were being manufactured there. I suppose she could have been lying but, if Hitler wanted to make ball bearings, what better place to make them than a city that would "never be attacked"? Like he cared?
__________________
"Reality is what's left when you cease to believe." Philip K. Dick
Gord_in_Toronto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2008, 12:53 PM   #6
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 78,003
Originally Posted by moon1969 View Post
Is Winston Churchill a war criminal because of the Bombing of Dresden during WW2? Does that make him a war criminal?
As far as I am aware he was never charged with any such crimes by any of the international courts or tribunals that the UK recognised at the time (or that any significant group of countries recognised) never mind found guilty of such crimes so the answer is no.

Do you really mean to ask should he have been put on trial for his actions in regards to the bombing of Dresden in WWII? If that is what you mean exactly what laws or treaties do you think he broke?
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2008, 01:00 PM   #7
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
The "Crime of Dresden" is based on the theory that it was not a manufacturing centre and thus bombing it was a war crime because it was de facto an attack only against civilians.
I think it has more to do with the unusually high death toll from the raid. Had no firestorm happened, and the casualties from the raid been a more typical few hundred to perhaps a thousand or so, then Dresden would have gotten no special notice at all as it would have been no different from the hundreds of other raids.

Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Toward the end of the show a lady phoned in to say that she was working in a ball-bearing factory in Dresden at the time of the bombing and thus critical war components were being manufactured there.
There were a number of factories producing armaments or otherwise supporting the war effort in the city. So on that basis it could be targetted. Whether it was really militarily necessary to do so at that stage of the war is a separate question.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2008, 05:11 PM   #8
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
The death toll in Dresden was actually comparable with other raids - the stir about it has come about as a result of ridiculously exaggerated figures in the hundreds of thousands.

I am personally of the opinion that acts in World War Two have to be approached differently to any other war. The war was unique in so many ways, most distinctly it was total war, the nature of which renders every square mile of a country as a legitimate target.

There's a reason most of the war crimes convictions were for either the holocaust or the actual act of starting the war - it was recognised that the scale of destruction exhibited in World War Two was a unique characteristic of the nature of the war.
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2008, 12:45 AM   #9
Travis
Misanthrope of the Mountains
 
Travis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 22,991
I await a Santa Claus is covering for the evil Soviet's thread.

Even if Dresden had no war manufacturing it was a major railroad junction and destroying major infrastructure is a legitimate tactic. Many have speculated that Dresden was supposed to intimidate the rapidly approaching Red Army. However, as has been noted, firestorms were accidental flukes and not by design and any goal--with respect to the approaching Soviets--would have been to try and trap German forces (by destroying a vital transportation link) in front of the Soviet advance thus forcing the two to kill more of each other. More dead German troops are soldiers the UK and USA won't have to fight themselves and more dead Soviet soldiers are fewer that might take over Europe after the war.
__________________
"Because WE ARE IGNORANT OF 911 FACTS, WE DEMAND PROOF" -- Douglas Herman on Rense.com

Last edited by Travis; 23rd November 2008 at 12:46 AM.
Travis is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2008, 11:50 AM   #10
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,883
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
The "Crime of Dresden" is based on the theory that it was not a manufacturing centre and thus bombing it was a war crime because it was de facto an attack only against civilians. However, I remember a radio discussion of the bombing of Dresden on the radio a few years ago. Toward the end of the show a lady phoned in to say that she was working in a ball-bearing factory in Dresden at the time of the bombing and thus critical war components were being manufactured there. I suppose she could have been lying but, if Hitler wanted to make ball bearings, what better place to make them than a city that would "never be attacked"? Like he cared?
The Railyards at Dresden were critical in supplying the German Armies on the Eastern Front and , were, if anything, a more direct military target then the factories around Dresden,although there also were legitimate targets.

This 'Moral Equivlency' crap is driving me crazy.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2008, 12:04 PM   #11
Gurdur
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,873
Originally Posted by moon1969 View Post
Is Winston Churchill a war criminal because of the Bombing of Dresden during WW2? Does that make him a war criminal?

No and no.

But there are many Ukranian war-criminals.
Gurdur is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 01:27 PM   #12
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
The death toll in Dresden was actually comparable with other raids - the stir about it has come about as a result of ridiculously exaggerated figures in the hundreds of thousands.
I agree with the latter point. But in regards to the former, in terms of non-firestorm raids, the Dresden death toll was quite high. Compared to other firestorm-producing raids, however, the results were roughly typical.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 01:39 PM   #13
Darth Rotor
Salted Sith Cynic
 
Darth Rotor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 38,253
Originally Posted by moon1969 View Post
Is Winston Churchill a war criminal because of the Bombing of Dresden during WW2? Does that make him a war criminal?
No.

Next question?
__________________
Helicopters don't so much fly as beat the air into submission.
"Jesus wept, but did He laugh?"--F.H. Buckley____"There is one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth ... His mirth." --Chesterton__"If the barbarian in us is excised, so is our humanity."--D'rok__ "I only use my gun whenever kindness fails."-- Robert Earl Keen__"Sturgeon spares none.". -- The Marquis
Darth Rotor is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 01:51 PM   #14
Skeptic
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 18,312
When Hitler claimed, in 1943, that the bombing of Rome by the allies was a 'war crime', Churchill told Roosevelt: 'We must take this criticism seriously. It's certainly an expert's opinion'.
Skeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 02:57 PM   #15
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 35,398
It was a retaliation for the bombing of Coventry. The Germans started it.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 03:09 PM   #16
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 40,721
Moon, are you going to contribute? You have started a lot of threads lately without posting further.
__________________
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Sir Winston Churchill
lionking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 04:14 PM   #17
ravdin
Illuminator
 
ravdin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,985
Kurt Vonnegut said that only one person benefited from the firebombing of Dresden- himself. He estimated that he made about $5 from every person who was killed that day (presumably from sales of Slaughterhouse Five).

To answer the question in the OP: no.
ravdin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 04:18 PM   #18
Zep
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 26,699
On the other hand, Moon has a point. Let's say Churchill IS a war-criminal as a result of Dresden bombing. In that case, let's dig the old bastard up, try him, and hang him from the highest yard-arm, and stick his head on a pike on the ramparts!
Zep is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 04:25 PM   #19
George 152
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,012
[quote=Zep;4224323]On the other hand, Moon has a point. Let's say Churchill IS a war-criminal as a result of Dresden bombing. In that case, let's dig the old bastard up, try him, and hang him from the highest yard-arm, and stick his head on a pike on the ramparts!

There's going to be a lot of skeletons hung up then.
The Germans bombing of Dutch cities was a wind that reaped (for the German) the whirlwind of total war
George 152 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 04:58 PM   #20
plumjam
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,819
Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
It was a retaliation for the bombing of Coventry. The Germans started it.
I remember reading that in WWII it was the Allies (actually the British) who instigated the bombing raids on cities. Berlin was bombed during a low-point, more as a propaganda exercise than anything militarily useful, and Mein Fuhrer sought retaliation.
He was a lover of the architecture, bless him, and the same source reckoned that he referred to a Berlitz guide to Britain's most architecturally significant towns and cities (which he happened to have been reading at the time), in order to be able to exact maximum vengeance.
Coventry was one of them, which, apparently, prior to the bombing had quite a few nice old buildings.
I can't remember the source, it might have been Inside The Third Reich by Albert Speer.
Another thing in the Mein Fuhrer / Churchill war crimes smackdown event. I understand Hitler was vehemently opposed to the employment of any chemical/biological weapons on the battlefield. Whereas old Fatty Lispy Bulldog had specifically recommended, in writing, its use against Kurdish tribes.
Hitler's attitude came from having been on the western front in WWI and having seen its effects on those he regarded as mensch. This is actually a topic I find has been left rather undiscussed. Gassing soldiers in WWI had terrible effects, which Hitler witnessed, and therefore he forbade this type of warfare to his Generals.
Rather decent of the old chap, I think.

On the other hand... Hitler war criminal?, Churchill war criminal?
You'd have to side with the former, due mainly to his more rabid belief in a Darwinist world view.
plumjam is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 07:53 PM   #21
tomwaits
Master Poster
 
tomwaits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,288
Originally Posted by ravdin View Post
Kurt Vonnegut said that only one person benefited from the firebombing of Dresden- himself. He estimated that he made about $5 from every person who was killed that day (presumably from sales of Slaughterhouse Five).

To answer the question in the OP: no.
Vonnegut was a great writer, but not very perceptive on world issues. He tended to be apocalyptic...all the time.
tomwaits is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2008, 09:57 PM   #22
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
I remember reading that in WWII it was the Allies (actually the British) who instigated the bombing raids on cities. Berlin was bombed during a low-point, more as a propaganda exercise than anything militarily useful, and Mein Fuhrer sought retaliation.
The genesis and evolution of the Combined Bomber Offensive is much more complex than that, involving technological and operational limitations as well as competing strategic theories as to what bombing was supposed to accomplish.

The thing to ask those who consider Dresden a war crime is why is Dresden a war crime but apparently Hamburg and Kassel are not? The latter two never seem to get mentioned.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2008, 09:07 AM   #23
SDC
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,244
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
When Hitler claimed, in 1943, that the bombing of Rome by the allies was a 'war crime', Churchill told Roosevelt: 'We must take this criticism seriously. It's certainly an expert's opinion'.
If true, that's classic. Please provide the source. Thanks.
SDC is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2008, 09:11 AM   #24
SDC
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,244
Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
I remember reading that in WWII it was the Allies (actually the British) who instigated the bombing raids on cities. Berlin was bombed during a low-point, more as a propaganda exercise than anything militarily useful, and Mein Fuhrer sought retaliation.
Cut by me to this one point.

Please advise why widespread bombing of Polish cities by Germany, in September 1939, doesn't enter into this statement. I don't think the British (or anyone) bombed German cities till later.

I find that (always) galling. Somehow, what the Germans did to Poland is frequently ignored in this kind of discussion.
SDC is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2008, 09:58 AM   #25
Gord_in_Toronto
Penultimate Amazing
 
Gord_in_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,647
Originally Posted by tomwaits View Post
Vonnegut was a great writer, but not very perceptive on world issues. He tended to be apocalyptic...all the time.
Having survived the bombing of Dresden and seeing the destruction afterwards, I'm not to surprised. It is the sort of thing to have that sort of effect on one.
__________________
"Reality is what's left when you cease to believe." Philip K. Dick
Gord_in_Toronto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2008, 10:25 AM   #26
Giz
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,485
Hmmm, given that Churchill was enroute to a conference and Attlee (as deputy PM) approved the target then perhaps it should be "Is Attlee a war criminal?".

(The answer is still no)
Giz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th November 2008, 06:34 AM   #27
Ove
Master Poster
 
Ove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,945
Chuck Yeager has a wonderfull comment in his Biography. He is referring to some of the missions in the late war where the Fighters were given "Free Hunt" over Germany(Shoot at everything that moves) and at one point he remarks to one of his friends: "If we are going to do these things we better make damn sure we WIN this war".

I dont give s*** for second guessing and this is just that. The desicions Churchill took and for that matter the desicions Roosevelt and Truman took was taken during a war and the rules are a bit different. The bomber offensive was for a long period Britains ONLY way of fighting af the Germans and it was a very good morale booster to the Brits to know that Haris's boys was delivering "the whirlwind", besides how do you think the response had been in 1944 if the allies had invaded a country with a 100% intact industry and infrastructure?

But it WAS the Iatalians in Abyssinia who started "Terror Bombing" and Hitler continued in Spain. Remember the name "Guernica"? Trying to claim that Churchill invented strategic bombing is hype, or at best ignorance..
__________________
I am sitting here, completely surrounded by NO BEER.....
(Onslow)

Last edited by Ove; 26th November 2008 at 06:35 AM.
Ove is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th November 2008, 01:15 PM   #28
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by Ove View Post
The bomber offensive was for a long period Britains ONLY way of fighting af the Germans and it was a very good morale booster to the Brits to know that Haris's boys was delivering "the whirlwind", besides how do you think the response had been in 1944 if the allies had invaded a country with a 100% intact industry and infrastructure?
The only problem there is Harris himself. By 1945 Bomber Command had the ability to be as nearly as precise attacking at night as the USAAF was attacking in daylight. But Harris was an ideologue who steadfastly refused to accept the idea of precision bombing; he was convinced the only way to bomb and produce results was with area bombing.

He really should have been replaced with a more forward-thinking commander by 1945, but Harris' stature by that time was such that no one was willing to fire him.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th November 2008, 01:34 PM   #29
SDC
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,244
I think Moon1969 is just trying to throw dirt on Churchill. He has expressed outrage, more than once, that Churchill and Roosevelt didn't stop the Sovs from invading Finland in 1939. Never mind that Churchill wasn't PM (and I believe did try to build support for the Finns as best he could), and the US had no European expeditionary force (and almost no army).

Next we may hear that Churchill drank too much during the war, and Roosevelt philandered. Scoundrels all.
SDC is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th November 2008, 06:07 AM   #30
Ove
Master Poster
 
Ove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,945
Originally Posted by SDC View Post
I think Moon1969 is just trying to throw dirt on Churchill. He has expressed outrage, more than once, that Churchill and Roosevelt didn't stop the Sovs from invading Finland in 1939. Never mind that Churchill wasn't PM (and I believe did try to build support for the Finns as best he could), and the US had no European expeditionary force (and almost no army).

Next we may hear that Churchill drank too much during the war, and Roosevelt philandered. Scoundrels all.
I think you are right
__________________
I am sitting here, completely surrounded by NO BEER.....
(Onslow)
Ove is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th November 2008, 06:20 AM   #31
Ove
Master Poster
 
Ove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,945
Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
The only problem there is Harris himself. By 1945 Bomber Command had the ability to be as nearly as precise attacking at night as the USAAF was attacking in daylight. But Harris was an ideologue who steadfastly refused to accept the idea of precision bombing; he was convinced the only way to bomb and produce results was with area bombing.

He really should have been replaced with a more forward-thinking commander by 1945, but Harris' stature by that time was such that no one was willing to fire him.
I know that, he was a great follower of Douet's ideas BUT his refusal was primarely because he meant that presicion bombing would be too costly in lives, bomber crew lives that is. 617 squadron did prove him wrong but there is an element off truth in his words. 617 was experts, it was crews that had 1-2 tours of operations behind them and they trained a LOT. Most bomber squadrons were composed of fresh crews that came-flew their 25 missions and then went on to other duties, -if they survived. You simply had no time to train the crews to use the SABS bombsight.

But there is an interesting line of thought: What if the Brits had abandoned all heavies (except perhaps 617) and concentrated on building Mossies instead? The Mosquito could carry a 4000 pound "Cookie" far into Germany, hit its target VERY precisely and outrun the fighters on the way home. AND there would only 2 men in each crew compared to the 7 in Lancs. Now there's a thought.
__________________
I am sitting here, completely surrounded by NO BEER.....
(Onslow)
Ove is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th November 2008, 06:23 AM   #32
Cainkane1
Philosopher
 
Cainkane1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The great American southeast
Posts: 8,374
Actually since the bombing of Dresden had a terror factor the bombing did have a purpose. It showed the Germans that they weren't safe anywhere.
__________________
If at first you don't succeed try try again. Then if you fail to succeed to Hell with that. Try something else.
Cainkane1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th November 2008, 09:07 AM   #33
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 24,382
Originally Posted by Ove View Post
But there is an interesting line of thought: What if the Brits had abandoned all heavies (except perhaps 617) and concentrated on building Mossies instead? The Mosquito could carry a 4000 pound "Cookie" far into Germany, hit its target VERY precisely and outrun the fighters on the way home. AND there would only 2 men in each crew compared to the 7 in Lancs. Now there's a thought.
This used to be (may still be, I haven't been there lately) a regular argument on the military aviation Usenet group. The problem is that there's a certain amount of either/or in the qualities you list here. The Mosquito was certainly capable of extraordinary precision, but that was by virtue of low-level bombing, by day, and usually in small numbers. It was capable of outrunning fighters, but again that relied on small numbers, and the extra weight and drag of a Cookie may have made it vulnerable to fighters on the way to the target. Also, start sending 1,000 bomber raids over with Mossies and the night fighters don't have any Stirlings to concentrate on; how much do the Mossie losses go up? It's an attractive argument, but looked at in more detail it's far from certain this would have been an improvement. In terms of tonnage of bombs, Lancasters could carry over three times as much on twice the number of engines and half the number of pilots; most of the extra crewmen were gunners, easier to train.

B-17s are the other favourite topic, as they rarely carried more than 4,000lb on long range missions. In this case the tonnage dropped would be twice as much per engine, but it's been pointed out that unescorted Mosquitoes couldn't have caused the same attrition in the Luftwaffe fighter arm as the combination of B-17 gunners and Mustang escorts, which seems to have been a major, if perhaps unanticipated, fringe benefit of the USAAF daylight offensive.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th November 2008, 11:18 AM   #34
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by Ove View Post
I know that, he was a great follower of Douet's ideas BUT his refusal was primarely because he meant that presicion bombing would be too costly in lives, bomber crew lives that is.
To clarify, I meant precision bombing as practiced by the USAAF, that is, aiming for specific economic targets such as factories and oil refineries and trying to knock them out, rather than just bombing a city area in general. Bomber Command could have been used in this sort of precision bombing late in the war, but rarely was. This in spite of achieving an accuracy rate in the attack on the French railway network in the days before and after D-Day that often matched or even surpassed the 8th Air Force's. By 1945 Bomber Command's potential for accuracy was even better when the various electronic navigational networks were able to establish stations on the continent itself.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th November 2008, 11:54 AM   #35
Hubert Cumberdale
Muse
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 659
Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
To clarify, I meant precision bombing as practiced by the USAAF, that is, aiming for specific economic targets such as factories and oil refineries and trying to knock them out, rather than just bombing a city area in general. Bomber Command could have been used in this sort of precision bombing late in the war, but rarely was. This in spite of achieving an accuracy rate in the attack on the French railway network in the days before and after D-Day that often matched or even surpassed the 8th Air Force's. By 1945 Bomber Command's potential for accuracy was even better when the various electronic navigational networks were able to establish stations on the continent itself.
Hi. First Post.

I think there is a general consensus that the RAF were capable of hitting targets at night as least accurately as the USAAF by day. This due, as you say, to factors like H2S and oboe that were beyond a navigators wildest dreams in 1940.

The reason that the RAF couldn’t switch to precision bombing is that it would have meant admitting that area bombing wasn’t as efficacious as had been claimed. And area bombing was by that time so ingrained into the RAF's doctrine that such loss of face to the various individual and the collective ego would have been unthinkable.

The cost benefit analysis of the area bombing campaign is impossible to conduct in an objective and scientifically controlled manner. At least without the benefits of a time machine.

I do think though that there is a tendency to overlook the cost to the Nazis of area bombing in terms of the resources diverted to civil defence that could otherwise have been directed at the Eastern Front, or North Africa, or Normandy etc.... We are talking about enormous manpower commitments to fight fires and man anti-aircraft defences, huge numbers of 88mm guns that would of served Germany better shooting up T32s rather than pumping shells into her own skies and shift in production from bombers (offensive machines) to fighters (defensive machines). The scientific and technological capital the Germans expended on defending home skies was also massive.

Thanks for your time.
Hubert Cumberdale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th November 2008, 12:04 PM   #36
Undesired Walrus
Penultimate Amazing
 
Undesired Walrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 11,579
Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Hitler's attitude came from having been on the western front in WWI and having seen its effects on those he regarded as mensch. This is actually a topic I find has been left rather undiscussed. Gassing soldiers in WWI had terrible effects, which Hitler witnessed, and therefore he forbade this type of warfare to his Generals.
He did? Six Million dead Jews may have a different opinion.
__________________
Man's material discoveries have outpaced his moral progress. - Clement Attlee, 1945
Undesired Walrus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th November 2008, 03:37 AM   #37
Ove
Master Poster
 
Ove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,945
Originally Posted by Undesired Walrus View Post
He did? Six Million dead Jews may have a different opinion.
Touché.. -I thought precisely the same...
__________________
I am sitting here, completely surrounded by NO BEER.....
(Onslow)
Ove is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th November 2008, 03:45 AM   #38
Ove
Master Poster
 
Ove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,945
Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
I do think though that there is a tendency to overlook the cost to the Nazis of area bombing in terms of the resources diverted to civil defence that could otherwise have been directed at the Eastern Front, or North Africa, or Normandy etc.... We are talking about enormous manpower commitments to fight fires and man anti-aircraft defences, huge numbers of 88mm guns that would of served Germany better shooting up T32s rather than pumping shells into her own skies and shift in production from bombers (offensive machines) to fighters (defensive machines). The scientific and technological capital the Germans expended on defending home skies was also massive.

Thanks for your time.
Exactly, i think that that factor alone had a HUGE impact. Yes area bombing is a grizzly business but id did tie up an awfully lot of people that could have been used elsewhere. On the other hand the bombing of factories didn't exactly hinder the production, actually the war-production in Germany increased steadily until late 1944 and it was material shortage that in the end halted production, NOT bombing. One bombing offensive that did help though was the systematic destruction of Hitlers Fuel reserves. Most of Luftwaffe was more or less grounded from late 1944 due to fuel shortage.
Also the systematic destruction og transport helped a lot and that was shared equally between USAF at daytime and RAF at night, particularily my old friends from 617 did a lot to put railway marshalling yards and canals out of action.
BUT 617 is the exception that confirms the rule.
__________________
I am sitting here, completely surrounded by NO BEER.....
(Onslow)
Ove is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th November 2008, 05:10 AM   #39
ThatSoundAgain
Graduate Poster
 
ThatSoundAgain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,305
Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Another thing in the Mein Fuhrer / Churchill war crimes smackdown event. I understand Hitler was vehemently opposed to the employment of any chemical/biological weapons on the battlefield. Whereas old Fatty Lispy Bulldog had specifically recommended, in writing, its use against Kurdish tribes.
Hitler's attitude came from having been on the western front in WWI and having seen its effects on those he regarded as mensch. This is actually a topic I find has been left rather undiscussed. Gassing soldiers in WWI had terrible effects, which Hitler witnessed, and therefore he forbade this type of warfare to his Generals.
Rather decent of the old chap, I think.
Small tip: When referring to Hitler, don't use "mein Führer" unless you're very sure that's what you want to say. ("mein" means "my").
Quote:
On the other hand... Hitler war criminal?, Churchill war criminal?
You'd have to side with the former, due mainly to his more rabid belief in a Darwinist world view.
Nah, old Adolf's Christianity was a bit too progressive for my tastes. Since we're making a choice based on irrelevant single issues anyway.
ThatSoundAgain is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th November 2008, 10:07 AM   #40
Hubert Cumberdale
Muse
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 659
Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
I remember reading that in WWII it was the Allies (actually the British) who instigated the bombing raids on cities. Berlin was bombed during a low-point, more as a propaganda exercise than anything militarily useful, and Mein Fuhrer sought retaliation.
Err...Excluding Poland and Rotterdam... and I'd hardly call the hight of the battle of Britain a "low point". At least from the RAF's point of view, when pilots were being hacked out the sky faster than they could be rushed through some rudimentary training.
Hubert Cumberdale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:17 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.