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Tags war crime charges , winston churchill , World War II history

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Old 28th November 2008, 10:47 AM   #41
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by Ove View Post
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.
Well this is the problem with analysing the results of an operation. We cant do it in a scientifically controlled manner without travelling back in time and having a re-run sans area bombing.

To address the point - Its important to remember that the RAF's bombing effort didnt really take off (literally as well as figuratively) until the Cologne raid in May 1942. Up until then, most raids had been a hundred or so twin-engined medium bombers Wellingtons dropping their bombs in random fields. May have irked some Belgian turnip farmers but hardly did much damage to the German economy.

It was only really in 1943 that regular large scale raids with heavies (Lancasters and Halifaxes) became possible. This is directly relevant to the fact that "war-production in Germany increased steadily until late 1944" If it had been possible to stage such raids as early as 1940, who knows what would have happened to German industrial production for the remainder of the war.

Also, its often stated that "German city X was bombed in May and by July, 80% of production had been restored" as a way of poo-pooing the effect of a raid. However what would have happened if there had been no raid? The production rate by July would have been maybe 110%? So when saying "war-production in Germany increased steadily until late 1944" we also need to ask how much more production would have increased by if no raids had taken place.

Against all of this needs to be weighed the cost. I read somwhere that Bomber Command constituted 5% of British personell but 25% of casualties. Aircrew, particularly pilots and navigators were Britain's best and brightest. Their loss cost the war effort dear. Also, a 4-engined heavy was an expensive piece of kit. It had four Merlins for a start. How many tanks, how many corvettes could you build for the price of one night's bomber losses?

Perhaps these resources would have been better spent eslewhere. I guess we'll never know.

Thanks for your time.

Last edited by Hubert Cumberdale; 28th November 2008 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Missing words
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Old 28th November 2008, 09:32 PM   #42
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If the OP's quesion specifically relates to the bombing of Dresden, then no, it was not a war crime on the western Allies' part. The Sovs had actually demanded the western Allies carry out the bombing on the basis that Sov intelligence thought that there would be a large-scale German troop movements by rail through the city that night. This proved to be incorrect--the trains coming through Dresden on the night in question were transporting German refugees fleeing the Soviet army--but that fault is the GRU's, not the RAF's and USAAF's. The Sovs heavily downplayed their involvement in the Dresden bombing because Dresden was going to be in their zone of occupation, so it served their interests to pretend the fault was entirely the British and Americans'.

There were other reasons Dresden got hit, and hit as hard as it was, though these are somewhat ancillary. One is that Dresden was one of the few large German cities that the Allies hadn't bombed yet. Admittedly, that's not a very good reason in and of itself, but it also has to do with the fact that by February 1945, it was obvious to all parties involved not suffering from massive delusional psychoses (like Hitler) that Germany was going to lose, and everybody on the Allied side was getting extremely frustrated that the Germans were continuing to fight (and inflict casualties on the Allies) for what everybody already knew was a lost cause. The Allies didn't have a lot of sympathy for, or empathy with the German people at the time, and really, there was no good reason for them to have done so.

Another reason why the Dresden bombing is something of a manufactroversy is that the death toll has been massively inflated for a very long time. The figure of 100,000 dead has been commonplace, even 250,000, rising to even 500,000 in infrequent cases. These figures have, however, mostly been based on speculation and/or Nazi and communist fabrication, and actual research now indicates that the death was more likely around 18,000, and certainly no higher than 25,000. In this regard, Dresden was unremarkable.
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Old 29th November 2008, 03:20 PM   #43
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Yes the so called American WW2 heroes are all war criminals
War crimes of Winston Churchill:
Bombing of Dresden
Operation Keelhaul

War crimes of FDR
Bombing of Dresden
Operation Keelhaul
Chenogne massacre
Dachau massacre
Biscari massacre

War crimes of Harry Truman
Hiroshima and Nagasaki

How does it feel when the so called heroes of WW2 are nothing but war criminals? Dwight D. Eisenhower started the Vietnam War.
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Old 29th November 2008, 09:53 PM   #44
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Moon- are you a fascist? nazi sympathizer?
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Old 29th November 2008, 11:49 PM   #45
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by Euromutt View Post
manufactroversy
I like that word.
Can I take a copy home with me?
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Old 30th November 2008, 01:44 AM   #46
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The only "war crime" you list that should seriously be considered is Truman's authorization of the A-bombs, but there certainly is a case to be made for the necessity of those bombings.

Listing the "Dachaue massacre" as a war crime of FDR is ridiculous. It's easy to believe that some Americans got carried away when they saw the condition of the prisoners and executed guards who surrendered, but no one above the commanding officer at the site was responsible for that.

World War II was a dirty, nasty, hellish time. I'm glad I never had to make the decisions the leaders and soldiers there had to make. Moon, we've got no problem with taking a critical look at history, but unfounded, unsourced accusations don't make for meaningful debate.
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Old 1st December 2008, 02:20 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
The only "war crime" you list that should seriously be considered is Truman's authorization of the A-bombs, but there certainly is a case to be made for the necessity of those bombings.

Listing the "Dachaue massacre" as a war crime of FDR is ridiculous. It's easy to believe that some Americans got carried away when they saw the condition of the prisoners and executed guards who surrendered, but no one above the commanding officer at the site was responsible for that.

World War II was a dirty, nasty, hellish time. I'm glad I never had to make the decisions the leaders and soldiers there had to make. Moon, we've got no problem with taking a critical look at history, but unfounded, unsourced accusations don't make for meaningful debate.

Sorry but i don't think Moon is interested in a meaningful debate he is clearly a man with a mission, -unfortunately it is a rotten mission.
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Old 1st December 2008, 05:08 AM   #48
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You have to pick your battles:

First you convince the remaining holdouts that Hitler, Stalin, and Hirohito (and company) were war criminals.

Then you get started on FDR - this is a big one.

And then the riff raff (and their colonies too).
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Old 1st December 2008, 03:47 PM   #49
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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.

Some numbers can be put to that. Quoting from The Crucible of War 1939-1945 - The Official History of the Royal Canadian Air Force - Volume III by Brereton Greenhous, Stephen J. Harris, William C. Johnston, and William G.P. Rawling:

Quote:
Of much greater significance... was the extent to which the bomber offensive against Germany constituted a 'Second Front' long before the Allied invasion of Northwest Europe, and even when only Bomber Command was heavily involved in it. In terms of manpower alone, the Germans used between 500,000 to 800,000 workers to repair bomb damage and organize the dispersal of vital industries, labourers who could otherwise have been involved in the direct production of war material, while the Flak arm required some 900,000 men in 1943 and was still 656,000 strong in April 1945 — many of whom might otherwise have played a significant part in the ground war.

The enemy was also forced to allocate considerable equipment to air defence. In March 1942, as the German army was fighting critical battles in Russia and Bomber Command had not yet launched its first 'thousand' raid or its initial battle of the Ruhr, there were already 3,970 heavy Flak guns deployed around German cities which could have been made into mobile artillery or bolstered anti-tank defences in the east. By September 1944 that number had grown to 10,225. Indeed, according to Albert Speer, of the 19,713 88-millimetre and 128-millimetre dual-purpose Flak/anti-tank artillery pieces produced between 1942 and 1944, only 3,172 could be allocated to the army for use in the anti-armour role because of the pressure from air attack. Similarly, the threat posed by Bomber Command's night raids meant that the German night fighter force accounted for a consistently increasing percentage of Luftwaffe front-line strength — more than 20 per cent of the total by December 1944. Several hundred of those on strength in late 1943 and 1944 were machines which could have been used to great advantage in other roles on other fronts.



Originally Posted by Ove View Post
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...

Well, there are several reasons for that. One of them is that, for quite a long while, the German economy had not been fully converted to a total war footing, and thus there was a lot of slack which was removed. Another was the response to the bombing itself, by dispersing factories and by moving some production underground or to other hard-to-hit locations.



Originally Posted by Euromutt View Post
There were other reasons Dresden got hit, and hit as hard as it was, though these are somewhat ancillary.

Again, it should be noted that the only reason why the raid on Dresden was unusual was because of the creation of a firestorm. Remove that, and the raid becomes much less destructive, both in terms of property and human casualties. Without the firestorm, the results at Dresden would have been no different than the hundreds of raids conducted on other German cities, and thus there would be nothing special about it. The attack itself was conducted in the same way as many prior raids by Bomber Command, carrying the same typical mix of incendiary and high explosive bombs. No special efforts or techniques were undertaken in the mission.

Bomber Command could not create firestorms at will. They were instead the product of unpredictable and rare circumstances (there were perhaps eleven firestorms created during all of WWII).


Originally Posted by Euromutt View Post
Another reason why the Dresden bombing is something of a manufactroversy is that the death toll has been massively inflated for a very long time... actual research now indicates that the death was more likely around 18,000, and certainly no higher than 25,000. In this regard, Dresden was unremarkable.
Well, in terms of casualty totals from a raid, the number is certainly high compared to non-firestorm raids. But when compared to other firestorm-producing raids, the numbers are about typical.



Originally Posted by moon1969 View Post
Yes the so called American WW2 heroes are all war criminals
War crimes of Winston Churchill:
Bombing of Dresden

War crimes of FDR
Bombing of Dresden

You have still failed to explain why Dresden is a war crime but Hamburg and Kassel are not. Or, indeed, why any other raid on any other German city was not a war crime. Why is Dresden a special case?
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Last edited by Corsair 115; 1st December 2008 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 1st December 2008, 06:02 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Undesired Walrus View Post
He did? Six Million dead Jews may have a different opinion.
No doubt he did not consider them deserving of the same respect as enemy soldiers, in his hatred.

I consider the genocide to be an offense greater than war crimes--but it is interesting to ask whether he engaged in war crimes as well...
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Old 2nd December 2008, 12:35 AM   #51
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The bombing of Dresden wasn't really different from other bombings. The question remains if these large bombing raids late in the war were still necessary especially when historic city centers and no industrial areas were targeted. Another example is the destruction of Würzburg on 16. March 45.

On the other hand the destruction of Dresden saved the lives of some of the remaining jews there. There were to be deported and supposedly killed the next days. Some of them could flee and hide during the chaos. One of them was Viktor Klemperer who wrote a very interesting diary about the "normal" jewish life in nazi germany.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Klemperer
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Old 2nd December 2008, 01:01 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
No doubt he did not consider them deserving of the same respect as enemy soldiers, in his hatred.

I consider the genocide to be an offense greater than war crimes--but it is interesting to ask whether he engaged in war crimes as well...


I think one of the most fascinating, and frightening, things about Germany and WW2 was that they weren't a mindless bunch of psychotic murdering monsters. The same soldiers that so happily slaughtered Jewish civilians and abused Soviet POWs were the ones that displayed acts of great respect and comradeship to other soldiers and civilians caught up in the war. There's a lesson in that.
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Old 2nd December 2008, 01:29 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I think one of the most fascinating, and frightening, things about Germany and WW2 was that they weren't a mindless bunch of psychotic murdering monsters. The same soldiers that so happily slaughtered Jewish civilians and abused Soviet POWs were the ones that displayed acts of great respect and comradeship to other soldiers and civilians caught up in the war. There's a lesson in that.
This happens on every side in every conflict. Nobody really cares about the enemy. The Germans didn't care about anybody else and nobody else was caring about the Germans. To stop a factory you could either destroy the factory or the people working there. The bombing raids tried to reach both goals.
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Old 8th December 2008, 11:25 AM   #54
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Corsair - assuming those figures are correct - they are simply astounding!

Quote:
while the Flak arm required some 900,000 men in 1943 and was still 656,000 strong in April 1945
And

Quote:
there were already 3,970 heavy Flak guns deployed around German cities which could have been made into mobile artillery or bolstered anti-tank defences in the east. By September 1944 that number had grown to 10,225. Indeed, according to Albert Speer, of the 19,713 88-millimetre and 128-millimetre dual-purpose Flak/anti-tank artillery pieces produced between 1942 and 1944, only 3,172 could be allocated to the army for use in the anti-armour role
That really is opinion changing data. Imagine another half a million troops and/or 16,000 anti tank guns!
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Old 24th December 2008, 05:07 AM   #55
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2WW was initiated by the British in 1926 and it took 13 years to get going. Churchill wanted war and yes even though he is in our family tree(outer limb) he was a war crim. The victors always make it sound good for themselves. He used to stand in his back garden yelling and shaking his fist at the sky "Why won't they come" If Germany was so bad why did Hilter hold his Army back letting the british troops escape at Dunkirk.?
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Old 24th December 2008, 05:11 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Old Bob View Post
2WW was initiated by the British in 1926 and it took 13 years to get going. Churchill wanted war and yes even though he is in our family tree(outer limb) he was a war crim. The victors always make it sound good for themselves. He used to stand in his back garden yelling and shaking his fist at the sky "Why won't they come" If Germany was so bad why did Hilter hold his Army back letting the british troops escape at Dunkirk.?
Well that is certainly very convincing. Any iota of that thing called evidence?
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Old 25th December 2008, 03:56 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Well that is certainly very convincing. Any iota of that thing called evidence?
Gord this is me I don't do evidence (according to the list) just facts. The 1926 declaration (a copy) signed by King George V. and the US President. I am sure it was dikum. No doubt it could be sourced out of records. And the stories of how unstable Churchill was comes down the family even though he is on the edge of out family tree. The Gothenburgs (changed to the House of Windsor) are the crims also, and still are.
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Old 25th December 2008, 04:36 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Old Bob View Post
Gord this is me I don't do evidence (according to the list) just facts. The 1926 declaration (a copy) signed by King George V. and the US President. I am sure it was dikum. No doubt it could be sourced out of records. And the stories of how unstable Churchill was comes down the family even though he is on the edge of out family tree. The Gothenburgs (changed to the House of Windsor) are the crims also, and still are.
Since Bob will not be happy until somebody actually comments (and I suspect that this was the main purpose of his posts on this thread anyway, outside of the basic fact that he is an attention whore) , I suppose I might as well, and then maybe he will shut up about the subject:

"WOW! Old Bob - You have Winston Churchill in your family tree" We are all incredibly impressed by this and from now on we will treat you with the respect you deserve"

There - your 15 seconds of fame. Happy now Bob?

Norm

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Old 25th December 2008, 04:39 PM   #59
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To what declaration do you refer? The 1926 Balfour declaration, or something else?

Gothenburg is in Sweden not Germany. I assume you mean Saxe-Coburg Gotha.

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Old 25th December 2008, 06:18 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
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.
(a curious factoid: some japanese were convicted as war criminals for their use of water boarding during WWII.)
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Old 25th December 2008, 08:22 PM   #61
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Norm, do you ever contribute anything worth while ? Did you get upset at me spilling a few Mason bits in another thread? Churchill was a Mason, maybe the cult rituals affected him. Have you done the nude coffin bit yet Norm?. I suppose you know what W.C. said regards Australia, "let the Japs take Australia we'll get it back later" Wouldn't that have been nice. Also I'm not proud to have W.C. anywhere on our family tree but stated so as to legitimise that I would know a few things he said and done. Agatha, no I mean Gothenburg as the Royal family name, they changed it to Windsor in the very early nineteen hundreds. A German name was a no no then. The doc. I saw was a declaration of war against Germany dated 1926 admitting that it was a copy but thats how far ahead things are planned. Embargo's were put in place and Germany was pushed into war. Much of what we are told is warped to suit, just read a news paper.
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Old 25th December 2008, 08:50 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Old Bob View Post
Norm, do you ever contribute anything worth while ? Did you get upset at me spilling a few Mason bits in another thread? Churchill was a Mason, maybe the cult rituals affected him. Have you done the nude coffin bit yet Norm?. I suppose you know what W.C. said regards Australia, "let the Japs take Australia we'll get it back later" Wouldn't that have been nice. Also I'm not proud to have W.C. anywhere on our family tree but stated so as to legitimise that I would know a few things he said and done. Agatha, no I mean Gothenburg as the Royal family name, they changed it to Windsor in the very early nineteen hundreds. A German name was a no no then. The doc. I saw was a declaration of war against Germany dated 1926 admitting that it was a copy but thats how far ahead things are planned. Embargo's were put in place and Germany was pushed into war. Much of what we are told is warped to suit, just read a news paper.

Dear Old Bob,

Did you like the new bong we left for Christmas?

Sincerely,
Santa and the Elves


What the Hell are you talking about? Churchill was not in power in 1926, nor was Hitler, nor Roosevelt, nor Mussolini, nor Franco... Just who the Hell did they declare war on? And I assume that even in Moolawoogawarra you know that the King of England cannot just decide to declare war in secret or in the open (and could not in 1926), and I do believe that in the USA, we'd have heard if Calvin Coolidge went and declared war on "an as yet unrisen foe, to be named later".

And there is no such thing as the House of Gothenburg. As already noted, it was the House of Saxe-Coburg, and they openly changed the name because of anti-German sentiment in 1917.
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Old 25th December 2008, 09:14 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Dear Old Bob,

Did you like the new bong we left for Christmas?

Sincerely,
Santa and the Elves


What the Hell are you talking about? Churchill was not in power in 1926, nor was Hitler, nor Roosevelt, nor Mussolini, nor Franco... Just who the Hell did they declare war on? And I assume that even in Moolawoogawarra you know that the King of England cannot just decide to declare war in secret or in the open (and could not in 1926), and I do believe that in the USA, we'd have heard if Calvin Coolidge went and declared war on "an as yet unrisen foe, to be named later".

And there is no such thing as the House of Gothenburg. As already noted, it was the House of Saxe-Coburg, and they openly changed the name because of anti-German sentiment in 1917.
Well I did ask Ol' B for evidence -- I gather there isn't any in the Universe most of us inhabit. :snicker:
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Old 25th December 2008, 10:22 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Dear Old Bob,



war on "an as yet unrisen foe, to be named later".

And there is no such thing as the House of Gothenburg. As already noted, it was the House of Saxe-Coburg, and they openly changed the name because of anti-German sentiment in 1917.
Sorry your right memory lapse, but it was a German name. But the secret docurment was signed by the UK & USA which gave W.C. his war in 1939, isn't that the subject.? Bong was nice, thanks.
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Old 25th December 2008, 11:12 PM   #65
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Winston Churchill had a hand in some of the botched naval maneuvers in WW1 I believe, I seem to remember him running 6 or 7 battleships into a minefield off the coast of Turkey or something like that. Galipoli maybe? At worst he could be cited for imcompetence there.

Part of the industrial bombing strategy was to make sure that the workforce didn't get to the factories, so, while they may not have blown up the critical area of a plant, they could make it extremely treacherous for an employee to get to the plant. I think the book I read that in is called "Flying Fortress", But I also read an 8th air force book recently and can't remember the name of it.
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Old 25th December 2008, 11:23 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Old Bob View Post
2WW was initiated by the British in 1926 and it took 13 years to get going. Churchill wanted war and yes even though he is in our family tree(outer limb) he was a war crim. The victors always make it sound good for themselves. He used to stand in his back garden yelling and shaking his fist at the sky "Why won't they come" If Germany was so bad why did Hilter hold his Army back letting the british troops escape at Dunkirk.?
Churchill wanted war? or he wanted to enforce the treaty that the Germans had no intention of adhering to? Could it not be argued that he was trying to prevent a World War type scenario, by trying to engage a then-weaker Germany, and enforce the treaties that were being ignored?

As far as the Germans not closing the Dunkirk deal, Is that a rhetorical question? or do you really know some reasons? Because I am thinking of a few reasons they didn't Destroy the Dunkirk Evacuation.
1. Beachhead Under Air Protection from Brit. Isles
2. Ineffective German naval resources in the area
3. Lack of heavy armor for final assault, The blitzkrieg troops/tanks were made for dynamic battles of large movements, fighting a dug-in enemy w/backs to the beach, is no place for light tanks

Am I forgetting any?
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Old 26th December 2008, 01:29 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Churchill wanted war? or he wanted to enforce the treaty that the Germans had no intention of adhering to? Could it not be argued that he was trying to prevent a World War type scenario, by trying to engage a then-weaker Germany, and enforce the treaties that were being ignored?

As far as the Germans not closing the Dunkirk deal, Is that a rhetorical question? or do you really know some reasons? Because I am thinking of a few reasons they didn't Destroy the Dunkirk Evacuation.
1. Beachhead Under Air Protection from Brit. Isles
2. Ineffective German naval resources in the area
3. Lack of heavy armor for final assault, The blitzkrieg troops/tanks were made for dynamic battles of large movements, fighting a dug-in enemy w/backs to the beach, is no place for light tanks

Am I forgetting any?
Direct order from Hilter who said "let them escape" As far as I know no air cover and civilian boats picked up lots of troops from the beach while the Germany armies stood back. Hitler didn't want war with England, but England makes a living out of hu-man misery.
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Old 26th December 2008, 02:03 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Old Bob View Post
Direct order from Hilter who said "let them escape" As far as I know no air cover and civilian boats picked up lots of troops from the beach while the Germany armies stood back. Hitler didn't want war with England, but England makes a living out of hu-man misery.
I see. And, of course, you have no evidence of this (Just, as you so wonderfully call it, "facts"... methinks you don't know what that word means)...

And England makes a living out of "hu-man misery", but the guy that urged on the murder of 11 million people was totally a humanitarian.

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Old 26th December 2008, 04:49 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Old Bob View Post
But the secret docurment was signed by the UK & USA which gave W.C. his war in 1939, isn't that the subject.?
A genuine document such as you describe would turn the history of the 1920s upside down.

Given Calvin Coolidge's support for the Kellogg-Briand pact, for him declare war (on whom?) in 1926 would be quite remarkable.

And where was this document signed? Did Coolidge travel to Britain or did King George V travel to America?

Does this document exist outside your imagination, Bob?
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Old 26th December 2008, 05:03 AM   #70
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Folks, I suspect Bob is genuinely believing what he says here. It's all in his head, but it is all REAL in his head, if you get my drift.
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Old 26th December 2008, 05:06 AM   #71
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Wow. Interesting thread.

Moon, like so many of his threads of late, walks into a room and takes an intellectual crap right on the floor and leaves it for all to see.
He does come back to check on it later...possibly to admire the stench and see how many people are covering their noses in horror.

Most everyone comments on how bad it smells and wonder why somebody would do that.

Along comes OldBob who picks it up, admires it, and sculpts a mountain out of it like Dreyfus in CEOT3K.

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Old 26th December 2008, 07:44 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post

1. Beachhead Under Air Protection from Brit. Isles
2. Ineffective German naval resources in the area
3. Lack of heavy armor for final assault, The blitzkrieg troops/tanks were made for dynamic battles of large movements, fighting a dug-in enemy w/backs to the beach, is no place for light tanks

Am I forgetting any?
Well, the thing is when people think of Dunkirk, they look at it from the hindsight point of view instead of the point of view of the German high command at the time. If we re-focus to the alternate view point we see:


1. Our primary goal is to defeat the French army and conquer France
2. We have driven a wedge straight to the sea, dividing the British and Belgian from the French army.
3. The British and Belgians are trapped between our armies and the sea, they are too weak to break out and threaten our northern flank
4. Thus they no longer pose a threat to the invasion of France
5. The ground around Dunkirk is 'bocage'. Small fields, dense hedgerow and ditches. This is totally unsuitable for tanks.
6. Experience in Poland has shown that built up areas are death-traps for tanks
7. The majority of our army is horse-drawn. We have only a few panzer divisions
8. It is inconceivable that even a small fraction of the BEF could be rescued by an improvised evacuation in the few days it would take for our non-motorised troops to pinch out their pocket of resistance.
9. All heavy equipment would in any case have to be abandoned by the BEF. They will loose all their trucks, armour and guns.
10. The majority of France remains unconquered, as does the French army and air force. These are our primary objectives and also the primary threat to Germany.

- Given the above, it would be unnecessary and imprudent to risk a panzer division to take Dunkirk. It would be better to assign Dunkirk to our non-motorised troops and re-direct the panzer division to continue the invasion of France.


Point 8 is particularly salient. Even the British did not anticipate the rescue of more than 50,000 troops. The Germans would have thought that number greatly exaggerated. Its not called the "Miracle of Dunkirk" for nothing.

As things were it was bad enough. Although the majority were evacuated, the entire BEF had been summarily expelled from the continent in a matter of weeks and had lost all their heavy equipment- tanks, transport, artillery. Everything. Many of those that did make it home, made in nothing but their boots and the uniforms they were wearing. They didn’t even have their rifles.
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Old 26th December 2008, 06:52 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Well, the thing is when people think of Dunkirk, they look at it from the hindsight point of view instead of the point of view of the German high command at the time. If we re-focus to the alternate view point we see:
Aside from your list, I have seen a comment a couple of times, but no reference to its source that Hitler was cautioned by both his generals and RKO that the advance had a little too well and there were concerns that the German spearhead may be being drawn into a trap

Along with the reasons you gave, German forces paused for a few days till they could gather sufficient intelligence to see if this was a reality or their tactics had really just worked that well.
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Old 26th December 2008, 07:08 PM   #74
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Right-
If Hitler had known 4 or 5 Divisions were going to escape to england, and be used later in the war, he probably would have made more of an effort to eliminate the evacuation.

Also- If Hitler would have known that such a military catastrophe, as having your army thrown back into the see, would actually be seen as a morale-lifting miracle by the British people, he probably would have eliminated the evac.

Taking hindsight out of it, is there any thing more humiliating to an army or a government, than having your ARMY PUSHED BACK TO THE SEA? As far as the German generals, they were probably thinking this was the greatest victory in the history of the German army. And saw no need to pursue the beachhead.
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Old 26th December 2008, 07:16 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Winston Churchill had a hand in some of the botched naval maneuvers in WW1 I believe, I seem to remember him running 6 or 7 battleships into a minefield off the coast of Turkey or something like that. Galipoli maybe? At worst he could be cited for imcompetence there.
Really? Churchill was the watch officer on all seven of the battleships simultaneously?

While I admit Galipoli was a disaster, and there were a lot of things that Churchill did wrong in that particular operation, let's not scapegoat him. It's not merely unreasonable for the First Lord of the Admiralty to be responsible for the navigation and watch-keeping of every individual ship in the fleet, it's physically impossible.
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Old 26th December 2008, 07:57 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
Really? Churchill was the watch officer on all seven of the battleships simultaneously?

While I admit Galipoli was a disaster, and there were a lot of things that Churchill did wrong in that particular operation, let's not scapegoat him. It's not merely unreasonable for the First Lord of the Admiralty to be responsible for the navigation and watch-keeping of every individual ship in the fleet, it's physically impossible.
Thats a very simplistic view. The Admiralty warned him of the danger. Hitting the mines had nothing to do with watch keeeping. The ships were heavily engaged by the coastal forts, who ranged in on them suprisingly quickly. The ships were trying to manouver in narrow waters under fire. The result was sadly innevitable.
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Old 26th December 2008, 08:18 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Thats a very simplistic view.
Yes, sometimes the truth is surprisingly simple.

Quote:
The Admiralty warned him of the danger.
This may surprise you, but sometimes the military is required to operate in dangerous circumstances. Believe it or not, the bad guys have ammunition for their guns, and sometimes the good guys actually get shot!

The key word is "operate." There are procedures for how ships are supposed to "operate," procedures which were not followed in Galipoli. Historians have discussed (at length) whether the operational failures were really that great given the tremendous strategic failure -- i.e. the troops shouldn't have been sent there in the first place. But the Navy didn't do an especially good job of getting them there, and that's the fault of the operation commanders, not the First Lord.
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Old 26th December 2008, 08:44 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
The key word is "operate." There are procedures for how ships are supposed to "operate," procedures which were not followed in Galipoli. Historians have discussed (at length) whether the operational failures were really that great given the tremendous strategic failure -- i.e. the troops shouldn't have been sent there in the first place. But the Navy didn't do an especially good job of getting them there, and that's the fault of the operation commanders, not the First Lord.
Those who had to deal with the aftermath dont seem to hold your opinion

http://www.diggerhistory2.info/grave...ory/report.htm
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Old 26th December 2008, 08:49 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Those who had to deal with the aftermath dont seem to hold your opinion
Actually, they do. Please re-read your own source. I don't see the word "minefield" in there; they are specifically NOT criticizing the high command for operational failures and losses, but for strategic failures.
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Old 26th December 2008, 09:22 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
I Whereas old Fatty Lispy Bulldog had specifically recommended, in writing, its use against Kurdish tribes.
One of the rules of warfare is make the other side fight on your terms. If they refuse, change the terms. Tribes that choose to spread out and attack from ambush are hittable by poison/otherwise damaging gasses from the air without damage to your own troops (from the ground, as Hitler would have observed, gas was almost as likely to hit the troops of the releaser of it as the other side)so that's what Churchill responded to. You cannot allow the enemy any chances you can avoid.
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