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

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Old 5th April 2016, 10:48 AM   #161
Giz
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
In terms of the indirect effects of the bombing efforts, I will repeat what was offered back in post #49.

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:

Also:
http://books.google.com/books?id=zHE...xvVMKgkzHmHj4k

"The enormous drain on resources caused by the bomber campaign meant that the Eastern Front was denuded of fighter aircraft and that air superiority was conceded to the Red Air Force even before the summer 1944 campaign began"
Etc…


And "Why the Allies Won" by Richard Overy, which gives tables of how German war production was - dramatically - skewed as the war went on by the need for AA guns and interceptors, versus providing battlefield support.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post

Only 16% (one-sixth) of the 88mm and 128mm dual-purpose artillery produced by Germany from 1942-44 went to the army for anti-tank use; the rest went to anti-aircraft work. That's a huge number of very effective artillery pieces not being pointed at Allied tanks and soldiers. Without the bombing campaign, all those artillery pieces are being used against Allied ground forces. How much might have that slowed the ground campaign?
A little titbit of info to emphasize how important the above is:
" [the percentage of casualties caused by artillery] in the Second World War, 75 percent of British casualties in North Africa and 51 percent of Soviet casualties (61 percent in 1945) and 70 percent of German casualties on the Eastern Front; " — J. B. A. Bailey (2004). Field artillery and firepower.

Artillery was the biggest battlefield killer, in both world wars. Putting a crimp in German battlefield artillery because they needed to focus on AA defence of the homeland was a big deal.
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Old 5th April 2016, 01:10 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
What? How would people in territory occupied by the Nazis end up in the Red Army or in Russian factories?
Can't see why couldn't they, at the very latest when the tide started turning and they ended up again in Soviet territory.

Besides:

- killing people in occupied territory got a lot of wealth confiscated, which paid for IIRC something like a third of the war effort. It had a very tangible effect in making it even sound possible to win.

- starving or outright killing civilians freed up a lot of resources for use on the German army. If nothing else food, which was a major part in the planned extermination of Polish and Ukrainian civilans.

- slave labour MASSIVELY increased the german industrial power, AND freed manpower for use on the front

- the brutal medical experimentation produced tangible results, and often had military applications and purposes, like the hypothermia experiments to try to save pilots downed in the North Sea. Which were pilot veterans and delayed the loss of air superiority.

- a lot of civilian executions were reprisals against partisan activity. And if any partisans were deterred by that, it not only saved lives and war material, but freed manpower for the front.

- the invasion of neutral countries was often motivated by denying allies a place to land (e.g., Norway) or gained Germany bases for their fleet and subs (Netherlands, Germany, etc)

- the same countries served as extra buffer to fight the allies when they did land

Etc.

Now I'm not saying that any of those justify the SS atrocities, because they don't. Nor that the Nazis were good guys, because they clearly were a bunch of dicks.

But I'm saying that that's exactly the kind of madness that starts to look logical IF one goes down the route of believing that any means are justified if they helps the war effort. It seems to me like, no, taking it out on civilians is still a dick move even if you can rationalize it as helping achieve victory.
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Old 5th April 2016, 01:31 PM   #163
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
What? How would people in territory occupied by the Nazis end up in the Red Army or in Russian factories?
They wouldn't, if they were murdered, but they might if they remained alive, and if territory changed hands, which (IIRC) it did. So their being murdered was a loss or inconvenience to the USSR war effort. Therefore it was not a crime?
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Old 5th April 2016, 01:35 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Can't see why couldn't they, at the very latest when the tide started turning and they ended up again in Soviet territory.

Besides:

- killing people in occupied territory got a lot of wealth confiscated, which paid for IIRC something like a third of the war effort. It had a very tangible effect in making it even sound possible to win.

- starving or outright killing civilians freed up a lot of resources for use on the German army. If nothing else food, which was a major part in the planned extermination of Polish and Ukrainian civilans.

- slave labour MASSIVELY increased the german industrial power, AND freed manpower for use on the front

- the brutal medical experimentation produced tangible results, and often had military applications and purposes, like the hypothermia experiments to try to save pilots downed in the North Sea. Which were pilot veterans and delayed the loss of air superiority.

- a lot of civilian executions were reprisals against partisan activity. And if any partisans were deterred by that, it not only saved lives and war material, but freed manpower for the front.

- the invasion of neutral countries was often motivated by denying allies a place to land (e.g., Norway) or gained Germany bases for their fleet and subs (Netherlands, Germany, etc)

- the same countries served as extra buffer to fight the allies when they did land

Etc.

Now I'm not saying that any of those justify the SS atrocities, because they don't. Nor that the Nazis were good guys, because they clearly were a bunch of dicks.

But I'm saying that that's exactly the kind of madness that starts to look logical IF one goes down the route of believing that any means are justified if they helps the war effort. It seems to me like, no, taking it out on civilians is still a dick move even if you can rationalize it as helping achieve victory.

I think a key difference would be:

Your examples of German crimes tend to be measures against non-combatants (civilians and POWs) who are under their control. Allied ‘crimes’ are actions taken against the productivity of areas not under their control. I think that’s an important distinction.
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Old 5th April 2016, 02:00 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Your examples of German crimes tend to be measures against non-combatants (civilians and POWs) who are under their control. Allied ‘crimes’ are actions taken against the productivity of areas not under their control. I think that’s an important distinction.

Indeed. And in a condition of total war between industrialized nation-states, the economics of production are a critical consideration. It is a massive war of attrition, and whichever side outproduces the other ultimately wins. Part of outproducing the other side is in degrading that other side's productive capacity, either directly or indirectly.

To that one can add: What is the alternative? Do the Allies sit on their hands and do nothing in terms of strategic bombing, and let the German economy grow unhindered? In spite of the heavy bombing in the latter half of 1944, German war production grew considerably (before starting to collapse early in 1945). Without the retarding effects of strategic bombing, how much more might have Germany's war production expanded?

Moreover, it was the strategic bomber offensive's daylight portion which broke the back of the Luftwaffe as an effective daytime fighter force. Without that bomber offensive there is no impetus to develop the P-51 as a long-range fighter, and without the P-51 (and the drop tanks developed for the other fighter types) the Allies do not gain air superiority over the heart of Germany long before the ground forces get close. With no air superiority, the fight towards Germany becomes more difficult and grinding (and it was already grinding enough thanks to the German's skill at defence).
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Old 5th April 2016, 02:33 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Indeed. And in a condition of total war between industrialized nation-states, the economics of production are a critical consideration. It is a massive war of attrition, and whichever side outproduces the other ultimately wins. Part of outproducing the other side is in degrading that other side's productive capacity, either directly or indirectly.

To that one can add: What is the alternative? Do the Allies sit on their hands and do nothing in terms of strategic bombing, and let the German economy grow unhindered? In spite of the heavy bombing in the latter half of 1944, German war production grew considerably (before starting to collapse early in 1945). Without the retarding effects of strategic bombing, how much more might have Germany's war production expanded?

Moreover, it was the strategic bomber offensive's daylight portion which broke the back of the Luftwaffe as an effective daytime fighter force. Without that bomber offensive there is no impetus to develop the P-51 as a long-range fighter, and without the P-51 (and the drop tanks developed for the other fighter types) the Allies do not gain air superiority over the heart of Germany long before the ground forces get close. With no air superiority, the fight towards Germany becomes more difficult and grinding (and it was already grinding enough thanks to the German's skill at defence).
Yes. How many more allied soldiers (who were just drafted civilians) would have died so that some more axis civilians could live? As it was, 57,000 Scots died in ww2. How many more would have died of there was no bombing campaign? Would Craig be willing to accept doubling the number of Scottish war dead if it meant no allied area bombing?
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Old 5th April 2016, 02:46 PM   #167
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Well, you know, the same question could be asked for almost any other war crime. How many more Germans would have been killed by partisans, for example, if they didn't kill civilians in retaliation? How many more would have died without the tanks and guns and ammunitions made by slave labour?

Again, it seems to me like only madness lies in the direction of that rationalization.
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Old 5th April 2016, 03:44 PM   #168
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I fight it amusing that a couple of people here who are on the political left are buying into right wing revisionist drivel.
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Old 5th April 2016, 07:47 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, you know, the same question could be asked for almost any other war crime. How many more Germans would have been killed by partisans, for example, if they didn't kill civilians in retaliation? How many more would have died without the tanks and guns and ammunitions made by slave labour?

Again, it seems to me like only madness lies in the direction of that rationalization.

I'll just repeat Giz's point here (emphasis added), because it seems you are trying to avoid it.

Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I think a key difference would be:

Your examples of German crimes tend to be measures against non-combatants (civilians and POWs) who are under their control. Allied ‘crimes’ are actions taken against the productivity of areas not under their control. I think that’s an important distinction.
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:08 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I fight it amusing that a couple of people here who are on the political left are buying into right wing revisionist drivel.
I'm not buying any "revisionist" stuff, since Harris's objectives and ideology are available in his own words.

Nor do my ideas of what's right and wrong come from any other source than what's been accepted as the (new) normal rules of warfare ever since the 1949 Geneva Convention. Unless you wish to say that some dastardly neonazis got the USA and everyone else to sign that convention.

Edit: or I suppose you'd also consider chapter III of the 1983 Geneva convention, or the Addendum from 1977 to the original convention, to be some kind of neonazi revisionist sources? Because it seems to me like a lot of countries, including all of NATO, agreed with my views that indiscriminately targeting civilian populations, especially with incendiary weapons and other weapons whose scope of destruction cannot be controlled, is an atrocity. Furthermore, that going "oh, it's total war" is itself an atrocity. Now again, I AM aware that one can't apply such laws retroactively to WW2, but just because there was no law against certain atrocities doesn't mean they're not. You can stop pretending that oh, they're totally normal warfarfe, or that being against them is oh just some neo-nazi fringe thing, when basically most of the civilized world agreed that yes they're atrocities.
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Old 6th April 2016, 09:03 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm not buying any "revisionist" stuff, since Harris's objectives and ideology are available in his own words.

Nor do my ideas of what's right and wrong come from any other source than what's been accepted as the (new) normal rules of warfare ever since the 1949 Geneva Convention. Unless you wish to say that some dastardly neonazis got the USA and everyone else to sign that convention.

Edit: or I suppose you'd also consider chapter III of the 1983 Geneva convention, or the Addendum from 1977 to the original convention, to be some kind of neonazi revisionist sources? Because it seems to me like a lot of countries, including all of NATO, agreed with my views that indiscriminately targeting civilian populations, especially with incendiary weapons and other weapons whose scope of destruction cannot be controlled, is an atrocity. Furthermore, that going "oh, it's total war" is itself an atrocity. Now again, I AM aware that one can't apply such laws retroactively to WW2, but just because there was no law against certain atrocities doesn't mean they're not. You can stop pretending that oh, they're totally normal warfarfe, or that being against them is oh just some neo-nazi fringe thing, when basically most of the civilized world agreed that yes they're atrocities.
Orwell said that pacifists were objectively pro-fascist.

I think we can add to that:
People who wished the Allies had fought a limited war, against fascist powers fighting a total war, are objectively pro-fascist.
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Old 6th April 2016, 09:24 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
...or I suppose you'd also consider chapter III of the 1983 Geneva convention, or the Addendum from 1977 to the original convention, to be some kind of neonazi revisionist sources?
Yeah. Churchill was such a jerk for not following international laws set up three decades on.
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Old 6th April 2016, 09:31 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Orwell said that pacifists were objectively pro-fascist.

I think we can add to that:
People who wished the Allies had fought a limited war, against fascist powers fighting a total war, are objectively pro-fascist.
Really? Just talking out the ass is somehow official if you throw in "objectively"?
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Old 6th April 2016, 10:29 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Really? Just talking out the ass is somehow official if you throw in "objectively"?
Are you saying that this wordsmithing is 'ass'?

"If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.
- Orwell.


Or, were you referring to me? (I thought I was, at most, merely subjectively an ass).
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Old 6th April 2016, 11:30 AM   #175
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I'm saying that if you want to claim anything is "objective", I'd like to see a reference to the study that showed a 100% correlation, and with what statistical degree of confidence.

Citing a source is, of course, permitted, but then he has to be an actual authority on the subject matter. A.k.a., where is HIS study correlationg hating atrocities and being actuall for fascism. Plus, of course, the source has to actually support your claim, whereas in this case you and him claim completely different correlations.

Someone just being good at wordsmithing doesn't really count as being an authority on anything else than wordsmithing. I.e., even in informal logic it's an argument from false authority.

The fact is, plenty of people have been downright masters with a quill, pen or typewriter, and still wrong about other stuff. And a lot weren't even very logical either. So claiming anything as "objective" just because a novelist said so, well, excuse me if I'm unimpressed.

Doubly so when even his argument hinges on his not understanding what an intensional context is, so it's flat out invalid. Just because you can connect the dots in a certain way, and deliberately ignore all others, it doesn't mean that other people not just connected them the same way, but outright are pro whatever bogeyman you connected them to.

But anyway, if you want to just do the usual "well, you're a poopie-head" that people do when they run out of arguments, well, nobody's stopping you. Won't impress me any more than when it happens in the theist threads, but feel free.

But if you want to claim it's actually an OBJECTIVE thing, well, then you have to support it as such.
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:00 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm not buying any "revisionist" stuff, since Harris's objectives and ideology are available in his own words.

What also matters is what was actually done in terms of bombing raids, and what direct and indirect effects those raids had on the German economy and the war as a whole. Yet this part, it seems, you want to avoid discussing and factoring into the analysis.

Again, I ask: What is the alternative to strategic bombing?

Even if you want to limit the question to nighttime bombing, the question still stands. It took much trial and error and technological development for Bomber Command to find effective means of bombing at night, and for such raids to actually cause damage. (Its early efforts were more likely to kill cows in a German field than persons.)

Now, as I've said before, while Harris was crucial in forging Bomber Command into a potent weapon, by late 1944 he should have been replaced by a more forward-thinking commander. Harris was too much of an ideologue wedded to the pre-war theories of air power, and remained so even when presented with evidence contradicting his position.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Because it seems to me like a lot of countries, including all of NATO, agreed with my views that indiscriminately targeting civilian populations, especially with incendiary weapons and other weapons whose scope of destruction cannot be controlled, is an atrocity.

Define "indiscriminately". Also, why are incendiary weapons any worse than high explosives? Both are quite capable of destruction.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Furthermore, that going "oh, it's total war" is itself an atrocity.

Rules of conduct in war have a tendency to fall by the wayside when confronted by stark reality.
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:26 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Orwell said that pacifists were objectively pro-fascist.

I think we can add to that:
People who wished the Allies had fought a limited war, against fascist powers fighting a total war, are objectively pro-fascist.
I think that's outrageous nonsense. Fascists murdered people in extermination camps. The Allies didn't ... So the Allies were objectively pro fascist. Aye, right.
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:32 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm saying that if you want to claim anything is "objective", I'd like to see a reference to the study that showed a 100% correlation, and with what statistical degree of confidence.

Citing a source is, of course, permitted, but then he has to be an actual authority on the subject matter. A.k.a., where is HIS study correlationg hating atrocities and being actuall for fascism. Plus, of course, the source has to actually support your claim, whereas in this case you and him claim completely different correlations.

Someone just being good at wordsmithing doesn't really count as being an authority on anything else than wordsmithing. I.e., even in informal logic it's an argument from false authority.

The fact is, plenty of people have been downright masters with a quill, pen or typewriter, and still wrong about other stuff. And a lot weren't even very logical either. So claiming anything as "objective" just because a novelist said so, well, excuse me if I'm unimpressed.

Doubly so when even his argument hinges on his not understanding what an intensional context is, so it's flat out invalid. Just because you can connect the dots in a certain way, and deliberately ignore all others, it doesn't mean that other people not just connected them the same way, but outright are pro whatever bogeyman you connected them to.

But anyway, if you want to just do the usual "well, you're a poopie-head" that people do when they run out of arguments, well, nobody's stopping you. Won't impress me any more than when it happens in the theist threads, but feel free.

But if you want to claim it's actually an OBJECTIVE thing, well, then you have to support it as such.
That rather demanding for someone who has been unable or unwilling to state how he would have prosecuted the war to a successful conclusion.


p.s. Why don't we complain about the destruction of Caen too? I hear that the beastly Brits levelled the historic city. (Cries of 'military necessity' will not be allowed!) Surely Montgomery should join Churchill in the dock?!!!!!1!!1!
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:33 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
What also matters is what was actually done in terms of bombing raids, and what direct and indirect effects those raids had on the German economy and the war as a whole. Yet this part, it seems, you want to avoid discussing and factoring into the analysis.
Because it's rather irrelevant. If it's an atrocity, going "but it worked!!!" doesn't change the fact that it's an atrocity.

Besides, the whole reason why we ended up forbidding atrocities in the various international conventions is THAT THEY WORK. Otherwise not many people would be doing them in the first place.

The reason we had to have a convention about the treatment of prisoners since the Hague Convention of 1899 and reafirmed in the Geneva Convention of 1929 is, yes, because the alternatives worked and worked well. Just killing the drafted plebs like in the middle ages is much more cost-effective than what the conventions stipulate about feeding them, plus you have to guard them, etc.

The reason we made a convention about the treatment of wounded and shipwrecked since 1864 (extended to the cases at sea in 1899, and reaffirmed in 1906 and 1907) is precisely because the alternatives worked damned well. It much more conducive to your own war effort if you don't stretch your limited medical and rescue services (ESPECIALLY in the case of hospital ships) to rescue the enemy too.

The reason we forbid sinking a hospital ship is precisely BECAUSE it can make a palpable difference to deny the enemy the use of his hospital ships in far away conflicts. Most of those being hauled on such a ship are veterans, and many of them will then rejoin the war against you.

The reason we forbade looting captured cities is precisely because it works and works well. Historically looting the wealth of conquered civilians has been a MAJOR source of funding for warring armies.

Etc.

Basically saying that an atrocity works, well, guess what? The reason we end up forbidding them is PRECISELY because they work well enough to be tempting to do.
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:34 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I think that's outrageous nonsense. Fascists murdered people in extermination camps. The Allies didn't ... So the Allies were objectively pro fascist. Aye, right.
That's a ridiculous misreading of the quotation. Are you that desperate to avoid engaging it constructively?
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:41 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
That rather demanding for someone who has been unable or unwilling to state how he would have prosecuted the war to a successful conclusion.
Which is a stupid demand in more than one way. The most trivial being that it's irrelevant.

Equally I can ask how would you have funded the German offensive without all the wealth confiscated from Jews? You can't do as well without it, can you?

Or how could you even hope to wage a successful campain as the RUF in Sierra Leone without drafting child soldiers at gun point? Not that they managed to win, but CAN you do as well without the thousands of child soldiers? Show that you can before criticizing them.

Etc.

But guess what? We still condemned those even if the atrocities were the more effective way. In fact the argument "well, could YOU have done better in the war without that?" never even entered the question in any war crimes trial.

So support your claims, or don't. But making stupid demands that someone follows your red herrings isn't it.
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Old 6th April 2016, 12:45 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
That's a ridiculous misreading of the quotation. Are you that desperate to avoid engaging it constructively?
No it's not. Your question is designed to be impossible to respond to. I'm that desperate? I'm not that desperate? Aye, right.

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Old 6th April 2016, 03:24 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm not buying any "revisionist" stuff, since Harris's objectives and ideology are available in his own words.

Nor do my ideas of what's right and wrong come from any other source than what's been accepted as the (new) normal rules of warfare ever since the 1949 Geneva Convention. Unless you wish to say that some dastardly neonazis got the USA and everyone else to sign that convention.

Edit: or I suppose you'd also consider chapter III of the 1983 Geneva convention, or the Addendum from 1977 to the original convention, to be some kind of neonazi revisionist sources? Because it seems to me like a lot of countries, including all of NATO, agreed with my views that indiscriminately targeting civilian populations, especially with incendiary weapons and other weapons whose scope of destruction cannot be controlled, is an atrocity. Furthermore, that going "oh, it's total war" is itself an atrocity. Now again, I AM aware that one can't apply such laws retroactively to WW2, but just because there was no law against certain atrocities doesn't mean they're not. You can stop pretending that oh, they're totally normal warfarfe, or that being against them is oh just some neo-nazi fringe thing, when basically most of the civilized world agreed that yes they're atrocities.
I did not have you in mind.....
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Old 6th April 2016, 03:27 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Because it's rather irrelevant. If it's an atrocity, going "but it worked!!!" doesn't change the fact that it's an atrocity.

You have yet to offer any substantive objective evidence that it is an 'atrocity'—your insistence that it is so does not make it so. Indeed, your continued use of the word suggests to me you are arguing from an emotional basis rather than a rational or logical one.

Perhaps you can explain the difference: why is it acceptable to bomb a munitions factory and possibly kill the civilian workers inside it but unacceptable to bomb the areas where those same civilian workers reside? Attacking either target does not guarantee civilian casualties; they are, after all, well-protected by radar networks, fighter aircraft, ground control, anti-aircraft artillery, bomb shelters, and the like. From the point of view of economic production, a worker unable to go to the munitions factory because his family is now homeless or the street to work is blocked by debris is the same as if that worker had gone to the factory and his machine had been rendered inoperable by damage from a raid. Both situations result in lost production (though admittedly the latter is more certain than the former).

As the aerial war progressed gloves gradually came off as stark reality asserted itself. Early in the war, the RAF tried to bomb as you would have them do—in raids against German ships in port the bombers wouldn't drop their bombs for fear of killing civilian dockworkers. For their trouble of not actually attacking, RAF bombers were shot down in droves (compounded by lack of fighter cover and largely obsolete aircraft). Such "raids" were clearly unsustainable.

So what do they do? They switch to nighttime bombing. Now they're safe (only somewhat, it would turn out) from German fighters. But, contrary to prewar expectations, finding even an entire city at night turned out to be very difficult, let alone hitting anything in it. Oh, one could if one flew at only a few thousand feet altitude—but then the flak would rip you to shreds. So, high altitude it is. But now you are stuck with the huge problems of navigating and targetting. About the best one could hope for was finding a city and putting some bombs somewhere on it—but at least that would cause some damage to the enemy and their efforts. Well, either that, or do nothing at all to harm the enemy. That latter option did not seem like much of a way to win a war.

You did not address it, but the reason I asked for a definition of "indiscriminately" is because, other than perhaps dive bombing, all bombing was, given the technology of the time, indiscriminate. The USAAF, bombing by day in clear weather, on average got about half the bombs dropped within one-third of a mile of the aiming point. That's not bombs on the target, but within one-third of a mile of it. (Of course, that means the other half of bombs are falling more than one-third of a mile away.) That's the level of accuracy we're talking about, in a best-case scenario. Thus, in order to knock out a target, it means a lot of bombers and a lot of bombs dropped to ensure some of them actually strike the target. Then, of course, there's the often resilient nature of the target, which usually required repeated bombing to keep it out of action (a lesson it took some time for the air forces to learn).

Strategic bombing, whether by day or night, was to be certain a blunt tool. But it was the only tool which could degrade the productive capacity of the enemy. Without such degradation, it would mean a lot more Allied men and material expended in a ground campaign to defeat the Axis than was the case historically.
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Old 6th April 2016, 03:28 PM   #185
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And the old Atomic Bomb debate....
THat more Japanese would have died if we had
A.Invaded Japan or
B.Simply kept up the blockade until Japan was starved out seems to be beyond their grasp.
And the Japanese Military...who were still calling the shots....were not anywere near wanting to surrender before the bombs were dropped.
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Old 6th April 2016, 03:33 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
And the old Atomic Bomb debate....
THat more Japanese would have died if we had
A.Invaded Japan or
B.Simply kept up the blockade until Japan was starved out seems to be beyond their grasp.

I would point out it would not be just how many more Japanese might have died, but also how many more Chinese, Korean, Russian, American, British, etc., might have died.


Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
And the Japanese Military...who were still calling the shots....were not anywere near wanting to surrender before the bombs were dropped.

Some of them were not anywhere near wanting to surrender even after the atomic bombs were dropped.
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Old 7th April 2016, 12:22 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
You have yet to offer any substantive objective evidence that it is an 'atrocity'—your insistence that it is so does not make it so. Indeed, your continued use of the word suggests to me you are arguing from an emotional basis rather than a rational or logical one.
My evidence, as mentioned all along, is that 196 countries that signed the 1949 Geneva convention agreed that it ought to be a crime.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Perhaps you can explain the difference: why is it acceptable to bomb a munitions factory and possibly kill the civilian workers inside it but unacceptable to bomb the areas where those same civilian workers reside? Attacking either target does not guarantee civilian casualties; they are, after all, well-protected by radar networks, fighter aircraft, ground control, anti-aircraft artillery, bomb shelters, and the like.
Perhaps you care to explain why your saying so trumps the fact that pretty much the whole world agreed that it's wrong? Or that basically ever since the first Geneva convention, the whole spirit and trend in the civilized world was to try to limit targeting people who are not a threat, as morally wrong?

Perhaps you care to explain why your not understanding the basic legal concept of Mens Rea, of evil INTENT, means you somehow have an argument?

Perhaps you care to explain why your not understanding that no morals or laws are based on omniscience and guaranteed results, is somehow an argument? I mean, even shooting someone in the head, heck, even the Nazi gas chambers did not 100% guarantee that someone would die, but we still consider it wrong for someone to even try
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Old 7th April 2016, 01:42 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
I would point out it would not be just how many more Japanese might have died, but also how many more Chinese, Korean, Russian, American, British, etc., might have died.





Some of them were not anywhere near wanting to surrender even after the atomic bombs were dropped.
Your ignoring the fact the Manhattan Projects majority of scientists signed a petition warning of the scale and asked for it to be first observed by the prez before using them
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Old 7th April 2016, 02:18 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Perhaps you can explain the difference: why is it acceptable to bomb a munitions factory and possibly kill the civilian workers inside it but unacceptable to bomb the areas where those same civilian workers reside?
I need to explain this? Anyway even ignoring moral considerations, it is not obvious to me that destroying civilian homes is as effective as a military activity as destroying a factory. But this is all irrelevant to the actual doctrine expounded by Harri, already quoted.
... the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories.
Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Strategic bombing, whether by day or night, was to be certain a blunt tool. But it was the only tool which could degrade the productive capacity of the enemy. Without such degradation, it would mean a lot more Allied men and material expended in a ground campaign to defeat the Axis than was the case historically.
I'm not at all sure of that anyway. I think the Bomber fleet could have been used to better effect against military and industrial targets. Recall again Harris's statement about the motive for the bombing, which was not directly degradation of industrial capacity, but
should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany.
That was the policy. Tell me what you think of it.

Now, imagine I'm in PIRA, during the Troubles, and I have objections to the bombing of civilian targets in the UK. But it is explained to me that, given the existing balance of forces, and the fact that the UK takes more seriously events in the UK than in N Ireland, mainland bombing of such targets is the only available effective "tool". Is that a moral justification for the campaign?

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Old 7th April 2016, 04:00 AM   #190
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This is interesting. See particularly the section on WW2 Europe.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com...atbombing.aspx

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Old 7th April 2016, 08:10 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
This is interesting. See particularly the section on WW2 Europe.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com...atbombing.aspx
Something to note is that:

1) Strategic bombing failed to live up to the expectations of its proponents (i.e. it failed to singlehandedly make Germnay surrender)
2) It had a very material impact on the war, shortening it and saving countless allied lives

One needs to be careful when judging the Allied strategic bombing campaign as a success or a failure to make sure you ask the right question. i.e. are you asking if it achieved everything ‘Bomber’
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Old 7th April 2016, 08:23 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Something to note is that:

1) Strategic bombing failed to live up to the expectations of its proponents (i.e. it failed to singlehandedly make Germnay surrender)
2) It had a very material impact on the war, shortening it and saving countless allied lives

One needs to be careful when judging the Allied strategic bombing campaign as a success or a failure to make sure you ask the right question. i.e. are you asking if it achieved everything ‘Bomber’
Have you missed part of this post?
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Old 7th April 2016, 08:26 AM   #193
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The pro-fascism is strong in this thread. (Inadvertently pro-fascist, I’m sure. But depressing none the less).

Would the world be a better place if the Allies had refrained from area bombing? It seems very unlikely.
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Old 7th April 2016, 08:32 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Now, imagine I'm in PIRA, during the Troubles, and I have objections to the bombing of civilian targets in the UK. But it is explained to me that, given the existing balance of forces, and the fact that the UK takes more seriously events in the UK than in N Ireland, mainland bombing of such targets is the only available effective "tool". Is that a moral justification for the campaign?
Yes, as long as you stop trying to draw false equivalences then it is easy to tell the difference.

i.e. The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and the assassination of Louis Mountbatten. Are they morally the same? No? Then you have your answer.
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Old 7th April 2016, 08:43 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Yes, as long as you stop trying to draw false equivalences then it is easy to tell the difference.

i.e. The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and the assassination of Louis Mountbatten. Are they morally the same? No? Then you have your answer.
No I haven't been given the answer, or anything like the answer. Up to now we've been discussing targeting of civilian populations. What has that to do with assassination of specific politically significant individuals? That is a completely different matter.

Also, suppose that instead of killing Heydrich, the allies had decided to carpet bomb Prague. Can you see now why it's a different issue?

By the way, was strategic bombing of civilian centres, with intent to kill people and destroy their homes, practiced by the allies in Nazi-occupied countries, to degrade German war industries there?
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Czechoslovakia was a major manufacturer of machine guns, tanks, and artillery, most of which were assembled in the Škoda factory and had a modern army of 35 divisions. Many of these factories continued to produce Czech designs until factories were converted for German designs. Czechoslovakia also had other major manufacturing companies.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ...Czechoslovakia

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Old 7th April 2016, 08:50 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
The pro-fascism is strong in this thread. (Inadvertently pro-fascist, I’m sure. But depressing none the less).

Would the world be a better place if the Allies had refrained from area bombing? It seems very unlikely.
Why?
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Old 7th April 2016, 08:58 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Perhaps you care to explain why your saying so trumps the fact that pretty much the whole world agreed that it's wrong?

The entire world could say the sky is green. That does not make the world correct.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Or that basically ever since the first Geneva convention, the whole spirit and trend in the civilized world was to try to limit targeting people who are not a threat, as morally wrong?

Because the civilized world is somewhat foolish on the subject. It wants war to be clean and nice by fighting by a strict set of rules. Wonderful in theory, perhaps, but in practice, stark reality intercedes and changes things. If WWIII had happened, and the nukes had started flying, all those wonderful Geneva rules were out the window.

Whether the world realizes it or not, it wants war to become acceptable by trying to "civilize" it. I am unconvinced this is the correct path. War is nothing more than mass murder on an vast scale. Perhaps we need that reminder of how destructive and terrible war is so war of any kind becomes an abhorrent thought, rather than, "Well, war is fine, because me, the civilian, whose work makes possible the war in the first place, is safe and sound and untouchable, while all those poor suckers, er, I mean soldiers, are out there dying."

It has been suggested—and I think with validity—that the fact that no German in May 1945 could deny their country had been resoundingly defeated, because all they needed to do was look around them and see their smashed cities and ruined economy. The war, and the terrible costs of it, had been brought home forcefully and unforgettably. This is in contrast to the end of the First World War, where the German homeland was untouched, and thus some could claim the country had not really lost the war. Rather, its fighting forces had been betrayed. And thus war was again a prospect little more than two decades later.

But in any case the debate is mostly academic, because the situation as it existed during WWII is unlikely to ever be repeated. It is doubtful powerful industrialized nation-states will ever again engage in the kind of total (conventional) war that took place back then. The economies are completely different, the nature of international relations is completely different, and militaries and military technologies are completely different.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Perhaps you care to explain why your not understanding the basic legal concept of Mens Rea, of evil INTENT, means you somehow have an argument?

Perhaps you care to explain why your not understanding that no morals or laws are based on omniscience and guaranteed results, is somehow an argument?

Hindsight. It all looks so simple in hindsight. It is easy to sit in our armchairs here in the early 21st century and say how terrible it was they conducted the war this way or that seven decades ago. Being there, being in that time, under those circumstances, in that situation, knowing only what was known at the time, was something very different.

Again I come back to the simple equation as it existed back then: no civilians, no economy; no economy, no military; no military, no war. You may not like it, but that was the reality of the time.

The "innocent" civilian? Who was it who worked in the armaments factories building the ships, tanks, artillery, rifles, bullets, bombs, torpedoes, submarines, and aircraft? The civilian. Who was it who worked in the steel mills producing the steel to make all those weapons? The civilian. Who was it who grew the food that fed the military? The civilian. Who was it who mined the coal which powered the railways and factories? The civilian. Who was it who ran the trains which moved the raw resources to the factories, and the end products from the factories to the military? The civilian. Who was it who worked in the chemical factories, electrical plants, oil refineries, electronics manufacturers, and the multitude of factories large and small which built the myriad of vital subcomponents without which military arms could not function? The civilian. From whose ranks were replacement soldiers, sailors, submariners, and airmen drawn? The civilian.

As Little Bill observed in Unforgiven, "Innocent? Innocent of what?"
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Old 7th April 2016, 09:16 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I need to explain this? Anyway even ignoring moral considerations, it is not obvious to me that destroying civilian homes is as effective as a military activity as destroying a factory.

Of course not. But such damage nevertheless drains away resources from direct war production.


Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
But this is all irrelevant to the actual doctrine expounded by Harri, already quoted.
... the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories.

The destruction of houses, public utilities, and transport most certainly has a detrimental economic impact. (Indeed, the Transportation Plan—the determined effort against railways as well as road and water traffic—the Allied bomber forces implemented proved crucial in crippling the German economy, as it ultimately made it almost impossible for the Germans to move men, materiel, and resources to where they were needed.) The measure of success for Harris was number of acres destroyed, not number of civilians killed. (Though to be sure Harris had no sympathy for the German populace.)

And, again, Bomber Command went after plenty of factories too. Indeed, its second Battle of the Rhur from Mar. to July 1943 was, according to the Germans' own records, vital in causing a stagnation of German war production that lasted for many months. And this stagnation came right at the moment where Germany had been preparing for a massive increase in war production. (Unfortunately, right at the moment when the campaign might have truly made a decisive result, Harris called it off in favour of his plan against Berlin. Such result was due to a lack of good intelligence combined with a firm ideologue.)


Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I think the Bomber fleet could have been used to better effect against military and industrial targets.

I've said as much. By the fall of 1944, Bomber Command had demonstrated the ability to go after targets with much more precision than it had had in the years prior. It was at this point having Harris replaced by a more perceptive commander would have probably paid dividends. But Harris' stature at the time was such that no one in the political realm had the courage to sack him.


Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Recall again Harris's statement about the motive for the bombing, which was not directly degradation of industrial capacity, but
should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany.
That was the policy. Tell me what you think of it.

Are you suggesting the destruction of cities (and the many businesses within them which contributed to the war effort), the killing of workers, and the disruption of civilized life have no detrimental impact on the German economy and war effort?


Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Now, imagine I'm in PIRA, during the Troubles, and I have objections to the bombing of civilian targets in the UK. But it is explained to me that, given the existing balance of forces, and the fact that the UK takes more seriously events in the UK than in N Ireland, mainland bombing of such targets is the only available effective "tool". Is that a moral justification for the campaign?

Your attempted analogy fails in that the situation in your comment is not a state of declared total war between two relatively equally powerful industrialized nation-states. Circumstances matter and make for an important distinction.
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Old 7th April 2016, 09:19 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Again I come back to the simple equation as it existed back then: no civilians, no economy; no economy, no military; no military, no war. You may not like it, but that was the reality of the time.

The "innocent" civilian? Who was it who worked in the armaments factories building the ships, tanks, artillery, rifles, bullets, bombs, torpedoes, submarines, and aircraft? The civilian. Who was it who worked in the steel mills producing the steel to make all those weapons? The civilian. Who was it who grew the food that fed the military? The civilian. Who was it who mined the coal which powered the railways and factories? The civilian. Who was it who ran the trains which moved the raw resources to the factories, and the end products from the factories to the military? The civilian. Who was it who worked in the chemical factories, electrical plants, oil refineries, electronics manufacturers, and the multitude of factories large and small which built the myriad of vital subcomponents without which military arms could not function? The civilian. From whose ranks were replacement soldiers, sailors, submariners, and airmen drawn? The civilian.

As Little Bill observed in Unforgiven, "Innocent? Innocent of what?"
Then genocide is justified. Not only of the population of the enemy country, but of the population of countries occupied and exploited by the enemy. Like the Czech civilians in my last example. Fine. If that's the argument, good and well. I wonder how many posters here will ascribe to it.

Of course if nobody is innocent, and all must die, then nobody - not Goering or Heydrich - is any more guilty than the child of a factory worker in Hamburg or Essen. I really will not be brought by any argument to accept the validity of such a concept.

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Old 7th April 2016, 12:32 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Are you suggesting the destruction of cities (and the many businesses within them which contributed to the war effort), the killing of workers, and the disruption of civilized life have no detrimental impact on the German economy and war effort?
Are you suggesting that the Mongols piling up mountains of skulls, burning cities and slaughtering their residents had no detrimental impact on the Chinese economy and war effort?

It did? Then we can't criticise Genghis, khan we?
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