US in WW II

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
lamguy
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US in WW II

Post by lamguy » 15 Jul 2002 20:43

Read some of the posts about the US on the "What do you think of Hitler"
thread and have to admit I was somewhat surprised. Of course the country is huge and we tend to live in our own little world. That being said I am
curious as to what Europeans, especially Germans think of the US and their role in the war. As bad as the Soviets, English ect. I know the German population wanted the Americans and English to take Berlin at the close of the war. I also am 3rd generation American with lots of German relatives who all thought differently. The one thing I have been horrified
that my government had involvement in was Dresden.
Any thoughts? Comments? Also my Dad was a WWII vet so have heard it all. Thanks.
Randy

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 25 Jul 2002 18:37

Could you clarify what you mean by US government involvement in Dresden? :?

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RCR_Raider
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Post by RCR_Raider » 03 Aug 2002 14:19

well, Dresden was an RAF and RCAF raid on a civlian city with no military value whatsoever.

I do not know the political acts that created this mission, only that British and Canadian bombers bombed it into the stone age. Killing thousand of innocent civilians deliberately *shudder*

Its horrible to think that Canada was involved in this brutal and unfair act, however, the aircrews were following orders, sent down from the top, so I dont blame the crews themselves. I blame whoever concocted such a heinous mission.

It was unnessary and brutal.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 03 Aug 2002 16:21

Read the thread about the Dresden raid which is currently raging on the Third Reich area.

BTW you forgot to mention the USAAF raids on Dreden the following day!

:D Andy from the Shire

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 03 Aug 2002 18:44

HHhmmmm. Deliberate bombing of civilians..............so. Serious confabbing in Third Reich!! The way I see it is it boils down to an eye for an eye. We didn't start it but finished it. Period. All the justification I need. It was war after all and I for one, do not judge people 50yrs later. I wasn't there and refuse to apply 21st Century "Morality" to a previous generation of man. Especially if I happen to live in one of those countries that didn't have to suffer under National Socialist Germany. Get it, RCR Raider? :roll:

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Post by Caldric » 03 Aug 2002 21:49

well, Dresden was an RAF and RCAF raid on a civlian city with no military value whatsoever.

I do not know the political acts that created this mission, only that British and Canadian bombers bombed it into the stone age. Killing thousand of innocent civilians deliberately *shudder*

Its horrible to think that Canada was involved in this brutal and unfair act, however, the aircrews were following orders, sent down from the top, so I dont blame the crews themselves. I blame whoever concocted such a heinous mission.

It was unnessary and brutal.
RCR get a hint of what the hell you are talking about before making judgements on people you don't even know. I Blame Germany for it all.

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Post by alsaco » 03 Aug 2002 22:29

[quote="It was unnessary and brutal.[/quote]

This is what people are supposed to think now.

However if circumstances did put in the center of the flames quite all population of Schlesien's towns, Dresden was still a potential stronghold for the Wehrmacht, and the railroad knot allowing german divisions in Böhmen and Bavaria to move to Brandenburg.

It was said that Russian requested the bombing. US forces were certainly involved, if only for designation of units involved. I am not sure one of the three phases, the day one, was not by american bombers. But it is now easy to say this act of war was unnecessary; A the time war was raging in Silesia, and nobody could say the germans were poor little things,

War requests operations, which are not all glorious, but sometimes only necessary, or believed to be so.

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RCR_Raider
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Post by RCR_Raider » 05 Aug 2002 17:21

RCR get a hint of what the hell you are talking about before making judgements on people you don't even know. I Blame Germany for it all.
Ive read about the incident (yeah I forgot about the following USAAF day raid )

Certainly you have to blame Germany (or Hitler) for starting the war, AND for starting the civilian bombings, turning it into a total war.

Wars of the past were more gentlemanly affairs.

But I stand by what I say, Dresden was a war crime. Just because Germany was in the wrong, doesnt mean that Allied armies (especially the Russians) did not commit warcrimes against civilians.

Im as patriotic as a person can get, but not so ignorant to know when my country does something wrong. Sorry to bring up such unpleasant information.

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Leibstandarte
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Post by Leibstandarte » 11 Aug 2002 06:57

I have read the various messages on this sensitive issue. I have mulled this action over in my mind over the years and these are my conclusions.

I am not going to sit here and say that Germany was innocent of war crimes - far from it the destruction of the Jews, and Russians is a testimony to the level of criminality. On Dresden however it is my considered opinion that :

1. The war was for all intents and purposes over
2. The city was a railroad hub that is a given but it was also crammed with refugees and clearly undefended
3. At best we could say the bombing was indiscriminate at worst that they targeted civilians to "punish" Germany
4. The Allies (UK and US) should be held to a higher moral standard - the Allies were not Nazis and saying that Germany got what it deserved is clearly missing the moral point even in wartime
5. The Russians requested that we bomb Dresden ... so Russia did not have enough air power to do it herself .... this argument is feeble and the premise does not pass muster.
6. This action boils down to necessity and morality.....it was militarily unnecessary and morally repugnant....

Anyone who could attempt to justify this action militarily is naive and anyone who would attempt to play down or disregard the human destruction is at best emotionally damaged....

Was it a war crime ? I can only answer with a question...If Germany had inflicted this bombing on say Florence with the same civilian casualty rate would we have been screaming war crime?

Comments please.

Leibstandarte

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christianT
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Post by christianT » 17 Aug 2002 07:41

Fully agree.

Statements like "Germany got what it deserved" and the like are pure idiocy at best and morally repulsive at worst.

The act is a war crime by any definition. The responsible individuals should have been prosecuted at Nuremberg. But I forgot, the trial was for the vanquished and not for the victors.

-christianT

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 17 Aug 2002 20:23

That's right........Victors. Besides, at the time, the Allied Air Commanders were apalled at their own actions saying it was " arather excessive use of airpower". The Soviets asked for it and we delivered. And to the "the war was almost over" crowd; then why didn't Germany just surrender?( no fececious emoticon) :lol:

If Germany had won do you think that they would have tried themselves over Coventry or Rotterdam? :P Let's try and stop seeing Human Beings as anything other than very cunning animals. And that is what we'll pretty much always be. Sentiment and aspiration of human perfection won't cut it in the real world. :D

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Frank Mills
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Post by Frank Mills » 23 Aug 2002 16:05

There are no "victors" in war, only victims.

Having said that, yes, it was an agressive Germany that had caused the world to become involved in a period of time that is now considered as the Second World War. It can not be argued that they did not. Period.

However, I doubt if one can leave out the fact that there were underlying causes derived from the First World War that allowed the second to even occur which are numerous and already known to many of us, so I will leave that subject for those who wish to pursue it further on their own

There were many civilian centers that were bombed and should all be considered war crimes in their definition - Rotterdam, Coventry, London,
Hamburg, Tokyo, but the most likely the most famous one was that of Dresden.

Some of the known facts as to why it became so famous, ( or infamous ) in history, have already been listed, but with a Germany staring at defeat, I think many historical scholars and authors have felt that it was an unjustified attack on basically a civilian population center.

Respectfully,

Frank M.

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Post by Starinov » 23 Aug 2002 17:43

Sometimes I ask myself if Dresden was not a show. I mean, what if the Allies bombed Dresden only to show the Russians what they are able to do? The war was getting to an end but the cold war already begun... The Russians and the Allies did not agree on everything and, I guess, the Allies wanted to warn the Russians about how powerfull the Strategic Air Force was.....

It is just I guess though....

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Post by Caldric » 23 Aug 2002 21:52

Anyone who could attempt to justify this action militarily is naive and anyone who would attempt to play down or disregard the human destruction is at best emotionally damaged....

Was it a war crime ? I can only answer with a question...If Germany had inflicted this bombing on say Florence with the same civilian casualty rate would we have been screaming war crime?
Well lets not have any discussion, if you play it down you are an idiot. :roll:

And that answer is easy Spain, Yugoslavia, Poland, UK, USSR etc. And no one screamed war crime, not only because it was not, but because all sides used the same tactics.

And the 2 wrong do not make a right argument is lame and way to often used, because in reality often 2 wrongs make it damn right.

Dresden was a bad deal not doubt, war crime no, moral crime yes.

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christianT
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Post by christianT » 24 Aug 2002 03:47

Dresden was a bad deal not doubt, war crime no, moral crime yes.
[/quote]

2 questions:

1. How do you define moral crime?
2. Where do you draw the line between war and moral crime?

Please enlighten us.

-christianT

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