At last they rest in peace

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Andy H
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Baltasar
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Post by Baltasar » 19 Jul 2003 09:41

Don't think we'll ever agree here.

Last thing I'd like to say: I'm not sorry for them. By that time, all german industrial areas were either destroyed or in concrete bunkers, so there was only the population left to drop bombs on.

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 19 Jul 2003 15:00

Don't think we'll ever agree here.


I know!
I`m not saying that it was right to bomb civillian targets, but in every war, such shit happens.
Luftwaffe destroyed a few towns in Norway 1940 when they were after our king. Towns like Molde was totally without any military precence at all, yet most of the town was destroyed.

The real reason why this started, is:
I can't see much bravery in flying very high over enemy territory and bombing it's citizens back to the stone age.


If it`s not bravery to fly deep into enemy territory, full of flak, becouse you are fighting for your country, against it`s enemy......
Then what is bravery?

Do you think those crew`s picked their own targets?

Erik E

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Whisper
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Post by Whisper » 19 Jul 2003 15:58

@Caldric: Do you make a difference between american/british and german airmen who lost their live while attacking, for example, Coventry!?

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The Desert Fox
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Post by The Desert Fox » 19 Jul 2003 17:09

The six years of ww2 where some the darkest days in mankinds history. Both sides suffered. However I believe the finding of the remains of the crew from Lancaster ED 867 and their final burial 50 years late is a very positive story.

One of the crew, Flight Sergeant Jack William Alexander Sutherland (RAAF) Rear Gunner (22) came from my home city of Adelaide, and with his passing left behind a 9 month old son. This son attended the funeral, and was able to give his final respects to a father he never knew. A good write up was published on the subject in the local paper.

regards
the desert fox

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 19 Jul 2003 21:55

One of the crew, Flight Sergeant Jack William Alexander Sutherland (RAAF) Rear Gunner (22) came from my home city of Adelaide


I have seen a lot of wargraves from both Australian and Canadian bombercrew`s here in Norway. Everytime I see them, I start wondering why these men travelled around the world to help free my country.
People like these are heroes, and nothing else......

Erik E

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 20 Jul 2003 07:52

Caldric you are blind with your patriotism.

It is same if you say that work of dirlewanger's guys was brave. Yes you could get shot by some soviet untermenchs. Actualy it happened pretty much.

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Lawrence Tandy
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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 20 Jul 2003 07:54

A US airman flying 30 missions had a 70 percent chance of dying. Brave enough.

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 20 Jul 2003 08:12

Do you even dare to ques what kind of surviving prosent Dirlewangers guys did have?

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lisset
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Bomber crews.

Post by lisset » 20 Jul 2003 09:57

I recently took my daughter to visit my uncle's grave ( Nes / Ameland) , he was an Air Gunner in a 158 squadron Halifax shot down when in bound to Bochum in September 1943.
His body was the only trace of the crew found , the others are all "missing".
Baltasar and Caldric make points which have long been made about the bombing of Germany.
Baltasar says the air crew were gutless men who had an easy ride at little risk , the aircrew from The American 8th and British Bomber Command were not gutless and they had no easy ride...a glance of their loss rates state this quite clearly.
My uncle's crew were lost on their third operational flight a victim of flak , on their previous trip to Mannhiem they were twice attacked by a Ju-88 over the city whilst caught in searchlights.
I would for simple reasons of fact disagree with Baltasar when he calls them gutless and cowards , there was little chance of escaping from a burning bomber and in fairness the Luftwaffe nightfighter crews were very good and equally brave let us make on bones about it.

Bombing ....... sadly the civilian losses were terrible I cannot dispute that and would not try to do so.
The truth is bombing was going to be a cold hard fact of that bloody waste of life that was 1939-45 , with no way to carry the war to Germany bombing was the only option Harris was an adovcate of bombing , he believed that he could destroy Germany industry and saw the work force of that industry as being every bit as much a target as the factories in which they worked. Right or wrong this was the aim of his area bombing , with the wisdom of hindsight we now know that he was wrong , the results did not always justify the means , the bombing was not accurate , the same can be said for day light bombing it was not pefect either.
Much has been said about the wrongs of bombing but is it right to blame the men who flew what were long and very dangerous missions , if they had a choice they would not have wanted to go , they knew the odds were always against them and were under no illusions as to the %'s of their completeing a tour.
For political reasons as well as military reasons bombing was carried out by all the combatant nations , it was the way war was waged......the political masters who sent them out are the men who should answer the questions.

Balatasar I quite agree with you regarding the loss of life it was terrible but I cannot regard my late uncle as being a war criminal nor would I look upon any aircrew be they American , British , German or Japanese in that light.
Caldric I would have to agree with when you say that the aircrew were not the black hearted cowards that Balatasar says they are / were.

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 20 Jul 2003 10:23

I would for simple reasons of fact disagree with Baltasar when he calls them gutless and cowards , there was little chance of escaping from a burning bomber and in fairness the Luftwaffe nightfighter crews were very good and equally brave let us make on bones about it.



So then dirlewangers or SSRONA were not cowards? The were also brave soldiers coz they had also very small surviving prosent? Smaller than USAAF or RAF.

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Baltasar
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Post by Baltasar » 20 Jul 2003 10:27

I don't see a difference between those bomber crews and the worst SS anti partisan troops. They both were murders and war criminals, both killed thousand and more people, almost exclusively civilians. Both knew very well what they were doing, both had their own risks to bear.
One could argue that both did only carry out orders, but that wasn't an excuse at Nürnberg nor is it today.

I regard any kind of murdering as cowardice.

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 20 Jul 2003 10:50

Baltasar wrote:I don't see a difference between those bomber crews and the worst SS anti partisan troops. They both were murders and war criminals, both killed thousand and more people, almost exclusively civilians. Both knew very well what they were doing, both had their own risks to bear.
One could argue that both did only carry out orders, but that wasn't an excuse at Nürnberg nor is it today.

I regard any kind of murdering as cowardice.


I totaly agree. Surviving procent doesnt have anything to do with bravery.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 20 Jul 2003 11:54

Thanks for the link Blackheart

Please no more posts on this thread concerning the Pro's & Con's of the Air War waged against Germany, or the subjective subject of Bravery.

Andy H

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lisset
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Bomer Crew etc.

Post by lisset » 20 Jul 2003 17:46

I will not make any reply owing to Andy's ruling which I think is objective.
In my reply ot Balastar I tried to be as sensitive as i could to the experiences of his own family in the war years , I thnk him for his respect in return.
For my own part I can draw parallels with the U-Boat crews who had a similar job to do against similar odds.
Thesubject of bombing will for a long time continue to be a difficlut and emotive subject to discuss and one on which it is hard to be clinical and objective.
I still say that the loss of life to the civilian population was terrible and is very much regretted irregardles of the nationality of the people killed.
The parallels drawn between aircrew and the worst dregs of dirlwangner's brigade / SS "special action groups" is hardly objective.
Whilst I will read replies I will make no more as my views on all aspects have been expressed in full and I don't wnat to gt into any possible "trading off" situation which is in my view cheap and nasty.
Best regards
to all who posted on this subject.

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Juancho
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neutral point of view

Post by Juancho » 24 Jul 2003 11:56

droping bombs over civilian targets, or killing civilians as part of a war strategy must be considered as war crimes, no matter who flies whichever plane. germany used to bomb british cities in 1940, and s the same did uk and us against germany's cities... see any difference? the crime is the same. it takes guts to fly a plane into enemy teritory, even if to commit a crime against civilians.
under my point of view, they were obeying orders, all of them, then there is this concept of human rights, but i fear that in wars, no one respects them, as is happened in Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, etc. Always the same. Nothing to be proud of. Anways, I consider that in most cases, those men were actually brave, despite in their targets, I am sure they weren't happy to know they were devastating cities with their people inside. Just think about it. What some seem not to understand is that in a war, we all loose, war is tragedy.

regards,

Juan

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