Churchill & Harris - Terror raids

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 20 Aug 2003 21:06

So i`m the Idiot?...You have made this point twice.So what`s your beef?
Your argument is very weak to say the least.


Oh boo boo -- look who's back after telling the moderator he's "done with this thread". Yeah ok...wink. BTW I have YET to hear you REFUTE my question. You CONVENIENTLY CUT it out in your first reply to me.
quote

]Re-read your quote, and think about the German bombing of Poland, Holland,and every other country he bomb.[/quote]

Try STAYING FOCUSED. We're talking about WHO the initiated bombing of civilian targets in the "Battle of Britain". Considering Poland was invaded I would think they'd get bombed first...

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 20 Aug 2003 21:15

[
"Matt H."]Tony, how do I "danceth a bit too much for your taste"? I have provided accurate and credible sources clearly outlining the role of RAF Bomber Command in the Summer of 1940 - information which you requested. Furthermore, the same source also happens to point out the circumstances surrounding the first ever raid on the German homeland by RAF Bomber Command. It was not an attack on a residential area, nor an attack on a major industrial centre - it was an attack on a seaplane base...to my mind, that is a military target...and therefore, a legitimate target - thus, such a raid cannot be classed a "deliberate instigation of terror".



Its "amazing" with all your sources you can't find THE ONE that caused AH to START bombing London, etc in the SUMMER of 1940. Do you recall a speech by AH regarding this matter? Did Goering divert his pilots from militayr targets that summer because he hated Big Ben? ;-)

Or was there an INCIDENT that provoked this? I will look it up if I have to, but lets see if your memory "clears up" first.

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 20 Aug 2003 21:30

Tonyny44 wrote:"? :"


Previously? Eh one area you conveniently LEAVE out here is which side INITIATED bombing CIVILIAN targets. Just stay with the summer of 1940 for purposes of focus. Answer?

I presume you are referring to the RAF's raids on Berlin. Well despite what some people try to tell us, the RAF bombers in this period did not practice area bombing of cities, they were given military or war production related targets. For example, the targets of the RAF bombers on the first raid on Berlin was the airfield at Tempelhof and the huge Siemens works nearby. The British did not start the tactic of area bombing until 1942, well after the London biltz.

The first planned 'terror raid' wasn't in 1940, but 1914

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 20 Aug 2003 21:30

[quote="Tonyny44"][[quote]"Matt H."]Tony, how do I "danceth a bit too much for your taste"? I have provided accurate and credible sources clearly outlining the role of RAF Bomber Command in the Summer of 1940 - information which you requested. Furthermore, the same source also happens to point out the circumstances surrounding the first ever raid on the German homeland by RAF Bomber Command. It was not an attack on a residential area, nor an attack on a major industrial centre - it was an attack on a seaplane base...to my mind, that is a military target...and therefore, a legitimate target - thus, such a raid cannot be classed a "deliberate instigation of terror".[/quote


Ok you forced it on me.;-) JUST doing a QUICK search on the Internet I found this little tidbit:

"...Attacking the airfields was strategically and tactically the correct thing to do. Soon 11 Group was near to collapse. There were not enough pilots, not enough ground crew, never enough sleep and too many enemy planes. Then a German bomber being pursued by a British fighter jettisoned its bombload over London. Churchill ordered retaliatory raids on German cities and an incensed Adolf Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to switch its attacks to London and level the British capital."RING A BELL NOW?

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 20 Aug 2003 21:30

:?
Last edited by redcoat on 20 Aug 2003 22:03, edited 1 time in total.

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 20 Aug 2003 21:30

Tonyny44 wrote:"? :"


Previously? Eh one area you conveniently LEAVE out here is which side INITIATED bombing CIVILIAN targets. Just stay with the summer of 1940 for purposes of focus. Answer?


The first planned 'terror raid' wasn't in 1940, but 1914.

Historian Barbara Tuchman in her classic, The Guns
of August, writes about the German seige of the Belgian city of Liege
in 1914:
"Leman (Governor of Liege and general in charge of its defense) was told by
the (German) emissary that Zepplins would destroy Liege if he did not let the
Germans through. The parley failed of its purpose, and on August 6 the Zepplin
L-Z was duly sent from Cologne to bomb the city. The thirteen bombs it
dropped, the nine civilians it killed, inaugurated a twentieth century
practice." (p. 176, Macmillan Co. edition, 1962)
Last edited by redcoat on 20 Aug 2003 21:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Matt H.
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Post by Matt H. » 20 Aug 2003 21:33

Let me guess Tony, the Blitz was our fault? ... :roll:

From the summer of 1940, the RAF was launching raids on Germany at night, though the bomber force was still relatively small and under-equipped. The primary targets were oil facilities and communications (e.g. railways) though as a secondary target Bomber Command was also told to attack German cities ‘for their intrinsic industrial and psychological value’ on nights when conditions prevented identification of the primary target. This became known as ‘area bombing’.


From: http://www.rafbombercommand.com/master_overview.html

Above is a brief overview of how Bomber Command policy evolved towards the targeting of German cities and vital industries. Note the time period - "from the summer of 1940". A policy of area bombing had not even been decided upon by RAF Bomber Command, the Air Ministry or the National Government of Sir Winston Churchill for that matter. Can the same be said for the attitudes of Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring?

Even if the policy of the Luftwaffe towards the "Blitz" of British cities was the result of an accidental raid (I believe it was a stray Heinkel He-111, that dropped it's bomb load over London)...RAF Bomber Command had not decided upon a policy of area or "city" bombing in the summer of 1940.

I'll answer three simple questions for you, that should give a more concise overview:

1. Was RAF Bomber Command conducting raids on Berlin during the summer of 1940? Yes.

2. Were such raids the result of a deliberate policy on the part of the Air Ministry or Sir Charles Portal? No.

3. Were such raids justified measures of war and within the boundaries of the Geneva Convention? Yes.

I'll refer you to the official document produced by the Air Ministry regarding such a policy...note the date at the top...

Image

From: http://www.rafbombercommand.com/master_overview.html

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Post by Andy H » 20 Aug 2003 21:51

The % breakdown of Bomber Command targets for the second half of 1940 is as follows. It can be clearly seen from this that Bomber Commands main focus was on hindering any attempt Germany may make in invading the UK

Oil 22%
Power 2%
Chemical & Explosives 5%
German AForce infrastructure 40%
Aluminium Industry 4%
Docks & Ports 8%
Communications 19%

Andy H

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 21 Aug 2003 02:00

Matt H. wrote:Let me guess Tony, the Blitz was our fault? ... :roll:

Now now Matt -- I never said that. But with all you're dancing you should consider a career in politics. :)

From the summer of 1940, the RAF was launching raids on Germany at night, though the bomber force was still relatively small and under-equipped. The primary targets were oil facilities and communications (e.g. railways) though as a secondary target Bomber

Ah ah......a secondary target. Somewhat of an admission I guess.

Command was also told to attack German cities ‘for their intrinsic industrial and psychological value’ on nights when conditions prevented identification of the primary target. This became known as ‘area bombing’.


Gee I thought only the krauts did that? :idea:

From: http://www.rafbombercommand.com/master_overview.html

Above is a brief overview of how Bomber Command policy evolved towards the targeting of German cities and vital industries. Note the time period - "from the summer of 1940". A policy of area bombing had not even been decided upon by RAF Bomber Command, the Air Ministry or the National Government of Sir Winston Churchill for that matter. Can the same be said for the attitudes of Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring?


Dunno...never asked them. I DO KNOW you're still DODGING my original query -- evidence of which I posted prior. At least you're finally getting on focus in the following paragraph:

Even if the policy of the Luftwaffe towards the "Blitz" of British cities was the result of an accidental raid (I believe it was a stray Heinkel He-111, that dropped it's bomb load over London)...RAF Bomber Command had not decided upon a policy of area or "city" bombing in the summer of 1940.


Matt you should combine magician with politics.......I stand corrected. WHY did it take this LONG for you to FINALLY post this admission. And damn -- you even have the MAKE of the plane down pat. Something's rotten in Denmark, or should I say the English Channel...


I'll answer three simple questions for you, that should give a more concise overview:

1. Was RAF Bomber Command conducting raids on Berlin during the summer of 1940? Yes
.

I think I figured that part out all by myself. But thanks! ;-)

2. Were such raids the result of a deliberate policy on the part of the Air Ministry or Sir Charles Portal? No.


I never said as much - - just a hunch here, ahem, but I'd say Churchill was behind it. :D

3. Were such raids justified measures of war and within the boundaries of the Geneva Convention? Yes.


I see.........dum dum bullets are forbidden but not MASS bombings of cities. Which is ALL off topic from my original post anyway.

I'll refer you to the official document produced by the Air Ministry regarding such a policy...note the date at the top...


And once again I refer you to my ORIGINAL comment. The FIRST bombing on a civilian area in ENGLAND by the Germans after the French escapade was an ACCIDENT. The resulting response from the Brits over Germany WAS NOT.

Cheers

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Post by Matt H. » 21 Aug 2003 11:55

Tony, you seem very focused on the first British raid against Berlin, well here's how it was to the RAF themselves:

RAF Bomber Command Diary - September 1940 - From: http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/diary/diary_bob.html

Berlin was the objective of a raid by 129 aircraft during the night of 23rd/24th September and 112 aircraft claimed to have found their target despite a ground mist making identification difficult. This contrasted sharply when 17 aircraft claimed to have bombed the German Air Ministry building in Berlin. Official records from the city show that only 6 bombs fell on the whole of Berlin that night!


You also made the following statement in response to my previous post:

I see.........dum dum bullets are forbidden but not MASS bombings of cities. Which is ALL off topic from my original post anyway.


You're quite right! The aerial bombardment of enemy cities is not prohibited under the terms of the Geneva Convention - especially Berlin, which was the home to numerous airfields, fighter squadrons, night-fighter units, Flak 88s, Luftwaffe garrisons and huge concrete flak towers - not to mention it's industrial and psychological value to the German war effort...

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Post by Tonyny44 » 21 Aug 2003 14:44

[quote="Matt H."]Tony, you seem very focused on the first British raid against Berlin, well here's how it was to the RAF themselves:

Nope. But when I keep hearing about "The London Blitz" from you and the bombing of CITIES and what a nice chap "bomber Harris" was I like to put some PERSPECTIVE on things. Such as WHO started what. Since you even have the MODEL of the bomber involved you could have saved all this tap dancing had you admitted this to begin with. (wink)

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Post by KalaVelka » 21 Aug 2003 14:49

As i have typed before this discussion is over for me. I have seen enough of this subject.

You asked me tony that what kind of judgement should harris get? That guy who bombed dresden, hamburg, etc cities to ashes should be IMO hanged. He can be harris, churchill or santaclaus. doesnt matter. But if you are going to defend Harris by talking that Churchill gave orders to him, its like saying that all deathcamp guards were not quilty because AH gave those orders to them.

Kasper

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Matt H.
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Post by Matt H. » 21 Aug 2003 15:41

Kasper, Sir Arthur Harris was not even in Great Britain when the policy of "area" or "city" bombing was decided upon by Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Cherwell, the premier's chief scientific advisor. Harris was in the USA, the reasons why, I am unaware of...but he was abroad - that much I can assure you.

Secondly, I have already explained that Sir Arthur Harris was also not part of the formulation for the controversial Dresden raid. At first, Harris opposed such a plan for two reasons:

1. Dresden was in South-East Germany, and entailed a considerably longer flight for his crews in the cold, February winter. He believed such a raid would place the safety of his crews in jeopardy.

2. Harris himself knew little of the aerial and ground-based defences in Dresden...

See the excerpt below from the RAF Bomber Command memorial website:

The eastern cities of Chemnitz, Leipzig and Dresden were identified as targets. Bomber Command had not bombed Dresden before, despite the fact that Harris had been authorised to attack the city several months previously. He had become reluctant about the idea as he felt the long distance to Dresden, particularly in winter, would put his crews at unnecessary risk. There was also little information available about the target and its defences. However, when the specific order to bomb Dresden came through via the Air Ministry from the headquarters of General Eisenhower, the overall Allied commander, Harris was obliged to carry it out, although the fact he requested the order in writing reveals his true feelings about the operation.

Both the RAF and USAAF bombed Dresden causing a very high level of destruction and casualties. Later, Churchill issued a memo criticising ‘acts of terror and wanton destruction’ in reference to the attack. The Air Ministry and Harris were stunned by this, as it had been Churchill himself who instigated the raid. Churchill withdrew the memo but it was a sign of things to come.

During the war Harris had become a household name as one of the Allies’ greatest military leaders and the determined commander who was hitting back at Germany. Once the war was over and the level of destruction in Germany’s cities became apparent, Churchill and other politicians were careful to distance themselves from what had been inflicted on the enemy.

It was even claimed that the area bombing of German cities had been kept secret from the British public during wartime. This was untrue, as shown by newspapers and newsreels of the time, which publicised in detail the devastation of Bomber Command’s heavy raids on German cities to a public eager to feel that Britain was ‘hitting back’.


Kasper, I do not deny that the raid on Dresden was excessive, and pushing the boundaries of necessity - I doubt even Bomber Command veterans will severely refute such a claim, but neither they, nor their commander are war criminals. The 45 000 civilian casualties of Dresden was a tragedy - a tragic aftermath of total war between industrialised nations, and in total war, the morale of the civil population is undoubtedly a target. It is not an alien concept in wars of such grand scale - for example:

1. The Zeppelin raids by the early Luftwaffe of World War I upon British cities, a direct attempt to target civilian morale.

2. The Germans use of the infamous "Paris Gun", once again in World War I. Known to the Germans as the "Kaiser Gun", this massive construction was used to shell the French capital with projectiles weighing up to 900kg. The target was, once again, civilian morale.

3. The Luftwaffe's attempt once again to target British civil morale in 1940-41. Coventry, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool were just a few of the cities to experience devastation on a grandiose scale.

4. The German "revenge" weapons - the V1 and V2 rockets, whose targets were the residential districts of London and South-East England. Do you believe that the Germans would have hesitated to use the V2 on such a grand a scale as it's predecessor?

RAF Bomber Command was not the only force to have been utilised for generic aerial bombardment, yet the role of their brave bomber crews is often maligned and even criminalised (crewing a Lancaster or a B-17 was by no means a "cowardly act". 55 500 men were lost within Bomber Command, and 1/3rd of all USAAF bomber crews became casualties). Such a policy was employed by all participants in World War II - Great Britain, the USA, Germany, the Soviet Union and Japan.

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Post by redcoat » 21 Aug 2003 22:45

Tonyny44 wrote:
Try STAYING FOCUSED. We're talking about WHO the initiated bombing of civilian targets in the "Battle of Britain".


OK :roll:

Luftwaffe night raids on Britain in just one week during the BOB

12th Aug, Night: Minelaying
13th Aug, Night: Midlands, West Country and Scotland bombed
14th Aug, Night: Some small nuisance raids
15th Aug, Night: Bristol, Birmingham, Southampton, Boston, Harwich, Swansea, Crewe and Beverley bombed
16th Aug, Night: Bristol, Chester, Portland, Newport, Swansea, Worcester and Tavistock bombed
17th Aug, Night: Small raids on Wales, Midlands and NW England
18th Aug, Night: Bristol, eastern England and south Wales bombed. Mines laid in the Bristol Channel.

Hitler had banned the bombing of London, but not the bombing of other British cities.

Is that FOCUSED enough for you 8)

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Post by David Thompson » 22 Aug 2003 08:10

For readers interested in previous detailed discussions of this subject, have a look at:

Churchill's warcrimes
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=25091

Debate over UK WWII strategic bombing
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=25898

Terror bombing -- The Nazis started it
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=25592

Dresden Photos
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=27506

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