Churchill & Harris - Terror raids

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Hop
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Post by Hop » 22 Aug 2003 14:43

As Redcoat said, the Luftwaffe was bombing towns across Britain throughout the BoB. My own home town, Swansea, was bombed on 16 seperate nights between the 27th of June and 24th of August 1940, killing 26 people.

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Post by viriato » 22 Aug 2003 19:20

Contrary to the assumption that the first aerial bombings (with airplanes) were conducted by the Germans, the truth is that the Italians were the ones to show the way. Their first atack happened in 1911 in the oasis of Tanquira in Tripolitania. See:

http://readerweekly.org/Read/Mix/213HistoryFlight.html

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 23 Aug 2003 13:21

You forgot some (allied) commanders like air marshall Arthur Harris or prime minister Winston Churchill.



Complete tosh. I have never heard such ridiculous twaddle. Nevermind Harris. But to suggest that the gentlemen who prevented the disgusting and barbaric German attempt at hegemony over Europe, the leader who stood up and had the guts to say to Hitler and his reviled Nazi regime, "Here, and no further, here we draw the line, from now on we mean to conquer or to die", as being mad, is a travesty unbelievable.


As President Kennedy said -

he is the most honored and honorable man to walk the stage of human history in the time in which we live.



Whenever and wherever tyranny threatened, he has always championed liberty.

Facing firmly toward the future, he has never forgotten the past.

Serving six monarchs of his native Great Britain, he has served all men's freedom and dignity.

In the dark days and darker nights when Britain stood alone -- and most men save Englishmen despaired of England's life -- he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. The incandescent quality of his words illuminated the courage of his countrymen.

Given unlimited powers by his citizens, he was ever vigilant to protect their rights.

Indifferent himself to danger, he wept over the sorrows of others.

A child of the House of Commons, he became in time its father.

Accustomed to the hardships of battle, he has no distaste for pleasure.

Now his stately Ship of Life, having weathered the severest storms of a troubled century, is anchored in tranquil waters, proof that courage and faith and the zest for freedom are truly indestructible. The record of his triumphant passage will inspire free hearts for all time.

By adding his name to our rolls, we mean to honor him -- but his acceptance honors us far more. For no statement or proclamation can enrich his name -- the name Sir Winston Churchill is already legend.



Brilliant words, for a brilliant man.




regards,

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Matt H.
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Post by Matt H. » 23 Aug 2003 14:45

Words spoken like a true British patriot! For that, I applaud you!

Sensationalism aside (which is difficult for me), I believe the best example of a true statesman in the 20th Century would be former South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts. Although a serious opponent of the British in the Anglo-Boer War, he recognised the importance of South Africa's position within the Greater British Commonwealth, and in reconciliation with the British Empire (South Africa entered both World Wars on the Allied side). As well as an honest and conservative politician, Smuts was an excellent field commander, intellect and philosopher - the best statesman to preside over the former Dominion of South Africa...

Smuts was a close friend of Sir Arthur Harris (and instrumental in the creation of the independent RAF), as well as Sir Winston Churchill - the man who awarded him the honourary title of Field Marshall in the British Army.

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 26 Aug 2003 01:11

redcoat wrote:
Tonyny44 wrote:
"Redcoat" eh...ok lets try for an UNBIASED opinion from you. 8)

OK roll:

You're rolling all right.....off a white cliff in Dover though:

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,

SNIP*

What part of my question of WHICH SIDE *INITIATED* bombing CIVILIAN areas on PURPOSE during the SUMMER of 1940 CONFUSED you? The question WAS NOT WHO BOMBED THE MOST IN A ONE WEEK PERIOD.

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


Go BACK and READ my original quote I got from just ONE Internet site regarding BOB. It mentions something about a German bomber being chased by some spitfire...

Is that FOCUSED enough for you 8)


No but gimme some of what you and your fellow brits are drinking -- I wanna get BOMBED to. (smile)

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Matt H.
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Post by Matt H. » 26 Aug 2003 01:53

Tony, I have already stated that the retaliatory raid on Berlin was in response to an accidental raid by a single Heinkel He-111 on London. Such an occurance is a well documented fact. However, you state that this retaliatory raid was an effort to deliberately target German civilians...do you have any proof to back up such a claim?

I can tell you this much, you won't find anything from RAF sources, as the document I posted previously was the first directive issued regarding the specific policy of "area" or "city" bombing...

The RAF Bomber Command raid on Berlin in the Summer of 1940 cannot therefore, be considered as part of this overall directive, as such an order had not been issued.

Thus, we can only assume that such an action was an aerial bombardment against an industrial target - which Berlin most definately was. Neither can it classified as an act of criminality. Berlin was the most heavily defended city in Germany throughout the war, and presented a perilous journey for the RAF's brave bomber crews...

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 26 Aug 2003 02:17

Matt H. wrote:Tony, I have already stated that the retaliatory raid on Berlin was in response to an accidental raid by a single Heinkel He-111 on London. Such an occurance is a well documented fact. However, you state that this retaliatory raid was an effort to deliberately target German civilians...do you have any proof to back up such a claim?

Matt Matt Matt........I'm starting to worry about you. Is NOT BERLIN a CIVILIAN TARGET??? Who do you think LIVED in BERLIN? The SAME CIVILIANS that lived in London! The INITIAL German bomb load on London was an ACCIDENT! As you acknowledge! The RETALIATORY attack on Berlin wasn't! Get it YET???

I can tell you this much, you won't find anything from RAF sources, as the document I posted previously was the first directive issued regarding the specific policy of "area" or "city" bombing...

Not finding anything from "RAF sources" means nothing -- you won't find anything from AH's PEN regarding gas chambers either. Moot point

The RAF Bomber Command raid on Berlin in the Summer of 1940 cannot therefore, be considered as part of this overall directive, as such an order had not been issued.

I NEVER SAID IT WAS PART OF THE OVERALL DIRECTIVE! Did I? I merely MENTIONED, in order to throw some BALANCE on your NOVENA about "happy Harris", which SIDE started bombing CITIES on PURPOSE.

Thus, we can only assume that such an action was an aerial bombardment against an industrial target - which Berlin most definately was. Neither can it classified as an act of criminality. Berlin was the most heavily defended city in Germany throughout the war, and presented a perilous journey for the RAF's brave bomber crews...


Oh BALONEY -- WHY wasn't Berlin BOMBED PRIOR to this ACCIDENT from a SOLO German bomber than? Why the speech from Hitler RIGHT AFTER this attack and NOT before? Do a LITTLE RESEARCH on the topic before posting nonsense.

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Henric Edwards
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Post by Henric Edwards » 26 Aug 2003 09:54

Matt H. wrote:Tony, I have already stated that the retaliatory raid on Berlin was in response to an accidental raid by a single Heinkel He-111 on London. Such an occurance is a well documented fact.


Actually that is not quite true. According to the Swedish historian Michael Tamelander Luftwaffe was supposed to attack targets in the London area, specifically around the mouth of the Thames, during the night of August 24/25. However, their targets were badly defined and the bombs were spread over a large area and from just before midnight to around 3 in morning bombs fell over central London, Bethnal Green, East Ham, Stepney and Finsbury. In response to the mistake Luftwaffe claimed that it was a single German bomber that got lost and that the crew now served in the infantry. As you can see from the above account, that was quite far from the truth.

Source:
Tamelander, Michael Slaget om Västeuropa - Flygkrig, strategi och politik sommaren 1940 [The Battle for Western Europe - Air war, strategy and politics during the summer of 1940]



~Henric Edwards

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 26 Aug 2003 12:29

Tonyny44 wrote:
redcoat wrote:
Tonyny44 wrote:
"
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,

SNIP*

What part of my question of WHICH SIDE *INITIATED* bombing CIVILIAN areas on PURPOSE during the SUMMER of 1940 CONFUSED you? The question WAS NOT WHO BOMBED THE MOST IN A ONE WEEK PERIOD.

I take it you failed to notice that the week I picked was before the date of the 'accidental' bombing of London, and therefore before the bombing of Berlin.

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

Go BACK and READ my original quote I got from just ONE Internet site regarding BOB. It mentions something about a German bomber being chased by some spitfire..
.
The RAF didn't use Spitfires at night :roll:

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Post by Matt H. » 26 Aug 2003 20:33

Matt Matt Matt........I'm starting to worry about you. Is NOT BERLIN a CIVILIAN TARGET??? Who do you think LIVED in BERLIN? The SAME CIVILIANS that lived in London! The INITIAL German bomb load on London was an ACCIDENT! As you acknowledge! The RETALIATORY attack on Berlin wasn't! Get it YET???


No Tony, Berlin was not exclusively a civilian target. Leaving aside the Ruhr Valley, Berlin was one the most important centres of industrial production in the entire German Reich - one cannot also underestimate it's psychological value to the German war effort. Berlin was also far from being an "Open City". Need I remind you again that it was the most heavily defended region in Germany? Were those rows of Flak 88s, Flak Towers, night-fighter units and Me-109 squadrons simply placed just for show? Do you, in all seriousness, believe the following account of a typical raid on Berlin is an exaggeration?

There was always tension going into Berlin. I always tried to get in early. I tried to get in with the Pathfinders when I could, because I fancied that I was as good as any Pathfinder. When you went in all hell let loose. They had extraordinary devices that exploded with a tremendous bang and lit up the whole sky to frighten you. The Pathfinders were remarkably good. You saw the flares and incendiaries go down. Then 600 bombers were all around you. The risk of collision was very great. Looking down you gradually saw the city explode with bombs dropping and with incendiaries. Looking back you saw Berlin burning. This was the turning point at which extreme caution had to be exercised. If everyone did not turn at the same time the risk of collision was very great.

On one particular night two Lancasters collided in front of us and one of them exploded and went straight down. The other did two upward rolls with all four engines burning and exploded right in front of us, a hundred yards away. The pilot shouted to the gunners to turn away so that their night vision would not be impaired. One gunner asked why, and when he was told his knees shook. Quite an extraordinary scene.


From: http://www.rafbombercommand.com/personals_3_operations.html#lm_1_collisionoverberlin

Face facts, the RAF raid on Berlin in the Summer of 1940 was an act of military necessity and within the bounds of the Geneva Convention - regardless of the motives expressed by Sir Winston Churchill. End of story

I NEVER SAID IT WAS PART OF THE OVERALL DIRECTIVE! Did I? I merely MENTIONED, in order to throw some BALANCE on your NOVENA about "happy Harris", which SIDE started bombing CITIES on PURPOSE.


Jeez! Since when has the aerial bombardment of centres of industrial production been an act of wartime criminality? Are you attempting to paint RAF Bomber Command as a criminal faction?

Oh BALONEY -- WHY wasn't Berlin BOMBED PRIOR to this ACCIDENT from a SOLO German bomber than? Why the speech from Hitler RIGHT AFTER this attack and NOT before? Do a LITTLE RESEARCH on the topic before posting nonsense.


Well, the new information provided by Henric seems to place the above theory in a different light altogether.

Henric, thank you for that new information - it certainly extinguished some of my previously held beliefs...

Henric Edwards wrote:Actually that is not quite true. According to the Swedish historian Michael Tamelander Luftwaffe was supposed to attack targets in the London area, specifically around the mouth of the Thames, during the night of August 24/25. However, their targets were badly defined and the bombs were spread over a large area and from just before midnight to around 3 in morning bombs fell over central London, Bethnal Green, East Ham, Stepney and Finsbury. In response to the mistake Luftwaffe claimed that it was a single German bomber that got lost and that the crew now served in the infantry. As you can see from the above account, that was quite far from the truth.

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 26 Aug 2003 21:05

No Tony, Berlin was not exclusively a civilian target. Leaving aside the Ruhr Valley, Berlin was one the most important centres of industrial production in the entire German Reich - one cannot also underestimate it's psychological value to the German war effort.


Yeah REVERSE your sentence above and it MAKES SENSE. KEYWORD being PSYCHOLOGICAL value. Of course in your book bombing London was barbaric. No military or PSYCHOLOGICAL value there, eh? And bombing London didn't start until AFTER Berlin was bombed. I'd say an appropriate tit for tat.

Berlin was also far from being an "Open City". Need I remind you again that it was the most heavily defended region in Germany? Were those rows of Flak 88s, Flak Towers, night-fighter units and Me-109 squadrons simply placed just for show?


Considering it was the CAPITAL of the Reich and all its leaders and points of government were there (especially in 1940) I wouldn't expect it to be defended LIGHTLY. You're dancing again -- my original point of WHO bombed who's capital INITIALLY........on PURPOSE....... stands.


[
Face facts, the RAF raid on Berlin in the Summer of 1940 was an act of military necessity and within the bounds of the Geneva Convention - regardless of the motives expressed by Sir Winston Churchill.


"Regardless of the motives of Churchill"? So they DISREGARDED the guy who RAN THE SHOW in England? Oh please. NO in point of fact it was a clever trick to get Goering's (more importantly Hitler's) eye off MILITARY targets and this is EXACTLY what happened AFTER the BERLIN RAID! Don't take my word for it -- go READ some history books on the topic. But you would have to admit you're WRONG first....I'm not holding my breath.

Jeez! Since when has the aerial bombardment of centres of industrial production been an act of wartime criminality? Are you attempting to paint RAF Bomber Command as a criminal faction?


Bombing Berlin because of an ACCIDENTAL bombing of London as an act of revenge IS criminal. And before the rest of you "redcoats" jump in SEPARATE POLITICS from this discussion.

Well, the new information provided by Henric seems to place the above theory in a different light altogether.


The above is NOT a theory. Its a well documented FACT

Henric, thank you for that new information - it certainly extinguished some of my previously held beliefs...


Boy it doesn't take MUCH to convince you when it AGREES with your propaganda...

[quote="Henric Edwards"]Actually that is not quite true. According to the Swedish historian Michael Tamelander Luftwaffe was supposed to attack

Nothing like a Swedish "historian" to close the loop on this eh Matty? I put this guy right up there with those "Victory at Sea" novels I used to watch as a kid. Than again, it FITS what you want to hear.

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Post by Henric Edwards » 26 Aug 2003 21:20

Tonyny44 wrote:Nothing like a Swedish "historian" to close the loop on this eh Matty? I put this guy right up there with those "Victory at Sea" novels I used to watch as a kid. Than again, it FITS what you want to hear.


I take you have read Tamelander's book and that you are thoroughly acquainted with his works? Michael Tamelander has worked closely with Niklas Zetterling on books about the Normandy invasion and the German invasion of Norway. Slaget om Västeuropa [The Battle of Western Europe] is a well researched and detailed account of the air battles above France and Great Britain and I think it's quite unfair of you to disregard it just because the author is Swedish.


~Henric Edwards

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Tonyny44
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Post by Tonyny44 » 26 Aug 2003 21:30

I take you have read Tamelander's book and that you are thoroughly acquainted with his works? Michael Tamelander has worked closely with Niklas Zetterling on books about the Normandy invasion and the German invasion of Norway. Slaget om Västeuropa [The Battle of


Well that "cements" his reputation, doesn't it? Get back to me when you have PROOF to DISPROVE my claim, along with COUNTLESS references to it, that the FIRST attack on London was an ACCIDENT but the retaliatory attack on Berlin WAS NOT.

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Post by Matt H. » 26 Aug 2003 21:32

Yeah REVERSE your sentence above and it MAKES SENSE. KEYWORD being PSYCHOLOGICAL value. Of course in your book bombing London was barbaric. No military or PSYCHOLOGICAL value there, eh? And bombing London didn't start until AFTER Berlin was bombed. I'd say an appropriate tit for tat.


So wait, it's all fine and dandy for the Luftwaffe to bomb London, but not for the Royal Air Force to bomb Berlin? Give me a break! In all seriousness, do you believe the RAF should have just sat back? The security of our nation was at risk! Please...
:roll:

"Regardless of the motives of Churchill"? So they DISREGARDED the guy who RAN THE SHOW in England? Oh please. NO in point of fact it was a clever trick to get Goering's (more importantly Hitler's) eye off MILITARY targets and this is EXACTLY what happened AFTER the BERLIN RAID! Don't take my word for it -- go READ some history books on the topic. But you would have to admit you're WRONG first....I'm not holding my breath.


I've already stated that the Berlin raid was retaliatory, but whereabouts in the Geneva Convention will you be able to find a specific law that was violated by the raid?

It was not a war crime - it was a justified measure of aerial warfare. You will not change my opinion on this, so don't bother trying.

Bombing Berlin because of an ACCIDENTAL bombing of London as an act of revenge IS criminal. And before the rest of you "redcoats" jump in SEPARATE POLITICS from this discussion.


Ooh! We are are feeling a little anti-British today, aren't we? Well, you can call me a "Redcoat" any day of the week, just don't be surprised when I take it as a compliment!

If you believe that the raid was a war crime, find a law in the Geneva Convention regarding the International Laws of Warfare, that the raid violated.

Now, according to the Geneva Convention, the aerial bombardment of cities is prohibited only if the target is declared an "Open City" - my interpretation of such as law is as follows:

1. That the target will have absolutely no way in which to defend itself from the subsequant aerial bombardment.

2. The target in question bears no relation whatsoever to the enemy war effort - i.e. no industrial production sites are located inside the target.

Now if you claim to be more of an expert on the laws of aerial warfare as stated by the Geneva Convention, then by all means, go ahead an prove my above statement wrong. Cite the specific law which the raid on Berlin in the Summer of 1940 violated. Otherwise, you have no means by which to label the raid a war crime.
Last edited by Matt H. on 26 Aug 2003 22:52, edited 3 times in total.

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Henric Edwards
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Post by Henric Edwards » 26 Aug 2003 21:43

Tonyny44 wrote:
I take you have read Tamelander's book and that you are thoroughly acquainted with his works? Michael Tamelander has worked closely with Niklas Zetterling on books about the Normandy invasion and the German invasion of Norway. Slaget om Västeuropa [The Battle of


Well that "cements" his reputation, doesn't it? Get back to me when you have PROOF to DISPROVE my claim, along with COUNTLESS references to it, that the FIRST attack on London was an ACCIDENT but the retaliatory attack on Berlin WAS NOT.


I haven't written squat about the Luftwaffe attack on London NOT being accidental. On the contrary, I confirmed that the bombs were dropped on residential parts of London because of the badly defined targets assigned to the attacking squadrons. Hence the attack was accidental. But it was more than a single lost bomber as previously thought. My understanding is that the targets to be hit by the Luftwaffe were industrial by nature, including an oil depot near the Thames Estuary, but as I wrote previously the accuracy was off and bombs fell over central London and the areas of the city mentioned above. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings.


~Henric Edwards

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