Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 30 Oct 2018 18:56

Hi Attrition,

That is mischievous nonsense.

Firstly, the British did not introduce famine to India, though they may well have recorded it more systematically.

Secondly, up to 15 million Indians may have died of famine in Victoria's 63 years on the throne. That is a quarter of your figure.

While this is certainly nothing to be proud of, the following should be considered beside it:

In 1851 the census gave 180 million Indians. The 1901 census gave 283.9 million.

In other words in the years of Victoria's reign, the Indian population grew by approaching 2 million annually!

By the time Britain's 200 years in India were up, there were approximately three times as many Indians as when the British arrived!

Whilst undoubtedly exploitative and often callous, the British presence was no "extermination". If it was, it must surely go down in history as the most spectacular failed "extermination" ever!

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 30 Oct 2018 21:51

Hi Attrition,
I'm not quite sure why you want to ask about the means of measuring mega-death, surely evil is evil?
Oh absolutely, I was just trying to understand your comment:
Go back to the Conquistadors and work forward, the death toll makes the C20th look like a bagatelle.
I was interested in the statistics that you might have to demonstrate this - I seem to recall that Steven Pinker has produced some long-period statistics in this area and wondered if that was what you were referring to.
One example off the top of my head, on average, a million Indians died of famine in each year that Vic was empress.
Whether your figure is right or not, of course it would also be relevant to ask what the statistics were before and after the English presence.

In trying to find some relevant statistics, this discussion has led me read about the [Scottish] Highland Famine of 1836-38 of which I previously knew nothing, that seems to have slipped under the radar when compared to the Irish Famine in the next decade. Just as in the Irish case, this Scottish famine seems to have provoked mass emigration, a result which is mirrored in the Indian diaspora of the late 19th Century as well.

Anyway, I suppose we should really get back to bombing policy! I think Overy has much to say about RAF thinking in the thirties in his book "The Bombing War" that is relevant.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Attrition » 01 Nov 2018 20:13

I saw something of Pinker's work; I wouldn't buy a used genocide off him.

Whether your figure is right or not, of course it would also be relevant to ask what the statistics were before and after the English presence.

Not really, that is exculpatory, not explanatory.

Apropos bombing, perhaps the C20th means of inflicting mass civilian death has obscured the corpses?

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by StrangerHereMyself » 02 Nov 2018 02:23

The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.
(Durant, Will. The Story Of Civilization, vol.1. 1935. Simon & Schuster, 1954. 459.)
The population of India, estimated at 200 million at the inception of the eleventh century, declined rapidly because of killings, deportations and dissemination caused by Mahmud of Ghazni’s invasions and the activities of his successors. In 1100 it was probably 180 million; it may have been 190 million in 1200. Between 1200 and 1350 conquests of the Delhi Sultans in all parts of the country and the recurring Mongol invasions affected the population adversely, and it may have come down to about 160 million around 1350. Between 1350 and 1400, during Firoz Tughlaq’s peaceful reign, some rise was registered, and the numbers probably rose to 170 million by 1400. The numbers again fell appreciably because of wars and famines in almost all parts of India throughout the fifteenth century. In 1500 it was probably 125 million, and at the time of the establishment of the Mughal empire (1525–26) somewhere near 120 million.
(Lal, K.S. Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India (A.D. 1000–1800). Delhi: Research Publications, 1973. 89.)

Up to 80 million deaths without a European in sight.

And since the British left India, there has been anywhere from 347,000 to well over 8 million dead.
Post-Raj dead from conflict
Event....................................Lowest est............Median.....Highest est.......Missing.......Max. total
Partition....................................200,000...........850,000.......1,500,000....3,400,000.......4,900,000
Hyderabad, 1948.............................2,000............21,000...........40,000...........................40,000
1947–49 Kashmir War........................8,000.............8,000................................................8,000
1962 Sino–Indian war...........................500.............1,875.............3,250............................3,250
1965 Indo–Pakistan War.....................6,800............12,400............18,000..........................18,000
Naxalites, 1968–.............................3,000..............5,786.............8,572...........................8,572
Bangladeshi War of Independence........58,000........1,529,000........3,000,000......................3,000,000
Indo–Pakistan War, 1971...................11,000............19,317...........27,633..........................27,633
Assam war of secession, 1979–...........10,000............10,000.............................................10,000
Sikh uprising, 1982–91.....................16,000............18,000...........20,000..........................20,000
Anti-Sikh riots, 1984........................3,000..............3,000..............................................3,000
Siachen Glacier, 1984–.......................3,841............11,921...........20,000..........................20,000
Kashmir & Jammu Conflict 1989–.........20,000............50,000...........80,000.........3,000...........83,000
Religious riots, 1992–2002..................3,600..............4,100............4,600............................4,600
Bombay, 1993–..................................719................719.................................................719
Kargil Conflict, 1999.........................1,100..............1,550............2,000............................2,000
Totals____________________________347,560______2,546,667_____4,745,774________________8,148,774
(Primary sauce)

21st Century virtue signalling is so tiresome; and if you have to signal your virtue, it ain’t virtue (Matt. 6:1–6 & Luke 18:9–14).

Returning—one can but hope—to the actual topic, the question of whether the ‘U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did’. Neither air force had the capability to deliberately directly strike much of anything: it was area bombing or nothing, which is demonstrated by the USAAF’s bombing and strafing Switzerland in error right up to the last days of the war. If an air force can’t even hit the right country, then the chances of them deliberately taking out Heinz’s grandma (however often that was the sad and tragic reality) was non-existent. See:
Helmreich, J.E. (1977) The Diplomacy of Apology: U.S. Bombings of Switzerland during World War II. Air University Review, 28(4), 19–37. Retrieved from https://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portal ... 28_No4.pdf
Helmreich, J.E. (2000) The Bombing of Zurich. Aerospace Power Journal, 14(2), 92–108. Retrieved from https://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portal ... 14_No2.pdf
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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Attrition » 02 Nov 2018 11:24

Instead of enumerating what the British didn't do, concentrate on what they did, which is what the Raj [i]is[/i] responsible for. C21st copping out is so tiresome.

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Nov 2018 18:28

Hi Attrition,

Do you mean the near tripling of India's population under British rule?

This presumably involved a combination of medical, nutritional, educational, mortality, agricultural and communications improvements on India's previous situation.

Nobody pretends that the British presence in India was created for anyone's benefit but the UK's. However, the by-products and incidentals of the British presence were nevertheless considerable.

These developments may or may not have occurred as quickly and effectively without a British presence. That we can never know for a fact. But occur they did, whether intended or not.

If one looks at graphs of the trend in Indian population growth, the Raj era seems to be on trend, so I imagine the British made little long term difference to India's development.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by StrangerHereMyself » 02 Nov 2018 20:21

’Twas a vain hope indeed, that a thread about Allied bombing in WW2 would actually involve discussing Allied bombing in WW2 instead of being hijacked to promote an anti-British agenda.
The Islamic invasion and rule started with Muhammad bin Qasim’s capture of Sindh in 712 and officially ended after the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857. The British colonial occupation, in effect, started in 1757 and ended in 1947. … Curiously, of the two foreign rules in India, only one—the British rule—is termed colonial and singled out for condemnation by historians, scholars and citizens of the subcontinent and elsewhere. A conscious and deliberate effort has been made to whitewash the no-less dark and disastrous and much longer period of Islamic rule.
(Khan, M.A. Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery. Felibri, 2008. 145–6. [Emphasis added])
As per Islamic injunctions, the inhabitants [of Debal] were invited to accept Islam, and on their refusal all adult males were put to the sword and their wives and children were enslaved. The carnage lasted for three days. … As this was the pattern of all future sieges and victories of Muhammed bin Qasim—as indeed of all future Muslim invaders of Hindustan—it may be repeated. Inhabitants of a captured fort or town were invited to accept Islam. Those who converted were spared. Those who refused were massacred. Their women and children were enslaved and converted. Temples were broken and on their sites and with their materials were constructed mosques, khanqahs, sarais, and tombs.
(Lal, K.S “Muslims Invade India.” 437–8. The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, edited by Andrew G. Bostom, Prometheus, 2008. 433–455.)
[W]ars against Hindus were no ordinary wars, casualties no common casualties, and massacres were massacres of extermination. The thirst for extermination was also whetted by the resistance of “the enemies of God” with their determination for survival. The rite of Jauhar killed the women, the tradition of not deserting the field of battle made Rajputs and others die fighting in large numbers.
(Lal, K.S “Jihad under the Turks and Jihad under the Mughals.” 457. The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, edited by Andrew G. Bostom, Prometheus, 2008. 456–461.)

One cannot ignore the vastly greater and far worse slaughter perpetrated by others: British rule can only be properly assessed within the context of the carnage that bracketed British rule of that subcontinent’s otherwise bloody history.

Anyway, for any passing reader interested in discussing Allied bombing, as per thread’s title, and with specific regard to erroneously attacking Switzerland:
It is notable that while the RAF mistakenly attacked Geneva (5 dead), Renens (2 dead, 8 injured), Daillens (7 injured), and Basel and Zürich (no casualties) on 11/12 June 1940, although frequently violating Swiss airspace (e.g. on our way to attack Italy), we never attacked Switzerland thereafter. Some might cynically presume this was due largely to the RAF’s switching to night-bombing with Switzerland handily advertising its neutrality by being ablaze with light. However, this proves not to be the case as the Swiss actually imposed a blackout between 1940 and 1944—an extraordinarily unnecessary risk to their citizens.
The only practical measure open to the Swiss was to try to limit the navigational advantages for British pilots of overflying Swiss territory by instigating a blackout. The problem with this measure, however, lay in the fact that it worked so clearly to the disadvantage of one belligerent, that it contradicted Switzerland’s obligation to treat both sides impartially. Quite apart from the disruption caused to Swiss civil and business life, by making Switzerland indistinguishable from its Axis neighbours, the blackout inevitably heightened the dangers of accidental bombing. As General Guisan himself pointed out, there was no reason to assume that the blackout would actually reduce the violation of Swiss airspace. Blackout or no blackout, the RAF would still be inclined to use Swiss mountains and lakes to ‘fix’ their position before heading south into Italy. Such practical concerns were of little interest to the federal council, for whom the need to appease Axis ill humour became increasingly paramount. Against Guisan’s objections, the council imposed a blackout on 6 November 1940 and the measure remained in force until [12] September 1944.
(Wylie, Neville. Britain, Switzerland, and the Second World War. Oxford University Press, 2003. 201–2, 224.)
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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Attrition » 03 Nov 2018 02:00

No, a pro-humanity agenda. Cruelty can't be justified by tu quoque.

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by StrangerHereMyself » 03 Nov 2018 15:24

Empty platitudes do not an argument make; nor do they equate to actual data or magically gain relevance to the thread’s topic of Allied bombing in WW2. But ignoring tediously unoriginal anti-British propaganda to try and bring this thread back on topic:

Despite American claims to have employed precision bombing, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey admitted:
Before the war, the U.S. Army Air Forces had advanced bombing techniques to their highest level of development and had trained a limited number of crews to a high degree of precision in bombing under target range conditions, thus leading to the expressions “pin point” and “pickle barrel” bombing. However, it was not possible to approach such standards of accuracy under battle conditions imposed over Europe. Many limiting factors intervened; target obscuration by clouds, gof [sic—‘fog’?], smoke screens and industrial haze; enemy fighter opposition which necessitated defensive bombing formations, thus restricting freedom of maneuver; antiaircraft artillery defenses, demanding minimum time exposure of the attacking force in order to keep losses down; and finally, time limitations imposed on combat crew training after the war began.

Conventionally the air forces designated as “the target area” a circle having a radius of 1000 feet around the aiming point of attack. While accuracy improved during the war, Survey studies show that, in the over-all, only about 20% of the bombs aimed at precision targets fell within this target area. A peak accuracy of 70% was reached for the month of February 1945.
(United States Strategic Bombing Survey. (1945) Summary Report (European War). 13. Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil/docs/citations/ADA421958)

That target area equates to over 72 acres (around 28 acres shy of the devastation that Coventry suffered in November 1940); and only 20% of bombs even succeeded in falling within that acreage.

Note that the USAAF adopted British technologies to enable them to bomb with at least a modicum of accuracy, further demonstrating how little practical difference there was between the strategies adopted by our respective air forces. See: Laufer, M. (1995) BTO, PFF, OBOE, H2S, H2X, MICKEY. Enter the Mystical World of Radar Navigational Bombing. Flak News, 10(2). 8. Retrieved from https://www.398th.org/FlakNews/Articles ... Radar.html
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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Nov 2018 16:29

Hi SHM,

As I understand it, the Swiss introduced the black out on German demand, because lit up Swiss cities were useful to the RAF as navigation way-points en route to German and Italian cities. Liechtenstein, as the last lit up area in central Europe, followed immediately. The Germans at much the same time got Radio Andorra to stop nightime broadcasts for the same reason.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Nov 2018 16:34

Hi Attrition,

Who was your last post directed to?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Andy H » 03 Nov 2018 16:53

histan wrote:
23 Oct 2018 17:44

If the question is: did the USAAF have a policy of attacking civilian morale by destroying civilian housing? Then the answer is almost certainly - No.
If the question is: did the USAAF have a policy of dropping bombs on the civilian population if the bombers could not find their designated target? Then the answer is almost certainly - Yes.

Regards

John
Hi John

Succintly put.

Regards

Andy H

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Re: Had U.S.A.A.F. attempted direct strikes against German civilian population during WW2 like R.A.F. did?

Post by Andy H » 03 Nov 2018 17:00

Hi All

Locked until I can summon up the energy/time to DELETE all the content not specific to this thread.

Some thread drift is expected from time to time but not to the degree where the original question has been forgotten.

Why members waste their time posting such material is beyond me.

If a thread is going awry don't try a self police it, as most times you're just advancing the threads drift

Regards

Andy H

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