how to justify that Dresden wasn't a war crime?

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aurelien wolff
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how to justify that Dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by aurelien wolff » 15 Feb 2019 18:15

Hello,just in cas if I cross the path of someone saying it was a war crime.
Thannks for your answer!

histan
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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by histan » 15 Feb 2019 19:08

Simple answer:

The bombing did not infringe any of the laws of war, such as the Geneva conventions, that were in place at the time that the bombing was carried out.

It is exactly the same answer that applies to the German shelling and bombing of Warsaw that took place in 1939.

Regards

John

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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by Hanny » 15 Feb 2019 19:35

aurelien wolff wrote:
15 Feb 2019 18:15
Hello,just in cas if I cross the path of someone saying it was a war crime.
Thannks for your answer!
International law allowed for reciprocal retaliation or reprisals, Germany embarked on SB of cities, and was countered by others who were simply better at at by the end of the war.

If they point to 250k dead, direct them to D Irving court case taking the Dresden Police Chief and the Situation Report 1404, of 25,00 casualties and moving the decimal point pl and making it read 250,000
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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by South » 15 Feb 2019 20:23

Good afternoon Hanny,

Are you sure ?

Are you sure that international law allowed for reciprocal retaliation or reprisals" ?

I'm just guessing that you were writing fast and thus not fleshing out your point.

Otherwise, if, for example, Event A was NOT in basic compliance with, for example, the Hague Convention of 1907, the Event B retaliation cannot also be in derogation of the Convention.

The later League of Nations Covenant had an Article 16 saying much the same as above.

I can't pull out my Nuremberg tribunal file now. I have the time but there's just too much refined pulp from trees next to this new-fangled telegraph key.

Do confirm above.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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wm
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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by wm » 15 Feb 2019 22:13

Of course it can, the very essence of reprisals is the fact that innocents suffer for the crimes of the guilty.

But there weren't any reprisal bombings during ww2. If you wanted reprisals you had to formally notify the other side beforehand anyway.

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redcoat
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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by redcoat » 16 Feb 2019 02:30

It wasn't a war crime because bombing enemy cities wasn't an act which broke the international laws of warfare at that time.

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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by Kingfish » 16 Feb 2019 10:36

wm wrote:
15 Feb 2019 22:13
But there weren't any reprisal bombings during ww2. If you wanted reprisals you had to formally notify the other side beforehand anyway.
That is an odd statement to say the least.
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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2019 11:19

See the story of the Winchester Model 1897 for an actual case of (planned) reprisals.

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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2019 11:38

From The Laws of War by Thomas Erskine Holland
When the actual offenders cannot be reached or identified, resort is sometimes had to measures of "Reprisals" or "Retaliation", by which persons guilty of no offence may suffer for the acts of others.

Since, however, the permissibility of such measures is a painful exception to the rule that a belligerent must observe the laws of war, even without reciprocity on the part of the enemy, reprisals must be sparingly exercised, and then not by way of vengeance, but solely in order to prevent a repetition of the offence complained of.

Reprisals need not resemble in character the offence complained of. They may be exercised against persons or property. Only in extreme cases have prisoners of war been executed by way of reprisal; but the destruction of villages, houses, &e., on account of offences committed in them, or in their neighborhood, has not been uncommon. Such destruction is not to be confused with that which is occasionally necessary for strategic reasons.

Reprisals must be exercised only subject to the following restrictions :
1. The offence in question must have been carefully inquired into.
2. Redress for the wrong, or punishment of the real offender, must be unattainable.
3. The Reprisals must be authorized, unless under very special circumstances, by the Commander-in-chief.
4. They must not be disproportioned to the offence, and must in no case be of a barbarous character.

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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by Hanny » 16 Feb 2019 12:21

South wrote:
15 Feb 2019 20:23
Good afternoon Hanny,

Are you sure ?

Are you sure that international law allowed for reciprocal retaliation or reprisals" ?

I'm just guessing that you were writing fast and thus not fleshing out your point.

Otherwise, if, for example, Event A was NOT in basic compliance with, for example, the Hague Convention of 1907, the Event B retaliation cannot also be in derogation of the Convention.

The later League of Nations Covenant had an Article 16 saying much the same as above.

I can't pull out my Nuremberg tribunal file now. I have the time but there's just too much refined pulp from trees next to this new-fangled telegraph key.

Do confirm above.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA
Bob

Pretty sure, any treaty law that is breached by one member allows the aggrieved party to consider the treaty void, unless the perpetrator immediately claims its an accident and offers compensation and does not repeat the act.Or the aggrieved party may use retaliation ( Oxford manul https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customar ... ul_rule145 ) of the same infraction, and or other aspects of military coercion to enforce compliance.

But i understood most to all to know there was no treaty or convention barring bombing of cities by aircraft. It ( Hague Convention of 1907) does have a clause wherein you cant use pows in reprisal acts. Its not till the mid 70 such a thing gets into international law, and many dont accept it but UK does.

Nuremberg and other war crimes Tribunals only had LW officers who ordered, planners who planned, and crews who performed terror raids on cities, its the intent of those raids to kill civilians as the end product of the raid that made them different.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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wm
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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2019 12:42

a belligerent must observe the laws of war, even without reciprocity on the part of the enemy

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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Feb 2019 13:03

Hi Aurelian Wolff,

Dresden had considerable military significance.

The German Army's wehrkreis HQ there administered some 10% of German Army manpower.

It contained 20-odd military camps, depots, etc.,

Dresden was an important railway hub supplying German armies on the nearby Eastern Front.

German industry had in Dresden the largest concentration of optical factories producing gun sights, bomb sights and periscope lenses in the Reich.

There was a large anti-aircraft defence system in place.

Thousands of uniformed personnel were permanently based in the city, tens of thousands of others regularly passed through it and German civilians in Dresden were getting up every morning and going to work to build key weapons components for every German arm of service.

However, if Berlin had declared Dresden an "Open City", and removed all these military functions from it, it would have precluded the Allies from legally bombing it.

The problem was that the Nazi regime did not itself respect the concept of the "Open City". It had bombed Belgrade after it had been declared an Open City by the Yugoslavs. It had occupied Budapest as soon as the allied Hungarian government began to consider declaring its capital an Open City. It had withdrawn troops through Florence even after the allied Italians had declared it an Open City.

Dresden was bombed with justification and was not a war crime.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by wm » 17 Feb 2019 23:11

Bombing of cities was allowed by articles 25 and 26, and 27 of Hague IV, "Laws and Customs of War on Land" (1907).

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Re: how to justify that dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by David Thompson » 18 Feb 2019 01:44

There are numerous discussions of the Dresden attacks here, at:

Dresden 1945
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=1000
Dresden 1945
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=4838
Bombing of Dresden
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=20370
Destruction of Dresden
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=43901
Dresden bombing & post-liberation Euro gas chambers
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=33480
Dresden photos
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=27506
USAF Historical Analysis of the 14-15 February 1945 Bombings of Dresden
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 620#304620
Surface and subterranean petroleum, oil and lubricant facilities in the Dresden area
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 916#395916

Interested readers can find more related material at the Allied War Crimes FAQs index posted at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=53295

For reprisals see: On reprisals
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=159640

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Re: how to justify that Dresden wasn't a war crime?

Post by maltesefalcon » 09 Mar 2019 17:10

How does one single out the Dresden raid in the first place? In terms of devastation Hamburg, Yokohama, Tokyo, Dortmund, Würzburg, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were comparable. And at least four of tbe aforementioned raids occurred after Dresden, so timing was not the issue.

IMHO much of the bad publicity of this raid occured immediately after the war in an attempt to sully the reputation of Air Marshal Harris, whose arrogance and brusqueness had made him many enemies.

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