Scott Smith wrote:
The double-standard is that just because the Allies happened to wage a war-of-terror, in this case via bombing, it does not make it less a war-of-terror than any other.
Wasn't bombing in its infancy at the outbreak of war in 1939?
Technologically speaking, it was, and in fact, for the effectiveness of the use of air power of Germany, sharpened by combat in Spain, in its earliest campaigns in Poland, Western Europe, Russia followed by the Mediterrain and North Africa in its ground assault campaigns, air power achieved stupendous gains for the Blitzkrieg.
Yet, it failed in the Battle of Britian, and the lack of heavy bombers plagued Germany throughout the war.
The theory was prior to the outbreak of WWII, that the bombing of cities, etc., was to be "outlawed" by treaty, but at that time, that was the theoretical. No one, including Germany, had aircraft capable of launching sustained attacks against enemy cities (range and payload for starters). The German bombers were incapable of beating the British fighters or morale even when based across the Channel, much of that by sheer luck and courageous British decisions on where to commit the RAF, and later, say 1940--42, the continued success of the German attacks across Europe, into Russia, and North Africa, allowed for very few offensive operations against them but
to bomb from England and elements of the US Eighth Army Air Force.
Both England and the US developed heavy bombers, knowing that they needed four engined heavy aircraft to even strike Germany, and Lancasters and Flying Fortresses raided at night or during the day, with the US going for the term "precision bombing" (an interesting term, but probably accurate for that time) requiring daytime visual sightings, and subsequent heavier losses, than the British who preferred night time raids, I assume for reducing losses of valuable planes and the far more important trained flight crews.
You yourself, Scott, have posted on the horrendous losses absorbed by bomber crews over Europe in WWII. In fact, 25 missions, and you were done in the 8th. With no fighter escort, still a strong Luftwaffe, heavy flack, bomber crews took huge losses.
The theory was that bombing enemy cities would make the populations war weary, disrupt normal economic activity, shut down communications, create a "crisis" mode, and make sustaining the war more difficult. It was a theory that the Blitz's against England failed on, as it did on Germany.
It was also, for heavy losses on the Allied side across Europe, North Africa, Russia, and in the Pacific, about the only offensive measure they could mount.
That the Germans had no heavy bombers and that their V1/V2 programs were struggling with the technology of that era does not negate what they tried to do with what they had...the same "terror bombing".
After the war was finally over, there have been literally thousands of pages of documents written on the efficacy of the premise of bombing a population into submission, with all sorts of political arguments amongst competing military services.
Your "terror bombing" was just as much an attempt to mount offensive operations against a combatant that achieved such superiority that there were few options left open. Now, you can argue with that statement later in the war, but even in 1944, bomber crews took heavy losses, the cities of Germany still produced the economic backbone of production for the Nazi war effort, and the German economy, and no one had, at that time, the hindsight we possess today.
I am also, please, not stating that the ability to bomb enemy cities, inflicting huge population losses, or that is particuarly effective. I might even say it is a "war crime", but to be honest, I would have to gauge in the context of those times.
If the Allies had needed a Commando Order, Einsatzgruppen, or forced-labor camps they would not have hesitated.
Kinda of the point, isn't it? They didn't need any of those for a variety of reasons while Nazi Germany did.
The Allies didn't have a racial ideology as did the Nazis, so they weren't waging a "holy war" against Jewish Commissars that most turned out to peasants, farmers, shop keepers, merchants, and their wives and children. Either that, or the premise that Hitler's Nazi Germany was saving the world from Communism, and Communism being Jews, is an argument that is false, as you can't have it both ways. Simplistic, yes, but no more simplistic than the argument that Jews were all monolithically communists. As Michael Milss has pointed out, that assumption may have been wrong, but it is still the assumption they went under.
Nor, since Germany, and I imagine because of its overwelming success in the early years of WWII, never mobilized into a wartime economy, and when it finally decided to, it was awfully late. By then, they needed forced labor, but your attempt at the argument the Allies would have done it, TOO, sorta of convienently overlooks why the Germans needed forced labor on a two front aggressive war. Whether it was Hitler's lack of military strategy, a belief in future politcal gains, a fear of the German population being subjected to economic measures a wartime economy demanded, I don't know, but I believe it occurred from overreaching.
The military successes of Germany in WWII were simply amazing, in my opinion, although there are some US Marine papers that are of interest to read on military action aginst an unprepared enemy with the first strike force enjoying anywhere from a "slight" technological advantage. Added with the German high degree of technical sophistication, the capabilities of their military forces, and their economic output, with Europe overrun, Africa under the Desert Fox, Russian successes, the North Atlantic losing more shipping than could be produced, let alone cargoes, the Pacific in shambles, it must have been pretty bleak to confront the world picture in the early war years for those opposed to the Axis forces.
It was, of course, unsustainable, because of his many brilliant political victories, Hitler would fail in a global war. He needed the Japanese, must have hated their treaty with Stalin, but then they brought in the US. He never could achieve the same political victories he needed that he had won in Germany and his earliest foreign relations. I imagine that part of it was that no one trusted him...
Tradition in warfare has long been that any tactic, however, brutal, believed necessary for victory has only been fair play, and especially in this case, where the enemy would not come to any diplomatic terms whatever besides Unconditional Surrender. [/quote
Ask the Italians. What were the post-war terms of one-third of the Axis Powers? Do you think there would be another "Munich" for Germany or Japan, after WWII?
Why would the Allied Powers ever seek terms from Germany or Japan, and IF, the term "unconditional surrender" to these governments
was so incredibly unreasonable, how have both Germany and Japan managed, post-WWII become nations that have become world powers again?
disappeared, in post-WWII, Germany is the leading economic power in Europe, and Japan, while experiencing difficulities with its own needed reformations of its economic system, is not exactly a slouch. In fact, in the '80's, the fear was that Japan was going to economically take over the world.
With the exception of minor military conduct like looting, rape, and brigandage, warcrimes is complete nonsense defined by the Victors.
Sorry, but that is pretty amusing.
I will gladly read your posts defending, say, the actions of Pol Pen in Cambodia, or atrocities in Viet Nam, or anywhere in the history of recorded conflict, your statement is a bit...well...Scott Smithish.
Even you admit, Scott, of the killing of the Jews in WWII, but that would not be a war crime? Just an example to test your statement.