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Is Condemnation of Dresden Bombing Justified?It

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lon, May 16, 2021.

  1. DarkLord

    DarkLord Active Member

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    Absolutely it's cool to condemn the Dresden bombing.
    When studying history, you're looking for lessons, and that's a pretty clear lesson. It is my hope that humanity looks at Dresden with disgust because its not something that should ever happen again. City busting happened because Generals didn't really know any better (some did, most didn't). But we know better now.

    Should we condemn those who made the decision to bomb Dresden? Yeah, I think we should because those men knew exactly what that raid was about.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    We need to remember that by 1944 the USAAF/RAF could do what the Luftwaffe/IJAF only dream of in 1939-41 despite trying their best in Warsaw, Rotterdam, China etc. Do you pull your punches because you think the other can not counter, yet won't see reason while still attacking your defenseless civilians/cities?
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    We know better now? Seriously? Gaza?
     
  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    You can go back to the 30 Years' War for evidence that civilians are almost always caught in the crossfire of a war.
     
  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Theres a difference between caught up and deliberately targeted...I don't think Israel is deliberately targeting civilians...even giving time for people to evacuate a building before bombing it...Did the US, Australia or the UK give Iraqi's warning that their building is about to be attacked?

    You can pull your punches if that is all that is needed...

    It's not unusual for a people to not like the (military) regime in power of their country...by bombing them, you are pushing them towards that regime rather than cultivating an internal revolt.
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Or Troy. Or Athens. The Roman Civil Wars.
     
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  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Bombing cities was prohibited by the Hague convention, but there were big loopholes and all the major powers bombed civilian targets during WW2.

    The pre war air power theorists saw strategic bombing as revolutionizing war, avoiding the need for land battles of attrition. Striking at the enemy's economy deep in their heartlands before they could arm their citizens. There was also the issue of what constituted a legitimate target in industrial war. The man or woman manufacturing or transporting munitions was every bit as much a part of the war effort as the soldier or sailor.

    The implications of this made for grim forecasts of future war "Things to come (1936) forecast massed aerial bombing with explosives and chemical weapons.


    British civilian casualties were far below the pre war estimates, but the Blitz was a frightening and costly experience, as were the results of the V weapon offensives. Even though the Bomber Command offensive never achieved its ambitions, bombing the crap out of German cities was very popular with the British public There was a minority opposed to bombing civilian targets, who voiced their views in the media and parliament.

    American public moral opinion was not tested in this way as US policy was to claim that the US bombers were precision bombing military targets in Germany.

    Around half of the bombs dropped on Germany were dropped in the last year of the war. By 1945 British public opinion had shifted. We were going to win and the British don't kick a man when he is down. Dresden was a step too far in that direction. Post war condemnation of Dresden and area bombing ignores its wartime popularity.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I don´t have the facts but there was talk in several books also about Dresden being a major center of communication, and German troops were gathering there as it was only some 200 kms from the Soviet lines. also important gun/tank production centerr. All this is talk, but I´d appreciate if someone had true figures. Also the Russians asked for help i.e. bombing the German troops and military factories? No idea.So many questions, but no answers.
     
  9. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    Capt.Renault was the best movie police officer anywhere. "Round up the usual suspects." Top work.
     
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  10. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I also like his line earlier in the film, trying to show how concerned he is about the theft of the letters: "I have rounded up twice the usual number of suspects!"
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Yes, people tend to get mad at the people actually dropping bombs on them....
     
  12. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Not that I have a particularly strong opinion one way or the other, but there is this which may address some questions -

    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/NHC/NewPDFs/USAAF/United States Strategic Bombing Survey/USSBS Why Dresden Was Bombed; A Review Of The Reasons And Reactions.pdf

    Thanks, Larry!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  13. DarkLord

    DarkLord Active Member

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    Yeah seriously. For the more civilized among us, we choose not to specifically target civilians.
    A - It makes your enemy hate you even more - It NEVER "breaks their will". We completely leveled every major Japanese city, and their resolve NEVER changed; even after two nukes. (yeah, they didn't' surrender because of the nukes)
    B - It's just patently WRONG and ya'll know it. You don't have to do exactly what your enemy does to you...that's a concept some just can't seem to wrap their heads around.
    C - Strategically it works against your goals, and tactically it's a waste of resources.
     
  14. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Yeah, they did . . . anything else is contrived, around the elbow, nonsense.

    And as far as anything else . . it's 1945, what would be your solution?
     
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  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Back to Dresden: The only real, functioning, military thing about Dresden that I have ever read about was its rail yard(s). The were functioning and helped move troops from one part of the front another. At that time the Allies owned the sky so the USAAF could have come in at a lower level and smashed the yards without occurring significant losses. This would have helped Stalin but not given Goebbles a hand in strengthening German resolve. (I agree with DarkLord''s post #33)
     
  16. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    RAF Bomber command had become very skilled ad burning German cities. The main difference between the bombing of Dresden compared to Hamburg Berlin, Dortmund or Gelsenkirchhen and Pforzheim was that Geobbels was able to make propaganda capital from casualties figures exaggerated by a factor of ten. Around 23,000 people perished. The USSR also made use of the bombing of Dresden to demonstrate the inhumanity of the West. David Irving misused these figures ion one of his books.

    I visited Dresden in 1971 and still have postcards somewhere showing the before, after bombing, and after reconstruction imaged of the buildings damaged in the bombing,. There were aircraft factories in Dresden. During WW2 they were part of Junkers. In 1971 they built engines for Mig21s.
     
  17. DarkLord

    DarkLord Active Member

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    When we nuked Hiroshima the Japanese high command didn't even meet. When we hit Nagasaki they were unimpressed as well. Then the Russians invaded Manchuria later that same day, at midnight the Japanese called an emergency meeting and decided to surrender. They weren't afraid of our nukes, they were afraid they may have to surrender to the Russians.
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    In Hamburg the weather also was optimal for bombing and creating a massive burning.

    "As part of a sustained campaign of strategic bombing during World War II, the attack during the last week of July 1943, code named Operation Gomorrah, created one of the largest firestorms raised by the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces in World War II,[2] killing an estimated 37,000 civilians and wounding 180,000 more in Hamburg, and virtually destroying most of the city. Before the development of the firestorm in Hamburg, there had been no rain for some time and everything was very dry.[3] The unusually warm weather and good conditions meant that the bombing was highly concentrated around the intended targets and also created a vortex and whirling updraft of super-heated air which created a 460 meter high tornado of fire."

    Bombing of Hamburg in World War II - Wikipedia

    I have also read that many people in cellars died due to carbonmonoxide poisoning because they had coal in the cellar and when this was burning the people died, not due to bombing.
     
  19. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    The submarine campaign had already put paid to the inter-island traffic inside Japan proper. The B-29 mining gave a good assist on that. The nukes hurried the process. The Japanese could not even transship food or coal between islands in most cases.

    So, my solution: blockade, air-raid any repair/recovery efforts, and let the Japanese choke on their fumes. No invasion needed. If you ever want to snuff out an engine, take out its oxygen.
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    And by 1947, the Japanese might surrender....Not like this was not argued over back in 45.

    Also, are you arguing that starvation is somehow more humane than area bombing?
     
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