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Bombing of Dresden


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Initial post: Feb 22, 2013 4:13:51 PM PST
Al says:
The worst atrocity of the Second World War was the British and American bombing of Dresden 68 years ago this month. Here is an interesting article by an Englishman who was there, as a prisoner of war:
http://theneworder.org/news/2013/02/i-survived-the-bombing-of-dresden/

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 4:15:44 PM PST
boolsheet

it was not an atrocity at all
but was a strategic mistake
we did the same thing to japan
in order to shorten the war

there were more important targets with better pay off that could have been bombed

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 4:24:17 PM PST
Kurt Vonnegut wrote a lot about that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 4:24:37 PM PST
Mickey says:
I might call it an atrocity - WWII mostly consisted of atrocities - but not the worst of the war.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 5:32:38 PM PST
Al says:
Not an atrocity andthehorse...?
It had no military significance. Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women, children and old men, most of them refugees, were deliberately targeted. The railways near Dresden weren't hit nearly as hard as the residential neighbourhoods. The point wasn't to end the war but to scare the Soviets, who the West knew would move in soon, and see how strong the US and UK were. Cf David Irving's book:
Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 8:33:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2013 8:33:44 PM PST
nonsense

it had military significance

it was just not their highest priority
but they chose to do it anyway

and who did the firebombings of japan scare ?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 8:48:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2013 8:49:40 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Al says:

[The worst atrocity of the Second World War was the British and American bombing of Dresden 68 years ago this month.]

You probably aren't interested much in conspiracy theories but I guess I'll mention fringe author Joseph Farrell's take on the Dresden holocaust.

Joe says there was a secret SS atomic research lab in or very close to Dresden and this was the true motivation for the fire bombing. For Farrell World War II toward the end became a race to create atomic weapons. This was all going on behind the scenes.

Even regardless of the conspiracy theories it is a historical fact that both sides were well aware of the horrific potential of atomic energy. Who knows how this secret weapons race may have influenced the decision making processes ?

Could the allies have ever been sure that Japan or Germany weren't close to creating an atomic bomb in Tokyo, Dresden, or other places ? There were smart scientists in both of those countries.

And even if there weren't labs in those cities they may have felt that bombing any city might disrupt their atomic plans in some way such as taking out some important resource or important scientists.

I wouldn't exactly call Joseph Farrell a historian but his books can be entertaining if you're willing to let your imagination wander.

The Philosopher's Stone: Alchemy and the Secret Research for Exotic Matter [Paperback]
Joseph P. Farrell (Author)

Posted on Feb 22, 2013 9:39:54 PM PST
Al says:
And thehorse...: the Firebombings, like the atomic bombings, of Japan, were intended to scare the Soviets.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 2:52:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2013 2:53:06 AM PST
ipsofacto says:
You must be wholly unaware of David Irving's reputation. I'll help you along: "the most skillful preacher of Holocaust denial in the world today".

In the book, Irving grossly overestimates the civilian casualties in Dresden. He has since retracted his claims, undoubtedly to regain credibility as a historian. Anyway, his cred is non-existent now.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 8:04:19 AM PST
ipsofacto:

Yes, I was struck by the same thoughts when I saw Irving being cited as a reliable source. That's even worse than the people who cite Ann Coulter and Glen Beck as sources in this forum or the Politics Forum.

Irving has also done a lot of retracting and redacting of his Holocaust claims, moving from his claims in some of his public talks that no Jews died in the camps to attempts at face-saving that still offer ridiculously low estimates for the number of Jews who were murdered during that period.

Posted on Feb 23, 2013 8:06:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2013 8:13:31 AM PST
Mickey:

I agree with you that the firebombings of Dresden were an atrocity, and largely for the reasons Al cites, but in a war that was noted for its mounds of atrocities, Dresden could hardly be considered the worse. Just for starters, names that come to my mind as significantly worse are Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 8:12:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2013 8:17:20 AM PST
Al:

I think there was very little consideration of scaring the Soviets when the bombing of Dresden was conceived and carried out.

The main reason was to scare the Germans rather than the Soviets, especially that group of decision-makers back in Berlin. Then, there was the desire to run a trial on the efficacy of firebombing by hitting a city that was not well-defended and wouldn't be able to inflict too much damage on the bombers.

And the last of the major reasons, and not a small one for the British planners of the raid, was revenge for Coventry. This was even stated more than once in the records we have for the planning of the bombings.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 12:04:08 PM PST
Al says:
Richard:
Thank you for admitting the British knew Dresden wasn't "well-defended and wouldn't be able to inflict too much damage on the bombers." If the British and Americans knew that, they must have known it wasn't a military target.
If they weren't trying to impress the Soviets, do you think it's a coincidence Dresden is in Eastern Germany, and everyone knew the Soviets would soon overrun it?
As for Coventry, that happened near the beginning of the war: the British certainly had no reason to delay "revenge'' for several years. I'm not an authority on Coventry but it may well have been an honest mistake. I can't prove that off the top of my head, so I won't dwell on it, but as I said, Coventry doesn't explain Dresden. It was and is an excuse, not a reason.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 3:48:08 PM PST
i fyo usay so
not what some fo the tv specials claimed

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 3:49:04 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 3:49:38 PM PST
they should have done berlin

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 3:51:00 PM PST
nonsense

it was a military target
just not the best one strategically

psycholgy is military too
and destroying german morale could help end the war
remember hiroshima
and nagasaki

there are reasons to bomb other than destroying weapons or fuel

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 3:58:34 PM PST
Al says:
horse:
You're saying the Allies didn't demolish Berlin?
That would be news to the Allies and the Berliners.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 3:59:07 PM PST
should have done it sooner and more completely

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 4:35:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2013 4:36:11 PM PST
Bubba says:
Depending upon which estimates are used, fewer people were killed in Berlin than were killed in either Dresden or Hamburg.

Current German studies suggest that a total of about 20,000 were killed in Berlin by air raids, older estimates had estimated up to 50,000. About 30,000 were killed in one raid on Dresden in 1945, and about 40,000 were killed in one raid on Hamburg in 1943

Posted on Feb 23, 2013 6:49:40 PM PST
OldAmazonian says:
Whatever the facts may be, the British terror bombing of Germany's cities is surprisingly congruent with the stated aims of some American interests too. Among the ostensibly unintended consequences was prolonging the war:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_Plan#Wartime_consequences

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 7:55:25 PM PST
Joe Hill says:
Except that this book is apparently where he started seriously going off the rails, inflating the death toll by, like, a factor of ten.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 7:59:10 PM PST
Joe Hill says:
Is Irving a trained historian? I was under the impression that he fell into the category of popular history writer, but I could be wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 8:05:12 PM PST
Joe Hill says:
"If the British and Americans knew that (the fact that Dresden wasn't well-defended), they must have known it wasn't a military target."

One thing hasa absolutely nothing to do with the other, indicating that your knowledge of military matters generally, and WW II specifically, is sketchy at best. In the summer of 1942, the Western Allies flew a bombing mission against the oil facilities at Ploesti, Romania, which they knew to be barely defended. And that certainly -was- a military target.

"I'm not an authority on Coventry but it may well have been an honest mistake."

Nope. Proven to be specifically targeted. No mistake there, so don't dwell on it.

Posted on Feb 23, 2013 9:12:56 PM PST
IGS says:
It seems that the wiki article on this subject is a pretty good overview, better yet some of the sources seem to be excellent sources for a future reading. It was an extremely immoral decision, but the whole idea of war is just one big mass of immorality. The pile of dreadful things that get done in a war are beyond counting. Basically, you are forced to stack all your evils on one side of the scale and all of the enemies on the other and see where the balance lies. Of all the major combatants, the Americans come out the cleanest although the pathetic attempts at "precision bombing" and the flat out torch bombing of Japan they are hardly pristine, then perhaps the British although with years of pointless mass bombings with not even an effort at accuracy one wonders, perhaps the Italians, then the Germans and Russians may be perhaps considered together but at least the Russians had the fig leaf of payback, and then ... the Japanese. But, lets get real, in that sorry enterprise that is war savage acts are required to win. Moreover, attempts at delicacy turn into weapons against you. That being said, I do think that the savage attack on Dresden was beyond the pale. They spared Kyoto, but in the end there is that scale. The Allies have far less to be ashamed of.

And no, Al, it was not the worst atrocity of the war, by saying such you merely show everyone that you really know nothing about the subject and so, Al, you should probably refrain from further comment.

And yes, Coventry was no mistake.

But I really, do think others more well read on this issue should have at it. Perhaps a mutual comparison of Nanking and Dresden.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  193
Initial post:  Feb 22, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 4, 2013

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