Recharging for Mischief
Worshipping Barbarity

Allied Bombing of Nazi Germany

National Post:

Historian Randall Hansen is calling the Canadian War Museum's decision to amend an exhibit after veterans complained craven and appalling.

Mr. Hansen, a professor at the University of Toronto, this year testified before a Senate subcommittee investigating the historical accuracy of a text panel appearing on a Bomber Command exhibit entitled, An Enduring Controversy.

Mr. Hansen is one of at least five historians who found the 67 words of text were balanced and factually correct.

That's the main problem. Too few words are used to describe the full impact of Allied bombing of Nazi Germany in WWII. Let's take a look.

"The value and morality of the strategic bomber offensive against Germany remains bitterly contested," the panel reads.

"Bomber Command's aim was to crush civilian morale and force Germany to surrender by destroying its cities and industrial installations. Although Bomber Command and American attacks left 600,000 Germans dead and more than five million homeless, the raids resulted in only small reductions of German war production until late in the war."

That is inadequate.

Here's what Richard Overy has to say:

The bombing offensive was for most of its course a fighting contest between the two western bomber forces and the German defences. From the middle of 1943 the defeat of the German air force became a central objective. Until that date German air power, deployed in the main as a tactical offensive arm, was a critical factor in German success on land and sea. The bombing offensive caused German military leaders to drain much needed air strength away from the main fighting fronts to protect the Reich, weakening German resistance in the Soviet Union and the Mediterranean.

That's from page 129 of Richard Overy's Why the Allies Won.

From page 129-130:

Once the Allies had the long-range fighter pouring out in numbers from America's industrial cornucopia, German air power could be blunted once and for all. The result was not a single, spectacular victory, but a slow and lethal erosion of fighting capability.


Oh, and as for making a dent in German production; from page 131:

At the end of January 1945 Albert Speer and his ministerial colleagues met in Berlin to sum up what bombing had done to production schedules for 1944. They found that Germany had produced 35 per cent fewer tanks than planned, 31 per cent fewer aircraft and 42 per cent fewer lorries as a result of bombing. The denial of these huge resources to German forces in 1944 fatally weakened their response to bombing and invasion, and eased the path of Allied armies.

Sorry, Mr. Hansen. That text is not balanced at all.


Francis W. Porretto

It is, nevertheless, legitimately open to question whether it's morally acceptable to deliberately make war against a civilian (i.e., non-fighting) population.

Isaac Schrödinger

That question will always be debated. Though, I don't see how it could be presented in a meaningful way on a display.

My disagreement, however, isn't with that point. Initially I talked about the strategic value of bombing Germany. At the end, my criticism dealt with the text: "only small reductions of German war production".

That is, given German records, not true.

Classical Liberal

Isaac, you're impressively well read.

As to the question of the correctness of making war against civilians, whether it is viewed as moral/ethical/correct or not, in a total war, such as WWII, every aspect of society is part of the war effort. Armies don't arise in a vacuum, they are created by the societies in question. I would rather that German civilians were bombed and the West defeated fascism, than that German civilians were not bombed and perhaps fascism defeated the West.

I do hope that the conflict between Islam and the West never reaches the level of total war. Perhaps I hope in vain?

Isaac Schrödinger

Our present war will be a long, drawn out affair. I think that before it's all done, the world will suffer more casualties than it did in WWII.

I do hope I'm wrong.

Josh Scholar

Please send this to the Post as a letter to the editor.


Josh Scholar

Josh Scholar

Our present war will be a long, drawn out affair. I think that before it's all done, the world will suffer more casualties than it did in WWII.

I really wish that tougher people than the Jews had settled in Israel. They're just stirring up the local supremacist culture by being too safe a target, and that make the Jihadis think they can beat the rest of us.

All that talk about Israel being part of the US is wrong. If the US were attacked like Israel, we'd just smoke our enemies. And if the US could somehow run by Israel as in the Muslim fantasies then the US would be wimpy too. Jews may be smart but they're not what you call fighters.

Europe isn't tough enough to pee standing up these days and there are a lot of reasons for that. It will be fascinating to see if the European public has a tipping point where it throws off the multicultis. Sarkozy is the beginning of that.

I hope that Fallaci was right about Americans having a democratic "compactness" under pressure. We're not showing that right now, but it could resurface.

Classical Liberal

"I really wish that tougher people than the Jews had settled in Israel." I dunno, Josh. The typical Israeli commando seems pretty tough to me. At least I would rather that he was on my side, than not.

Tee hee--this puts me in mind of a South Park episode, the one where the boys form a boy band. Kyle wants to be "the tough one." Paraphrasing...
Cartman: Kyle, you can't be the tough, bad boy.
Kyle: Why not?
Cartman: 'Cause you're a Jew. Everyone knows Jews aren't tough.
Kyle: Jews are so tough!
Cartman: Since when?
Kyle: Since Abraham, fat ass!

Always relate life to South Park--it makes you laugh a lot more... :-)

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