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(Some Guy)   Is politically correct revisionism going to turn the men of Allied Bomber Command into war criminals?   (surreyleader.com) divider line 488
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15365 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Nov 2006 at 10:54 AM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-11-28 11:53:24 AM  
thejoyofpi: I will now, thanks


You have mail.
 
2006-11-28 11:54:38 AM  
Taleya

You have a point in the total war aspect. But how is questioning wheter a particular strategy was effective "revising"?
 
2006-11-28 11:54:39 AM  
Raptavio

So the Russians were Axis? I always understood that there were 3 major allied countries - US, UK, USSR.

Saying that the Russians were not allies is more revisionist then anything about war crimes, etc. They not only were fighting the axis powers (enemy of my enemy is my friend) but they also received weapons and material from other allied powers AND coordinated with other allied powers in strategic (and a few tactical) goals.

I would say that Russian civilians would count as allied civilians, even if Stalin did kill quite a few of them himself.
 
2006-11-28 11:54:53 AM  
twilson2: It's just a coincidence we got the shiat kicked out of us by the cavemen in vietnam even though we had vastly superior weapons...


To attach some numbers to that "shiat kicking," see this. (pops)

For those not interested enough to read it - the KIA ratio was roughly 20 NVA/Viet Cong to 1 American. This was a political defeat, not a military defeat.

(It's always better to say stupid stuff about matters that can't be easily refuted)
 
2006-11-28 11:55:11 AM  
BlindMan

What if we just do this? Then it just states facts.

"An Enduring Controversy: The value and morality of the strategic bomber offensive against Germany remains bitterly contested. 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 60,000 Germans dead and more than five million homeless, the raids resulted in only small reductions in German war production until late in the war."
 
2006-11-28 11:55:18 AM  
thejoyofpi

Every single one of the places you listed had miltary signifigance. Sorry you didn't look farther into it and merely accepted the pile of dung you have been fed.
 
2006-11-28 11:56:07 AM  
Taleya: Yes, bad things were done. By both sides. And you can quibble and revise and revise all you want but it doesn't avoid the fact that when you're in a real war you don't have time to pander to the PC crowd. You're fighting for survival - and in that situation, anything goes.

Yes.
But that also doesn't change the fact that we may benefit now by examining what we did back then and asking ourselves whether we could've done things differently, so that we might possibly use those lessons to help us do things better in the future.

It's not revisionist to ask questions and look at history from multiple viewpoints.
 
2006-11-28 11:56:24 AM  
'we' are suppose to be better than 'them', more ethical than 'them', and more moral than 'them'. When we stoop to our enemies tactics we are no better, no more ethical, and no more moral than them.

Faint comfort when "we" (you know, the ones who have democracy, freedom tolerance, etc.) get overrun by "them" (the ones that don't like freedom, democracy, tolerance, etc.) and lose our freedom because we won't "lower ourselves to their level" .

Freedom is too precious to lose. You defend it by any means necessary. Any.
 
2006-11-28 11:57:58 AM  
Pocket Ninja [TotalFark]


The truth interferes with our cherished popular vision of the war, in which Germans were the sneering, contemptuous, walking embodiments of evil incarnate and the Americans and British were like holy Paladins striding valiantly into battle, doing only what was necessary and only concerned with being good.

Well our paladins had greatswords +5, they only had longswords +4. Besides, we used our attacks of opportunity to smite them several times. I think we lost a d20 on the way over though.
 
2006-11-28 11:58:28 AM  
pendy575: Every single one of the places you listed had miltary signifigance.

And we never, ever, ever deliberately released a bomb on, say, a civilian neighborhood in one of those cities?
 
2006-11-28 11:58:47 AM  
Perpetual_Confusion

So I wonder if there would be a way to be more accurate in our bombing missions. You know what? We could develop bombs that are more accurate. This would mean we would cause fewer civilian deaths, require fewer bombs, and have a much higher success rate in destroying targets with military significance....

This the type of learning we should go for?
 
2006-11-28 11:59:12 AM  
Everything must be told, otherwise it is not history, but propaganda
I find it ridiculous that people cant suggest alternative viewpoints without being shouted down. ill listen to any new theories on history, even holocaust denial. ill find that particular one utter bollocks, but ill still listen to it as an alternative viewpoint
 
2006-11-28 11:59:28 AM  
mark12A: Faint comfort when "we" (you know, the ones who have democracy, freedom tolerance, etc.) get overrun by "them" (the ones that don't like freedom, democracy, tolerance, etc.) and lose our freedom because we won't "lower ourselves to their level" .

If we have to stoop to their level in order to win, then I don't think it really matters anymore who wins.
 
2006-11-28 11:59:35 AM  
fatal_exception

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 60,000 Germans dead and more than five million homeless, the raids resulted in only small reductions in German war production until late in the war.

I could personally be ok with that, of course I didn't serve in WWII.

The last clause there is a the only one that's perhaps a little squirrely, since it kinda sounds like 'well it didn't cause the war to be won, before the war was won' which is sort of a curious notion if you think about it closely.

But that in or out, it's definitely superior to the way it is now, which starts out giving you the sense that some horrible evil was perpetrated and then pretends that you're discovering the implications on your own in the limited information you're given.
 
2006-11-28 11:59:57 AM  
mark12A: Freedom is too precious to lose. You defend it by any means necessary. Any.

Even giving away some of that freedom.
 
2006-11-28 12:00:01 PM  
Total War - look it up. It was the entirety of the economic, military, and social structures of the Allied countries against the Axis countries. Things have changed and wars aren't fought that way anymore. It's meaningless and wrongheaded to apply "modern" notions of warfare to wars fought fifty years ago.
 
2006-11-28 12:00:03 PM  
The plaque only says that the value and morality remains bitterly contested. With almost 200 articles in this flamewar, I'm going to have to go with the plaque on this one.

Now, there might be a little bit of reading between the lines here of what the plaque says. But the damn thing is right. These things are contested, and bitterly.
 
2006-11-28 12:01:21 PM  
thejoyofpi

Can't say for sure...neither can you. I am sure that some bomber pilot somewhere did something reprehensible. Not unheard of for a pilot to panic and drop his payload on something other than the target. The missions themselves though were targeting areas with military signifigance.
 
2006-11-28 12:01:35 PM  
BlindMan

In a sitaution of 'total war' (which has a very specific meaning in military and philosophical terms) where you are fighting for the very survival or you nation and people and basic way of life, it has been held by the leadership of all countries that almost all means are acceptable.


The problem with this statement is that the illusion that this is the case can be constructed pretty easily. Hitler used the same arguements (fallaciously, but convincingly) to his own people. Osama and other Islamic fundamentalists do it every day. So does the Christian right in this country.

Who is to say when this is the case? I do know that America was never even close to this level of danger since the Civil War.
 
2006-11-28 12:03:00 PM  
Phil Mousyshttz
So you are just a constant troll. Get some friends for god sake, this can't be that entertaining to you.

Ever stop to think you and your Leftwing pals are the trolls?
 
2006-11-28 12:03:21 PM  
pendy575: The missions themselves though were targeting areas with military signifigance.

I'm sorry, but I don't think the fact that certain cities had "military significance" makes them any less filled with civilians. You can't get around it by changing words - we knowingly bombed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The moral justification for that is worth discussing, but I don't think there's any point in denying the facts.
 
2006-11-28 12:03:42 PM  
>> This was a political defeat, not a military defeat.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The right wing nut jobs have such fragile egos that they can't even face the truth that they lost.
 
2006-11-28 12:04:20 PM  
One of the things that struck me about the conduct of WWII was how ever since 1945, there has been very little armed conflict in Europe. Contrast that to the previous 150 years where armies were marching every 30 years or so across the same battlefields...

Harsh as it may sound, the only way to end a war is as decisively as possible. The contrast of WWI and WWII is a prime example.

Add to that the concepts of how war should be fought ala Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War and now Iraq.
 
2006-11-28 12:05:01 PM  
BlindMan

I guess this is where the debate could turn, should museums just present artifacts or is there room for supposition and editorialising? And is that what they're doing?
 
2006-11-28 12:05:07 PM  
pendy575: So I wonder if there would be a way to be more accurate in our bombing missions. You know what? We could develop bombs that are more accurate. This would mean we would cause fewer civilian deaths, require fewer bombs, and have a much higher success rate in destroying targets with military significance....

This the type of learning we should go for?


Is that meant to be an honest question?
 
2006-11-28 12:06:32 PM  
pendy575

Your question presumes that the Allies were indisciminately bombing civilians. Your statement may remove the guilt from the pilots but starts with the premise that the Allies were deliberately targeting civilians. Not true and revisionist.

I didn't mean to imply that there was a general philosophy of killing civilians, but there are certainly places where civilians were deliberately targeted (see Lemay's 10 cities in 10 days, Dresden). If I really wanted to be literal I would also talk about the Russians as they came into Europe and Germany, but that's not really a fair comparison.

But there are certainly places where civilians were targeted, and any attempt to say that they weren't is like saying "Well, these weapons can't legally be used on people, only material...so we are using them on those soldiers clothes, guns, and personal equipment."

I don't think it was wrong, at the time it was the right decision. The civilians making weapons are every bit as material as the factories, and in WW2 we didn't have the ability to carefully hit targets...also, people lived in the same places they worked.

Not to mention that it's often easier to just kill people then to take out factories, ship / rail yards, etc...doesn't matter if the infrastructure is there if there is nobody to work it.

As for guilt, I don't think the American pilots were guilty of anything. There commanders may have ordered them to do some bad things, but aside from the intentional firebombing of Dresden there weren't too many places they crossed the line. After all, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt when you are dealing with war.

But to say that nowhere in WW2 did we ever target civilians is the lie. Some targets were taken knowing that there would be extensive civilian casualties, and in a few cases higher value military targets were passed over for easier and more accessable targets in civilian areas.

BTW, there is a differnce between 'deliberately targeting civilians' and 'indiscriminately bombing civilians.' Deliberately targeting means hitting an area of no military value to take out civilians. Indiscriminately bombing means saturation bombing an area with military targets without regard to the civilians who live there.

Minor difference, but significant in this context.
 
2006-11-28 12:07:40 PM  
Dancin_In_Anson: One of the things that struck me about the conduct of WWII was how ever since 1945, there has been very little armed conflict in Europe. Contrast that to the previous 150 years where armies were marching every 30 years or so across the same battlefields...

I think you can thank nuclear weapons for that. When both sides have them, we seem to get perpetual peace.
 
2006-11-28 12:09:27 PM  
fatal_exception
But the only thing contextualizing the whole thing is the text around the objects. Otherwise it would be bombs, pieces of debris, planes, and pictures of destroyed cities. This would be pretty horrible and pointless. The adding of text is an attempt to put the artifacts in some sort of context. To give it some meaning and perspective. Without which it's just stuff in a glass box that might be cool to look at but that's about it.

Of course the debate is about how to contextualize the exhibit.
 
2006-11-28 12:10:27 PM  
Atomic_Cockroach: You have a point in the total war aspect. But how is questioning wheter a particular strategy was effective "revising"?

Well it's revising if the bomber command knew or not how effective their bombig raids were... they didn't until after the war. Bomber crews suffered the highest casualty rates during the war and had they been more accurate who knows if it would have shortened the war some more...
 
2006-11-28 12:10:54 PM  
ericjohnson0: So what?

Look up FDR on Wikipedia. That should explain what.
 
2006-11-28 12:11:52 PM  
pendy575: So I wonder if there would be a way to be more accurate in our bombing missions. You know what? We could develop bombs that are more accurate. This would mean we would cause fewer civilian deaths, require fewer bombs, and have a much higher success rate in destroying targets with military significance....

Is this a sarcastic comment? There are ways to do this, but they generally require decades of technological development.

It's not like we had laser guided bombs, GPS systems, computerized fire control systems, advanced navigation systems (hell, the Norden Bombsight was high-tech) or any of the other accurate weapons we've developed since WW2, many of which came to be as solutions to the very problems being discussed in this thread.
 
2006-11-28 12:13:17 PM  
tchamber: What the hell is wrong with telling the truth?

Because it's NOT the truth, you ass. Let's talk about the Blitz shall we? The German's started that shiat. If they hadn't been jerkoffs and started it, thousands of British, would have lived out happy lives.
Once they started it, they found out that the British could do it right back to them and they didn't like that too much.
The truth is that the germans truly set the pace by instituting V2 rocket bombings and by conduction the blitzkreig. They SPECIFICALLY targeted civillian population centers to instill fear, not to disrupt factories, munition shipments, and supply depots. Now, you may try and whip out the stupid ass arguement that that doesn't justify our side returning the favor... but you'd be farking wrong.

If you go to what you think is a fist fight and keep trying to play by fist fight rules after someone pulls a knife on you and stabs you, you're a dumbfark. No.. you pick up a knife, or a chair, or whatever you can find and kill the bastard, period.

That's what happened here. The German's broke the geneva convention first by deliberately bombing civillians, so they got what they deserved.


Hyperdream:Actually, if we want to look at cause and effect, the London bombing only occured after the RAF pulled off a small raid on Berlin. Prior to that Germany was only bombing airfields and radar installations.

Note to self... Hyperdream is a historical revisionist.

No... hyperdream, you're incorrect. Now put down the crackpipe and listen up, you might learn something.
After the fall of france, the battle of britain began in 1940 from July to September. That, my historically inaccurate friend, is when the Luftwaffa attacked the RAF to gain air supremacy with the expressly stated goal of Germany conducting an invasion of Britain.
During a raid on Thames Haven, on 24 August 1940, German aircraft over London, dropped bombs in the east and north-east of London. The areas hit were Bethnal Green, Hackney, Islington, Tottenham and Finchley.
See the difference between my argument and yours yet? I can state precisely where and when the Germans attacked... and can state clearly and concisely when the British RETALIATED.

The next night, the British mounted a retaliatory raid, with bombs falling in Kreuzberg and Wedding in Berlin.

Just wanted to clear that up for you...

So, as a recap; the battacks on civillian britains were not started in response to the allies attacking berlin. The germans started it.

Oh crap... I forgot.. this is FARK... people don't use logic and rationality and factual arguments to make points. Instead they act like tchamber, Action replay nick, IsayIsay, herne, and others and just drink whatever political koolaid their "wrldview" agrees with without looking at the facts.

@ Herne

Unfortunately that might have been provoked as well, possibly purposefully. Luftwaffe raids on the RAF were at edge of the defeat of defeat until Berlin was bombed and the target was switched to the London Blitz.

Bullshiat. Complete and utter bullshiat.
Get your facts straight, idiot. When did the Germans bomb london? That's right AUGUST 24th 1940. When did the Allies bomb Berlin back? August 25th. The berlin bombing was in retaliation for the London bombings. It's called a "retaliation" because they bombed the germans AFTER they'd been bombed.
The germans then issued a dirrective on sept 5th 1950 that stated that luftwaffa pilots must immediately begin bombing UK civillian settlements "...for disruptive attacks on the population and air defences of major British cities, including London, by day and night"

Again... just because you might be slow... Germans bomb civillian london... British stage retailitory raid against Berlin, Hitler goes apeshiat and orders his millitary to step up civillian attacks.

The germans' started it... not the british...got it?
 
2006-11-28 12:13:28 PM  
documentation of facts is not revisionist history.
peoples views of past actions change
that is called growing/learning
otherwise slavery would still be OK
 
2006-11-28 12:14:17 PM  
thejoyofpi:

If we have to stoop to their level in order to win, then I don't think it really matters anymore who wins.

Oh you are so full of shiat! It doesn't matter at all to you whether you live in a free society, or under a dictatorship? And you're not willing to do anything you have to in order to survive? Sanctimonius 'tard. Some Nihilism Black for your nails?
 
2006-11-28 12:15:22 PM  
Bell-fan: people don't use logic and rationality and factual arguments to make points.

When did the Germans bomb london? That's right AUGUST 24th 1940. When did the Allies bomb Berlin back? August 25th. The berlin bombing was in retaliation for the London bombings. It's called a "retaliation" because they bombed the germans AFTER they'd been bombed.


so your great logic and rationale is that 2 wrongs make a right????

/jez wonderin
 
2006-11-28 12:15:26 PM  
thejoyofpi: The moral justification for that is worth discussing, but I don't think there's any point in denying the facts.

but is moral justification a factor of the level of war and the difficulty of the fight, or is it a factor of current cultural acceptance.
 
2006-11-28 12:15:38 PM  
twilson2

>> This was a political defeat, not a military defeat.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The right wing nut jobs have such fragile egos that they can't even face the truth that they lost.


I didn't fight in Vietnam and am not really patriotic, so I'm not sure my personal 'fragile ego' is at stake one way or the other. But I find 'right wing nut job' tends to mean 'person more conservative than me who disagrees with me' just like 'libtard' tends to mean 'person more liberal than me who disagrees with me' so I'll cop to probably being a right wing nut job and take the bait.

Vietnam was a war lost on the terms it was fought, I think the point he raises is that if vietnam were fought with a simple goal of all out military victory, it could have been 'won' with assurance. Nuking Hanoi, probably would have done the trick, one supposes.

However, this response is obviously far fetched and morally unacceptable... which means that in a sense you're both right depending on your preference for thinking about it. It's a worthwhile point because it goes back to making the distinction between 'total war' and other military conflicts I was talking about either.

If the US had the will to fight as if its survival was on the line, as it did in WWII, either vietnam would surrender or every single native person in vietnam would be dead with a minimum of US casualties. I would agree with anyone that this degree of force would probably not be just.

The more reality bound question is if this or that marginal additional force were applied could the war have been won with limits that were poltiically acceptable on the US.
 
2006-11-28 12:15:48 PM  
jman11jman

The adding of text is an attempt to put the artifacts in some sort of context

I agree. Imagine going to a museum and seeing dinosaur bones and models but no label as to what they are. Pretty lousy museum. But here we have a case of sensitivity, not just some long dead species of animal that no one could ever relate to personally.

That first phrase that I stuck-out, at least to me, is the only contentious part and I tend to agree with the veterans but I don't think that either they stated their case very well or that the article expressed it well.
 
2006-11-28 12:15:57 PM  
twilson2: The right wing nut jobs have such fragile egos that they can't even face the truth that they lost.


What a highly developed set of rhetorical skills you have there. Excellent factual support for your assertion.
 
2006-11-28 12:17:07 PM  
mark12A: Oh you are so full of shiat! It doesn't matter at all to you whether you live in a free society, or under a dictatorship?

If we have to live under a dictatorship in order to keep this other dictatorship from conquering us, then we havent' gained anything. Except our choice of dictatorship.
 
2006-11-28 12:17:07 PM  
Bell-fan: The German's broke the geneva convention first by deliberately bombing civillians, so they got what they deserved.

I don't think the Geneva convention has anything to say about bombing civilians? I believe it's mostly about the treatment of POWs, the sick, and wounded, as well as civilians in occupied territories.
 
2006-11-28 12:18:15 PM  
HellbentForLeather: Look at the idiotic 911 memorial in AZ. They can't even build one in NY because of the the PC trappings that everyopne wants to drape it with.

Um, actually there isn't one in NY yet because of incredibly assinine land and construction disputes. This is the problem of bureaucracy, not "political correctness."

ericjohnson0: Yeah, I know. I used 'Amen' in a positive fashion, as an affirmation. With all the neocoMs around here, that is a cardinal sin...uh... faux pas... can't go mentioning religion that may offend someone... shhhh...

Name one such "someone," spanky. I couldn't give two shiats about your faith. If your faith means you're outspoken about things like gay marriage or prayer in schools then I'll agree with you, but I have absolutely no problem with you believing in any higher power.

HellbentForLeather: Right after the abortion industry and communism; Two things a liberal loves.

Are you and ej0 even aware of the definition of the word "strawman?" You two have this bizarre, fetish fantasy about what liberals are. It's borderline deranged.

Of course, you two could just be great big trolls. In that case... well, joke's on me!
 
2006-11-28 12:18:19 PM  
I see Action Reply Nick pulled a " The Gospel Of Thomas after the midterm elections" after his completely asinine and indefensible statement.
 
2006-11-28 12:18:45 PM  
mark12A: It doesn't matter at all to you whether you live in a free society, or under a dictatorship?

It wouldn't be a free society anymore if we had to become a dictatorship.

Zaphodius: but is moral justification a factor of the level of war and the difficulty of the fight, or is it a factor of current cultural acceptance.

I don't think you can evaluate the moral justification of anything independently of its historical context, or of your own personal culture and opinions. So, both.
 
2006-11-28 12:19:54 PM  
thejoyofpi: I think you can thank nuclear weapons for that.


To an extent. I cannot see the concept of their used on a large scale as even being a viable alternative.
 
2006-11-28 12:19:55 PM  
^^ correction sept 5 1940...
 
2006-11-28 12:23:34 PM  
thejoyofpi: I don't think you can evaluate the moral justification of anything independently of its historical context, or of your own personal culture and opinions. So, both.

but we're trying to judge their moral justification as well, with after the fact results that they couldn't have known.
 
2006-11-28 12:23:35 PM  
ericjohnson0

Phil Mousyshttz
So you are just a constant troll. Get some friends for god sake, this can't be that entertaining to you.

Ever stop to think you and your Leftwing pals are the trolls?


*****

**standing ovation**
 
2006-11-28 12:24:47 PM  
Dancin_In_Anson: To an extent. I cannot see the concept of their used on a large scale as even being a viable alternative.

it's more scary to think that some one someday might.
 
2006-11-28 12:24:58 PM  
Why are we at war with Germany? THEY never attacked us! After six weeks of death and chaos we must admit that Normandy is a quagmire... we MUST withdraw...

3 1/2 years.
 
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