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(BBC)   70 years ago today, 19 RAF Lancasters armed with special bombs and manned by heroic crews changed the course of WWII in ways we can only appreciate now - they were "The Dam Busters"   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 153
    More: Hero, Dam Busters, WWII, RAF, surgical strikes, bombing raids, Red Army, heavy bombers  
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9076 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 May 2013 at 9:51 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-15 01:25:17 PM

smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.


Exactly. To quote Harris, I man I don't like but occasionally agree with,
" ... assume that the view under consideration is something like this: no doubt in the past we were justified in attacking German cities. But to do so was always repugnant and now that the Germans are beaten anyway we can properly abstain from proceeding with these attacks. This is a doctrine to which I could never subscribe. Attacks on cities like any other act of war are intolerable unless they are strategically justified. But they are strategically justified in so far as they tend to shorten the war and preserve the lives of Allied soldiers. To my mind we have absolutely no right to give them up unless it is certain that they will not have this effect. I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier.
The feeling, such as there is, over Dresden, could be easily explained by any psychiatrist. It is connected with German bands and Dresden shepherdesses. Actually Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre, and a key transportation point to the East. It is now none of these things
"
When you start a world war, if you're on the losing end, expect to get curb-stomped.
 
2013-05-15 01:26:12 PM
kbronsito:
if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).

(Bolded)  This is the same logic used by people who commit acts of terror on civilians.
 
2013-05-15 01:32:26 PM

Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.


Area bombing?  With one of these?

upload.wikimedia.org
www.raf.mod.uk

Many of those bomb craters you see around this viaduct are left-overs from previous bombing raids before earth-penetrating bombs were used to destroy it.

Submarine pens, V3 installations and a whole variety of very hard targets were damaged or destroyed by bombing methods other than carpet bombing with conventional or incendiary bombs.
 
2013-05-15 01:35:50 PM
www.thedambusters.org.uk
www.thedambusters.org.uk

Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com
 
2013-05-15 01:44:10 PM
Military Industrial Complex. The pre-war heavy bomber advocates sold the country and the military a bill of goods. Willow Run. Aviators from Britain and USA paid the price in blood. Did you ever think about the casualty figure and the price of a bomber? The US government and tax payer paid in dollars while the industrialist cashed in. A pitiful few bombs landed anywhere near the target. German arms production peaked in 1944.
 
2013-05-15 01:49:55 PM

MOGGEE: [www.thedambusters.org.uk image 600x400]
[www.thedambusters.org.uk image 533x400]

Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

[encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 296x170


Oh, bugger yourself with a RR crankshaft. The Lanc had a way classier look. The 17 looks like an ambitious Gooney Bird that someone tried to stuff too big a load of M2's into, then remembered at the last second they were supposed to fit a bombload into so they left a space big enough to fit a case of hand grenades and a couple sticks of TNT into.
Just trollin', I love the B17 too. But I loves me the Merlin engine Lancs even more.
 
2013-05-15 01:52:21 PM

Clash City Farker: German arms production peaked in 1944.


Axis arms production peaked in 1941.

French production declined throughout, and Italy peaked in 1942. We were bombing them, too.
 
2013-05-15 02:01:32 PM
It's attractive and successful Anglo-canine, Sir.  He's dead.
 
2013-05-15 02:02:02 PM

This text is now purple: Clash City Farker: German arms production peaked in 1944.

Axis arms production peaked in 1941.


Is that right?

http://ww2total.com/WW2/History/Production/Germany/arms-production.h tm
 
2013-05-15 02:06:38 PM

MOGGEE: Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.


I would say the exact opposite.
 
2013-05-15 02:24:45 PM

Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.


Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.
 
2013-05-15 02:25:19 PM

Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.


My grandfather was a tail gunner with the Dambusters, flew that raid and was with them through the end of the war, earning a DFC along the way. I wish he could have told some stories, but most of my life before he passed he spent in a bottle. =/

I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.
 
2013-05-15 02:26:51 PM

Whiskey Dickens: kbronsito:
if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).

(Bolded)  This is the same logic used by people who commit acts of terror on civilians.


True. But just because someone else uses similar logic, it doesn't mean they are right. Whether or not to target civilians needs to be sorted out on a case by case basis. As someone mentioned before, it would have been more inmoral to lose the war against the Nazis. People working in Germany's industrial areas were building the machinery that was being used to kill people in allied and neutral countries alike.

If you for instance look at the case of El Salvador, the guerrillas there were probably justified in using some tactics that would be considered terrorism but when you look at Peru, the shinning path was not justified in using the terror tactics they used. In fact the Salvadorans who fought as guerrillas that I've met actually roll the name of the shinning path off their tongue with disdain because the SP targeted the center left, killing labor leaders and community organizers (as opposed to people who represented the right) in order to cause as much chaos and poverty as they could to bring forth their revolution. Anyone trying to improve the conditions of poverty "slightly" was a target becuase they were delaying their revolution. To the Salvadorans who were measuring their attacks to meet specific objectives, that was unacceptable. They claimed to be on the side of the poor and killing labor leaders and community organizers because they tried to help the poor by means other than armed conflict was wrong. Two communist guerrillas in slightly similar contemporary latinamerican contexts and yet one generally seems to take the moral highground over the other (and rightly so)

It can also be counterproductive for terror groups to try to maximize civilian casualties since that may erode support and sympathy for their cause. Some of the more succesful terror campaigns (like the Irish) did well by targeting police officers and soft military targets (while attempting to minimize collateral damage) to invite retaliation against civilians. This caused the civilians to get mad and the government because they don't so much care why they got retaliated, they only care about the fact that they were hurt or arrested even though they weren't directly responsable for the incident that started the cycle. Where the Irish evil for using terror tactics? (I think i would sympathize with their cause for independence and for the need to use the tactics that they did since they didn't have too many other options).
 
2013-05-15 02:28:10 PM

D_PaulAngel: Hell of a mission and an amazing feat of engineering to boot.

Also, in case you haven't seen it... Dam Busters a la Star Wars


Awesome :)
 
2013-05-15 02:30:09 PM

signaljammer: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.


I agree.  Nothing to celebrate.  Allied policy during the war didn't spare civilians quite often.


As opposed to AXIS policy?  Please.
 
2013-05-15 02:38:35 PM
One of the most famous stories from World War II, and of no practical value whatsoever.
 
2013-05-15 03:34:22 PM

Clash City Farker: This text is now purple: Clash City Farker: German arms production peaked in 1944.

Axis arms production peaked in 1941.

Is that right?

http://ww2total.com/WW2/History/Production/Germany/arms-production.h tm


Read it again.
 
2013-05-15 03:40:42 PM
what about the bombing of  Macho Grande
 
2013-05-15 03:50:57 PM

PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.


Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?
 
2013-05-15 03:52:27 PM

MOGGEE: [www.thedambusters.org.uk image 600x400]
[www.thedambusters.org.uk image 533x400]

Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

[encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 296x170]


I like the Lanc's pugnacious jaw.
 
2013-05-15 04:15:38 PM

Five Tails of Fury: Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.

My grandfather was a tail gunner with the Dambusters, flew that raid and was with them through the end of the war, earning a DFC along the way. I wish he could have told some stories, but most of my life before he passed he spent in a bottle. =/

I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.


If you like heavy metal from the World War 2 era check out the RCAF museum in Trenton. They have a restored Halifax.
 
2013-05-15 04:30:58 PM

Bendal: I've also read that the Dam Busters attacked those dams to take power away from their atomic bomb research, but the BBC article didn't mention that.


Yes, there was a very large research installation that was being powered by one of the dams

Father_Jack: explain to me how flooding parts of western germany helps destroy divisions in the Ukraine.


The intense effort to rebuild the dams took 5 months and sapped millions of labor hours away from what could have built replacement tanks for effort in the eastern front, tanks that just might have allowed Germany to redirect misguided resources from an ill attempted invasion.

Also, on technicality it wasn't even Russia who was instrumental in this war......it was the cocktails of chemicals slowly killing Hitler and stealing his mind over time. So we all owe a debt of thanks to his doctors really.
 
2013-05-15 04:38:54 PM

Five Tails of Fury: My grandfather was a tail gunner with the Dambusters, flew that raid and was with them through the end of the war, earning a DFC along the way. I wish he could have told some stories, but most of my life before he passed he spent in a bottle. =/


Well MY grandfather started the Dambusters, and piloted all of the planes simultaneously by remote control.

Not really, though. He flew P-51s for the CACW, and had the same problem later in life that yours did...I wish I'd met him, the man was a spectacular American.
 
2013-05-15 05:06:16 PM
How many video games has this appeared in?
 
2013-05-15 05:11:00 PM

Lord Summerisle: PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.

Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?


They were pretty global in scale, but somehow lacked the gravitas that industrialization brings to the killing arts.

Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.
 
2013-05-15 05:30:37 PM

pkellmey: MOGGEE: Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

I would say the exact opposite.


encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com

Sorry, Lads... but THIS is what a sweet looking British airframe looks like.

also
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

WWII would've been over quick if Harris had a few of these
 
2013-05-15 05:33:19 PM
I met a chap named Frank Cawley a few weeks ago, flew with Guy Gibson before he led the Dambusters. I was in awe that they had met. "What was Gibson like?" I asked. He said "Gibson had a very nice wife and I liked his dog too". My Dad met Douglas Bader (almost knocked him over), I guess this is as close as i'm going to get to meeting one of my Heros. Sorry for bad spelling etc. I'm on a bus with no suspension I think.
 
2013-05-15 05:34:39 PM

show me: This was very cool, my dad made me watch the movie when I was a kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until much later. If you want to see something really weird, google "the name of the dog in dambusters"


I think the American version changed it to Blackie.
 
2013-05-15 05:41:00 PM

PunGent: Lord Summerisle: PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.

Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?

They were pretty global in scale, but somehow lacked the gravitas that industrialization brings to the killing arts.

Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.


wat
 
2013-05-15 05:45:56 PM

Clash City Farker: USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.


Adolf Galland, Heerman Goering, and Albert Speer all say you're full of shait.  If in no other area, US strategic bombing devastated the German POL industry.  By mid to late 1944, the Luftwaffe still had aircraft and the Wehrmacht still had tanks.  What they didn't have was fuel - and that was a direct result of US strategic bombing.
 
2013-05-15 05:49:57 PM

LibertyHiller: PunGent:
Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.

wat


Sounds like the 30 years war.  The 100 year war was between England and France (the one with Joan of Arc, IRC).

The 30 years war was a crusade where Catholics and Protestants settled their differences like Christians.  It wasn't just worse than WWI and WWII combined, it was roughly as bad as the Black Plague (the flu was worse than WWI.  Avoid, don't ask about, the plague).
 
2013-05-15 05:52:13 PM

roughridersfan: Albert Speer, the German armaments minister, expressed amazement that the repair operations were left untroubled by further bombing raids which would have delayed the vital reconstruction and turned a nuisance into a major crisis.

The short-term plan worked, but if the Allies had thought a bit longer-term (bomb reconstruction efforts), they would have caused some big issues.


This. They needed to bomb that dam (and the area around it) that day, 2 days later, and every third day afterwards for about 2 more months, just to make sure no one got it into their silly Nazi brains that repairing/replacing the dam was considered A Good Idea. Unfortunately, the Allied air forces didn't have the numbers even then to carry out such a sustained single-target-area bombing campaign without taking away aircraft that were being used for other target areas (and one could argue that the British-inspired city strikes were a waste of resources that could have been better used to continually attack factories, oil fields, transportation infrastructure, and power-generation plants over and over until the Germans gave up trying to repair/replace them).
 
2013-05-15 06:25:41 PM
I read the book in my early teens. Recently, I had occasion to use 2 laser pointers to determine distance in the same way the bombers achieved the precise height -- when the two dots merge, you're there.
Nobody else on the team got the reference...
 
2013-05-15 06:26:57 PM

LibertyHiller: PunGent: Lord Summerisle: PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.

Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?

They were pretty global in scale, but somehow lacked the gravitas that industrialization brings to the killing arts.

Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.

wat


D'oh, my bad, as wumpus pointed out, I meant the Thirty Years' War.

I've got some kind of mental block about those two conflicts, I really should check myself before posting about either one...
 
2013-05-15 06:45:02 PM
"Historian Dan Snow" is a TV presenter with a degree in history. He has done no research and has no publication record in history. On the other hand, his father is a TV presenter too, which is about the only qualification the BBC cares about.
 
2013-05-15 06:45:14 PM

Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.


Check the (highly supressed) pentagon reports.  Strategic bombing just doesn't work until you break out the nukes.  Ask the brits how much the blitz stopped them from fighting Germany.  The worst part of the whole thing was how many USAA pilots and crew died to attack ball bearing factories.  Ball bearing factories was thought to be a weakness in the US, but it turned out that the Germans could rebuild faster than anything really needed spare ball bearings.  About the only thing that helped at all was bombing the oil refineries.  A tiger tank might be worth 5 Shermans, but not if it's out of gas.  A less surpressed and well known example would be the Blitz on England during WWII.  The Luftwaffe was steadily attacking and defeating the RAF until one time a bomber went off course and attacked a non-military target.  England retaliated.  Hitler [allegedly] lost it [the Germans love to blame Hitler for obvious reasons.  Who knows the truth now?] and essentially changed the target of the entire bombing campaign from the RAF (to allow easy access to destroy sea defences and allow an invasion) to simply destroying England from the air.  This allowed the RAF to continue the fight (had the "so few" gotten any fewer they would have lost) and rebuild fighter command to an effective means of defence.  The obvious lesson is clear: tactical bombing destroys armies, strategic bombing loses wars.

Riddle me this: the US dropped more (conventional) bombs on Viet Nam than Germany and Japan combined.  Obviously we won that war, amiright?  The US didn't bother with strategic bombing in the Gulf War (I): all the bombing targeted actual military units and operations.  Obviously we lost that war, amiright?

Attacking civilian targets should be considered nothing but terrorism (not claiming that WWII generals should know that without any data or be held to that standard , but I think the Viet Nam era generals who had the data should).  Whatever effect on increasing morale due to slating bloodlust at home is going to be more than offset by the increased morale of the attacked (Rise and Fall of the Third Reich mentions a speech where Hitler promised to rain death upon Britain to a mass of batshait frauleines who were egging him on).  Did you consider surrendering after 9/11?  Plenty of people surrendered their freedom, but I didn't hear anybody try to surrender to Al Queda.  The British had a similar attitude toward the Blitz, and that was a relentless, ongoing attack.
 
2013-05-15 07:57:20 PM
BBC History Magazine recently had an interview with the last surviving member of the Dambusters who is still in the UK. Here's the recording.
 
2013-05-15 08:46:18 PM

JustGetItRight: Clash City Farker: USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.

Adolf Galland, Heerman Goering, and Albert Speer all say you're full of shait.  If in no other area, US strategic bombing devastated the German POL industry.  By mid to late 1944, the Luftwaffe still had aircraft and the Wehrmacht still had tanks.  What they didn't have was fuel - and that was a direct result of US strategic bombing.


That was more a result of losing the areas that had the fuel or through which the fuel had to transfer.
 
2013-05-15 09:53:56 PM

yet_another_wumpus: Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.

Check the (highly supressed) pentagon reports.  Strategic bombing just doesn't work until you break out the nukes.  Ask the brits how much the blitz stopped them from fighting Germany.  The worst part of the whole thing was how many USAA pilots and crew died to attack ball bearing factories.  Ball bearing factories was thought to be a weakness in the US, but it turned out that the Germans could rebuild faster than anything really needed spare ball bearings.  About the only thing that helped at all was bombing the oil refineries.  A tiger tank might be worth 5 Shermans, but not if it's out of gas.  A less surpressed and well known example would be the Blitz on England during WWII.  The Luftwaffe was steadily attacking and defeating the RAF until one time a bomber went off course and attacked a non-military target.  England retaliated.  Hitler [allegedly] lost it [the Germans love to blame Hitler for obvious reasons.  Who knows the truth now?] and essentially changed the target of the entire bombing campaign from the RAF (to allow easy access to destroy sea defences and allow an invasion) to simply destroying England from the air ...


I guess one could say that area bombing is terrorism. Indiscriminate bombing of a civilian population center is now a war crime, as seen currently in Syria. But WWII was a different time and a different situation. That was total war. Nothing was spared and the Allied generals were trying to end the war as quickly as possible.
 
2013-05-16 12:00:22 AM

moku9: Mission was largely unsuccessful right? "Changed the course"; not even remotely......


Unsuccessful by what standard? Compared to a B-2 and smart bombs? Striking the German heartland had plenty of psychological effect.
 
2013-05-16 02:09:55 AM

Five Tails of Fury: I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.


I remember taking a break from work to eat a bag of chips outside and looking up to the sky just in time to see it fly overhead accompanied by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. I wondered for a moment if I had travelled back in time and whether I should run for cover...
 
2013-05-16 05:57:21 AM

gaslight: BBC History Magazine recently had an interview with the last surviving member of the Dambusters who is still in the UK. Here's the recording.


The Daily Express last week contained, in one edition, two interviews with the two elderly men, each of whom was described as the only surviving member of 617 Squadron.
 
2013-05-16 05:59:52 AM

ImpendingCynic: Striking the German heartland had plenty of psychological effect.


Just as German bombing of London completely disheartened the British and led to our defeat? Just as the 9/11 attacks led America to open peace negotiations with Al-Qaeda?
 
2013-05-16 07:28:24 AM

TheVeryDeadIanMartin: Five Tails of Fury: I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.

I remember taking a break from work to eat a bag of chips outside and looking up to the sky just in time to see it fly overhead accompanied by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. I wondered for a moment if I had travelled back in time and whether I should run for cover...


Hurricane?  Them's shiat planes for remtards on free dinners.
 
2013-05-16 09:50:07 AM

yet_another_wumpus: Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.

Check the (highly supressed) pentagon reports.  Strategic bombing just doesn't work until you break out the nukes.  Ask the brits how much the blitz stopped them from fighting Germany.  The worst part of the whole thing was how many USAA pilots and crew died to attack ball bearing factories.  Ball bearing factories was thought to be a weakness in the US, but it turned out that the Germans could rebuild faster than anything really needed spare ball bearings.  About the only thing that helped at all was bombing the oil refineries.  A tiger tank might be worth 5 Shermans, but not if it's out of gas.  A less surpressed and well known example would be the Blitz on England during WWII.  The Luftwaffe was steadily attacking and defeating the RAF until one time a bomber went off course and attacked a non-military target.  England retaliated.  Hitler [allegedly] lost it [the Germans love to blame Hitler for obvious reasons.  Who knows the truth now?] and essentially changed the target of the entire bombing campaign from the RAF (to allow easy access to destroy sea defences and allow an invasion) to simply destroying England from the air ...


You raise some solid points, but it's not quite that simple.  Strategic bombing, unaccompanied by invasion, as in your example of Germany vs. Britain, or the US vs. North Vietnam?  sure, you can argue it's a waste.  And, if you can take out your enemy quickly enough, as in the US vs Iraq, you don't WANT to do more bombing than you have to, since you're the one stuck with cleanup duty.

But the Allies bombing Germany in WWII, despite those Pentagon reports, WAS a valid tactic.  (just because something's in a Pentagon report, doesn't mean it's accurate.)

Scholarly thinking on WWII has gone something like "it's all we CAN do" during the conflict, to "our boys were heroes, end of story" after the war, to "bombing was counterproductive"...that's the stage you're at.

The ball bearing thing does focus on a weakness, but completely ignores the successes of the bomber campaign, cutting German supply lines...their artillery was restricted to five shells a day in many sectors by '44; they'd have had a hard time holding off Napoleonic troops with those constraints, let alone combined arms assaults.

Much of modern criticism also completely ignores the alternate scenario:  a Germany left UN-bombed.  Think of all those thousands of 88mm guns, pointed at Russian tanks, instead of Allied bombers.  All those interceptors, freed up to provide air cover for Stukas, and to shoot up Russian truck convoys.  Imagine what Speer could have done with the German economy WITHOUT having to repair bomb damage.

The war might well have dragged on another year...and given our 'Germany first' policy, we might have used a nuke on the Ruhr, instead of Hiroshima.
 
2013-05-16 10:52:44 AM

kbronsito: Whiskey Dickens: kbronsito:
if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).

(Bolded)  This is the same logic used by people who commit acts of terror on civilians.

True. But just because someone else uses similar logic, it doesn't mean they are right. Whether or not to target civilians needs to be sorted out on a case by case basis. As someone mentioned before, it would have been more inmoral to lose the war against the Nazis. People working in Germany's industrial areas were building the machinery that was being used to kill people in allied and neutral countries alike.

If you for instance look at the case of El Salvador, the guerrillas there were probably justified in using some tactics that would be considered terrorism but when you look at Peru, the shinning path was not justified in using the terror tactics they used. In fact the Salvadorans who fought as guerrillas that I've met actually roll the name of the shinning path off their tongue with disdain because the SP targeted the center left, killing labor leaders and community organizers (as opposed to people who represented the right) in order to cause as much chaos and poverty as they could to bring forth their revolution. Anyone trying to improve the conditions of poverty "slightly" was a target becuase they were delaying their revolution. To the Salvadorans who were measuring their attacks to meet specific objectives, that was unacceptable. They claimed to be on the side of the poor and killing labor leaders and community organizers because they tried to help the poor by means other ...


"Don't you mean 'Shining?'"
"Shhh, d'ye wanna get sued!"
 
2013-05-16 12:57:27 PM

dittybopper: Hurricane?  Them's shiat planes for remtards on free dinners.


I cannot disagree with that.
 
2013-05-16 01:43:29 PM

TheVeryDeadIanMartin: dittybopper: Hurricane?  Them's shiat planes for remtards on free dinners.

I cannot disagree with that.


In case you are wondering where I dug that phrase up from:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGp4DvFEgh8
 
2013-05-16 02:47:39 PM
"special bombs" brought out to the planes by a short bus.
 
2013-05-16 03:02:40 PM

TheVeryDeadIanMartin: Five Tails of Fury: I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.

I remember taking a break from work to eat a bag of chips outside and looking up to the sky just in time to see it fly overhead accompanied by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. I wondered for a moment if I had travelled back in time and whether I should run for cover...


I've stood in the Lanc at the museum at Hamilton (they were doing maintenance and my mother-law's dad trained the bombadiers in WWII so we got an in).  Very moving to see how *small* it actually is on the inside.  Also to think how cold and noisy it would have been, as it is just metal and struts, no apparently insulation.

Also for the low low price of something like C$2000 you can go for a ride in it.
 
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