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Diabolus
29th Oct 2004, 14:08
German politicians would like a formal apology from the Queen during her state visit to Germany for allied bombing raids during WWII.

http://channels.aolsvc.co.uk/news/article.adp?id=20041029060009990002


Now that is diabolical.

D:-[

tony draper
29th Oct 2004, 14:11
Perhaps we should also apologise for hanging a lot of their most prominent citizens after Nuremburg as well.

timmcat
29th Oct 2004, 14:17
Where is our previous thread linking feline friend when we need him?

Vfrpilotpb
29th Oct 2004, 14:29
I am astounded that the pranocks who advise our Queen are able to even think of such a diabolical thing,

Who started the WW11?
Who Single handedly stood up to the Hun?
Who Liberated France?
Who Kicked seven colours out of Rommel
Who kicked the rump of the Nazi hordes in Norway?

It was the BRITISH, not the spineless Europeans, or French or Italians or Greeks or Dutch or Belgians, and for our Queen to be asked to apologise for Dresden is tantamount to TREASON.

Dresden was a very important war machinery manufacturing town, and major staging post for the German Railways in moving their troops to the Russian front, it was a ligitimate military target, the same as Coventry or Liverpool or Exeter was for the Hun.

As John Cleese said, "The Germans Started the war by invading Poland" have the Germans apologised to the Polish people? the answer quiet simply is .. NO they have not.

Has Aunty Tony apologised for telling us lies, NO HE HAS NOT!

Vfr
:mad: :mad:

simon brown
29th Oct 2004, 15:24
I agree why should the Queen have to apologise for defending ourselves and then defeating Hitler by whatever menas possible.

Probably a bunch of PR w****rs with degrees in sociology advising the Royal "hangers on" it would be a good thing to do .

If I was the Queen I would offer an apology but only if the German Government apologised for bombing my Palace.

That bloody Boris Johnson has set a trend.....

five iron
29th Oct 2004, 15:35
I don't mean to start a complete riot, but isn't the Queen from German descent?:confused:

I really hope Prince Harry is crowned one day. You saw how he dealt with the photographer recently. Any of this type of media propoganda and he'll give the editor a right kicking!:}

Cornholio
29th Oct 2004, 15:45
What's the brouhahaha all about.... one little word.

Just say it.

Why all the fuss? It'll go a long way toward everyone getting along that little bit better. The simple folk of Dresden didn't deserve to be bombed.

Just tell the old lady to say sorry and have a pint... then stand around saying "here, here... wot???" and all that jolly hockey-sticks... :rolleyes:


:hmm:

:zzz:

PS Please don't crown P. Harry or the other one (Britney's ex). If you do bypass Chuck, Aussie might want to put off the republic motion and stay part of "the scene".

1DC
29th Oct 2004, 15:46
I'll be surprised if many German's have any interest in this, it seems that the story was initiated in the German press. If German media is up to the standard of ours it would be par for the course.

air pig
29th Oct 2004, 15:46
When the German nation apologises for starting TWO wars in Europe in 25 years then maybe they may have a point, but there again I don't think so.

If country can stand by, witness and do NOTHING about the massace of six to eight million people in concentration camps, between 1934 and 1945. I feel that they should apologise for all eternity, they should show gratitude for the countries that liberated them and not denigrate them.

Did they apologise for the murders of the prisioners from Stalag Luft 3. I think not. It was only the work of the RAF SIB that found most of the killers and brought them to justice.

Before anyone thinks that I am taking a biased view, a White Paper was published in Parliament prior to WW" detailing the atrocities going on in Germany prior to WW2.

Any nation that can condone if only by silence the murder of its own people, mentally ill and handicapped children with life limiting disorders, should hang its head in shame for all time.

Remember that it is NATO that has kept peace in Europe until the fall of the Soviet Union not the so called European Community, without both American and Canadiian assistance the continent would be a much worse place.

Her Majesty to apologise NEVER, or at the very very least until the present incumbent in the office of Prime Minister, shows courage by resigning fromt that office, for his lack of apparant honesty in the last 7 years.

If, as one great man said " If we do learn from the lessons of history then we are destined to relearn them."

I sincerely hope that we never have to !!!!!!

Some may suspect from my comments that I do not like the German nation, wrong there are good and bad in all countries, as we know only to well.

"It takes only people to stay silent for evil to prevail" a comment from another great philospher.

Rant over.

Jerricho
29th Oct 2004, 15:46
*Sigh*

And just what do these apologies achieve? An official recognition of something we all know that happened? Or is it just a bureaucratic way of dragging up the past? Christ, there is so much in the world countries could be apologising to each other about.

:rolleyes:

Ozzy
29th Oct 2004, 15:48
She should just cancel the whole fecking visit and tell 'em to bog off and come back when they've grown up. Twats.

Ozzy

tony draper
29th Oct 2004, 15:51
Why should we apologise ,we got nukes they haven't, na naa na naaa na!
:rolleyes:

Wino
29th Oct 2004, 15:54
Ill tell you what I think.

When the Germany can ressurect all those they murdered and who died because of their starting WWII, then other countries can think about apologizing for bombing them. But first they have to work on restoring all those dead souls back to life. Untill then, it seams to me that the scales are pretty well balanced.

Cheers
Wino

Paterbrat
29th Oct 2004, 16:20
They will be asking victims to start going to jails and appologising to the perps for putting temptation in their way next:uhoh:

Proceed As Cleared
29th Oct 2004, 16:22
And I thought WWII had ended 59 years ago... :confused:

ontrackfor
29th Oct 2004, 16:28
From an antipodian perspective and checking the links it seems the Queen is on a bit of a govt-driven apology-spree of late. This is not to devalue the apologies or the role of the Queen but I fear some German politico may simply be garnishing their profile in this case.

I hope people think long and hard about the request, it goes down on record and forever is a long time.

ps: three men with their eyes closed touch an elephant and 'see' different things. Due to the oudor, one thing they aggree on is the fact the elephant is dead.

Huck
29th Oct 2004, 17:13
"Is that what made Britain great? 'I'm thoe thorry I made a mith-take?' What've you got for brains - spongecake?!?!?"

B. Fawlty
QED

X-QUORK
29th Oct 2004, 18:15
I'd be rather chuffed if during her visit the queen broke into song with the football anthem reserved for games against Germany:

"Two World Wars and one world cup, doo-dah , doo-dah..."

Athena5
29th Oct 2004, 18:32
This is a difficult one. In all wars innocent people are sacrificed & killed, WW2 broke ground in this area in that so many innocent civilians off the battlefield were sacrificed on both sides.

I suppose the blanket bombing of Dresden can be compared to the US bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, a quick way of breaking the will of the enemy & ending the war to avoid further casualties on their own side. Atrocities happen in war that could never be rationalised in peace time. But we have to remember some facts:

The Germans started an unjust landgrabbing 'lebensraum', racist war.

The German people voted the villianous German Nationalist Party into power.

The Nazis & the German Army committed unspeakable atrocities unmatched by the Allies.

No amount of apologising or reparations could ever fully compensate their victims for the war they started.

While I'm no fan of the bombing of Dresden if it shortened the war & prevented less innocent victims of the Axis powers dying perhaps it was the lesser of two evils.

On the opposite side I visited Germany regularly, love its language, culture & scenery, enjoy the company of Germans & empathise with the shame younger innocent Germans have for their forebearers actions, I don't believe the stain the Nazi's left on Germany will ever be easily or fully erased even with all the apologising in the world. Never Again!

Apologise maybe if need be for diplomatic relations, but only a diluted apology in the context of the above with an understanding that the Germans who voted for Hitler & his henchmen (I sympathise with those who didn't, there the real German victims IMHO) more or less brought the whole horror on themselves & therefore must take their share of the responsibilty.

Jerricho
29th Oct 2004, 18:46
"Two World Wars and one world cup, doo-dah , doo-dah..."

I suppose you're the type that I heard singing one day

"I'd rather be a Paki than a Turk" :rolleyes:

BlueWolf
29th Oct 2004, 20:40
vfrpilotpb

I hate to be picky, but I have an irksome recollection that the Yanks were involved in the liberating and bottom-kicking as well, and so were more than a few scruffy colonials;)

....but that aside, I agree wholeheartedly. You do what you do in wartime because you have to, because of circumstances forced upon you. Both sides committed attrocities, but at the end of the day, "we" who won didn't start the damned thing.
To apologise later, for actions taken under the circumstances prevailing then, diminishes the rightfulness of justified and righteous retaliation. Nations attacked must always have the right to fight back, by whatever means available, and to achieve victory, regardless of the cost to the aggressor.

To apologise is not simply unnecessary, it is wrong.

chuks
29th Oct 2004, 21:03
Which major German newspaper is piling the pressure on the Queen? That on-line news letter didn't give the name but I would be it was merely one of the red-tops, just as inconsequential and brainless here as the Sun or the News of the Screws is in the UK.

Just how pressured is HM the Q by some German rag? Is she having trouble sleeping, perhaps?

If she were to be seriously annoyed by this I would hope that she would just send Phil out as a good-will emissary. He could warm up the crowd with that old joke about the BA captain getting stick about not knowing his way around Frankfurt Airport, say, before getting properly stuck into German sensibilities. He could get their minds off any possible apologies for events of 60 years ago and fully focused on current events, I bet.

I have been in up-periscope mode lately, here in Germany, and I haven't really noticed any particular groundswell of opinion in favour of an apology for Dresden. About the only news in that regard has been about the nearly complete external restoration of an important church destroyed in the raid referred to, including an element of the steeple that came from the UK. So this sounds like an obvious wind-up that you have, almost to a man, taken entirely at face value.

Anything is possible, of course. I cannot presume to say what some German politician might or might not ask for, up to and including an apology from the Queen of England that it really is not in her remit to give, since she's really a figurehead when it comes to saying things of political significance. But that sounds rather far-fetched.

Don't let the possible boring truth stand in the way of a good rant against those sun-lounger-snatching b*stids, just in case it's really just the way it has been presented. You will all feel better and hardly anyone else will mind.

EDDNHopper
29th Oct 2004, 21:37
I´m not the thread linking feline but here it is (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=149589).

2R
29th Oct 2004, 21:50
Why on earth would Her Majesty have to do anything of the sort ,Her majesty was not the monarch at the time.
God Bless Her and Hers

Astrodome
29th Oct 2004, 21:56
The bombing of Dresden (by the RAF as opposed to the USA) was carried out at the specific request of the Russians.

The USAAF bombed Dresden a greater number of times than the RAF.

Dresden was a legitimate RAF target (under orders from Churchill).


Edited to add link Dresden Link (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=128106&highlight=Dresden)

tony draper
29th Oct 2004, 22:04
Just as well the war in Europe finished when it did then, remember, Little Boy and Fat Mans intended target was Berlin, thats where they were built for originally.
Then they might have had some reason to be a bit miffed with us.
:uhoh:

Davaar
29th Oct 2004, 22:42
Perhaps the Brits should go back to the beginning, have the Italian ambassador in for an audience with the Queen, script to read:

Your-a Majesty. Ah'm-a really sorry about-a theesa Julius-a Cesare. Ah'm-a sorry

B Fraser
30th Oct 2004, 01:46
This sounds like a wind-up. Who else remembers the French asking for Waterloo station to be re-named ? Was I the only one who noted that in Paris, they have Gare d'Austerlitz.

:E

Lon More
30th Oct 2004, 01:49
An apology to the Germans is an insult to the many aircrew who lost their lives in the war.

BTW Re Liz II, she's not ours; as was frequently pointed out by the SNP in the 1970s, how can you have the second Queen when the first one's never been.

JB Mods
30th Oct 2004, 07:11
Read Chuck´s post
Really read Chuck´s post
Meditate on the word wind up

chuks
30th Oct 2004, 07:18
The headline here is 'Queen to apologise for bombing Dresden' when there is nothing within of that sort. Isn't that illegal under the Trades Description Act?

It is such an obvious wind-up (well, I sure hope so) that it makes me wonder if you lot have tapioca for brains. It seems to take almost nothing to set a pack of you off, baying in pursuit of long-dead quarrels. Who bombed what, who set up concentration camps in the first place, what about that Jerry who put his towel on my sun-lounger....

Holy mackerel, Amos! You like to pick on we Yanks for small-minded ignorance of the wider world, but what an image you present of yourselves sometimes. It reminds me of the sort of rubbish we get in the bar around 1 a.m. after far too much booze has flowed. At least then people can excuse their stupidity as a temporary condition.

Our local German rag simply has, on Page 2, a picture of the Queen along with a brief statement that she's going to open a British-sponsored gala concert in Dresden to benefit the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) as a practical act of reconciliation, according to her spokesman in London. That's it. Sorry! If Germans were marching in the streets over this I would be happy to give you an on-the-scene report but it just isn't so.

It may well be that the red-top (Bild) paper for the semi-literate has an entirely different article buried somewhere behind the usual picture of the fit bint with her tits showing that gives some bizarre interpretation of history meant to persuade its brain-dead readers that they are owed an apology from the RAF. But that sort of paper is on such a low level that no one takes it seriously, not even its own editors and reporters. Just think of the 180° changes of direction that British tabloids are renowned for and you will get the idea.

flok
30th Oct 2004, 19:11
I'm a German born nearly 4 decades after 1945. I don't see any evidence for an apology forced by German politicans or media.

Besides I don't know someone who would ask for an apology. Even though the city of Dresden was packed with refugees and except shock and awe I see no real military objective, there's no place on the balance sheet for an apology. The generation of my grandparents started a cruel war with unimaginable atrocities and couldn't have been surprised if some of that what they did returned like a boomerang. To tell the truth, I would feel uncomfortable hearing an apology.

I'm really impressed by the statements put forward by many of you and can assure you that Germans with a conscience, and those are the majority, will never forget what happened between 1933 and 1945. But my generation feels also that we are not responsible for the 3rd Reich, only for a peaceful future.

Rollingthunder
30th Oct 2004, 19:18
Well said flok

tony draper
30th Oct 2004, 23:17
Not so, the Germans were nowhere near having a working nuclear weapon,captured German scientists were bugged when the Americans announced they had nuked Hiroshima and from what they said it was obvoius they didn't believe it possible that early, had the war streched on until the 1960s, they might have done
Very clever scientist and engineers Germany had but they were mugs as far as Atomic weapons were concerned ,how could it be other ?the best nuclear physisists were jewish and they had kicked them out of the country, plus a low prority and shortage of materials didn't help them, Hitler regarded nuclear physics as a Jewish science and was no great fan of same..
There is still some debate as to whether the slow progress in Nuclear weaponry was deliberatly engineered by the German scientists,on humanitarian grounds as some of them claim.

Capt.KAOS
31st Oct 2004, 20:22
the best nuclear physisists were jewish and they had kicked them out of the country
Hitler put Heisenberg in charge work on atomic research and he was Jewish. When other scientists argued that Heisenberg had miscalculated and that an atomic bomb was feasible, Hitler paid no attention to them for some reason. Had Hitler given even adequate attention to the importing of the required materials his physicists in Germany needed from Norway the less-famous scientists under Heisenberg would've proven the feasibility of a bomb. Some say that Heisenberg deliberately misguided Hitler.

Jet Dragon
1st Nov 2004, 00:33
They'll be wantin' an apology from Geoff Hurst next:\

NZLeardriver
1st Nov 2004, 01:18
I want an apology from Osama.
I feel that he affected my job market.

By Friday will be fine thanks.
Also that guy that walked into me the other day - you have till Thursday.

Buster Hyman
1st Nov 2004, 01:31
Everybody wants an apology for something & nobody wants to give it. The simple reason is that an admission of guilt exposes one to potential litigation.

Perhaps, in the past, an apology & handshake was enough to end an argument but these days, when Insurance companies insist that you never admit responsibility, even after you've "Liberacied" another car, the wariness of the species comes into play.

I doubt if the Queen, or anyone else for that matter has given any thought to this. There are more pressing needs for our attention.

411A
1st Nov 2004, 03:29
Good grief...what next?

'Next' might well be the Japanese wanting an apology from president Kerry about the bombing of Hiroshima.

Opps...did I say president Kerry? :yuk: :yuk: :uhoh:

wheels up
1st Nov 2004, 06:03
NZ Leardriver. I think it was me that walked into you the other day. Sorry mate.

Evanelpus
1st Nov 2004, 12:14
Of course she should apologise, we meant to bomb Kiel!

There were clouds, it was raining, the bomb aimers sight was misty etc etc.

airship
1st Nov 2004, 12:43
Queenie, her closest advisors and myself have decided that we can issue the following statement:

"The Queen regrets that any actions targetting mainly civilians were once deemed necessary". Is that OK huney? :uhoh: :sad:

Astrodome
1st Nov 2004, 23:13
Shame on you for trying to distort history...or maybe you were taught by the Liberals of the 60's who benefiited from a free society, but by their actions deny this right of others???

Alpine Flyer
1st Nov 2004, 23:22
Neither forgetting nor never forgiving what went wrong in the 20th century will make the world a better place in the 21st. If we forgive but don't forget we can have a better, more peaceful Europe.

The political climate in Germany in the years between WW1 and WW2 was an essential ingredient for the extremisms and misguided patriotism that propelled Hitler and the NSDAP into power. Had the victors of WW1 embarked on stabilizing Germany rather than stripping it of anything of value, Hitler would have found less willing ears to listen to his propaganda. The Allies grasped this much better after WW2 and helped Germany to become fat, happy and without aggression. (Now, wouldn't that work for Iraq, too. I can't imagine suicide assassins who own a house with pool and SUV....)

German politicians born before and after the war have apologized numerous times for atrocities and other acts of aggression commited by their fathers and grandfathers.

The military significance of the Dresden air raid is not uncontested and many believe that it was neither necessary nor pivotal to the course of WW2.

It would not hurt Britain in any way if the Queen said "we're sorry for the innocent dead".

Reading your posts I don't have the impression that the war ended almost 60 years ago.

chiglet
1st Nov 2004, 23:49
Alpine,
Good post
(Now, wouldn't that work for Iraq, too. I can't imagine suicide assassins who own a house with pool and SUV....)
Errmm quite a lot of the Palestinian "suicide assasins" are peeps who ARE well educated, DO own houses etc [at least, according to the "media"]
IF only people would "Jaw, Jaw, Jaw" rather than "War, War, War"
watp,i[s]ktch

Astrodome
2nd Nov 2004, 00:04
Unfortunately the significance of Dresden was blown out of proportion by the US media at the time, and later on seized upon by those who if they had been in any position of power in the 1940's would have led to the enslavement of western europe.

A big fuss was made by someone who later regretted having filed the story.

Unfortunately it suited the US to attempt to distance themselves from any suggestion that they bombed anywhere of any significance as the War was in its closing stages, and as usual the US was looking towards its longer interests.

The lefties have seized upon Dresden as some sort of RAF perpetuated attrocity.

Unfortunately as always the Left are never willing to let the facts spoil a good socialist crusade, and conveniently continue to forget that te Dresden raid was made at the VERY specific request of the Russians (Communists i.e Left of centre).

The USAAF bomber Dresden first and continued to do so after the RAF raids, indeed it is said that the USAAF machine gunned people in the streets!

If you would care to check out the link posted earlier at some stage and take the time to read some of the true facts you may just modify your views.

Blacksheep
2nd Nov 2004, 01:01
Apologise for bombing Dresden? I didn't know the Queen bombed Dresden.

Back in 1967 we wanted to bomb Moscow but the Queen wouldn't let us. :(

NZLeardriver
2nd Nov 2004, 08:16
Alright wheels up, just dont do it again.

nz

Capt.KAOS
2nd Nov 2004, 08:30
And what about Hamburg? About one third of the houses of the city were destroyed in July 1943 and German estimates show 60,000 to 100,000 people killed.

BTW Even Churchill eventually had his doubts: "It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed ... The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing."

Astrodome
2nd Nov 2004, 11:23
You confuse two different situations.

The comments attributed to Churchill were made but subsequently withdrawn by him.

tony draper
2nd Nov 2004, 11:36
Yeh and those 5200 V2's they fired all had paint ball warheads.
Buggerem!
:suspect:

Caslance
2nd Nov 2004, 12:09
The war's over, Mr D.

You can come out of your bunker now.........:rolleyes:

Capt.KAOS
2nd Nov 2004, 13:17
You confuse two different situations. I do Astrodome? Just wanted to emphasize that Dresden was only one of many German cities raided until Bomber Harris noted, there were essentially no more targets to be bombed in Germany.

The comments attributed to Churchill were made but subsequently withdrawn by him. Made and withdrawn, what does that mean? He didn't say it? Just a momentary lapse in his consience? Fact is that he did wrote the memorandum to the Chiefs of Staff shaken by the outcry that followed. He didn't retracted it, it was refused by the military staff. After which Curchill casually disclaimed any knowledge of the Dresden bombing, saying: "I thought the Americans did it." That's how politics and wars are...

Exactly Herr Draper and these V2's were called crimes against humanity :hmm:

tony draper
2nd Nov 2004, 13:21
Forgot to include the 8000 V1's fired against London,they reaped the whirlwind is all,got what they deserved.
:suspect:

Astrodome
2nd Nov 2004, 13:54
Made and withdrawn, what does that mean? He didn't say it? Just a momentary lapse in his consience? Fact is that he did wrote the memorandum to the Chiefs of Staff shaken by the outcry that followed. He didn't retracted it, it was refused by the military staff. After which Curchill casually disclaimed any knowledge of the Dresden bombing, saying: "I thought the Americans did it." I don't know where you got this information.
It is inaccurate.

When Churchill's minute was received at the Air Ministry objections were raised as to its accuracy, and reference made to the fact that area bombing was a declared policy agreed by the Allied Command at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. You will, of course, be aware that Churchill was a key member of this.

Churchil was an ardent supporter of the Bomber Command Offensive and was particularly keen that Dresden be attacked.

Arthur Harris queried its military significance but was ordered by the Allied Command to proceed.

Proceed As Cleared
2nd Nov 2004, 13:58
I don't like to repeat myself, but didn't WWII end 59 years go...?

:hmm:

c-bert
2nd Nov 2004, 14:12
No, they just stopped shooting.

flapsforty
2nd Nov 2004, 15:11
The British Ambassador to Germany has today again categorically stated that all of this is pure fabrication by the UK tabloid press.

Capt.KAOS
2nd Nov 2004, 15:27
Astrodome, WW2 being the main part of my studies for many years I’m aware of Churchill’s role in the area bombing (or as they called it, “dehousing”) strategy, never the less thanks for telling me. In total 161 main cities and 850 towns, villages are known to be bombed in Germany, many of them during the last weeks of the war, when it was already decided. A third of all bombs dropped in WW2 were in the last 4 months of the war. Bomber Harris was grimly working through his list of targets and hated to be distracted by demands for tactical bombings.

Coming back to Churchill’s memorandum, below the original Churchill wrote before it was withdrawn and replaced by a watered down one, which amongst others did not contain the word “terror”. he was trying to dissociate himself from the destruction. Military chiefs understood Churchills ploy and refused the memorandum.

Apparently during the last monts of the war he was contemplating how to govern occupied Germany and moral standards of peacetime had become affordable again.

As far as I know Churchill never ordered directly the bombing of Dresden, only the "supporting" area bombings for the Soviet troops.

Herr Draper, it was all started by the British tabloids, just as they did during the last European Football games in Portugal. The Germans seem to have gotten over it, when will the Brits?



http://sabailand.bizland.com/Dresden.JPG

Caslance
2nd Nov 2004, 16:12
The Germans seem to have gotten over it, when will the Brits? Most of us have, Capt.KAOS. :rolleyes:

Final 3 Greens
2nd Nov 2004, 17:42
Who started the WW11?
err, we did - Neville Chamberlin declared war on germany
Who Single handedly stood up to the Hun?
No one. Lots of countries did and were overrun, leaving the UK and the Commonwealth ... plus a lot of others, e.g. the Poles & Czechs who made up nearly 10% of the RAF pilots during the Battle of Britain
Who Liberated France?
The Allied forces, including us, the Americans, the Canadians, the Commonwealth etc....
Who Kicked seven colours out of Rommel
The 8th Army, including a lot of Aussies
Who kicked the rump of the Nazi hordes in Norway
The Norwegian Resistance

Astrodome
3rd Nov 2004, 22:02
A few points, copied from an earlier thread.

At the outbreak of World War II, Dresden was the seventh largest city in Germany proper. With a population of 642,143 in 1939, Dresden was exceeded in size only by Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Leipzig, and Essen, in that order.

Situated 71 miles E.S.E. from Leipzig and 111 miles S. of Berlin, by rail, Dresden was one of the greatest commercial and transportation centres of Germany.

Dresden was the junction of three great trunk routes in the German railway system: (1) Berlin-Prague-Vienna, (2) Munich-Breslau, and (3) Hamburg-Leipzig. This is why it was regarded as a primary communications centre, and why it assumed major significance as a military target in February 1945.

By February 1945, Dresden was known to contain at least 110 factories and industrial enterprises that were legitimate military targets, and were reported to have employed 50,000 workers in arms plants alone.

Among these were dispersed aircraft components factories; a poison gas factory (Chemische Fabric Goye and Company); an anti-aircraft and field gun factory (Lehman); the great Zeiss Ikon A.G., Germany’s most important optical goods manufactory; and, among others, factories engaged in the production of electrical and X-ray apparatus (Koch and Sterzel A.G.), gears and differentials (Saxoniswerke), and electric gauges (Gebruder Bassler).

Specific military installations in Dresden in February 1945 included barracks and hutted camps and at least one munitions storage depot.

It was a specific Russian request (made at the ARGONAUT Conference between the Allies and the Russians on 4th February 1945 in Yalta) for bombing communications, coupled with the emphasis on forcing troops to shift from west to east through communications centers, that led to the Allied bombings of Dresden.

The particular wording used was:-



quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our wishes are:

a. To speed up the advance of the Allied troops on the Western Front, for which the present situation is very favorable: (1) To defeat the Germans on the Eastern Front. (2) To defeat the German groupings which have advanced into the Ardennes. (3) The weakening of the German forces in the West in connection with the shifting of their reserves to the East (It is desirable to begin the advance during the first half of February).

b. By air action on communications hinder the enemy from carrying out the shifting of his troops to the East from the Western Front, from Norway, and from Italy (In particular, to paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig).

c. Not permit the enemy to remove his forces from Italy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



As a key centre in the dense Berlin-Leipzig railway complex, Dresden was connected to both cities by two main lines.

The structure of the Berlin-Leipzig-Dresden railway complex required that Dresden, as well as Berlin and Leipzig, be bombed. Therefore Allied air authorities concluded that the bombing of Dresden would have to be undertaken (1) in order to implement strategic objectives, of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians, and now agreed upon at the highest levels of governmental authority, and (2) to respond to the specific Russian request presented to the Allies by General Antonov to “paralyze the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig.”

On 8 February 1945 SHAEF (Air) informed both RAF Bomber Command and the United States Strategic Air Forces that Dresden was among a number of targets that had been selected for bombing because of their importance in relation to the movements of military forces to the Eastern Front.

This action, based upon the authoritative recommendation of the Combined Strategic Targets Committee, SHAEF (Air), and in turn based upon the recommendations of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was in keeping with the procedural structure and authority set up in SHAEF for the conduct of aerial operations by Allied forces.

On the night of 14/15th February 1945 Dresden was attacked by the RAF.

The USAAF made THREE raids on Dresden- on the morning of the 14th, again on the 15th, and yet again on the morning of 2nd March.

Churchill's Orders

On the night of 25th January 1945, Churchill had a meeting with Sir Archibald Sinclair. The following day Sinclair informed the Air Staff that Churchill wanted to know Bomber Command's proposals ..'for blasting the Germans in their retreat from Breslau' .
The Air Staff proposed an alternative for attacking aircraft factories and oil refineries. Sinclair submitted a Minute to Churchill on this that day.
He received an immediate reply from Churchill....'I did not ask you last night about plans for harrying the German retreat from Breslau. On the contrary, I asked you whether Berlin, and no doubt other large cities in East Germany, should not now be considered especially attractive targets. I am glad that this is 'under examination'. Pray report to me tomorrow what is to be done

I cannot see that the above was not intended to be construed as a direct instruction, and cannot conceive that it would have been taken as anything else by those reporting to Churchill.

I trust that you are familiar with the term 'directing mind'.


Edited to add the following extract From Bomber Offensive, by Sir Arthur Harris.
I know that the destruction of so large and splendid a city at this late stage of the war was considered unnecessary even by a good many people who admit that our earlier attacks were as fully justified as any other operation of war. Here I will only say that the attack on Dresden was at the time considered a military necessity by much more important people than myself, and that if their judgment was right the same arguments must apply that I have set out in an earlier chapter in which I said what I think about the ethics of bombing as a whole.