View Full Version : Honour to Bomber Command

Tartan Gannet
24th Apr 2002, 08:40
I am delighted that Prince Charles is to attend the service at St Pauls to honour the memory of the 55,000 Bomber Command servicemen who died in WW2.

I declare a personal interest, my own father served in Bomber Command, (Lancasters).

Now I have no grudge against the Citizens of the modern democratic Germany, one of our partners in Europe, and acknowledge that many ordinary German citizens died in the bombing, as did many of our own citizens, (my paternal grandmother was badly burned in the blitz of Glasgow, this shortening her life - she was 48 when she died).

I DO feel however that we should stop this guilt trip about Dresden, bring Sir Arthur Harris out of the broom cupboard, and place him in the same position of Honour as Mountbatten, Montgomery, Portal, Tedder and other war time military leaders. We should also pay due respect to the men of Bomber Command both air and ground crew, perhaps not as romantic as "The Few" but equally as important if not ultimately more so in the defeat of Nazism and the liberation of Europe 57 years ago.

Men of Bomber Command, I salute you and your memory and THANKS!

24th Apr 2002, 09:08
TG, include in your litst the names of Sir Hugh Dowding and Keith Park.

Tartan Gannet
24th Apr 2002, 09:13
Your perfectly correct Huggy, sorry I overlooked them!

henry crun
24th Apr 2002, 09:37
Wholeheartedly agree TG.

Tomorrow is Anzac Day, when we in the southern climes remember the sacrifice of others. and they are not forgotten.

You want it when?
24th Apr 2002, 10:27
With you all the way TG. There should be no shame around the exploits of "Bomber" Harris or the use of bomber command during the 2nd World War.

Also declaring an small interest - YWIW senior flew nuclear bombers in the 60's and iron bombers in the 70's. He prefferred the Nukes as he didn't need to be so exact where he let the load go.

24th Apr 2002, 13:51
Moritz Suter what is your problem then? Because of all the services that fought against the Nazis we can now post our thoughts on pages such as this one. Do you believe that the Web would have happened in a world run by Hitler and his ilk!

Xxx x xxxx sir!:mad: :mad: :mad:

Hogwash, Suter has strong views on this subject, as shown on a recent thread. By posting no more than a :mad: here, he/she is in fact showing considerable restraint. Suter, like everyone else here, is allowed an opinion.
What is not done here is personal insult, which is why I have edited out your comment.
Arguments are welcome, abuse gets binned.

Jet Blast ModBod

24th Apr 2002, 14:02
sure it would haff happened .. but it would be ze
Vorld Vide Veb

:D :D :D

Biggles Flies Undone
24th Apr 2002, 14:10
Let's just have a recap here MS:

You say you are an ex-member of HM forces
You have a fascination with same-sex relationships
You have an apparent problem with the way WWII was fought
Your posts, in general, are designed to provoke reaction

Are you a spotty little schoolkid or is that just the impression you are trying to convey?

Whatever, I'm with TG on the main point of this post. My late Uncle was a tail gunner on Lancasters - he would never speak of his experiences, but I know some memories troubled him deeply. The boys of Bomber Command were a very brave bunch.

24th Apr 2002, 18:04
According to the radio this morning on the way to school the members of Bomber Command didn't even get campaign medals, in an attempt to cover up the acts of WWII.

If this is the case, this is truly shocking.

:mad: :mad:

- D

24th Apr 2002, 18:46
Well done flapsforty. MS made considerable progress and proved "contenance".
For those who are interested have a look in a thread posted in
Feb. 2002 in Jet Blast. All said there.


Mac the Knife
24th Apr 2002, 19:56
In the quoted thread MS says, "The murderous raids on Hamburg and Dresden were the brain child of Sir Arthur Travers Harris, and him alone."

Urr.... The concept of area bombing and strategic bombardment was articulated by Gen. Guilio Douhet(1869-1930) in "The Command of The Air" (pub. 1921, rev. 1927) and his writings were well known. It wasn't a new concept and it certainly was'nt Harris's.

See http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1986/jan-feb/shiner.html for a brief but fairly accurate summary of Douhet's views.

Edit/Add: For a good overview of the development of theories of air power, see the chapter "Voices from the Central Blue" (David MacIsaac) in "Makers of Modern Strategy, from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age), ed. Peter Paret (1986). Douhet was just the first to pull together much general thought on the subject. As early as 1893(!) Maj. J.D. Fullerton of the British Royal Engineers, speaking at a conference of military experts at Chicago's World Columbian Exhibition said, "..the chief work will be done in the air, and the arrival of the aerial fleet over the enemy's capital will probably conclude the campaign."

24th Apr 2002, 19:59
Ahhhhhh...Moritz....methinks you are a disciple of the late Mr Alan Clark..... :eek:

Go on then, how would a German victory in WW2 have helped Britain? :confused:

Tartan Gannet
24th Apr 2002, 23:00
Coventry, Clydebank, Liverpool, Belfast, Bristol, and of course London itself.

And let us not forget, Rotterdam, Warsaw, and earlier as a trial run, Guernica.

Those who sow the wind..............?

My father too does not like to talk about the job he had to do in the wartime RAF.

At the risk of being boring I just cannot see what advantage it would have been to Britain had the Third Reich won the war. Not a lot of fun in Golders Green I feel.

Yes, again I thank the men of Bomber Command for their sacrifice on the behalf of us all, modern day Germans included.


25th Apr 2002, 01:03
Mr. Suter,

While I understand that you are outraged by the destruction of Dresden, your description of the service at St. Paul's is wholly inaccurate. We are not 'polishing the statue of a mass murderer', we are honouring the memory of the 55,000 brave young men who died in combat while serving with Bomber Command. They weren't war criminals or mass murderers any more than the Luftwaffe crews that bombed British citieswere, they were all simply doing their duty. It is thanks to them, in no small way, that the Fuhrer's vile intentions for the whole population of Europe were thwarted. If you are so proud to be a European then maybe you would give thanks for those who fought and gave their lives in making the present day European Community possible.

Through difficulties to the cinema

Alas para Volar
25th Apr 2002, 07:00
Surely they should be awarded a Campaign Medal?

25th Apr 2002, 07:04
I think people in this forum should have leaned by now that Moritz (he/she or they) does not post their own views, but views intended to inflame. People like this are know on the internet as Trolls.

Before my post I should nail my colours to the mast and declare that until a couple of years ago I served in the RAF for the previous 25 years. During that time I was chairman of a local RAF Association club (on the committee for 6 years) with over 600 members, many of whom were members of the Aircrew Association. It was my experience that these men, all in their 70's would only talk about their wartime experiences to each other, unless asked a direct question. Not because of shame of the 'acts of atrocity' they committed, but because they thought it not of much interest to those who had not experienced it.

As for the subject of this thread:
It was C Von Clausewitz who described war as "the continuation of policy by other means". If war is an essential instrument of policy, it follows that political objectives shape military objectives and the scope and intensity of military operations. In a democratic state, a significant war effort cannot be sustained in the face of public hostility and so public support is vital.
World War Two was our last General War, which I would define as ' a conflict between major powers in which their vital interests, perhaps even survival, are at stake.' There can be no doubt that, for the UK, our survival was at stake and that we would fight using everything at our disposal.
Clausewitz says "policy..... will permeate all military operations and, insofar as their violent nature will admit, it will have a continuous influence on them". I would therefore contend that Sir Arthur Harris was not single handedly pursueing a bombing campaign, but was acting out the intstructions given to him by the leaders of the UK government.
Success in conflict can be achieved through identifying and controlling the enemy's centre of gravity, defined by Clauswitz as ' the hub of all power and movement on which everything depends.... the point at which all our energies should be directed'. A more modern description is that characteristic, capability or location from which a military force, nation or alliance derives freedom of action, physical strength or will to fight. Examples might be the mass of an enemy army, a particular base area, a crucial resource, the leadership, the command structure, or national will.
The strategic bombing campaign of Germany by the allies has not provided incontrovertible evidence that strategic bombardment has been decisive in breaking the determination or shattering the will to continue of an enemy (Air Vice Marshall R A Mason, Air Power, a centennial appraisal, Brassey's, 1994, p272-273). There is however, much evidence to suggest that it had a profound impact upon the outcome of the war (R Overy, Why the Allies Won, Pimlico, 1995 and R Pape, Bombing to Win, Cornell, 1996). Allied bombing of cities forced German industry to adopt a policy of dispersal or de-centralisation. In some cases large resources were tied up in building new factories in bomb-safe areasin a situation where building labour and materials were in desperately short supply. The impact on German morale was equally debilitating, the effect on those regularly subjected to bombing was intensely demoralising. Germans interviewed after the war were almost unanimous in their view that bombing was the hardest thing for civilians to bear. The bombing also distorted German strategy and forced massive diversion of resources - men and weapons - to fight the bomber threat. It also encouraged desperate solutions from Hitler that further undermined economic capacity and postponed the introduction of military technologies that might have had a decisive effect (R Overy, Bomber Command 1939-45, HarperCollins, 1997).

Sir Arthur Harris was a leader of genius and without that genius Bomber Command probably would not have had the success it did, leading to a different outcome of the War.

25th Apr 2002, 11:59
Please explain how the BUTT report of 1941 (whatever that is) is relevant to Sir Arthur Harris (who did not take command of Bomber Command until 1942) and the bombing of Dresden (which did not occur until 1945)?

Also you should note that use of emotive language and in Ad Hominum does not contribute toward engaging in debate, although its very good trolling.

25th Apr 2002, 13:35
"With the disappearance of the gentleman -- the man of honour and principle -- as the backbone of the ruling class in England,"

Hhhmmm! Sounds like some jealousy and ire there. However you still have not answered my basic point. Which is that it was the political aim of the UK to achieve victory, thus ensuring national survival, by whatever means possible. It was (and still is) political direction and instruction which commanders require in order to carry out the task set them by their political masters, they are the instrument of war.
The UK was not an authoritarian state and so political will was also the will of the nation, as I indicated in my previous post. If commanders act in a renegade manner, as you imply that Harris did, by bombing without political sanction, then they would be open to trial for war crimes sunsequently.
From all I have read at no time did the government instruct Harris NOT to continue area bombing.

It is my considered opinion that the UK government belatedly realised Sun Tzu's writing - "that one should seek victory in the shortest possible time, with the least possible effort and at the least cost in casualties to one's enemy, remembering that one had to live next door to him when the fighting was over". Thus they tried to distance themselves from the area bombings by making Harris a scapegoat and apportioning all 'blame' on him. Perhaps, with 20/20 hindsight, the measures taken at the time do seem excessive, but put in the context of a nation fighting for survival and the feeling at the time, I believe they were justified.

Jet II
25th Apr 2002, 13:45
Remember, as Basil Fawlty used to say:

"The Germans started it"


Biggles Flies Undone
25th Apr 2002, 14:04
Isn't this just typical of the English? Harris did what he considered to be his duty and became a scapegoat. Curtis E. LeMay masterminded the firebombing raids that brought great destruction to cities such as Tokyo and then went on to greater honours and prestige in the post war years.

War is hell (Sherman) and the longer it goes on, the more people will die. The dropping of the atomic bombs was a terrible thing, but few will argue that many, many lives were saved as a result.

I'm not trying to excuse (or apologise for) any of these actions, simply saying that it is easy to pick on single events and persons and, with the benefit of hindsight, adopt a holier than thou moral position. There is nothing glamorous or romantic about war - but it is fought by brave men, men of action and, more importantly, men who do not hide behind a cloak of anonymity when following their beliefs......

25th Apr 2002, 14:16
Ban MS, he really pi$$es me off. I think it's a damn shame that Harris didn't manage to finish off all the nazis.....still some lingering on this very forum.

MS - log on to www.closetnazis.com where you'll find more of your ilk.

Right, where's that rag and polish gone.

Flying Lawyer
25th Apr 2002, 14:24
Agree with you 100% Tartan Gannet.

25th Apr 2002, 15:06
Don't mention the War!

pants on fire...
25th Apr 2002, 15:11
So much for the reformed cyber-Goblin, eh?

Didn't take long for the true colours to reappear from this nasty little piece of work, with his/her/it's own version and interpretation of history.

The Sewer spends it's time provoking responses on this board by deliberately posting inflammatory and insulting content, designed to antagonize as many as possible see past posts, ad infinitum.

For some that came to it's defence in the last round of nonsense perpetrated by the Alpine goat-herder, they are now witnessing the standard fare of Morris, a revisionist view of recent European history that insults every individual that participated in the Second World War, or indeed the outcome of the war itself.

As regards the vile Sewer's interpretation of the importance of the efforts and sacrifice of the generaton that prevailed in the Second World War;

Give the old folks a day for reminiscences by all means, but lets leave the fanfare and 'Rule Britannia' at home, eh?

Screw you, and all your flowery words and complete crap you spout on this board. This war was a victory of the ALLIED forces of the WORLD, who co-operated to overcome the scourge of mankind that existed in the form of the Nazi party, and their Axis. The War is over and the World has changed, but individuals like you love to drag it up, with the intent of perpetuating the divisions of war - not the stated intent of removing divisions. I hold no hatred for the Nations or Nationals involved in the Second World War, but I'm damned if I'm going to forget what happened - or allow people like you to spin it into oblivion!

It is EXACTLY individuals like you who perpetuate, or create, their own blinkered view of world events that the remainder of the world needs to guard against. It is for that specific purpose that the memory of the events and lives that were lost in any War should be recalled - so that the specific causes and reasons for War are not lost to the generations who follow.

Your one sided view of the morality you quote is obscene. That various attempts have been made within the Nations that instigated the Second World War, to ignore or alter the factual record of events - and their own actions - is an insult to the very people, who lost their lives during an all out fight for freedom, or to the surviving members, who ensured that these goals were not achieved!

Lets all face the future TOGETHER. Picking at the scabs of old wounds that divide us does nothing for the future. Good grief, people, haven't we got sufficient evidence of this in the Middle East right now?

Facing the future together, requires recognition of the events that shaped the World we live in; not some moronic version of events that ignore the actions that STOPPED some of the most horrifying acts of inhumanity ever perpetrated in the history of humanity.

The individuals that effected this outcome deserve our unreserved respect and recognition, and from this writer here, I assure you they will get it.

Go back to your pathetic muck-raking, pseudo intellectual philosophising, tabloid nonsense that you specialise in. Oh, and for God's sake, do it somewhere else!

25th Apr 2002, 15:16
Pants on Fire,

Bloody well said.



Mac the Knife
25th Apr 2002, 16:09
I don't think that we should get too involved in Moritz' provocatively righteous frothings, but he does rather conveniently forget WWI, and the Zeppelin and Gotha raids that inaugurated civilian area bombing in our time.

The first place to be bombed by a Zeppelin raid was Antwerp in 1914 [Belgium was neutral remember?]. September 1914 saw several Zeppelin raids on Lincolnshire at Humberstone, Owmby and Gainsborough In January 1915, two Zeppelin naval airships bombed great Yarmouth and King's Lynn. The first Zeppelin raid on London took place on 31st May 1915. The raid killed 28 people and injured 60 more. Many other places suffered from Zeppelin raids included Gravesend, Sunderland, Edinburgh, the Midlands and the Home Counties. Croydon's turn came on the night of 13th October 1915 when Zeppelin L14, under Commander Böcker, scattered bombs across the town, causing a fair amount of damage to Edridge Road, Beech House Road, Oval Road (where the school was hit), Chatsworth Road, Morland Road and Stretton Road. Nine people were killed and fifteen injured. It is unlikely that Croydon was chosen as the target for the raid - it appears that the Zeppelin was on its way to London, but got a little lost.

By the end of May 1916 at least 550 British civilians had been killed by German Zeppelin. The inaccuracy of the bombing and the small size of the bombs meant that there can have been no military purpose to the air-raids. They must have been intended to shake British civilian morale and so weaken their war effort.

Then came the Gotha bombers. From March 1 to October 31, 1917, no less than twenty-two raids took place, chiefly on London and towns on the south-east coast. The casualties amounted to 484 killed and 410 wounded. The two worst raids occurred June 13 on East London, and September 3 on the Sheerness and Chatham area. A squadron of fifteen aeroplanes carried out the raid, on June 13, and although they were only over the city for a period of fifteen minutes the casualty list was exceedingly heavy - 104 killed and 432 wounded. Many children were among the killed and injured as the result of a bomb which fell upon a Council school. Etc., etc.

Good idea to check your history before you wax so indignant Moritz.....

25th Apr 2002, 17:51
"we here in Europe shall be saved from the blinkered veinglorious and irrelevant written flatulence that my recent offerings have so unfortunately inspired."

As I told you in a previous post, your indulgence in Ad Hominum (attack the man, not the argument) does not make your argument (or rather, your lack of argument) hold water.
I presented you with factual information and the sources, your response to date has simply been rhetoric, Ad Hominum and bluster. Lets have some facts proving that Sir Arthur Harris and the staff he commanded were, as you put it, "murderers".

Its unfortunate for readers of this forum that your posts provoke the outrage and ad hominum directed at you that they do. But then thats the reaction you intend. So really, dear posters, the best thing is deny Moritz the oxygen of provocation he (she or they) seek and seem to require. He has no facts or substance to his (or their) 'arguments' and 'debate', simply froth and BS. Ignore him/her or them.

26th Apr 2002, 04:35
Perhaps with the sad passing away of The Queen Mother they might like to FINALLY dedicate a Bomber Command Campaign Medal for those who fought heroically over the skies of Nazi Germany.

After all it was her her stopped it in the first place. Every other theatre got one, just because she did not agree with the ethics of bombing large population centres seems an insult to those brave souls!

pants on fire...
26th Apr 2002, 05:19
After reading the response from the Swiss-Troll, I followed it's links to see the substantiation of it's latest stilted version of history.


We are really seeing the true side of this obnoxious and venomous little weasel here!

The source for this never ending crap this Moron directs at anyone who has the misfortune to read this site is non other than; The Institute for Historical Review.

This site offers scholarly information and thoughtful commentary, from a revisionist perspective, on a wide range of historical issues, including the "Holocaust," Auschwitz, World War II, Stalin, Hitler, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Hiroshima, Pearl Harbor, the Palestine/Israel conflict, Zionism, the "Jewish question," the Bolshevik revolution, and much more.

It is the source of the most inflammatory Nazi propaganda that has been unsuccessfully peddled to the World in recent times. It quotes such notably reputable sources as David Irving, plus God only knows who else.

Not only is there no originality to the subject matter produced by Morris Sewer, but it is clearly following an agenda and course of the vilest people in modern society - the ones who are attempting to re-write many of the most horrific acts that have been inflicted on mankind.

That any poster on PPRuNe be allowed to link subject matter of this nature from any post is a far greater insult than any other link, be it pornographic or otherwise.

Morris Sewer is an outrageous imposter, who has done nothing other than bring the foulest and most obscene fringe of society into the mainstream of this site.

I would suggest a brief perusal of this site if you have any doubt as to the beliefs and source of the hate and "truth" this little creep espouses. Sewer always attempted to appear from a "neutral", independent position, initiating discussion on seemingly innocent and inane topics, but the source of "reference" quoted by this inexcusible jerk is nothing less than the most foul and evil rewrite of some of humankinds most ignominious acts.

Index of World History (Rev 1)

That it be allowed to denigrate the topic of this thread in such a manner, is wholly inexcuseable and entirely unacceptable!

26th Apr 2002, 07:04
POF thank you for pointing this out.
Should have spotted it myself.
Links are now disabled.

I have amended your post slightly as well, to disable same link.
Matter under review.

Alas para Volar
26th Apr 2002, 08:36
DuckDogers :

Hard to believe the late Queen Mother stopped the award of a Campaign Medal?

She was the Patron of the Bomber Command Association and she unveiled the Statue of Bomber Harris (she also took on the people who sought to disrupt the occasion!)

Would it not be appropriate in the 60th year since the events , a year dedicated to Commemorating Bomber Command, to right the injustice and award a Campaign Medal to all who served? (including the ground crew?)

Biggles Flies Undone
26th Apr 2002, 09:07
Agreed on all counts.

Let’s honour the brave and be rid of the filth.

Leopards don’t change their spots. The ‘new and improved’ MS is still peddling the same brand of poison.

You want it when?
26th Apr 2002, 09:54
I think it might be Ms Suter that you posted links of very questionable taste (they certainly tripped our filtering software) as opposed to discussion. You also seem to delight in holding and publishing views that are opposed to many on this board - yet you act surprised each time when someone wades in to argue with you. Your posts also do not seem to be succinct - are you an academic perchance or maybe paid by the word?

T'would be rude to ignore you when you post a comment but it does tend to lead to massive thread drift. However everyone is entitled to their viewpoint, just some fit the generally acceptable framework better than others. I posted something on another thread that was a bit out of the framework but my Teddies aren't out of the pram yet and it hasn't been pulled / blocked (so far :D)

26th Apr 2002, 10:14

I apologise for taking so long to post this but aviation reared its ugly head and I had to do some work. I am very sorry to have over stepped the bounds by calling MS a ****, I thought that it was extreamly tame especially as I have just read the whole of this link and am astounded by his rantings!

There are some very good posts here and I especially agree with pants'!

This thread was not started to debate the rights or wrongs of individuals but as a place to air our views on the recognition of the crews of Bomber Command as a whole.

Is it OK to say that I find MS to be a sad person?:)

26th Apr 2002, 10:28
Moritz, it is not the suggestion that alternative versions of history may have value that is unacceptable here. It is peddling the lies and propaganda of people of the like of David Irving who has many times been thoroughly discredited as a historian, and is well-known as an apologist for the Nazis, a fanatical anti-semite, and, as an academic, a total fraud, incapable as he is of actually examining facts dispassionately and without his own personal political slant. His writings come very close indeed to what (in the UK at least) is a criminal offence, that of inciting racial hatred and prejudice. Much of the material, for example, on Heinrich Brüning is a gross distortion of the facts. Yet Irving still tries to use it to imply that it was ultimately the Jews who caused the war.

As far as I can see, Flaps has treated you no differently to the manner in which she would treat any other PPRuNer who posted links to such materials. She has censored posts of mine, and perfectly justifiably.

I am quick-tempered. I have been (justifiably) criticised for some of my posts, I have apologised for this in the past, and no doubt will offend other people (or the same ones again! ;))in the future and need to apologise again, but this is not something that I actively try to do. In fact, exactly the opposite.

Your posts probably come under a certain amount of extra scrutiny because you have a known track record. But you have nobody to blame for that but yourself.

If you want to be treated exactly as the rest of the PPRuNers, I suggest you behave the way they do - not actively seeking to give offence, to confront, but instead trying merely to enjoy one's time spent on these pages, and to pass on that enjoyment to others. In short, to contribute to others rather than to detract from them to increase one's own sense of self-worth.

26th Apr 2002, 10:53
Welcome back Hogwash, you really must have a stern word with your rosterer!
Can't have you comitting avaition in the middle of a JB thread mate!
I will have to report you AWOL next time....... ;)

As for the other matter that is now starting to de-rail this thread, it is as I said, under review.

Back to Bomber Harris anyone?

Alas para Volar
26th Apr 2002, 11:08
I think there is a distinction to be made between Commemorated (or Recognised) and Celebrated. :rolleyes:

26th Apr 2002, 11:23
Of course I have read opposing historic material on the subject of the allied area bombing campaign to that which I have quoted in earlier posts on here (although there is little credible material). I personally would find it impossible to form a balanced opinion on only a few viewpoints from the 'winning side'.
I have quoted you several references from very respected historians in this field and in response you have quoted only one, much maligned, response from a very dubious website.
So I challenge you once again to provide proof that Sir Arthur Harris and the men of Bomber Command were 'murderers'. Here is the opportunity you've been waiting for, to prove to PPruner's that you actually can debate a subject which you hold dear to you. To prove to the vast majority (from reading other posts on here) that you are not simply a troll, that your only purpose in posting is not simply to inflame.

To use an Americanism my dear MS, it's time for you to **** or get off the pot.

You want it when?
26th Apr 2002, 11:29
Excellent Flaps suggestion to the thread.

1. Honour the personnel of bomber command, for its actions in the second world war. Yes, certainly, definitely. Not a quibble, unreservedly, cheques in the post to SAFSA (or the like, no joke).

2. "Bomber" Harris treated unfairly. See above they were dark days, and RAF Bomber Command was one of the very few ways of taking the battle back to the enemy, and after all area bombing is still practised today.

3. MS - Nuff said

26th Apr 2002, 11:34
No person has suggested that the deaths of thousands of people be celebrated even if they were ones enemy.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we can now look back and judge peoples actions but in no way can we put ourselves in their position at the time. I do not believe any of tha Allied commanders were monsters as MS suggests and having read biographys and autobiographys of many of them including Churchills I conclude that they were moral men who knew the damage that they were inflicting and had many sleepless nights.

Without exception I believe that they were doing what they thought best to bring the war to a close expedisiously and with as few allied casulties as possible.

26th Apr 2002, 11:34
Moritz, I'm glad you agree that Hitler was a monster.

Perhaps the difference here is one of intent. Hitler's intent was to dominate, to supress all those he saw as üntermenschen to the German "Master Race".

"Bomber" Harris was one of those who saw it as their duty to preserve the freedom of (primarily) the UK and Europe from Nazi oppression. As has been pointed out before, distasteful (to say the least) things are done, particularly in wartime, in honourable causes. Many Brits that I know of have problems with the concept of "Area Bombing", not least because attacking civilian centres removed resources from possible attacks on military and manufacturing facilities elsewhere. Your rather foul-smelling IHR site fails to mention, of course, that most manufacturing sites were located close to, or in, civilian centres of population. It mentions the inaccuracy of bombing techniques at the time, but fails to mention the efforts to which Harris went to improve those methods, such as establishing the Pathfinder Squadrons, providing never-ending pressure on the designers of bomb sights, and using the expertise of, for example, 617 squadron to train other Lancaster squadrons in more accurate methods.

On one occasion, Leonard Cheshire, "marking" for 617 squadron among others in a Mustang, flew at extremely low altitude across the target area, ordering the bombers above to use him as an aiming mark, thus making hinself a target for his own bombers, German fighters and anti-aircraft fire.

At a time when most of the Air Ministry had dismissed Barnes Wallis as a dreamer and a crackpot, it was only pressure from Harris that enabled Wallis to find the resources to develop the "bouncing bomb" in order to attack the Rühr dams. Harris appreciated that one (relatively expensive) raid could do more damage to Germany's steel-manufacturing ability than many other "thousand-bomber" raids on the factories themselves, and at far lower cost to civilian life.

In erecting a statue to Harris and in (finally) casting a campaign medal, nobody is claiming sainthood for Harris. Merely in recognising the ability, the vision, the leadership and the tenacity of the man in doing what he could to free Europe from a foul, evil tyranny.

26th Apr 2002, 12:25
An excellent post but I must correct you on one thing. The Dam-Buster raids were actually not, militarily, a great success. Certainly in the case of the Mohne Dam (which I have visited dozens of times in the six years I lived in Germany) it was rebuilt (with slave labour) within days and providing power within weeks. To have taken the dams out for good would have required constant bombardment to prevent re-building and this was not done.
What those raids achieved was a MASSIVE boost in morale for the civil populace, here we were taking the fight right to the heart of the enemy. Additionally many of the crews went on tours (at the behest of the air ministry) of the USA and this brought home to the Americans just what the war in Europe was like. There appears to be no doubt that these tours helped bring the Americans into the war earlier and certainly went a long way in aiding the 'lend/lease' support we were given.
I actually assisted 617 Sqdn on its move to RAF Marham in 1983 and helped set up their small museum to the dambuster raid.

It does seem very unfortunate that the brave men who served (and very many of whom died) in Bomber Command are not recognised by the award of a campaign medal. But then its all politics, no doubt our Tony will be apologising for them next! Sigh!!

Still waiting for you to Sh*t or get off the pot.

26th Apr 2002, 13:24
Take3, no, I didn't say it was a great success. However, at the planning stage it showed a great deal of potential which was largely ignored by the Air Ministry, but which Harris saw and had the balls to put his weight behind.

When you consider that, at its formation, the average age of ALL 617's members was 22 (that included all the grizzled old ground staff, flight sergeants etc., plus the fact that it was formed from some of the most experienced of all Bomber Command's crews, you get some idea of what the mortality rate among bomber crews was. Yet they carried on flying...

At the time of the Dams Raid, Guy Gibson had less than 600 hours total flying time in his logbook.

Biggles Flies Undone
26th Apr 2002, 13:53
That says it all Huggy.

Very brave chaps who deserve recognition.

Jet II
26th Apr 2002, 14:19
Whilst I personally think that Moritz Suter is a total jackass and support the campaign for greater recognition of the veterans of Bomber Command (especially Harris) I am a bit uncomfortable with the repeated censoring of Moritz's posts.

Surely censorship, even of idiots like Moritz, goes against what all the guys in Bomber Command were fighting for all those years ago.

As for the 'Institute for Historical Review' surely we should allow them to bury themselves when they start talking utter c**p.

Spirited arguments - yes, censorship - no.


26th Apr 2002, 14:30
This is off topic, Jet II, however:-

There is no right of free speech here. How often does it have to be said?

You say you feel "uncomfortable" about how MS has been treated. How do you feel about people keeping to their agreements? You think, perhaps, that the agreement you agree to when you sign up for PPRuNe shouldn't mean what it says?

MS has broken that agreement time and time again.

Break the rules, you get censored. Carry on doing it and you get banned. MS has been allowed back from a ban twice (as far as I am aware). He still does it. He reposted links to Nazi-apologist sites after Flaps edited them out. He thinks he's above the rules. He isn't, the same as any of us here. If you still don't like it, write to Danny - [email protected] - and I'm sure he'll tell you where to go next... :D

26th Apr 2002, 14:40
Banning Moritz was getting repetitive I admit. But deleting every post he ever made? :o

Bit Draconian Flaps wasn't it? Wrong time of the month perhaps?:rolleyes:

I guess he won in the end then. Looks like you lost the argument as well as your temper. Sad day. (still Drapers back I suppose you win some lose some)

26th Apr 2002, 14:48

What the hecks going on now?

It was just starting to warm up a bit again, and now account removed? What does this mean?

Only droped by to see what the bandit Suter was up to this time?

Bring him back, falps?

Biggles Flies Undone
26th Apr 2002, 14:53
Lobotumi that comment was a long way out of order and I think you owe that very fine lady an apology.

26th Apr 2002, 14:54
You see Flaps ? Some people drop in purely to see what Moritz has been posting?

So he posted a link to a revisionist history site - deleting Moritz doesn't change the world you know. The site is still there after all.

One encounters Fascists in the most unexpected places - even PPRuNe - but Moritz was / is not a Fascist.

26th Apr 2002, 14:55
Well done Flaps ! Well done indeed ! I would like to propose a bronze statue in your honour - and possibly a campaign medal.

Sorry, I don't mean to make fun of the Bomber Command chaps not receiving due recognition - but once again the evil hun is sent packing ! Goodbye Suter.:)

26th Apr 2002, 14:56
if I have overreacted then I apologise.:cool:

26th Apr 2002, 15:01
Yes, Lobotumi, you were way out of order. If you were genuinely contrite, you would have deleted the comment.

No, MS was not banned for posting those links.

He was banned because he reposted them after Flaps deleted them. In other words, he was not prepared to be bound by his agreement.

So he effectively ruled himself out of PPRuNe. End of story.

26th Apr 2002, 15:08
Justify all you like but:


history is littered with examples as well as bodies.

26th Apr 2002, 15:11

26th Apr 2002, 15:49
People, while I do not believe that I owe anyone but Capt PPRuNe an explanation, I am certainly more than willing to provide one here.
Can we make a deal that you are then willing to look at it without preconcieved notions?

Suter was banned by Capt PPRuNe about a week ago while I was pouring coffee at 34 000 ft.
He was given clear guidelines as to what was acceptable on this site and what wasn't.
He was given a final warning to adhere to these guidelines and agreed to so.
Which is why Danny "un-banned" him and put him on final-probation.

Today he has twice posted links to a site which propagates revisionist neo-nazi propaganda.
I edited out the links but left the rest of the post.
He re-posted the links.
I edited them out again.

In the mean time I conferred with the powers that be and was given permission to use my judgement.
Which I have done.

Suter gave his word as a gentleman to Danny and then went right back to flaunting the code of conduct as spelled out to him.
He knowingly posted links a to a site which is not welcome here, nor anywhere else in civilised society for that matter.
So I decided to remove his account from PPRuNe.

That's it.
I am sorry if there are some of you who feel offended by this.
But whatever I do or not do, I will never please all of the Jetblasters all of the time, nor do I feel the need to strive for that Utopian state of affairs.
I try hard to be fair, as shown when I removed an ad-hominem remark directed towards Suter. I don't think that I am infallible.
I am however nobody's fool, and as long as Danny allows me to decide, I will.
Those who disagree can argue and follow Suter's example by creating discord here or choose to live & get on with it.

Suter is not coming back, and that's final.

This whole matter has been an education, and hopefully not only for me. :D

:) Allow me to wish you all a splendid weekend. :)

26th Apr 2002, 15:58
Wasn't I married to you once?

Your judgement stinks, and the place is heaps less fun thanks to you.

26th Apr 2002, 16:14

Hobbit, Flaps is a mother. You think a sulky little childish jibe like that will hurt?

26th Apr 2002, 16:26
Yeah, about as much as your coalition with her remains un-noticed.

Wasnt a jibe, jsut the plain truth.

The place was interesting with mr S., and I for one will miss him.

Moritz Suter......Jetblast hall of fame. RIP

26th Apr 2002, 17:08
Me? A coalition with Flaps? I wish! (On all sorts of levels! ;))

She and I have crossed on a few occasions - usually she is the one person I can trust to tell me I'm being a horse's behind in a way that will get through to me.

She has done so on a personal level (yes, we are good friends) and in her capacity as a moderator here. I trust her judgement implicitly, as does Danny, or he wouldn't have given her the job.

If you disagree with her decisions, you can take it up with Danny. Anything else is just throwing the toys out of the pram.

26th Apr 2002, 17:24
I'd just like to point out that flying a WW2 bomber unescorted over hostile territory into the face of the most sophisticated and effective air defence network in the world must have taken more bottle than most of us (myself included) could muster in a lifetime.

I studied that period of history in some depth, and I don't recall any mention of any politicians or senior commanding officers (you know, the people that actually chose the targets) putting their lives on the line, so why should the motives or actions of said politicians and senior officers, whether justified or unjustified, be allowed to detract from the courage, determination and self-sacrifice shown by those brave men of Bomber Command?

We who live in time of peace have the luxury of examining the rights and wrongs of what they did. They who lived (and died) in wartime had no such luxury. Only duty.

A monument? Look around you, folks. The free, tolerant Europe that we live in is a monument for all who gave their lives in that terrible struggle. Our way of life is their monument.

And finally.......Lobotumi - you seem to be up in arms about "fascism" and "censorship" yet you'll happily throw sexist insults about. With freedom comes responsibility, and freedom of speech is no exception from this rule.

Rant over, folks.

Two week's holiday commences.

26th Apr 2002, 17:30

that is outrageous.

26th Apr 2002, 18:09

You are right about the leaders not putting their lives on the line, but let me tell you something, that you may find interesting.

Harris was one of the few men that kept the same post, throughout the war. He was a very good leader of men.

He was cast as a Villain, as early as 1946, a dreadful slur.
He campaigned for a bomber command medal for almost the rest of his life.



ALL got lordships I dont think harris did? A terrible way to treat a great man.

REMEMBER THIS if you remember only one thing about harris,
This man lived night after night after night KNOWING that he had sent young men to certain death, what a terrible thing to have on your mind, He was greatly affected by this, yet he had courage,dignity and fortitude to get the job done.

IT is on record that he would sleep at his desk waiting for the news on how many were dead or missing, then try to sleep when he got the bad news.

For me he was a GREAT man, its a shame it took 55yrs for the country to recognise it.

26th Apr 2002, 19:25
I think some of you are missing my point here ..
ban him .. sure .. edit his posts .. sure ..
it's all part of the game .;)

exterminating every trace of him ? :confused: well that smacks of something else. For instance how could late comers to the board make up their own minds as to what has gone on?

or perhaps this is PPRuNe's Nurse Rached's new SCORCHED EARTH policy.

Did you know what you were doing Flaps? I suspect not. Or were you just following orders. After all 'Orders are Orders' aren't they?
I detect some nifty footwork (difficult in Jackboots I admit) in your last post .. or was that shifting responsibility .. sorry abrogating blame.

Excuse me for bringing down this thread but in my humble opinion deleting Moritz's threads in toto (even if you didn't know what you were doing) is just plain wrong. And on a much lower level of magnitude this is just the same b*llsh*t as was fought against by the 'old lags'.

One must be ever watchful, eh Nurse Rached?

Mac the Knife
26th Apr 2002, 19:27
Flaps, quite right and dead on.

Sounds like MS was given more chances than Captain Ed. And very unpleasant links.
Lobotumi & Hobbit - nasty uncalled for remarks. For shame.
It's good to see serious discussion again on JB after months of inane persiflage.
That sort of stuff will get us all sent back to the playpen.

26th Apr 2002, 19:27
No argument from me, Nostradamus.

As I said, I studied that period in British history in considerable depth. I was talking in general terms, not specifically about Harris per se .

The true measure of a fighting leader is what the men who served under his command have to say about him, and Harris comes out very well indeed on that score.

His critics can say what they like - hindsight is a wonderful phenomenon. Harris served his country to the limit of his considerable abilities. How many of his critics can say the same?

26th Apr 2002, 19:53
Hugs Babes:

"Lobotumi, haven't you worked it out yet? THE SOFTWARE does the elimination. It's nothing to do with Flaps. "

Well we've all heard variations of that before haven't we? People don't kill people .. it's the guns, bombs, shower heads etc.

"Is your computer suffering from an input embolism?" Don't get technical now Hugs.:p

Tower Dog:

Well we will NEVER know will we? Perhaps we are not old enough to make up our own minds eh?

You Want It When:

"highly emotive" - well it is (sorry I mean WAS Jet Blast after all!)

26th Apr 2002, 21:10

"Input embolism" = "Clot on the keyboard"

You were asking why Flaps had eliminated all trace of MS's posts. I was simply pointing out that she didn't. It's the way the VB software works. You ban someone, the program does the rest.

So for heavens' sake grow up, stop trying to throw ridiculous insults at Flaps simply for doing her job. MS wanted to push the boundaries of the agreement he had with Danny, and he paid the price. I rather suspect that, had Danny edited MS's post to remove those links, MS would not have reposted them. He thought he could take liberties with Flaps. He was wrong.

I suggest you dry your eyes, calm down and start behaving like an adult. If you continue throwing tantrums and personal abuse around the place, I know where my money is going to be placed in the "Who's Next" stakes... :D

27th Apr 2002, 09:41
All possible honour to Bomber Command and to "Bomber" Harris.

My father served as a navigator in RAF Wellingtons and Liberators during WW2 and for decades he would not speak about the war at all.

Only now, in his 80s, does he occasionally reveal another little snippet, usually over a quiet dinner with a bottle of well-aged red.

Having heard the first-hand narrative, I am in awe of some of the missions he participated in. He once showed me the Navigation Flight Log for a 10hr 22min mission in a Liberator bomber over occupied Europe; it was hair-raising reading. Actually, the document was a photocopy of the original. If you want to see the original and thus find out just what that mission was, visit the Polish Military Museum, to which he presented it some years ago. Then you will understand what dedication, endurance and quiet courage really are.

To those who feel they have the right to attack individuals no longer able to defend themselves or their reputations, I say this:-

You have the freedom to pursue political-correctness, to propagate lies, and to indulge in the self-serving academic pursuit of revisionist idealogy only because those who you now attack defended your rights to speak freely and to live without fear of repression, long before you were even born. But all of you put together make less than one atom of just one of those great men. You are unworthy of their sacrifice and you degrade only yourselves by your actions. The reputations and achievements of those men are imperishable. Yours - if you have any - will be forgotten in less than an eyeblink. You do not make history - you will be buried by it.

28th Apr 2002, 19:00
They were indeed very brave souls who took to the air and went straight into the lions den. I've nothing but respect for them.

But my upmost sympathies and thoughts have always gone with the guys on the ground, the grunts in the front line who were thrown onto the beached of Normandy into near certain death, and those young Russians pouring into Stalingrad with feeble weaponary and next to no training.
I've always thought that to look at the true horrors of the war you have to look east, everything else that happened in the war pales into insignificance comapred to the casualties and attrocities that occured in Poland and Russia. You just can't get your head around the numbers.

Lima Tambo
28th Apr 2002, 19:37
Wasn't that why Dresden was 'basted'?
To speed the Russian advance and avoid the kind of lingering slaughter seen in Stalingrad.

29th Apr 2002, 17:03

tony draper
29th Apr 2002, 17:25
Yo Critical,my dad was a nav on Wellingtons also.

Sir Zero Mutt
29th Apr 2002, 18:17
On a related topic, Lima Tambo, did you or anyone else see "Enemy at the Gate"? If those depictions were anything like the Russian side of the Battle of Stalingrad, one can only imagine the horror.