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Archbishop apologises for Dresden bombings

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Archbishop apologises for Dresden bombings

Old 14th Feb 2015, 22:33
  #41 (permalink)  
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It's funny; people will eagerly tell us that the bomber offensive didn't halt or significantly reduce German war production. They don't seem so ready to tell us what it would have been without it, though.
Well, maybe the production could be really hampered if the bombers would focus really on industry instead of indiscriminate area bombing of civilians.

Now guess, who said this after Dresden raid:

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. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land… The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing. I am of the opinion that military objectives must henceforward be more strictly studied in our own interests than that of the enemy.
The Foreign Secretary has spoken to me on this subject, and I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive.

And when we talk about ending war sooner there was a good chance to do it right from the beginning. Not to sacrifice Czechoslovakia in 1938, keeping the word and fight united shoulder to shoulder with Poland - France and Britain would be also in completely different situation.

Even if we were left alone we were supposed to fight. I remember my father telling me the capitulation to Hitler without a single shot even if our allies deserted us was probably the most shameful feeling he had in his life.

Apology, apology, I wonder if I've heard anything in regard to Munich...

And yes, the quote above is from the same leader who said something about blood, toil, tears and sweat. He was a very fine gentleman. Pity he wasn't at Downing street in 1938.
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Old 14th Feb 2015, 22:42
  #42 (permalink)  
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Well, Churchill was not a political idiot. Harris followed direct orders, and was disgusted with Churchill's perfidity in that statement. Indeed, Harris demanded Churchill withdraw the memo about Dresden condemning "acts of terror and wanton destruction", and Churchill did so, though as ever the withdrawal was much less widely reported than the memo.

My grandmother (no idiot) showed me a propaganda leaflet from 1941 she had kept, which claimed that the 'Blitz' had had no chance of success against the stout British people, but also claiming widespread bombing of German cities would succeed.
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Old 14th Feb 2015, 22:44
  #43 (permalink)  
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V2 ROCKET - hardly a precision-target weapon.

First attack on London (after Paris, but on the same day) was 8th September 1944.

In all, over 3000 such rockets were directed against various European "general targets".

The final two V2 launches during WW2 were on 27th March 1945; both came down in southern England.

Remind me, what dates were the Dresden raids again?
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Old 14th Feb 2015, 22:51
  #44 (permalink)  
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Looking at rail maps from the time, Dresden was one of the three main rail routes to the Eastern front, one through Berlin, one through Prague/Salzberg and one through Dresden. Routes used for moving men and materiel to and from the battle. In 1945 the Germans ability to replace such railways must have been degraded as by that time they had 2 ATAF attacking the rail system in the west since 1944.

With the bombing campaign steel production must have been falling, whilst its requirement was rising.
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Old 14th Feb 2015, 23:03
  #45 (permalink)  
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The attack on the German transportation system, beginning in September 1944,was the single most important cause of Germany’s ultimate economic collapse. The effects of the bombing on the German rail and water transportation systems were almost exactly as envisioned in AWPD-1 and AWPD-42. Transportation targets received almost one-third of the total bombs dropped throughout the campaign from 1944-1945 with decisive results.
Bombing raids decimated rail yards, depots, bridges, and canals. After October 1944, it became impossible for the rail and waterway systems to meet transportation requirements. From December on, all sectors of the German economy were in rapid decline.

A study of the effectiveness of Allied bombing yields one consistent lesson. The attacks on almost any of the target priorities; cities, ball bearings, aircraft factories, oil production, could have brought about a rapid end to the war if the initial raids had been sustained.
Harris was right.
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Old 14th Feb 2015, 23:21
  #46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Royalistflyer
Nagasaki and Heroshima got flattened, next could have been Tokyo.
There was nothing left in Tokyo - it had already been firebombed into ashes - far worse than Dresden ever was.

Simply put, Nagasaki and Hiroshima were among the last 5-6 relatively undamaged cities left in Japan - specifically so that there would be a good assessment of the damage caused by the A-bombs.

The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945
A successful incendiary raid required ideal weather that included dry air and significant wind. Weather reports predicted these conditions over Tokyo on the night of March 9-10, 1945. A force of 334 B-29s was unleashed - each plane stripped of ammunition for its machine guns to allow it to carry more fire-bombs. The lead attackers arrived over the city just after dark and were followed by a procession of death that lasted until dawn. The fires started by the initial raiders could be seen from 150 miles away. The results were devastating: almost 17 square miles of the city were reduced to ashes. Estimates of the number killed range between 80,000 and 200,000, a higher death toll than that produced by the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima or Nagasaki six months later.
Japanese Cities
Name of Japanese city firebombed / Percentage of the city destroyed / Equivalent in size to the following American city
Yokohama 58 Cleveland
Tokyo 51 New York
Toyama 99 Chattanooga
Nagoya 40 Los Angeles
Osaka 35.1 Chicago
Nishinomiya 11.9 Cambridge
Siumonoseki 37.6 San Diego
Kure 41.9 Toledo
Kobe 55.7 Baltimore
Omuta 35.8 Miami
Wakayama 50 Salt Lake City
Kawasaki 36.2 Portland
Okayama 68.9 Long Beach
Yawata 21.2 San Antonio
Kagoshima 63.4 Richmond
Amagasaki 18.9 Jacksonville
Sasebo 41.4 Nashville
Moh 23.3 Spokane
Miyakonoio 26.5 Greensboro
Nobeoka 25.2 Augusta
Miyazaki 26.1 Davenport
Hbe 20.7 Utica
Saga 44.2 Waterloo
Imabari 63.9 Stockton
Matsuyama 64 Duluth
Fukui 86 Evansville
Tokushima 85.2 Ft. Wayne
Sakai 48.2 Forth Worth
Hachioji 65 Galveston
Kumamoto 31.2 Grand Rapids
Isezaki 56.7 Sioux Falls
Takamatsu 67.5 Knoxville
Akashi 50.2 Lexington
Fukuyama 80.9 Macon
Aomori 30 Montgomery
Okazaki 32.2 Lincoln
Oita 28.2 Saint Joseph
Hiratsuka 48.4 Battle Creek
Tokuyama 48.3 Butte
Yokkichi 33.6 Charlotte
Uhyamada 41.3 Columbus
Ogaki 39.5 Corpus Christi
Gifu 63.6 Des Moines
Shizuoka 66.1 Oklahoma City
Himeji 49.4 Peoria
Fukuoka 24.1 Rochester
Kochi 55.2 Sacramento
Shimizu 42 San Jose
Omura 33.1 Sante Fe
Chiba 41 Savannah
Ichinomiya 56.3 Sprinfield
Nara 69.3 Boston
Tsu 69.3 Topeka
Kuwana 75 Tucson
Toyohashi 61.9 Tulsa
Numazu 42.3 Waco
Chosi 44.2 Wheeling
Kofu 78.6 South Bend
Utsunomiya 43.7 Sioux City
Mito 68.9 Pontiac
Sendai 21.9 Omaha
Tsuruga 65.1 Middleton
Nagaoka 64.9 Madison
Hitachi 72 Little Rock
Kumagaya 55.1 Kenosha
Hamamatsu 60.3 Hartford
Maebashi 64.2 Wheeling

Last edited by GreenKnight121; 15th Feb 2015 at 00:10.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 00:38
  #47 (permalink)  
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Apology, apology, I wonder if I've heard anything in regard to Munich...
Seems to me that you want to have your cake and eat it. If the UK had declared war on Germany in 1938 in support of Czechoslovakia, it would have been as much use to that country as it was a year later to Poland, and it would have probably sealed its own fate into the bargain. As it was that extra year meant that
Even if we were left alone we were supposed to fight.
and we did, and we survived, and we helped defeat the tyranny that enslaved Europe. Of course, like Poland, Czechoslovakia then became enslaved by another tyranny and for that apologies might be in order. But for 1938? Not in my book.

The point about war, as has been said here by others, is to win. That was Churchill's stated aim even in the darkest hour and in the final analysis the aim was achieved, despite mistakes, despite betrayals, despite the bleating of pacifist Canons. If you accuse us of dishonourable conduct, that is you prerogative, but your solution would have probably meant a Reich Protector still being in residence in Prague Castle.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 02:33
  #48 (permalink)  
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The only problem with bombing Dresden in 1945 was that it should have been bombed more frequently prior to that date.

P.s. R.I.P. Phyllis Thomas. Born 25/04/1917.
Died in the Blitz on Coventry, November 1940.
Phyllis died leaving 3 young children under the age of seven.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 05:42
  #49 (permalink)  
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Archbishop apologises for Dresden bombings

Nothing wrong with hitting civilian objects while aiming at railroad. But questionable if you intentionally destroy large part of a city and say there is railroad somewhere in the vicinity.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 06:21
  #50 (permalink)  
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Pali .... with respect, B******s !
The Luftwaffe raid on Coventry in November 1940 was undertaken using radio beams for accuracy which resulted in the city centre of Coventry being virtually destroyed. However my relative was killed in that raid although she lived some miles from the city centre, she wasn't the only one.
When Adolf returned to Germany after his triumphant visit to France there were literally hundreds of thousands of Germans out on the street with their arms in the air to greet him. They were all for the war in 1940 so should stop whingeing when they received some back later on.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 06:52
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.......and the CofE wonders why people are deserting it in droves!
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 06:57
  #52 (permalink)  
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The Germans twice in less that half a century launched merciless campaigns against all their neighbours. Their stated aim was to rule everything from the Urals to the Atlantic - including us. They started it, they employed unconscionable methods. Therefore I see nothing wrong in our fighting any way we could to prevent their invading us, and getting them out of our neighbour's territories.
Well I was with you, until you got to this bit

The thing that worries me is that an awful lot of people seem unable to grasp that Germany is doing it again right now, which is why we need to exit their EU. I suspect that if Greece and UK exit, their grand plan may come unstuck. Somewhat different from their former cruder efforts, but in the long run, we are being slowly but surely ruled from abroad, just as we fought not to be in 1940.
Stop seeing conspiracy where none exist. Though technically possible, not likely.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 07:44
  #53 (permalink)  
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All the absolute nonsense spoken by those who believe that because Dresden had some historic buildings it should have not been bombed shows how divorced from reality they are. In order to prevent any kind of Victory by the Nazis I would have destroyed every city in Germany and killed the entire population - this was a regime who practiced total war - given the chance they would have enslaved us all. They probably killed in excess of 20 million people and the intellectuals are concerned that a so called cultural centre was destroyed?
I suggest that those with concerns should talk with those of the generation who endured the Second World War who are still with us and ask if they had any concerns about the bombing campaign - my parents and grandparents certainly had none.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 07:51
  #54 (permalink)  
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BC well said. The PC history revisionists never lived through that war and comments from the Archbishop in or out of context are not appropriate and he is to be condemned.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 08:14
  #55 (permalink)  
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Stalin had been criticising the Allied Leaders - Churchill in particular - about the lack of a "second front" and refused to accept the bombing campaign as the only alternative. At Yalta, Stalin asked for bomber attacks against reinforcement centres and this gave Churchill the opportunity to show what Bomber Command had been achieving by attacking a target on the Soviet line of advance. It would also demonstrate to Stalin the power of Bomber Command should Stalin decide to continue on after Berlin. Perhaps this is why such a large bomber force was sent to attack this target (perhaps larger than necessary?) and the subsequent firestorm which was a rare event during WW2 (there were only about 6 produced throughout the war?).

However, War Crime Trials against the German leaders was also publicised at Yalta, and after Dresden the German leadership countered this by openly releasing uncensored footage of the raid, for the first time in the war, together with hugely inflated casualty figures of 400,000. This propaganda was picked up by the usual suspects in the House of Lords who personally attacked Churchill just as he was facing a general Election in a few months time. The result was that Churchill side-stepped to let Bomber Command carry full responsibility.

Churchill thought that Dresden (and the other 3 raids at this time) would give him some degree of morale justification to Stalin but sadly it rebounded leading him to betray those very people who had given so much to the overall war effort.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 09:40
  #56 (permalink)  
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Genstabler wrote:
It's a pity the commentators who attack Welby don't read for themselves what he actually said. He did not apologise and he did mention what the Luftwaffe did to London and Coventry. This is a typical distorted DM headline that just stirs up trouble, which is what journalism seems to be about these days. Read what Welby really said, which was balanced and reasonable.
Indeed. I heard his speech on TV and it was carefully phrased. But the distorted nonsense of the Daily Mail completely missed the point.

There is no doubt that the overkill of the 3-day firestorm was intended to be a deterrent to Stalin, as much as anything else - the RAF memo issued to crews even stated as such.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 10:01
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Pali, as someone tending to field the pro Welby view, as well as someone whose family was on the receiving end of both Axis and Allied action or inaction, from even before what is generally considered the start of WWII, you have been cut a lot of slack here, and rightly so. In return though you are expected to answer counter argument rather than simply ignoring others responses and repeating the same mantra that bombing cities is immoral. Of course it is, war is immoral but if you engage in it, engage in it to win.

The general view of the UK is that we are a pushover, be it for hopeful immigrants, third world supplicants, or aspiring dictators. We may be, but there comes a point where enough is enough and then we fight to win. Who cares which way the bloody Belgrano was steaming? It posed a threat and was sunk, end of!

We went to war in 1939 because there was no alternative, not because we were obliged by Treaty obligations, but because we were yet again faced with a European power on the rampage that was a direct threat to us. Be it Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Russia, or whoever, we have always had to confront such a threat and we always will. That alone should tell us that we are not Europeans but a maritime power that has to watch its 6 o'clock at all times.

Mention has been made that once again we are seeing the same threat coming from Berlin, albeit the continuation of war by a different means. It has been poo-pooed but I am not so sure. The agenda that is attempting to create a super state out of a patchwork of completely different countries and philosophies is already showing signs of ever growing dissent. Dissent within states leads to the very worst kind of warfare, civil war.

God forbid that Europe should be thrown once again into yet another internecine bloodbath which could trample the very hopes which the original Common Market embraced. Time perhaps for the UK to take a long hard look at the direction Europe is going in and decide if it wants to go there too, or simply say "I'm out".

What has this harangue to do with Dresden? Everything in my book if we don't want to be doing the same all over again.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 10:30
  #58 (permalink)  
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Civil war is only the worst kind of war for the inhabitants. Too often in history have we seen external enemies invented and external wars fought in order to avoid internal strife.

I for one am grateful that the vast majority of islamists are busy fighting each other in Syria/Iraq.
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 11:09
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So we don't want to be European inhabitants then, should such a calamity occur in the EU, do we?
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 11:15
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I have already opted out of that particular 'we'.

I think the breakup of the EU, whilst acrimonious, will not result in any kind of civil war. There is neither the means nor the appetite to hold it together.
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