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Bomber Harris a 'colonial warmonger'

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Bomber Harris a 'colonial warmonger'

Old 17th Jun 2020, 16:35
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
I have the utmost respect and admiration for those at the sharp end of Bomber Command but, honestly, I'm never been at all sure about their commander-in-chief. Too me he was from the same mould as many of those Great War generals who could not see the wood for the trees and were of the 'one last push' mentality and to hell with the casualties.

The bombing campaign may have held a lot of German artillery and manpower back from being deployed to the Eastern Front, but in my opinion Harris was far too blinkered to see that if the Blitz had not broken civilian morale in London it was unlikely to happen in reverse. Too many times he promised area bombing would solely bring about German surrender when it failed to do so, even when it was clear invasion would be the only means to end the war. He resisted when his bombers were needed in the lead up to the Allied invasion to hit logistics and communications targets in France, and I believe he arefused to allow any four-engined bombers to be diverted to support Coastal Command in the Battle of the Atlantic when the U-boats were wreaking havoc on merchant shipping.

There was disquiet about area bombing at the time, and ever since, and even I remain unconvinced that, in the end, the results were worth the sacrifice of so many young men.

I apologise if my thoughts offend, but that's how I feel.
There was a considerable difference between the Aims of the german high command and the British. The Germans sought to terrorize the population while the British and American aim was the destruction of Germany's war-making capability. Stop reading revisionist history.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 16:37
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by layman View Post
9 August - Hiroshima
11 August - Nagasaki
9 August - Russian launch 'surprise' (and very successful) attacks with forces in excess of 1.5 million soldiers
10-14 August - 1,000 plus B-29 bombing sorties on Japan
10 August and on - numerous raids and shore bombardments by US 3rd fleet (including elements of the BPF)
15 August - Japanese surrender
Layman, while I don't disagree with anything you wrote - it does leave out one rather significant aspect (not being critical of you - it's a little known aspect of the end of the Pacific War).
After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the emperor reportedly said something to the effect that the Japanese people couldn't continue to suffer this way, and it was time to end the war. After the emperor recorded his surrender statement to the Japanese people on August 14, there was an attempted "Palace Coup" by some of the military leaders who wanted to keep fighting - it was a near thing that the attempted coup was unsuccessful (they wanted to destroy the recording but a quick thinking aide had hid it). So while the Russian attack certainly added urgency to the Japanese surrender, it hadn't convinced the military that the game was up.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 17:16
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Another plus one
RAF had to ‘carpet’ bomb as their bomb aiming was lousy for best part of war ;-)
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 19:08
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by layman View Post

Thread Drift:
tdracer

I've seen it claimed several times that the A-bombs were a (significant) adjunct to Japan's decision to surrender, but it was the Russian invasion of Manchuria, and threatened invasion of the Japanese islands, that were the icing on the cake of 4 years of allied (primarily US) endeavours against Japan.

For example, in Paul Ham's "Hiroshima Nagasaki" two quotes highlight this:
12 August - Kantaro Suzuki (Japanese Prime Minister) is quoted as saying "If we miss today, the Soviet Union will take not only Manchuria, Korea, Karafuto, but also Hokkaido. This would destroy the foundation of Japan. We must end the war while we can deal with the United States." (page 395)
17 August - Hirohito (in his surrender speech to the Japanese military) said "Now that the Soviet Union has entered the war to continue (fighting) would only result in further useless damage and eventually endanger the very foundation of the empire's existence." (p. 380)

9 August - Hiroshima
11 August - Nagasaki
9 August - Russian launch 'surprise' (and very successful) attacks with forces in excess of 1.5 million soldiers
10-14 August - 1,000 plus B-29 bombing sorties on Japan
10 August and on - numerous raids and shore bombardments by US 3rd fleet (including elements of the BPF)
15 August - Japanese surrender
Surprised no-one has has picked up on this, but for the sake of accuracy:

9 6 August - Hiroshima
11 9 August - Nagasaki
9 August - co-incidentally Russian launch 'surprise' (and very successful) attacks with forces in excess of 1.5 million soldiers

Probably the only time Stalin kept his word to the other Allies, after he promised to attack Japan 30 90 days after the cessation of hostilities in Europe. But it was only to gain territory in the Far East for the 'advancement' of communism.
Good 'read' on the subject is "The Last Mission" by Jim Smith and Malcolm McConnell.

(edited for brevity and correctness)

Last edited by Downwind.Maddl-Land; 18th Jun 2020 at 11:16.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 22:10
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MAINJAFAD View Post
Shouldn't be, Butch may have been into Bombing, but Slavery wasn't his thing.
Oh indeed, but the net is being cast far and wide. Apparently Viscount Monty, who is very much in the same Barge, has attracted some unwelcome mejah attention because, like a lot of folks of that and earlier, indeed later, generations, is accused of holding opinions and using language which today would give your average snowflake an apoplectic fit!

FB
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 23:04
  #46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by A737flyer View Post
There was a considerable difference between the Aims of the german high command and the British. The Germans sought to terrorize the population while the British and American aim was the destruction of Germany's war-making capability. Stop reading revisionist history.
HarrisIn October 1943 Air Chief MarshalArthur Harris, C-in-C of RAF Bomber Command writing to his superior urged the British government to be honest to the public regarding the purpose of the bombing campaign and openly announce that:
"The aim of the Combined Bomber Offensive ... should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany ... the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories."

re. area bombing directive, 42: the
Chief of the Air StaffCharles Portal sought clarification from the Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Vice MarshalNorman Bottomley who had drafted it: "ref the new bombing directive: I suppose it is clear the aiming points will be the built up areas, and not, for instance, the dockyards or aircraft factories where these are mentioned in Appendix A. This must be made quite clear if it is not already understood."[
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 04:49
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Downwind.Maddl-Land

thanks. Bleeding obvious errors on my part.

I think the agreement was for Russia to enter the war against Japan after "2 to 3 months" (90 days?) from end of war against Germany (agreed at the Tehran conference in 1943 & confirmed at the Yalta conference in Feb 1945). Between us, we might get there …..

tdracer
thanks - had read about the '11th hour' attempted coup, wasn't aware of the hidden recording. The Japanese military (army?) thinking at the time (largely ignoring the threats from both the A-bomb and Russia) was even more disconnected from reality than usual.


Now back to the main show, Arthur Harris.
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 06:46
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Layman, while I don't disagree with anything you wrote - it does leave out one rather significant aspect (not being critical of you - it's a little known aspect of the end of the Pacific War).
After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the emperor reportedly said something to the effect that the Japanese people couldn't continue to suffer this way, and it was time to end the war. After the emperor recorded his surrender statement to the Japanese people on August 14, there was an attempted "Palace Coup" by some of the military leaders who wanted to keep fighting - it was a near thing that the attempted coup was unsuccessful (they wanted to destroy the recording but a quick thinking aide had hid it). So while the Russian attack certainly added urgency to the Japanese surrender, it hadn't convinced the military that the game was up.
A B-29 bomber stream flying up the coastline past Tokyo to bomb the Japanese's last functioning oil refinery and causing the power to be switched off in the palace as part of an air raid warning didn't help the plotters cause in anyway either. The Last Mission is a very good read.
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 11:14
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by layman View Post
Downwind.Maddl-Land

thanks. Bleeding obvious errors on my part.

I think the agreement was for Russia to enter the war against Japan after "2 to 3 months" (90 days?) from end of war against Germany (agreed at the Tehran conference in 1943 & confirmed at the Yalta conference in Feb 1945). Between us, we might get there …..

tdracer
thanks - had read about the '11th hour' attempted coup, wasn't aware of the hidden recording. The Japanese military (army?) thinking at the time (largely ignoring the threats from both the A-bomb and Russia) was even more disconnected from reality than usual.


Now back to the main show, Arthur Harris.
See? I'm no better! When tapping away on my 'phone I remember thinking 'what to put: 90 days - or 3 months?' and made a bo££ocks of it anyway! I hate this ageing process!
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 11:21
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EESDL View Post
Another plus one
RAF had to ‘carpet’ bomb as their bomb aiming was lousy for best part of war ;-)
Probably best summed-up by someone who coined the phrase:

"The RAF precision-bombed area targets by night, the USAAF area-bombed precision targets by day..."
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 12:06
  #51 (permalink)  
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I get very irritated when partially educated students and their hangers-on try to cancel out British history. History is neither there to be liked or disliked, it is a record and a reminder. To compare and apply present day values to the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries is quite ridiculous bordering on stupid. One may as well ask what might have happened had we had two Vickers machine guns at Agincourt or a Type 45 Destroyer at Trafalgar and just for good measure how about a battery of 105mm at Waterloo and [email protected] guided bombs and B2 bombers during WW2, all completely incomparable, irrelevant and pointless comparisons.

Regarding Dresden it was an important railway junction and the remains of three German armies were retreating Westwards and would have come through that junction moving forward to confront the allied advance, thus prolonging the war. Dresden was also known for the manufacture and supply of hi tech equipment used in the ammunition and weapons industries. Dresden was a legitimate strategic target.
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 13:28
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Originally Posted by parabellum View Post
Regarding Dresden it was an important railway junction and the remains of three German armies were retreating Westwards and would have come through that junction moving forward to confront the allied advance, thus prolonging the war. Dresden was also known for the manufacture and supply of hi tech equipment used in the ammunition and weapons industries. Dresden was a legitimate strategic target.
I know about Dresden, and a lot of other targets during WW2....

But I'll never admit that bombing civilians will be legitimate.... no matter how you turn and twist it. I don't condone the Warsawa and Brussels bombings either, or any other of the sorts.... civiliens are civilians, and we should do our outmost to NOT kill them.... most of the time all you get is a lot of angry civilians.

Just see how people take it every time states are killing "priority targets" and a handfull of civilians as well... they usually get more enemies than friends.

But nuff said about that.... pretty sure Harris did a good job though.
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 14:56
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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I wrote earlier about my experience in 1944 as a young lad and applauding our bombers as they past over my school in Surrey on their way to targets on the Continent.

On a slightly lighter note, around the same time the Baby Blitz was in progress and we were spending many a night in our smelly black beetle and spider infested shelters. My elder brother was in the Home Guard and after one rather heavy raid returned home just as it was getting light with two German aircrew who he had captured in the field behind our house. They had parachuted from a Junkers 88 which had had its tail blown off by AA fire. One of them turned out to be the pilot who had a nasty gash across his forehead which my sister who was in the ARP quickly patched up. In the mean time my Mother set about preparing our breakfast and promptly put a further couple of our precious eggs, fried bread etc. in the frying pan for the prisoners. The two other members of the crew of the JU 88 were un-be-known to us not so lucky as they were dead inside the wreck of the aircraft in a wood not very far away.

The pilot spoke some English and I believe expressed a view that for Germany the war was lost and he for one was glad to be out of it. My brother said that when he found them they offered no resistance and immediately gave him their pistols. My brother kept one of the pistols which he hid and which did not come to light until after he died which was only about ten years ago.

As a small lad I was rather mystified by these rather strange goings on. Particularly as I was more used to hearing about the "wicked, evil Germans" and here was my family treating them like human beings and even feeding them our precious rations. Given that two members of our family were regularly flying in the other direction to drop bombs on the enemy, I am not so surprised.
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 15:24
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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I understand from some of the posts here that regarding the mass slaughtering of civilians Harris was just carrying out orders. So was Eichmann, I am glad we do not have a statue of him.
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Old 18th Jun 2020, 15:53
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Jenns - there is a difference - and if you can't see it I suggest you find an optician......................
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Old 19th Jun 2020, 01:49
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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civiliens are civilians, and we should do our outmost to NOT kill them
The only trouble being those civilians are responsible for manufacturing the weapons to kill YOU. You may say s/he's only the baker of bread, but s/he is still enabling the production of those weapons with the aim of killing YOU.
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Old 19th Jun 2020, 02:43
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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megan, I think a civilian factory producing tanks is fair game, even if some civilian workers die in the bombing. Killing the same worker bombing his house and in the process killing his wife and children...is out of limits.
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Old 19th Jun 2020, 06:51
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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This is all typical revisionist history. If you want to judge Butch Harris then you must do it through the lens of his time, else it is meaningless and just an exercise in virtue signalling. Harris was a man of his time not of the early 21st century.
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Old 19th Jun 2020, 07:15
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Both my parents were children during the War and were evacuated during the Blitz.
My mother returned to London just in time to be bombed out by one of the first V2 rockets.
She was dug out from under the rubble of a three story tenement.
Between Dunkirk and D-Day Bomber Command was the only way of taking the fight to the German people. Nobody and any qualms about it at the time. On the contrary , listening to the bomber streams passing overhead each night , as my mother did , was a moral boosting godsend.
There was no such thing as precision night bombing. It was either area bombing or nothing at all. The government quite realistically chose area bombing. To Churchills undying discredit he tried after the War to walk away from what was a perfectly rational strategic decision, and sold Harris down the river at the same.
Germany had twice within a generation led the world into disastrous conflicts that resulted in the death and suffering of countless millions.
Hitler had not only to be beaten but smashed. After WW1 the Allies had made the mistake of not making the German people truely feel their defeat.
I doubt that there are too many people in Germany now who believe they could have afforded to have won WW2.
The bomber campaign not only should have happened , it had to happen.
Remember the brave Pilots of Bomber Command.
Lest we forget.
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Old 19th Jun 2020, 07:37
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Another plus 1 for Beamer and one for Juan Tugoh, beautifully concise.
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