Was watching the movie Memphis Belle on saturday...

Discussion in 'History' started by Jarhead, Jun 12, 2007.

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  1. and got to thinking; how could anyone have believed in precision bombing after one mission? Sure the lead plane was bombing "in the pickle barrel" but the rest were carpet bombing, plain and simple.

    the greatest and untried war criminals of WW2 were the strategists who thought bombing civilians was a good tactic.
     
  2. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Aerial bombing of civilians was invented and first practised by the Germans during the Kaiser's War. Not for them to complain then; they deserved everything they got in return, and more besides. As it was aerial bombing of Germany MIGHT have shortened the war (as Air Marshal Harris believed) if we had had more bombers available, and if Harris had implemented Don Bennett's idea of Pathfinders earlier; after Hamburg Goebbels told Hitler that after three more doses like that they had pretty well had it. Pity the Americans turned up late.
     
  3. Aerial bombing of civilians was perfected during the 2nd World War. and it royally pisses me off that LeMay and other people who advocated bombing of civilians were not tried as war criminals.

    and by that i mean ON BOTH SIDES.
     
  4. You should watch "The Fog of War" which is a documentory interview with Robert McNamara. It is an excellent and very interesting DVD covering his time as a USAAF Colonel in WWII as well as defence secretary during the Cuban Missile Crises and Vietnam.

    It is a very honest account of his life and I found the WWII bit in Japan particulary fascinating. He was discussing with General Le May the fire bombing of Japanese cities and they agreed that if the USA lost the war then they would be treated as war criminals. He gives the details of the destruction wrought in Japan and it is truly shocking.

    However, hindsight is easy. If I was alive in WWII, especially in Europe where for a long time the RAF was the only way of fighting back, then I would probably think that it was an awful, but necessary idea.
     
  5. the one i read that opened it wide open for me was "flyboys".

    i almost puked several times reading that.

    especially when i recall the awe my grandfather felt for leMay.
     
  6. The reason why Uncle Sam torched the Japanese cities was because the all-singing, all-dancing B29 couldn't carry out the precision bombing campaign the planners wanted, and their losses in daylight were higher than could be sustained. By flying low level at night, with all armament except the tail gun removed, they needed less fuel and could carry more incendiaries, to which Japanese cities were highly vulnerable. By the time they returned to daylight bombing, the Japanese Air Force was a spent force. Mind you, they were lucky that the Japanese had no organised night fighter defence like the Germans...........
     
  7. not just talking about USAF, i'm also talking about the firebombing of Dresden, etc. all bombing tactics during WW2 were carpet bombing, despite all claims to the contrary.
     
  8. Can you blame for the British for that?

    Civilian deaths are a travesty, don't get me wrong. But this was a world war which encompassed a genocide and the destruction of an entire content, bombing campaigns in Britain that most of us today (and at the time, most Americans) couldn't even dream about. It's fine in hindsight for me to say I think it was wrong, but I know just as well as anyone that if I was an RAF pilot flying over Dresden in the late stages of the war I would have absolutely no qualms with sending anything German into the oblivion.
     
  9. the_matelot

    the_matelot War Hero Moderator

    There is always going to be collateral damage. I did a short course at PJHQ a while back which discussed this in great detail and I was kept schtum through pure fascination for the entire course (which is amazing)-unfortunately, the classification of the course means it can't be discussed on here but if anyone gets the opportunity to do a BDA course, then go for it.

    Operational necessity sometime decrees that unsavoury actions are carried out.

    Don't forget that this was a World War-I'm not condoning what happened to innocent civvies but bear in mind that it was an 'Us' or 'Them' scenario and both sides were as bad as each other in their selection of targets.
     
  10. Course it was. And given the fact the Allies were by no means the aggressors...
     
  11. I agree that bombing of Germany was necessary - what i'm talking about is the lie that precision bombing was revealed to be. Dropping the bombs straight in the pickle barrel is great for the lead plane but all the rest of them are bombing other areas.

    Bombing of Japan involved necessary slaughter of civilians because the Japanese insisted on building factories in civilian neighborhoods, but the firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden were war crimes pure and simple - no military target was specified. and there were others as well; so lets shout from the heavens that our grandfathers and fathers committed murder - necessary murder? i dunno.
     
  12. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    whats the problem? arial bombing kills people.....dont mind who it kills. there is no such thing as surgical strikes and prisicion bombing (and spelling) if you take a strategic view on things.

    The RAF and the USAAF carpet bombed Germany and Japan....Your problem is?

    Fcuk with the big boys and they come back and batter you then you have no excuse.
     
  13. Hardly no arguing with the facts, is there?

    However i contend that bombing of civilians is criminal.
     
  14. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    making civilians a part of war is criminal.
     
  15. and only the Japanese did it.

    whats also criminal is the lie told to the valiant men that they'd all bomb right on target - only to discover the truth when the bombs actually fell.
     
  16. I believe also that the Japs had allied POW's working in those factories building aircraft for such well known firms as Mitsubishi etc.

    My grandad was an airman in WW2, flew bomber missions as a gunner over France his words to me were "It was a secret between me and the laundry" In other words he literally pissed/shat himself during these missions out of fear. The thing is that we are all Londoners and he experienced the Blitz first hand and wanted a bit of payback!!

    NB
     
  17. I think quite a few million Jews would disagree with you there.
     
  18. my grandfather was shot down over Ploesti, Romania on Operation Tidal Wave - stoutly refused to speak of it to the end of his days.

    the one day i pressed him on it was the closest he ever came to actually hitting me.
     
  19. It gets like that i'm afraid. My grandad was wounded in 1943 and invalided out of the RAF, he doesn't even have any campaign medals. I think the reason for this is because his Sqn we're at the fall of Singapore and none of them came back and he couldn't live with the guilt so didnt apply for them after the war.

    NB
     
  20. what a total prick you are ,it was total war against a enemy who were bent on world domination, and but for the efforts of men such as those in bomber command they would have acheived it , people like you make me puke, you sit there with the benifit of sixty odd years of hindsight and whine on about civilian casulties in a country that was responsible for the deaths of twenty million civvies in russia alone, get real you twat
     

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