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Old January 30th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #101
keepthepast
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Originally Posted by TimothyR View Post
It is possible to be so concerned about being fair minded that you forget who started the war and waged it - with the intent of enslaving Europe and destroying entire nations and populations, as the Japanese did in Asia. The Germans and Japanese unleashed evil and sadism that had no precedent.

I fully agree that the bombing of German cities was a crime. Bomber Harris was a madman. It should never have happened and the loss of life and treasures of the past was and is horrifying. It did nothing to end the war.

But we can't say this without also saying that the world would be a living hell if the Germans and the Japanese had won.

We have to respect and grieve all of the people who died - INCLUDING LONDONERS and all the people in Britain who were killed. If we lose the respect for indviduals we will become the fascists of the 1930s and 40s.
Well said and indisputable. But there is a bit of the point being missed from the earlier comments.

I don't forget how the war started, but it's good to be, at some point, 'fair minded'. With the so-called 'fog of war' being gone for 70 years, it helps, imho and other historians (Niall Ferguson as an example) to look less-biasedly at the horror of WWII (and WWI) and set aside the simplicity of "good guys vs bad guys" and see how it may have been avoided and/or prosecuted differently and the losses less devastating, particularly the human loss.
Separately, as stated, the specific strategy of terror bombing Germany was by many measures a "crime" but it's all too often justified as an tit-for-tat reaction. Ridding the continent of the nazi war machine was one thing, but ridding the continent of centuries of German culture and history was quite another. The reality is that Germany was almost completely physically pulverized...not England, not France, not Russia, not the U.S., and many bemoan that loss, particularly as it is believed the objective of beating the nazis was achieveable otherwise.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:11 PM   #102
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Imagine what would have happened to a country involved in a war like WWII that is not Germany but some non-european country, or maybe some european ''parvenu''. I'd say that this country, when defeated in the war, would have been treated way worse than Germany was by the Allied.

I agree with the opinion that we need to get aside with the simplicity of "good guys vs bad guys". I think that now there is no need to blindly support the Allied in the war, making stupid films or telling simple facts or half-truths in the history books. We are now free to see how the allied soldiers acted like warriors in a war, killing inocent people and so on, but by no mean id never give any chance to the german historiography to play the victim role; and i feel that all this thing of Dresden and the lost of german culture in the bombardements may be used in that way that i dont like.

Sorry for my english but i wanted to argue about this topic.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #103
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areas lost in London- 2 million people evacuated and an additional 1.4 million made homeless (in total one million houses heavily damaged or
destroyed). London was so large (biggest city in the world at the time, with 9 million population), it was a neverending task to try and
destroy it. It was bombed every day and night for 10 weeks, or 150 mass raids, bar one day with over 1.5 million incendiaries and 50,000 high
explosive bombs. About 50,000 civilians died in the Blitz, Battle of Britain and the equally deadly V1 and V2 attacks, but thanks to the tube
and Anderson shelters in every garden hundreds of thousands were saved - by contrast the German civilians sheltering in basements died by
the millions .


Central London


City-wide



Victoria:



Tottenham Court

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East End
















The City - the cathedral survived thanks to a heroic, suicidal 24hr watch team (one ticking mega-bomb they dug 25 ft down into street to extract, then evacuated the whole East End to drive to a marsh where it left a 500ft crater) . This area saw firestorms and blanket bombing, sadly London lost it's densest, most historic district, plus the bookmakers area and 6 million rare books

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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keepthepast View Post
Well said and indisputable. But there is a bit of the point being missed from the earlier comments.

I don't forget how the war started, but it's good to be, at some point, 'fair minded'. With the so-called 'fog of war' being gone for 70 years, it helps, imho and other historians (Niall Ferguson as an example) to look less-biasedly at the horror of WWII (and WWI) and set aside the simplicity of "good guys vs bad guys" and see how it may have been avoided and/or prosecuted differently and the losses less devastating, particularly the human loss.
Separately, as stated, the specific strategy of terror bombing Germany was by many measures a "crime" but it's all too often justified as an tit-for-tat reaction. Ridding the continent of the nazi war machine was one thing, but ridding the continent of centuries of German culture and history was quite another. The reality is that Germany was almost completely physically pulverized...not England, not France, not Russia, not the U.S., and many bemoan that loss, particularly as it is believed the objective of beating the nazis was achieveable otherwise.
I have no difficulty calling the Nazis the 'bad guys'. I do not defend and never have defended the bombing of German cities. But again - I do insist on saying the Nazis were the 'bad guys'. Anything else is trendy and dangerous relativism.

It's probably best to avoid continuing this, as it is likely to turn into a distasteful argument that no one will win, and this forum is not the place for it. We will have to disagree. I will avoid your posts.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #105
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oh shit, sorry I was meant to keep to 5 images!

I can divide them up section by section into separate posts, or leave it as is.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #106
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and future aggressor nations like North Korea and Iran would be well advised to remember the images of the German & Japanese cities.
What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? You sound like you easily swallow up anything that the media churns out.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #107
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It's sad to think that many of the structures that we see in today's European cities are just rebuilt replicas of what once was, and that a lot of Europe's great architectural treasures were lost as a result of WWII.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #108
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There should be no German, Italian and Japanese cities on here. They started the war; their cities deserved to be bombed...and future aggressor nations like North Korea and Iran would be well advised to remember the images of the German & Japanese cities.
That is a very dangerous statement, people like you should be locked up for life.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:31 PM   #109
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Thanks Spliff-Fairy for the overview of the damage in London!

I think that we should really understand the role of thechnology here. The nazis were indeed very brutal, and the allied counterattacks/revenge may have been too, but that is certainly nothing exceptional in history. People have always been cruel and violent. Since the industrial revolution however, technology has allowed us to be much much more destructive. The first signs of this were already visible halfway the 19th century. New rifles, ammunition and cannons were invented that made warfare much more destructive and deadly and made it harder to avoid civilian losses directly caused by the battles. Good examples are the Crimean war and the American civil war. Unfortunatelly, people didn't get it yet. In the first world war then, it became really clear that all sorts of new technology made war extremelly more brutal and destructive than in the past. The result was an unimaginable number of casualties. However, the destruction was still mostly limited to a small region and the victims were mostly soldiers. The second world war really introduced a massive amount of civilian casualties and massive damage to whole cities and regions produced in a very short time. I feel very sad when I see what has been lost forever, but I think that it was unavoidable because people first had to realize how destructive the power of technology had become in just a few decades in order to prevent all this.

Since the last world war, technology has advanced a lot further and war has potentially become immensely more destructive. I am no specialist, but I think that whole countries or even larger parts of the world can be destroyed by bombs and nuclear weapons in just seconds. I hope that the lessons from the second world war will never be forgotten and that man will be able to cope with technological advances.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:41 PM   #110
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Since the last world war, technology has advanced a lot further and war has potentially become immensely more destructive. I am no specialist, but I think that whole countries or even larger parts of the world can be destroyed by bombs and nuclear weapons in just seconds. I hope that the lessons from the second world war will never be forgotten and that man will be able to cope with technological advances.
I'm afraid that people will never learn. A good example is MacArthur, when the Korean war broke out he wanted to nuke the shit out of North-Korea
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #111
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But maybe the globalisation of our economy will make sure that we think twice before we decide to blow up a large part of the world. We can no longer afford it without hurting ourselves.

The damage in London is much more serious than I always thought. I don't think people outside the UK are really aware of it.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #112
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Those images from China are amazing, in a bad sense.



And was Lubeck bombed in retaliation for the bombardment of an English city?
Nope.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:00 PM   #113
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But maybe the globalisation of our economy will make sure that we think twice before we decide to blow up a large part of the world. We can no longer afford it without hurting ourselves.

The damage in London is much more serious than I always thought. I don't think people outside the UK are really aware of it.
Well, the current retarded foreign politics of the US aren't very promising.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:03 PM   #114
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Berlin, Dresden, London and Warsaw

As I said before: damage to London was roughly comparable with that on berlin (including the Soviet assault). Both loosing 1 million houses destroyed or badly damaged (so that they later were put away).

BUT Londen was 2 x size of berlin (so the relative damage to Berlin was 2 times that of London) AND damage to Berlin was against the well to do areas whereas in London the more poverty areas were hit.

BUT in London ca 40.000 civilians died and in Berlin about 22.000 by bombing (no millions as is said her above) and 22.000 by the Soviet assault (excluding suicides for losing the War of fear of rape by the Soviet hordes).

In total 400.000+ Germans died by the hands of the Allied airforces and particular by the headless butcher Harris (supported by Portal and Churchill).

Ruble of Berlin was 10% over total rubble within Greater Germany, but victims of air war was about 5% of total number of victims. This is because Berlin was build with extra strong thick houses, spacious streets, well laid out cellars (connected to as many ways out as possible. Germany was ligt years ahead of other countries. Their army and fire brigades acted as professional soldiers to fight fires. Berlin's thich Gründerzeit buildings were difficult to set fire to in contrary to the more lighter structures in other German cities.

Berlin had also 3 huge indestructable air raid bunkers.

Air defenses of Berlin were truly formidable and the city was hidden in large forests deep inside the Reich.
Later in the war German nightfighters of the Heinkel 219 shot down scores of Mosquitos which were before quite invulnarable.

In the first battle of Berlin at least 9000 RAF air men died against 7.500 Berliner civilians. So the RAF lost even more specialists than Germany civilians (mostly women, children en older people). The first air battle against Berlin ended in an indisputable German victory. So is that written in my air campaing books. German nightfighters shot down over 1000 heavies against own losses of 25 night fighters.
Ok, the well-to-do Hansa Viertel near the Tiergarten was destroyed as many beautiful streets and squares in the rich western areas of Berlin of Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf and Schöneberg.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:03 PM   #115
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oh shit, sorry I was meant to keep to 5 images!

I can divide them up section by section into separate posts, or leave it as is.
Thanks for the photos. I was wondering, was the City considered one of (if not THE) the most beautiful parts of London at the time and did it rival the West End in terms of architectural wonders?

It is also sad to see the damage to the lovely Victoria area and Tottenaham Court, both of which lost some stunning buildings. Lucky that Mayfair, Belgravia, Picadilly, Kensington, Whitehall etc, escaped pretty much unscathed.

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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:05 PM   #116
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Nope.
Was Dresden bombed just for the sake of bombing it or was their a military purpose? If the former, it was a disgusting crime indeed.

Also, Berlin looked like it rivaled Paris perhaps, I don't know.. It has the same grandeur from those photos and the architecture is just or perhaps even more ornamented than the French city.

Frankfurt would today have been a major tourist destination with all those beautiful medieval buildings. It would probably rival medieval cities like Florence for visitors.

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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #117
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Well, the current retarded foreign politics of the US aren't very promising.
And what may that be? Anybody calling such a complex thing as foreign policy "retarded" must really look in the mirror and then go and study the subject in detail before spouting nonsense. Since you don't live in the country, it is all very easy for you to make such ridiculous generalized statements sitting safely far-away behind your computer in Europe.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #118
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Was Dresden bombed just for the sake of bombing it or was their a military purpose? If the former, it was a disgusting crime indeed.

Also, Berlin looked like it rivaled Paris perhaps, I don't know.. It has the same grandeur from those photos and the architecture is just or perhaps even more ornamented than the French city.

Frankfurt would today have been a major tourist destination with all those beautiful medieval buildings. It would probably rival medieval cities like Florence for visitors.
Dresden was labeled "Florcence on the Elbe" for good reason. No hyperbole. It's destruction was not a valid military strategy, however. The city was the only large expanse of urban structures left in Germany and the latest technology of concentrated phosphorus bombs to create the firestorm needed a proving ground.

Berlin, particularly the palaces and upscale homes, government buildings, and bridges did compare to Paris' look and feel quite remarkably. Interestingly, Berlin also infused a streak of moderism that Paris did not which made Berlin more avante garde and interesting during the early 20th century.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #119
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Imagine what would have happened to a country involved in a war like WWII that is not Germany but some non-european country, or maybe some european ''parvenu''. I'd say that this country, when defeated in the war, would have been treated way worse than Germany was by the Allied.

I agree with the opinion that we need to get aside with the simplicity of "good guys vs bad guys". I think that now there is no need to blindly support the Allied in the war, making stupid films or telling simple facts or half-truths in the history books. We are now free to see how the allied soldiers acted like warriors in a war, killing inocent people and so on, but by no mean id never give any chance to the german historiography to play the victim role; and i feel that all this thing of Dresden and the lost of german culture in the bombardements may be used in that way that i dont like.

Sorry for my english but i wanted to argue about this topic.
Good points, but not sure some non-european nation would have been treated worse than Germany. The war speaks for itself; afteward the east continued to suffer as an occupied nation for decades. The west was assisted for an ulterior motive--anti Soviet strategy. Not a good idea to lose a war; nations that do so do not come out well on the short term, ever. That Germany and Japan emerged as well as they have is a testament to their own strong persistance and refocus from militaristic policies.

On the other hand, winning wars allows the winners to dictate both history and righteousness. Great Britain's global takeover of nations evolved into far more conquered territories than Japan or Germany ever succeeded in gaining. Yet, the empire that "the sun never sets on" happily maintained itself with the endorsement of their allies for decades and decades. funny how that works.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 12:35 AM   #120
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Tokyo 1945, if it had survived would have had the largest collection of art deco in the world. It's centre had been entirely rebuilt following the great Kanto Quake of 1923 that saw 140,000 people killed, mostly in the deadly firestorm that levelled the city. These firestorms - known morbidly as the 'Flowers of Edo' (Tokyo was levelled every 25-50 years between 1600 and 1945) last took place in the world's worst air raids. In total 200,000 died in Tokyo, including 80-100,000 in one single night with 1 million made homeless that day 9/3/45. The population more than halved from 7.4 million to 3.5 million.








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London Street, Maronouchi





Pleasure District

[img]https://encrypted-tbn1.************/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTY9Xcaf62bAT815POSErXPFXHJ2_bPk-wEXfYrkPcKJ7F38lRJ[/img]


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