60th Anniversary: Bombing of Dresden

Discussion in 'History' started by cingolani_c, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    You raised the question of federal finance in its relation to the Dresden raid, actually:
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  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Brian, I am surprised by your reaction. I have read numerous posts by yourself over the last couple of weeks. While I have not always agreed with what you have written, I have thought that they were generally well argued, and certainly interesting.
    Then in this thread you use a cheap debating trick that I would have thought beneath you. I know insufficent solid facts about Dresden to comment either way on your hypothesis. I do know that when an appeal to an 'undisputed authority' is made that the writer has either made a careless slip or is panicking because he (or she) knows they are on weak ground. You may consider my posts wordplay, I think they go to the heart of the groundlessness of your argument, by revealing their dependence upon a single (arguably discredited) source.
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  5. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    Fair enough 'undisputed authority' was contrived but I hasten to add David Iriving on the subject of Dresden would ceratinly be , using the more accurate term , the leading authority on the events of the Dresden event . My argument is not groundless , and I was not relying on one source , I introduced Irving later in the thread . As for wordplay I had the feeling you were attempting to pidgeon hole me just on this aspect . The fact is Ophiolite , Dresden was a non-nmilitary target bombed at the wars end , the Anglo-American strategic bombing effort was being wound down and German resistance was to say by Feb 1945 virtually non-existant . The city was knowingly going to be liberated by the Russians within days so Ophiolite why bomb Dresden with 3 massive 1000+ bomber raids ? There is enough circumstantial evidence , and historical hindsight for conjecture on what happened to Dresden .
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  7. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    Sorry I got a little ahead of myself there ! Anyway here is breifly what I mean.....
    June 22 1941 Russia was attacked . The American industrial/financier complex jumped in seeing that her two main rivals England and France was finished , saw an opportunity to gain control of Western Europe . Dec 11 1941 Germany declared war on America , America instituted the lend lease on England , bankrupting this country and turning itself into a colony of American finance . American airpower turned Germany to dust while the armies of Germany were cannibalized in Russia at Yalta America allowed Russia Eastern Europe while America secured the Affluent West . What Russia inherited in Eastern Europe was complete scorched earth from retreating Germans , at a great expence to Russia she had to rebuild East Europe . In 1948 America announced Russia to be a sinister threat to the World the Cold War started . Thus providing a unique excuse to fund the Arms Race which was lucrative to the American industrial/financier complex , the Cold War ended in 1989 .
  8. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    Bit more complicated:
    Lend-lease began long before 1941. Even though Roosevelt saw the dangers to the US of a nazi-dominated Europe he was not an admirer of the British Empire himself- like most americans then and saw no reason why he shouldn't destroy it at the same time. Lend-lease should be separated from the enormous amounts of material supplied free to the UK Russia and anyone else that joined in. The main reason for using air power- especially by Britain- was that before the invasions of Europe it was the only way to fight an offensive war at all. [In fact, the RAF would have done much better to use the heavy bombers on long-range anti-submarine patrols rather than attacking Germany]. One reason for bombing Dresden may have been that the USSR persistently complained that the US and UK weren't fighting the Germans hard enough, so giving them a destroyed city just ahead demonstrated what they were doing further west to German war industries.
    Western Europe in 1945 was far from affluent- there was near starvation and starvation in quite a few parts. As for the Soviet Union's rebuilding Eastern Europe, what industry survived in most of Eastern Europe was looted to the Soviet Union. The main reason for western prosperity was the US babnegation of many loans and the Marshall plan- donation of money and materiel to western European countries. Certainly the USA benefitted from it in the long-term, but at the time the old-fashioned financiers were horrified at "their" money going away for no good purpose.
    The Soviet threat is more complex. The Soviet Union had spent years making propaganda about how they would overthrow the evil capitalists. On the other hand they had not actually done anything but murder millions of peasant and working-class Soviet citizens and dedicated communists. Given the disparity in the size of military forces in the 1940s the US could- on what it knew at the time- make a good case for its policy. The other factor was that- whether or not the Soviet Union believed or meant its rhetoric or not- the USA had a very good excuse for pursuing policies that would eventually destroy the USSR economically.
    Turning to Irving. As I said, he has been examined and condemned as a reliable historian. Taylor's book has the advantage of all the material Irving did not have without his idees fixes.
  9. River Ape Valued Senior Member

    In fact, it went much further than that!

    Earlier in this thread, I asked Brian Foley
    I receive the reply
    The following can be ascertained from files CAB.120/176 and /179 which may be examined at the Public Record Office, Kew, Surrey, England.

    At the Yalta Conference, on 5 February 1945, Sir Charles Portal, British Chief of Air Staff, reported that the Russians had again proposed air attacks on a line of targets from Stettin to Berlin to Dresden to Zagreb. Portal sent this memo to the Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS) in London:
    DCAS replied giving oil targets, especially in the Vienna area, as the first priority. Berlin and Dresden were rated as second priority. It is reasonable to conclude that Churchill’s desire to meet the Russian demand for bombing raids ultimately decided Dresden’s fate, and that he overruled the strong misgivings of Portal and Harris. How far Churchill was reluctant in this is an open question. Certainly, he seemed to harbour a hatred for the Germans not present among most of the military top brass.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2005
  10. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    No it is very simple.......... US aid , or lend-lease , that had been given to Britain during the war came with harsh conditions. Britain’s capital assets had often to be sold, sometimes at a loss, and Britain’s export capacity had to be run down, preventing the accumulation of reserves and forcing Britain to take on ever-larger debts with Sterling Area countries. The sterling balances by 1945 were equivalent to 7 times the value of Britain’s gold and dollar reserves in other words the US looted out Britain . Then there was the Marshal plan...............
  11. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    No. the UK was giuven what it paid for and quite a bit extra and the amount it had to repay was nothing like the cost to the US. The US was then anti-imperialist and believed they were doing the right thing by destroying the British empire.
  12. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    It is you who are wrong. Gordon Brown in his budget speech every year has to take into account the payments to the US for Lend-Lease that will be finally paid off in 2007. It was not free.
  13. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    I did not say it was free: I said that the UK got what it paid for and quite a bit extra. In many things I'd agree that the UK traded future wealth for immediate need - antibiotics, jet engine and radar research and other inventions had to be handed over for free use by US industry- but the actual immediate supply of armaments even when they could not be paid for [and the supply to the USSR with no expectation of payment] exceeded the price the British paid. You could argue that this policy saved American lives and aided American industry of course, but that's another matter.
    Oddly enough, i came across a passage in Nicholas Monsarratt's The Cruel Sea, published about 1950 by a conservative writer, which echoes what you say. The fact remains that given their productivity US industry workers made a greater per capita contribution to defeat of the Axis than the US armed forces. That isn't true of Soviet or British industries.
  14. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    i have watched quite a few docos on such things
    read as much legitimate stuff as i could find on the net

    i dont see the fire bombing of dresden to be outside the moral boundaries that were being engaged by most parties in WW2
    the systematic starvation and killing of civilians in stalingrad by the germans
    systematic murder of civilians in occupied france
    the mass murder and destruction of entire villages and people as the nazi war machine retreated.

    there was no evidence to show that the retreating nazi war machine would not have used its own people as suicideal human shields as they clearly did with their youth(children).

    what is probably harder to comprehend is the potential comparable brain washing of the people by the government to think there was no option of surrender.
    this was common in japan & most parts of central germany.
    the german people were not only told to expect to be brutally murdered by savage western war machines and culture but also arranged into human shield suicide defense lines inside small villages.

    breaking the will of the german people was the purpose
    they were the people building the weapons and feeding the armys in spite of them being victim to the brain washing of Fascist tyrants etc.
  15. Marathon-man Registered Member

    Dresen, Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, are some of the cities where:
    Americans bombed during the day
    The British bombed during the night
  16. candy Valued Senior Member

    It was terror bombing; it was intended to be terror bombing. Retribution for the blitzes.

    Morality is an early casualty of war.
    sideshowbob and Marathon-man like this.
  17. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    To the best of my knowledge on the subject:

    Dresden was just an experiment to test the theory that by placing incendiary bombs in certain patterns we could create a firestorm that would do much more damage than that done by bombs alone.
    Having not been bombed previously, Dresden was an ideal candidate for that experiment.

    And, well, Dresden was gonna end up under soviet control anyway, so maybe it was done for them?
  18. Marathon-man Registered Member

    Yes, it was. The bombing was indiscriminate and targeted civilians. It was deliberate. One scene an American plane was shooting at a Giraffe that had escaped a local zoo.

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