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Dresden: barbarism and vengeance

Discussion in 'General' started by T-34, May 9, 2006.

  1. T-34

    T-34 Discharged - Nazi

    beautiful city of museums and libraries was annihilated, about 100 000 civillians killed - act of barbarism, unnecessary and pointless brutality, revenge taken on those who were innocent.
    why???
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Because they wanted "Total War" All over Europe they killed maimed and tortured. The were responsible for the death of at least 60 million. Thei behaviour in war, was in case anyone forgets... was barbaric in the extreme. Any one in any doubt? I can relate those crimes.
    But mainly because Goebbels called for "Total war" that meant no mercy for man woman or child. His call for Total war was acclaimed by the screams of encouragemnt by the German people.

    So they got "Total War" so stop moaning they got away comparitively free considering what the Germans did,
    Ask how does it compare with what the Criminal Division did to Warsaw.

    He that sows the wind reaps the whirlwind...Much of Germany was untouched..They are very lucky, they should have paid the full price.
    Sapper
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Who started the whole wretched business ? By the time Dresden was bombed, my parents (and millions of others) had endured more than four years of bombing and V-Weapon raids.

    If I have any doubts about the justification of bombing raids on Germany, even in the light of modern revisionism, then it is only because of the losses to the Bomber Command crews involved.

    Germany asked for and got Total War. When they were winning they had no doubts. Only the complete and utter destruction of the system that began it all was going to put an end to it.

    There is some dispute over the figure of 100,000 dead, but even so I would suggest that it is no worse to die as one of a large number than as a single casualty. I know too little about the initial attacks on Poland but tomorrow is the 66th anniversary of the unprovoked attack on neutral Belgium.

    The Germans had no problem with bombing towns and civilian refugees and within weeks were murdering civilians in cold blood.

    I strongly believe that the actions of 60+ years ago can only be judged by understanding the state of mind of those involved.

    It was a fight to the death and I, for one, am glad it ended the way it did.

    Rich.
     
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    In April 1937, Guernica was the first city to be deliberately targeted for aerial bombing. Guernica was the ancient capital of the Basques - a group who had withstood the advances of the army since the Spanish Civil War begun in 1936. The region's resilient stand was punished by Franco when he allowed the unprotected city to be bombed by Hitler's air force.
    In 1935, General Erich Luderndorff had published "The Total War" (Die Totale Krieg) in which he argued that modern war was all encompassing and that no-one could or should necessarily be spared by the military. He argued that civilians were combatants and should be treated accordingly. His ideas were backed up in Fascist Italy where General Giulio Douhet produced a pamphlet which stated that an army's advance might be suitably assisted by targeting civilians whose panic would severely hamper the ability of the enemy's army to mobilise itself. Such panic could be delivered by "air-delivered terror".

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/guernica.htm


    T34 who started it?
    I know I said we didn't need another discuccion but I couldn't help it, I had to say that.
     
  7. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    I understand your point T-34. Strategic Bombing is an awful thing. I remember Germans talking about the Hamburg bombings, people running around like torches burning alive, they went to jump in the river and it was filled with fuel from destroyed docked barges and boats so then jumped into hell swam a few strokes burning and then died. Awful thing war, that's why it's best not to have it.

    But the funny thing was the Germans never felt they would be bombed back after they did all that bombing until the wake up call by the RAF in 1942.

    If you start a war you should expect the consequences.
     
  8. T-34

    T-34 Discharged - Nazi

    Because they wanted "Total War" All over Europe they killed maimed and tortured. The were responsible for the death of at least 60 million. Thei behaviour in war, was in case anyone forgets... was barbaric in the extreme. Any one in any doubt? I can relate those crimes.
    But mainly because Goebbels called for "Total war" that meant no mercy for man woman or child. His call for Total war was acclaimed by the screams of encouragemnt by the German people.
    So they got "Total War" so stop moaning they got away comparitively free considering what the Germans did,
    Ask how does it compare with what the Criminal Division did to Warsaw.
    He that sows the wind reaps the whirlwind...Much of Germany was untouched..They are very lucky, they should have paid the full price.
    Sapper
    so, do you mean that western allies' mentality didnt differ much from that of nazi.
     
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    No T34, all it does is show how little understanding of war you have. When you are trying to put down a monster, then all means are used. If the whole of Germany had been laid waste it would still hardly equal what they did.
    Sapper
     
  10. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    The most recent English language book on Dresden, by Frederick Taylor, says that 25-40,000 people were killed. It quotes a German language work by Gotz Bergander, a survivor of the raid, as claiming 40,000 & Friedrich Reichert of the Dresden City Museum as estimating 25,000.

    Taylor argues that Dresden did contain a significant number of military targets such as armament factories & railway marshalling yards. The raid caused more casualties than other ones because a number of factors came together to make it so:
    1. Incompetence and/or corruption by local Nazi leaders meant that air raid precautions were inadequate.
    2. As Dresden had suffered few raids, the local emergency services were inexperienced.
    3. Dresden had few air defences but this doesn't mean that it wasn't a military target, merely that Germany couldn't defend everywhere in 1945 & prioritised other cities.
    4. Atmospheric conditions favoured fire bombing.
    5. Very little went wrong for the bombers.
     
  11. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    T34. I understand your initial post. On the surface of it Dresden was a massacre perpetrated by the RAF. I thought that, until i looked a little closer. Dresden was a centre of manufacturing. Over a hundred factories all working towards the war effort, with everything from bomb timers to optical components.
    Thousands of troops were stationed there with their artillery waiting to move to the Eastern Front. I understand two major railways met here at massive marshalling yards, where more artillery was waiting to be moved (sounds like Crewe).
    The conditions were perfect for a bombing raid.
    And just because Dresden had not been hit before, who said it wouldn't be at some point?
    The city was a very viable military target and so it was bound to be bombed at some point. What real reason was there to destroy Coventry and York? They received 5-star ratings in a German guide book. That's why.
    So yes, the loss of beautiful buildinss and museums breaks my heart, it really does, but the destruction of the Nazi war machine does not.
    Dresden was going down at some point, it just happened to be the 'perfect' bomber raid.
    I hope this answers your question.
    Kitty
     
  12. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Further to Gibbo's post, this is the excerpt from Frederick Tayor's book that I posted in November.

    A new book by Frederick Taylor clears up a few myths about Dresden. It was a legitimate military target.

    Taylor has benefited from the opening up of the former East German archives and, as a German speaker, he has been able to research his subject thoroughly. He has looked at the history of the city (large parts were destroyed by war several times before 1945) and its social and cultural background. The myth has it that Dresden was full of harmless, arts-loving innocents concerned only with manufacturing luxury goods such as cameras and china. In fact, Dresden was a Nazi stronghold before Hitler even took power. Martin Mutschmann became the regime's longest-serving Gauleiter (governor), and one of its most brutal. Anti-Semitism was a popular policy pursued with gusto. In 1938 the people of Dresden sacked the synagogue, one of the city's most beautiful and arresting buildings. And though the city was known around the world as "Florence on the Elbe", by 1945 it was home to no fewer than 127 factories employed in war work – work that occupied the vast majority of the population and that, in the context of the war, made it a legitimate military target.

    By February 1945, Dresden had also become an important railhead, with hundreds of thousands of troops heading to the rapidly approaching Russian front - and it was for this reason, officially, that Dresden was bombed: we were helping the Russians. As Taylor proves, the Nazis were every bit as keen on wiping out cities as the Allies, but by 1945 we were better at it. Over Dresden, the conditions were perfect: the anti-aircraft defences had largely been removed, the sky was clear, and the targeting as precise as the technology of the day allowed.
     
  13. viper_1967

    viper_1967 Member

    T34. I understand your initial post. On the surface of it Dresden was a massacre perpetrated by the RAF. I thought that, until i looked a little closer. Dresden was a centre of manufacturing. Over a hundred factories all working towards the war effort, with everything from bomb timers to optical components.
    Thousands of troops were stationed there with their artillery waiting to move to the Eastern Front. I understand two major railways met here at massive marshalling yards, where more artillery was waiting to be moved (sounds like Crewe).
    The conditions were perfect for a bombing raid.
    And just because Dresden had not been hit before, who said it wouldn't be at some point?
    The city was a very viable military target and so it was bound to be bombed at some point. What real reason was there to destroy Coventry and York? They received 5-star ratings in a German guide book. That's why.
    So yes, the loss of beautiful buildinss and museums breaks my heart, it really does, but the destruction of the Nazi war machine does not.
    Dresden was going down at some point, it just happened to be the 'perfect' bomber raid.
    I hope this answers your question.
    Kitty

    I respectfully disagree.
    Dresden was gutted in the city certer where the civilians lived. Dresden like many other German cities had the factories in the surrounding subburbs(very little damage).If the marshalling yards where a viable target then why where trains running within a week?
    I offer this, Dresden was firebombed to impress the advancing Russian army in order to keep them in check.
     
  14. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    I respectfully disagree.
    Dresden was gutted in the city certer where the civilians lived. Dresden like many other German cities had the factories in the surrounding subburbs(very little damage).If the marshalling yards where a viable target then why where trains running within a week?
    I offer this, Dresden was firebombed to impress the advancing Russian army in order to keep them in check.
    Maybe so, i haven't yet had time to go into the raid in great detail. But that is also an argument for the A bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, isnt it?
    However, may i point out that the Ruhr valley was up and operating at full efficieny within 6 weeks of the Dams Raid.
    I still stand by the fact that just because we hadn't hit Dresden before didn't mean we wouldn't. However i never have agreed with deliberately starting a firestorm, but that was not down to the aircrews.
     
  15. viper_1967

    viper_1967 Member

    Maybe so, i haven't yet had time to go into the raid in great detail. But that is also an argument for the A bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, isnt it?
    However, may i point out that the Ruhr valley was up and operating at full efficieny within 6 weeks of the Dams Raid.
    I still stand by the fact that just because we hadn't hit Dresden before didn't mean we wouldn't. However i never have agreed with deliberately starting a firestorm, but that was not down to the aircrews.

    A good read is Apocalypse 1945 by David Irving.
    I do not beleive that Dresden is an argument for A bombs in Japan. The A bombs finally convinced the the japs to give up the fight, preventing a landing and many casualties on both sides.
    Dresden to me sums up the entire war, a total waste.
     
  16. viper_1967

    viper_1967 Member

    What is the general feeling in Germany about Dresden today?
    About the war in general, is it time to forgive(but never forget)?
    I hear they may have recently made a movie about Dresden and that it's from the same director as Downfall(2005), is this true?
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Though interestingly it seems to be Irving who pushed the inflated death figures for Dresden claiming some sort of 'false victim' status for the town.
    I say again this has all been thrashed out on here before, It was also inevitable it would again turn towards the Atom Bomb.
    T34's provocative statement has succeeded in opening up this old argument again. I suspect that was the Intention, It'll be the old 'Atom Bomb' question next.

    Well done to Bomber Harris and the crews for an excellently executed raid at a time of Total War.
    Reap the Whirlwind.
    And so on.....

    And Viper, if you read the other threads on this you'll see some Germanic input
     
  18. redcoat

    redcoat Senior Member

    I respectfully disagree.
    Dresden was gutted in the city certer where the civilians lived. Dresden like many other German cities had the factories in the surrounding subburbs(very little damage).
    In Europe in the mid 20th century, people didn't have mass car ownership, so they didn't have high mobility. People tended to live close to their places of work. Also industrial estates are a post-war development, before then factories tended to be located all over towns.
    My home town is a perfect example of this, nearly all the old mills are in the center of town (now mostly converted into apartments)


    If the marshalling yards where a viable target then why where trains running within a week?
    Railway yards are easily repairable, but even a week was important to the logistical well-being of the German armies in the East.
    I offer this, Dresden was firebombed to impress the advancing Russian army in order to keep them in check.
    Actually, a lot of people 'offer' this senario, but it isn't true.
    The city was bombed to help the Soviets. If the British did want to 'impress' the Soviets, it was only to 'impress' them on what good allies we were.
     
  19. redcoat

    redcoat Senior Member

    A good read is Apocalypse 1945 by David Irving.

    No, it is biased work of fiction by a convicted neo-nazi.
     
  20. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    No, it is biased work of fiction by a convicted neo-nazi.

    Well said Redcoat.

    It seems the word has still not got around regarding David Irving!
     

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