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  #41  
Old 14.02.2011, 11:59
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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No, the result would have been far from the same. This was not only an untargeted bombing of the entire city, it was a "firestorm" bombing - the allied bombers had a carefully developed mix of explosive shells and ones filled with inflamable chemical jelly - a forerunner of napalm. This mix first blew things up to pieces and then set the rubble on fire while ensuring that the fire could not easily be extinguisehd with water. The goal was to create a "firestorm" - the fire was so sudden and so hot that it made a burst of hot air going up and the cold air at the ground which would be sucked into the fire was a "storm" strong enough to suck people into the flames. That was not a coincidence, but planned.
Exactly as was dropped on London in 1940 - the only difference being that the RAF dropped phosphorus and the Germans used magnesium. My point about targetting stands - even at that stage of the war, if half the bombs fell inside Dresden, that was considered accurate. The only squadrons who bettered this were 617 and 9, who were used for pin-point raids and then they had an accuracy of 50% within 20 yards of a target flare (The Dambusters by Paul Brickhill and Cheshire, VC by Russel Braddon give an excellent insight into the low accuracy of bombing by both sides, as does The Battle of Britain by Richard Overy).
If Germany had developed heavy bombers, then firestorms of a similar magntiude to Hamburg and Dresden would have occurred in Allied cities. The intention was there, but the machinery was lacking. On both sides, the original intention was not to cause deliberate civilian casualties, but this quickly went out of the window when both sides realised they couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo.
It was unfortunate, it was wrong, but it all happened and the main thing is to make sure it doesn't happen again. The major problem now is that a large-scale war would make it happen again, but orders of magnitude worse - there's no such thing as pin-point accuracy in a nuclear bomb blast and even a Davy Crockett or a neutron bomb has a blast radius that will always get civilians, no matter what it is dropped on.
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  #42  
Old 14.02.2011, 12:58
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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What about the Ghetto in Warsaw??
Small correction: ALL of Warsaw
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:04
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

History is written by the victors unfortunately for Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:26
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

One can´t help but think that the world would have been quite different had Hitler won.
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:58
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

The word hero is used far too much in the media.
The bomber crews of both sides were not hero's, they were for the most part young men doing their job, under terrible conditions and they required a lot of courage to do it.
They deserve respect and admiration for what they did, the word hero though is completely wrong, one sides hero is another sides villain after all.

Also AmericanNeedsWorkVisa you are not correct, trying to lay the blame at the door of the German people for the war is wrong.
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Old 14.02.2011, 14:00
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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Exactly as was dropped on London in 1940 - the only difference being that the RAF dropped phosphorus and the Germans used magnesium. My point about targetting stands - even at that stage of the war, if half the bombs fell inside Dresden, that was considered accurate. The only squadrons who bettered this were 617 and 9, who were used for pin-point raids and then they had an accuracy of 50% within 20 yards of a target flare (The Dambusters by Paul Brickhill and Cheshire, VC by Russel Braddon give an excellent insight into the low accuracy of bombing by both sides, as does The Battle of Britain by Richard Overy).
If Germany had developed heavy bombers, then firestorms of a similar magntiude to Hamburg and Dresden would have occurred in Allied cities. The intention was there, but the machinery was lacking. On both sides, the original intention was not to cause deliberate civilian casualties, but this quickly went out of the window when both sides realised they couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo.
It was unfortunate, it was wrong, but it all happened and the main thing is to make sure it doesn't happen again. The major problem now is that a large-scale war would make it happen again, but orders of magnitude worse - there's no such thing as pin-point accuracy in a nuclear bomb blast and even a Davy Crockett or a neutron bomb has a blast radius that will always get civilians, no matter what it is dropped on.
I don't think accuracy of bombing was the methodology; Harris's intent was to break down the morale of the German people and cause revolt (Harris's exact same tactic in Iraq in the 30's) In effect a terrorist campaign led by the British and allied forces. Harris grew remote from Churchill and became morbidly obsessed with the annihialation of the Germans, after the war in Europe was over they found lists and lists of German villages and cities written down by Harris with absolutely no connection with the German war effort or even a high urban populace, Dresden was code named 'Gomorra' by Harris. God complex?

Irrespective of this the mass slaughter had little to no effect on the German war effort and weapon factory and arms targeting could have decreased the length of the war by possibly 2 years. It was clear that these fire storms and the nuclear attacks on Japan were just shows of strength in the face of Stalin, who it was assumed at the time would be the real world threat after the German situation had been played out.

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  #47  
Old 14.02.2011, 17:38
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

I don't think bombing of Dresden was a mere show off at all. That place was a major strategic point.

I grew up in a city that a few minutes from the border was part of the Sudetten land, about 20min from Dresden, that seemed to be the target of that unfortunate bombing. It was not just Dresden, my place was also destroyed. It was a prep for follow up, the famous Marshal plan. They wiped out all the industries in my home town, mainly chemical ones and glass blowing, food shelters, underground factories etc. We were not Germans, in fact we were only annexed. In reality, we were supposed to be freed by Yanks, but they bombed us since the Russians didn't let them past Pilsen, they were already claiming their own post war teritory. They did let Yanks bomb whatever they wanted up there. It was a sad turn in WWII, which was no longer about rescuing lives, but about redistribution of power righ after the war was going to be over. There was a lot more going on than people think. I wish we were freed by Yanks, fo sho, but sans the intense bombing. The church in my hometown, that survived the bombs, is the most tilted standing church in Europe (well, minus Pizza, obviously), as one of the hundreds of bombs just whizzed by it and "pushed" the steeple.
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  #48  
Old 14.02.2011, 18:22
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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I don't think bombing of Dresden was a mere show off at all. That place was a major strategic point.

I grew up in a city that a few minutes from the border was part of the Sudetten land, about 20min from Dresden, that seemed to be the target of that unfortunate bombing. It was not just Dresden, my place was also destroyed. It was a prep for follow up, the famous Marshal plan. They wiped out all the industries in my home town, mainly chemical ones and glass blowing, food shelters, underground factories etc. We were not Germans, in fact we were only annexed. In reality, we were supposed to be freed by Yanks, but they bombed us since the Russians didn't let them past Pilsen, they were already claiming their own post war teritory. They did let Yanks bomb whatever they wanted up there. It was a sad turn in WWII, which was no longer about rescuing lives, but about redistribution of power righ after the war was going to be over. There was a lot more going on than people think. I wish we were freed by Yanks, fo sho, but sans the intense bombing. The church in my hometown, that survived the bombs, is the most tilted standing church in Europe (well, minus Pizza, obviously), as one of the hundreds of bombs just whizzed by it and "pushed" the steeple.
I think this is the whole point it wasn't strategic at all, and civilians were targeted, Stalin was on the minds of bomber command by this point and it is reasonable to assume that the holocaust of the people of Dresden was the expiation needed to make Stalin think twice about invading Britain.

To add insult to injury the American war office recommended that they used the A-bomb on an uninhabited pacific island to show the Japanese the power, this was over ruled by Roosevelt. He demanded that they use it on the urban hub, they didn't even warn them. You have to understand that Stalin had the largest army ever seen willing to go to hell and back, the largest and best air force, and when the Russians found it expedient to do so they swatted the Nazis like flies (probably the second strongest force in the world at that time).
So yes, I do believe it was all a show of strength by the allies, unless we are to assume the allies were nothing but complete sadists.
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Old 14.02.2011, 19:33
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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I think this is the whole point it wasn't strategic at all, and civilians were targeted, Stalin was on the minds of bomber command by this point and it is reasonable to assume that the holocaust of the people of Dresden was the expiation needed to make Stalin think twice about invading Britain.

To add insult to injury the American war office recommended that they used the A-bomb on an uninhabited pacific island to show the Japanese the power, this was over ruled by Roosevelt. He demanded that they use it on the urban hub, they didn't even warn them. You have to understand that Stalin had the largest army ever seen willing to go to hell and back, the largest and best air force, and when the Russians found it expedient to do so they swatted the Nazis like flies (probably the second strongest force in the world at that time).
So yes, I do believe it was all a show of strength by the allies, unless we are to assume the allies were nothing but complete sadists.
Well, the Red Army that got to us were a bunch of fatigued and starving, ill people. They had the terrain prepped by Yanks, Nazis knew it. If it wasn't them, it would have been Yanks. Red Army had no choice but go back and forth to hell and back for good ol' syphilis laden batyushka Stalin, as the history of killings their own people right after the war proves. The cruelty of Japanese was infamous, using atomic bomb was unfortunate but I see the logic, I completely disagree but see why they opted for that. Everyone was expecting it by then. I had to read the Diary of Hiroshima when I was 10, it was hell.

I am am not sure what would have been worse: Nazis that were already occupying my territory and plaguing it with concentration camps wiping people off the map every single second, making lamp shades of my family members, having hell lot of supporters in Dresden giant NSDAP and my home town industry, or Japanese that were too far from us to imagine, Russians that later on showed us how well they really meant their "help", or Yanks that bombed us to be dependent economically on them right after the war.
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Old 14.02.2011, 21:20
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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I am am not sure what would have been worse: Nazis that were already occupying my territory and plaguing it with concentration camps wiping people off the map every single second, making lamp shades of my family members, having hell lot of supporters in Dresden giant NSDAP and my home town industry, or Japananese that were too far from us to imagine, Russians that later on showed us how well they really meant their "help", or Yanks that bombed us to be dependent economically on them right after the war.
going to go out on a limb here and guess that the best choice here would be the yanks.
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Old 15.02.2011, 01:24
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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I don't think bombing of Dresden was a mere show off at all. That place was a major strategic point.
No it wasn't. Sorry, not at all. Dresden was - as you said - on the route of the Russians. The English had not interest at all to speed up the advance of them, they actually would have had an interest to slow them down a bit... From a strategic standpoint were they interested to get to the really interesting stuff first before any Russians arrived. So they needed to get these weird new "rocket planes" from Messerschmitt, the real rockets, the nuclear research and most importantly the leading scientists behind all those... it is not a secret why the US Sabres and Mig 15 that met in Korea looked basically identical - they were both based on the same Nazi research results...

Dresden had no major industry, only a big town full of civilians. Once again: I am not making this up, it is very well documented - Harris did not even want to hit strategic factories or infrastructure. It was not a secret that he wanted to kill as many civilians as possible to "break the morale"... it is equally researched that the day bombings of the USAF on strategic infrastructure had a major impact on the outcome of the war, while the night bombings of cities is more than questionable.
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Old 15.02.2011, 01:48
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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I think this is related to the subject of Dresden, but I understand if the mods think it's off-topic. I read that the allies bombed Zürich, Basel, and other cities during WWII. Obviously there were heavy civilian casualties. Officially, the bombings were mistakes, but the Swiss wondered if the Allies were trying to pressure them not to cooperate economically with Germany.

More info at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing...n_World_War_II
No mistakes there That was the point for bombing the placeses
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Old 15.02.2011, 02:46
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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I think this is related to the subject of Dresden, but I understand if the mods think it's off-topic. I read that the allies bombed Zürich, Basel, and other cities during WWII. Obviously there were heavy civilian casualties. Officially, the bombings were mistakes, but the Swiss wondered if the Allies were trying to pressure them not to cooperate economically with Germany. [emphasis cannut]
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No mistakes there That was the point for bombing the placeses
Did the Allies actually say this was so? I know that Winston Churchill actually praised Switzerland after the war was over...
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Old 15.02.2011, 03:16
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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No it wasn't. Sorry, not at all. Dresden was - as you said - on the route of the Russians. The English had not interest at all to speed up the advance of them, they actually would have had an interest to slow them down a bit... From a strategic standpoint were they interested to get to the really interesting stuff first before any Russians arrived. So they needed to get these weird new "rocket planes" from Messerschmitt, the real rockets, the nuclear research and most importantly the leading scientists behind all those... it is not a secret why the US Sabres and Mig 15 that met in Korea looked basically identical - they were both based on the same Nazi research results...

Dresden had no major industry, only a big town full of civilians. Once again: I am not making this up, it is very well documented - Harris did not even want to hit strategic factories or infrastructure. It was not a secret that he wanted to kill as many civilians as possible to "break the morale"... it is equally researched that the day bombings of the USAF on strategic infrastructure had a major impact on the outcome of the war, while the night bombings of cities is more than questionable.
I totally agree on Yanks wanting to snatch the army scientific plans and other strategic stuff, I vaguely remember that from school when the story started to unravel for us after the revolution..

I also remember that Dresden was a major hub of political support, moral support of Nazis for the region, due to being the capital of Saxonia, it was a one of the biggest German cities. On top of that, it was a logistic hub, it allowed and supported flow of weapons, supplies, meds and soldiers between Leipzig and Berlin. I think Russians if I remember well actually asked Allies for help, to push Nazis Eastwards, while they were pushing them from East to West, and to bomb Dresden to stop supplies, and destroy the logistic network that was going both West to East and North to South there and vice versa. It was a main traffic vein from and to Czech Protectorat and Nazis were milking us like mad that time, probably not sending people to Reich to work camps and blond blue eyed kids for Nazi adoptions anymore, but still all sorts of tragic things happening on that rail route. Moreover, Dresden was always a center of fine mechanics, lenses, etc.

The interesting thing is, after the war and when Commies were justifying their aggressive politics, they used the Dresden bombing as an example of bad imperialist behavior of Westerners, eventhough they were actually the ones who instigated the bombing, they asked for Dresden and Berlin to be wiped out, as they were running out of steam on the Eastern front. There was a strong Red army, probably, but what we have seen were ruins of it, ill people, who fought without having food, etc. At least the Yanks, after the Russians finally let them in, gave people food (gum, I know , oranges, chocolate, condenced milk) organized the country, surveilled safety and helped families reunite. They formed database of missing kids and people, they all cooperated to have the camp prizoners return home in ok state, etc. The Russian army was in a desolate state. They did make up for it with the number of soldiers, etc. and the soldiers had no choice, but being cohesive and carrying on.

Dresden has been rebuilt beautifully, btw.

There is Dresden after bombing



and my home town which went through the same offense plan bombing of US and GB, at the end of the war


No matter what the reasons were, planning, after war power cravings and devision of territory, it was unfortunate that so close to the end of the war, so many civilians had to die.
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Old 16.02.2011, 09:12
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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. So what happened? WW1 was lost, the contract of Versailles gave the allied far reaching rights and when the global financial crisis hit in the late 20s, they continued to take whatever they could. Germans, after building up the same factories again and again to just see the machines getting moved to France lost hope to get back to an normal life. If they had a job that was as unemployment and poverty peaked.
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Old 16.02.2011, 09:22
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

I don't think it was a direct show of power. Even throughout the last days, the German people AFAIK hoped for their country to turn around. These actions were probably to destroy morale, similar to what the Germans did to the English in the Battle of Britain.
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Old 16.02.2011, 10:00
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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History is written by the victors unfortunately for Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
That's so right. Soviets co-operated with Germany until 1941 splitting apart eastern Europe, enslaving it and mass-deporting to Siberia and Kazachstan. However, there were no Nuremberg Trials for Stalin and his people.

It is Realpolitik, then and now.

Just think about France selling helicopter carriers to Russia. Or Germany digging a gas pipe to Russia called "North Stream" into the Baltic sea with former chancellor Schroeder at the helm of the undertaking.

Will Dresden serve as a "do not do it again" memento for all sides of the war? No way.
Just nowadays Germany's Parliament voted on a holiday for the so called "expelled" Germans who used to live in what's now Easter Europe. Not mentioning why actually the exodus and then expulsion happened.

I am just so disillusioned with the ruling elites. They're so disconnected. They blood-bathed their fellow Germans, and then escaped to Argentina, and were leniently "searched for" after the war.
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Old 24.02.2011, 19:08
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

Here's a BBC Radio 4 show, From Our Own Correspondent, broadcast today which has a short article on the Dresden Remembrance ceremony this year (6 minutes 10 seconds in):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...nt_24_02_2011/

A shorter transcript here :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...nt/9405793.stm
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Old 27.02.2011, 19:52
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

My parents were there right after the war. They said that people lived like rats in the ruins, meanwhile they lived in abandoned stately homes (One in Hildersheim?) with pools and nannies. My parents impressed on me horror of what people will trade when they are desperate. I was more impressed by the way that even the seemingly most respected people will take advantage of such situations. My mother had little sympathy, she hated the Nazis and what they did to the Jews. If others were to talk of Dresden she would reminded them of the number of Russians that died. My father hated what the Nazis did, but still thought that these were people who should be treated with a sense of humanity. still he did very well, trading.

It always boggles my mind to hear how some can become indoctrinated, while others not. Also, how some who are so understanding of others can be so cruel. There are always those who are ignorant and are to a large extent excusable, but for those who know the full horror of crimes yet still commit atrocious acts- how do they sleep at night?
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Old 27.02.2011, 19:54
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Re: Dresden remembers - Feb. 13 1945

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for those who know the full horror of crimes yet still commit atrocious acts- how do they sleep at night?
If you believe that what you are doing is right and necessary, then of course you can sleep at night.

BTW, have you ever heard the proverb about sleeping dogs?
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