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Old 28.06.2012, 10:57
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WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

Today in London the Queen will open a £6m memorial to the 55,573 aircrew that died during WW2 while serving in RAF bomber command.

Isn't this a bit late? 65 years ago would have been a suitable time, perhaps! Remembering all the thousands of civilian victims in Cologne, Dresden and Hamburg would have also been a good thing.

I served nine years in the RAF fighter command, so I don't have an axe to grind. But after 65 years it really is time to stop this nonsense.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18600871
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:02
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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But after 65 years it really is time to stop this nonsense.
I don't really have a problem with memorials, though I wouldn't combine a memorial to the crews with one to the victims (the whole Bomber Harris thing is another issue altogether).

My Great Uncle Joe was a navigator in a Pathfinder Lanc, got shot down in one of the thousand bomber raids and was taken on a tour of the city he bombed after the firestorms had died down (and prior to his spending a couple of years in a scenic holiday camp in Northern Germany).

He didn't talk about it much, just that he'd never truly understood what they were doing until he saw the stacks of bodies, and that after seeing them he could not worship any god that would let such things happen.

As he grew older, the only people he could talk with were other bomber crews, English and German. He held no grudges against the Germans, only against the government that sent him out.

I didn't know him well enough, and I'll never understand how he did what he did, and then lived with it. So I'm glad there is a memorial, so that I (and others) can think upon what was done, and why.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:05
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

I did my time in the RAF and was always on fast jets, my father flew Wellingtons and Mosquito's during WW2, so maybe had some involvement in the big bomber raids when on the heavies. Everyone remembers the fighter crews of the RAF and the allies during the battle of Britain, but this is the 1st memorial to bomber command. Any war is a tragic waste I can tell you from 1st hand experience, but sometimes reminders of the past stop us making the same mistakes in the future.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:11
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

The impression I have, not first-hand in any way and purely through some reading, is that most people simply wanted to forget about Bomber Command after the war, not being perceived as being as 'glamorous' as Fighter Command.

But yes, we Brits do tend to have a problem letting go of WWII, but having said that, given the proliferation of other memorials then I do think BC should have received one (before now) which hopefully also records the loss of ALL sides.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:15
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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Today in London the Queen will open a £6m memorial to the 55,573 aircrew that died during WW2 while serving in RAF bomber command.

Isn't this a bit late? 65 years ago would have been a suitable time, perhaps! Remembering all the thousands of civilian victims in Cologne, Dresden and Hamburg would have also been a good thing.

I served nine years in the RAF fighter command, so I don't have an axe to grind. But after 65 years it really is time to stop this nonsense.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18600871
It is and long past the sell by date to boot, methinks that it is because it was the last time that Britain was something of a biggy, things went downhill after '45 and Joe Public tends to clutch at straws.
However even the biggest memorials don't seem to stop the idiots in control from having another war now and then.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:22
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

Waste of money imo.

Spending a couple of grand on some sort of plaque and then the rest of the 6 million for current wounded service people would be a much more sensible option.


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Old 28.06.2012, 12:25
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

I think it depends why it's made and how it will be perceived...

But I guess a reminder that only 70 years ago (around a lifetime, compare that with your grand parents life) they was a terrible conflict and war with what is nowadays our "neighbors"...

So I think it can be a good sign for younger generations (if only they would care, but honestly I think they are more into celebrities shows, and other craps).
I also think they might not be capable of really realizing what it was without actually experiencing that.*

*I did not experience that and I only have visited a few places, read books, and seen private letters, been in bunkers, etc... I have a hint on how terrible it was but it's definitely a light version of what happened.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:26
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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Waste of money imo.

Spending a couple of grand on some sort of plaque and then the rest of the 6 million for current wounded service people would be a much more sensible option.


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Agreed they could just teach that at school + the money would be more wisely spent on human live rather than monuments.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:31
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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Agreed they could just teach that at school + the money would be more wisely spent on human live rather than monuments.
This is true of every monument though...why have any memorials when you could spend the money on other things.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:36
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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This is true of every monument though...why have any memorials when you could spend the money on other things.
Well... I guess there' already similar monuments no?
I mean it seems a bit "late" to do similar monument now...
It think they have more meaning if they are created a few years after the incident.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:46
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

A lot of memorials in the UK are, I believe, mainly funded by private donation (in a variety of forms) there is certainly some public money put into them but to say that £6M should simply go on other worthwhile causes is not quite as simple as one would first think.
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Old 28.06.2012, 17:24
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

Remember the crew: Yes. Definitely.

Remember the countless civilians: Absolutely.

Remember Bomber Harris: hmmm...
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Old 28.06.2012, 17:44
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

Love Crab Air - Respect to all who gave there lives for our freedom and democracy
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Old 28.06.2012, 18:29
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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Remembering all the thousands of civilian victims in Cologne, Dresden and Hamburg would have also been a good thing.
...
There is a big difference between those two categories.

Meanwhile the ones (or their parents who should have loved them instead of consacrating them towards killing machines) were unwilling or unable to fight the raise of nazism for more than 15 years (and that's also a difference between those bombing victims and the ones from other countries than Germany), also when in the beginning there were still some good chances,

the others were forced to expose and lose their life because the first category did willing unwilling support with all their man power a regime that attacked half the world killing tens of millions by force, food deprivation, sickness or racism.

Apart from any debate that of course railway stations - the junctions and hubs of that time - are placed in city centres still today,

and Shoa organization took place in local municipalities and Gauleitung.


What is a pity, and if memory serves me correctly, US bombing survey cornfirmed that,
is that Harris and RAF plus USAAF had no real means in 1939/41, neither in 42, as they had in 1945. And that sometimes raids were coordinated badly between RAF and USAAF (Chastise, oil refineries, combined bomber offensive) or effects were much less heavy due to a simple lack in patience and perseverance.

A Harris in 1939 or even 36 when Germany's Luftwaffe made Franco transport his troups to homeland Spain might would have stopped the Nazis far before 1945 and saved millions of lifes.
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Old 28.06.2012, 21:10
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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There is a big difference between those two categories.

Meanwhile the ones (or their parents who should have loved them instead of consacrating them towards killing machines) were unwilling or unable to fight the raise of nazism for more than 15 years (and that's also a difference between those bombing victims and the ones from other countries than Germany), also when in the beginning there were still some good chances,

the others were forced to expose and lose their life because the first category did willing unwilling support with all their man power a regime that attacked half the world killing tens of millions by force, food deprivation, sickness or racism.
Do you sincerely believe, that the people of Germany chose to go to war? Hitler came to power not because the German people wanted to attack other countries or kill Jews. He came to power, because the conditions of the treaty of Versailles did not allow Germany to really recover from WWI. As a result the people got frustrated with the democratic parties and voted for parties which promised them welfare and peace (in fact Hitler always said he only wants peace...)

You really should not project today's image of Hitler on the past. Today we know what a monster Hitler really was. Before the second world war this was not clear at all. By many conservatives all over the world he ŵas admired because he ended the constant street fighting between different political groups (actually he forbade any other group than his own) and brought back "peace".

I think there is even a report from the British ambassador to Germany from 1936, in which he writes that Hitler's work should be imitated in the UK to bring back discipline.


You notice that your argumentation that the civilians were valid targets, because they did not stop Hitler, is the same which is used by terrorists to justify their attacks on civilian targets...
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Old 28.06.2012, 22:19
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

What is the Airforce Memorial at Runnemede. I thought that was a memorial to ALL RAF members who died during the war. How does this one new one complement or differ from the Runnemede one?
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Old 28.06.2012, 22:30
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

Had this discussion with someone in England the other day. At what point should the victors cease to celebrate or mark wartime events? There isn't a specific period of time that is gong to work for everyone, but the Brits do seem to keep on dragging WW2 history into the modern age when everyone else has moved on.

A generic Veterans Day might be appropriate, but all parties concerned should be remembered. Although I'm mightily grateful never to have been involved in a war, I feel that the traditional animosity and almost clichéd view of Germans (for example) by nations that fought against the Axis 70 years ago is inappropriate and ill placed.

Before nations continue to mark historical battles, would it not be better to highlight the plight of those suffering right now? There are always unfortunate victims of undeclared wars that don't even make our media that go forgotten. It's time for us to have understood the lessons of the past and not build monoliths of remembrance, rather protect those that we can today for a better future.
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Old 28.06.2012, 22:32
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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Do you sincerely believe, that the people of Germany chose to go to war?
...
I do sincerely believe that the majority of them did not want themselves and/or their family to be killed in any war, and I do honestly believe that (however a smaller portion in comparison to the first category) even a majority did not want any war at all.

However, they nolens volens got part of it, by their war effort and as a wheel in the killing machine, yes;

and in opposition to what happened with deported force labor from the occupied people and the Jewish community, the Germans had all possibilties to fight nazism up from the 20ies or prepare emigration or whatever. People from the attacked and/or occupied/annexed countries and the minorities all over Europe and Northern Africa had none of those chances.


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He came to power, because the conditions of the treaty of Versailles did not allow Germany to really recover from WWI. As a result the people got frustrated with the democratic parties ...
...
Sorry, but this is Nazi diction. If things were like that, why should the poor lootered and abused Germans wait for 15 years in trying to overtake Europe again?

This is exactly what I hate so much about modern Germany: The self-victimizing complex and obnoxious self-pity, that does not care at all about facts in history: Germany never ever paid Versailles reparation quotas (as already Weimar had tricked out the American), nor is Weimar an economic failure (in the contrary, Germany in the mid-20ies was the only country in Europe to overcome its prewar performances,

and 1929 had far more terrible effects in some countries outside Germany (e.g. the US, ever heard of "Grapes of wrath"?)


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You really should not project today's image of Hitler on the past. Today we know what a monster Hitler really was. Before the second world war this was not clear at all. By many conservatives all over the world he ŵas admired because he ended the constant street fighting between different political groups (actually he forbade any other group than his own) and brought back "peace".
...
Ja, die guten Führerjahre 1935-37 ... for those who were not Jewish and not Spanish, maybe ...



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You notice that your argumentation that the civilians were valid targets, because they did not stop Hitler, is the same which is used by terrorists to justify their attacks on civilian targets...
Thx for that parallelism;

however, I did not say that it was a good thing that a lot of people (of whatever nationality or ethnicity) died,

but that firstly those people were living exactly where the main operational actions of Nazi Germany were planned and executed (i.e. war machinery and Shoa) so in the city centres, close to railway stations and admin buildings,

and my major point was that those victims, in confrontation to the boys of Bomber Command, had a tremendously higher degree of involvement and responsability in Nazi welfare and crimes than RAF and Harris, if they wanted it or not. Total war and Volksgemeinschaft was no invention from Downing Street.
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Old 28.06.2012, 22:36
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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There isn't a specific period of time that is gong to work for everyone, but the Brits do seem to keep on dragging WW2 history into the modern age when everyone else has moved on.
...
I don't know if up from Mrs Thatcher till today there is that much Britain can really be proud of,

but if there is something in history GB can claim its success in, than it's for sure WWII.

And this is an enormous difference to all other Western European countries, yes.
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Old 28.06.2012, 23:34
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Re: WW2 RAF bomber command crews remembered

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This is exactly what I hate so much about modern Germany: The self-victimizing complex and obnoxious self-pity, that does not care at all about facts in history: Germany never ever paid Versailles reparation quotas (as already Weimar had tricked out the American), nor is Weimar an economic failure (in the contrary, Germany in the mid-20ies was the only country in Europe to overcome its prewar performances,

and 1929 had far more terrible effects in some countries outside Germany (e.g. the US, ever heard of "Grapes of wrath"?)
Of course the whole thing is a little bit more complex than I stated above. I think the main problem where that the German middle classes were practically eliminated in the hyperinflation in the beginning of the 20s. Which followed the French occupation of the
Rheinland.

Because the Germans did deliver one or two telophone poles too few to the French, the French invaded the main industrial area of Germany. As response to the Frech occupation the German government ordered people to sabotage the industry and exert civil disobedience. To pay for all this the printed lots of money, which caused hyperinflation (there are theories that the German government knowingly provoked the hyperinflation such as the French would get less from them).

As a result of this the middle classes were financially ruined, as the majority of their possessions were in the form of bank accounts. Quite understandably this people got fed up with the democratic parties that were in power at this time.
If you consider that it is normally the middle classes that most strongly support democracy, this was disastrous for the future history of Germany.

When in 1929 crises struck again and American banks suddenly took their gold, which they had given to German banks in order to help it recover from hyperinflation, out of the German banks, the whole German economy collapsed in an instant. This situation is unique in the way that banks suddenly lost most of their funds from one day to an other,

It may be that America was struck harder by the crises than Germany was. But then America was a century old democracy and thus much more resistant against such disruptions. The German democracy was young and because of the reasons mentioned above very vulnerable. Fact is, there was no other country in Europe,of which the economy was entangled with the American one to such a level as German one. Thus the it was struck harder than any other European country.

The believe that there is something special about the German people which enabled the rise of the Nazis, that is not present in other people. Or that the rise of a similar leader would have been impossible if it was an other people then German one, that found itself in the same situation is highly racist in my opinion.
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