Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Friday 22 February 2013

A War Crime - Lest We Forget

My profound apologies: I am ten days late in marking an appalling anniversary, the 68th, of the criminal devastation of Dresden, once known as "The Florence of the North" by RAF Bomber Command and later by the US 8th Air Force.

I wrote at length about this disgusting affair three years ago, so I do not propose to add further material now except to state that I intend as long as I am able, to mark successive anniversaries as they come round.

Today is however, the 68th anniversary of the fire-storm bombing of Pforzheim, a watch-making and jewellery centre in which 20% of the civilian population - 17,000 persons - were murdered.

I do not intend in any way to belittle the courage and bravery of the Allied bomber crews in the second world war, but somehow I doubt I shall visit the elaborate memorial that was recently opened.  I do think that the statue of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris should be removed and destroyed, and also that of Portal - if there is one.

Until the next time


Anonymous said...

politicians just love bombing stuff `o

Paul said...

Well that rather misses the point. The Allies were perfectly correct in conducting bombing campaigns during the war against Nazi Germany, but against military and industrial targets only. Early in the war bombing accuracy was pathetic so there was inevitably what is known these days as collateral damage.

However, by 1943/4 bombing accuracy was so greatly improved that there was absolutely no justification in carrying out terrorist attacks on the civilian population. I wrote in the original article that the US bomber crews were unhappy about carrying out such orders - at least in regard to Dresden - so one cannot even justify such policies using the term "zeitgeist", though of course maybe the politicians were behind the times in respect of popular opinion; not the first and I am sure, not for the last time.

Anonymous said...

I missed the bit where politicians had respect for public opinion...O`

Anonymous said...

Epstein had a fair stab at portraying Portal, the man who invented Allied Carpet bombing. `0

Paul said...

Tragically it's quite possible that the politicians of the time did respect public opinion.

I remember that about 1970 we knew a German girl who was refused service in a local shop because she was German.

Imagine what the attitudes were when the blitz was a recent memory. As usual the politicians should have known better than to react in knee-jerk fashion to the attitudes of the lumpen proletariat. As I wrote in the original article, my parents felt sorry for the German population - and this after my father had been hospitlaised having been struck by a bomb, and my mother and grandmother buried in their house as a result of a parachute mine.

Anonymous said...

I have sympathy for your view of politicians showing respect in earlier times. I don`t think its true.Propaganda rules. Many of those caught up in the conflict felt sorry for the civilians. Bombing was also considered heroic and the heroism was drip fed to a population sensorily deprived of even basic truths of the conduct of war.A population that sent its children to die because they were told it was heroic,war to end all wars,just war, god on our side!!

sorry to rant...i`m off for a cold shower `00`

Paul said...

I think that the Second World War was that rarest of things, a just war in that I do not believe that there was any alternative.

A pity about the Peace Pledgers in the early '30s; had we rearmed a bit earlier then maybe we could have stopped the bastard in 1938.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the "just war" bit. All wars are just to the winners. God on our side bla d blah.
I am not sure why you exhibit such venom for the PPU activities. Peace activists have always been part of our culture.(Beouwolfs wife was a "peace weaver")Without them and their watchful eye, warmongers would openly thrive.

Paul said...

"All wars are just to the winners."

That of course is not what I meant; there was no alternative but to defeat Hitler militarily; I was I should add quoting A.J.P.Taylor!

As I said earlier, had the British Government shown a degree of foresight and political will, sufficient to overcome the very short-sighted idealistic peace campaigners in the early 'thirties, then Hitler could have been stopped in 1938 and millions of lives saved.

Anonymous said...

and there was me only quoting Dylan.....`O