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Old 02-16-2019, 11:34 AM
 
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Even nearly 80 years after the London Blitz, Germany's bombardment of London in 1940-1941, makes me angry. To try to burn one of the world's great cities down, and kill its civilians, is just repugnant.


At the time, wasn't the London Blitz a total PR disaster for Germany; didn't it turn world opinion against Germany? For armies to fight is one thing, but to bomb a city (other than legitimate military targets in the city) is just gross.


Yes, Warsaw suffered more, but I'd guess that people in the West wouldn't be as bothered by a war in a country far away, in a city that they hadn't visited.



Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
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Americans did have sympathy for London, and films such as 'London Can Take It' played to newsreel cinema audiences in the US at the time.

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Old 02-16-2019, 12:14 PM
 
11,752 posts, read 17,901,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppiesandKittens View Post
Even nearly 80 years after the London Blitz, Germany's bombardment of London in 1940-1941, makes me angry. To try to burn one of the world's great cities down, and kill its civilians, is just repugnant.


At the time, wasn't the London Blitz a total PR disaster for Germany; didn't it turn world opinion against Germany? For armies to fight is one thing, but to bomb a city (other than legitimate military targets in the city) is just gross.


Yes, Warsaw suffered more, but I'd guess that people in the West wouldn't be as bothered by a war in a country far away, in a city that they hadn't visited.



Thanks.
I think world opinion was already set at that stage. But the result of Germany deliberately targeting population centers (of course, before this, you had civilians killed in air raids before, but not specifically as the target) gave the allies moral justification to, in turn, target Germany population centers. And the allies were certainly more than capable to return the favor.
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:43 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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I donít think the Germans cared about a public relations disaster. Their other actions prior to London being attacked were well known. Certainly in America at least there was considerable outrage about the methodical airborne destruction of historic London.

The news technology of the time had advanced to the point that live trans Atlantic news broadcasts by short wave were a daily feature of the radio fare for Americans listening to their evening programs. Edward R Murrow with his famous London Calling show kept us informed of the plight of ordinary Londoners.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I think world opinion was already set at that stage.
Agreed - most of the world had already taken sides and I doubt very much the Blitz changed anyone's minds.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:07 PM
Status: "Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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What needs to be mentioned here is that when the bombing campaign against Britain began, there were strict guidelines in place that forbade German bombers from targeting civilian populations centers. Instead, the bombing was to be confined to industrial complexes, shipping docks, and British military airfields. And that is exactly how things went until the night of August 24, 1940.

On that evening, the Luftwaffe was en route to bomb military targets on the outskirts of London. The bombers, unknowingly, went off course in the dark and ended up dropping their payloads on a neighborhood instead. Believing this to be a deliberate act, Churchill ordered the RAF to bomb Berlin the following night, which they did. An additional two air raids were launched against Berlin between August 28th and September 4th. It was not until after this third attack that Hitler finally gave orders to unleash the "Blitz" on London and other cities in Britain in retaliation. Thus, while specifically targeting civilians is, as you put it "repugnant", it was by no means a strategy that only the Germans employed during the war.

As a point of fact, it was the primary, if not, sole strategy of Churchill and RAF's Bomber Command throughout almost the entire war. They fully embraced the notion that an enemy could be weakened and demoralized by the relentless area bombing of its civilian populace, using a mixture of high explosives and incendiary bombs to maximize the damage to homes and buildings so they would be left either homeless or dead. They euphemistically referred to this practice as "de-housing". A prime example of this is "Operation Gomorrah", a joint British and American, around the clock bombing campaign sent against Hamburg beginning on July 24 and ending July 30, 1943. When it concluded, more than forty-two thousand civilians were dead, a number almost equal to the number of people killed in London during the Blitz over an eight month period. Then you have Dresden with roughly twenty-five thousand civilians killed in two days time. The Allies even went after Bulgaria, that's right, Bulgaria, in the same manner. From November 1943 to April 1944, the Allies bombed Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, damaging over twelve thousand buildings, destroying over twenty-six hundred and killing thirteen hundred civilians in the process. And for what? To try and "persuade" the Bulgarians to withdraw from the Axis and join the Allies.

So while disgust and moral outrage are certainly justified when speaking of Germany's conduct during the war, the Allies weren't exactly acting like Boy Scouts either. Sure, one can subscribe to the concept of "eye for an eye" or "they got what they deserved" and that's all fine and good. But let's not pretend that employing the same methods as your enemy in order to win makes it all better. It just drags you down into the mud with them.
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Old Yesterday, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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Then don’t start anything.
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Old Today, 02:51 AM
 
Location: SE UK
7,408 posts, read 6,297,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
What needs to be mentioned here is that when the bombing campaign against Britain began, there were strict guidelines in place that forbade German bombers from targeting civilian populations centers. Instead, the bombing was to be confined to industrial complexes, shipping docks, and British military airfields. And that is exactly how things went until the night of August 24, 1940.

On that evening, the Luftwaffe was en route to bomb military targets on the outskirts of London. The bombers, unknowingly, went off course in the dark and ended up dropping their payloads on a neighborhood instead. Believing this to be a deliberate act, Churchill ordered the RAF to bomb Berlin the following night, which they did. An additional two air raids were launched against Berlin between August 28th and September 4th. It was not until after this third attack that Hitler finally gave orders to unleash the "Blitz" on London and other cities in Britain in retaliation. Thus, while specifically targeting civilians is, as you put it "repugnant", it was by no means a strategy that only the Germans employed during the war.

As a point of fact, it was the primary, if not, sole strategy of Churchill and RAF's Bomber Command throughout almost the entire war. They fully embraced the notion that an enemy could be weakened and demoralized by the relentless area bombing of its civilian populace, using a mixture of high explosives and incendiary bombs to maximize the damage to homes and buildings so they would be left either homeless or dead. They euphemistically referred to this practice as "de-housing". A prime example of this is "Operation Gomorrah", a joint British and American, around the clock bombing campaign sent against Hamburg beginning on July 24 and ending July 30, 1943. When it concluded, more than forty-two thousand civilians were dead, a number almost equal to the number of people killed in London during the Blitz over an eight month period. Then you have Dresden with roughly twenty-five thousand civilians killed in two days time. The Allies even went after Bulgaria, that's right, Bulgaria, in the same manner. From November 1943 to April 1944, the Allies bombed Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, damaging over twelve thousand buildings, destroying over twenty-six hundred and killing thirteen hundred civilians in the process. And for what? To try and "persuade" the Bulgarians to withdraw from the Axis and join the Allies.

So while disgust and moral outrage are certainly justified when speaking of Germany's conduct during the war, the Allies weren't exactly acting like Boy Scouts either. Sure, one can subscribe to the concept of "eye for an eye" or "they got what they deserved" and that's all fine and good. But let's not pretend that employing the same methods as your enemy in order to win makes it all better. It just drags you down into the mud with them.
The allies 'retaliated' Germany would not have been 'bombed' if Hitler didn't start a war..........simples.
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Old Today, 12:04 PM
 
Location: London
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London got off lightly for its size. Bootle, next to Liverpool had more buildings hit than any other place in percentage terms. The large north Liverpool Docks are in Bootle, so a highly strategic target. London was a political target, in reality not worth expending bombs and planes on.

The Germans openly bombed civilians in Spain - like Gurnica:



Those people never had a conscience.

Last edited by John-UK; Today at 12:32 PM..
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Old Today, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,273 posts, read 3,369,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppiesandKittens View Post
At the time, wasn't the London Blitz a total PR disaster for Germany; didn't it turn world opinion against Germany?

Kristallnacht, in November 1938, is what turned world opinion against Germany. The London Blitz was more of a "Just when you think they can't go any lower . . ." moment.
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