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Bomber Harris

On 27 Sep 2013 at 11:49am NotSure wrote:
I note that Southover BS have put a quote from Bomber Harris on the back of their programme.
Interesting choice, interesting chap.
On 27 Sep 2013 at 12:17pm NotSure wrote:
This is a quote from Winston Churchill.
"'It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed ... The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing."
On 27 Sep 2013 at 12:47pm Humbert wrote:
Harris didn't instigate area bombing, he supported it, true, but didn't instigate it, that was all Portal. At the time Dresden was bombed no-one knew how quick the war would end either, and at that time it was one of the few areas capable of being used for moving an army through and for national governance so was considered a legitimate target and not just by Harris but his superiors too. Also worth keeping in mind that literally no bombing strategy was more accurate, including daytime and primitive radar bombing that was used, Harris was the only one honest about it. American's acknowledged that bombs that missed the factories still took out the workforce so a raid could be called a success, they just didn't use it as pre-justification like Harris did and still termed it "precision bombing" to make it sound like a double-figure square mile of bombs was an acceptable margin of error. Churchill was also wrong, the bombing wasn't to increase terror, it was to reduce workforce and place an impossible burden on supporting structures and local government (it had already been acknowledged that bombing didn't work to reduce morale, if anything it had the opposite effect)...historians now widely accept that even in 1944 Churchill was starting to have an eye to the future and publically distance himself from things that may look bad when cameras rolled into Germnay after the war, while privately supporting them. (His end of war speech failed to mention Bomber Command while praising all other parts of the services, yet in private he praised their sacrifice constantly.) Bomber crews had the lowest life expectancy of any service in the war, and carried out endless humanitarian drops across Germany and Eastern Europe from 1945 to 1948 so it's scandalous really they are so neglected. A final history lesson: a great many people including Government figures immediately after the war said that if they'd known about concentration camps they'd have supported even greater bombing. Harris only has his reputation because when others started condemning it he stuck up for his crews. An interesting chap as you say.

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