[lit-ideas] Re: When a civilized society fights a barbarous one

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 12:36:35 -0700

A little background on the "Strategic-Bombing" theory:


According to Bevin Alexander in How Hitler could have Won World War II, the
Fatal Errors that led to Nazi defeat, Hitler's first error occurred during
"the Battle of Britain.  Germany was bombing Britain's sector stations and
"The RAF began to stagger.  Between August 23 and September 6, 466 fighters
were destroyed or badly damaged (against 352 German losses). . . And the
real problem was not machines but men.  During the period 103 RAF pilots
were killed and 128 seriously wounded, one fourth of those available.  A few
more weeks of such loses and Britain would no longer have an organized air


"At this moment, Adolf Hitler changed the direction of the battle - and the
war.  If he had allowed the Luftwaffe to continue its blows to the sector
stations, Sea Lion could have been carried out and Hitler could have ended
the war with a swift and total victory.  Instead, he made the first great
blunder in his career, a blunder so fundamental that it changed the course
of the entire conflict . . . on the night of August 24, ten German bombers
lost their way and dropped their loads on central London.  RAF Bomber
Command launched a reprisal raid on Berlin the next night with eighty
bombers - the first time the German capital had been hit.  Bomber Command
followed up this raid with several more in the next few days.  Hitler,
enraged, announced he would 'eradicate' British cities.  He called off the
strikes against sector stations and ordered terror bombing of British


"This abrupt reversal of strategy did not rest entirely on Hitler's desire
for vengeance.  The new campaign had a lengthy, highly touted theoretical
background.  It was the first extensive experiment to test the
'strategic-bombing' theory espoused after World War I by an Italian, Giulion
Douhet.  His argument was that a nation could be forced to its knees by
massive bombing attacks against its centers of population, government, and
industry.  Such attacks would destroy the morale of the people and war
production, and achieve victory without the use of ground forces."


"The . . . campaign . . . aimed not at winning a battle but at destroying
the morale of the enemy population.  If it succeeded, as Douhet had
predicted, an invasion of Britain would not even be necessary.  The
disheartened, defeated people of Britain would raise the white flag merely
to stop the bombing.


"Hitler was the first to attempt Douhet's theory, but his bombs failed to
break the British people.  World War II proved that human beings can endure
a great deal more destruction from the skies than Douhet had thought."


Now while you say that "Dresden . . . can't ever be justified" in your book
and that "it was monstrous of Churchill to have ordered it," you didn't live
through the London bombing - the Battle of Britain.  I wonder how many
Londoners who survived it shared your viewpoint.  But be that as it may, I
think Douhet's argument still held credibility in a lot of British and
American minds during the Dresden bombing.




From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Mike Geary
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 10:52 AM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: When a civilized society fights a barbarous one



>>You ignore the first part of Diana West's article in order to be smug and
morally superior.  Now we have two examples to counter Judy's balderdash.<<


It's all trash, Lawrence.  It's that "You can't handle the truth" tough
talking garbage that the rightwing loves to spout thinking themselves the
true blue reality-ites.  You're smarter than that.  Why would you post such
drivel?  Dresden was a monstrous crime against humanity.  It did nothing to
end the war.  It can't ever be justified in my book and it was monsterous of
Churchill to have ordered it.  It made him a soul-mate of Hitler.  I realize
that the rightwing in this country hates civilzation, but they'll just have
to get used to it, we live by laws.


Mike Geary



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