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  1. Joined
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    15 Feb '18 20:22
    On this day in 1945, the firebombing of Dresden ended. In retaliation for the destruction of Coventry (said to have been the best preserved mediaeval city in the world) by the Luftwaffe, the Allied powers dropped incendiary bombs on the virtually untouched city of Dresden. The resulting firestorm killed 25000 people and destroyed much of the city. Despite being unbombed until 3 months before Germany's surrender, it ended up being one of the worst damaged cities of WW2, due to the events of 13-15 February 1945 alone.

    I am writing this after seeing that someone in London leaves a wreath every year at the German embassy to remember the bombing, which struck me as important because we often don't commemorate victims in axis countries. Dresden and Coventry weren't of particular importance to their respective war efforts and they were bombed in spite.

    Today, Dresden and Coventry are twinned. I think that's a fitting gesture of reconciliation.
  2. Germany
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    15 Feb '18 20:26
    Yeah, it's unfortunate that war crimes committed by the Allied powers don't get much attention or even recognition. The winner gets to write history, I suppose.
  3. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    15 Feb '18 20:45
    Originally posted by @ashiitaka
    On this day in 1945, the firebombing of Dresden ended. In retaliation for the destruction of Coventry (said to have been the best preserved mediaeval city in the world) by the Luftwaffe, the Allied powers dropped incendiary bombs on the virtually untouched city of Dresden. The resulting firestorm killed 25000 people and destroyed much of the city. Despite ...[text shortened]...

    Today, Dresden and Coventry are twinned. I think that's a fitting gesture of reconciliation.
    YouTube : Crash Course Slaughterhouse 5
  4. Standard membershavixmir
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    15 Feb '18 21:141 edit
    One can only admire the balls of Bomber Harris with his reasoning that because civilians died in England, it was alright to murder in Germany as well.

    It wasn’t just Dresden though. Pforzheim got it too, for example.
    Not to mention Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    And nobody can say the nazis and Japs didn’t deserve all they got. Really. If ever any group of people came close to the dark side, it was them.

    But in Dresden, and every other city mentioned, there were children.
    And no matter the attrocity about to befall you, it’s always morally wrong to burn children alive.

    And... we knew better and we know better today.
    There’s just no excuse. And that defense some people feel popping up in them is guilt.
    Anything to avoid accepting responsibility.
  5. Standard membershavixmir
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    15 Feb '18 21:16
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    One can only admire the balls of Bomber Harris with his reasoning that because civilians died in England, it was alright to murder in Germany as well.

    It wasn’t just Dresden though. Pforzheim got it too, for example.
    Not to mention Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    And nobody can say the nazis didn’t deserve all they got. Really. If ever any group of ...[text shortened]... fense some people feel popping up in them is guilt.
    Anything to avoid accepting responsibility.
    Jesus. That was was seriously depressing.

    Sorry.

    Knock knock
    Who’s there?
    Peace and...
    Peace and... who?
    Kidding, it’s the second wave of incenderies.
  6. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    16 Feb '18 02:01
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    One can only admire the balls of Bomber Harris with his reasoning that because civilians died in England, it was alright to murder in Germany as well.

    It wasn’t just Dresden though. Pforzheim got it too, for example.
    Not to mention Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    And nobody can say the nazis and Japs didn’t deserve all they got. Really. If ever any ...[text shortened]... fense some people feel popping up in them is guilt.
    Anything to avoid accepting responsibility.
    The question, Shav, is whether civilians (on either side) deserved these kinds of terrible deaths, and the inclination is generally that war in which civilians perish at a high rate is unacceptable to civilized peoples.
  7. Standard membershavixmir
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    16 Feb '18 03:00
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    The question, Shav, is whether civilians (on either side) deserved these kinds of terrible deaths, and the inclination is generally that war in which civilians perish at a high rate is unacceptable to civilized peoples.
    That is the conclusion of my post, yes.

    Anything remotely looking like a conpliment to bomber command in this respect is sarcasm.
  8. Joined
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    16 Feb '18 08:471 edit
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    One can only admire the balls of Bomber Harris with his reasoning that because civilians died in England, it was alright to murder in Germany as well.

    It wasn’t just Dresden though. Pforzheim got it too, for example.
    Not to mention Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    And nobody can say the nazis and Japs didn’t deserve all they got. Really. If ever any ...[text shortened]... fense some people feel popping up in them is guilt.
    Anything to avoid accepting responsibility.
    It really is a tough one. While the Nazis did need to be defeated for the sake of humanity, how far did one have to go in order to do so? Was it necessary to destroy Dresden, a cultural centre, for the sake of damaging the one synthetic oil plant and small amounts of munitions factories that were centred there? It seems more like an "up yours" to the Germans rather than a strategic destruction. At the end of the day, just like with Coventry, a mediaeval time capsule, it is humanity that has lost out, not just their respective countries. A historical treasure is gone forever. The whole affair seems awfully shortsighted.

    Yes, the Nazis bombed Coventry. 1200 people died and the ancient cathedral and old town was destroyed. But the allies can't really claim to be better when they firebomb and destroy an entire city, killing 20 times more people in response. All I'm saying is that we must not whitewash what the allies did to win the war. Necessary or not to defeat Germany, we must avoid portraying the allies as 100% righteous.
  9. Joined
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    16 Feb '18 08:49
    Originally posted by @kazetnagorra
    Yeah, it's unfortunate that war crimes committed by the Allied powers don't get much attention or even recognition. The winner gets to write history, I suppose.
    Yes, especially when they went out of their way to destroy culturally valuable places or target civilian areas.
  10. Subscriberkmax87
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    16 Feb '18 12:44
    Originally posted by @ashiitaka
    Yes, especially when they went out of their way to destroy culturally valuable places or target civilian areas.
    I hear you, but... this is like the argument, do you feel more for the beautiful young Jewish violinist who could bring any audience to tears with her rendition of Bach's Partita No. 2, Chaconne, when you realize she is being dragged away and boarded onto a train bound for Auschwitz and less for the grumpy, crotchety old geezer who complains about everything and who also is being pushed onto the same train?

    Do we only have a sense of how truly monstrous the monster is, when they destroy something of great beauty?
  11. Standard membersh76
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    16 Feb '18 13:251 edit
    Originally posted by @kazetnagorra
    Yeah, it's unfortunate that war crimes committed by the Allied powers don't get much attention or even recognition. The winner gets to write history, I suppose.
    Dresden, Hiroshima and the Russian rape of eastern Europe get plenty of attention and recognition. They may not make movies about them, but there's truckloads of materials and analysis and controversy.

    Not as much as there is about Axis crime, but that's, of course, because Axis crimes dwarfed Allied crimes and Allied crimes were part of a defensive war to stop tyranny and to preserve freedom. So, there's that difference.

    Imagine someone breaks into your house and kills your wife. Then you overpower the guy and call the police. While the police are on the way, you give the burglar/murderer a punch and a kick, shattering his nose and rib cage. That's essentially "Allied crimes" in WWII.
  12. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    16 Feb '18 22:30
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    One can only admire the balls of Bomber Harris with his reasoning that because civilians died in England, it was alright to murder in Germany as well.

    It wasn’t just Dresden though. Pforzheim got it too, for example.
    Not to mention Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    And nobody can say the nazis and Japs didn’t deserve all they got. Really. If ever any ...[text shortened]... fense some people feel popping up in them is guilt.
    Anything to avoid accepting responsibility.
    I’m not sure we knew better back then.
  13. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    16 Feb '18 22:42
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing

    In support of this theory, he argued for targeting of the civilian population as much as any military target, since a nation's morale was as important a resource as its weapons. Paradoxically, he suggested that this would actually reduce total casualties, since "The time would soon come when, to put an end to horror and suffering, the people themselves, driven by the instinct of self-preservation, would rise up and demand an end to the war...".[22] As a result of Douhet's proposals, air forces allocated greater resources to their bomber squadrons than to their fighters, and the 'dashing young pilots' promoted in propaganda of the time were invariably bomber pilots.
  14. Standard membershavixmir
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    16 Feb '18 22:51
    Originally posted by @sh76
    Dresden, Hiroshima and the Russian rape of eastern Europe get plenty of attention and recognition. They may not make movies about them, but there's truckloads of materials and analysis and controversy.

    Not as much as there is about Axis crime, but that's, of course, because Axis crimes dwarfed Allied crimes and Allied crimes were part of a defensive war to ...[text shortened]... punch and a kick, shattering his nose and rib cage. That's essentially "Allied crimes" in WWII.
    No.

    The allied crimes included, literally, setting children alight

    And that is the lesson we (should have) learned.

    And when you see soldiers killing children and saying: “the bad guys were using them as shields.”

    And when you hear reports of collateral damage...

    And when a regime had to be stopped “no matter what...”

    And when they are claiming: “they have nuclear technology.”

    And when they say: “... but, they have weapons of mass destruction...”

    And when they explain: “we didn’t have a choice, it was either us or them.”

    And when they argue: “we can’t let their economics decide our fate...”

    Or when they say: “the US should be destroyed for what they’ve caused the world..”

    The lesson we (should have) learned is: don’t burn the children alive.

    It’s not really hard to understand. Just don’t torch children. Don’t listen to them scream. And don’t rob them of an 18 year long childhood.

    And most things will fall into perspective.
  15. Joined
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    16 Feb '18 22:54
    Originally posted by @sh76
    Not as much as there is about Axis crime, but that's, of course, because Axis crimes dwarfed Allied crimes and Allied crimes were part of a defensive war to stop tyranny and to preserve freedom. So, there's that difference.

    Imagine someone breaks into your house and kills your wife. Then you overpower the guy and call the police. While the police are on the ...[text shortened]... punch and a kick, shattering his nose and rib cage. That's essentially "Allied crimes" in WWII.
    Isn't the analogy a bit more like this?

    In a town divided into rival gang turfs where the police force has gone on strike, a serial arsonist from another neighbourhood comes into yours, deliberately sets your house on fire and kills your sister, your wife, and your several young children. You intercept him and chase him back to his own neighbourhood. He locks the door of his house, goes upstairs, loads his rifle and starts firing at you from the window. You respond by setting his house on fire, even though you know that one of his infant children is sleeping in the attic bedroom. He and his young son burn to death.

    The protagonist of this story faced a hypothetical situation where a) the people he most loved had been the victims of a most heinous crime, b) his own life was in clear and present danger, c) he was dealing with a hardened criminal who has committed many crimes before and would likely commit more crimes if he escaped, and d) there was no overarching mechanism of law enforcement to which he could appeal. His actions were comprehensible. His wrath was provoked. He acted to punish the guilty and to prevent further bloodshed. And the arsonist was responsible for more deaths than he was, in more flagrantly appalling and unjustifiable circumstances. Yet - when the police strike ends - do you think that they will overlook the fact that the protagonist of this story knowingly encompassed the death of an innocent child?
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