February 18, 2016 11 Comments
Back in 1945, the American, British, Canadian, and Russian armies were starting the end of Hitler’s Third Reich. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t PC, it was war, in a way that we haven’t fought since, but was fairly common before. Today we look back in awe at what our countries did to remove this evil from the world. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t pretty, nor was it evil, fighting evil never is.
On 13 February 1945, RAF Bomber Command and the US 8th Army Air Force unleashed over a thousand heavy bombers (mostly B-17 Fortresses and Lancasters). Here’s what Great Satan’s Girlfriend had to say.
Royal Air Force’s Lord Bomber Harris made good on that blood chilling promise. Taking Lord Cherwell’s fact finding thingy about carpet bombing centers of German industry to impose Allied will – not so much the factories – but to hit the workers in their homes to make them scream “God! Please! Stop!”
The aim of the Combined Bomber Offensive…should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany.
The destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories.
By February 1945 – 3rd Reich had less than a 100 days to live. Kicking and screaming, she was crashing down in an orgy of pulverized, burning cities and a river of blood — civilian and military, German and non-German. Massive Allied Armies were fixing to strike on the Fatherland’s turf on multiple fronts and sides. Unconditional Surrender was the safe word. Military history knows no year quite like 1944 -45 and if lucky, will never see another.
Dresden became the single most destructive air attack in the history of the world, not excluding Hiroshima or Nagasaki. As was said at the time, The soft democracies taught the supermen how to war. From Air Force Magazine:
[Arthur Travers Harris, known as “Bomber” Harris, in early June 1942] went before RAF film cameras and delivered a chilling, two-minute message, shown on newsreels nationwide. He was unleashing a whirlwind on Germany, he said. “They sowed the wind,” he warned, “and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.” They did. The film has been preserved in the Imperial War Museum.
The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everybody else and nobody was going to bomb them.
At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put that rather naive theory into operation.
They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.
Cologne, Lubeck, Rostock—Those are only just the beginning.
We cannot send a thousand bombers a time over Germany every time, as yet.
But the time will come when we can do so.
Let the Nazis take good note of the western horizon.
There they will see a cloud as yet no bigger than a man’s hand.
But behind that cloud lies the whole massive power of the United States of America.
When the storm bursts over Germany, they will look back to the days of Lubeck and Rostock and Cologne as a man caught in the blasts of a hurricane will look back to the gentle zephyrs of last summer.
It may take a year. It may take two.
But for the Nazis, the writing is on the wall.
Let them look out for themselves. The cure is in their own hands.
There are a lot of people who say that bombing can never win a war.
Well, my answer to that is that it has never been tried yet, and we shall see.
Germany, clinging more and more desperately to her widespread conquests and even seeking foolishly for more, will make a most interesting initial experiment.
Japan will provide the confirmation.
But the time is not yet. There is a great deal of work to be done first, and let us all get down to it.
But that time did come, and it was done, and evil was rendered impotent for a time. It is good for us to remember how and why it was done, and especially to realize that it will have to be done again one day, and that it would be well for us not to wait so late in the day next time.
The old Roman solution was:
“Burn it Down,
Scatter the Stones,
Salt the earth where it Stood.”
And the reason then and now is: Deterrence. Look what they did to them, we better not mess with them.