1. We have added the ability to collapse/expand forum categories and widgets on forum home.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. All Civ avatars are brought back and available for selection in the Avatar Gallery! There are 945 avatars total.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. To make the site more secure, we have installed SSL certificates and enabled HTTPS for both the main site and forums.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Civ6 is released! Order now! (Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR)
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Dismiss Notice
  6. Forum account upgrades are available for ad-free browsing.
    Dismiss Notice

Were the Allied bombings of civilian targets during WW2 a war crime?

Discussion in 'World History' started by Winner, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    What do you think about this topic? IMO according to todays standards, intentional bombing of civilian targets in order to kill enemy civilians to disrupt morale of the enemy is called terrorism.

    These air raids killed more than 500,000 (real number is higher) people in German cities, with no effect on enemy morale.

    In your opinion - was that justifiable?

    EDIT: The same bombing took place also in Japan, including two nuclear attacks. The rough numbers are about 100,000 japanese civilians dead after conventional air raid on Tokyo, 275,000 dead after atomic bombing. I don't know the overall number of Japanese civilian casaulties caused by American air strikes.
     
  2. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    3,328
    Location:
    Casa de Non Compos Mentis
    From a neutral, objective (whatever that means) point of view, probably yes.
     
  3. Richard Cribb

    Richard Cribb He does monologues

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Messages:
    4,289
    For once we totally agree! :)

    No. I can't see such killings of civilians justified in any case. It's just war crimes.

    I haven't seen any exact numbers myself, but they surely must be high. And again we are talking about war crimes.The nuclear bombs clearly comes in a cathegory of its own.
     
  4. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Agent of Karma

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Messages:
    3,722
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Probably yes. On the other hand WWII was not a typical war, it was an all out struggle for the soul and the future direction of western civilization so to the people making the decisions at the time they probably didn't seem like warcrimes.
     
  5. FearlessLeader2

    FearlessLeader2 Fundamentalist Loon

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2001
    Messages:
    4,271
    Location:
    Standing atop the K-12.
    Uh, the fire-bombing of Tokyo killed more people than either of the atomic bombs did.

    And yes, the attacks on civilians were war crimes. 'Civilian targets' implies things like bridges and factories and crap. Infrastructure used to move or supply troops is a legitimate target, John Q. Public is not.
     
  6. Reno

    Reno The Studio Ghibli Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Messages:
    5,690
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    This should be in world history, and back there we have already had this discussion.
     
  7. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    15,057
    Location:
    Sydney
    Remember the concept of TOTAL WAR
    In that specific enviroment: yes

    When you talk of war crimes Its also Noted that during the First world war. Unrestricted submerine warfare was also considered illegal and a war crime.
     
  8. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    Another aspect of Allied bombing raids was a complete lack of any effort to spare civilian lives during attacks on industrial or military targets.

    And not only German cities were damaged - in occupied Czechoslovakia, I know about three cases of air strikes, that were completely useless, but destroyed great parts of attacked cities or towns, namely Kralupy nad Vltavou (half of the town was leveled because of destruction of ONE fuel tank), Ústí nad Labem (one fifth of city destroyed for no clear reason - the railway traffic was stopped for only about 24 hours) and Plzeň (Pilsen - more than 700 dead civilians. The Skoda arms factories were destroyed, as well as some residental areas, with incendiary bombs. The reason for this air strike is unknown: the factories were destroyed on 25th April 1945, so the effect on Wehrmacht was insignificant. Some people speculate, that Allies just wanted to destroy modern arms plant before it falls into Soviet hands - ironically, Plzen was liberated by Americans).

    In my city, Brno, entire streets were razed by the bombings, but only few factories were hit.
     
  9. CruddyLeper

    CruddyLeper Unworshipped Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    2,648
    Location:
    UK
    War is a crime. Those who believe civilians don't die in War are deluding themselves.
     
  10. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    19,958
    Location:
    Singapore
    You reap what you sow.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=1584401&highlight=bombing#post1584401

     
  11. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    The difference is, that "they" weren't German people, but Nazis - totalitarian regieme.

    This is absolutely disgusting! I see no diference between author of this post and some neo-nazi fools who are denying holocaust or other atrocities. Although we were invaded by both Germans and Russians, I would NEVER advocate killing of their civilians in order to take revenge on them. It's like if some murderer killed your brother and your revenge would be killing of his family.
     
  12. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    19,958
    Location:
    Singapore
    Moderator Action: Moved to History.
     
  13. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    19,958
    Location:
    Singapore
    Who cares what you think? :p I'll take Vry and Joe's words over yours any day of the week.

    It's all so easy for you, in the comfort and safety of the present day, to holler and howl about the injustice of it all, but to those who lived thru the war, Germany and Japan were the very incarnations of Hell.
     
  14. Reno

    Reno The Studio Ghibli Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Messages:
    5,690
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    And about the allied bombing's of ww2 i think like i did before, that the German bombings and Allied bombings in both world wars were and still are war crimes.
     
  15. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    Oh how intelligent :rolleyes: Should I regret it?

    Is it easy to condemn mass murder? Yeah, it is. I don't care about primitive revengefulness of some people. Not even mentioning the heroism of taking this revenge on innocent civilians :rolleyes:
     
  16. carlosMM

    carlosMM Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,551
    Initially: no. It was thought that bombing would affect the moral of the civilian population.

    When that was found to be ineffective: yes.

    OTOH, 'back then' things were different - if repeated today the bombing would clearly be war crimes, but in WWII general opinion differed. And there was a very positive effect ot the bombing: at times when much more labor was done manually, ruining a city including the public transports etc. reduced its manufacuring capacity to almost zero. So there WAS a military aspect to the bombings, too.
     
  17. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    15,057
    Location:
    Sydney
    You have no idea how effective those 1000 omber raids were do you ?

    It was Gorbbels who said it best. If only the allies had repeated these raid several times more Germany would have been finnished. It puzzeled him why the Allies stopped there deverstating an effective raids.

    To me it seems

    1) Legitimate form of war in a total war enviroment
    2) Germany no doubt would have done the same had she been capable.
    3) there is respect in those words.
     
  18. Verbose

    Verbose Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,337
    Location:
    Sweden / France
    I've done this a couple of times, but I again highly recomend anybody ineterested in the legal and moral problems of bombing to read Sven Lindqvist's "A History of Bombing".

    From both a military, legal and moral point of view 'Bomber' Harris' and the doctrine of strategic bombing is in deep trouble.

    The fact that the Nazi regime was brutal and culpable beyond belief isn't a sufficient excuse.
    We should be able to discern shades of gray — not just assume that the blackness of one side makes the other white. Two wrongs don't make one right.

    Etc. etc...:sad:
     
  19. carlosMM

    carlosMM Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,551
    note that even the British military high command DISTANCED itself from Bomber Harris - but NOT from many other cases were civilians got hurt. It is the INTENT of Bomber Harris that made it so wrong. And which is to me pretty indistinguishable from the nazis: 'Kill as many as possible, totally indiscriminate'.
     
  20. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    While criminal by todays standards in the 40's I don't think it was a crime as the German civilians directly or indirectly supported the war effort. Also by the time the Allied bombing campaign got into full swing numerous European cities had been bombed by the Germans 1st.

    The Nazis got what they deserved.
    The Germans got what they deserved.

    In some ways it was a good thing as such tactics have never been repeated on that scale and German militarism has been a non issue for the last 60 odd years.
     

Share This Page