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  • Message 1. 

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    Agree totally - it is immature to be making moral judgments and casting aspersions concerning Britain's war effort 70 years ago from a modern standpoint.

    To maintain its contribution to the war effort, Bomber Command was forced to resort to "carpet bombing" because the technology at the time was inadequate to achieve the necessary percentage of hits with targeted bombing.

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by minibones (U14961554) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    There's certainly been enough historical research undertaken since the end of the war questioning Harris' fixation with the bombing of civilian targets, long after it had any strategic purpose. Indeed, it has been argued that a number his contemporaries questioned the effectiveness of his "carpet bombing" over precision targeting.

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Points Aspew (U15499870) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    Sure, but that is with the benefit of hindsight and commanders will always argue tactics and undoubtably the effectiveness was limited by the technology. Harris wasn't fixated with killing civilians; its just that killing civilians was a dreadful by-product of his strategy, as was that adopted by the Germans. At the time, thats what you 'did'.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    But why did the original BBC editorial refer to him as ‘notorious’?   Because he is notorious, I imagine.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by minibones (U14961554) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    Sure, but that is with the benefit of hindsight and commanders will always argue tactics and undoubtably the effectiveness was limited by the technology. Harris wasn't fixated with killing civilians; its just that killing civilians was a dreadful by-product of his strategy, as was that adopted by the Germans. At the time, thats what you 'did'.  "I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier"
    "In spite of all that happened at Hamburg, bombing proved a relatively humane method."
    "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 battlefronts 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."

    Not the words of a man for whom the "killing of civilians was a dreadful by-product of his strategy"

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Points Aspew (U15499870) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    For what? Is the person who invented the car also 'notorious' because the car kills hundreds of thousands?

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Points Aspew (U15499870) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    Lets face it, the man was right, would we have rathered that our men were sold cheaply? Look at the trouble that Blair and Brown got into when poorly equipping troops for Afghan. If the RAF had laser guided bombs at the time, I'm sure he would have operated differently. The German military war effort needed destroying and now, we can employ cyber warfare at minimal consequence.. then, we couldn't.

    And lets not forget either, the other side did it, and did it first - what would you have us do?

    "I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier"
    "In spite of all that happened at Hamburg, bombing proved a relatively humane method."
    "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 battlefronts 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."

    Not the words of a man for whom the "killing of civilians was a dreadful by-product of his strategy" 

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  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    For what? Is the person who invented the car also 'notorious' because the car kills hundreds of thousands?  He's notorious for waging war in a dishonourable manner.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Points Aspew (U15499870) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    Oh, perhaps you could explain how he could have waged war in an honourable manner? Maybe you could tell us how you would have reacted to the Luftwaffe pounding our cities to pieces? Asked them for tea?

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  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    So you agree his methods were dishonourable?

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  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by bootjangler (U880875) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    The winners write the history and generally create their war heroes. In this case, it's absolutely right for us "the winners" to question our own methods. Firebombing Dresden to such an enormous degreee when the war was coming to a close, was questionable even before he did it, and not in hindsight. There's no excuse for a revenge for the blitz on London and Coventry.

    Much like the mainly civilian deaths of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, questions need to be asked, otherwise we all turn into barbarians.

    The whole premise of the firebombing was to kill the labourforce rather than attack strategic points such as bridges, transport and industry. It may work, but so late in the war? And it doesn't make it right.

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  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by bootjangler (U880875) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    For what? Is the person who invented the car also 'notorious' because the car kills hundreds of thousands?  Oh him? Yes of course he designed the car with the express intent of killing people.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    He's notorious for waging war in a dishonourable manner. 

    This type of comment shows a complete lack of historical empathy. World War 2 was an all-out war, not a chivalric tournament.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Points Aspew (U15499870) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    So you agree his methods were dishonourable?  No, I think his methods were what he had to hand.. I think that War is dishonourable because it taints the legacy of mankind.

    Of course, he could have done nothing.. so, once again, what would you have done? Pick up your bakelite phone and tell someone to invent the laser guided bomb pronto, because the Germans were forming up in Calais? I suppose you could always lay down smoke and retreat to your ivory tower.

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  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 13.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Points Aspew (U15499870) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    How sad and disapointing that my opening post could possibly be complained about. Old Bomber would be turning in his grave. Why did he bother..? smiley - sadface

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    ...what would you have done?  If I had made the same decisions as Harris, I'd expect future generations to revile my character and not complain about it.
    He probably thought it a sacrifice worth making, and a much lesser sacrifice than that made by the people on the receiving end (both in the planes and on the ground).
    Was he fighting to produce the sort of a society that thinks what he resorted to is heroic?

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Peter (U15306870) on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

    Hi everyone,

    this discussion should be about the programme itself and focus on its production values, style, tone and so on.

    It most certainly should not become a debate on the morality of war or of any other related issues.

    A few posts have already been removed because they failed to do just that.

    And please - keep it civil!

    Thanks,
    Peter

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