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WW2's Bomber Command to finally be recognized & tribute paid

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posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 08:20 AM
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This was on the BBC news website today, I did a quick search using the engine on our site but found nothing please delete mods if this story has been covered;

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SOURCE BBC NEWS WEBSITE

A memorial to the 55,573 airmen of Bomber Command who died taking the fight to Nazi Germany during World War II is to be unveiled by the Queen. It is an act of remembrance that, for some, will be controversial.

When a Lancaster bomber showers Green Park in central London with poppies on Thursday, it will be the first chance in almost 70 years for surviving crew to formally recognise their fallen friends.

Almost half of the 125,000 Bomber Command lost their lives - more than today's entire RAF personnel - yet their courage dodging night fighters and anti-aircraft fire has never been officially marked until now.

It was their military commanders' policy of large-scale area bombing near the end of the war that drew criticism, stalling progress on a memorial for decades and overshadowing their sacrifices.

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It is such a shame that so many people who took part in these raids have died before any official recognition. Yes many innocent people died in the areas our planes bombed but many also died in our country in the long sustained attacks by Nazi Germany.

If it wasn't for the Lancaster Bombers then maybe we would not have won the war, there is bickering about how important the Dambuster's attack was but in my eyes (and many others) it played a major roll in mentally damaging the Nazi war effort. Finally our Queen & Country are willing to pay tribute to those who flew & never returned, many of whom were young men, some even boys of 17 years of age.

Please visit the BBC News website for the full story, I'm not sure how to add links, am not sure this is in the right forum even but I think it should be known that we in the UK are no longer ashamed of the bombings we had to partake in during the war. I never was ashamed, it just seems that the Queen for years prefered for it to be left swept up under the rug & only talked about by those who cared to research the Second World War or whom had family that took part in it.

Thank you for taking time to read this thread, please spare a minute to think of all those innocent people who died & the people who died doing what in their hearts & minds they knew was right...even though sometimes it was horrific and the surviving solider's are still haunted by the things they did to this day. As too are many of the people who lost family due to the war, bombs, evacuation, or were almost killed in the un-relentless attacks from Nazi Germany.



edit on 27/6/2012 by theguygeeza because: Spelling mistake.




posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 08:28 AM
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reply to post by theguygeeza
 


I am delighted at this news. Frankly, it is about time. My grandfather was a navigator / radio operator in Wellingtons during the war. His brother was a rear gunner that was shot down in 1941, so spent most of the war in one of the Stalag Lufts (can't remember which one but it wasn't the great escape one, it was the one that did its own newspaper, etc).

Grew up listening to bomber command stories so, weirdly, feel a personal connection to this. I actually also like the fact that the memorial will also include the German civilian casualties.

ETA:

Lancaster were pure luxury and sophistication compared to the Wellingtons - which were basically balsawood covered in canvas (not much cop at stopping incoming AA fire or for fending off fighter attacks).
edit on 27-6-2012 by Flavian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Flavian
reply to post by theguygeeza
 


I am delighted at this news. Frankly, it is about time. My grandfather was a navigator / radio operator in Wellingtons during the war. His brother was a rear gunner that was shot down in 1941, so spent most of the war in one of the Stalag Lufts (can't remember which one but it wasn't the great escape one, it was the one that did its own newspaper, etc).

Grew up listening to bomber command stories so, weirdly, feel a personal connection to this. I actually also like the fact that the memorial will also include the German civilian casualties.

ETA:

Lancaster were pure luxury and sophistication compared to the Wellingtons - which were basically balsawood covered in canvas (not much cop at stopping incoming AA fire or for fending off fighter attacks).
edit on 27-6-2012 by Flavian because: (no reason given)


On the contrary,Wellingtons were manufactured using geodetic construction,a lattice work type method invented by Barnes Wallis.This allowed the Wellington to absorb incredible punishment from Flak and cannon shells making them a safer proposition than many of their contemparies such as the Whitley and Hampden.
The Lancaster has come to symbolise Bomber Command for many, however,Wellingtons were a very important part of bomber commands inventory virtually throughout the war as were the other 4 engined "heavies" the Stirling and the Halifax.

This memorial is,I believe,too little too late for the incredible bravery and sacrifice of members of bomber command,which, more than any other branch of the services,brought the third reich to its knees with its nightly devastating attacks on Germany's cities.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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reply to post by theguygeeza
 


I can't really support the recognition of a force that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

If you want to make it an air raid contest, FAR more were killed in Germany, occupied territories than were killed on the British Isles.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


The recognition is for the members of bomber command who risked, and all too often gave, their lives to strike at an enemy ,who would have had no qualms in destroying the entire world, if they had had the bomber force to achieve this.
And whilst it is always incredibly sad when innocents are caught in the crossfire,I believe that in this instance,the third reich had to be destroyed no matter how this was achieved.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by nake13
 



The recognition is for the members of bomber command who risked, and all too often gave, their lives to strike at an enemy ,who would have had no qualms in destroying the entire world, if they had had the bomber force to achieve this. And whilst it is always incredibly sad when innocents are caught in the crossfire,I believe that in this instance,the third reich had to be destroyed no matter how this was achieved.


Top politicians of the allies knew throughout the bombing that it was doing little to dent the Nazi war effort, therefore it stopped being an instrument to end the war. It was a clear case of collective punishment which is today considered a war crime.

Many of those involved in the bombings feel//felt a great deal of guilt about what they were involved in but you don't hear anything about that.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by Peruvianmonk
reply to post by nake13
 



The recognition is for the members of bomber command who risked, and all too often gave, their lives to strike at an enemy ,who would have had no qualms in destroying the entire world, if they had had the bomber force to achieve this. And whilst it is always incredibly sad when innocents are caught in the crossfire,I believe that in this instance,the third reich had to be destroyed no matter how this was achieved.


Top politicians of the allies knew throughout the bombing that it was doing little to dent the Nazi war effort, therefore it stopped being an instrument to end the war. It was a clear case of collective punishment which is today considered a war crime.

Many of those involved in the bombings feel//felt a great deal of guilt about what they were involved in but you don't hear anything about that.


After Hamburg was devastated during operation Gommorah,Albert Speer told Hitler that 8 more such attacks by bomber command would effectively curtail Germany's ability to produce war materials.This suggests that bomber commands operations were extremely effective.

It wasn't just bomber command's activities which did so much to win the war,but the resources Germany had to divert from other fronts to help counter the bomber offensive,for example,6,000 anti aircraft guns,30,000 troops and 300 fighters were withdrawn from the Russian front during 1942-43.

That plus the devastation of armament works such as those of Krupps in Essen and the Messerschmitt aircraft plant in Augsburg did much to drastically reduce the third Reich's ability to continue to supply their war machine.

If you read many of the books that recount bomber command's war,there are a number of examples of crew members expressing their distaste at bombing civilian population centres,however,as most of the crews had witnessed the devastation caused by the Luftwaffe to cities such as London,coventry and Clydebank,the majority had no qualms about the morallity of their undertaking.

edit on 27-6-2012 by nake13 because: spelling



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 07:06 PM
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Excellent news, it's about time.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 07:30 PM
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reply to post by nake13
 


None of it ended the war though. The Red Army saw to that and would have done without these raids or even the allied invasion at Normandy.

Were the limited effects of the bombing raids worth the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives and fifty five thousand air crew? No.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:23 AM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


Wow, totally overlooking large aspects of history regarding the war there.......

Firstly, Britain was against bombing of civilians and only undertook this action following the Blitz campaign - the reasoning being mainly that if they can do it, so can we. However, it was also seen that large scale civilian casualties would sap the morale of the German population and therefore reduce support for the war. Whilst neither of these reasons are very nice, they are totally understandable in the context of total war.

Secondly, The Soviet Union was only in a position to fight back due to the actions of British, Canadian and US merchant seamen using the deadly Northern passage to ferry supplies, both in terms of raw materials and heavy equipment. The turning point for the Red Army was the Battle Of Kursk. Recently declassified documents show that Bletchley Park (Turing and co) cracked top level intercepts for the German High Command detailing the German battle plan for this battle (which the Soviet Union was not expecting). These plans were then passed onto Soviet High Command, allowing Zhukov to reposition key divisions, provide hidden replacements along the line of German attack, etc. Subsequent analysis shows that without this crucial knowledge provided by Britain, the Soviets would have been trounced at Kursk, therefore potentially losing the whole Eastern Front. That may seem a bold claim but even the Soviets themselves understood the importance of Kursk - it turned the entire war on the Eastern Front.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:38 AM
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Wow, totally overlooking large aspects of history regarding the war there....... Firstly, Britain was against bombing of civilians and only undertook this action following the Blitz campaign - the reasoning being mainly that if they can do it, so can we. However, it was also seen that large scale civilian casualties would sap the morale of the German population and therefore reduce support for the war. Whilst neither of these reasons are very nice, they are totally understandable in the context of total war.

Secondly, The Soviet Union was only in a position to fight back due to the actions of British, Canadian and US merchant seamen using the deadly Northern passage to ferry supplies, both in terms of raw materials and heavy equipment. The turning point for the Red Army was the Battle Of Kursk. Recently declassified documents show that Bletchley Park (Turing and co) cracked top level intercepts for the German High Command detailing the German battle plan for this battle (which the Soviet Union was not expecting). These plans were then passed onto Soviet High Command, allowing Zhukov to reposition key divisions, provide hidden replacements along the line of German attack, etc. Subsequent analysis shows that without this crucial knowledge provided by Britain, the Soviets would have been trounced at Kursk, therefore potentially losing the whole Eastern Front. That may seem a bold claim but even the Soviets themselves understood the importance of Kursk - it turned the entire war on the Eastern Front.
reply to post by Flavian
 


So it was worth killing hundreds of thousands of civilians to "sap their morale"?

The equipment weapons/trucks delivered, although bravely done so by the merchant fleet, was negligible in comparison to the equipment being churned out by Soviet factories. The allied equipment may have been of use but it was not pivotal.

The Battle of Kursk was crucial and was the final offensive large scale attack that the Wehrmacht undertook in the war. I don't however believe the Soviets were ever in trouble of being "trounced", numbers were telling by this point. I hope the British intercepts did help the Soviets in their tactics, we were allied after all. The Soviets were also intercepting German communications at the time and built up massive defensive lines in the salient.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:46 AM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


The Soviets did not expect the attack to occur at Kursk, their divisions were in other locations and they were heavily undermanned. It was only the intercepts from Bletchley that allowed the Soviets to change their plans - although there was considerable debate about whether or not to hand the information over to the Soviets, as that may potentially give away that we could now crack German codes.

As the war subsequently turned out, Soviet assistance was crucial. However, without the turn around at Kursk and the actions of the merchant seaman, there would have been no Soviet Union - just plain fact. In other words, we saved them and they subsequently saved us.

Regarding the rules of engagement, have a look at this - think it explains it pretty well. Rules of engagement for Strategic Bombing

I realise it is Wiki but in this case, this is reliable! This info is available in various other sources but for once Wiki has it bang on!



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:56 AM
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Originally posted by Peruvianmonk
reply to post by nake13
 


None of it ended the war though. The Red Army saw to that and would have done without these raids or even the allied invasion at Normandy.

Were the limited effects of the bombing raids worth the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives and fifty five thousand air crew? No.


Well the Red Army certainly chased the German units on the Eastern Front all the way back to Berlin,but they did not achieve this completely on their own.As Flavian noted in his/her reply the allies shipped massive quantities of war materials via the Baltic convoys at a terrible cost in men and ships,and did provide the Soviet high command with vital intelligence(most of which was ignored by Stalin due to his mistrust of Roosevelt and Churchill).

It would be incorrect to suggest that the D-Day invasion had no effect in closing out the war, the Germans were now forced to fight a war on two distinct fronts and had to balance their dwindling resources between the two.The point being that bomber command contributed in no small manner in ensuring that there were very few replacement tanks,armaments,aircraft etc available to the Germans to make good their losses on the Eastern and Western Fronts,this was a major factor in the allied victory.

On paper it looks as though maybe the Red Army did the lions share of the fighting,but without allied help,particularly bomber command's activities this would not have been possible.In this instance,despite the appaling loss of civilian life,the allies were more than justified in utilising bomber command.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 05:05 AM
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As the war subsequently turned out, Soviet assistance was crucial. However, without the turn around at Kursk and the actions of the merchant seaman, there would have been no Soviet Union - just plain fact. In other words, we saved them and they subsequently saved us.


Soviet "assistance" crucial? Er their armed forces won the war, we were the ones that assisted. Allied merchant seaman saved the Soviet Union? That isn't a plain fact at all!

Even if the Soviets had been defeated at Kursk the Germans lost and would have lost so much armor as a result, amour that could not be replaced quickly. The war of production was being won by the Soviets and they would have turned the tide eventually, a tide that had already been stemmed at the Battle of Stalingrad.

From Wiki on the Soviet planning:


The Red Army had also begun planning their summer offensives and had settled on a plan that mirrored that of the Germans. Attacks in front of Orel and Kharkov would flatten the line and potentially lead to a breakout near the Pripyat Marshes. However, these ideas were abandoned, as Moscow received warning of the German build-up through the Lucy spy ring in Switzerland. Additional information came from John Cairncross in the UK, who forwarded decoded Lorenz cipher data from Bletchley Park.[33][34] Marshal Georgiy Zhukov had already predicted the site of the German attack as early as 8 April, recommending to Stavka (the Red Army General Staff) a defensive strategy:


en.wikipedia.org...

That seems to indicate that there was a collection of information which led the Soviet commanders and Stalin to conclude that the coming assault would be on Kursk, which includes help from Bletchley Park.

As for ROE, from Wiki,


The war against England is to be restricted to destructive attacks against industry and air force targets which have weak defensive forces. ... The most thorough study of the target concerned, that is vital points of the target, is a pre-requisite for success. It is also stressed that every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary loss of life amongst the civilian population. —Hermann Göring [102]

On August 8, 1940, the Germans switched to raids on RAF fighter bases.[103] To reduce losses, the Luftwaffe also began to use increasing numbers of bombers at night.[104] By the last week of August, over half the missions were flown under the cover of dark.

On August 24, fate took a turn, and several off-course German bombers accidentally bombed residential areas of London.[105][106][107][108] The next day, the RAF bombed Berlin for the first time, targeting Tempelhof airfield and the Siemens factories in Siemenstadt.[109] These attacks were seen as indiscriminate bombings by the Germans due to their inaccuracy, and this infuriated Hitler;[110][111][112] he ordered that the 'night piracy of the British' be countered by a concentrated night offensive against the island, and especially London.[113] In a public speech in Berlin on 4 September 1940,

Hitler announced that:

The other night the English had bombed Berlin. So be it. But this is a game at which two can play. When the British Air Force drops 2000 or 3000 or 4000 kg of bombs, then we will drop 150 000, 180 000, 230 000, 300 000, 400 000 kg on a single night. When they declare they will attack our cities in great measure, we will eradicate their cities. The hour will come when one of us will break - and it will not be National Socialist Germany! —Adolf Hitler [114]


en.wikipedia.org...

Seems clear that both sides were guilty of massive crimes and both used excuses to justify them. I don't take the argument "oh they did it to us now we are going to do it to them". We were supposed to be better than them.
edit on 28-6-2012 by Peruvianmonk because: Layout



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 05:52 AM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


You do know how close the Soviet Union was to collapsing under the Nazi onslaught? The all powerful Red Army that we all know only came about later on during the war. The Soviets came within 50 miles of losing their Urals production base - in a war conducted with Blitzkrieg tactics that is a day away from total defeat.

Sorry for going so far off topic OP. I have a great photo at home my grandad took during the war - bomber command in action, out of the plane window. I will try and remember to upload it tonight / tomorrow......



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by Flavian
 





You do know how close the Soviet Union was to collapsing under the Nazi onslaught? The all powerful Red Army that we all know only came about later on during the war. The Soviets came within 50 miles of losing their Urals production base - in a war conducted with Blitzkrieg tactics that is a day away from total defeat.


The Germans had nothing left to continue these blitzkreig tactics. When they didn't take Moscow in the winter of 1941, partly due to the weather but mostly due to the divergent tactics in attacking the Union on a broad basis, they were in a very precarious position. Where did you get this information of the Germans being within 50 miles of the Ural production base? They were nowhere near this close.

This map shows the extent of the German advance in the winter of 1942, en.wikipedia.org...:Eastern_Front_1942-11_to_1943-03.png

This was literally hundreds of miles to the west of the mountain range where the massive tank factories were established in Chelyabinsk.
edit on 28-6-2012 by Peruvianmonk because: Spelling



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 06:33 AM
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I'm really pleased they are finally getting the recognition they deserve..



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by nake13
 
Thank you nske13, any war is too horrific, too many innocents die...it is a despicable & I strongly hate the fact that like the Lufwaffe we (Alied forces pfffttt) took part in the bombings of innocent people.

All I have to say is...that it is for the better of the world that those raids happened, the innocent people that lost their lives...I hope are....if there is a heaven...sat up there looking down maybe thinking 'well I lost my life but it contributed to the end of the Second World War & world domination'

I have family/friends that risk their lives each day fighting a war that to some is corrupt, a ploy...whatever! I too also never knew some of my family, because of the 'World Wars' & I and my family, friends...I'm sure would give their lives again.

I know I never mentioned the other bombers that played such an important part in US (resistance...Europe) winning the war (with the help off America in the end, muhohaha
just what did Winston say on that boat all those years ago to the President??

By the way thank you, I knew that somebody like yourself who knows would help mention the un-sung hero's & be there in agreement that it is about time that we finally gave credit where it is due.

Sorry that this is only a short reply, it's Thursday, my wife is busting my balls over the fact that I get home and am on a computer.so I will close here with peace, love...unity.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by theguygeeza
 


Thank you theguygeezer,
Yes it is indescribably horrific when innocents are swept up in war,sadly we don't seem to have learned our lesson as the civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan can testify,as well as the sad waste of so many of our brave servicemen and women dying for nothing more than American greed.

Personally,I believe that Churchill promised Roosevelt that should the allies win WW2,Britain would forever become America's largest aircraft carrier!,seriously though I don't really think that Churchill had to do too much peruading,Roosevelt could see that an allied victory would allow America to have a hand in European policy for decades to come.as well as opening up a huge market for American manufactured goods and services.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by nake13
 
It seems that we're destined to destroy ourselves over and over...the inhumane, crazy, fckued up shiz that we have and still continue to commit in the name of the Queen pffttt'Whose's of half maye 1/4 German bloodlines isn't it Victoria & Alfred lmfho...urrgggh) the Agencies M.I's Al C.I.A's say so is bang out of order. Yet society continues with their bubble/brainwashed/sheep lives and maybe only 5% of us complain, make a stand, get noticed...it's so sad hey mate.

I'm no hippy, but I think that war is evil, it doesn't help anything other than the TPTB to earn yet more money from the sales of arms, murder, death & destruction. Hey remember the truth about Churchill, the purchase of shares etc...lmfho, cough, cough, urrgggh.

It all stinks to high heaven, the things we allow, see and have done to our fellow human beings for time immoral is beyond comprehension and is probably unforgivable.

Still continue we must, pick ourselves & our fellow human beings up when we stumble, continue trying to open peoples eyes, minds, chakra's, hope for the best and keep smiling, looking straight forward, keeping our aim true and marching on through.





edit on 28/6/2012 by theguygeeza because: Spelling mistake.



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