Hi Phylo,phylo_roadking wrote:Andre - leningrad and Stalingrad are odd situations; there their own LEADER made the civil population part of the direct war machine by requiring them to remain in situ - or in city. Their continued presence made them combatants, just like kevin's medieval sieges. Again not right, their own leaders should NOT have put them in that place; this could bring up a HUGE discussion, but to be brief - politics is as you know the process by which resources are divided...and the resource of protection and well-being is what a citizen gets back from their govenment in return for their support upwards. Different words and way of doing it in the 21st and 20th century, but its exactly the same process as feudal scutage - a villein or serf can't provide their own protection, so in return for rent/support/service....they get it from above. Obliging these civil populations to stay put was an abrogation by Stalin of what he SHOULD have owed downwards to them - protection, or letting them GO to a place he could protect. I know thats a bit woolly, I'm trying to condense two years of political science into one paragraph LOL
German bombing of Britain didnt cease, but because very mch more targeted, focused on military targets, because the Luftwaffe in the West didnt have the resources to squander on terror bombing. Hence raids on ports and indutrial towns. A lot of the raids too were diversions, the Lftwaffe had for a time a policy of an intruder raid like that covering mining operations in the Tyne, Forth, Clyde, Mersey etc.
The V1 and V2 is a very odd, definitely criminal activity - and made even stranger by some of the nearly-forgotten aspects. German rocketry as a process was driven by the SS, as the Wehrmacht had shown little interest.So from its very start it was taken ot of the "legitimate" national military process and broght into the Nazi Party machinery. They were Nazi weapons, not German weapons, and not enough people answered for that after the war. Two other points - there was a lot of trouble with the Luftwaffe squadrons that later were tasked to air-drop V1s, because they didnt want to be involved in the process. Also, Ive seen a lot of Nazi propaganda film over the years, and when youre looking deep into the whole German nuclear programme and the Maud Committee its hard not to get taken off towards the rocketry element of the Wunderwaffen. There is little or no trumpeting of the fact that it was British civilians that these were indiscriminately targeted at - rather, the whole tone is that the entire South of England was an armed camp for the invasion and after, and it was THIS that the V-weapons were targeted at. A strange ommission, given that the RAF was meanwhile being quite indiscriminate. The only mention is that the terror meted out to the German volk was being revisited upon Britain.
What I think we should do here is acknowledge that there is and was a great difference between what each population was TOLD, against what was really happening - which is the true story...what people believed the war was being fought for, and how? Or the way their leaders were doing it in secret from them?
You make some very valid points, but I believe the basic principle of your argument is flawed.
Germany intentionally and directly targeted civilians from the air right through from the Luftwaffe bombing Guernica to the V2 attacks in 1945. The level of death and destruction (by aerial bombardment) caused to Nazi Germany’s enemy civilian populations was only limited to a lack of resources (i.e. a suitable strategic bomber force)
The argument that the V2 attacks were Nazi weapons and not German ones is a dubious one at best. Not all Germans were Nazis but the vast majority of Nazi’s were German. The V1 and V2 were devised by Germans, built by Germans (the help of slave labour) and operated by Germans with the blessing of Germany’s leaders and of course with the help of the Luftwaffe (V-1 specifically).
The destruction of German cities was not hidden by Bomber Command or the government. The true horror of what the populations on the ground suffered was obviously not forthrightly broadcast, but let us not forget millions of Britons new how it felt to fear for their and their families lives, listening to the bombs drop, while huddled in a shelter. It wasn’t just London either, my great Aunt still has a bomb shelter in her garden in Hull, and there are still car parks and empty sites in Hull where once buildings stood and people lived, before the Luftwaffe visited.