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Thu Feb 13, 2020, 07:09 PM

1945 Dresden bombings lesson is the same 75 years on: Might still makes right

John Laughland, who has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford and who has taught at universities in Paris and Rome, is a historian and specialist in international affairs.

13 Feb, 2020 14:31

The 75th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden should force us to understand that, unfortunately, as the Roman statesman Cicero said, “In war, the law falls silent.”

Dresden is like Auschwitz or Srebrenica, a terrible event elevated to almost mythical status because it is in fact the symbol of a wider phenomenon, in this case the bombing campaign conducted against a large number of German cities including Hamburg and Berlin. Dresden occupies this symbolic status because of the very high number of civilian deaths, most burned to death by incendiary bombs whose function was to set buildings alight, and because the town had little or no military significance.

Dresden remains today an open wound in German historical memory because German civilians were victims in their tens of thousands. Germany protested bitterly in 1991 when the British put up a statue to the chief of bomber command, Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, in central London. When the Queen visited Dresden in 1992, she was booed. A book by noted German historian Jörg Friedrich, ‘The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945’, published in 2006, became a bestseller.

Such German anger is understandable, especially since the Nazis at Nuremberg were not indicted for the Blitz bombing of London and other British cities in 1940-1941, precisely because the British wanted to prevent them from being able to say they had done the same thing to Germany at the end of the war. The Americans, for their part, dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima within days from when the Nuremberg charter was promulgated, killing over a hundred thousand Japanese civilians in one go.

More...

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/480759-1945-dresden-bombing-war/

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Reply 1945 Dresden bombings lesson is the same 75 years on: Might still makes right (Original post)
RCW2014 Feb 13 OP
Currentsitguy Feb 13 #1
Banshee 3 Actual Feb 13 #2
foia Feb 13 #3
Jardinier Feb 14 #4
Currentsitguy Feb 14 #5
Jardinier Feb 15 #6
Currentsitguy Feb 15 #7

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 07:40 PM

1. The lesson here is don't start wars you can't finish.

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 07:56 PM

2. Dresden was bombed to help the russian offensive

"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 naïve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now, they are going to reap the whirlwind."

-Arthur "Bomber" Harris.

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 08:15 PM

3. Hitler could've surrendered at any time

Or not started the war in the first place.

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 10:05 AM

4. Coventry, England.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Blitz

I grew up hearing stories of the war my parents lived through. The sound of the bombs falling, sometimes screaming, not knowing if it's going to land on you. They had just the kitchen table to hide under. (My grandmother had lost two of her three brothers in WW1).

Doodlebug was a word I heard a lot of at our kitchen table. My dad told me as long as the doodlebug was making noise you were safe - it was still flying. When it went silent it meant it had run out of fuel and was coming down. The sky glowed red over London as it burned and could be seen for many miles. My dad was 50 miles away and said they watched as it burned every night. Our own market town was also bombed.

My youngest son (an historian) went to university in England and spent a lot of time with my dad hearing about the war. He said it was very interesting to hear about it from some one who lived through it. I was close to my own grandfather who fought in the Great War for 4 years (1914- 1918). He was at the Dardanelles (Gallipoli). The War to end all wars.

My mother wasn't even safe in Wales. They dropped a bomb on the doctors house and killed him.

So, in other words, I don't feel bad about Dresden.

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Response to Jardinier (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 11:20 AM

5. My mother in law was badly injured entering a London Tube station during the Blitz

She was obviously a young child at the time. Anyways she was heading in to take shelter after the air raid sirens went off when a V1 fell nearby and the explosion instantly killed the man behind her. His body was blown on top of her which shielded her from the worst of the blast. She still spent a long time in the hospital afterward and to this day has a badly mashed up finger.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 11:33 AM

6. I'm sorry to hear about her experience but super glad to hear she's still alive. My mum died last

year and my dad three years ago. They were lucky in London to have the tube stations they could shelter in.


My mum used to say it was as if the war had been going on all their lives and it would never end.

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Response to Jardinier (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 11:46 AM

7. King's Cross

It was hit, I can't remember the date she said, sometime in 41.

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