why is Rommel admired by some people?

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Aida1
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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 13:29

Peter89 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 10:18
Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 09:21

A complete falsification of history as you know very well Hitler led a coalition government which had a majority. So his government was legal and Hitler becoming president was done legally too.
So the army had no obligation to overthrow Hitler. And their oath to the head of state was perfectly normal.
On the contrary, actually. Democracy does not mean that if you have the majority of votes, you can do anything. It also does not mean if you once achieved a relative majority in legislation, then you can control other branches and offices of the state.

If you pass a law that the Jews from now on are second-rate citizens, deprived of their basic human rights, you are not standing on a democratic constitutional ground anymore. It is not even debatable, otherwise we will invent that nazism was a form of democracy where the NSDAP just happened to form a coalition at the right time. The thin veil of formalities lasted a few months only, and it was clear that the legislation that was passed after the spring of 1933 did not count as democratic legislation anymore.

Please just analyze what the Führer said: "Nicht der Staat befiehlt uns, sondern wir befehlen dem Staate!" This is absolutely a program for a direct assult on the legal institutions of the Weimar Republic, the ones that the German high command swore to protect.

Part of the history is that the German high command was a bunch of corrupt oathbreakers, taking bribes and breaking oaths in order to cooperate with nazism. The other part of history is that they were qualified military professionals, another part is that a lot of them committed war crimes, and another part is that some of them turned on nazism near the end.

For some reason, it is hard for you to see them anything else but qualified military professionals.

Calling me names and "falsifier of history" is a bright example of why some people can't history from multiple angles, but I don't mind it at all. Productive disagreement is what we all need.
You can pretend whatever you want but you cannot change the fact that the Hitler was the legal head of state of Germany and there was no obligation to overthrow him. That is your post facto invention which nobody would have considered at the time. German officers were not corrupt either. You can hardly be bribed by your employer to do the job you are supposed to do .

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 13:31

ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 12:34
Michael Kenny wrote:
12 Apr 2020 09:44
Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 09:14
. Dresden was not the first German city bombed.
Or even 'Dresden was not the first city bombed'. Indeed we can go back to 1939 for such a bombing in for example Warsaw. Do not forget Rotterdam and London in 1940.
What category of bombing does the VI and V2 fall into?
There was also Guernica : it is curious that those who whine about the air attacks on German cities remain silent about air attacks on allied cities .
There is no whining. There is simply the mentioning of the fact that the british airforce intended to terrorise the German population and failed.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 13:35

ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 12:31
About the German generals :
they have some arguments /excuses

6 After the war they said that Hitler only was responsible for the defeat and for the Holocaust . Why ? To hide their responsibility and to have a new future in the Bundeswehr .Their feeble excuse is the Tu Quoque : after the death of Stalin,his successors said that he alone was responsible for the Gulag .
They are maybe/probably more excuses/arguments, but ,whatever .
The end conclusion could/should be the following well known dictum :
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing .
On which certain people will reply : victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan,which means that if Hitler had won,no one would attack the generals . And : evil and good are decided by the winner .
After the war, the propaganda has transformed Rommel in a military genius and a ''good '' German .He was neither of both. He was also not the opposite .He was a good general and an average German. He does not deserve praise neither condemnation .
You would not be able to support this by direct quotes from these commanders. And German senior commanders were a bit too old to serve in the Bundeswehr. :lol: :lol:

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 13:38

ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 12:00
About Rommel :
was he a nazi ? NO
was he an opponent of Hitler? NO
As a lot(most ? ) people he was an ambitious opportunist without backbone,German word is Zivil / Civil Courage .
Even he,whose name shall not be mentioned on this forum, was very critical about Rommel .
was he a military genius ? NO
was he an incompetent general ? NO
I think historians will give a bit more serious explanation than this personal opinion.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 13:41

ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 10:53
Peter89 wrote:
11 Apr 2020 20:55
ljadw wrote:
11 Apr 2020 20:39
The NSDAP had 43 % and with the conservatives of Hugenberg/Papen ( 8 % ) they had a majority .Not only had the Hitler government a majority in parliament, it was also supported by article 46 of the constitution .
The Weimar regime had disappeared already in 1930 when Germany was ruled by a praesidial kabinet,depending on Hugenberg .Brüning, Papen and Schleicherwere governing by Notverordnungen signed by the president ,who used article 48 of the Constitution . The Reichstag was eliminated already in 1930 .
The Constitutional Court said that everything was legal .
The Notverordnungen ( Presidential decrees ) were already used in 1919 and 44 times in 1931.
You are right, I was using the numbers for the last election. But even with 43%, they formed a minority, and they systematically overthrew democracy, it does not change my basic argument.
After March 1933 Germany became a dictatorship, but that had the support of the majority of the Germans.The persecution of (potential ) opponents was not possible without the approval and help of the majority of the German people. But,already before 1933 the Weimar regime had disappeared ,which made the transformation of Germany in a dictatorship easier and quicker .
And, a big part of the military leadership had never accepted the Weimar regime , which does not mean that they were nazis .They were (co) responsible,as were the socialists, catholics,communists, the majority of the Germans . Without the help of the German people, Hitler would not have been able to do anything .
For once you are correct. All this stuff about the army needing to overthrow Hitler ignores how Hitler was viewed at the time.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by ljadw » 12 Apr 2020 13:42

Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 13:35
ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 12:31
About the German generals :
they have some arguments /excuses

6 After the war they said that Hitler only was responsible for the defeat and for the Holocaust . Why ? To hide their responsibility and to have a new future in the Bundeswehr .Their feeble excuse is the Tu Quoque : after the death of Stalin,his successors said that he alone was responsible for the Gulag .
They are maybe/probably more excuses/arguments, but ,whatever .
The end conclusion could/should be the following well known dictum :
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing .
On which certain people will reply : victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan,which means that if Hitler had won,no one would attack the generals . And : evil and good are decided by the winner .
After the war, the propaganda has transformed Rommel in a military genius and a ''good '' German .He was neither of both. He was also not the opposite .He was a good general and an average German. He does not deserve praise neither condemnation .
You would not be able to support this by direct quotes from these commanders. And German senior commanders were a bit too old to serve in the Bundeswehr. :lol: :lol:
Look at : Hitler als Feldherr ( by Halder ) :P

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 13:42

Michael Kenny wrote:
12 Apr 2020 09:40
Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 09:24
Everything was done legally.
Yet earlier you are claiming that civilian bombing was a 'War Crime' even though it too was Legal.
Never said anything of the sort. There was not even such a thing as international criminal law.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 13:45

ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 13:42
Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 13:35
ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 12:31
About the German generals :
they have some arguments /excuses

6 After the war they said that Hitler only was responsible for the defeat and for the Holocaust . Why ? To hide their responsibility and to have a new future in the Bundeswehr .Their feeble excuse is the Tu Quoque : after the death of Stalin,his successors said that he alone was responsible for the Gulag .
They are maybe/probably more excuses/arguments, but ,whatever .
The end conclusion could/should be the following well known dictum :
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing .
On which certain people will reply : victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan,which means that if Hitler had won,no one would attack the generals . And : evil and good are decided by the winner .
After the war, the propaganda has transformed Rommel in a military genius and a ''good '' German .He was neither of both. He was also not the opposite .He was a good general and an average German. He does not deserve praise neither condemnation .
You would not be able to support this by direct quotes from these commanders. And German senior commanders were a bit too old to serve in the Bundeswehr. :lol: :lol:
Look at : Hitler als Feldherr ( by Halder ) :P
I have no doubt that his opinions are less simplistic than yours and he no doubt had no intention to serve in the Bundeswehr

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by ljadw » 12 Apr 2020 13:56

Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 13:29
Peter89 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 10:18
Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 09:21

A complete falsification of history as you know very well Hitler led a coalition government which had a majority. So his government was legal and Hitler becoming president was done legally too.
So the army had no obligation to overthrow Hitler. And their oath to the head of state was perfectly normal.
On the contrary, actually. Democracy does not mean that if you have the majority of votes, you can do anything. It also does not mean if you once achieved a relative majority in legislation, then you can control other branches and offices of the state.

If you pass a law that the Jews from now on are second-rate citizens, deprived of their basic human rights, you are not standing on a democratic constitutional ground anymore. It is not even debatable, otherwise we will invent that nazism was a form of democracy where the NSDAP just happened to form a coalition at the right time. The thin veil of formalities lasted a few months only, and it was clear that the legislation that was passed after the spring of 1933 did not count as democratic legislation anymore.

Please just analyze what the Führer said: "Nicht der Staat befiehlt uns, sondern wir befehlen dem Staate!" This is absolutely a program for a direct assult on the legal institutions of the Weimar Republic, the ones that the German high command swore to protect.

Part of the history is that the German high command was a bunch of corrupt oathbreakers, taking bribes and breaking oaths in order to cooperate with nazism. The other part of history is that they were qualified military professionals, another part is that a lot of them committed war crimes, and another part is that some of them turned on nazism near the end.

For some reason, it is hard for you to see them anything else but qualified military professionals.

Calling me names and "falsifier of history" is a bright example of why some people can't history from multiple angles, but I don't mind it at all. Productive disagreement is what we all need.
You can pretend whatever you want but you cannot change the fact that the Hitler was the legal head of state of Germany and there was no obligation to overthrow him. That is your post facto invention which nobody would have considered at the time. German officers were not corrupt either. You can hardly be bribed by your employer to do the job you are supposed to do .
They did not receive money for the job they did, but to keep them silent and to buy their support . And as long as they received money from Adolf, they supported him . When he was dead, they said that everything was his fault, but refused to give back his money and even hided that they received money from Adolf .
They were not the first to do this ( Napoleon's generals did the same ) and they are not the last , but this is not diminishing their responsibility .
Von Rundstedt knew what the SS did when he was commander of AGS. He left in November 1941 , but still accepted the post of OBW in March 1942,knowing the nature of the regime, while he could easily have refused the offer .But at his 66 birthday , he accepted a reward of 250000 RM from Hitler .

Sid Guttridge
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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Apr 2020 14:00

Hi Aiada1,

You post, "The hague convention was written before air forces existed so one cannot get away with this argument."

That is neither a point anyone is disputing, nor an "argument". Firstly, while the Hague Convention of 1907 does predate the establishment of independent air forces, it does not predate either the invention of heavier-than-air machines, or the use of lighter-than-air machines in war. The Hague Conventions do not specify any weaponry at all, or where they can be discharged from. Only that bombardment of Open Cities is illegal. I think we can all agree that bombing is "bombardment".

Your proposition is a bit like claiming the "Thou shalt not Kill" prohibition in the Ten Commandments doesn't apply to hand guns because they had yet to be invented! Try that in a court of law!

The Yugoslavs, Hungarians and Italians thought the "Open City" option was valid and used it. The Pope advocated it for Rome. Hitler was so worried that Budapest would become "Open" during Hungary's dilpomatic flirtations with the Allies that he occupied it so that it could continue to be used as a key rail hub to his armies in the Balkans and on southern Eastern Front.

You post, "And british bombardments against German cities were always intended to terrorise the German population." Amongst other things, yes. But they could hardly not do so anyway. Bombing is terrifying. However, British area bombing was rather more nuanced than mere terrorisation of the population.

You post, "Dresden was not the first German city bombed." Nobody contended that it was either the first, or worst hit. Japan had been bombing Chinese cities since the early 1930s, Germany had bombed Guernica in 1937 and Italy had bombed Barcelona in the same year. Hamburg and several smaller German cities had or would suffer more heavily. What is your point?

You post, "At least US bombers went for military targets in the broad sense and caused less civilian casualties and were the only ones that really hurt the German effort." And you know they caused less civilian casualties bercause....? They bombed Dresden as well. I don't recall any civilians cheering in the streets because their cities were "only" being bombed by the Americans, do you?

"There was never any doubt that the government led by Hitler was considered the legal government of Germany at the time." Yup, at the time. People also accepted he had "no further territorial demands" at the time. We are now in a better position to analyse his rise to power and it looks pretty unsavoury. Perhaps those viewing it at the time got it wrong?

You post, "And it is well established that he did have the support of the German population at the time." Really? How? As pointed out above, Hitler never held any free and open parliamentary elections so there was no way of officially measuring his popularity relative to the alternatives. Similarly, I am unaware of any independent opinion polling done at the time. Are you? What seems likely, anecdotally, is that Hitler was significantly more popular in the late 1930s than in the 1933 elections. It is, I would suggest, a reasonable working assumption that he had the support of most of the German population in the second half of the 1930s, but it is not "well established", for the reasons stated above. Over statement doesn't help any case, even if true.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 14:39

ljadw wrote:
12 Apr 2020 13:56
Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 13:29
Peter89 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 10:18
Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 09:21

A complete falsification of history as you know very well Hitler led a coalition government which had a majority. So his government was legal and Hitler becoming president was done legally too.
So the army had no obligation to overthrow Hitler. And their oath to the head of state was perfectly normal.
On the contrary, actually. Democracy does not mean that if you have the majority of votes, you can do anything. It also does not mean if you once achieved a relative majority in legislation, then you can control other branches and offices of the state.

If you pass a law that the Jews from now on are second-rate citizens, deprived of their basic human rights, you are not standing on a democratic constitutional ground anymore. It is not even debatable, otherwise we will invent that nazism was a form of democracy where the NSDAP just happened to form a coalition at the right time. The thin veil of formalities lasted a few months only, and it was clear that the legislation that was passed after the spring of 1933 did not count as democratic legislation anymore.

Please just analyze what the Führer said: "Nicht der Staat befiehlt uns, sondern wir befehlen dem Staate!" This is absolutely a program for a direct assult on the legal institutions of the Weimar Republic, the ones that the German high command swore to protect.

Part of the history is that the German high command was a bunch of corrupt oathbreakers, taking bribes and breaking oaths in order to cooperate with nazism. The other part of history is that they were qualified military professionals, another part is that a lot of them committed war crimes, and another part is that some of them turned on nazism near the end.

For some reason, it is hard for you to see them anything else but qualified military professionals.

Calling me names and "falsifier of history" is a bright example of why some people can't history from multiple angles, but I don't mind it at all. Productive disagreement is what we all need.
You can pretend whatever you want but you cannot change the fact that the Hitler was the legal head of state of Germany and there was no obligation to overthrow him. That is your post facto invention which nobody would have considered at the time. German officers were not corrupt either. You can hardly be bribed by your employer to do the job you are supposed to do .
They did not receive money for the job they did, but to keep them silent and to buy their support . And as long as they received money from Adolf, they supported him . When he was dead, they said that everything was his fault, but refused to give back his money and even hided that they received money from Adolf .
They were not the first to do this ( Napoleon's generals did the same ) and they are not the last , but this is not diminishing their responsibility .
Von Rundstedt knew what the SS did when he was commander of AGS. He left in November 1941 , but still accepted the post of OBW in March 1942,knowing the nature of the regime, while he could easily have refused the offer .But at his 66 birthday , he accepted a reward of 250000 RM from Hitler .
Given the quarrels Hitler had with his commanders, you could get the impression he wasted money if his intention was to buy their support. Actually, he rewarded them which was not even new as this was done in the past too and in other countries. There is a long tradition for giving land and titles to victorious commanders.
You are insulting Rundstedt about whom you are clearly completely ignorant. The man was a patriot who always was prepared to serve.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Apr 2020 14:44

Hi ljadw,

I don't think money was a primary motive for the German officer corps. Nationalism, however, was.

As they shared their nationalism with Hitler, they became his fellow travellers in a joint enterprise. Unfortunately for their reputations, the Nazi side of this joint enterprise came to include such unsavoury activities as attempting to kill every Jew to hand. However, they were already committed to the joint enterprise and the primacy of their nationalism made it difficut for them to detach themselves from it and Hitler, and very few did so.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 14:53

Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 Apr 2020 14:00
Hi Aiada1,

You post, "The hague convention was written before air forces existed so one cannot get away with this argument."

That is neither a point anyone is disputing, nor an "argument". Firstly, while the Hague Convention of 1907 does predate the establishment of independent air forces, it does not predate either the invention of heavier-than-air machines, or the use of lighter-than-air machines in war. The Hague Conventions do not specify any weaponry at all, or where they can be discharged from. Only that bombardment of Open Cities is illegal. I think we can all agree that bombing is "bombardment".

Your proposition is a bit like claiming the "Thou shalt not Kill" prohibition in the Ten Commandments doesn't apply to hand guns because they had yet to be invented! Try that in a court of law!

The Yugoslavs, Hungarians and Italians thought the "Open City" option was valid and used it. The Pope advocated it for Rome. Hitler was so worried that Budapest would become "Open" during Hungary's dilpomatic flirtations with the Allies that he occupied it so that it could continue to be used as a key rail hub to his armies in the Balkans and on southern Eastern Front.

You post, "And british bombardments against German cities were always intended to terrorise the German population." Amongst other things, yes. But they could hardly not do so anyway. Bombing is terrifying. However, British area bombing was rather more nuanced than mere terrorisation of the population.

You post, "Dresden was not the first German city bombed." Nobody contended that it was either the first, or worst hit. Japan had been bombing Chinese cities since the early 1930s, Germany had bombed Guernica in 1937 and Italy had bombed Barcelona in the same year. Hamburg and several smaller German cities had or would suffer more heavily. What is your point?

You post, "At least US bombers went for military targets in the broad sense and caused less civilian casualties and were the only ones that really hurt the German effort." And you know they caused less civilian casualties bercause....? They bombed Dresden as well. I don't recall any civilians cheering in the streets because their cities were "only" being bombed by the Americans, do you?

"There was never any doubt that the government led by Hitler was considered the legal government of Germany at the time." Yup, at the time. People also accepted he had "no further territorial demands" at the time. We are now in a better position to analyse his rise to power and it looks pretty unsavoury. Perhaps those viewing it at the time got it wrong?

You post, "And it is well established that he did have the support of the German population at the time." Really? How? As pointed out above, Hitler never held any free and open parliamentary elections so there was no way of officially measuring his popularity relative to the alternatives. Similarly, I am unaware of any independent opinion polling done at the time. Are you? What seems likely, anecdotally, is that Hitler was significantly more popular in the late 1930s than in the 1933 elections. It is, I would suggest, a reasonable working assumption that he had the support of most of the German population in the second half of the 1930s, but it is not "well established", for the reasons stated above. Over statement doesn't help any case, even if true.

Cheers,

Sid.
You could at most apply the notion bombardment to tactical air bombardment of a city defended by ground forces. The indiscriminate strategic bombardment of enemy cities in the midst of a country far away from any fighting was something that was not imagined yet in 1907 . Even In 1945 the bombing of Dresden was very controversial . The type of bombing practiced by US bombers achieved more and killed much less civilians.
Actions of officers have to be judged without hindsight and for German officers Hitler was the legal head of state of Germany. No reason to depose him.
You would be hard put to find evidence that Hitler did not have the support of the people.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Aida1 » 12 Apr 2020 14:57

Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 Apr 2020 14:44
Hi ljadw,

I don't think money was a primary motive for the German officer corps. Nationalism, however, was.

As they shared their nationalism with Hitler, they became his fellow travellers in a joint enterprise. Unfortunately for their reputations, the Nazi side of this joint enterprise came to include such unsavoury activities as attempting to kill every Jew to hand. However, they were already committed to the joint enterprise and the primacy of their nationalism made it difficut for them to detach themselves from it and Hitler, and very few did so.

Cheers,

Sid.
Obviously a very simplistic view of the German officer corps who were patriots. Reason also why the plotting started when it was feared that Hitlers foreign policy could plunge the country into a dangerous war.

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Re: why is Rommel admired by some people?

Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Apr 2020 15:25

Aida1 wrote:
12 Apr 2020 14:53
The type of bombing practiced by US bombers achieved more and killed much less civilians.
From Carl A. Spaatz and the Air War in Europe by Richard G. Davis. Smithsonian Institution Press, , 1994.

A further look at Eighth Air Force operations has revealed two egregious
examples of the gap between bombing practice and stated bombing policy: the
target categories “city areas” and “marshaling yards.” The two most cited Eighth
Air Force statistical summaries that cover the entire war do not list a target cate-
gory “city areas” or “towns and cities.” Both summaries were prepared from
the same set of data within a month of the end of the war in Europe.
Monthly statistical summaries of the Eighth’s operations prepared during the
war, almost contemporaneously with the events they recorded, tell a different
story. The Eighth Air Force Monthly Statistical Summary of Operations, gener-
ated at the end of each month from May 1944 to April 1945, listed a “city areas”
target category. For calendar year 1944, the summary reported that the Eighth
dropped 43,611 tons on “city areas.” Nor did these reports make any bones
about their targets. The report for the May 8, 1944, Berlin raid baldly states,
“Berlin city area attacked. Bombing raid done through 10/10 undercast on PFF
markers. Believed that the center of Berlin was well hit.”
After reaching a
high of 9,886 tons (41 percent incendiaries) in July 1944, when the Eighth con-
ducted a series of H2X raids on Munich, the monthly “city area” totals steadily
declined to 383 tons in December.
A summary in a working paper from a USSTAF file, “Review of Bombing
Results,” shows a similar dichotomy according to time period. From January
1944 through January 1945, the Eighth dropped 45,036 tons on “towns and
cities.” From February 1945 through the end of the war, this summary
showed not a single ton of bombs falling on a city area. Unless the Eighth had
developed a perfect technique for bombing through overcast,[ such a result was
simply impossible. Obviously, the word had come down to deemphasize reports
on civilian damage
.
For instance, when Anderson cabled Arnold about USSTAF’s
press policy on the Dresden controversy in February 1945, he noted, “Public rela-
tions officers have been advised to take exceptional care that the military nature
of targets attacked in the future be specified and emphasized in all cases
. As in
the past the statement that an attack was made on such and such a city will be
avoided; specific targets will be described.”
The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, although not explicitly listing a target
category such as cities or towns, had an interesting definition of “industrial
areas.” The survey placed three types of targets in “industrial areas”: (1) cities,
towns, and urban areas; (2) public utilities (electric, gas, water, and telephone
companies); and (3) government buildings. Given that definition the survey even
managed to describe RAF area raids as strikes against “industrial targets.”
The target category “marshaling yards” received more of the Eighth’s bomb
tonnage than any other, somewhere between 175,000 and 200,000 tons of bombs.
At least 25 percent of all the Eighth Air Force bombs dropped over Europe fell on
“marshaling yards.” One-third of the American incendiary bombs dropped over
Germany fell on the same system. As a matter of directive and policy for most
of the period between September 1944 and April 1945, the same period in which
the Eighth delivered 90 percent of the total tonnage dropped on the system, mar-
shaling yards had the highest nonvisual bombing priority. During that period the
Eighth Air Force dropped 168,038 tons of bombs, 70 percent (117,816 tons)
blind
and 30 percent (50,222 tons) visually. Postwar research showed that
only 2 percent of bombs dropped by nonvisual means landed within 1,000 feet
of their aiming points.
Rail yards as such, however, were poor targets for
incendiaries. If the fire bombs landed directly on or near rail cars, they destroyed
or damaged them; otherwise, they could do little harm to the heavy equipment or
trackage. The Eighth realized this. Of the 9,042 tons of bombs dropped on
French rail yards, mostly during the pre-OVERLORD transportation bombing
phase, when the Americans took scrupulous care to avoid French civilian casual-
ties, 90 percent were visually sighted and only 33 tons were incendiaries.
Even over Germany itself, during Operation CLARION, when the Eighth bombed
dozens of small yards and junctions in lesser German towns, it dropped, over a
two-day period of visual conditions, 7,164 tons of bombs in all, but less than 3
tons of fire bombs.
In contrast, using H2X, the Eighth pummeled marshaling yards and rail sta-
tions in large German cities with high percentages of incendiary bombs. For
example, rail targets in at least four major cities garnered the following percent-
ages of fire bombs out of all bombs dropped on them: Cologne, 27 percent;
Nuremberg, 30 percent; Berlin, 37 percent; and Munich, 41 percent.
“Marshaling yards” undoubtedly served as a euphemism for city areas. Because
the yards themselves were not good targets for incendiaries, the prime purpose
in employing such weapons was to take advantage of the known inaccuracy of
H2X bombing in order to maximize the destruction of warehouses, commercial
buildings, and residences in the general vicinity of the target. Large numbers of
planes scattering their bombs around their mostly unseen and unverifiable aim-
ing points surely would cause great collateral damage to any soft structures
located nearby.

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