Bomber Command Memorial - a German perspective

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by GloriousBomb, Jan 22, 2012.

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  1. As you may already know, a memorial in London's Green Park will be dedicated to the 50 000 British bombers who died in WWII. The news about this memorial made me think a bit. Still, there is one thing which I haven't quite understood yet, and I thought this could be the perfect forum to ask.

    One the one hand, I can certainly understand the people who volunteered to fly the Bombers and fight for their country at a time when the British civilian population were under heavy attack by the German air force. They had no other reasonable choice than to trust those who were in command, and I have absolutely no grudge against them. These people deserve to be honoured for their bravery.

    On the other hand, we all know that towards the end of the war, the strategy of Bomber Command was mainly to incinerate entire cities in Germany. Civilians were not killed as unavoidable "collateral damage" during the bombing of industries or military installations, but they were the target of the attacks, in an attempt to lower German morale. Historic town centers and residential areas were erased, in many cases (two examples are Dresden and Darmstadt) there were raids on areas with hardly any industry while the industrial areas a few miles outside of the town centres were spared.

    Is this memorial only meant to honour the airmen who risked their lives, or is it also meant to justify or even glorify the the extent to which Germany was destroyed?

    As far as I have understood, the memorial will display a quote by Churchill saying:

    "The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion."

    This really sounds more like a glorification of the bombing campaign than anything else. and so does the design of the memorial and it's place in the centre of London. It seems like a big, defiant "WE ARE STILL PROUD OF EVERY SINGLE BOMB WE DROPPED ON THE BLOODY GERMANS WHO ALL DESERVED IT, INCLUDING THE SURVIVORS WHO WERE CHILDREN BACK THEN".

    Have I misunderstood something here?

    One last note:

    I do not mean to point a finger at the British, since I am fully aware that Germany started that war and fought in an equally ruthless manner, and the German army an SS committed even worse atrocities during that time. This should go without saying for most of you but I though I should mention it so that even the least intelligent 10% of forum members would know that I'm not in for a finger pointing competition.

    Best greetings from across the North Sea,

    A German in his 20s
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  2. Its a memorial to remember the sacrifice and courage of the aircrew of Bomber Command, nothing more, nothing less. If it was a memorial glorifying bombing the shit out of German cities it would probably say something to that effect.

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  3. It was a war, people died.
  4. The German people can honour their people as well, although just wondering which newspaper you work for again ?
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  5. No mention of London, Hull or Coventry being razed first.

    Remind me, who was it who first used incendiaries on the civil populations?
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  6. I would be very happy to see that inscribed on the memorial.


    Funny how you chaps forget this though…

    That's quite all right and no need to thank us for ensuring you don;t speak Russian.
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  7. Shame you didn't have to try to live through the war to help balance your opinion over a war memorial. Having all of the facts to hand over 70 years later does not mean you can pass judgement on the entire operation and war based upon 21st century perceptions.
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  8. A difficult one, this. On the one hand, there's a good case for saying that much of the bombing was unjustified, even in the light of all the circumstances obtaining at the time. On the other hand, the guys who flew those raids were exceedingly brave, and their bravery deserves recognition.

    I rather like the reciprocity of the cross in the old, ruined Coventry Cathedral being made with nails from the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, and the cross in the Gedächtniskirche being made with nails from Coventry Cathedral (Nagelkreuz von Coventry). Maybe there should be some sort of recognition of the suffering caused by Bomber Command at the London memorial, and similar recognition of British suffering at the Luftwaffe memorial (if there is one?)

    Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  9. If you really think that, rather than just wanting to play the Internet hardman, you really need to get your head sorted.
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  10. The civilian that supports the war effort through his labours, such as the locomotive driver, the machinist, the miner, the barge crewman is just as legitimate a target as those in uniform.
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  11. The memorial is nothing to do with Germany, it is not relevant what or who the bombers target was.
  12. Well you ******* started it, now **** off and eat some sausages.
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  13. I would have to look for the link, but there have been some indications from Germany that those concerned had no objection to a Bomber Command Memorial.


  14. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    To the OP, look up the bombing of Guernica in 1937 and see were it all started.


    As Big Bird said,
    Be glad it's all over.
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