Bomber Command Memorial - a German perspective

#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
 
#3
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.

/thread
 
#6
No mention of London, Hull or Coventry being razed first.

Remind me, who was it who first used incendiaries on the civil populations?
 
#7
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?
I would be very happy to see that inscribed on the memorial.



Funny how you chaps forget this though…





Best greetings from across the North Sea,

A German in his 20s

That's quite all right and no need to thank us for ensuring you don;t speak Russian.
 
#8
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.
 
#9
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
 
#11
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.
 
#13
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.
Well you ******* started it, now **** off and eat some sausages.
 
#14
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.

Is this memorial only meant to honour the airmen who risked their lives,
Yes.

or is it also meant to justify or even glorify the the extent to which Germany was destroyed?
No.
 
#17
Germany launched V1s & V2s between June 1944 and March 1945, Dresden was bombed between 13 February and 15 February 1945. Darmstadt on the 11/12 September 1944.
 
#18
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
tumblr_lw7qpuR5rA1r8rbaao1_400.jpg

When "Bomber" Harris was asked to justify the bombing of Dresden he replied, "Every city in Germany is not worth the bones of a single British soldier." He was absolutely right. And anyone who flew missions for Bomber Command has every right to be proud of their service. Nor should they be expected to feel remorse or guilt for the German civilians they killed. Shit happens and, from our point of view, it's better that German civilians died than British.

Had they been able to do so, the Nazis would have turned London into the biggest mass grave the world has ever seen. If you want to fight Total War, you can't cry foul when the opposing team adopts exactly the same tactics.:roll:

Still, it was a long time ago and in the spirit of reconciliation: best of luck with your article.;-)
 

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