Bomber Command Memorial to be built

Discussion in 'Royal Air Force' started by MoD_RSS, Aug 19, 2011.

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  2. Going to be a white elephant, is it?
  3. No, a memorial to 55,000 aircrew from the Britain, the Dominions, the Empire, the Americas and occupied Europe that failed to return from ops and to those who survived the most dangerous service in the Allied cause, Bomber Command ...problem?

    The NAAFI is two doors down
  4. I've said it before and I'll say it again.

    Have some respect!
  5. Let me guess; my esteemed countryman is acting the ignoranus*, as usual?

    * an ignorant ********.
  6. Yeah, I saw what the bush chook wrote and methinks this is not going to go well at all. What were you thinking?

    De mortuis nihil nisi bonum

    That also goes towards memorials.
  7. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    I have nothing but admiration for the bomber crews. They took appalling casualties - particularly in 1942, 1943 and the first half of 1944. If you add in losses from training accidents, the casualty figures approach 65,000. But I feel they were badly let down politically.

    a) During the latter part of 1944 and in 1945 senior commanders failed to stop Harris's area bombing campaign. Harris made Bomber Command what it was, but by that time in the war there were alternative bombing strategies - transport and oil. And Bomber command had demonstrated it had developed the accuracy to hit that sort of target. But Harris's will was stronger than that of Portal or Churchill, so he continued area bombing. Had he been unequivocally ordered to direct his attacks against railway marshalling yards and oil refineries, the damage to German cities and the civilian death toll would have been significantly less. And so would the post war criticism of Bomber Command.

    b) After the war politicians of all hues (including Churchill) saw the massive devastation in Germany and found out 600,000 German civilians had been killed. So, after strongly supporting Bomber Commands' activities in the war, they rapidly distanced themselves from the campaign afterwards. And continued to do for many years...

    These political failings led to some very brave men being denied the memorial they richly merit.

  8. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Sadly, this memorial is long, long overdue.


    This is Halifax R-Robert with its throttles through the gate, flying down the fjord through the flak at the Tirpitz TWO NIGHTS RUNNING.

    Peter Cribb died this year.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Long overdue.
  10. Criticism of Bomber Command? Tell that to the Dutch. They happily tend the graves of Bomber Command crews, with school children told of the stories of Bomber Crews fighting their way to Germany every night. Not sure if school children are still allocated a grave to tend.

    And they remember that as the war ending ground campaign left them without food, the Bombers returned to the Dutch skys dropping not death but food. Even down to the crews personal rations of sweets suspended from hankies.

    Screw the Bosch, and anyone else who chunters. The Nazis started it, we finished it. And I don't recall the British lobbing randomly aimed rocket powered bombs at the boxheads either.

    Whilst much is made of our 'accuracy' that was disregarding in favour of blotting out huge areas of cities, why don't we look at the cost in crews of these 'accurate' bombing missions?

    For example, 617 Sqn lost 8 aircraft of 19, and 53 men KIA 3 POW in the Dam Busting Op Chastise missions for example. The high precision Grand Slam and Tall Boy ops faired better, but then factor in the cost of the individual bombs. Likewise, the RAFs (justified) insistance at night ops negated a large amount of the accuracy needed.

    "They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind", famously paraphrased by Bomber Harris, but taken fromthe book of Horsea, in the Tanakh.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. long over due,it is very important that we remeber the fallen,it seems the japs and germans are in a hurry to forget it,history books in japan tell a very different story these days i'm told.
  12. That's brilliant, but I'd like to see a campaign medal for them as well.
  13. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    I would add to my previous post that the Tirpitz raids were carried out at night, flying fifty feet above the water. The aircraft immediately astern of 35 Sqn's R-Robert was blown apart by a thousand-pounder from a flak-suppression Lancaster at 20,000' bombing late. R-Robert came back with a bomb door missing, torn off by the splash from a flak shell that hit the water right underneath. Crews were briefed that they might have to fly again the THIRD night but mercifully PR showed sufficient damage to Tirpitz (although she was not sunk until the 617 raid capsized her; the weapons available in 1942 were not capable of that) that that was not necessary.

    Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more.

    The owner of this log book is now 91, and on finals.
  14. Aye, what the protestors and NIMBYs have missed is that the memorial is not dedicated to the tactical or political decisions made with regards to Bomber Command. It is dedicated to men that got up in the morning, flew to flak filled skies to drop bombs, landed with many of their mates missing, went to bed, got up again, and went back and did it again regardless, until they themselves, were lost; or in a few cases, lived on. As I've said elsewhere, my grandfather did 78 missions (life expectancy 13) in Lancasters and he died very happy to know that a Bomber Command memorial was on it's way.

    Thoroughly deserved for all involved and it's a shame (yet rewarding) so much money has had to be raised privately. The government should really take responsibility for this build more than they do for housing illegal somalians with their human rights. It's long overdue and a shame that the majority even of those who lived will never see this memorial to the mates they lost at war.

    Whilst working at a charity event I met Robin Gibb CBE (Bee Gees front man and big time involved in Bomber Command Memorial) and thanked him for his work, he is extremely passionate about this and has given up a lot of time and money for the cause. If anyone is a bit of a Bee Gees fan he's performing at some Bomber Command Memorial event at the end of the year at the National History Museum, dinner and dance type thing... company tables available or individual seats: SALUTE TO BOMBER COMMAND

    Well done that man and those who have helped him get there.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. 'The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them.

    'At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places they put their rather naïve theory into operation.

    'They sewed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind'.

    Bomber Harris

    Talk about inspirational, imagine being told that aged 21, with London burning, no-one in your street has so much as a driving licence and you've got your own Lancaster parked up outside.