RAF Bomber Command....

Discussion in 'Old Threads' started by Lucky13, Sep 15, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,731
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    Its okay if your a Brit but doesn't really do to much for the colonials , it barely mentions them although almost 25% of BC was Canadian it even fails to mention a VC by Bazalgette that he was a Canadian
     
  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,731
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Poles, Czechs and the list goes on...I just found it PB, haven't had a good look yet, just thought that I'd post for interested parties....
     
  4. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    28
  5. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student, Musician, Writer, Thinker, Shelf Stacker...
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    All handy for my research project, thanks Jan :)
     
  6. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    Logistics (Supplier) in the RAF
    Location:
    RAF Honington
    #6 Oggie2620, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    Cant find the right thread for this but since its bomber command I thought it might be worth a punt:
    Tuesday September 28,2010
    By Paul Callan Have your say(6)
    TODAY the Daily Express launches a crusade to raise almost £2million and ensure that the brave servicemen of Bomber Command are given the fitting monument that they have so far been denied.

    Some had barely started shaving – but they had the courage of lions. Night after night they stared defiantly at death as they flew over enemy territory to deliver mortal blows on Hitler’s Germany.

    They were the young men of RAF Bomber Command and 55,573 of them would perish before Nazism lay smashed in the rubble of Europe. But such is the cruelty of war – and the hard-heartedness of governments – that the sacrifice of these gallant men has never been officially recognised. There is a variety of reasons why such heroes have been so cruelly snubbed.

    JOIN THE CRUSADE AND DONATE TO BOMBER COMMAND ASSOCIATION HERE

    But time is now running out as age and infirmity catch up on the small number remaining veterans of Bomber Command.



    The heroes of Bomber Command deserve a fitting monument

    In May, planning permission was finally given to a long overdue memorial to honour the men from Bomber Command who gave their lives in the Second World War. Three million pounds has already been raised, however another £1.9m is needed by the end of October to comply with strict building and planning regulations that the local authority, Westminster Council, has set. If the entire £4.9million hasn’t been raised by then, the project could be shelved until the end of 2012.

    The remaining veterans are running out of time. Approximately 3,000 Bomber Command veterans are still alive,
    but they are passing away at a rate of around 70 a month and it has become a race to ensure that the memorial is unveiled while some of them are still alive to see their efforts rewarded.


    These guys are heroes – they saved the world and they deserve the best
    Former pop star and member of the Bee Gees Robin Gibb


    Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Michael Beetham, is President of the Bomber Command Association. He
    says: “We have been striving for many years to have a memorial in central London to recognise the contribution of Bomber Command to victory in World War Two, and the huge sacrifice of the lives of so many of our comrades in achieving it. The memorial has been designed and we now need to go ahead with all speed.”

    Former pop star and member of the Bee Gees Robin Gibb is President of the Heritage Foundation and, as something of an amateur historian, has devoted the past few years of his life to ensuring the monument is built.




    SEARCH UK NEWS for:
    He says: “I’ve put my heart and soul into being a champion of this cause. I had a vision of this monument becoming a reality and now I want to see it unveiled. These guys are heroes – they saved the world and they deserve the best. The whole world, including Germany, is free today because of Bomber Command’s sacrifice.”

    The handsome monument is due to be unveiled late next year and will be built in a high-profile location in London near to Buckingham Palace – if the outstanding cash can be raised. The Daily Express is honoured to support the belated building of this memorial to men who took the destruction of Nazism directly to Germany, wrecking the country’s vital infrastructure and supply lines as well as smashing the morale of the people.



    BeeGees star Robin Gibb is supporting the Bomber Command heroes

    Their wartime losses were greater than that of any other branch of the services during the Second World War, accounting for 10 per cent of all fatalities. Half of those killed have no known grave. All that remains are yellowing photographs and memories of youthful pilots and their crews climbing into their cramped Lancaster bombers, often joking as they went. Behind the devil-may-care jauntiness of these air crews lay a deepseated fear of what might lie ahead.

    No sooner had they entered German airspace than the Nazi anti-aircraft guns began pounding. Many an aircraft was caught in the criss-cross of searchlights. Some received direct hits that crippled the aircraft. Pilots struggled to stay in the air as flames blazed around them. Many returned home after successful sorties. Nearly 365,000 such flights were made from 128 airfields and Bomber Command aircraft were operational on almost every one of the 2,076 days of the war in Europe.

    *** SIMPLY CLICK HERE TO DONATE *** at http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view...sade-Its-time-to-honour-Bomber-Command-heroes

    Surprisingly, Bomber Command’s activities became cloaked in controversy and opinion has since been divided on the decisions of its commander, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris. Many claim that “Bomber” Harris (as he was known) instigated an unnecessary and ineffective campaign of bombing cities. It is said these campaigns failed to affect German morale or significantly damage German industry.

    Fortunately many realise that Harris carried out a vital job that few others could have achieved. He took over control of Bomber Command in 1942, a time of crisis in the British bombing campaign against Germany.

    Haris, who commanded extraordinary respect and loyalty from those who served under him, followed his city bombing campaign with dogged determination. The policy of bombing industrial centres was planned by Air Ministry boffins and supported by Lord Cherwell,Prime Minister WinstonChurchill’s Chief Scientific Adviser. Churchill agreed the policy was justified and ordered Harris to carry out mass bombing.

    But particularly after the Dresden raid, in which 35,000 people died Churchill, afraid of being branded a war criminal, distanced himself from the campaign. At the end of the war Harris did not receive the recognition he deserved for his role. He was sidelined, received only a knighthood, and eventually went to live in South Africa a disappointed and disillusioned man.

    Earlier this month, some politicians in Germany started to criticise the plan to erect a Bomber Command memorial. It was claimed that it would only glorify “war crimes lying on the conscience of Britain”. None of this should call into question the astonishing courage of the Bomber Command air crews and many feel, quite rightly, that a visible and tangible memorial should be built in tribute to the men of that branch of the services.

    Sir Michael Beetham, Chief of the Air Staff during the Falklands War and one of the Second World War’s most decorated bomber pilots, is well qualifi ed to be president of the Bomber Command Association. He said: “If you look around London the fi ghter boys have a marvellous memorial on the Embankment.

    "There are memorials to women at war, to all sorts of organisations, including the Commonwealth, quite rightly. “The missing one is Bomber Command who have nothing. If you are going to complete the picture you need such a memorial because of the signifi cant contribution the Command made to victory and the huge losses it suffered.”

    Many suffered nightmares long after the war was over. And some even experienced severe guilt feelings for the death that was infl icted on the German population below when their deadly cargo was unleashed.

    Cleansing Europe of the Nazi plague came at a huge cost to the Allies. And the spectacular heroism of the men of RAF Bomber Command, who played such a vital part.

    HOW TO DONATE

    ONLINE: Visit www.bombercommand.com and follow the link to the donation page, which includes an online Gift Aid Form.

    BY POST: Make cheques payable to Bomber Command Memorial Fund and send your donation to Bomber Command Association, RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon, London, NW9 5LL.
     
  7. tail end charlie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    #7 tail end charlie, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    From the quoted web site.
    quote
    An extraordinary mix of people from all over the world flew with Bomber Command, including Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Poles, Czechs, South Africans, French, Americans, Jamaicans, Rhodesians. Some served in mixed squadrons, some formed their own squadrons. Almost all arrived in wartime Britain with no previous experience of the British way of life.
    unquote
    Note the Canadians come before Australians and Americans so it is not in alphabetical order it is in approximate order of the number of people who served (Americans and Canadians become confused because many Americans signed up as Canadians, respect to them).

    I.W. Bazalgette was born in Canada of English Irish parents he returned to England in 1927 when he was 9 yrs old he will therefore have joined the services as English, he actually first joined the royal artillery. As far as I can see any airman who joined the RAF from Canada like A. Mynarski (or any other nation) is recognised as such. I think it a little unseemly to to argue about the nationality of a V.C. holder. Canadian, British or English he is a V.C. and that comes first.

    I live close to Middleton St George Aerodrome (now Durham Tees Valley) and also Croft, both of which were manned by Canadian squadrons there are several memorials specifically to the sacrifice of the Canadian airmen stationed there especially Andrew Mynarski, he has a statue (see below) and even a bar named after him. Similarly there is a fabulous memorial at Snetterton to the American 96th bomb group (see below). However the most touching memorial I have seen is a mirror in the downstairs of the "Bettys" the classiest cafe in York, signed with a diamond with the names of aircrews of all nations it looks a bit scruffy but no one has removed it. This is to airmen no nationality is ascribed Canadians Americans Brits Poles French and I presume any and every nationality went there the local aerodromes had all nationalities.
    http://www.bettys.co.uk/bettys_york.aspx
    quote
    A few years after Bettys opened its doors in York war broke out, and Bettys – in particular the basement ‘Bettys Bar’ – became a favourite haunt of thousands of airmen stationed around York. ‘Bettys Mirror’, on which many of them engraved their signatures with a diamond pen, remains on display today as a fitting tribute to their bravery.
    unquote

    Personally the BS about a memorial for Bomber Command gets me narky, no one bothered about French feelings when we put up Nelsons column and Trafalgar square they should have put it up in 1946 it needs to be done before the last of the guys pass on. Right or wrong those guys were doing what everyone wanted them to and took huge casualties doing it.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Markus

    Markus Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What a rubbish!

    Yes to the former, ha, ha ha to the latter. BC was a resource hog, it denied Costal Command the badly needed long range ASW-planes and some english authors even go so far to say that BC hurt the UK´s war effort more than it hurt Germany´s.


    Like getting 55k of his men killed for almost nothing.


    My arse! They targeted residential areas and not just because they could not hit the broadside of a barn!

    This stuff is even worse than the BBC docu about the BoB. Quite the achivement.
     
  9. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Barnsley, S. Yorks, UK
    Markus

    There are a lot of people who disagree to various degrees with the idea that BC had a massive positive effect on the war - in fact, I am one of them. However, it would help if you took an adult tone instead of insulting the contribution these guys made. And before you start on the rant about BC being evil for area boming, lets recall that the LW did the same during the Blitz, and the USAAF did the same to Japan. That doesn't make it right, but it does mean people should see the BC campaign in context, instead of portraying Harris and his aircrews as butchers. They might not have saved the world, but that doesn't mean you can mock them and belittle their efforts.
     
  10. Markus

    Markus Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Read carefully what I wrote. I did critizise BC and it´s CO, while I agreed that the crews certainly deserve to be called heroes.


    I´m ranting about the media sugarcoating it, to put it mildly.


    Harris was a butcher, after all killing as many German civilians as possible was what his government had ordered him to do. "Area bombing directive" anyone?


    And last but not least, here is an interesting bit on alternate uses of heavy bombers.


     
  11. tail end charlie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Marcus

    one of the quotes that has wound you up is by a member of the Bee Gees who is contributing to raising money, why not give the guy some credit. Regardless of the rights and wrongs now BC were doing what everyone wanted.
     
  12. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Barnsley, S. Yorks, UK
    Oh please. If you criticise BC and Harris, you are tarring his crews with the same brush.After all, the 'Just following orders' argument was discredited as soon as the war ended. Or does that rule only hold for the SS? I am not for a second equating BC with the SS, just pointing out that logically your argument is completely inconsistent.

    Yes, Harris was out to kill German civilians. So was the LW during the Blitz. So were the USAAF during the campaign against Japan. So was the German Imperial Air service during the 1917 Blitz. Douhet and his disciples advocated the killing of civilians as a primary function of strategic bombing. So let's not pretend BC were the only ones doing this. If you want to throw mud, throw at all the deserving parties, not just one.

    Going on from this point, measuring the effectiveness of the BC campaign solely in terms of buildings destroyed and civilians killed is both foolish and pointless. The resource devoted to countering the raids and cleaning up after them was drawn from an ultimately finite pool available to the Third Recih. Every worker killed was one less that could not be replaced. Every fireman needed to put out the fires was another man not available for combat. The morale effect of constant bombing and the disruption caused by the raids impacted productivity, just as German raids did in 1940-41.

    I wpuld agree with you that British media, on the right at least, has not taken the time to look at the carnage caused by the BC campaign, or whether it was truly effective. This should come as no surprise. You are not going to catch any right-wing media outlet criticising it's own nation's military. If you expect the Daily Express to admit that the campaign was wrong, then you are either very naive or very foolish.

    I would also agree that some of the heavies would have been better used in ASW roles. But the RAF was a bombing force from Day One (eg the Independent Force), and embraced the philosophy of Douhet et al from a very early stage. Harris presided over a Command whose ideology was deeply entrenched within the institutional mindset of the RAF, so he was always going to win his arguments.

    And I do take exception to you describing the 55000 BC casualties as being worthless. That is an insult to those guys, pure and simple. If you dont't want to be called on what you say, don't say it.
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,694
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Ive not read the article yet, but BC made its contribution to the allied victory like all the other arms. It wasnt just an area bombing tool, though that was one of its policies. It didnt just target residential areas. it targetted whole cities and got very good at destroying them, as the raids over hamburg amply illustrate.

    It did cost a lot of lives, but it also produced great results. In conjunction with the Americans, the bomber offensive curtailed German production by more than 40% over what it might have done. It soaked up an enormous amount of German resources....something like 56% of remaining production capacity was devoted to producing fighters, which, in the end, failed to defend their homel;and adequately. Over 80% of german artillery production was for AA weaponary...so mearly by existing and attacking, the bombers made a crucial contribution to winning the war.

    As for saying BC or its leadership were butchers......what commands during the war were not. People often hold up Dresden as a some sort of warcrime...I agree, but not by the British. The German leadership were guilty of continuing to fight long afte it was stupid to continue resistance. They are the villains in this debacle, not the British, not even Harris. Whilst resistance continued, there were no safe cities, and no quarter should be expected. And the germans had proven themselves no less ruthless in their vasrious attacks on cities, as the resdients of Coventry, Warsaw, Rotterdam stc can tell you.

    Harris was a controversail figure, that has to be conceded....but he was not all bad. he took over BC when it was a force all but defeated. Up until Hamburg, his direction and leadership of the force was actually pretty successful, at times even brilliant. His big mistake, and the one that caused many casualties, was the decisiion after hamburg to target Berlin as the primary goal for BC. It was simply a target too far away, and too well defended to be realistically defeated in the same way as Hamburgs defences were
     
  14. Markus

    Markus Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The standard way of sugarcoating the fact that they failed to accomplish their mission. And it wasn´t like the UK didn´t have a huuuge price to pay for these dubious gains:

    BC was loosing 55k of first rate manpower, god-knows-how-many heavy bombers and indirectly merchant ships and their cargos. Lot´s of men and material that could have been used to hurt the Axis war effort in other, more cost-efficient ways. All because BC had a priority based on vague theories that had been sort-of disproven as early as 1940.

    Ohh, and if I ever come across an article that says LeMay did not firebomb japanese towns, I promise I´ll fire away at that one too. But that is not the topic here. Bye!
     
  15. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Barnsley, S. Yorks, UK
    No-one is denying that the BC campaign happened. So the LeMay comment is as useful as it is relevant :rolleyes:

    As for sugarcoating... the 'standard argument' I'm posting is standard because it is correct. BC's contribution was to divert vital resources from the front lines and impair production capabilities through the destruction of physical plant and assets including the workforce. Please post what BC's 'failed' mission was, and how they failed it... if you actually have such a thing.
     
  16. Nikademus

    Nikademus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Drone
    Location:
    Seattle
    Harris was following the policy established by Portal. Like LeMay, he was given a task and did his best to fillfill it within the parameters that were set for him. If Harris is a butcher, then so are Lemay, Spaatz and Eiker. By the end-game, both airforces were "Area Bombing" I like how Neillands put it in the introduction to his book on BC....that you had to consider the attitude of the people living during that time, which was different than nowadays. Its because of their attitudes then that we can safely have our attitudes now. Both AF's made their contributions. If the original goal (success in lieu of costly ground operations) failed it did at least absorb a huge amount of German resources and caused fatal attrition to the Luftwaffe.
     
  17. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    BC losses were 47,130 (KIA. MIA) on operations.

    Markus, the Americans also did area bombing in Europe. Don't be deceived by 'precision bombing".

    The Area Bombing Directive (General Directive No.5 (S.46368/D.C.A.S)) was a 14 February 1942 order from the British Air Ministry directing RAF Bomber Command "...that the primary objective of your operations should be focused on the morale of the enemy civil population and in particular the industrial workers". The directive listed a number of targets including the Ruhr area industrial cities of Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, and Essen as priorities.

    The Area Bombing Directive was superseded by the Casablanca Directive (C.S. 16536 S.46368 A.C.A.S. Ops). It was approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at their 65th meeting on 21 January 1943 and issued by the British and United States Army Air Force Commanders on 4 February 1943. The primary objective was "The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic systems and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened. Every opportunity to be taken to attack Germany by day to destroy objectives that are unsuitable for night attack, to sustain continuous pressure on German morale, to impose heavy losses on German day fighter force, and to conserve German fighter strength away from the Russian and Mediterranean theatres of war. A list of target systems was also drawn up which gave priority to (a) Submarine construction yards, (b) German aircraft industry, (c) transportation, (d) oil plants (e) other targets in enemy war industry. The priority was to be varied with the strategic situation and the u-boat bases in France.

    Please note Harris did not become CoC BC til 22 February 1942, 8 days after ABD was issued.
     
  18. Markus

    Markus Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This talk about Americans is OT and mostly incorrect.

    Spaatz served in the PTO for a month or two, Eaker not at all and in the ETO the USAAF at least tried to hit industrial targets. That is a far cry from deliberately targeting civilians.

    And while both AF's made their contributions, those were hardly identical. The day-bombing USAAF wore down the Luftwaffe´s fighters, at the same time BC was getting it´s butt kicked by the nightfighters. Which ended only because Göring was sending night fighter pilots to bring day fighter units up to strenght.

    So, do NOT equate the 8th AF with BC!
     
  19. Nikademus

    Nikademus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Drone
    Location:
    Seattle
    so.....

    8AF = White Hat

    BC= Black Hat

    That sum it up?
     
  20. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    you are correct in the sense that the USAAF always insisted that there must be a military target as opposed to BC but the fact being neither BC nor USAAF were very accurate so for all intense purposes they both area bombed , Harris IMHO was a jerk who really dragged his feet on the objectives of hitting the Petro industry
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page