Anyone care to reason a guess as to why Hitler and Hussein




 
--
 
June 21st, 2005  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: Anyone care to reason a guess as to why Hitler and Hussein


seemed to prefer to use their missiles to attack civilian targets rather than obvious military ones?

If it was me I would thrown everything I could at the Nomandy beachhead/English staging points or the Kuwaiti/Saudi staging areas rather than London or Kuwait city which at best was only going to antagonise the opposition more and ultimately serve no purpose militarily.
June 21st, 2005  
PershingOfLSU
 
The answer is actually very simple.

Neither had large missiles capable of hitting a military target, both had missiles more than capable of hitting something the size of a city.
June 21st, 2005  
ghost457
 
 
i know that in 1991 Saddam launched missiles at Israel to try to provoke an Israeli response, which would destroy the coalition because there were many Arab nations which would have rather left than be on the same side as the Israelis. as for Hitler, he was demented, and he was trying to terrorize the Brits into quitting, but that wasn't gonna happen anytime soon.
--
June 21st, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PershingOfLSU
The answer is actually very simple.

Neither had large missiles capable of hitting a military target, both had missiles more than capable of hitting something the size of a city.
While true I still question the military gain in trying to blow up Mr and Mrs Smith in downtown London while a million+ men and god know how many tons of war supplies are being landed on your doorstep.

Quote:
The V2 offensive would last from September of 1944 until March of 1945. Over 3000 rockets were launched in this time period. The London area was hit by over 500 rockets and several hundred more dropped in surrounding counties.
Now obviously some of these weapons were fired at military targets I just wonder what advantage hitting London with 500 V2s had over hitting the channel ports was.

To a large degree the same question remains with Hussein although as pointed out he did try and gain some military advantage by attacking Israel ie breaking up the coalition but by and large most of the attacks seemed to be aimed at civilians which even if successful isnt going to win you a war.
June 21st, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PershingOfLSU
The answer is actually very simple.

Neither had large missiles capable of hitting a military target, both had missiles more than capable of hitting something the size of a city.
Sorry Pershing, you're wrong.

Hitler's missles were capable of hitting military targets. His generals argued for targetting the airbases in England and the naval ports but Hitler wouldnt listen. He was sure that if he attacked the populace of a democracy that he could break the will of the people. By bringing the horror of combat to their front porch that the English would sue for peace to stop the carnage. He underestimated his enemy and he didnt listen to the hired help. Very similar to the perdicament that Baby Bush is in now.

Hussein was capable also of targetting military targets and he did. He fired missles at the staging bases in Saudi Arabia prior to the beginning of the land war in Desert Storm I. His launching of a missle at Israel was a political decision in an effort to draw a military response from Israel which would have driven a wedge in the coalition with the arabic countries participating.

Purposeful targetting of civilians is always a political move not a miltarily sound option. Less informed and arrogant rulers tend to opt for this when they have in their minds "moral superiority" or have absolutely no respect for their enemy. And then at times it can be the last gasp. Take out as many of your enemy as you can as they move in to end your grasp on power.
June 21st, 2005  
PershingOfLSU
 
Really? You sure about that?

Because the V2, and I checked this, had roughly a 50% chance of hitting an area 17km across at a range of 300km. Now this is fine for a city. But if you're launching at an Air Field your chance of hitting anything important is going to be minute at best. And should you fire at a port, you've got a 50% chance that it falls into a circle which is 50% water. And even then the port facilities are going to be in a fairly narrow line along the shore. So once again your chances of hitting an actual port facility with a V2 are going to be minute. Instead you're rockets, assuming they hit land at all, are likely to fall into the city. If you're going to bombard a city, might as well make it an important one like London. Now, you probably could have got a V2 to fall with a certain degree of accuracy into a D-Day staging camp as they were the size of a city. However as Hitler didn't know they were there for the most part it's a moot point.

The Blitz proved that the British wouldn't crack bombardment of their cities. Why would a far more limited rocket bombardment have a different effect? Yes, obviously the intent of attacks against cities is to hurt the morale of the populace.

But if Hitler had the capability of modern Cruise missiles, he wouldn't have fired them at apartments in London.

Lastly, purposeful targetting of civilians was historically a militarily sound option in certain situations. Knowing that you're failure to surrender would result into the massacre of an entire city was sometimes enough to convince defenders to lay down their arms. And fear of retribution meant that in almost all cases of sieges the defenders surrendered as soon as the walls were breached.
June 21st, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
Their accuracy was of the order of seven to seventeen kilometres of the target, even after travelling more than 350 km. The formula that the scientists evolved, 'The equation of the path' is a good example of projectile modelling to use as a case study.
http://www.makingthemodernworld.org.....02/?section=4

What was the reliability and accuracy of the V-2? Dornberger's memoirs proudly note the improvement as fixes were made to solve the in-flight explosion problems. V-2 missile reliability as tested increased from 30% in January 1944 to 70% immediately before combat firings began in September 1944. Dornberger claims it reached nearly 100% after the final technical fix was introduced into production in December 1944. Some authors credit combat missiles with a reliability of 80% to 90%, quite remarkable considering that they were inherently fragile, built underground by slave labour, and transported in incredibly difficult conditions to the launch sites.
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/v2.htm

Pretty sure.

Gimme a couple concrete examples of when you claim it is militarily sound policy to target civilians? I really am curious to this line of logic.
June 21st, 2005  
PershingOfLSU
 
I didn't say there were any cases within the last century. However the mongol invasion of Europe relied on terror of what would happen if they didn't surrender. And Cromwells race through Ireland also relied a great deal on fear of what would happen if a garrison did not surrender properly.
June 21st, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
Ok, good examples and I didn't care if they were in the last hundred years, people are still people right? Ok, the difference I see in your examples is the fear of retribution upon being subdued if someone offered resistance. Whereas with Hitler and Hussein it was not the case. This was an instance where the targetting of civilians was in the heat of conflict and a part of the strategy of the commander not a punishment meted out ex post facto.
June 21st, 2005  
behemoth79
 
 
You guys are making things way too complicated. It was to instill terror in the people. Reducing morale can be just as effective, if not more so, than killing soldiers.