The Dambusters - Page 7




 
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March 21st, 2015  
JOC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
Can we completely understand the Second World War without being a part of it? We can probably understand the strategical/political decisions during the war, but can we understand how it was in London during the Blitz or standing in a Higgins boat approaching Normandy?
I believe there's wisdom I this! I mean the thing was colossal.
March 21st, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
Can we completely understand the Second World War without being a part of it? We can probably understand the strategical/political decisions during the war, but can we understand how it was in London during the Blitz or standing in a Higgins boat approaching Normandy?
I think we can understand WW2 in fact more so now than ever before because we can study the war without the emotion an bias of having experienced it.

We can separate the propaganda that both sides propagated and look at the bare facts.

Can we understand the emotion and feeling of being there, no we cant but these days we dont need to because it is over and often leads to bias views anyway an example of this is the Italian campaign, my father and two uncles fought there and as a kid I listened intently to their stories.

Then a few years ago I discovered my wife's maternal grandfather also fought there with the US army and oddly enough her paternal grandfather served in the German army in Italy as well.

So for 70+ years there were five different views of the Italian campaign by five different veterans of the campaign and all of them were different, it took 70 years for those views to be collated into one view and what I learned was that all of them were accurate but they were only small snapshots of events as they happened, 5 pieces of a 1,000,000 piece puzzle.

These days we have access to hundreds of thousands of bits of the puzzle from all sides that we can analyse dispassionately and honestly and we should do it however I feel that many of us analyse data and then try to make it fit the propaganda we have had drummed into us since WW2.
March 21st, 2015  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I think we can understand WW2 in fact more so now than ever before because we can study the war without the emotion an bias of having experienced it.

We can separate the propaganda that both sides propagated and look at the bare facts.

Can we understand the emotion and feeling of being there, no we cant but these days we dont need to because it is over and often leads to bias views anyway an example of this is the Italian campaign, my father and two uncles fought there and as a kid I listened intently to their stories.

Then a few years ago I discovered my wife's maternal grandfather also fought there with the US army and oddly enough her paternal grandfather served in the German army in Italy as well.

So for 70+ years there were five different views of the Italian campaign by five different veterans of the campaign and all of them were different, it took 70 years for those views to be collated into one view and what I learned was that all of them were accurate but they were only small snapshots of events as they happened, 5 pieces of a 1,000,000 piece puzzle.

These days we have access to hundreds of thousands of bits of the puzzle from all sides that we can analyse dispassionately and honestly and we should do it however I feel that many of us analyse data and then try to make it fit the propaganda we have had drummed into us since WW2.
Just some questions; what analytic tool do you use when you are analyzing the war? What kind of sources are you using? Many people can write about the war without having the credentials of doing so
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March 21st, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
Just some questions; what analytic tool do you use when you are analyzing the war? What kind of sources are you using? Many people can write about the war without having the credentials of doing so
I agree that there are many opinions out there and they are only opinions (as is mine) however you can look at the methodology used to compile data and you can use common sense.

My method for forming my opinions are to look at as much data as I can find, discard the ones that are obviously wrong (German Antarctic bases and UFO's for example) and then determine what you believe to be the most likely case.

Now people will then draw the conclusion that my opinions are as inaccurate as everyone elses which is true as they are only as good as the data I used to form them but I think they are in many ways more accurate than the views of an individual that was there as my views are formed with information from both sides.

Take for example BritnAfrica's story of the German aircraft shooting up his Granddads pub on the way down, I personally find that one hard to believe as everything I have read about US/Luftwaffe/RAF crews says they were more interested in getting out of aircraft in the process of crashing than shooting up bars, I would be more inclined to believe that any bullet holes in local establishments were from night-fighters finishing off an aircraft or returning debris from antiaircraft fire.

It isn't hard to see how a story like that would get around during the blitz and how a kid would form an opinion and perpetuate the story afterwards but logic would tell me that it probably isn't the case.

Of course I could be wrong (it has happened before) but it would take actual evidence for that to happen which none of us have.
March 22nd, 2015  
LeEnfield
 
 
As a kid my school was shot up, my aunt lost three sons and a grandson during the war. My father was called up in 1938 and in bomber command and I did not see him till 1947. Later on in the war I met German POWs and became quite friendly with them and found that they were nice young men. 75.000 German POWs requested to stay on in Britain after the war rather than go home and lived here quite happily. Do I hate the Germans no did not ever hate the Germans, well I did go off them for while after a number of my friends were killed when the school was bombed and strafed. As one German POW said to me that you must remember the RAF is bombing in Germany and these German pilots could have lost their family in one of those raids and just want to get there own back, now that I could understand, still this is just the ramblings of a person who was child and opinions warped by some one else according to some people here, but at least I was there and saw things first hand. I can remember the mood of the people and what they went through, and I was also in London on VE day and was in the crowds out side the Palace.
It comes down to who might have a better idea of what went on around that time, some one who was there or some one who has read a few books by some one else who also was not there.
March 22nd, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
So why did the Germans shoot up your school, what were their orders etc. surely you would have identified the squadron and the aircraft from its markings and then read its mission reports?

Oh wait you couldn't because they were not available until after the war and are only available in written form although some are online now.

So the reality is you saw an event (and I am not doubting it happened) and you knew how you and those around you felt at the time not really a complete story though is it.

The funny thing is that you can fill in those missing details though by doing research and reading the books of those who probably were not there at the time but did take the time to find and complete the details you don't have.
March 22nd, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Take for example BritnAfrica's story of the German aircraft shooting up his Granddads pub on the way down, I personally find that one hard to believe as everything I have read about US/Luftwaffe/RAF crews says they were more interested in getting out of aircraft in the process of crashing than shooting up bars, I would be more inclined to believe that any bullet holes in local establishments were from night-fighters finishing off an aircraft or returning debris from antiaircraft fire.
I don't care if you believe or not, I got that story from my grandfather who was actually there and was involved. My grandfather was not in the habit of lying or tall tales, he had more then enough stories from WW1 then to make up something like that.
March 22nd, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I don't care if you believe or not, I got that story from my grandfather who was actually there and was involved. My grandfather was not in the habit of lying or tall tales, he had more then enough stories from WW1 then to make up something like that.
Don't get me wrong I think it is a good story and I fully believe that your grandfather believed it (I don't believe he was lying) as well but I just don't think it is likely to have happened in the manner he thought it did.

It is not an attempt to degenerate the man the world is full of these anecdotes but the fact that he thought that is how it happened does not make it true.
March 22nd, 2015  
LeEnfield
 
 
After the school was shot up every Squadron available was airborne three of the German planes were shot down and the fourth was seen streaming smoke over Southend with a long way to go to get home and with the amount of smoke coming from his aircraft it was thought unlikely that he got there and no pilots survived from this attack on the school.
As I said earlier that the German POW that spoke to put down as a revenge attack, and if read my earlier post you might have seen it.

Also in much earlier post on here I did mention the school by name but then again you only pick out bits of the post that suits you or you feel that you can twist to get over your point view. Also if it happened to do you think you just might remember it happening regardless of the passing years.
March 22nd, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Don't get me wrong I think it is a good story and I fully believe that your grandfather believed it (I don't believe he was lying) as well but I just don't think it is likely to have happened in the manner he thought it did.

It is not an attempt to degenerate the man the world is full of these anecdotes but the fact that he thought that is how it happened does not make it true.
The aircraft concerned crashed taking out a row of houses not far from the pub. As he was actually there when it happened, covered in glass as the windows were blown in, I wouldnt think he imagined it.
 


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