Why did WWII happen ? - Page 9




 
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March 31st, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
A// The German Zeppelin Raids as the Origins of Strategic Bombing

"On January 19, 1915...two zeppelin airships of the German Navy crossed the Norfolk coast and dropped bombs ("explosive devices" would be a better description) whenever they saw a cluster of lights". (Terraine, p. 9). This rather minimal attack was followed by an additional 52 zeppelin raids and then replaced by the Gotha bomber. The German raids ultimately killed a few thousand people and damaged a few buildings.

While these extremely crude operations represented "the first strategic air offensive in history", the historiography does not prescribe the operations with much more than symbolic importance. (Terraine, p. 9) The texts I looked at pointed to the inadequacy of German equipment and a total lack of doctrine. Terraine and Friedrich point out that a proper analysis of the operation would have discouraged postwar investment in the strategic bombing concept. Friedrich plainly states that all the wrong lessons were learned. (Friedrich, p. 65) Weigley even alludes to the fact that the British response to the attacks (the creation of a strategic bombing force) disrupted the previous British policy aimed at "military targets not far behind German lines". (Weigley, p. 225).

Despite evidence to the contrary, Trenchard and other British strategic bombing pundits pursued the concept in the 1920s. Much of the thinking concerning the weapon remained extremely crude. "Most major air powers were aware of the terroristic nature of bombing but only the RAF believed that it would seriously act as a deterent or, in the event of war, so undermine enemy morale that it would force capitulation or the demoralization of the enemy armed forces. (Overy, p. 13).

I would completely ignore WWI for reasons stated by Overy: "By the 1930s the lessons of the earlier conflict [WWI] had been turned from a hasty empiricism into a refined doctrine. By 1939 even the refined doctrine was becoming obsolescent, overtaken by scientific and strategic events". (Overy, p. 5)

B//The British Fascination with Strategic Bombing.

The second last point above is important. Only the British and Americans pursued strategic bombing in a rigorous fashion. Here are a few conclusions made by Overy:

1) LACK OF GERMAN PREPARATION: "The equipment and preparation of the Luftwaffe was hardly adequate since such a campaign had not been an important part of German air planning. There was no heavy bomber capable of carrying large loads over long-range". (Overy, p. 31) and "Although Hitler used the terror bombing threat to gain diplomatic concessions, neither he nor the Luftwaffe staff planned seriously for its use against a major military power once war had actually broken out". (Overy, p. 13).

2) LONGTERM BRITISH PLANNING (irrespective of Germany): "Rearmament...in the British case...had begun even before Hitler came to power". (Overy, p.19) and "The growing threat of Japan to British and United States interests in the Pacific, the fear in Russia that at any time the capitalist west or east might try to destroy the Bolshevik state, and the growing instability of Europe with the rise of fascist military power all contributed to the desire to arm in strength everywhere" (Overy, p. 19).

3) RESULTS OF LONGTERM ACTIVITIES: "...The Allies had more first-line aircraft than Germany and considerably larger reserves. German first-line aircraft were of a higher technical quality than those of the Allies, but the great disparity of forces believed to have existed in the air was a myth". (Overy, p. 23)

4) LONGTERM PLANNING: "Despite its ineffectiveness Bomber Command had taken the opportunity of the defeat of France to begin to launch a strategic air offensive along the lines planned in the preceding years". (Overy, p. 30). [ie. Bombing NOT a response to Rotterdam]

c//Why the German (London) Blitz?

1) "Germany was itself being bombed more and more regularly by Bomber Command, at night and at with increasing lack of discrimination in choosing targets. Hitler took the opportunity of a heavier raid on Berlin to announce in the Reichstag on 4 September 'Just now...Mr. Churchill is demonstrating his new brainchild, the night air raid...When they declare that they will increase their attacks on our cities, then we will raze their cities to the ground. We will stop the handiwork of these night air pirates, so help us God!' This mounting concern at the kind of war that was developing and which he, among other war leaders had sought to avoid before 1939, persuaded him of the need for reprisals and inclined him towards the night air raid, an inclination confirmed by the disastrous results of the early attempts to bomb London by day". [factories, etc.] (Overy, pp. 34-35)

CONCLUSIONS:

1) WWI is unimportant. The Zeppelin and Gotha attacks are a point of trivia.

2) The historians I looked at hardly emphasize early German bombing. Overy does not mention Warsaw, Rotterdam, etc. Terraine, as pointed out, writes that these attacks were secondary since the policy was already developed. (Terraine, p. 262) Friedrich points out that Rotterdam did help spawn a demand for retaliation, but he adds that "strategic bombing was a product of the industrial age" and not just emotion. (transl. Friedrich, p. 76). Anyway, the British concept remained fixed on victory and not merely retaliatory killing (Terraine p. 262).

3) The historians examined had generally negative comments concerning British strategic bombing. (Overy less so) Terraine was the most damning. They focused on "morale bombing": "'Morale' is a cosmetic word. Attacking morale, whatever phrases it may be dressed up in, really means one thing: putting the fear of death in individuals. On a collective scale, it means threatening a massacre". (Terraine, p. 261).

4) The historians refrain from the journalistic or moralistic "they started it" approach. Why? It is obviously untrue and is a road to nowhere.

The books consulted: (Relatively old, I know.)

Jörg Friedrich, Der Brand
Richard Overy, The Air War
John Terraine, A Time for Courage
Weigley, The American Way of War
March 31st, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
Оllie et al,

here are the numbers I have promised. They have been taken from the article by Dr. Mikhail Mukhin "Evolution of the Soviet Military Industry in 1921-1941 and the change of it's priorities"

http://www.rkka.ru/analys/oboronka/oboronka.htm

Here is my translation of the excerpt:

"From the moment of her creation, the Soviet Union had been preparing for the Big War. which neccesitated the permanent development and expansion of the Soviet military industry. Over time, the "oboronka"(defense industry) has become a huge industrial complex. In the end of the 30-s - early 30-s it was consuming up to 9-10% of GDP.
By the late 30-s it's share was about 30% of GDP"
Boris, sorry, I cannot read Russian. I wish that I could.
March 31st, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Ollie....Your post of the 29/3/06
[1] "Germany did start the terror bombing campaign"
[2] "The...bombing techniques was pioneered by the Germans"
[4] "In 1939 and the early part of 1940 Britain had no bomber of any note" and "Churchill ordered the bombing of Berlin after the Luftwaffe had bombed London".
[6] "Why shouldn't America design and build weapons"
For (1), (2) and (4) see my last post. These are not my opinions. Overy and Terraine are however giants in their fields. I will not ignore their points. They did the research.

As far as (6) is concerned, the US could do what it wanted. My problem is one of hypocritical morality. That is, the US developed and executed a strategic bombing campaign. Fine. Great. Go for it, guys. Do NOT, however, state during or after the war that this policy was only undertaken in response to German actions. Or, that the US decried the use of strategic bombing. [A side note: Why shouldn't Germany design and build weapons? That is one of my points concerning this thread. The problem is that the western Allies still pull this BS today. Why, for example, should Iran not have nuclear weapons? Why? Forget the BS legal and moralistic arguments. Just tell the Mullahs that they can't. We don't allow it. We don't consider you a sovereign or responsible state. "We've got the power", you "ain't got nuttin'". "We's a gonna blow you up if you don't do what we's a sayin'". Stripped down to the basic level, international relations (I am a realist) are about naked power. That is why WWII started. Naked power interests. Forget the schoolyard accusations: "He started it!" That is for kids.]
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March 31st, 2006  
Ted
 
 
Well they don't call it diplomacy for nothing. The gunboat-politics have been thrown overboard as a standard approach. First you talk and make compromises (this often does work), if all else fails then you grab your stick and start swinging. Iran is in that fase, don't get me wrong! Just don't start out with "I am a hegemon, do as I say and don't so as I do!"
March 31st, 2006  
boris116
 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Garchy
Boris, sorry, I cannot read Russian. I wish that I could.
that's why I have translated the relevant excerpt for you
April 1st, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
Оllie et al,

here are the numbers I have promised. They have been taken from the article by Dr. Mikhail Mukhin "Evolution of the Soviet Military Industry in 1921-1941 and the change of it's priorities"

http://www.rkka.ru/analys/oboronka/oboronka.htm

Here is my translation of the excerpt:

"From the moment of her creation, the Soviet Union had been preparing for the Big War. which neccesitated the permanent development and expansion of the Soviet military industry. Over time, the "oboronka"(defense industry) has become a huge industrial complex. In the end of the 30-s - early 30-s it was consuming up to 9-10% of GDP.
By the late 30-s it's share was about 30% of GDP"
You're clearly an advocate of the 'Stalin first strike' theory, or at least that's the conclusion I've drawn. I assume the above quote and link demonstrating a build up of Soviet military spending is in support of a general theory that Stalin was out to conquer Europe for himself. I've a few questions to ask you regarding this.

1) Assuming the Soviet desire to build up their military machine, the Red Army purges of 1938 would seem counter-productive to that end. Was Stalin that short-sighted to remove talented and experienced men when they would be needed in the near future?

2) If we accept an aggressive Soviet intent, why did the Soviet Union make no move to invade Germany during May-June 1940 when the bulk of the Wehrmacht was in France? What was the difference between the combat readiness of the Red Army in 1940 compared to 1941. Not much I'll wager. Why wait until the Wehrmacht has rested and refitted before launching an attack? Moreover, the full impact of German Blitzkrieg tactics had not been fully realised or demonstrated in May 1940, meaning that Stalin must have been more confident of victory than he would have been in 1941. Also, by this time Germany had put her cards on the table as far as the Western Allies were concerned and Stalin would have had immediate allies had he attacked at this time.

3) Why did Stalin totally ignore the warnings of Churchill, the 'Lucy' Spy Ring and his redoubtable spy, Richard Sorge about an impending German attack in 1941? He did everything not to provoke Hitler here. Why would he bend over backwards and take such a risk? Is it because he was beaten to launching an attack by Hitler by even mere days?

4) Why was there such a large organisation of the Red Army underway between 1938 and 1942 if Stalin had earmarked this period for a pre-emptive strike on Germany? Why not wait until the reorganisation had been completed before attempting any aggressive action? David Glantz in "Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War", noted that the Red Army in 1941 was neither in a position or readiness to defend or attack. It seems to me that it wouldn't have made much sense to contemplate an attack at this time.

5) The Red Army suffered a humilating reversal in the Winter War in 1939/40. This must have made it very clear to Stalin that the state and readiness of the Red Army left much to be desired. Given this, why would he contemplate just a year later in 1941, attacking the world's most seasoned and professional army, which was fully rested and refitted to boot. Furthermore, Stalin must have been somewhat aware of the strength of the Axis units massing on his border, even if he didn't believe the sound intelligence advice he was receiving from 3 seperate sources. If we also consider the fact that the German and Satellite forces actually outnumbered the Red Army forces on their common borders, it's clear that the Stalin had nothing like the force-ratio necessary to achieve success, without some other factors like the element of surprise or greater tactical skill and so on being introduced.

I think that it just makes no sense for the Soviet Union to attack Germany in 1941 but I'm interested to hear what you have to say on the matter.
April 1st, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
AN IMPORTANT POINT: BC began it's "private war" against German industry that evening. It is yet another horrific example of how the British government abandoned the French state. Instead of tactical daylight or night attacks against German troop concentrations, supply lines, etc., Churchill's government redirected the bombers to pursue a longterm strategy of industrial attrition.
It redirected them from leaflet missions. Surely even you must admit that even raids on military related targets on the Ruhr were more useful to the French than leaflet dropping
Quote:
There should not be any doubt here. Terraine clearly explains that the Ruhr campaign did not influence the fighting in France. The cabinet's illusions were only feable excuses...excuses that surface time and time again.
That’s the funny thing about illusions, they seem real enough at the time
Quote:
This brings up another point. The French government influenced the British decision to hold the bombers. The French reasoning was simple. The Luftwaffe could have retaliated by sending the bomber streams against Paris...a logical action if we regard the experiences of 1871/1914. The abandoning of their French ally allowed Britain to ignore this constraint. The timing of Churchill's decision (prior to the French surrender) was extremely cynical .
Amazing, according to you, the British abandoned the French even before they knew the Battle of France had been lost


Quote:
(5) OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY: In leafing through Terraine's book, I do not get any indication of the "morality game"...ie., the attempt to place blame on either side for initiating the terror bombing of civilians. Instead, Terraine hints that the plans to kill women and children (on both sides) developed from a complex mixture of prewar planning, wartime events, and crude and escalating demands for retaliation. Seen in this way, the brutality of terror/ strategic bombing is similar to other darker episodes of WWII like the killing of POWs on the eastern front. [Doctrine or ideology combined with actual experience to increase the willingness to commit atrocities].
Indeed, and what is most noticeable is its the Luftwaffe who did almost all of the escalating.
Quote:
Bomber Command clearly upheld a doctrine of saturation or carpet bombing that did not distinguish between military and civilian targets. Civilian targets (like marshalling yards, rail stations, and houses) in fact formed the basic target.
No
At the beginning of its campaign from May 1940 the RAF was committed to attacking military related targets only. If they couldn’t find the target they were instructed to bring back their bombs.
It wasn’t until they realised the ineffectiveness of their campaign compared to the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe area attacks that they altered their policy


Quote:
:

The argument that Britain developed strategic bombing because of German WWI bombing is a poor one. This logic has no validity because it is extremly general and could be applied to every weapons system. Did the Germans develop battleships because of the "Dreadnought"? Sure. But technological developments are a part of life. Did the Americans and Soviets develop rocket technology because of Wehrner von Braun and Germany? Sure. But rockets were a good weapons system and could not be ignored. Did the Germans develop tanks because of British efforts during WWI. Sure. But none of this has any moral dimension. Furthermore, doctrine is another matter altogether
What is interesting about the German bombing campaign of WW1 is the different conclusions the two sides came to about its effect.
The Germans because it had failed to make any noticeable difference to the war situation regarded it a failure.
The British on the other hand regarded it as a major German victory. It had caused them to transfer a massive amount of resources to fight the threat, mostly for little success, and the effect on the British publics morale had been significant, causing near panic in some cases. It also caused a large increase in absenteeism in factories, something that wasn’t lost on the Minister of Munitions of the time, Churchill.
All this for a minor amount of effort on the German side.
While it is true that the British may have developed a Strategic bomber force without the bombing of WW1, the bombing ensured they did.

Quote:
I am not sure, but I think that you are trying to suggest that the terror bombing of Germany can be attributed to WWI German air operations. I disagree.
So do I.
While the WW1 operations can be linked to the development of a British strategic bomber force, British terror bombing can be attributed to the German terror bombing of WW2.
It was the Luftwaffe who introduced the tactic of area bombing during the Blitz of 1940
Quote:
German WWI air operations can themselves be indirectly attributed to pre-20th Century artillery bombardment. Cities suffered under siege conditions. "Softening" up a target, or terrorizing the civilian population is a traditional method of war as old as war itself. The Germans only "enhanced" the concept in WWI
So let me get this right.
According to you the German bombing of civilians in WW1 is just good old fashioned warfare, while the bombing of civilians by the RAF in WW2 is not.
Sorry I don’t see the difference.

Quote:
I am going to look into this subject. I suspect that Allied air operations on the western front (ie. in Alsace-Lorraine) probably targetted German villages and towns and therefore predate the German attacks against Britain
The first attack on a German town on the Western front was at Freiburg, May10 1940
German planes got lost and bombed this German city by mistake, instead of Dijon in France.,There were 53 casualties, 29 killed.
Goebbels blamed it on the French, and used it as an excuse for the German attacks on French towns and cities ...

Quote:
[The same could be true for Belgium/France in relation to the Germans] It is possible that the German high command adopted the viewpoint of Bomber Command in WWI...ie. we have to hit Britain and demonstrate defiance
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The first raid on a German town by the RAF was on the 11/12 May - 19 Hampdens and 18 Whitleys bombed road and rail targets in München-Gladbach.
As you can see, the Luftwaffe started bombing German towns and cities before the RAF.




Quote:
And, after reading Terraine, the British attacks against the German coast (which included such targets as the airfields at Wangerooge and not just naval vessels] led to civilian the attacks deaths because of the nature of strategic bombing.
The only RAF attack on a land based target on German territory until may 1940 was against the seaplane base at Hörnum. This was following a German attack on British warships in Scapa Flow during the night of 17/18 March, when 1 civilian was killed and 7 injured, a reprisal raid was ordered, such was the concern that civilian casualties were to be avoided that the remote base at Hörnum on the island of Sylt was chosen.
April 1st, 2006  
boris116
 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
You're clearly an advocate of the 'Stalin first strike' theory, or at least that's the conclusion I've drawn. I assume the above quote and link demonstrating a build up of Soviet military spending is in support of a general theory that Stalin was out to conquer Europe for himself. I've a few questions to ask you regarding this.

1) Assuming the Soviet desire to build up their military machine, the Red Army purges of 1938 would seem counter-productive to that end. Was Stalin that short-sighted to remove talented and experienced men when they would be needed in the near future? .
Just an opposite. He has not considered these people as "talented and experienced", but as treacherous and cowardly. They were his enemies and the enemies of the state(from his point of view) and had to be eliminated - to make the USSR STRONGER!!

2) If we accept an aggressive Soviet intent, why did the Soviet Union make no move to invade Germany during May-June 1940 when the bulk of the Wehrmacht was in France? [/quote]

I believe, he was waiting for the "Sea Lion" in 1940, but when it has not happened and Hitler has turned to the East - Stalin was going to strike in 1942 or even earlier(not because he would be ready by that time) - but to prevent the German strike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
3) Why did Stalin totally ignore the warnings of Churchill, the 'Lucy' Spy Ring and his redoubtable spy, Richard Sorge about an impending German attack in 1941? He did everything not to provoke Hitler here. Why would he bend over backwards and take such a risk? Is it because he was beaten to launching an attack by Hitler by even mere days?
It is very difficult to see what was going on in Stalin's head, you know...
One of the possible explanations - he didn't trust his sources... Look at Stalin's closest clone of the modern times - Saddam! Didn't he get enough notices about the Allied invasion in 2003? And he didn't believe them. He had known better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
4) Why was there such a large organisation of the Red Army underway between 1938 and 1942 if Stalin had earmarked this period for a pre-emptive strike on Germany? Why not wait until the reorganisation had been completed before attempting any aggressive action? David Glantz in "Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War", noted that the Red Army in 1941 was neither in a position or readiness to defend or attack. It seems to me that it wouldn't have made much sense to contemplate an attack at this time.
What kind of choices he had? The army had to be reformed, but would the Germans wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
5) The Red Army suffered a humilating reversal in the Winter War in 1939/40. This must have made it very clear to Stalin that the state and readiness of the Red Army left much to be desired. Given this, why would he contemplate just a year later in 1941, attacking the world's most seasoned and professional army, which was fully rested and refitted to boot. Furthermore, Stalin must have been somewhat aware of the strength of the Axis units massing on his border, even if he didn't believe the sound intelligence advice he was receiving from 3 seperate sources. If we also consider the fact that the German and Satellite forces actually outnumbered the Red Army forces on their common borders, it's clear that the Stalin had nothing like the force-ratio necessary to achieve success, without some other factors like the element of surprise or greater tactical skill and so on being introduced.
As I have said earlier, in 1940 he was going to stab in the German back. Later, in 1941, as a preventive strike...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I think that it just makes no sense for the Soviet Union to attack Germany in 1941 but I'm interested to hear what you have to say on the matter.
What would you suggest as a sensible course for the USSR at that time?
April 1st, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
Just an opposite. He has not considered these people as "talented and experienced", but as treacherous and cowardly. They were his enemies and the enemies of the state(from his point of view) and had to be eliminated - to make the USSR STRONGER!!
He did consider them enemies of the state but he must have known that the purges would cut the brains out of the Red Army. If he was planning to use it against a major power so soon, wouldn't this be stupidity even for Stalin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
I believe, he was waiting for the "Sea Lion" in 1940, but when it has not happened and Hitler has turned to the East - Stalin was going to strike in 1942 or even earlier(not because he would be ready by that time) - but to prevent the German strike!
If he was waiting for Operation SeaLion, which his advisors must have told him had little chance of ever going ahead never mind succeeding, surely this indicates that Stalin wanted there to be as little risk as possible when committing his armed forces. Attacking when the Germans were not actually fighting makes even less sense as a result does it not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
It is very difficult to see what was going on in Stalin's head, you know...
One of the possible explanations - he didn't trust his sources... Look at Stalin's closest clone of the modern times - Saddam! Didn't he get enough notices about the Allied invasion in 2003? And he didn't believe them. He had known better...
I don't think you can directly compare the Allied invasion of Iraq in 2003 with Operation Barbarossa. He obviously didn't believe his sources but he must have known that there was a German build-up in Eastern Europe nonetheless. It would have been impossible for him not to have known that there was something going on, even if he did ignore all the warnings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
What kind of choices he had? The army had to be reformed, but would the Germans wait?
Probably not, but that doesn't mean to say that attacking just because you have to beat your enemy to it was a good idea. In fact it was a terrible idea given the state of the Red Army at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
As I have said earlier, in 1940 he was going to stab in the German back. Later, in 1941, as a preventive strike...
Which begs the question as to why he didn't in 1940 when the Germans were busy elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boris116
What would you suggest as a sensible course for the USSR at that time?
Obviously. listen to the warnings from 3 seperate intelligence sources and disperse your army and airforce accordingly. Stalin had plenty of time to do this but took very little action and too late.
April 2nd, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
In response to Redcoat: [This subject is departing from WWII origins. Although important and interesting, the "who dun' it" first issue is also sort of dull].

Terraine (and others) paints another picture, especially concerning pre-May 1940, operations, but I really only want to address one issue. It seems that you do not really have a grasp of the meaning of strategic bombing. I will try. [But first, what strategic raids were launched by the Luftwaffe against Britain prior to May 1940? What German strategic bombing plan? What were the targets?].

THE OBJECTIVE: Once again, strategic bombing represents a military doctrine with a specific objective. Bombing is undertaken to restrict, neutralize or destroy the enemy's economic ability to wage war. For the Allies, this policy meant the utilization of airpower to bring Germany to its knees. The taking of ground, the normal aim of offensive military operations, is either made irrelevant or eased significantly. For the Germans...well...they never had a strategic bombing policy.

It might be helpful to outline what strategic bombing is not. Strategic bombing does not include the following (these are tactical air operations or like the extension of artillery or rather flying artillery):

(1) the attack on military formations or supply depots or artillery emplacements or headquarters. Artillery (within 10 or so km) or naval gunfire amounts to the same thing. Strategic bombing attempts to destroy the factories that equip the military formations, etc.

Examples: this is the standard stuff associated with Stukas, etc. Think about the German Mortain offensive in 1944, etc. You call in an airstrike. It is even used against civilian or refugee columns. The Germans used this tactic in Poland to slow the advance of their enemy. The Allies (especially the Soviets) used this tactic in Germany...ie. butchering the civilians trying to flee the battle area. Dresden was struck by the Anglo-Saxons primarily for this reason. [There were no more strategic goals in Germany in February 1945 owing to the inevitably of collapse...and operations turned tactical].

(2) the attack on cities in the line of advance or in seige conditions. Artillery again traditionally "softens" up targets to permit infantry assault. The German bombing of Warsaw or Rotterdam was therefore tactical in nature. Warsaw was for example significantly shelled. The German aim was NOT to destroy Polish factories and thereby win a war through attrition. The Germans were "softening" the capital for ground operations or trying to terrorize the population.

Examples: The Allies used this policy at Monte Cassino, Caen, etc. They even used heavy bombers (strategic) for this tactical purpose. Allied "softening" tactics were used extensively on the eastern/western fronts. Nobody, however, points out that the destruction of Caen represented anything improper -- maybe stupid, but not improper. The shelling or use of rocks against cities is as old as war itself. Even in terms of terror. The Americans bombed Baghdad for tactical reasons in Gulf One & Two. Why instrumentalize Warsaw and other German operations for the Nuremberg Trials?

(3) the attack on ships either at sea or in harbour. The bombing of shipbuilding facilties is on the other hand strategic. [This is clear]

(4) the attack on bridges and civilian infrastructure within the battle "area". This policy aims at restricting the enemy movement of reserves. The strategic destruction of bridges attempts at hindering the movement of raw materials and parts to the assembly plants or is part of a large plan aiming at neutralizing all movment.

Examples: Luftwaffe operations for "Sealion" or Allied operations for "Overlord".

One last point [ran out of time]: Some historians (more like biased teachers or profs and not the actual specialists) and the bombing pundits confuse tac/strat air for an important reason. Anglo-Saxon strategic bombing policy (prewar and during the war) called for the killing of civilians (morale bombing) as a war-winning method. It makes sense. If you kill enough people, the enemy ceases to exist and is defeated. But defacto genocide is a hard policy to support. It sort of clashes with all of the rules of war developed since 1648. Historians therefore go through the usual contortions and argue the following inaccurate and grossly twisted if not evil points of view:

(1) The Crude Variant: Warsaw or Rotterdam forced Churchill to order a massacre of Germans. "You see", they cynically point out, "he had no choice. He had to kill German kids. There was a war to win". [The confusion of tac/strat air and the confusion of military objectives with a war crime is specious].

(2) The He Dun' It First Variant: Warsaw or Rotterdam justifies all Allied bombing during the war. German aircraft killed Poles; therefore the bombing of Germans by the British is ok. In fact, throw out the rulebook altogether. [I plainly don't understand the logic of this one. Can you explain how this argument works?].

(3) The Weird Variant: The Germans attacked Warsaw with planes and artillery as part of their operational plan. This therefore justifiies the fire bombing of Lübeck in 1942 [no real war industry and NOT on the Allied line of advance until April 1945]. You see, you HAVE to believe that the German military only pursued terror bombing. If you acknowledge traditional military aims, the bombing of Lübeck stands out as a war crime.

CONCLUSION: Strategic bombing is NOT tactical bombing.

[By the way, Britain abandoned France during 1940 operations. That is sort of a standard interpretation these days. And, why make the bombing of Freiburg into something special. Friendly fire happens. What about the Americans during the Gulf War? What is your point?]