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WW2 bomber memorial unveiled amidst controversy. What do you think?

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    (Original post by Drewski)
    While this memorial is tentatively aimed at the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who never returned from their missions, permanent mention is made on the memorial to all who lost their lives, be they British, Commonwealth, French, German, Italian or Japanese. Servicemen and citizenry alike.

    It is not triumphant. It does not glorify. It remembers. And hopefully makes sure we never forget.
    The history channel will never forget, you can be sure of that.
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    Wheeling out the old Nuremburg defence? Nice.
    I believe that the people who carried out the operations deserved to be remembered, like I said in my previous post, they risked their lives for their country on orders from superior ranks. I dont agree with bombing at all, dont believe in war but I support our service people 100%.
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    I don't think it should be commemorated no.
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    (Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
    I may only be a simple History student going into my final year but I'm pretty confident at no point did the Germans surrender until long after their defeat was basically forced.

    Also the bombing campaign was a waste of resources.

    It obviously didn't stop German war production, neither did it force the Germans to surrender (like the Brits). It's actually amazing how making the war personal and attacking the people themselves strengthens a peoples resolve and support for their armed forces, I know if I was German I'd support the German Wermacht if the allies had basically made constant statements claiming I despite being a civilian was a mortal enemy worthy of being killed in my own home.

    And that is the problem.

    Human lives were wasted for nothing....the bomber crews...the German people's....for nothing.

    So while I agree the bomber crews should be remembered, I don't like the style and form the monument has taken, the message behind it is wrong. "I was just following orders" is what the German camp guards said when the Jews were being 'dealt with'.

    Hiding behind orders simply doesn't fly in this day and age, the bomber crews know they were killing civilians. Maybe they thought it was a necessary side -effect of going after industrial and military targets, who knows what the average crewman knew or thought.

    But the higher ups knew they were bombing out civilians with little military goal. A war crime was committed.

    Those responsible are long dead but all the same, some perspective with the memorial would have been nice, I'm really not enjoying the current atmosphere of mindless worship of military institutions and veterans in the UK.

    End of the day soldiers do bad things, hopefully to bad people, more often then not just other mere men and women like them, and sometimes to innocent bystanders.

    That is what should never be forgotten.
    It wasn't a complete waste of resources. Production in the Reich began to fall after mid-1944. Also it must be remembered this figure also includes the fact that Germany forcibly recruited millions of slave labourers in this time as well as plundering occupied nations for resources. It must therefore be asked what levels production would have reached without bombing. Albert Speer estimated that it diminished around a third of German industry and he was head of armaments!

    Also, it tied down an enormous amount of resources in defending German cities such as thousands of 88mm flak guns. These could have been used against Russian tanks on the eastern front which would have been disasterous for the Russians who were being killed at a higher rate by the Germans than the Allies were killing German civilians. Also, during the D-Day landings the Luftwaffe never appeared as they were engaged with Allied bombers over Germany giving the Allies a foothold on mainland Europe. Although the means were grisly, it is surely better than a Nazi victory or nuking German cities.

    Also, for the past half a century Britain had either been fighting a war with Germany or worrying about a war with Germany which had to be stopped. Bombing acted as a deterrent for the Germans not to try anything like World War Two again.
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    (Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
    I think the troops defending Berlin and other cities were more concerned with the Soviet frontal assaults.

    Germany's finest were preoccupied with defeating the Soviet advance, seeing as it was the major front of the war, and arguably was the major reasoning for why the forces defending Germany were of incredibly inferior quality when the allies rolled through rather than the entire army sitting about waiting for British bombers to fly over lol.
    Makes you wonder what people on TSR make of the eyes-only report commissioned by Churchil that says resistance in the Silesian Front against the Russians could be prolonged until November 1945, that appears to have been the driver for him to pressure Harris into going to the 'Eastern cities' that were supplying arms and equipment to that front, and the war then ending abruptly at the beginning of May...

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