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  #41  
Old 25th September 2005, 09:33
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Looks like this thread could go on and on for ever and never find out who was first to bomb civilians.

The simple fact is, in modern warfare civilians are a target and i am sure if we dug deep enough back into ancient history civilians were killed in war then. The only difference is the methods in killing "improved"

As an Englishman i certainly have no guilt with the fact that by 1943 on the RAF could as good as destroy a German city in one or two visits, if the Luftwaffe had been able to do this to London, or even New York!!! they would have.

By late 1944 the US destroyed citys in Japan with relative ease, and of course the Atomic weapons aimed 100% at civilians ended WW2.

So if this thread is going to be accused of being lead by "Guilt" then i for one am happy to say it is lead more with pride in my country able to pick itself up almost from defeat and within a few years be able to hit the enemy right on the nose.
  #42  
Old 25th September 2005, 09:52
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Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon
Looks like this thread could go on and on for ever and never find out who was first to bomb civilians.
This thread wasn't about "who was first to bomb civilians" to start with, but to find the first Luftwaffe bombing mission with proof that civilians were a primary objective (housing, morale etc), or at least an important secondary factor.

In this case Warsaw could be a good candidate at least based on supporting documents, which show the planning proces behind the operation.

However, since the Germans attained many first in air fighting, including bombing cities, one could easily establish they started the whole thing. But then one could argue that aerial bombing is a modern equivalent of the traditional artillery bombardement - which goes back even further.

Und so weiter...

At which point this thread would become silly.
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  #43  
Old 25th September 2005, 10:40
Boandlgramer Boandlgramer is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Well, kill the enemy in the war is ok .
destroy the cities of the enemy (germany) in the war is to accept.
but as for the englishman above ,who said , he is happy, because many people in his country are PROUD about the bombed cities , to hit the enemys nose , thats sounds a bit strange in my ears ( to say it with caution).

Last edited by Boandlgramer; 25th September 2005 at 10:43.
  #44  
Old 25th September 2005, 11:00
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Hi all,
as I see our Polish contingent is not very helpful. And apparently a serious argumentation based on serious documents is not needed. They just "know it better".


[Find it yourself...
I do not know if he is alive but certainly his comments were published in the German press of 1960s.]


A question to Franek:

Do you like to play cat and mouse? I thought you are talking about something what you can prove, what you have at hand. But apparently you don`t.
As you should know Germany was divided into West and East. In East Germany were acting authors and journalists who had to keep one`s (visible) distance from the III Reich period and the bad things done by Hitler and his fellows. The true (East) Germany was changed. Russia was than (officially) the best friend.
So if you are talking about German press of 1960s perhaps you could specify it? Published in East or West? Who was the author of the article? Where shall I look for it?

And one more thing Franek. Nobody denies here holocaust or other German war crimes (were it is obvious). Your attempt to turn away from the crux of this discussion will not be succesful.
But when you are talking about German war crimes you have also to talk about war crimes done for example by Polish butchers. You are writing Germans did many bad things. And you are surely right, nobody is denying this. But how many bad things did Poles in September 1939 already? You cannot compare these things because all the world is focussed on the German war crimes only. You are doing the same (for example your comments concerning Bromberg are very onesided - of course Germans were guilt, for you there is no other possibility. But nevertheless Bromberg is not the only one place where Poles killed German civilians, right?).

In one more point you are right. Hitler started the war and then happenend many bad things, many civilians were killed. But this fact isn`t giving you the right to make Germans also responsible for war crimes done by others.
Franek, I cannot kill my German neighbour, because a German killed my wife. In such a case I am making myself to a murderer what has to be punished in a court.


Don`t forget we are searching here for a hard proof of intended bombing of civilian targets. How the civilians itself saw the falling bombs and what they feeled shouldn`t be the decisive factor to make such easy statements that by bombing targets only the killing of civilians was intended.
You cannot demonstate German intention only showing graves of killed civilians, photos of destroyed places or simply onesided afterwar propaganda.

Maybe there were no Polish troops in Frampol on the 13th or in Wielun on the 1th. But nevertheless how can you deny that Luftwaffe crews wanted to hit Polish troops? If they in fact only hit civilians I would call it a mistake, not wanted. You call it a "war crime" and you have absolutely no problem doing this. You mean the intention is not needed (or you assume it is automatically existing) and here you are completely wrong.

Marius
  #45  
Old 25th September 2005, 11:07
ironrat ironrat is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

"It has been written several times in this thread that any civilian target can be linked to a military one, however insignificant. Yet your example of german air mines is good one, showing a clear intend in military planning to cause maximum (civilian) damage - just like cookies, blockbusters and incendiaries."


It is a risky approach, just like Marius claiming "it was near the front line". With that kind of approach, the Allied troops could have killed every German in 1944-45 just because every one - men, women and children - had found themselves, one day or another near that famous front line. It is a nice and appealing excuse for both sides, but I suggest to go back to the Hague Convention rules.

Because the air mines were mentioned, I would add to the list german boby-traps, for example explosive pens. They were not a danger for any troops, but to the civilians they targeted, especially childrens.

Martin
  #46  
Old 25th September 2005, 13:41
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

It is only risky if you are set on establishing this case solely on guilt instead of intend.

There is no pointing finger (unless I count the argument against possible Polish attrocities, which I would like to ignore altogether) towards the allied side in an attempt to play tit for tat. At no point has anyone tried to whitewash acts of German Schrecklichkeit.

The original question tried to establish a clear moment when German intend was clear, even as a secondary objective. To establish proof in doctrine and operational planning etc.

Or are we now going to discuss explosive chocolate bars and bats with incendiary bombs attached?

I am afraid that at this stage this thread has reached the limits of my personal interest.
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  #47  
Old 25th September 2005, 14:45
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Ruy and others,
I will come back to the topic of the discussion and continue with next German document (I also published it in my book Kampfflieger, page VI).
This document is very interesting so far, because it is totally contradictionary to what our Polish friends are presenting here.
Here it is:



Fernschreiben

Vom 1.9.1939:
um 16,47 Uhr

An

Lfl.1
Lfl.4
Gen.Qu.
Chef N.V.W.
I c

Unter Anänderung der Weisung fuer den 2.9. entfaellt der Kampf gegen die Eisenbahnstoerziele. Statt dessen ist der Kampf auch gegen rueckwaertige fdl. Ansammlungen und Kolonnen zu fuehren. Bei dem fuer den Nachmittag vorgesehenen Angriff "Wasserkante" sind Ziele in dicht besiedelten Stadtteilen auszusparen. Damit entfaellt der Angriff auf alle im Stadtgebiet Praga liegenden Ziele.
Göring

Weisungen des Ob.d.L. Fuehrungsstabes Ia fuer den Feldzug in Polen an Luftflotte 1 und 4 mit Ergaenzungen und Vorbefehlen.
BA/MA Freiburg, ZA 3/418, page 2.


I marked the decisive words and will translate them with my own English; ...all targets in compact settled districts are to withdraw.
What does it mean? In my opinion this document shows not only the general lack of intention to bomb civilian targets, but on the other hand it shows the tendency not to bomb targets with high risk to hit too many civilians lives.

So I would say the escalation of the "Bombenkrieg" happened much later. But surely not 1939 in Poland, although Warsaw was in the end bad hit on the 25th. - please note this date! Nothing happenend between 17th and 24th September, a whole week then.
And there is one more point; Would there be the intention to hit in Poland so many civilian targets as possible, German Luftwaffe high command would use every possibility to do this. So they never would fly missions with leaflets (for example so done on the 16th by I./KG 4 over Warsaw), but with explossive materials.

Now we again return to the first question of this thread. When the intended bombing war against purely civilian targets started or when it escalated. And who started it first?

Marius
  #48  
Old 25th September 2005, 15:13
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Marius
Quote:
as I see our Polish contingent is not very helpful. And apparently a serious argumentation based on serious documents is not needed. They just "know it better".
Because Polish documents and Polish accounts are not serious, we cannot provide you with anything serious.
I suppose you will find those incidents mentioned in Polish sources either military targets or Polish fiction. Really, not my problem.

Some samples of attacks on civilian targets in Warsaw.
10.09 - collumns of escaping civilians as well as women collecting potatos along grochowska road were straffed by German aircraft flying at about 100m height.
13.09 - bomb attacks started since 17.00 and targetted mainly Jewish district and Żoliborz, all of them purely civilian. It was noted that when radio announced that homeless people are gathered at circus arena (about 1000), it became a target for German fire. The same with buildings marked with the red cross.
17.09 - on sunday, at the time of holly masses, Warsaw churches were fired at, inflicting serious casualties.

Purely military targets I think.

Quote:
Do you like to play cat and mouse? I thought you are talking about something what you can prove, what you have at hand. But apparently you don`t.
I am not going to do research instead of you. You have been shown either with direct sources or places where they are and it is just only your problem to get them.

Quote:
As you should know Germany was divided into West and East. In East Germany were acting authors and journalists who had to keep one`s (visible) distance from the III Reich period and the bad things done by Hitler and his fellows. The true (East) Germany was changed. Russia was than (officially) the best friend.
So if you are talking about German press of 1960s perhaps you could specify it? Published in East or West? Who was the author of the article? Where shall I look for it?
Usually it is linked to Wolfgang Schreyer (East) but I think those photos were published in the West. In anyway, it is not my problem. It is so well known, I am surprised, that you have not heard about it before. This confirms my opinion about you as a sloppy researcher.

Quote:
And one more thing Franek. Nobody denies here holocaust or other German war crimes (were it is obvious). Your attempt to turn away from the crux of this discussion will not be succesful.
I have an exactly opposite impression.

Quote:
But when you are talking about German war crimes you have also to talk about war crimes done for example by Polish butchers. You are writing Germans did many bad things. And you are surely right, nobody is denying this. But how many bad things did Poles in September 1939 already? You cannot compare these things because all the world is focussed on the German war crimes only. You are doing the same (for example your comments concerning Bromberg are very onesided - of course Germans were guilt, for you there is no other possibility. But nevertheless Bromberg is not the only one place where Poles killed German civilians, right?).
Oh yes, a counterattack. Polish butchers. Goebbels mentioned them quite often I think.
The fact is that perhaps war crimes happenned on the Polish side but they were neither ordered nor general policy. Case of Bromberg is a very clear one and investigated in great detail. Indeed German civilians were shot, but they were armed. And how about Fischer von Mollard who bombed (with handgrenades) civilians with his privately owned Polish registered Moth? Perhaps a Polish crime as well?

Quote:
In one more point you are right. Hitler started the war and then happenend many bad things, many civilians were killed. But this fact isn`t giving you the right to make Germans also responsible for war crimes done by others.
Who are the others? Martians?

Quote:
Franek, I cannot kill my German neighbour, because a German killed my wife. In such a case I am making myself to a murderer what has to be punished in a court.
And that was the reason of Nuremberg.

Quote:
Don`t forget we are searching here for a hard proof of intended bombing of civilian targets. How the civilians itself saw the falling bombs and what they feeled shouldn`t be the decisive factor to make such easy statements that by bombing targets only the killing of civilians was intended.
You cannot demonstate German intention only showing graves of killed civilians, photos of destroyed places or simply onesided afterwar propaganda.
If such things are not incidental but indicating a general policy, I do not need orders to draw conclusions. And if an military target excuse is used, then it is clear for me, that the people knew, they are doing a bad thing. It fits perfectly into a quote of pre-war Hitler's speech. Something about no-mercy, do you remember it?

Quote:
Maybe there were no Polish troops in Frampol on the 13th or in Wielun on the 1th. But nevertheless how can you deny that Luftwaffe crews wanted to hit Polish troops? If they in fact only hit civilians I would call it a mistake, not wanted. You call it a "war crime" and you have absolutely no problem doing this. You mean the intention is not needed (or you assume it is automatically existing) and here you are completely wrong.
No, I have absolutely no problem. Comparison of Wieluń and Coventry is just striking, especially in view of conclusions drawn by the British. I am not mistaken and the world was not mistaken condemning Germany for their crimes. You may cry, it is winners' point of view, but I do not care about it.

I repeat - you asked about civilian targets and you got the replies. You have not asked about justification of those raids.
If you want to read more about German crimes, follow this link and contact the people. I am afraid, however, that your only intention is to make a fuss and not to find the truth.

http://www.dhi.waw.pl/de/aktualnosci...php?nr_art=101
  #49  
Old 25th September 2005, 16:39
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Franek,


[If you want to read more about German crimes, follow this link and contact the people. I am afraid, however, that your only intention is to make a fuss and not to find the truth.

http://www.dhi.waw.pl/de/aktualnosc....php?nr_art=101



Oh, I overflew it quickly (no time at the moment). But very interesting what I saw. For example:

Frampol probably an experimental attack

Wielun bombed hours before felt first shots of World War II....


Many thanks for your help.
Franek, are you using such sources for our discussion here? By the way you mostly forgot the word "probably".

And Wofgang Schreyer reporting about the war crime Frampol was acting in 1960ies in East Germany. Obviously quite accidentally...


Why don`t you comment both German documents I presented here or the manipulations done by Trenkner and Gröhler?

...bombs hours before first shots...
This is the result of Trenkner`s and other people "investigation". I supposed about this here earlier, do you remember? You asked for what Trenkner deliberately backwarded the take off time of I./StG 76 (from 5.02 to 4.02). You`ve got the answer.

Marius
  #50  
Old 25th September 2005, 17:11
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Marius

Just go and contact the people responsible for the exhibit. No source but an indication whom to ask.

CANNOT YOU UNDERSTAND, THAT THERE WAS NO WAR DECLARATION AND THAT IT REALLY DOES NOT MATTER ACTUAL TIME WIELUŃ WAS HIT???!!!
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