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  #1  
Old 23rd September 2005, 00:35
Marius Marius is offline
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Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Hi all,
I start this thread to hear your opinion about who at first started the war against purely civilian targets.

I don`t mean "collateral" victims when bombing military targets, but intended bombing attacks with a view to demoralize or kill civilian people.

As we know Churchill decided in May 1940 to bomb German targets far beyond the frontline in France and additionally by night. It is clear that such attacks would mainly hit the civilians. But nevertheless, later Churchill and "Bomber" Harris officially declared war against German civilians with the hope to bring the war to a faster end.

Was there ever has been a target bombed by the Luftwaffe where we can say it was purely civilian? I don`t mean the attacks started in 1944 by V1 and V2, but the period between 1940-1942.

Many regards,
Marius
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Old 23rd September 2005, 01:41
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

You can find claims on the Net that in September 1939 the Luftwaffe bombed a Polish city (don't remember the name) as an experiment, killing hundred of civilians. I don't know enough to say if it is true or false.

For sure, the bombing of Varwaw in September 1939, targetting the Jewish ghetto more than the rest of the city, was clearly not searching to hit military targets.
  #3  
Old 23rd September 2005, 05:55
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George Hopp George Hopp is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

I suggest that this thread go to "WW2 in General" where it won't interfere with serious discussions, because it is already degenerating into a blame game.
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Old 23rd September 2005, 10:16
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Laurent,
you surely mean Wielun, bombed in the morning of 1.9.1939. But this was not an experiment. Two Stuka units - I./StG 76 and I./StG 77 - tried to hit a Polish military unit (according to German documents a "cavalry brigade") reported as based in the city or marching through it. And in the end in fact there died many civilians living there. But surely not hundreds. Polish sources mention about 1200 killed people, but I doubt it. This exaggerated figure was never corrected.

What is the source for bombing Jewish ghetto in Warsaw more than the rest of the city?


George,
this thread is also concerning the Luftwaffe action. If somebody in Germany gave the order for bombing civilian targets I would like to know who did, when and what German Luftwaffe units made it real. Perhaps somebody here could mention a German document to bring the evidence for this.

Marius
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Old 23rd September 2005, 10:34
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

What for the bombing on Rotterdam on May 1940 ? Or the bombing on the City on 29 Dec 1940 ?

The first indiscrimate bombing by RAF was on Lübeck, in early 1942. Every raid before was given a military or industrial target.
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Old 23rd September 2005, 10:49
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Laurent,
in Rotterdam there was fighting between German and Netherland military units. I would say it was a "ground battle area", therefore a military target. As you surely know Netherland tropps surrendered in the meantime, but it was too late to break off the bombing mission. Nevertheless about the half of KG 54 He 111`s did not bomb the city.

29.12.1940? Do you mean Coventry? Wasn`t there any military target?

Marius
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Old 23rd September 2005, 12:12
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Grzesio Grzesio is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius
Laurent,
you surely mean Wielun, bombed in the morning of 1.9.1939. But this was not an experiment. Two Stuka units - I./StG 76 and I./StG 77 - tried to hit a Polish military unit (according to German documents a "cavalry brigade") reported as based in the city or marching through it. And in the end in fact there died many civilians living there. But surely not hundreds. Polish sources mention about 1200 killed people, but I doubt it. This exaggerated figure was never corrected.
Geeez, Marius, I thought the problem of a 'cavalry brigade' in Wielun had been painfully explained (maybe directly to you?) on one of Polish forums some time ago, wasn't it?

OK, and now, please, can you explain your doubts in the official number of victims in Wielun? Why do you think it's exaggerated? You have strong PROOFS for sure, because if you only think/believe/dream so, it only proves your pityful research methods.

Regards

Grzesio
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Old 23rd September 2005, 12:29
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Hello Grzesio,
if the problem of the "cavalry brigade" in Wielun has been painfully explained so please give us the results of the discussion.

Concerning the 1200 killed people you should compare other bombing attacks as for example Rotterdam in May 1940 (as mentioned above) or the first 1000 bomber raid against Cologne or other. Compare how many tons of bombs fell on the cities and how many people were killed. In Wielun fell "only" 30 tons.

The question is who counted the victims of Wielun and when appear the figure " 1200 " at first. Can you give an answer?

In Rotterdam should has been killed 30 000 people. Long after the war`s end the figure was corrected to 600 - 900 victims.

Marius
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Old 23rd September 2005, 14:05
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Oh, another discussion about innocent German airmen and bad butcher Bomber Harris?
A detailed study of US attacks on military and industrial targets in Silesia during 1944 shows that bombings were highly accurate and that civilian losses were quite limited. All this achieved by B-17s and B-24s, much less accurate than Stukas.
Wielun was hit in a multiwave attack that lasted from the morning until early afternoon. It is estimated 75% of buildings were destroyed by both high explosive and incendeniary bombs. Comparingto this, loss of 1200 persons - ~8% of population - seems quite a reasonable figure. Supposedly, many of those died of wounds, half a day bombing caused impossible to give any help. Additionally streets were straffed by the German aircraft.
By the way, 30 tons seem a little bit small bombload for about 6 bombings by two Geschwadern.
Concerning Warsaw, Ghetto could not have been bombed simply because there was no one. It was created only by the German administration. It is a fact, however, that Luftwaffe bombed purely civilian districts as well as straffed people seeking for vegetables in fields surounding the city.
The practice target was not Wieluń but a small city of Frampol, mostly inhabitated by Jewish population. The story was published in Germany during 1970s, so it is no way a Polish propaganda. Interestingly, photos taken during the raid clearly show markers made either by '5th collumn' or diversion groups.
Additionally, current issue of Lotnictwo journal has a one page article describing German attack on another city (name escapes me now) as well as all the military targets there - about 5 AA guns and a railway station on suburbs of the city. I suppose military targets were quite a good excuse.
PS Marius, I am surprised you have not heard about this.
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Old 23rd September 2005, 14:42
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Bombing civilian targets by the Luftwaffe?

Hello Franek,


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Oh, another discussion about innocent German airmen and bad butcher Bomber Harris?
Nobody says German airmen are innocent. And this is the question of the thread: when German aircrews bombed a purely civilian target for the first time and where?
The "Butcher" Bomber Harris, yes why not.


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Wielun was hit in a multiwave attack that lasted from the morning until early afternoon.
I doubt it. There were two attacks in the early morning by I./StG 76 and I./StG 77. All other bombings were carried out in the bright area of Wielun, even reaching 12 km away, not on the city itself.


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It is estimated 75% of buildings were destroyed by both high explosive and incendeniary bombs. Comparingto this, loss of 1200 persons - ~8% of population - seems quite a reasonable figure. Supposedly, many of those died of wounds, half a day bombing caused impossible to give any help. Additionally streets were straffed by the German aircraft.
Who estimated this 75%?
1200 persons... compare other bombing attacks - for example the night bombing raids by RAF bombers - and how many tons of bombs were dropped. For example in Rotterdam appr. 100 tons killed 600 - 900 people.
Also in Dresden 1945 the streets were strafed by US fighters, but until day nobody could bring the evidence for the story.


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 By the way, 30 tons seem a little bit small bombload for about 6 bombings by two Geschwadern.
6 bombings? What is the source? What German units did it?
I mean ca. 20 tons dropped by I./StG 76 and ca. 10 tons by I./StG 77. The first attack (I./StG 76) was at ca. 5.30 hours, the second (I./StG 77) at ca. 6.05 - 6.10 hours.
Look to the war diaries of both units.


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It is a fact, however, that Luftwaffe bombed purely civilian districts as well as straffed people seeking for vegetables in fields surounding the city.
Fact? Fact is they did not. At first on 25th September Luftwaffe started bombing of Warsaw which also caused considerable damage to civilian districts. All earlier attacks were made against purely military targets. And don`t forget Warsaw was declared as a "fortress". Fact is it was a battle zone since 8th September as first German tanks tried to come in.


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 The practice target was not Wieluń but a small city of Frampol, mostly inhabitated by Jewish population. The story was published in Germany during 1970s, so it is no way a Polish propaganda. Interestingly, photos taken during the raid clearly show markers made either by '5th collumn' or diversion groups.

Many silly things were published in Germany. Compare the stories written by Jochen Trenkner about Wielun. Many nonsenses and lies and manipulations as well.
What is the evidence Frampol was a practice target?
5th column and diversion groups, not bad. Do you really believe this?

Marius
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