World War 2 in movie form chronologically

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Wellenbrecher

Trümmerfrau
Archduke
WBM&BVC
That was true in Germany as well to a certain degree. The sleep interruption thanks to the British nighttime (and in winter time compounded by added US) bombing runs had quite the impact.
Dunno about the actual visibility of bombers as the ones mostly targeting civilian centres were carried out at night. But I know that it holds true for the German pilots at least, Galand for example gives a powerful testament to this.
 
F.F.C._fritz said:
On the idiocy of terror bombings on civilians, Brits should have known better from their own example during the Blitz. I was pretty struck by the portrait of "bomber" Harris given by Hastings in "Inferno: World at War", he's little more than a maniac from what I remember (he even have a photo-book of destroyed german towns, the copies of which he gifted to important guests).
Besides Harris, the British weren't that enthusiastic about bombing German cities at all. But between 1940 and '42 they were quite isolated from the war. When the Soviets got dragged into it Stalin demanded action from the other allies to damage the German war effort, but there was little help Churchill could offer him. So he proposed to level the German cities, about which Stalin was very enthusiastic. Besides keeping Stalin happy, the bombardements also served to show the civilian population of Britain that they were capable of fighting back in some kind of way.

Or at least that's what John Buckley writes in his Air Power in the Age of Total War.
 

Wellenbrecher

Trümmerfrau
Archduke
WBM&BVC
Considering they kept it as a tactic I'd assume there was some sort of conviction there, even post-war.
Also the actual doctrine this was based on was established either in late WW1 or the interwar period, it wasn't a surprising new thing. In fact one of the first actions of the British against Germany was the bombing of Wilhelmshaven, as early as 4th of September 1939. And it wasn't directed at the industry either AFAIK.

It's also arguably true that the Germans got the idea to bomb London proper from the Brits after a 111 crew miscalculated their position and dropped it on civilian areas. An action that was, at least according to regulations, should have been severely punished by the way.
The Brits took revenge on German civilians, Hitler had a fit and ordered the bombing of civilians as revenge. Yay...


I guess the destruction of Warsaw earlier was seen as ok since it was "only Poles" and not "proper" Europeans.
 
Wellenbrecher said:
Considering they kept it as a tactic I'd assume there was some sort of conviction there, even post-war.
That's something I don't quite understand. My guess is they pretty much had to convince themselves of any strategic advantages the bombing would give them once they were carrying them out anyway.

Wellenbrecher said:
Also the actual doctrine this was based on was established either in late WW1 or the interwar period, it wasn't a surprising new thing. In fact one of the first actions of the British against Germany was the bombing of Wilhelmshaven, as early as 4th of September 1939. And it wasn't directed at the industry either AFAIK.
It was still quite an experimental doctrine, there certainly were many doubts about the effectiveness of bombing cities.

Wellenbrecher said:
It's also arguably true that the Germans got the idea to bomb London proper from the Brits after a 111 crew miscalculated their position and dropped it on civilian areas. An action that was, at least according to regulations, should have been severely punished by the way.
The Brits took revenge on German civilians, Hitler had a fit and ordered the bombing of civilians as revenge. Yay...
Didn't the bombing of Rotterdam occur before that? One could argue that in that case the bombing of this city had actual strategic effect because it forced the Netherlands to surrender, but it's still bombing an entirely defenseless city...
 

Wellenbrecher

Trümmerfrau
Archduke
WBM&BVC
Wasn't Rotterdam in essence a misunderstanding after negotiations failed and the German guy got shot in the throat?
But well, I came back in this thread to edit that passage as the way I put it is revisionist at best. Sorry.
 
While I am willing to agree that terror bombing can have some impact on the war, the funny thing is spectacularly bad the Allies were at bombing the actually important industry. The first succesful attack on Škoda Werke was as late as Dec 1944 and the next one was as late as April 1945. And that was the factory that was big and was producing pretty much from the start of the war. The next comical failure is the failure to properly bomb AFA in Hagen - this single plant was producing the majority of submarine batteries, so knocking it out meaning that nearly no new uboat can be launched and those that are damaged (and damages on batteries were not uncommon) cannot be repaired. The factory was known to the British as well.
 
^They did also manage to destroy the prototype of the TAS (the Hungarian version of the Panther) and the tank factory that was building it though. It seems the Hungarian arms industry was suffering quite a bit under bombardments, but that didn't matter very much because  the Germans shut them down very shortly after when they took over in 1944.

Wellenbrecher said:
Wasn't Rotterdam in essence a misunderstanding after negotiations failed and the German guy got shot in the throat?
The bombers were well on their way to bomb Rotterdam to force the Netherlands to surrender, when the latter told the Germans they didn't want to get bombed and actually surrendered. So the Germans messaged their bombers to turn back, but part of them didn't get the message and flattened the city anyway.

So yes, it was a misunderstanding, but the Germans were still very much intending to bomb the city in the first place.
 

Wellenbrecher

Trümmerfrau
Archduke
WBM&BVC
What I recall is that the bombing was indeed an ultimatum and the Dutch refused the first attempt because of some stupid spelling mistake or formality.


And looking it up, the guy I meant was the German officer overseeing the surrender. SS morons appeared, saw the Dutch assembling for surrender and started shooting. The German officer got hit as well but survived.
Oh and the SS' reaction to this? They considered it a betrayal by the Dutch and wanted to execute them... :facepalm:

BenKenobi said:
While I am willing to agree that terror bombing can have some impact on the war, the funny thing is spectacularly bad the Allies were at bombing the actually important industry. The first succesful attack on Škoda Werke was as late as Dec 1944 and the next one was as late as April 1945. And that was the factory that was big and was producing pretty much from the start of the war. The next comical failure is the failure to properly bomb AFA in Hagen - this single plant was producing the majority of submarine batteries, so knocking it out meaning that nearly no new uboat can be launched and those that are damaged (and damages on batteries were not uncommon) cannot be repaired. The factory was known to the British as well.
If some brave soul had had the bright idea to bomb Germans synthetic oil factories earlier than they did the war probably could've been over month and month and month earlier. Saving hundred of thousands of lives.
 
Wellenbrecher said:
If some brave soul had had the bright idea to bomb Germans synthetic oil factories earlier than they did the war probably could've been over month and month and month earlier. Saving hundred of thousands of lives.
They tried bombing the Romanian oil fields, which apparently were very important for the Axis war effort.
Edit: They only started to do so in 1943 though, by then the oil fields were heavily defended by lots of anti-air artillery and both German and Romanian interceptors. Subsequently the bombardments didn't go well for the bombers.

When Romania switched sides in 1944 the subsequent lack of oil was a big deal for the Germans, the coup of King Michael I* may well have shortened the war for quite a bit.

*who by the way is still alive but hasn't gotten much credit here in the west
 

Swissky

BenKenobi said:
I remember reading something about fire-bombings of Japan
Something suicidal fire bats something?

Wellenbrecher said:
What I recall is that the bombing was indeed an ultimatum and the Dutch refused the first attempt because of some stupid spelling mistake or formality.
Apparently the Japanese Emperor did something similar to this the day/days before the bomb. He was offered a chance to surrender but something was lost in translation, resulting in a "Maybe" or "We'll see".
 
BenKenobi said:
IIRC, Ploesti is the one place they managed to bomb right, despite the casualties.
Pretty much, but the Romanians managed to patch it up afterwards so it remained a viable source of fuel.
 

Jhessail

Panzervixen
Grandmaster Knight
Warsaw and Rotterdam were no intended to be terror bombings. Claims otherwise are Allied/Soviet propaganda. But in reality they of course were such, because the German bomber crews did not have the equipment, doctrine nor the training to accurately only hit docks, train yards, fortified positions and factories, so the bombs were liberally dropped everywhere. British weren't too keen on terror bombing either, and originally only dropped anti-Nazi leaflets over western German cities. Wilhelshaven raid was meant to hit the port facilities and maybe some Kriegsmarine ships. Bomber Harris faced lot of opposition, both in the military and in the parliament, because Bomber Command consumed gigantic amount of resources and its results were both appalling in the sense of the senseless human cost and the effectiveness of hindering German war effort.
 

Moose!

poorly-drawn
Duke
Jhessail said:
results were both appalling in the sense of the senseless human cost and the effectiveness of hindering German war effort.

Could you talk more about the second point? I've often heard that the strategic bombing campaigns conducted against Germany were integral in hindering the German war effort.
 

Jhessail

Panzervixen
Grandmaster Knight
They weren't.

The British night raids were largely ineffective due to bomb dispersal. Germans had a pretty well-running fire- and repair-service that put out the fires and got electricity, water and the mass transit running quickly again after a city was bombed. The US day raids were more accurate thanks to daylight and better bomb sights, but they also suffered heavy losses.

What was really effective was targeting the choke points of industry. U-boat battery plant has already been mentioned, the synthetic oil plants and the Ploesti oil fields were another effective target, the ball bearing plant in Schweinfurt was critical for production of tanks (ball bearings are necessary for creating a turret that can swivel 360 without limits) and the repeated damage caused to the plant was one of the reasons why Germany relied more and more on assault guns instead of tanks.

Douhet's idea in the inter-war period, and the similar thinking of other air war theorists was that the civilian population would be so demoralized by massive bombings that they would revolt against their government and thus end the war. Or they would flee the cities and factories and your enemy would have to surrender because they couldn't keep their war machine running. Both assumptions turned out to be completely false.

The best proof of this is, that despite the increased bombing raids in 1944, many of which were on a massive scale of near or over 1,000 bombers, the German production of both tanks and fighters actually increased. But that didn't really help them that much because their fuel situation was becoming critical.
 
Also, intense bombing campaign tied Luftwaffe that could not have been used in the east. The losses that waffles sustained when forced to engage the bombers were also quite important.
 

Jhessail

Panzervixen
Grandmaster Knight
Yes, forgot to mention that. In contrast to the Big Wing operations undertaken by Fighter Command soon after Battle of Britain was over, which resulted in roughly equal casualties to both RAF and Luftwaffe, without drawing any additional fighter forces from the East, the bombing campaigns did help immensely the PVO/VVS in first contesting the German air superiority and then, by 1943, gaining it largely for themselves. Plus, it forced the Germans to pour resources into FlaK units - resources that could have been better used in producing AT-guns and field cannons, and especially their ammunition.
 
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