WAS THE BOMBING CAMPAIGN AGAINST GERMANY JUSTIFIED?
November 20th, 2012
Was the Bombing Campaign Against Germany Justified?
The World War II was a war that affected the entire world and took place between 1939 and 1945. Most of the countries worldwide were involved in the war with the inclusion of all the great powers. With time, the war was comprised of two opposing military unions known as the Axis and the Allies. Historically, this war is classified as the most widespread where an excess of 100 million individuals served in various military units. During the period of the war, the world was in total chaos. The major participants used all the resources available to them so as to gain an edge in the war. The war was marked by several significant incidents such as the use of nuclear weapons and the mass demise of civilians. It is said that an excess of 60 million individuals lost their lives in the war, making the war the most fatal conflict ever in history. By 1937, Japan was already at war with the Republic of China. However, the war is said to have started on September 1st 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, and the following proclamation by France and other countries of the commonwealth and British Empire that they would wage war on Germany. From the beginning of the war to 1941, Germany triumphed over or controlled much of continental Europe through various treaties and campaigns. The end of the war in Europe occurred when Berlin was captured by Polish and Soviet troops and the surrender of Germany on May 8th 1945. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of significant events that took place during the war. One of the events was the bombing campaign against Germany. This paper will primarily focus on attempting to figure out whether the bombing campaign against Germany was justified.
Area bombing is an idea founded on the thoughts of Giulio Douhet. Douhet suggested that if certain cities were to be targeted, waves of bombers were to carry out the destruction in a row through the use of various types of bombs. The wave to begin the destruction was to bear high explosives meant to obliterate railway lines, roads, infrastructure and structures. The second wave was to attack through the use of incendiary bombs. This was aimed at destroying any functional structures and civilian shelter. The final wave was to drop gas on cities with the aim of causing death to the most number of people possible. Douhet reasoned that such bombing in a row would cause the enemy to lose morale and surrender or cause the civilians to demand their government to back down from the conflict. Although Douhet knew that such a strategy would lead to the mass loss of lives, he argued that war meant killing in any case. The Allied Strategy
The Allies practically applied precision bombing and area bombing as their main strategies during the bombing campaigns against Germany. Precision Bombing
Precision bombing was also referred to as pinpoint bombing. The main goal of this kind of bombing was to cause destruction to certain military or industrial facilities through aerial bombings. However, it was never as accurate as stated since it was common for civilians to lose their lives during the operations. Since the main aim was not to kill civilians, the death of civilians during the operations was considered an unfortunate occurrence resulting from imprecision. Area Bombing
Area bombing was also referred to as strategic bombing. As opposed to precision bombing, the main target in this practice was entire cities. The operations were characterized by a series of waves of bombings. The succeeding waves would include even as many as 1000 airplanes dropping hundred or even thousands of tons of bombs aimed at obliterating entire cities. Area bombing was based on the premise that cities were crucial centers of economic production, thus making them reasonable targets. Consequently, it was said that...
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