Talk:Bombing of Dresden in World War II/Archive 12

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Archive 5 Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 14 Archive 15

Lack of focus

See previous discussion under Archive 11: Lack of focus

Weasel Words and Double Standards

I did not write the article. I have contributed to it, and over time I have become more rigorous with using and requesting citations, (See for example #Impact of the attack above). I think that this a something that all experienced editor of Wikipedia start to do when they have edited a number of controversial pages, because without that rigour lots of incorrect information is included in pages this causes Wikipedia to lack credibility with the wider reading public. It is trying when someone insists on citations for facts one thinks are obvious, but generally it creates much better articles. For example I have recently been contributing to the Terrorism page section Pejorative use where user:Jayjg has insisted on much more rigorous citations than were originally in the document ([See this diff]) I think the section "Pejorative use" is now much better than the initial version (which I restored after it had been deleted), because Jayjg insisted on these citations and the removal of uncited information.

So if you think that sections like the Holocaust are not well enough sourced you can of course add {{fact}} to the sentences which are not sourced and/or query them here on the talk page. But justifing the insertion of unsourced assertions and weasel words just because there are some already in the article is not IMHO the way to go to improve the article --Philip Baird Shearer 20:38, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I have split this discussion into another subheading and eliminated the cut and pasting of the entire article in the previous section. I hope you do not mind. We have much in common with our organizational quirks I see. On to your argument.
I have now archived the section but not before I put the cut and past back in so that people reading the archive know what the paragraphs were. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:41, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
...justifing the insertion of unsourced assertions and weasel words just because there are some already in the article is not IMHO the way to go to improve the article
Again, the opinions in the section above the one I tweaked are cited. The opening statement in the "war crime" section, which could use a fact request, was not an addition of mine and it was in the article before I edited it - which you keep reverting to btw. I do not think it should be deleted, but again, a fact request would be suffice, even though I'm not sure this is a debated point...isn't the prima facie basis essentially how the argument is structured?
In any case, you simply have not justified your complete elimination of ALL my work, and the areas you question have been revamped. As for the reordering of statements already in the text, remember the heading of this discussion here is - or was - lack of focus. I find it interesting that after reading as the article stood after my edits, you objected to some things that were in the article before I touched it yet brought to your attention only after I moved them somewhere else in the argument.
My primary concern was to A) reorganize the argument so it is presented in a less scattered manor and b) show exactly what could be claimed in reference to the hague.
The latter was stated, but not sufficient enough, 'especially in lieu of the argument against section having a point by point analysis of the Allied/U.S. government's claims.' Point by point there is an analysis of the government's argument, based on principles it had a large role in preparing and even then, in the AFTERMATH of World War II - sort of like the Nazis writing a section on humanitarian law to pardon to Holocaust. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but lets not pull a double standard here allowing an argument to be explained while the other is not. I have added a fact request for the fear of a Nazi breakout...may have weighed on the minds of Allied planners.
This is the kind of thing I'm talking about, in reference to "b)" (do we need to source seemingly logical deductions?) because I don't really have a problem with this assessment. Then again, I could definitely see how this is an argument through an assumption utilizing the narrative of history unfolding to prove a point, just as you question the unsourced argument that if a "Hague air" existed in the same vein as the "Hague land" or "Hague naval", Dresden would be a war crime. How can you disagree with that? That is far less controversial a position than the Nazi breakout position because it says write in the text of the Conventions what is supposed to occur.
In any case, I pretty much started from scratch on some of the areas we talked about and I left your changes, and Guinnogs intact. Also, a source on the Harald Jaehner quote would be nice and I find little reason to believe there was anything "standard procedure" about Allied firebombing protocol except it was...Allied bombing protocol. A comparison to itself is useless, unless someone - a verified source is explicity making this claim. This recent addition was removed. Lastly, your objection to weasel words is peculiar in light of the "some Germans view this as a violation of Holocaust denial rules..." I can't even remember what the original said, but it was ridiculously pov-ed...I changed it to "some", added a {{Fact}} request and it still reeks of bias. -- 08:03, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

FYI. The use of radio directed Pathfinders which preceded the main bomber raid to mark the target, Block-busters and thousands of incendiary bombs to start a fire were all pioneered by the Germans and first used in combination against Coventry. Bomber Harris stated that the uses of these devastatingly effective techniques by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz allowed the RAF to develop similar methods far faster than if they had had to invent them from scratch. Hence the term "standard procedures" --Philip Baird Shearer 11:11, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Speculation on the interpretation of Hague

I have removed:

On the other hand, the rules for war established at the Hague concerned the most plausible arena for potential anti-city strategies according to the time that the Conventions were drafted; the threat to civilians came from land and sea operations. The Articles concerning both land naval bombarment demonstrate that the cultural significance of a city like Dresden was an aspect of considerable importance:
"necessary measures must be taken [in the event of naval or land bombardment] to spare as far as possible sacred edifices, buildings used for artistic, scientific, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick or wounded are collected, on the understanding that they are not used at the same time for military purposes."

Because they are speculation in the article without any source to back them up. If you ( (or anyone else)) wish to include them then you need to find a source to back up the theory that it is relevent. What I mean ny this is that you need to find a source like that which I added for the Greco-German arbitration tribunal that explains that this clause may be relevent. That is why I replaced your previous speculation with that sourced example. Please stop adding your own speculation without a source to back it up.

Forgetting for the moment that it is not sourced.

  1. You have not included all of the article Art. 5 which goes on to explain how they should be marked by the defenders etc.
    It is the duty of the inhabitants to indicate such monuments, edifices, or places by visible signs, which shall consist of large, stiff rectangular panels divided diagonally into two coloured triangular portions, the upper portion black, the lower portion white.
    Or from Article 25 of "The Laws and Customs of War on Land" which is more applicable to air bombardment:
    In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.
    It is the duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the enemy beforehand.
  2. As they were not marked the building in this way such a way that a bomber flying at night at 20,000? feet could see them. ...
  3. The RAF would almost certainly argue that all necessary measures were taken... as far as possible.---Philip Baird Shearer 07:08, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

However it has also been argued that "If international law is not enforced, persistent violations can conceivably be adopted as customary practice, permitting conduct that was once prohibited"[1]
First off, what you are arguing here is legitimate...lets review:
I say A because B...
you say B is invalid because of C... (the article did not include the detail that other protocols that were not followed)
and I say C is invalid because of D...thereby reasserting that B is valid (I'm not going to go into D)
but in any case, your argument is the equivalent of finding an argument to support that the "concentration of industry during the raids" should have meant nothing as late as February 1945 after you state that the "concentration of industry" had been one of the reasons the attack was legitimate.
We are here to state both sides and walk away quietly, not offer endless rebuttals and retorts as if this were some sort of forum for such matters.
amidst changing technologies and anti-city strategy one thing remains certain: cultural significance was thought to be important during the Hague, and likewise, just because technologies have changed, that does not take away from the fact that dresden was a significant cultural was before hague, during hague and after hague. period. I will remove what is "speculation" only because it is not cited (who would not agree that land and sea attacks were the two greatest threats posed to cities in 1907? what is left as an alternative?) but I am still going to put in the "cultural site" description in...again.
Because of the concentration of undamaged industry, unusual in Germany at the time of the raids,
As a summary, the source used to qualify the above states: Page 200: "Dresden was one of the 15 largest towns in Germany that had not been bombed by October 1944" I applaud you for at least being honest and providing the exact quote you used, but I can't believe your deduction was so undisputably different from your source.
Also, I trimmed down the unwarranted details about the Greco-German findings and kept what was important, both point and counterpoint. If you really want to go into detail about it, start another article entitled Greco-German arbitration tribunal of 1927-30.
I wonder if there is a level in Dante's Hell that corresponds to arguing the legality of - and in a sense justifying - a certain heinous act like "strategic" city bombardment? Maybe one has to experience the bombing over and over again...or in the case of Vietnam, a Vietnamese village? The whole United States must be there...-- 14:06, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I do not think I wrote that particular sentence (you would have to read the history to tell). I am sure that other sources would be more specific that the one I found. I added that to show that Dresden was on the list and there is no doubt that it had industry. But the major reason that it was bombed was because it was a communication centre.

If Rednblu had not already done it, I would have restate the point that not everyone agreeds that the Greco-German tribunal was binding in other situations (because your edit made it read as if it were true). See the source given for the tribunal (Guisández Gómez The Law of Air Warfare) see the sections imidiatly after "In view of the paucity of laws relating to this specific field [7], a number of measures have been taken, though with varying degrees of the international support that is essential for their subsequent implementation. We shall now go on to consider some doctrinal approaches." --Philip Baird Shearer 10:53, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Berlin and caused an estimated 25,000 civil fatalities

The article currently contains the following unsourced assertion:

On February 3 1945, the Allies bombed Berlin and caused an estimated 25,000 civil fatalities

Yet Antony Bevoor states in Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5, Page 74 that about 1000, died in a USAAF raid that day and the Bomber Command war diary for Febuary 1945 does not list a raid on Berlin either the night of the 2/3 or the night of the 3/4.

So I think a this example should go unless a source can be provided. A better comparison might be to mention Pforzheim where there was a documented 17,600 to 20,277 people killed. Or to mention the rescue of 23,000 trapped people after the Bombing of Braunschweig in World War II highlights the lack of Dresdens civil defences. --Philip Baird Shearer

Ah! further on this. In "Dresden Tuesday 13 February 1945" on page 216, Taylor notes that initial American estimates on the USAAF raid on Berlin on the 3rd was 25,000 killed but German estimates were fewer and more accurate at less than 3,000 dead with 2,000 injured. Taylor says that it was the largest total killed in one raid, out of 363 such raids with a total of 50,000 Berliners killed in all the raids. --Philip Baird Shearer 19:36, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Wrong to remove necessary links

This is just an opinion. It is a mistake to remove these links on Arthur Harris. I tell you that as a reader using this page. I should not have to scan back more than a screen to see the links on Arthur Harris. I won't put the links back in. I will just tell you that you are wrong to remove them. Otherwise, this is an excellent page, and you have my congratulations. --Rednblu 06:56, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Interpreting Dresden: still disgruntled

So even if Greco-German arbitration tribunal findings were generally applicable in the 1930s (something which is not agreed upon by all legal scholars) by 1945, due to the lack of any treaty obligations and that both Axis and Allied belligerents were employing such methods, it was not.

For your earlier accusations about weasel words, I find it interesting that (something which is not agreed upon by all legal scholars) slipped past you. ...As for ""due to the was not", I'm assuming this is based on what Gomez says here:

This was used by both sides during the Second World War, in particular by the Germans and the British....a famous example of this was the “Thousand-Bomber raid” on the city of Cologne in May 1942, which destroyed 242 hectares of the city centre, in response to the German blitz over the city of London. [24]

I want to see credentials because he forgets that:

  1. the Bombings in London were conducted in a way that has purpose of pursuasion: stop fighting the war.The same can be argued in defense of WWI German conduct, the focus of Greco-German Tribunal. In the case of Dresden or any Allied bombing, it is an attack on civilians because the allies were waging of a war of unconditional surrender - unconditional surrender changes everything.
  2. Gomez's comparative attempt is nonsense. The much propagandized German blitz over London, which until recent years has always recieved more attention in the mainstream than the Allied slaughterbombing campaigns, was mere child's play compared to the totality of the Allied bombing campaigns. The bombing of Dresden alone matched the human cost of the entire "Battle of Britain" and in terms of payload the same also becomes clear.
  3. German propaganda from 1939-1940's also made a particularly strong effort to show that precautions were made to avoid civilian deaths in enemy territory and preserve important sites...even if we don't give them the benefit of the doubt, the Allies didn't even try to make that claim. Instead, it was more like "look how many evil Germans we're killing"

In the effort to create a moral equivalence, it is typical for Allied sympathizers to reference German attitudes or statements rather than what actually happened in Coventry and London.

...boasting of the raid at a press conference the following day, Nazi propagandist Baron Gustav Braun von Sturm said: "We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide."

or: "One fanciful pre-war Whitehall paper predicted a bombing campaign against Britain where 600,000 would be killed and 1.2 million injured by enemy aircraft dropping 700 tons of bombs per day."

Thanks for the propaganda, BBC. Why no counter analysis of Anglo/American attitudes towards the Germans is allowed as evidence of Allied war crimes - amidst such paradoxes - we will never know. Consider that Churchill himself said, even AFTER Dresden turned out to be more than just an "ordinary bombing".

  • I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle zone rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive'.

if that is not evidence of indifference to human suffering, I do not know what is.

  • "some say that the Greco-German tribunal may not apply" --- Gomez is the only one stating this.
  • "controversial revisionist historian Joerg Friedrich says Allies were x and the Germans were in position y" -- suddenly it looks like only one person supports this view and that individual is 1)controversial and 2)revisionist (insert red flag).

Why should points 1) and 2) matter if he has the facts to support this new view? Because contemporaries who have painted a different picture of history are suddenly the accused? Pfui! -- 3:21, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

The German Blitz on Britain was very similar in intent and methods used by the Allied in their campaign on Germany. Indeed Bomber Harris credits the Germans with developing the techniques (of electronic guidance, pathfinders, high explosive and incendiary mixes, and blockbusters (air-mines)) which the RAF copied and used to such devastating effect later in the war. To argue that one campaign was justified or illegal while the other was not is not what this article is about. It is about a specific air raid (and what was allegedly a breach of the laws of war for that specific raid). You write "In the case of Dresden or any Allied bombing, it is an attack on civilians because the allies were waging..." No, as the "Reasons for the attack" section of the article lays out the attack on Dresden was an attack on a city close to the Eastern frontlines to destroy a communications centre or in the words of Bomber Harris : "Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre, and a key transportation point to the East". Those are the stated reason Dresden was attacked, anything else is speculation unless there is a source to back it up.
That Joerg Friedric is a controversial revisionist historian is in the source about book, and is repeated on his Wikipedia biographical page.
As Javier Guisández Gómez makes clear there is more than one opinion about which interpretation of the laws of war could be cover aerial bombardment. For example he lists different "doctrinal approaches":
  • Total absence of treaty law
  • Subordination of the law of air warfare to the law of ground warfare
  • Equivalence of the law governing air warfare to the law of war at sea
  • Equivalence of the law governing air warfare to the law of war on land and at sea
  • Conditional application of the law of war on land and the law of war at sea to air warfare
  • Drawing up a specific doctrine for air warfare
  • The application of comparative law in the study of air warfare
For example The Air Force Law Review Volume 56 2005 Page 14 Although the attempt was made at Hague conference in 1923 and in Amsterdam in 1938 to develop a coherent, detailed set of rules for targeting, the effort failed because the decisive nature of air power proved too attractive. These authors do not think that the Greco-German tribunal applied, because they do not even mention it.
Or this link (doc) says "Unfortunately, such nascent steps [Greco-German Mixed Tribunal: Coenca Brothers v. Germany] in the elaboration of a law of aerial warfare proved stillborn when viewed in terms of World War II practices. As Rogers notes, by 1943 there was “little discernible evidence of precautions being taken to protect civilians from attack (A.P.V. Rogers: Law on the Battlefield). Even in later conflicts, requirements such as the issuance of warnings were largely ignored.". This principle (that the elaboration of a law of aerial warfare proved stillborn) is illuminated in 1996 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion on the "legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons" (Paragraph 55) makes clear ""The terms have been understood, in the practice of States, in their ordinary sense as covering weapons whose prime..." (my emphasis) Which reinforces what the authors of The Air Force Law Review Volume 56 said. "International law is only as strong as the state willing to defend it". Clearly all sides in the Second World War did not think that international law was being breached when aerial bombardment of cities took place. Nor have you yet come up with one scholar on international relations who states that it the tribunal’s ruling was binding on the belligerents in the WWII. The only reason I included a mention of this was to try to present a POV for bombing being a war crime, but you seem to be trying to present its use in the text as the only POV, which it clearly is not. --Philip Baird Shearer 12:20, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Night fighters

The article currently says

Additionally, Germany had committed all of its fighters originally dedicated to air defense at the Battle of the Bulge

Is this correct? Were night fighters tasked with any roles in the Battle of the Buldge? What about the fighters over Dresden on the day of the 15th?--Philip Baird Shearer 12:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

It is sourced and yes, it is correct. I'm not so sure why you take this so literally, as if it were a point that really showed Dresden to be "defended" - or more appropriately, able to be defended. I have to laugh because this is typical...not of yourself but certainly of the Allied tribunal, with a penchant for arguing in terms of technicalities rather than realities.-- 11:32, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

If night fighters were tasked with roles in the Battle of the Bulge (and what sort of roles could they be?) then how does one explain the losses of the RAF to night fighters during this period and the destruction of German night figters by RAF intruder Mosquitos see 1/2 January 1945 "The No 100 Group Mosquitos claimed 6 German night fighters destroyed."--Philip Baird Shearer 23:28, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

changes and revisions September 2006

Gomez, Greco-German Tribunal, Hague

As for your other alterations, they are not adequately explained. I have presented Gomez in a NPOV whereas you have not. I did mention that it was not clear whether the Greco-German ruling applied, but your version goes overboard with negation. Some debate whether the tribunal had actually set into stone changes in international law. <-- here is one example of NPOV, allowing your perspective to be addressed. All it needs is your *source* to be attached. Two sentences earlier it is stated that the belligerents had violated the terms of Greco-German tribunals regardless as to whether they applied or not - hence your point in Air Force Review about mutually broken agreements of the sort. Aside from being a poor example of sentence construction, the example you keep reverting to accomplishes the same function but does this is a much less NPOV fashion.-- 11:32, 27 September 2006 (UTC) In your opinion not mine. BTW why not create an account, as you are using more than one IP address and you are doing far more than minor editing? I have not read the Greco-German ruling in detail, so I do no know, other than the secondary sources, if the "belligerents had violated the terms of Greco-German tribunals" as the rulings were about specific instances which led to those rulings. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:25, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Dresden/Battle of Britain

As for the comparison between early German raids in England I don't think you were very specific what your point was. Addressing what I believe to be your main points:
  • at the time of the bombing in Feb. 1945, Dresden was not functioning as the buildup for German forces, that is clear. No hundreds of columns of panzers lay in Dresden waiting, no intelligence showed this, and to say the Allies had the Battle of the Bulge on their minds is speculative and apologetic.
Allied intelligence based on Enigma intercepts knew that many divisions were passing through Dresden. I do not have Taylors book with me today so I can not quote the page but he mentions that 10s of thousands of soldiers were passing through Dresden in October 1944 and there was no reason to think it was different in February. Further as the article says "Soviet military intelligence asserted that trains stuck in the main station were troop trains passing through Dresden to the front." So Dresden was functioning as a major rail hub and coupled to this was the materiel manufacturing base (The two major reasons its priority as a target went up) --Philip Baird Shearer
From Taylor Dresden Tuesday 13th February 1945 page 186,187: ";..figures for October 1944 ... A total of 28 military trains, altogether carrying almost twenty thousand officers and men, were in transit through Dresden-Neustadt each day. There is no reason to believe that three months later ... movements from eastern and western fronts would have decreased substantially" --Philip Baird Shearer 11:26, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Germany's policy towards Britain in 1940 was a different situation and does not draw parallels with Dresden - it accomplishes the opposite. Try as you like, this cannot be used for any sort of Allied pardoning. Again, I return to the policy of unconditional surrender, which was the policy of the Allies towards Germany, not the other way around. When Britain was bombed in 1940, Germany was not at war with Britain but Britain was at war with Germany. Historeography for general public consumption rarely acknowledges this in the West. Why is this technicality AND reality never addressed? But I digress. "Dissuasion" - and I'm sure the Allies would have made use of the term in regards to Dresden if they could - explains the bombing of civilian targets in 1940 Britain. This is not the case in 1945 Dresden. Instead, Dresden fits nicely into the scheme of what was a war not just on Germany, but on the German people and essentially, their culture as well. Dresden was a symbol. Even after its destruction, Harris propoposed to continue the raids in much the same manor simply because the Germans could not defend themselves and they were at war. Quite frankly, I find your apologism stomach-churning.-- 21:58, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure what the above paragraph has to do with this article and war crimes. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:25, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Friedrich controversial?

As for Friedrich being "controversial", saying the other wiki article did it and a newspaper said it (the Manchester Guardian, no less) are the poorest of explanations. Ask yourself what is the purpose being served by calling him "controversial"......exactly. It has no purpose other than to weaken his argument. Anything that does not hold up to the status quo is "controversial", but there is another kind of "controversial", and that is sketchy scholarship. In this case, if there are grumblings over his research methods (David Irving-esque), then your point is 100% valid.-- 21:58, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Any views, that are from someone who acknowledges that they are a revisionist, (in either sence of the word (see Historical revisionism and historical revisionism (negationism))), should be qualified that they come from a revisionsit. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:25, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Cultural significance of Dresden

Also, please stop deleting the part that the Hague points out cultural significance; It clearly does, and I addressed this point in the most NPOV manner possible. There is no speculation in bringing this point up-- 21:59, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Put in a source which claims that the Dresden bombing (or all area bombing) was in breach of this clause in Hague. As I said before that is the reason I included the Greco-German ruling so that Hague was included with a source. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:25, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Case Against Dresden as a War Crime

As for the edits in the Case Against seciton, what you had previously was repetitive (Hague) or unnecessary (V1 rockets? British air defense?). Please don't tell me your objection is that the Case for and Case Against are - after a number of visitors have commented on this - finally somewhat balanced and of even length.

-- 22:23, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

To keep the split between Case for and case Agaist. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:25, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

October 2006

Dear Mr. Shearer, your changes have been reverted. 1) you manipulated a quoted source to suggest something other than what the other had intended (describing the Allies as "winning the battle for air superiority" as opposed to already dominating the skies) and this is not appropriate for you to be doing.

The battle of air superiority was on-going. It was well known that if the defences were given a respite then they would start to recover. --10:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

2)the immediate response is a fitting title because it...describes the immediate response, not the contemporary one. Contemporary would be in - or closely related to - the present.

Is English your first language? See [webster-dictionary:Contemporary] --Philip Baird Shearer 10:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

3) As the above has also addressed, the mentioning of Britain's defense system and V1 rockets is completely off topic.

It is good example of how a contemporary intergrated air defence worked and is not irrelevent. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

4) There is no reason why the cultural status of Dresden should not be mentioned, and the Hague makes a point to bring to attention that a city's cultural significance was something to consider in 1907. There is no reason why this issue should not be raised in the present regarding 1945 - not because the Allies violated these specific terms, but because they showed the least bit of remorse despite the grandeur of Dresden.-- 07:33, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Then find a source which argues that the bombing of Dresden was a war crime because it breached international conventions on the protection of cultural sites, do not jump to that conculsion yourself and add it without a veriafiable reliable source. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Shearer, regarding your response to...
point 1) and with respect to the article, it does not matter what you think, the source being drawn to our attention is the focus here - you cannot simply manipulate its message (cited in text) to agree with your views! Anyway, your conclusion is absolutely absurd concerning the situation in 1945! You write: the battle of air superiority was on-going. It was well known that if the defences were given a respite then they would start to recover. I do not even know where to begin, but it is a well known fact that Germany was no longer in a position where it could recover (Churchill acknowledges this, which makes late-war support of anti-city bombing especially controversial). Aside from challenging the validity of your argument, it should also be brought to attention that your response and reasoning pertains to your point of view. With that in mind, I find this contradictory to your rationale as to why my "interpretation" (more on that later) that Dresden's status as a culturally significant city should be something to consider. So in one case a source is needed and in the other you can simply reevaluate the situation as you please? I don't think so.
On to point 2), your immediate conclusion that English is not my first language, it should be brought to attention that contemporary is a rather ambiguous word, whereas "immediate response" leaves no doubt what we are talking about. Our contemporary is not theirs.
Definition: contemporary
Synonyms: accepted, accustomed, afoot, circulating, common, common knowledge, customary, doing, existent, extant, faddy, fashionable, general, going around, hip, in, in circulation, in progress, in use, in vogue, instant, mod*, modern, now, ongoing, popular, present, present-day, prevailing, prevalent, rampant, regnant, rife, ruling, swinging, topical, trendy, up-to-date, widespread
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Continuing to point 3), yes, the information about the air defense setup in Britain is related, but it is not central to the case regarding Dresden; it pertains to an article about World War II air defenses.
Finally, getting to point 4), you believe I am making a valuation of my own when this is clearly not the case; there is no interpretation on my behalf along the lines you have argued! The argument presented in point 4) is not: "dresden was a war crime because it was a significant city." I said nothing of the sort. I addressed two points: "significant cities were something that the Hague conference addressed", and "dresden was a significant city." You are forming the conclusion on your own (that the Hague confirmed Dresden was a war crime), whereas I was just making significant points related to the status of Dresden. Why else would there be a "before the bombing, dresden was a beautiful, etc. etc. etc...." part to the argument (that I did not write) if cultural significance isn't something to consider? The point is not that Churchill and his cronies breached the Hague, it is that they obviously didn't give a damn whether Dresden was a cornfield or as precious as the Vatican. Show me one microfilmed document or any other primary source that shows otherwise.
We can call Friedrich revisionist, You will see that I have incorporated this edit simply because Friedrich has adopted the title himself. As for the Greco-German Tribunal, you have yet to make a strong case for your reversion.
Lastly, you are carelessly chopping out sentences that I have fixed in my version: i.e. - "The absence of a direct military presence in the centre of the Dresden and the.." What is a "Dresden"? Please stop this revert war.-- 21:50, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Because the differences between our versions are quite large (because sections are moved) I did not notice that mistake. So when I reverted to my version I fixed two "the Dresden". Are there any other more small mistakes like this that you have spotted? I note that when you reverted my changes you did not include the second fix :-( --Philip Baird Shearer 10:53, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Hague IX article 5

You can not include: "the early Hague considered the cultural significance of cities something of importance" because the statement implies:

  • That Hague IX is relevant to aerial bombardment.
  • That Art. 5. of Hague IX covered "the cultural significance of cities" because the wording of is for specific "edifices" and "buildings" not a city which contains such "edifices" and "buildings".
  • And that Dresden was a culturaly significant city that was covered by Hague IX, Art. 5.

All these issues takes it from a simple self evident point to one which needs a source to back up such speculation.

Also in both Hague IX Article 5 and Hague IV Article Art. 27. contain a second paragraph which you do not include "It is the duty of the inhabitants to indicate such monuments, edifices, or places by visible signs"/"duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings or places by distinctive and visible signs" to exclude the second paragraph gives the quote a specific POV. At a practical level to light up such buildings so that they could have been seen by the RAF bombers at night would have left the rest of the a city vulnerable to attack. No belligerent who's cities were likely to be subject to stratigic bombing complied with the second half of the two Hague articles. This means that in defence of their bombing of cities, the air-arms of the belligerents could argue that as there were no visible signs that the Art 5 and Art 27 did not apply to them. I am not saying that this is correct just that if you are going to include mention of the Article(s), you need a source which says that they are relevent to the Aerial bombardment of Dresden. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:53, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

What you are arguing is irrelevant. You write: excluding the second paragraph gives the quote a specific POV. No, it does not. My point is that the difference between a place like the Vatican and a simple, "one horse town" where troops are passing through was something the Hague considered, and the failure of the Allies to do the same constitues an instance of controversial negligence.
(your point - regardless of descrepancies - would be relevant if my aim would be to show that the bombing was illegal because the Allies did not follow these procedures. In that case, it would be important to mention that the Germans did not follow the protocol (as you mentioned) and designate sacred locations, though one could counter that technology in 1945 could accomplish the same thing placing signs could do in the late 19th century, when hundreds of hot air balloons were not able to routinely perform reconnaissance missions, etc. etc. etc.)
Still, this is not the point I am making so I will not continue on this. My point is that no legal argument concerning cultural significance is being made by anyone other than yourself. I wish to forward that the Hague acknowledges the importance of preseving structures significant to the culture and that is all. You are trying to expand this argument in other directons. Perhaps instead of blanking my version, you could change this part to make it clear that it does not forward the idea you feel it does and find problematic. I understand your point of view, but I think you are only focusing on the legality of Dresden; the argument, in this particular case, is not over legality! The focus is on Allied negligence and if you study the Nuremberg trials carefully, you will find this an abstract notion of "indifference", even during the state of war, is important. In fact, several key points of the U.S. Military tribunal SHOW that it was necessary to defend the integrity. If this serves as a counterpoint, it should also serve as a point (or the other way around).
We obviously need a neutral source to examine this, because we aren't working towards a solution, its just you reverting my work and vice-versa. In any case, pointing out the grammatical errors in your version was not a suggestion that you should fix your typos and forget everything I did with the article.-- 20:36, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes I am "focusing on the legality of Dresden;" because that is what the article and the section, "The case for the bombing as a war crime" is about. It would be different if it were titled "The case for the bombing as an immoral act". I am not against inclusion of Hague IX art 5 if you can find a source which ties it into the bombing of Dresden, or for that matter into Area bombardment in general. But without a source it is just your speculation, and I don not think it should be included.

This however is not the only problem with your version. For example you have removed the Javier Guisández Gómez quote from the legal section which I think should remain in the article.--Philip Baird Shearer 09:40, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes I am "focusing on the legality of Dresden;" because that is what the article and the section, "The case for the bombing as a war crime" is about. Legality has a strong base in moral codes, which is precisely where the former is derived from. Why is this all so foreign to you? Again, the Nuremberg War Tribunal. Look no further.-- 08:33, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
It is not a fact that the rules of aerial bombardment existed. However, the Allies claimed that their conduct was justified based on goals and no purposeful intention of malice (see your own section). In order to debunk this nonsense, details that sound like they are solely arguing morality are, contrary to your belief, necessary. The below are an appeal to morality, yes, but they relate directly to the argument that the Allies are bluffing:
  • Churchill and his conservative hooligans wanted war with the Germans when they were still negotiating with Poland, before Czechoslovakia. (they don't appear to have the background that would pardon suspicions that they were acting maliciously on purpose)
  • After Dresden, leveling almost every German city prior with horrific results (44,000 dead in Hamburg), he second guessed his heartless bombing campaign with consideration that Britain would inherit a wasteland. Any sign of the interests of the German people? (same as sign that the "unexpected" result of Dresden was unexpected, no sign of dramatic reevaluation of policy that would show there was no malicious intent)
  • Churchill and FDR met at Potsdam and both wished to reduce Germany to an agrarian nation, living no higher standards than the rest of Europe and completely dependant. Now considering Germany was an industrial megapower and all of its useful territory can't be given away, this puts the bombing episodes in a completely different context. The statements are almost direct verbatim from Potsdam, btw. (suggests the "reasons for the bombing" were hogwash)
I will consider on the wording of the "cultural significance" portion. I will even permit Gomez the crank to be quoted as the "all-knowing historian" who is "evidence" that the Greco-German court tribunal's decision may not have put into effect the terms for aerial bombardment. What I find peculiar about this is that in the hierarchal Court of Law, a lower court's ruling stands until a higher court decides against it. Would the same apply in international law? Whatever, I said I'll concede on this point and I'll stick to my work. I do not agree with your other changes however, for the reasons I have stated time and time again. There is one new point that I have not addressed. Your latest decision that Some Germans is a fair way to address the views of some opposing politicians is not acceptable. Please stop using this page to advance your pet theories. My other concerns have already been addressed and I will not repeat myself again. This is getting very old. -- 08:33, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
The shock to military planners and to the Allied civlian populations of a Nazi counter attack known as the Battle of the Bulge had ended speculation that the war was almost over, and may have contributed to the decision to continue with the area bombardment of German cities. Are you sure that you aren't confusing the Battle of the Bulge with Operation Market Garden?-- 08:33, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
There are now over twenty citations in the case for section, which finally gives this issue the attention it deserves.-- 08:33, 14 October 2006 (UTC)


This britsh area bombing directive nr. 42 lead to a systimatical attacking of the geman civil populatiuon. the british attacks were concentrated on workingclass quarters and midivael citycenters. The goal was pure terror against civilians. The amount of civilian loses were enormous. In Hamburg (55.000 dead, in Dresden betwenn 25.000 and 35.000 dead, in Pforzheim 20.277 dead ,31,4 % of all inhabitants, in Darmstadt 12.500 dead, 66.000 homeless out of former 110.000 inhabitants, Kassel 10.000 dead, Heilbronn 6500 dead, Würzburg 8500 dead etc. Churcill, Harris, Lindmann and many other bristish politicians and military personell was not sentenced for his warcrimes after the war.--Kastorius 16:27, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

If you have the sources to defend your claims, why not try to contribute to the article then?-- 18:12, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
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  1. ^ The Air Force Law Review Volume 56 2005 (PDF) Page 57/58