Talk:Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet

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Bombing victims, Berlin, Autumn 1944

I have removed from the lede the section: "The argument Harris continued to adhere to an area bombing strategy due to the inaccuracy of his bomber force, despite the absence of evidence (or even attempts to gather any) of its effectiveness, is based on a misapprehension of the circumstances. He was not dissuaded from it by his seniors, Portal and Churchill, both of whom had access to better intelligence than Harris, nor were there serious misgivings about the campaign expressed by his seniors (or anyone in the Government) at the time."

which strikes me as not the main criticism levelled at Harris. It also fails encyclopaedic style; we should give an account of the controversy, not try to kill it at first mention. Richard Keatinge (talk) 16:23, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

This Wikipedia article here does not even mention the controversy. A badly lopsided article. More info here

and more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

re the inclusion of photos regarding on this matter, an edit war is developing with the other editor insisting that the photo at issue is "POV". This argument misuses WP:NPOV because the Wikipedia principle applies to ARTICLES. An edit can, indeed, make an article biased. But note that this is assessed by looking at the WHOLE article after the edit has been made. If photos themselves were POV then neutrality would be a grounds for deletion over at Wikimedia Commons. I've contributed to and been involved with policy discussions over at the Commons for years and I can assure you that the idea that a photograph is inherently non-neutral is not a generally accepted principle. It follows that "that photo is POV" is an invalid argument.--Brian Dell (talk) 19:09, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

It's not the photo itself, it's the inclusion. It biases the view against Harris, makes it look as if he personally killed the people in the photo, & AFAICT, adds nothing. They were victims of the policy, not the man, & as such, the pic, if it belongs anywhere (& I'm not convinced), it belongs on the strategic bombing page. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 19:40, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
The man is controversial because of the consequences of the policy he advocated. If you really believed this argument separating the man from his policies I would think you would be applying it consistently by removing the text that goes to this point as well as the imagery. How can it "add nothing" at the same time that it "biases the view against Harris"? Something that allegedly tips the scales has to have some substance. Your objection thus appears to be that the material at issue makes the case too strongly for Harris' tenure being controversial. Is the most appropriate response to that view to increase the reader's ignorance about why many view Harris' policy critically OR to increase the reader's knowledge about the competing view? It is most respectful of the reader to present both views as persuasively as the inherent merits of both views allow such that the reader then draws his or her own conclusion. Cutting a hole in one side or the other is far less appropriate, I suggest, since it involves Wikipedia editors pre-judging the merits of each case and then letting that view determine how the cases for and against will be presented to the reader. Instead of weakening one perspective, in other words, I suggest strengthening the other. You are going to have an edit war when instead of presenting your own case you rewrite or, in this case, just delete part of the case presented by others.--Brian Dell (talk) 19:49, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
♠The man is controversial for endorsing & continuing the policy. He did not carry out the acts himself. The victims are a product of the policy. Put it at strategic bombing, because that's where it belongs.
♠"the material at issue makes the case too strongly" Bull. That picture doesn't "make the case". It isn't even about the case, which is "made" (or not) at strategic bombing. What's at issue on this page is Harris' role in carrying out the policy. That photo adds nothing to understanding his role. Want to make the case for or against strategic bombing & Harris' defense of it? Cite from Terraine's criticism of not doing more minelaying. Or explain why Harris continued to defend throwing his aircrews at targets that got better & better defended as the war went on, & the Germans knew the bombers would come back. We call Haig an idiot for doing it at Verdun; why not Harris?
♠"How can it 'add nothing' at the same time that it 'biases the view against Harris'?" Simple. You want to use the picture to dirty Harris, not to inform. The picture is deliberately evocative, & not directly related to any act Harris carried out on his own. It amounts to calling him a baby killer. Was he on the mission that killed those people? No. Was he on any bombing mission over Berlin in WW2? No. Was he ever on any bombing mission in WW2? No.
♠This picture is being added AFAICT only to bias the reader against Harris. Where are the pictures of bodies on Göring's page? On Spaatz's? On LeMay's? On Himmler's? On Hitler's? Nowhere, & for the same reason. Leave it out. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 22:39, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Go over to the Vladimir Lenin page and remove the photos of the bodies arguing "Lenin did not carry out these acts himself" and see if the consensus supports your view. You could also go over to the Karl Hermann Frank page and complain that the article portrays the subject as a "baby killer" because of the imagery included. The fact of the matter is that your "nowhere" claim is simply false. "Where" must be and is assessed on an article by article basis. In this case the civilian deaths consequent to Harris' policy is a non-trivial issue with respect to Harris and his legacy. You state here that Harris' policy should be disagreed with on the basis of targets being too strongly defended etc, ie without reference to the issue of civilian casualties. The fact of the matter is that there IS an issue (see the sources another editor called attention to above, and other reliable sources such as The Times which two decades ago identified Harris as a "fanatical believer in the carpet bombing of civilians"). WP:NPOV means a full and frank presentation, not a whitewash. I should think that such a presentation should be possible without the WP:CENSORship you demand. I've already tried to accommodate your concerns with respect to the prominence this is given, but I take it you are unwilling to entertain any compromise. I would invite you to consult Wikipedia:Assume good faith and consider the possibility that I am interested in making Wikipedia more informative and encyclopedic as opposed to "dirty"ing anyone.--Brian Dell (talk) 06:58, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
♠If you were paying attention, you'd have noticed a clear & unambiguous distinction between Harris, who followed policy, & Lenin, who made it.
♠"your "nowhere" claim is simply false" Since I never once mentioned Lenin or Frank, it's still true. I also draw a distinction between Lenin, who AFAIK never masterminded gas chambers, & Himmler, who did. Nor, frankly, do I care, since in either case there'd be a good reason to leave in pictures of bodies. Where is the good reason here?
♠You don't want to dirty Harris. So be it. Nevertheless, that's how it looks by your insistence on this photo. Why not one more representative? Hamburg burning? Berlin in ruin? Both of which would be directly related to Harris' actions & would still be in keeping with the criticisms. What is it about dead bodies that makes it so important--except for the emotional impact in criticising Harris' stance? And, I repeat, why here? And why not Spaatz, or LeMay, or Göring?
♠"civilian deaths consequent to Harris' policy" And that is the other reason I think you're out to dirty Harris. It wasn't his policy, it was the policy of the British government. You appear to be trying to make Harris carry the weight. So why not put this on Portal's page? Or Churchill's? Or, as I keep asking & you keep ignoring, strategic bombing, where there is at least a causal connection? Why here?
♠"without reference to the issue of civilian casualties" Without unde weight given civilian casualties, certainly, which this picture also does, by its emphasis on the dead only. (We can argue elsewhere about the supposed innocence of said civilians.) It makes no difference, since, as already said, Harris didn't make the policy. It appears this photo is intended to make out he not only did, but personally carried it out. And you keep throwing up every extraneous argument you can think of, not one really explaining what it is about this picture that makes it so valuable to understanding Harris' actions.
♠"'Where' must be and is assessed on an article by article basis" So it is. And you have to justify inclusion. Claiming censorship is nonsense. You want it in, justify it. Your wanting it that way doesn't get it. And I don't need a reason to delete it. Adding an evocative picture simply because "we can" isn't NPOV, contrary to what you may think: it's biasing the reader against Harris, & that makes it a POV add. Get over it. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 08:41, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Your contention that Harris was just following orders is not supported by the sources. Were it true that Harris had no more responsibility than the airmen who opened the bomb doors, Harris would not be a controversial figure. re the question I "keep ignoring", at issue here is not your deletion of material at another article but at this article. Please see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Why not imagery of Hamburg burning? I have no objection to this, but note that it's primarily the civilian deaths and injuries that makes Harris controversial, not the property damage. Amongst the sources that have as their central topic the moral opposition to Harris, show me the ones that focus on the latter instead of the former if that's what you believe is most controversial. In any case, you don't seem keen to acknowledge any controversy at all; you have not attempted to exchange this photo with another one more satisfactory to you. You DO need to provide a reason why the argument for inclusion is invalid once an argument has been advanced. If this were not the case please cite where in Wikipedia policy it says deletionists are not under an obligation to engage on the Talk page. Finally, note that in this Talk section three persons have voiced concern over the minimization of Harris' responsibility for the civilian consequences and only one, you, feels that there is not a POV problem here in need of correction. I'm tagging the article as non-neutral unless and until this consensus opinion should change. Not "biasing the reader" means respecting the reader's capacity to draw appropriate conclusions following a full and frank presentation of alternative perspectives, not whiting out what you consider too much for the reader's tender sensibilities. Andrew Roberts (historian) defends the morality of Harris' bombing in his 2009 book The Storm of War AND he includes this photo. If he can do it why can't you?--Brian Dell (talk) 22:32, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
♠"argument for inclusion is invalid once an argument has been advanced" So where is it?
♠Andrew Roberts? I'm happy for him. He's not WP, nor is he this page. You have yet to offer a reason this page should include it. One appearance in one source is not a reason.
♠"Your contention that Harris was just following orders is not supported by the sources." Your contention Harris was making the policy certainly isn't. Care to offer a source showing Harris was in the meetings with Churchill & Lindemann where the dehousing policy was decided? Harris was unquestionably a fervent advocate for strategic bombing. That's a very different thing from being an architect of the policy. I can't help it you seem not to know the difference.
♠"at issue here is not your deletion of material at another article" At issue here is your inclusion of a photo. Which you continue to refuse to offer any rationale for including, beyond your criticism of Harris, which is a separate issue. Show me how that photo adds to my understanding of his actions. Show me how it does anything besides make him out a butcher. You continue to refuse.
♠"sources that have as their central topic the moral opposition to Harris" Their central topic? Not any that criticise Harris' actions, but only ones about "moral opposition"? So Terraine's criticism is invalid because it's not "moral opposition" & not a "central topic"? How about Ethics & Airpower"? It's not strictly about Harris. Does it not count, either?
♠"you have not attempted to exchange this photo with another one more satisfactory to you" Because I feel no particular need for photos of dead civilians. I disagree the civilian deaths were unjustified, & I find the discussion of the issue as presented suffices.
♠"respecting the reader's capacity to draw appropriate conclusions following a full and frank presentation" It also means not weighting the scales in how it's presented, & that's everything from choice of words to choice of images.
♠"tagging the article as non-neutral" Ridiculous. Just because you can't get one lousy photo in? Read the actual content of the page, why don't you?
♠"minimization of Harris' responsibility" For the execution, no. I do disagree on his responsibility for the creation of the policy, as noted. Harris didn't decide it. If you think he did, show me the source saying he was in the policy meetings. And I disagree on the alleged immorality of it. That is a debate for another page, because that is about the policy, not Harris. As for Roberts, it appears I'd agree with him. As said, that's a debate for another page. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 22:34, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Even if such photo was appropriate, the date that this particular photo was taken 23 September 1944, indicates that the victims were not casualties of the RAF (See RSF Campaign Diary September 1944 -- the RAF heavies of Bomber Command was still bombing France in support of the Normandy lodgement).

I think that this debate is sterile. Bomber Harris did not decide policy, but he chose to interpret policy in such a way to favour area bombing. Post the D-Day break, he could have chosen to put more emphasis on the part of the policy that emphasised precision bombing. I find it amassing that he was not informed of the ULTRA secret, and I think an PhD exists in detailing exactly why he was not included. Without the information and the source it came from, he could not make the informed decisions that being a party to ULTRA would have allowed.

It is well known that Churchill distanced himself from the policy of area bombing as detailed in the bombing of Dresden: British wartime response article. One of the interesting points to note is the famous first telegram was one that, if not found in the archives by David Irving, was emphasised in Irving's book The Destruction of Dresden -- as was Operation Thunderclap (another piece of Irving's disinformation that still surfaces from time to time).

Given that Churchill and others distanced themselves, then Harris, the public face of Bomber Command for most of the war, ended up with the buck. To argue that he was responsible for the policy is simplistic, while to argue he was free of all responsibility as his apologists do is equally disingenuous.

The thoughts of Donald Bloxham, one of the historians who has pondered on this, is detailed in "bombing of Dresden: war crime", Bloxham considers Churchill to be the man where the buck should stop, so if the image that starts this belongs in any biography it should be placed in the Churchill biography! I can't see that there would be general consensus for this.

As there has been no more debate about this issue here since February, I am removing the POV template at the top of the article. There is no reason why the subject can not be debated further, but until there are concrete suggestions with sources on how we could improve this article there is no need for a POV template at the top of the article.-- PBS (talk) 15:26, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Harris had little to do with official policy as he wasn't a politician, policy was decided upon by the War Cabinet, of which Churchill as Minister of Defence was head. The War Cabinet looked for advice from IIRC the CIGS, the First Sea Lord, and the Chief of the Air Staff which IIRC was Portal. This was the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Harris' main contribution would have been to inform the Cabinet what his force was capable of, and what it was not.
Any 'advocating' of the Area Bombing policy by him is likely to have been due to his recognition that at night the majority of RAF BC was capable of little else. If ordered to implement a policy that was not in his opinion practicable, it was his job to point out this and to provide suggestions on what he considered was practicable. This he did.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
" I find it amassing that he was not informed of the ULTRA secret, and I think an PhD exists in detailing exactly why he was not included. Without the information and the source it came from, he could not make the informed decisions that being a party to ULTRA would have allowed." - Harris was not notified of Ultra because he was not one of the two designated UK air commanders to be so-informed. IIRC, Portal was one and I suspect the other was Bufton, but Harris was not informed, as there were only allowed to be two notified persons. The number of nominated Allied persons to be so-informed of Ultra IIRC had been agreed earlier with the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington. The Allied land commanders so-informed were IIRC, Alan Brooke and Montgomery, together with Marshall and Eisenhower on the US side. I'm not sure of the designated US air commanders, but I suspect it was Doolittle and later Spaatz but I might be wrong, as Marshall was already head of the USAAC/USAAF. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:08, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Collateral Damage & Civilian Casualties The Goal; Industrial Targets a Bonus[edit]

Here is an interesting quote made by Bomber Harris and seems to confirm a basic hunch I had about the guy: "I want to point out, that besides Essen, we never actually considered any particular industrial sites as targets. The destruction of industrial sites was always some sort of bonus for us. Our real targets always were the inner cities."
Essentially, he effectively admitted that the objective was to commit mass destruction, mass-murder, and terrorism; any industrial targets that got taken out were simply dumb luck except for Essen evidently. Harris seemed as I understand it to be a guy who had a real one track mind: Bomb cities, kill lots of civilians, terrorize them and make them so miserable they'll cry uncle, win war. (talk) 02:00, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

That's simplistic. You can see his rationale in the World at War interviews. Firstly, the level of precision that specifically bombing ONLY industrial targets required, at night, didn't exist for most of the bombing campaign. The famous 617 squadron from 1944 could do this, but they were an elite, specially trained unit. The concept was to destroy cities. Partially "revenge" (or have you forgotten the Blitz, Coventry etc). It was also based upon the idea that destroying the infrastructure of a city would smash the ability to get the workers to the factories. It also caused the Germans to relocate their industrial base. Speer claimed their production figures would have been 3 times as great if it were not so. I don't like area bombing, and much of the bombing campaigns of the World War equate to terror tactics, but a) the aim wasn't just to frighten people and kill civilians, it was to disrupt production (destroying a city and transport infrastructure is arguably more effective than dropping bombs on a factory) b) whilst Harris was an advocate of strategic bombing, he didn't invent the concept, nor is he responsible for it being adopted as policy by the War Cabinet. Harris simply didn't believe that his force was able to target individual factories reliably enough, so he didn't target them. Late in the war they did, including oil facilities. But in '42, '43 and indeed much of '44 he was probably right. Which is why the USAAF persisted with daylight raids. We should shrink from the fact he advocated bombing, but we should be clear why he did so, and not try to make him some sort of scapegoat. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:11, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

As I commented on other pages there was nothing stopping the German government from evacuating their cities, and if this had been done then RAF BC would not have been able to hurt or kill their populations. Blaming Harris and RAF BC for doing this seems a bit silly when just about everyone else - whether by accident or design - was doing the same. Perhaps what the critics dislike about Harris and RAF BC is that while other countries air forces tried to bomb the c**p out of their enemies and failed, the Harris and the RAF succeeded, such that much of Germany was literally a pile of ruins by 1945.
The other point is that most of the people complaining about the bombing of Germany were not there at the time, and in fact most reasonable decent Germans who were thought that they had only got what they deserved, horrible as it may have been. No one asked Germany to invade Poland in 1939 - certainly the British didn't. Most of the criticism of Harris and RAF BC has only surfaced in the last few decades when memories have started to fade of the vile, despicable, things the Nazi leadership of 1933-1945 did.
The policy of area bombing wasn't Harris', it had been decided upon when Pierce was CO Bomber Command, and it was carried out through to the end of the war simply because it was a way of seriously hurting Germany, both in its will to continue the war, as well as it's means of production. Put simply, it left the German people in no doubt about the inadvisability of following a man like Hitler, and also gave them visible proof that war was not going to be all victory parades and marching bands. As Harris himself said of Area Bombing, "For want of a rapier, we used a bludgeon".
And if Germany had made peace or surrendered in 1941 due to the bombing of German cities, perhaps due to Hitler's government being deposed by more reasonable people, what would the critics have said about Harris then. That's all the German people would have had to of done to have stopped the bombing. They didn't, although to be fair to them they did at least try.
BTW, it wasn't 'mass murder' as all the German government needed to do to prevent injuries to its population was to re-locate them elsewhere, if only temporarily. They didn't do this because all the armament factories were in the big cities, so German armament production would have been halted. You can't 'murder' people if they are not there to be 'murdered'. The German government and people had a choice whether to move out of the cities or not, see, the British weren't stopping them.
The other thing of course is that most of Harris' and RAF BC's post-war critics haven't had Nazi aeroplanes overhead trying to kill them. Well Harris had, in 1940 he had stood on the roof of the Air Ministry building Adastral House, and watched the fires as London burned. It was then that he said to a companion " ...they are sowing the wind" *.
In 1940-41 London was the most heavily-bombed place on earth, a fact that Nazi newspapers such as the Völkischer Beobachter delighted in gloating over, and it is fair to say that from around 1940-on the average Briton hated and loathed both Germany and the Germans, and it says a lot for the tolerance and civilised behaviour of the British that they rapidly forgave both after 1945. Not all though, IIRC that kind, decent, and humane comedian Michael Bentine would not enter a lift with a German of any kind post-war because he did not trust himself with one. But then he was at Belsen with the camp's liberators.
Harris and RAF Bomber Command made a substantial contribution to ridding the world (and indeed Germany) of Hitler and his Nazi regime, and nothing critics and revisionists might like to think or say changes that.
* In other words, be careful what bad things you do to others when you are on the up, as these bad things may later come back to you a thousand times worse. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Germany and the Soviet Union both invaded Poland in 1939 - Britain only declared war on Germany. The Blitz happened because the British had already bombed Germany since May 1940. (Xsjsk (talk) 14:22, 7 September 2016 (UTC))
The Soviet Union moved in to Poland and took over areas that had already been conquered by Germany. Little of this was known in the West at the time because Hitler and Stalin's agreement to allow for this was secret.
The RAF bombed Wilhelmshaven in 1940 which was a German naval base. They didn't start bombing German cities until well into the Battle of Britain/The Blitz, in part due to the Luftwaffe (mistakenly) bombing housing in London's East End while aiming for the London Docks.
The Area Bombing policy was referred-to as 'de-housing' and was intended to destroy the housing used by the industrial workers so giving the German government, in addition to the industrial disruption caused, due to most of the armament and other war factories being within the same general area, the added strain on resources needed to re-house and feed these workers. Simply killing the workers would not have had as much effect on German resources. This RAF policy was based on the (mistaken) assumption that the Nazi Government would do for its people the same as the British Government had done for its people earlier, and evacuate the non-essential personnel from the cities. That Hitler and his leadership did not do this was no fault of the RAF or of the British.
It was the Nazi government's responsibility to look after the safety of its citizens, and the RAF had been dropping millions of leaflets telling the German population exactly what it was going to do to the German cities for at least two years prior to 1943-44. As it turned out, Hitler and his regime gassed more German citizens than the RAF killed.
Both the Luftwaffe and the RAF had bombed cities and towns by day prior to 1941 however the targets in these cities and towns had been legitimate factory targets producing munitions and other war materiel. After the bombs fell on housing in London docklands however the British stopped aiming at particular targets and from then on simply bombed the general area containing the target(s). This was also a result of the difficulty in identifying the individual targets, which were by then being attacked at night. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 30 March 2018 (UTC)


The article makes the odd claim: 'The American Official History notes that Harris was ordered to cease attacks on oil in November 1944,' supposedly because the job was done. Either the US official historians Craven & Cate are wrong (quite possible), or the author citing them, Peter Grey, is wrong, or the editor's misunderstood something. As Martin Middlebrook & Chris Everitt explain in The Bomber Command War Diaries (Midland 1996, p.566), a 25 September directive to Bomber Command and Eighth Air Force gave oil as the highest priority. (Rail and waterways were second, tank and vehicle production third, with cities only when 'weather and tactical conditions are unsuitable for operations against primary objectives.') This was followed up by an Air Staff memo to Harris on 1 November: 'Sir, I am directed... to inform you that, in view of the great contribution which the strategic bomber forces are making by their attacks on the enemy petroleum industry and his oil supplies, it has been decided that the maximum effort is to be made to maintain and, if possible, intensify pressure on this target system.' (Middlebrook & Everitt cite the British official history, Sir Charles Webster & Noble Frankland, The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, HMSO 1961, Vol.IV, pp.172-3, 177-8.) That was the memo on which Harris famously scribbled, 'Here we go round the mulberry bush.' But his views didn't matter, and despite the weather he carried out oil attacks on most days and many nights throughout November and on into April 1945. His crews eventually dropped 50% more tonnage on oil targets than the US Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces combined, about 64,000 to 43,000. Khamba Tendal (talk) 14:18, 6 May 2016 (UTC)


I want to homogenise the citation style and I want to do it by linking the short citations to references in the references section using templates. Does anyone have a problem with me making these changes? -- PBS (talk) 17:11, 2 August 2013 (UTC) 10.170|talk]]) 14:14, 31 July 2016 (UTC))

It looks fine to me as it is. Dormskirk (talk) 21:39, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

Major in the RAF?[edit]

You say He finished the war a major.

Are you sure there was such a rank as Major in the R.A.F. in 1918?
Presumably he was promoted to Major while it was still the Royal Flying Corps - a part of the army, before it became the RAF in 1918. (Hohum @) 01:18, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Then it would be incorrect to say that he finished the war as a major. Perhaps an expert might fix this. Valetude (talk) 10:38, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
He was promoted to temporary major in the RAF on its formation on 1 April 1918 and then to squadron leader on 1 August 1919 (see [1]). So the statement is correct as currently drafted. Dormskirk (talk) 21:25, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for that, Dormskirk. Further investigation reveals that the rank of Squadron Leader was not created until August 1919. So the answer to my original question would be 'Yes, there was such a rank as Major in the RAF in 1918'. Valetude (talk) 00:20, 17 February 2017 (UTC)


The article goes, 'In 1942, Professor Frederick Lindemann (later ennobled as Lord Cherwell)...' No, Lindemann had already been ennobled a year before. And the rest of the article's no better. It still makes the false claim that Harris was ordered to stop bombing oil targets in November 1944. In reality, 'From 6 per cent of its bombing total on oil in October, Bomber Command increased the total to 24 per cent the following month.' (Overy, The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945, p.385.) Khamba Tendal (talk) 20:56, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Harris had a pre-existing Directive and orders direct from the War Cabinet and the Chief of the Air Staff to carry out the Area Bombing offensive and any new requests that contradicted such orders required specific new orders to be given him whether he approved of the new requests or not.
Hence any talk about him being 'unwilling' to do this, and 'having to be 'ordered' to do that, usually fails to take into account this rather simple (and what ought to be fairly obvious) fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:02, 6 March 2019 (UTC)


Other estimates are much higher than the 25,000 figure given in this article, because there were thousands of uncounted refugees in the city from the east who had not been included in any official census or counts prior to the bombing. This article should mention the official telegram from the mayor of Dresden on the day after the bombing, discovered by historian David Irving, which specifically mentions that 50,000 are are "unaccounted for." To not include this evidence in this article cannot be justified.Starhistory22 (talk) 01:15, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

David Irving is discredited. Some 35,000 were reported missing after the raid, of whom 10,000 were later found to be alive. Four weeks after the bombing, the SS Order of the Day Nr 47 gave a total of 20,204 bodies recovered so far. (This was leaked to the neutral press by Goebbels' propaganda ministry with a zero added to give 202,040.) The city authorities made great efforts to count the dead and the police report by the Reich chief of the Ordnungspolizei on 22 March 1945 gave a figure of 22,000 known dead with an estimate of the final number at 25,000. In 1993 a record was found in the city archives showing the total known dead by the end of April 1945 as 21,271. From May 1945 until 1966 only a further 1,858 bodies attributable to the bombing were discovered. Very few have been found since then and none at all since 1989. In 2010 an official inquiry on behalf of the city authorities confirmed 25,000 as the likely upper limit. Khamba Tendal (talk) 17:04, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

area/strategic bombing[edit]

The 'dehousing' or 'strategic' bombing policy was first suggested by Frederik Lindemann in a paper presented to Churchil in February 1942. German born, he was the chief scientific adviser to Churchill. He believed in eugenics and seems to have conceived a violent hatred of Germans. He also did not believe in the V2 bombs.Pamour (talk) 16:58, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

" ... conceived a violent hatred of Germans. " - perhaps that was because the Luftwaffe had been coming over and dropping bombs on his country.
And not really about Harris. Besides which, it's the product of Bomber Command's inability to hit anything smaller than a city. That it was misguided in its fundamental thrust (civilian morale) is another matter. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 16:32, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
The objective of undermining civilian morale was with hindsight misguided, although much was known of conditions within the occupied territories, due to SOE, etc., very little was known at the time of conditions within Germany, and it was hoped the German people would eventually rise up and overthrow Hitler and his regime and under a new government arrange a peace deal. This was before Roosevelt unilaterally announced a demand for unconditional German surrender. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 11 April 2019 (UTC)