Talk:Terror bombing/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Item one

Level bombing aka Strategic bombing is something slightly different from Terror bombing. Although the result for the civilians down there is practically the same, the reason for bombing a city is that there is war industry or military installations. Hiroshima and Dresden were an exception, not a rule. I'm thinking on how to reword the recent additions by User:Get-back-world-respect. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 20:32, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)

Given that Hamburg, Berlin, and Tokyo saw the same deliberate bombing of civilians it is entirely arbitrary to call Dresden and Hiroshima an exception but the bombing of Polish cities the rule. The Nazis started with the criminal way of fighting the war, the allies copied it. Get-back-world-respect 23:40, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)
No, you got it wrong. Terror bombing does not refer to bombing the cities (see: bombing of cities for comparison). Terror bombing generally refers to strafing the civilians on the roads, or bombing the churches and hospitals only, not the entire city with factories, houses, military and civilian facilities.
At the outbreak of WWII the Germans started both the criminal terror bombing and city bombing, but the Allies copied only the latter. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 02:37, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)
The Allies also deliberately targeted civilians in order to break the morale of the enemy, see Arthur Travers Harris or Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Altogether I think that it does not contribute a lot to start a whole bunch of articles about closely related topics. I cannot see how some bombings could be classified as terror bombings and others as strategic bombings in a neutral way. "But we hit something of military importance" (along with the hundreds of thousands of civilians) is a poor excuse. Get-back-world-respect 23:23, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The Allies did not target civilians they targeted their property, which the rules of war during WWII allowed and was justified by needs of total war. Philip Baird Shearer 23:24, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This statement is dead wrong and an offense to all those who died. I could not dispute more the neutrality of this article. Get-back-world-respect 01:47, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Firebombing residential neighborhoods in Japan and Germany should NOT get a pass on the consideration of terror bombing. Why are the terrible fire bombings of Japan only given one line of text while lesser incidents of the war are covered in depth? Also I find it ironic that the atomic bombs, whose sole purpose is to kill large civilian population centers, only gets one line as well. This article is not neutral by any means but I haven't the time or patience to do it myself. Karl Friedrich 02:17, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

in 1944 Arthur Harris changed how the RAF determined the success of a raid from acres of workers housing destroyed to number of civilian workers killed. How is that not deliberately targeting civilians? The Luftwaffee was hoplessly tied to army offenses and could never engage in the wide spread 'terror' bombing the RAF routinely did. There were exceptions, you cannot compair the number of Germans civilians murdered by the RAF to the number of British civilians murdered by the Luftwaffee.

Please sign your postings to talk pages with 4 tildes ~~~~
Killing people within the laws of war is not murder. What is your source for your statment that "Harris changed how the RAF determined the success of a raid from acres of workers housing destroyed to number of civilian workers killed"? The RAF could measure the destruction by aerial reconnaissance photography before and after, how could the RAF have counted the bodies? Philip Baird Shearer 17:07, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Fair enough, then I suggest we move the bombing of london outside of it, under the same logic. Germany had no means either of counting bodies, ergo by your logic, the Luftwaffe did not target civilians.--anonymous —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 00:28, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

picture text

Can anyone give a proper translation of the text on the Ju-52 bomber photograph? I can translate it literally (Whether figures, gasoline, bombs or bread, we bring Poland (Poles) death), but I don't understand the reference to figures or bread...they must have alternate or idiomatic meanings in this context.

terrorist aviators

the idea of "terrorist aviators" was kicked around by the Nazis Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 17: ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SECOND DAY Friday, 5 July 1946 and I wonder if there is a hidden adjenda to this article. -- Philip Baird Shearer 23:26, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Do you not think that you show your agenda rather openly? Get-back-world-respect 02:04, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Japanese Surrender

Did the Japanese surrender unconditionally?

the potsdam decleration said

There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.

But the surrender documents did not go that far. The surrender documents specifically the "INSTRUMENT OF SURRENDER" states that like the German Armed forces the Japanes armed forces surrendered unconditionally "unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under the Japanese control wherever situated" But unlike the German State which was subject to the Four Powers Agreement:

The Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom, and the Provisional Government of the French Republic, hereby assume supreme authority with respect to Germany, including all the powers possessed by the German Government, the High Command and any state, municipal, or local government or authority.

In the case of the Japanese surrender document it states:

The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to ef- fectuate these terms of surrender.

It does not say that the Allied powers

assume supreme authority with respect to Japan, including all the powers possessed by the Japanese Government, the High Command and any state, municipal, or local government or authority.

So it was an an unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces but a conditional surrender of the Japanese government. The Japanese Emperor remaind the Emperor. [1] [2] [3] --Philip Baird Shearer 01:54, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The neutrality of this article is disputed

Get-back-world-respect What are your reasons for desputing the neutrality of this article? Philip Baird Shearer 02:13, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As I explained above, your statement "The Allies did not target civilians they targeted their property, which the rules of war during WWII allowed and was justified by needs of total war." is dead wrong and an offense to all those who died as is this entire article, which is distorted to reflect your view.
Just take this paragraph:
Recent treaty obligations make the deliberate targeting of noncombatants a war crime. Because of modern smart bombs, modern air forces no longer need to bomb whole areas containing large civilian populations. This was demonstrated in the use of smart munitions before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, when U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could speak of Shock and Awe bombings that he hoped would lead to an Iraqi surrender without the destruction of large areas of Baghdad.
Treaty obligations outruling war crimes are not recent at all. "Smart bombs" cost the life of tens of thousands of innocent people. And if U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had cared about the destruction of large areas of Baghdad he would not have started a war of aggression and ignited unprecedented world-wide terrorism. I do not write my personal view into this article, and you do not help anyone if you try to smear in yours. Sorry, but there are limits to politeness. Get-back-world-respect 02:24, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Treaties defining some things as a war crime are not new. I would not disagree with you on that. Please explain to me

  • Which was the first ratified treaty which explicitly forbade the targeting of civilians or civilian property from the air?
  • Which treaty prohibited reckless endangerment of civilians in war?

If you know the answers to these questions please add the information to the "Legal framework" section. It needs a lot of work particularly on post WWII treaties. --Philip Baird Shearer 03:04, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

My Twopenneth: Just to pick up some points from the above talk:

Terror bombing CAN apply to cities - the bombing of Dresden was the attack that inspired the use use of this word. There were no treaties that outlawed terror bombing in WW2, and as Phillip points out, what recent treaty has just done so, as you claim? And why is the NPOV stick halfway down? THAT in itself is biassed, it implies the top half of the article is ok and the bottom is wrong, therefore demonstrating a biassed view in itself. Move the sticker to the top please, or I will. Phillips statement 'The Allies did not target civilians they targeted their property' is absolutely correct. The object of area bombing was to destroy the means of production of war, which included workers houses as well as factories. Since Germany had undertaken total war, that makes such houses a perfectly legitimate target. On the other hand, strafing refugees (a pastime of bored Luftwaffe fighter pilots) most certainly WAS terror attack. Historically, the number of civilians killed in any war is rising and the number of soldiers falling, so I think it unlikely that you'll get back to near zero civilian casualties. Lincolnshire Poacher 19:19, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

On the other hand, strafing refugees (a pastime of bored Luftwaffe fighter pilots)
And US Air Force pilots. Lost an uncle (who was 10 at that time) that way. Also making a distinction between targeting civilians and targeting their houses is a weak argument. "It wasn't murder your honor, I just wanted to shoot the clothes he was wearing"

I moved it down from the top of the article to a specific section because GBWS did not reply to the above and I can see that the sentence:

when U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could speak of Shock and Awe bombings that he hoped would lead to an Iraqi surrender without the destruction of large areas of Baghdad.

Is open to two interpretations:

  1. Shock and Awe with precision munitions within the scope of Protocol I:Article 57 [4]. (Which although the US have not signed Protcol I they do recognise and abide by the principle behinf Article 57).
  2. If you are not Shocked and Awed in to surrender with precision weapons, then we will destroy large areas of Baghdad (Area Bomb you into Shock and Awe to force surrender.)

Personally I interprted the sentence 1. but I suspect that GBWR read it as 2. If you want to rewrite the sentence so that it is not ambigious then I say remove the section NPOV

Oh and BTW the term "terror bombing" was in use well before the Bombing of Dresden it was just not used to describe allied bombing by the allied media. See this speech by Goebbels one year to the Day before the Bombing of Dresden.

Those parts of the Reich that had already suffered enemy terror bombing were therefore somewhat concerned that the day would come when the Reich capital would have to endure the great test. -- Philip Baird Shearer 20:33, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

The refutation section says, "If a party of intruders breaks into your house and threatens you, you are surely able to take whatever actions you seem fit to protect your life and property". Does it include breaking into their house and killing their cat? --Shaddack 3 July 2005 20:11 (UTC)

In relation to allied terror bombing of german cities..."Although they did not specifically target civilians, they did target civilian housing" I not the only one befuddled by this statement? "I didnt shoot the man, I swear, I was just shooting at the air in front of his head!". This article seriously needs to be marked as "neutrality-disputed" on the main title.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm working on some changes to this article, as it's neutrality is indeed well disputed. The attacks on Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, and Kobe did not use conventional munitions or even attempt to mainly target production facilities, intentionally choosing massive firebombing instead. The only reason to firebombing instead of using regular bombs is to completely wipe out the civilian population through the resulting firestorm, which not only cooks everything in range but also sucks up the nearby oxygen and can kill possible survivors through suffocation. This is why "terror bombing" became linked with the Dresden bombing, and the bombings of Dresden, Hamburg, Kobe, and Tokyo are most definitely examples of it as well. For any who are still confused, the difference is that strategic bombings are targeted mainly at factories and trainstations and railyards which allows for most civilians to keep their lives, whereas firebombing is the deliberate act of burning to death every man, woman, and child alive in that city. ~Iodasaphe 7:34, 29 April 2006

I presume that you will be providing sources to back up the statement that "The only reason to firebombing instead of using regular bombs is to completely wipe out the civilian population through the resulting firestorm", Because There are a lot of sources to refute that statement. For example the dehousing paper by Cherwell:
If even half the total of 10,000 bombers were dropped on the built-up areas of these fifty-eight German towns the great majority of their inhabitants (about one-third of the German population) would be turned out of house and home (Longmate the Bombers page 131)
To by cynical it is much more effective to dehouse a population in Northern Europe than to kill them because the defending side has to divert resources to re-house them which does not have to be done if they are dead. This is exactly the same cynical motives for producing weapons which wound and do not kill outright. --Philip Baird Shearer 12:51, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
You wrote "The difference is that strategic bombings are targeted mainly at factories and trainstations and railyards which allows for most civilians to keep their lives, whereas firebombing is the deliberate act of burning to death every man, woman, and child alive in that city. " What is your source for this statment? --Philip Baird Shearer 12:51, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Although they did not specifically target civilians, they did target civilian housing and other civilian infastructure which was known to cause a large loss of life among civilians. This, as has been pointed out several times, is complete rot. (NB: Strafing of civilians is not TERROR BOMBING, as there are no BOMBS involved.) Colonel Mustard 05:01, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Use of aerial bombardment by Japan in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War

This is an important part of terror bombing before WWII not least because of the diplomatic traffic it generated like:

There is also a couple from Neville Chamberlain but I can not find them on the web right now. --Philip Baird Shearer 07:55, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Aerial Bombardments Since World War II

Modern weapons do not, however, prevent collateral damage. There are instances in all recent conflicts of civilians being killed by airborn munitions. Whether intentional or not, the psychological impact of these weapons can be experienced as the same as terror bombing.

While I greee with the first two sentences I am not at all sure about the third. What is the evidence that smart munitions induce the same psychological impact on a population the same as the deliberate targeting of that population by aerial attack? So can we have a source for this please.

There are also particular concerns in the modern world about the use of airborn landmines. Such mines can be spread indiscriminately and cannot be marked, effectively denying large areas to the civilisan population, often including vital farmland and infrastructure.

Please can we have a source for "particular concerns in the modern world about the use of airborn landmines". --Philip Baird Shearer 20:26, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

number of killed civilians by Allied Forces

there exists a lot of serious sources, which tell, that more than 600 000 civilians, among them 80 000 children were killed by raids of Allied Forces against german cities. If it isn't believable, may be there should be installed a own page, which lists all raids of Allied Forces against german cities, with the number of civilians, which were killed in any raid. There were more than 1000 raids. Wega14 18:23, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Now you write: killed civilians in Third Reich. But I think, there is a big difference, between Third Reich and Germany. Third Reich was the whole empire of Nazis, with all occupied countries, isn't it? But in sources it's written about german cities, isn't it? Wega14 18:54, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

As I understand it, the Third Reich territory consists of those regions under the direct rule of Berlin before September 1939. All occupations and annexations (eg all those annexed disputed territories in Poland) after the start of the war were/are not considered part of the Third Reich. I an not sure of the Sudetenland or the rest of Czechoslovakia, but they were so far east that it would not effect the numbers much either way unless the Allies include the USSR. The major territory that the Third Reich includes which most pople would not include in their understanding of Germany is Austria which was bombed (I think mainly by the USAAF Ninth/Fifteenth Air Force operating out of North Africa and Italy· This source says 24,000 Austrian civilians were kille during bombing raids. I think that a clear definition of what is meant by Germay when 600,000 is mentioned is needed to clarify this point --Philip Baird Shearer 19:38, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
One other thought does the 80,000 dead children include the boys killed while manning the Anti-aircraft guns or do they count as combatants? --Philip Baird Shearer 21:33, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

How cynic. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:12, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Merging of Aerial bombing of cities and Terror bombing

As the articles stand, I see them very similar although I understand there are some subtle differences. Perhaps they could both be merged...? --Francisco Valverde 20:32, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/Military aviation task force#Aerial bombing --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:17, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Polnish cities of wielun, Frampol etc.

these cities could not be counted as terror bombings, because the goal was of tactical nature and not to weaken the moral of the population to for a governement to surrender. The small town of wielun was attacked by 29 Stuka precision bombers. The target was the headquarter of an army division stationed there. this was the first german attack of the war. Theplan was a military behanding strike as prepartion for the proposed braekthrough of the german army group south 15 kilometer from there. Because of fog the attack went wrong and hit the city center. there is no connection why the german side should use a small countryside town (which was coquered on the same day by the germans) to force ponish goverment to surrender. thats not logical. Because poland was in such a bad military conidition at that time, that it was just a question of days anyway till they will military surrender. there was no need of vasting ammo. in a large scale terror bombing campaign. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Klastor (talkcontribs) 08:05, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


In the 1991 'Gulf War' the USAF dropped more bombs on Baghdad in single raids than were dropped on Japan in the whole of the Second World War
A Lancaster drops bundles of incendiary bombs (left), incendiary bombs and a “cookie” (right) on Duisburg on 15 October 1944. 9,000 tons on bombs were dropped on Duisburg in less than 24 hours during Operation Hurricane (1944)

It is true that the USAF did not drop any bombs on Japan because it was the USAAF that did that. However the USAAF dropped far more in both quantity and tonnage than was dropped in a single raid on Baghdad. If the claim is true then please give the date for the a specific air raid and the number of sorties flown in that raid, because even if one assumes that the Americans were dropping cluster bombs and counted bomblets, the total number of incendiaries alone dropped on Japan would have been far higher. According to the Bombing of Tokyo in World War II article B-29s delivered 147,000 short tons, (133,000 metric tons) on the home islands of Japan. According to this article "Iraq and Kuwait ... 88,500 tons of bombs have been dropped in over 109,000 sorties flown by a total of 2,800 fixed-wing aircraft." which is well short of the tonnage dropped on Japan, and includes tactical targets (like soldier in the desert) as well as on Baghdad. If one uses that source given above, only 3,000 out of 250,000 bombs dropped were on metropolitan Baghdad, which makes for a total of 88,500/250,00=0.354 tons per bomb, times 3,000 is 1,062 tons of bombs on Baghda, which is less than the tonnage dropped on Tokyo on night of March 9–10, (1,700 tons of bombs (see Strategic bombing during World War II#United States strategic bombing of Japan)) --Philip Baird Shearer 15:42, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

public perception

In the 1930s, the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica both conducted aerial attacks during the Spanish Civil War. The bombing of Guernica was the foremost example, leading to the seminal painting of "Guernica" by the artist Picasso showing all the horror and terror of such attacks. Many other cities were also bombed in this conflict, including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Malaga, Bilbao, Alicante, and Valladolid.

lol why does it seem like Picassos painting appears in every single Spanish Civil War article? Anyway, cities being bombed means nothing, those cities held enemy troops, artillery, tanks, and defenses. Guernica held enemy troops, had 2 weapons factories, and a bridgehead. Guernica is widely considered by military historians not to have been terror bombing- see works by James S Corum for validation.

Whoever is writing this article needs to somehow separate out public perception of what terror bombing is- attacks on cities to frighten and kill civilians, and what constitutes legitimate ground attack targets for airforces. You can turn to a book called Paths to Heaven for ideas to rip off. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:37, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

In addition the fact stated in the article that Warsaw contained no troops is completely false. Rotterdame AND Warsaw were actively defended and the bombings of those cities were tactical in nature. Of course bombing was an imperfect art in those days and many civilians no doubt perished, but the intent was NOT to attack them, but to wipe out MILITARY resistance.

I knowledgeable person in this subject would point out the bombing or Belgrade as a terror attack. Here for the first (and only with regards to early war examples) is a Luftwaffe Terror raid. The British RAF practiced terror raids, while not immediately (they did pamphleteering raids in 1939) on German cities. Indeed the start of the London blitz was prefaced by a Terror raid on Berlin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

You claim that Britain used terror bombing, but where is your reference to a valid source which explains how that Berlin raid by the RAF could reasonably be considered a terror attack?

Britain kept to its undertaking to bomb no civilian targets during the Second World War if its enemies stuck to that rule. Germany started terror bombing of civilian targets during the invasion of Poland in 1939 according to the article. Britain stuck to its pledge, only bombing German civilian targets after Germany had practised terror bombing of civilian targets in several nations /and/ after Germany had bombed British civilians (as Germany had done in the First World War). The fact that Germany had not used terror bombing against Britain during WWII before the RAF bombed German civilian targets is neither here nor there (don't forget that Germany used terror bombing against Britain from 1915-1918).

Regarding the attempts to re-write history to show that German didn't start the terror bombing in the Second World War:

To begin with, Germany invented terror bombing with its terror attacks on civilian targets particularly in Britain during the First World War. Paris got shelled by the Germans during that war and earlier wars for the same reason. Terror attacks against civilians had long been a German speciality - pre-dating Nazism by decades at least.

Most bombing during the early days of the Second World War was so imprecise that any suggestion that Germany was aiming at military targets in its attacks on Warsaw (etc) is quite simply laughable: the only accurate bomber the Germans had was the Ju 87 Stuka (which was too vulnerable to operate over Britain), and it had to bomb at low altitude to get good accuracy. These German raids were terror raids, and no defences would have been present if it had not been for the threat of such raids from the illegal German air force.

Troops were present in the city! Well, of course - troops are often kept in cities. That's no excuse for doing what the Germans did, which was attack civilian targets in those cities with the intention of terrorising the population into submission.

And finally, Piccasso's famous painting turns up in every article on the subject of Guernica because it's a picture that says tens of thousands of words about that particularly grim episode in human history. I see no cause to laugh sneeringly.

The fact that military force was based at Guernica has no bearing at all on the fact that the bombing was an unholy horror aimed at destroying the town and slaughtering civilians with the intention of terrorising them.

Three quarters of Guernica was totally destroyed, and almost all remaining buildings were damaged. Fleeing civilians were gunned down from the air.

But the armaments factory was unhurt, and the bridge which is alleged to have been one of the main targets of the raid was also untouched.

The attacks were clearly not attempting to achieve any military aim.

What about Beirut?

Beirut was bombed in 1993,1996,2006 in an effort the push it's poplulation to stop supporting Hezbollah. Robin Hood 1212 15:23, 20 July 2007 (UTC)


This article seems incredibly pro British, and keeps bleating on about how allegdedly, the British werent committing terror bombing in 1940, even though they statred ot, by deliberatly bombing Berlin before the Germans started the blitz —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:34, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

If you have references which indicate that something is wrong in the article, please provide them and explain how they show that the article is wrong.

If in your opinion there is a lack of balance, please describe how the balance can be restored.

Do bear in mind that there are a lot of historical revisionists out there who are trying to re-write the history of the Second World War to portray the Nazis as something other than what most people consider them to be: mass-murdering barbarians who had cast off all notion of decency and humanity, and were trying to establish control over as much of the world as they could. So Germany had to be stopped at any cost at all for the sake of civilisation (that seems to have been a very common view at the time).

The cost to /Germany/ of an Allied win was generally considered on the Allied side only by those who wanted to make the cost as heavy as possible to punish Germany for starting another European war. Don't forget that the last war started by Germany had ended only 21 years before and had caused traumatic numbers of casualties to Britain and France in particular, with most of the fighting occurring in France. French fields are still full of WWI munitions: look up the Iron Harvest.

(While the causes of the First World War are still not clear to my mind, it's usual in Britain and France to blame it on the damned Boche - the Germans)

Part of the pro-Nazi historical revisionism involves portraying the Allies as `no better than the Germans'. Suggesting that the RAF's bombing campaign was the same sort of terrorist action as German terror bombing of that war and the previous one is one of the items on the revisionists' lists - alongside trying to show that the German people and their equally disgusting allies in inhumanity (some Croats, for example) didn't murder innocent unarmed civilian men, women and children by the million for no other `crime' than being born to the `wrong' parents. Most of the victims of the German nation's mass-murder campaign were people identified by the German state as coming from the millennia-old ethno-religious background called `Jewish', but it was German policy to murder other people too: people with non-heterosexuality, people with disabilities, people from Roma communities, and many other innocent human beings were plucked out from society and murdered by German people as a matter of official state policy just for being `the wrong sort'.

When thinking about the Second World War, you must always bear in mind the horror of what is often called `The Holocaust'. I'd rather not dismiss the cruel slaughter of innocent millions with a trite name like that, hence my long paragraph above.

The `But they started it, Miss' argument belongs in the playground. However, you should bear in mind various things if you want to take that viewpoint.

Germany first bombed civilian targets in Britain on 9th Jan 1915, according to the article, which does not detail the public response which was highly outraged and violently angry. Many British people in the '39-'45 conflict remembered the Great War's civilian bombing raids by the Germans - the Second World War started only 24 years later. Britain did not bomb civilian targets in the First World War, although it had the heavy long-range bombers needed do to so.

(One of these bombers, which was too late to see operational service, was in 1919 the first aircraft to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. Look up the Vickers Vimy.)

The Germans started bombing civilian targets in the Second World War before the British started bombing Germany, as the article mentions. It also mentions Germany first bombed civilian targets during the Second World War in 1939, as part of the German invasion of Poland (Germany's plan for Poland involved killing and dispersing the population and replacing them with Germans, thus erasing Poland and the Polish national identity).

The article also states that Britain had undertaken to not bomb civilian targets provided that its enemies also did not bomb civilian targets in that conflict.

Britain stuck to that undertaking.

Okay, so what about /my/ bias?

Well, I'm a Brit. And this is what I think about it.

I've visited Dresden, read and seen the historical records of the destruction, seen how it's almost all new (and Iron Curtain shabby when I was there in 1980 IIRC) - it's horrible. But I've read and seen the historical records of the concentration and extermination camps. I've visited the Buchenwald concentration camp - that's worse.

In 1939, the Nazis just had to be stopped. Britain was unquestionably in the right in its war against Germany and found itself entering - alone, with no allies, and without adequate preparation - a fight to the death against an utterly ruthless enemy who had fully prepared and had successfully carried out several brutal invasions of European nations, using terror tactics in all cases: all had lost to the Blitzkrieg attacks of the Nazi war machine. Any means available are fair game in a situation like that.

So: from my point of view, I don't see any need to try to wriggle out of a claim that Britain used terror bombing against Germany because Germany has no grounds for complaint no matter what Britain did to it, and should be grateful that it was permitted to continue to exist and also permitted to reconstruct itself as a modern industrial nation. Germany should also be grateful to the USA for the vast amount of money that the USA poured in to help with that task.

(Meanwhile, bankrupt Britain had a lease-lend debt to pay off to the USA - which was finally cleared a few years ago)

On the `who started it first' angle:

After Britain entered the Second World War, the Germans started to bomb civilian targets as it had done in the First World War - first on the continent, and then in Britain. Britain didn't start to bomb civilian targets in Germany until the Second World War, and only after Germany had bombed civilian targets in many nations including Britain as part of a deliberate terror campaign. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:38, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Dubious use of sources.

Provide a direct quote from Hooton re: The "open city" and in relation to the OKW rejection of Von Richthofen's request. Dapi89 (talk) 17:05, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

...and please stop removing and changing already cited information - this not an honest policy. Dapi89 (talk) 17:12, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Already did - the referenced sentences are direct quotes from Hooton's 'Eagle in Flames' (or Phoenix Triumphant, I was reading both and will add later to book details to refs). Actually I find it amusing that you quoted v. R's request for terror bombing, when the next sentence in Hooton's well known book (it seems its another book though than the one you quote from Hooton) states flat out that it was rejected.. yes von Richthofen really liked the idea, would really want to flat out the city, he was a bad boy - but evil adults at the OKdL did not let him to try out his toys... As for the 'removing' already cited information, err, its the _same_ sentences from the _same_ author.. what is the problem with the same sentences that were written by Hooton being changed to the same sentences written by Hooton in another book, - apparently Mr. Hooton saved some time for himself and didn't bother to even rewrite the sentences in his several works. ;) Kurfürst (talk) 23:20, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Hootn's book makes clear von Richthofen was given his chance. Nothing amusing about that. You found something different from the same author, so you deleted it and replaced it. What is really amusing is the "rejection information" comes from a 1994 book. The one I am offering is an up to date, more recent 2007 book. Dapi89 (talk) 09:47, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

RAF "TERROR" attacks in 1940

Didn't happen . Max Hastings makes it clear the the bombings were against military targets. Dapi89 (talk) 17:38, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

So does Robert Pape in "Bombing to win" pp. 267-268. Assertions and attempts to portray them as terror attacks are erroneous and untruthful. Dapi89 (talk) 18:32, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Of course they were not terror attacks, at the time both the RAF and the LW was reasonably strict about military targets. However, in the period there were a lot of attacks on various cities in German soil, and, with the BC`s noctural navigiation and bombing accuracy being absymal at this stage of the war, the bombing hit randomly everything in Germany (many times only the countryside), and it certainly fueled the spiral of violance. Hinchcliffe gives a pretty good account of that - perhaps it should be taken into proper context. This is otherwise a pretty chaotic and poorly written, and researched article. It needs a lot of work. Kurfürst (talk) 23:33, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Then why are they mentioned in this a article if Of course they were not terror attacks? Is this a weasel attempt at associating BC with early bombing of civilians? The Luftwaffe did first, before anyone else. This article is about the DELIBERATE attempt to attack civilians through bombing. Dapi89 (talk) 09:50, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

See Strategic bombing during World War II#Rotterdam Blitz from 15 May 1940, the day after the Rotterdam Blitz, the British did start to bomb German civilian industrial targets. --PBS (talk) 18:36, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

I think the point is that the unintentional bombing of civilians, or call it collateral damage, was perceived as terror attacks. At least the justification for German terror attacks were deliberately linked to this by the German propaganda. MisterBee1966 (talk) 10:47, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

What the Germans believed to be true is irrelevant. Itentional targeting is the key phrase here. That the Germans may have misunderstood sounds to much like an appologist position. The fact remains - no deliberate targeting of civilins took place in 1939-1940 by the RAF. Interestingly enough, no effort was made to point this out by Kurfurst. So the text implied that BC was aiming for civilian areas. Such edits are deliberately misleading. Dapi89 (talk) 11:51, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Fact is, there were no terror attacks by BC on the German population (in 1940). However, I'm not sure if I concur in your opinion that German perception was irrelevant. To my understanding this influenced German bombing policy at the time. I just want to point to the speeches Hitler gave. I don't remember the exact wording but his line of reasoning was something like this "If England drops 1,000 tons of bombs we will drop 2,000 tons". Again, I am not saying that the English attacks were terror attacks on the German population, but the propaganda made them sound as such, and as such influenced the German bombing doctrine and were used as justification for German "counter" terror attacks. MisterBee1966 (talk) 18:06, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

p. 259 Norman Moss in Nineteen Weeks, does not quote the speech but he does state that the attack was on the Tempelhof Airport near the centre of Berlin and Siemensstadt and given their inaccuracy at the time the bombs could have landed anywhere in a hundred mile radius. --PBS (talk) 18:29, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
German intelligence knew what was being targeted, so it was not influencing German military actions. It might have inflamed the civilian population. Dapi89 (talk) 19:44, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
"German intelligence knew what was being targeted," how? --PBS (talk) 20:50, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
The core part of the original Hitler speech (ausradieren) appears in the classic Battle of Britain movie if anyone wants to hear it. Also of interest of the German POV of these early RAF attacks was IIRC Jodl's or Keitel's reaction, even top military was very furious of these raids, and considered them indiscriminate terror attacks (given that the bombs went all over the place). There was some thinking after the May 1940 RAF attacks about LW retalitory raids, but it did not find favour with German HC - yet. Kurfürst (talk) 21:01, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Buckley citation

You have also intentionally removed Buckley from the article. Removing valid citations from the article is vandalism. And it can't be weasel wording - as the text was quoted. Did you not see the quotation marks? Dapi89 (talk) 09:50, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Hooton 1994

No book = verification tag. Simple. Dapi89 (talk) 09:54, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

What the hell book did Hooten write in 1994? Another edition of Jane's Battlefield Surveillance? Jane's Naval Weaps? Completely bogus book cite. Binksternet (talk) 15:57, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Ach, I had Hooten vs Hooton. o_O Binksternet (talk) 16:02, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


To show that I am not unreasonable, and that I don't want this to get out of hand, if you simply add the book of Hooton's (1994) then I will accept the removal oof the 2007 citation in relation to the dates of the assault and the intention/objectives of it. I have no wish to waste time on a lengthy dispute and suffer all kinds of erroneous accusations. Can we be agreed on this? Dapi89 (talk) 10:02, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Yup, already done. More coming. ;) Kurfürst (talk) 17:10, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Removal of Buckley for the 2nd time

Kurfurst, you have done this again under the false pretext of "vandalism". Can you not honour you word (falsely accusing others)? If this carries on it will have to reported. Dapi89 (talk) 17:46, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

What are you going to report, that you have caused a stirr by removing and rewriting REFERENCED sources several times, and claiming to be 'vandalism'. Bah. Kurfürst (talk) 18:41, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Kurfurst, it it quite obvious that you have and I have not. All anyone has to do is look at the links. Who do you think you're kidding. Dapi89 (talk) 19:39, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
In this link it is shown how you simply started to revert fully referenced information, and even claimed references were removed. Then you re-wrote the meaning of the referenced information, and then you reverted again claiming that the restoration of the original direct direct quotes from the referenced authors is 'vandalism'. As you said, all anyone has to do is look at the links. Kurfürst (talk) 20:37, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Rubbish. You reverted my citations and put your own stuff in. So when I restored it your edits went the other way. That's your problem. I say again, who dso you think you're kidding. Dapi89 (talk) 10:17, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Have you read my comments in the next section? --PBS (talk) 20:48, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Removal of Buckley for the third time

Kurfurst, you have removed Buckley's citation agian from the article. Enough is Enough. Dapi89 (talk) 19:10, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Nobody removed the Buckley 'citation' as you call; I went to verify the source and found that you have falsified the cite and took it out of context; therefore, I have replaced your Buckley 'cite' with a direct quote from Buckley's work, and placed into a proper place, a few lines above where your so called 'cite' has been placed. Kurfürst (talk) 00:59, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


see also Talk:Area bombardment#Rewrite

I suggest that this article is re-written as at the moment the very first paragraph is Original Research:

Terror bombing is a strategy of deliberately bombing and/or strafing civilian targets in order to break the morale of the enemy, make its civilian population panic, bend the enemy's political leadership to the attacker's will, or to "punish" an enemy.

Instead of asserting what "terror bombing" is, this article can (and ought to) be refocused on who has used the term and why. I would imaging that after the bombing of Guernica and Picasso painting have produced a raft of article on that bombing causing terror.

Another example is Joseph Goebbels use of the term seems to have started only after the air war swung in favour of the Allies. He certainly did not accuse Hitler of being in favour of terror bombing when earlier in the war in the response to the bombing of Berlin Hitler gave a speech in which he talked about wiping out British cities.[5]

No information will be lost if this change is made as we have lots of other articles which at the moment are similar articles which cover the same bombings, but use other terms such as "Area bombing" (another article which could examine the use of the phrase), Aerial bombing of cities, Strategic bombing and Strategic bombing in World War II. --PBS (talk) 10:31, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

IMHO the best way would be to merge several of these articles into one, dealing specifically with air attacks on cities. The terror bombing could either be a redirect link or a descriptionary article of the term, as you suggest. Either would be fine with me, but currently we make a lot of unneccessary duplicate work. Kurfürst (talk) 20:51, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Suggest merge with "Strategic bombing during World War II"
I think a merge with Strategic bombing during World War II should be considered; they deal with the very same subject, the cited incidents are mostly the same, even the sources appear to be the same. Nature of many of the incidents dealt with here under 'terror' bombing is controversial as well. IMHO the best idea would be to merge the two articles, with Terror bombing redirecting to Strategic bombing during World War II. Thoughts? Kurfürst (talk) 09:19, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
As this is part of the same conversation about a possible rewrite and merger it is better if it is kept in one thread inside one section, otherwise the conversation will become disjointed. --PBS (talk) 09:30, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
As I said above there are a number of overlapping articles the best fit is probably Aerial bombing of cities, as it covers more than just World War II, but the point is that there are several overlapping articles and it seems to me that best way to go with a description of the term terror bombing with links to the other articles, because clearly terror bombing is used not only to describe events in WWII and as a propaganda term it is also used to describe other types of attacks other than just attacks on cities and can also be used to describe tactical bombing.
The real point is the term is similar to "terrorism" and is used to describe bombing attacks the the user of the term disproves of and is rarely if ever used to describe bombing attacks or a strategy the user approves. "I launch attacks to demoralise the enemy you launch attacks to terrorise my people". (see Terrorist#Pejorative use and WP:TERRORIST) --PBS (talk) 09:45, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

False accusations

...of removing sourced material is unacceptable. Kurfurst, this is a lie. For the third time, who do you think you are kidding? Dapi89 (talk) 12:46, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, you have removed this:

Hitler`s patience was exhausted only after a succession of British raids on Berlin, starting on the 25 August 1940. Infuriated, in a public speech in Berlin on 4 September 1940, Hitler announced that the 'night piracy of the British' shall be countered by a concentrated night offensive against the island, and especially London.[1]

and replaced it with this:
Hitler made in a public speech in Berlin on 4 September 1940, Hitler announced that the 'night piracy of the British' shall be countered by a concentrated night offensive against the island, and especially London.
The original sentence in the referenced source on page 122 is this:
'...If this was the intention [ie. diverting attacks from RAF airfields to British cities] it was successfull, though only after a succession of British raids on Berlin, aimed specifically at the city's civillian population. When his patience was exhausted, Hitler became infuriated and ordered that the 'night piracy of the British' be countered by a concentrated night offensive against the island, and especially London. On the night of 7 September, 318 bombers from the whole KG 53 supported by eight other Kampfgruppen, flew almost continous sorties against London, the dock area which was already in flames from earlier daylight attacks. etc'
I would suggest you correct your error, apologize for your agressive style and restore the cited sentences which you removed and replaced with your own version.

Kurfürst (talk) 10:21, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

We don't write "Hitler's patience was exhausted", we leave that kind of writing for the best seller books. Nobody, not even the best-selling author, knew whether Hitler's patience was exhausted or not. And "Infuriated"... he was always infuriated, so that word is useless. We are writing a neutral encyclopedia, not a popular paperback. Binksternet (talk) 14:53, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Who do think you're kidding Kurfurst. You have already been warned by another user for accusations made on the Bismarck article. You have form, so cease and desist.
Secondly, using emotive language is akin to excusing poor Mr Hitler, who, due to the beastly British, was forced to attack the British civilian population. Any hope that I had that you had turned a corner has already taken a knock given the appalling misleading information placed by you in relation to British bombing raids in 1940. Quite deliberately, you left out the fact that these were industrial targets. So I don't trust anything you write.
You have also consistently deleted the information by Buckley - which you still have not explained - vandalism.
So to the contrary, you are the one that should be apologizing - to everyone. Your request is as funny as it is insulting. Dapi89 (talk) 12:57, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

User:Dapi89 if you read the last section I am proposing to zap 90% + of this article, in which case this dispute is a storm in a tea cup. Please can you comment in the section above on my proposal to turn this from the current article it is into a discussion about the usage of the term "Terror bombing". --PBS (talk) 11:07, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I think the raids of the RAF need to be removed to the strategic bombing articles. At the moment the RAF is being blamed, via weasel wording, for the German attacks on British cities. Dapi89 (talk) 12:57, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

The POV that the British baited the Germans into changing tack is not original to just one author for example p. 117 in Deterrence before Hiroshima by George H. Quester. If so true then it was a tactical blunder by the Germans for falling for it. But I am glad that you agree we can gut this article. -- PBS (talk) 19:05, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

What you have been doing lately was

  • removing citations (Smith and Creek)
  • inserting cites from authors to change their meaning to the opposite (Buckley, Hooton)
  • changing the meaning of cited references to omit common historical facts that you appearantly don't approve (ie. Smith and Creek cite again)
  • and in cases replaced them with stories from your own POV, without any reference.

In addition you are creating a hysteria here with half a dozen sections on this talk page, which contains repeated personal attacks and unfounded accusations; in each case it was tried to provide you, more politely than you gave reason to, with direct quotes of the cites you had your so-called doubts for; yet even after having been presented with the direct quotes, you continue to replace them with your own text, for which you do not presented any reference.

I ask you stop it for the last time. If you have sources that support your PoV, cite them, discuss it on the talk page, and try to reach a consensus before heading out again to mass-delete or rewrite cited sources, and lately, even direct quotes. Further disruptive editing of this kind will not be tolerated. Kurfürst (talk) 01:16, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Absolute lies.
You have engaged in vandalism and tendentious editing from the moment you began editing here.
That's the last straw Kurfurst. You're a disgrace. Dapi89 (talk) 22:31, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
And consenus? Don't make me laugh. I have offered a compromise. You only compromise when its on your terms WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING KURFURST? You are guilty of everything you falsely accuse others of doing - cease and desist.Dapi89 (talk) 23:47, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Use of erroneous Frontline Magazine

This is an Indian magazine, not a proper historical source. Its content maybe anti-British. Besides, magazines are written by journalists not historians. Dapi89 (talk) 00:14, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Unverifiable sources?

The following sources are difficult to verify:

  • Planstudie 1939, Heft. I-III, BA-MA RL 2 II/1-3.
  • ObdL FüSt Ia Nr. 5375/39 g. Kdos. Chefsache, Entwurf, Weisung Nr. 2 für das X. Fliegerkorps vom 11. November 1939
  • ObdL FüSt Ia Nr. 5445/39 vom 16 Dezember 1939.

What are they? I can't find a hint of them with web searches of book resources. Where can they be viewed for verification? If they are not available to third parties then I think they fail WP:V and should be removed. Hohum (talk) 01:20, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

These are primary sources, ie. actual LW orders of WW2 etc., found today in the German Federal Military Archives, ([BA-MA]] - Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg, from where copies of the documents can be ordered via the given references); the authors of the secondary sources that were quoted also refer to these in their references. Though the secondary references should be sufficient to satisfy the verifiability requirement, I though a little "extra", ie. archival reference to the actual orders would be nice to add. Any objections? Kurfürst (talk) 01:31, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at WP:NONENG and see if you can provide additional footnote information - i.e. translations of passages if appropriate, and as full a citation as possible i.e. Luftwaffe Orders from German Federal Archives. If they are available to read online, even better. Hohum (talk) 02:29, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
How can one add footnotes? Putting it into the refs is awkward... passages can be provided from several, the secondary source (Soldaten d. Wehrmacht) does provide them. Kurfürst (talk) 10:41, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Apologist arguements and Dresden bombing - purpose?

Recently a large body of apologist arguments from historians in support of the Dresden bombings has been added. It raises the question, what purpose does that serve to the article, as undue weight is placed on a single terror bombing incident, which is already covered in a main article about the Bombing of Dresden. I would suggest to streamline that part, and with link to the main article, only mention the main facts - the bombing was controversial, it did not target any specific targets but the city itself, and the estimes of death toll. Perhaps the political Otherwise, I see it completely unnecessary to flood the section with apologist quotes from Bomber Command etc. and some minority view historians. The Main Article covers that already. Kurfürst (talk) 14:06, 16 May 2009 (UTC)


As I suggested above the section #Rewrite I have rewritten the article to focus on the use of the term "terror bombing". I have done this today (as apposed to tomorrow or some other day) for two reasons, no-one on this page has objected to the idea and because it should stop dead the edit war which has now been the subject of an ANI discussion (See the ANI section Disruptive editing, personal attacks)

The rewrite is only a beginning of a new article and there is much that can be added. For example the German terms that Goebbels used with their English translations would be useful, as would a history of the first use of the term for aerial bombardment.

One other point that needs discussing is whether the page needs to describe the use of the phrase "terror bombing" for other types of bombings (eg car bombs) and an obvious other example is 9/11. --PBS (talk) 08:48, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

One question though - did you moved the relevant sections to the relavant articles, or it all just went the way of the dodo? If you moved it, where? We are talking about a lot of work and referenced statements here. Deleting it all would require more than 'no objections' (as such extent wasn't asked in the first place). Kurfürst (talk) 13:40, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I have not moved any of the information instead I posted a link to the page to Talk:Aerial bombing of cities#Terror bombing, Talk:Strategic bombing during World War II#Terror bombing and Talk:Strategic bombing#Terror bombing, and you will find most of the relevant information is already present in those articles. --PBS (talk) 14:13, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that the article won't be back where it was in a few months. Mostly point and counterpoint about whether bombing in WW2 was for terror. It's already on the way. Hohum (talk) 14:48, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  1. ^ Smith&Creek, Volume II. p. 122