Monday 27 May 2024

A British veteran says Dresden bombings were a 'war crime'


By Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1994-041-07

I've come to agree with the old man.

My father told me, when I asked him about this, that people in England were delighted by news of British raids on Germany.

Naturally they were.  

When shortly after England and France declared war on Germany in 1939 Tory MP Leo Amery approached Kingsley Wood, Secretary for Air, with a proposal to firebomb German forests 'Kingsley Wood turned down the suggestion with some asperity. "Are you aware it is private property?" he said. "Why, you will be asking me to bomb Essen next!"' 

This story may not be completely accurate, however.

What is certain is that in 1939 Bomber Command was ordered not to attack targets inside Germany, partly for fear of provoking reprisal air raids against Britain, partly to conserve limited resources, 'but mostly because of concerns about the effect on neutral, and more particularly American, opinion, should the RAF start killing civilians.'

Germany would have been under similar constraints had she gone to war with Russia while the UK and France were non-belligerents.

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