Why the Germans did not build four engined bombers…


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Problem solved!


  • Customizer

    Well I’ll keep this short and technical. I’m not as well versed as many regarding WWII. To the best of my knowledge Hitler did not like four-engined bombers because it basically cost 2-2.5 Heinkels for one Condor for example. The Condor also had problems with it’s power plants and needed constant repair. The airframe of the Condor also could be strainded in sharp turns or steep dives which were performed frequently during missions whilst spotting convoys for the ubootwaffe.

    Hitler also seemed to have an “always be bombing”  mantra in regards to aircraft. So the Luftwaffe’s line-up of aircraft heavily focused on medium-sized and light tactical bombers rather than the heavier stategic bobmbers of other nations.

    One last note regarding planes like the B-17. One concept behind the B-17 was that it would be bombing fleet formations heading towards the coasts of the United States.  The B-17 was also heavily modified throughout the course of the war. The need for these modifications was mostly due to the US making more accurate daylight bombing runs in the ETO thus losing the cover of nightfall and needing more defensive armament.

    We must also take into account the accuracy of strategic bombng, it wasn’t.  The concept of taking out spacific strategic targets was in its infancy.  While the Norden bombsight was innovative, it was light years away from say a cruise missle or drone strike of today. It was however more accurate than most of the technology of it’s time but it took many bombs just to get one hit. It was akin to rolling a cup full of dice to score one snake eyes instead of a bucket.

    Lastly I think it is easy to look upon the past from the vantage point of the future. The world wars occured at a time litterally when the world went from near Napoleonic era tactics to nuclear weapons in a short span of just over thirty years. The people and leadership of the world would make decisions during a time of rapid change both technologically and socially. This doesn’t excuse mistakes or tragedy but gives us insight.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    @toblerone77:

    Well I’ll keep this short and technical. I’m not as well versed as many regarding WWII. To the best of my knowledge Hitler did not like four-engined bombers because it basically cost 2-2.5 Heinkels for one Condor for example. The Condor also had problems with it’s power plants and needed constant repair. The airframe of the Condor also could be strainded in sharp turns or steep dives which were performed frequently during missions whilst spotting convoys for the ubootwaffe.

    Hitler also seemed to have an “always be bombing”  mantra in regards to aircraft. So the Luftwaffe’s line-up of aircraft heavily focused on medium-sized and light tactical bombers rather than the heavier stategic bobmbers of other nations.

    One last note regarding planes like the B-17. One concept behind the B-17 was that it would be bombing fleet formations heading towards the coasts of the United States.  The B-17 was also heavily modified throughout the course of the war. The need for these modifications was mostly due to the US making more accurate daylight bombing runs in the ETO thus losing the cover of nightfall and needing more defensive armament.

    We must also take into account the accuracy of strategic bombng, it wasn’t.  The concept of taking out spacific strategic targets was in its infancy.  While the Norden bombsight was innovative, it was light years away from say a cruise missle or drone strike of today. It was however more accurate than most of the technology of it’s time but it took many bombs just to get one hit. It was akin to rolling a cup full of dice to score one snake eyes instead of a bucket.

    Lastly I think it is easy to look upon the past from the vantage point of the future. The world wars occured at a time litterally when the world went from near Napoleonic era tactics to nuclear weapons in a short span of just over thirty years. The people and leadership of the world would make decisions during a time of rapid change both technologically and socially. This doesn’t excuse mistakes or tragedy but gives us insight.

    Wisdom in a thread gone off the rails.  8-)



  • @toblerone77:

    To the best of my knowledge Hitler did not like four-engined bombers because it basically cost 2-2.5 Heinkels for one Condor for example.

    And that is good wisdom. If you want as much bang for your 60 IPC as possible, you buy 6 Fighters, not 5 Bombers. You only buy Bombers if you need the extra range. Fortunately to Germany, everything they needed to destroy were in their neighborhood, so no need for the extra range



  • @Der:

    I think they mostly have to do with traditional history vs. revisionist history.

    After what I’ve read here, my only comment is: revisionism = neonazi propaganda. And I’m not going to mention specifically the plain lies here since they’ve already been drawn too much attention to and that’s exactly what the posters want.

    And topics hijacked by people who merely want to use it to pass the kind of bullshit I’ve read here as ‘what really happened’ should be closed period.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    And topics hijacked by people who merely want to use it to pass the kind of bullshit I’ve read here as ‘what really happened’ should be closed period.

    EXACTLY 100%.  And if you search his past posts, that soapbox has been revisited at least 5 times over and over again.



  • @Hobbes:

    After what I’ve read here, my only comment is: revisionism = neonazi propaganda. And I’m not going to mention specifically the plain lies here since they’ve already been drawn too much attention to and that’s exactly what the posters want.

    And topics hijacked by people who merely want to use it to pass the kind of bullshit I’ve read here as ‘what really happened’ should be closed period.

    I don’t get the feeling that you came to this thread to have a reasonable, civil discussion with those whose perspectives differ from yours. That’s certainly your choice. But I’d ask you to refrain from throwing around vague, sweeping, unsubstantiated accusations against undefined targets or undefined positions. Such a tactic enlightens no one, and merely serves to increase the emotional temperature of the room.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “As for Imperious Leader’s posts: he keeps stating that the threads he’s closed had gone off-topic. It’s not clear why he feels the need to be a broken record on that point, when I’d already addressed it with my first post. I’d indicated that I have no objection to his requirement that threads stay on-topic.”

    what would help germany more in ww2?
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=18980.msg643575#msg643575
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=18980.msg643575#msg643575

    Ever been to a dog show? Eugenic’s today
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=21764.msg732388#msg732388

    Albert Speer
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=21965.msg740494#msg740494
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=21965.msg740217#msg740217

    Germany’s wartime food supply
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23148.msg789196#msg789196

    what IF canada stayed out of the war(IF)
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23044.msg788198#msg788198

    WW2 Article: Advanced German Technology
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=17127.msg784654#msg784654
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=17127.msg784509#msg784509

    Germany’s wartime food supply
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23148.msg790540#msg790540
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23148.msg789452#msg789452

    Japanese Invasion of America?
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=25097.msg875015#msg875015

    The Bromberg Massacre
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=25395.msg877040#msg877040

    American diplomatic strategy in the late '30s and early '40s
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26536.msg924543#msg924543

    pre-war Japanese options
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26412.msg924710#msg924710
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26536.msg924690#msg924690

    What if the Axis won the War?
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26769.msg944604#msg944604

    Broken Record? Broken record!  Different threads same ideas it seems.



  • @Imperious:

    “As for Imperious Leader’s posts: he keeps stating that the threads he’s closed had gone off-topic. It’s not clear why he feels the need to be a broken record on that point, when I’d already addressed it with my first post. I’d indicated that I have no objection to his requirement that threads stay on-topic.”

    what would help germany more in ww2?
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=18980.msg643575#msg643575
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=18980.msg643575#msg643575

    Ever been to a dog show? Eugenic’s today
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=21764.msg732388#msg732388

    Albert Speer
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=21965.msg740494#msg740494
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=21965.msg740217#msg740217

    Germany’s wartime food supply
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23148.msg789196#msg789196

    what IF canada stayed out of the war(IF)
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23044.msg788198#msg788198

    WW2 Article: Advanced German Technology
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=17127.msg784654#msg784654
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=17127.msg784509#msg784509

    Germany’s wartime food supply
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23148.msg790540#msg790540
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=23148.msg789452#msg789452

    Japanese Invasion of America?
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=25097.msg875015#msg875015

    The Bromberg Massacre
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=25395.msg877040#msg877040

    American diplomatic strategy in the late '30s and early '40s
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26536.msg924543#msg924543

    pre-war Japanese options
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26412.msg924710#msg924710
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26536.msg924690#msg924690

    What if the Axis won the War?
    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26769.msg944604#msg944604

    Broken Record? Broken record!  Different threads same ideas it seems.

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to create that list of links. I randomly clicked on a few of the things in your list, and thought to myself, Wow! I put a lot of effort into these posts! 😮

    I encourage anyone who’s interested to randomly click on a link or three, and take a look. Don’t take my word or Imperious Leader’s word for what’s in them. See for yourselves.

    Broken Record? Broken record!

    You are aware that’s the eight time in this thread you’ve made that particular point?  8-)


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    @Hobbes:

    After what I’ve read here, my only comment is: revisionism = neonazi propaganda.

    So it appears the only version of history you’d like discussed here is the winner’s version. Propaganda is not defined as lies - it is defined as information organized to sway the opinion of people to a certain opinion. And if the posters here don’t think the Allied powers used it or are even still using it today, then I think they are quite naïve.

    I’d like to think a person can believe today that both sides were flawed and did evil things as well as good during WWII without being labeled a neo-Nazi, but this just shows how good the allied propaganda machine has been for the past 70 years.



  • I FEEL the same as IL and Hobbes. I think the Allies (excluding the Soviets) were in the right and the axis in the wrong. However, its not unreasonable to think some skeletons were hidden in the closet by the winners. We think of WWII as the last “just” war, when in reality war and death are never truly just.  I will always disagree with those that see the Western Allies as worse or equal to the Axis. But I’m certainly willing to learn about the Allies’ faults, since they are not mentioned often. I do think discussion is important (and not inherently neo-nazi), maybe just in a different thread.  :mrgreen:



  • @Der:

    So it appears the only version of history you’d like discussed here is the winner’s version. Propaganda is not defined as lies - it is defined as information organized to sway the opinion of people to a certain opinion. And if the posters here don’t think the Allied powers used it or are even still using it today, then I think they are quite naive.

    I’d like to think a person can believe today that both sides were flawed and did evil things as well as good during WWII without being labeled a neo-Nazi, but this just shows how good the allied propaganda machine has been for the past 70 years.

    And if the posters here don’t think the Allied powers used it or are even still using it today, then I think they are quite naive.

    Exactly right. There’s such a thing as absolute truth. But the Allied depiction of WWII isn’t based on any sort of search for absolute truth.

    Back in WWI, Britain and France successfully used atrocity propaganda to get the United States into the war. We Americans were told of millions of Belgian civilians the Germans had supposedly murdered. After the war, we learned that the atrocity propaganda had been a pack of lies. America had been duped! It was this realization which caused the U.S. to embrace isolationism so strongly.

    The same Western democracies which elected lying politicians from 1910 - 1918 also elected lying politicians in the '30s and '40s.

    This second batch of lying politicians learned from the mistakes of their predecessors. They continued to use atrocity propaganda against Germany the second time around. But this time, they made sure there were dead bodies. Winston Churchill ordered the bombing of German cities, so as to provoke the Nazis into retaliating against British cities. The dead bodies of British citizens were then used as fuel for Churchill’s propaganda machine.

    Europe was less able to feed itself during WWII than it had been during WWI. The Allied food blockade resulted in a far more massive death toll the second time around. Every death cased by the food blockade was blamed on the Nazis. This time, the Allies had the dead bodies absolutely required by the propaganda tactics they’d chosen.

    The Allies’ tactics solved another of their problems as well. Prior to the war, Stalin had murdered tens of millions of his own people. There was a genuine chance that, when the Germans arrived, large numbers of Soviet citizens would join the invasion effort; on the theory that this way they’d be fighting against the man who (in many cases) had murdered their families. But if Hitler couldn’t feed the people in occupied Soviet territory (Allied food blockade), then his invasion could be portrayed as the first step in a long-term plan to exterminate the Slav. Any Slav who bought into that propaganda effort would most likely see Stalin as the lesser of two evils. Despite this, it was still sometimes necessary for Soviet commissars to shoot men who attempted to desert. Even Soviet soldiers who fought were only 1/3 as combat-effective as their German counterparts. But that 1/3 was enough, given the Allies’ overwhelming numeric advantage.

    Every step of the way, the Allies’ propaganda efforts were aided by the Nazis’ own flaws. They didn’t have to retaliate in-kind against bombings of German civilian targets. When famine conditions came, they didn’t have to single out Jews for extermination.

    To give another example: Hitler’s administration contained a number of people who took a hard line against Slavs and anything Slavic. There were also a number of people who, for want of a better term, I’ll call pro-Slavic. This latter group saw Slavs as potential allies in the war against communism. The pro-Slavic faction wanted people in occupied Soviet territories to be treated well. They also wanted active efforts to recruit and arm as many Slavs as possible. Hitler largely sided with the anti-Slavic faction in this dispute; and gave several anti-Slavs positions of power in the conquered eastern territories. Hitler didn’t embrace the pro-Slavic faction’s suggestions for recruiting and arming the Slavs. Despite this, about 1 million citizens of the Soviet Union served in the German Army during WWII.

    Hitler’s failure to embrace the pro-Slavic faction’s position represents the grain of sand around which the pearl of Allied propaganda grew.



  • The simple answer is that the Germans didn’t forsee the type of war where the four engine bomber was needed. Twin engine bombers were fit the need for supporting the army and bombing Poland, the Low Countries and France.

    Bombing over the Urals, deep into the Atlantic and the Western “Lend Lease” ports of Britain was not what the Luftwaffe was design to do.

    The poor preformance of the Me-110 and the gap in fighter protection that resulted from that failure was a far more fatal shortcoming than the lack of a four engine bomber.

    Let’s remember the Germans entered the Battle of Britain with other weaknesses other than no four engine bombers and no escort fighters. The bomber force, while large, was made up of older 1930 bomber designs. The Do-17 was fast mail plane which resulted in a slow, small bomber with a light payload. The He-111, while having a heavier payload that the Do-17, was slow and under protected. The best bomber, the Ju-88, made up a small percentage of the bomber fleet.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    Let’s remember that the premise of this discussion was that the Germans did not build a four-engine (heavy) bomber because (a) their only conceivable use was against civilian population centers and (b) the Germans were too moral to choose such a course of action… therefore: no heavy bombers built. (In conjunction, the Allies knew (a) and built them with the sole intention of using them to wage genocidal war against German civilians.)

    I do not think it can be argued that this is not the statement or intention or Der Kuenstler in his post.

    With all the scholarly support given by Kurt, I still do not see how the above argument could possibly be true. The original post was not intended to explain why Germany did not build these bombers (or what they could have done differently to win the air war), but to show that the Allies did build them and connived to use them in a manner to baldly kill civilians rather than with any tactical or strategic intention. Call it hidden truth or whatever you like, but it really comes across just as a hit piece.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    You are aware that’s the eight time in this thread you’ve made that particular point?  cool

    Are you aware that those 17 links are only the first 16 pages out of 55 pages? I just got bored after 12 minutes and stopped. The person who brings up the same soapbox argument is not me.

    I wonder if i did the 55 pages how may more posts would i find about how the Holocaust was somewhat fiction in many regards or how Stalin committed many more atrocities, or how the Allied naval Blockade, Fire Bombing at Dresden, Starvation of German citizens, and a host of many other “explanations” makes the Holocaust any less important on the scale of human suffering.



  • @LHoffman:

    Let’s remember that the premise of this discussion was that the Germans did not build a four-engine (heavy) bomber because (a) their only conceivable use was against civilian population centers and (b) the Germans were too moral to choose such a course of action… therefore: no heavy bombers built. (In conjunction, the Allies knew (a) and built them with the sole intention of using them to wage genocidal war against German civilians.)

    I do not think it can be argued that this is not the statement or intention or Der Kuenstler in his post.

    With all the scholarly support given by Kurt, I still do not see how the above argument could possibly be true. The original post was not intended to explain why Germany did not build these bombers (or what they could have done differently to win the air war), but to show that the Allies did build them and connived to use them in a manner to baldly kill civilians rather than with any tactical or strategic intention. Call it hidden truth or whatever you like, but it really comes across just as a hit piece.

    Any government is going to be a collection of people, no two of whom will think exactly alike. I am not claiming (and I don’t think that Der Kuenstler is claiming) that all the people in the German government opposed terror raids; or that all the people in the Anglo-American governments supported such raids. Also, as others point out, there were practical considerations which provided an explanation for why many in the German government opposed four engine bombers.

    With all the scholarly support given by Kurt, I still do not see how the above argument could possibly be true.

    You seem to be taking Der Kuenstler’s original post a little further than I did. But for the sake of argument, let’s say your interpretation of his words is accurate.

    In order for the bombardment of a city to be lawful, three conditions must be met.

    1. It must be a “defended city” with troops stationed inside. (As opposed to an open city.)
    2. You must have an army near the city or rapidly approaching it.
    3. You must make a good faith effort to target your attacks against the city’s military garrison. It’s understood that civilians will in all probability suffer collateral damage, but they must not be the intended target of your attacks.

    Prior to the Battle of Britain, the Nazis launched air raids against various Allied targets. (Such as Warsaw and Rotterdam.) In each air raid, the first two conditions were met. The extent to which the third condition was met is a matter of dispute. It is probable that the Nazis could have done more to meet the third condition. Just as it is certain the Allies greatly exaggerated the extent to which the third condition had been violated.

    During the Battle of Britain, the Germans attacked legitimate military targets, such as docks, airfields, and weapons manufacturing plants. They refrained from attacking civilian targets. Around August or September 1940, Churchill ordered nighttime raids against German civilian targets. (Being nighttime, there was no possible way to distinguish legitimate military targets from the rest of the targeted cities.) Churchill’s decision represented a pivotal moment: a turning point when the war became much uglier than it had been up to that point.

    Germany produced less than 11,000 military aircraft during 1940. In that same year, British and American leaders had agreed to a plan in which the United States would produce 70,000 military aircraft per year by ‘44, with half that production being sent to Britain in the form of Lend-Lease. Back in 1940, Winston Churchill had already demonstrated how all that air power would be used. This war against Germany’s cities continued even despite the western Allies’ very successful efforts to gain land in Italy (1943), France ('44), and Germany ('45). The fact that more Germans weren’t killed is due to physical limitations of the bombers and their payload capacities. Not to the conscience of FDR or Churchill causing them to hold back from killing as many German civilians as they physically could.

    In contrast to all this, Hitler did not regard the extermination of the British people as an end in itself, or something Germany should seek. Hitler simply didn’t hate the British or Western democracy nearly as passionately as the Western democratic leaders hated Germans and Nazism. Hitler was certainly willing to use terror raids to punish Britain for using such tactics against Germany. His hope was to convince the British that the game wasn’t worth the candle; and that even if they didn’t want to sign his peace treaty, they should at very least refrain from further use of terror. In this Hitler was unsuccessful: German terror attacks against Britain inspired the British to make more use of terror, not less.

    General von Manstein noted that Germany’s military leadership had no idea what to do after the fall of France. Von Manstein was less than pleased at this lack of planning; and wrote that a nation’s military leadership shouldn’t be thrown into complete confusion just because its plans succeeded. The decision to bomb British cities was clearly taken on the fly, after peace negotiations had failed, and after Churchill had begun bombing German cities. It is far less clear whether the Allies’ decision to bomb German cities was equally extemporaneous.

    In 1940, Churchill couldn’t know that Germany would go to war against the Soviet Union. Nor could he be certain that the American pro-war faction’s efforts would eventually succeed. Because Churchill couldn’t count on the eventual arrival of American or Soviet ground forces, he couldn’t be sure the Allies would eventually have the army necessary to invade mainland Europe. He needed a way of winning the war without having such an army. Even if the United States remained technically at peace throughout the '40s, Churchill could still rely on the eventual arrival of truly staggering numbers of American military aircraft. It’s quite possible that Churchill’s plan to win the war involved using the two decisive weapons at his disposal. The air war would kill enough Germans to cause Hitler to be overthrown. His food blockade would starve large numbers of people in Germany’s occupied territories; thereby generating instability and resistance to German rule. If this apparent plan succeeded, Britain could win the war even without a ground invasion of Germany. The success of Churchill’s plan would entail the deaths of tens of millions of civilians; but that was apparently a price Churchill was willing to pay.

    Dresden was bombed in February of 1945–long after it had become clear the Allies’ ground invasion of Germany would succeed. Even if terror raids might once have been part of a larger plan to win the war; they later became an end in themselves.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '15 Customizer

    @KurtGodel7:

    Any government is going to be a collection of people, no two of whom will think exactly alike. I am not claiming (and I don’t think that Der Kuenstler is claiming) that all the people in the German government opposed terror raids; or that all the people in the Anglo-American governments supported such raids. Also, as others point out, there were practical considerations which provided an explanation for why many in the German government opposed four engine bombers.

    With all the scholarly support given by Kurt, I still do not see how the above argument could possibly be true.

    You seem to be taking Der Kuenstler’s original post a little further than I did. But for the sake of argument, let’s say your interpretation of his words is accurate.

    I was specifically referencing Der Kuenstler’s post/topic and the explicit comments and implications contain. Your exposition on the topic is great Kurt, and very intelligent, but your information is not what I was talking about in my summary. Perhaps I did take his post farther than you did, though I do not believe, given the words of Der Kuenstler, that my conclusions are in any way unreasonable or unfounded.



  • @LHoffman:

    I was specifically referencing Der Kuenstler’s post/topic and the explicit comments and implications contain. Your exposition on the topic is great Kurt, and very intelligent, but your information is not what I was talking about in my summary. Perhaps I did take his post farther than you did, though I do not believe, given the words of Der Kuenstler, that my conclusions are in any way unreasonable or unfounded.

    I was specifically referencing Der Kuenstler’s post/topic and the explicit comments and implications contain.

    In my earlier post, I didn’t mean to imply that my perspective of Der Kuenster’s post was necessarily correct, or that yours must be in error. You and I are each entitled to our perspectives. (With, hopefully, both of us being non-stubborn enough to change our perspectives in response to new data or new wisdom.)

    From your earlier post:

    Let’s remember that the premise of this discussion was that the Germans did not build a
    four-engine (heavy) bomber because (a) their only conceivable use was against civilian
    population centers and (b) the Germans were too moral to choose such a course of action…

    As for (a), Churchill very quickly decided to use his four engine bomber force for terror raids. If he’d initially had some other plan in mind for them, it’s very far from clear what that other plan might have been.

    Conversely, the United States engaged in daylight bombing raids. In the day, you can see well enough to make some effort to distinguish legitimate military targets from everything else. Terror raids became an increasingly prominent part of American military thinking as the war went on. But American military planners clearly wanted to keep the door open to legitimate strategic bombing raids; as opposed to adopting tactics (such as nighttime raids) which lent themselves only to terror attacks.

    Granted, Churchill wasn’t prime minister during the prewar period. During Chamberlain’s time as prime minister, Britain did not engage in terror attacks against German cities. Given that fact, it’s quite possible Chamberlain did not requisition those bombers for the purpose of terror. But even under Chamberlain, not all people in the British government were of one mind. There were those who felt the ideal role for the four engine bomber was terror attacks. This pro-terror faction found a kindred soul in the form of Winston Churchill.

    As for point (b)–the one about morality–I’ll start off by saying this. It is very rare for one person to always act more moral than some other person. Suppose, for example, that Mr. Jones is an adulterer, an alcoholic, and a card cheat. Mr. Smith is none of these things. On a snowy day, both men see someone stopped by the side of the road due to car trouble. Mr. Smith drives on past, while Mr. Jones stops and offers him a ride. Pointing out that Jones acted more morally than Smith in that instance shouldn’t be taken to imply that Jones is the more moral of the two overall.

    Almost immediately after hostilities began, Britain and France imposed a food blockade against Germany. Assuming anyone in either government had even lightly skimmed Mein Kampf, they knew that Hitler would ensure the resulting starvation would be directed against Poland, not against non-Jewish Germans. The food blockade was not part of a negotiation tactic: no major Western democracy attempted negotiation, or offered Germany any peace terms except unconditional surrender. In 1940, Churchill evidently decided that terror bombing raids would be one of the tactics used to bring Germany to its knees.

    By the end of the first month of war, the Western Allies had demonstrated a brutal disregard for the lives of noncombatants. (Including the Polish; whom they were supposedly fighting to save.) Their willingness to use murderous food blockades, and later, terror attacks against civilian targets, is fully consistent with the utter lack of concern about Soviet mass murder they uniformly demonstrated both before, during, and immediately after the war. Concern for the lives of the innocent does not appear to have played any role in either their conduct of the war, or in their ultimate war aims. Aims which apparently included creating a power vacuum in the heart of Europe–a vacuum to be filled by the Soviet Union.

    WWII was hardly the first time Western democracies had chosen to adopt pro-Soviet foreign policies. During the WWI peace negotiations, the democracies agreed that the land Germany had conquered from Russia would be handed over to the communists. In the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-'21, the Western democracies did almost nothing to prevent Poland from being engulfed by the Soviet Union. Poland’s sum total of help received from all the major Western democracies consisted of a few French military advisors. In contrast, a pro-Soviet British government chose to sell weapons to the Soviets, but not the Polish.

    During the 1930s, Western democratic politicians attempted to convince Stalin to join them in a war against Germany. The plan failed–not because of Western democratic reluctance to witness the Red terror spread into Eastern and Central Europe, but because Stalin refused. Stalin wanted to remain neutral while the Western democracies and Germany fought each other; so that his intended victims would bleed each other white. Only after both sides were war-weary, with depleted populations, would the Soviet Union launch its invasion of Europe.

    The actions of Western democratic politicians bore no relationship at all to morality. If Der Kuenstler wants to imply that Germany was less immoral toward the Western democracies than they were to Germany, he’d be 100% correct. Not because Hitler was a shining paragon of moral virtue, but because the conduct of Western democratic politicians was so bad it would have been almost impossible for Hitler to have been worse.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Why the Germans did not build four engined bombers…

    @KurtGodel7:

    @LHoffman:

    I was specifically referencing Der Kuenstler’s post/topic and the explicit comments and implications contain. Your exposition on the topic is great Kurt, and very intelligent, but your information is not what I was talking about in my summary. Perhaps I did take his post farther than you did, though I do not believe, given the words of Der Kuenstler, that my conclusions are in any way unreasonable or unfounded.

    I was specifically referencing Der Kuenstler’s post/topic and the explicit comments and implications contain.

    In my earlier post, I didn’t mean to imply that my perspective of Der Kuenster’s post was necessarily correct, or that yours must be in error. You and I are each entitled to our perspectives. (With, hopefully, both of us being non-stubborn enough to change our perspectives in response to new data or new wisdom.)

    From your earlier post:

    Let’s remember that the premise of this discussion was that the Germans did not build a
    four-engine (heavy) bomber because (a) their only conceivable use was against civilian
    population centers and (b) the Germans were too moral to choose such a course of action…

    As for (a), Churchill very quickly decided to use his four engine bomber force for terror raids. If he’d initially had some other plan in mind for them, it’s very far from clear what that other plan might have been.

    Conversely, the United States engaged in daylight bombing raids. In the day, you can see well enough to make some effort to distinguish legitimate military targets from everything else. Terror raids became an increasingly prominent part of American military thinking as the war went on. But American military planners clearly wanted to keep the door open to legitimate strategic bombing raids; as opposed to adopting tactics (such as nighttime raids) which lent themselves only to terror attacks.

    Granted, Churchill wasn’t prime minister during the prewar period. During Chamberlain’s time as prime minister, Britain did not engage in terror attacks against German cities. Given that fact, it’s quite possible Chamberlain did not requisition those bombers for the purpose of terror. But even under Chamberlain, not all people in the British government were of one mind. There were those who felt the ideal role for the four engine bomber was terror attacks. This pro-terror faction found a kindred soul in the form of Winston Churchill.

    As for point (b)–the one about morality–I’ll start off by saying this. It is very rare for one person to always act more moral than some other person. Suppose, for example, that Mr. Jones is an adulterer, an alcoholic, and a card cheat. Mr. Smith is none of these things. On a snowy day, both men see someone stopped by the side of the road due to car trouble. Mr. Smith drives on past, while Mr. Jones stops and offers him a ride. Pointing out that Jones acted more morally than Smith in that instance shouldn’t be taken to imply that Jones is the more moral of the two overall.

    Almost immediately after hostilities began, Britain and France imposed a food blockade against Germany. Assuming anyone in either government had even lightly skimmed Mein Kampf, they knew that Hitler would ensure the resulting starvation would be directed against Poland, not against non-Jewish Germans. The food blockade was not part of a negotiation tactic: no major Western democracy attempted negotiation, or offered Germany any peace terms except unconditional surrender. In 1940, Churchill evidently decided that terror bombing raids would be one of the tactics used to bring Germany to its knees.

    By the end of the first month of war, the Western Allies had demonstrated a brutal disregard for the lives of noncombatants. (Including the Polish; whom they were supposedly fighting to save.) Their willingness to use murderous food blockades, and later, terror attacks against civilian targets, is fully consistent with the utter lack of concern about Soviet mass murder they uniformly demonstrated both before, during, and immediately after the war. Concern for the lives of the innocent does not appear to have played any role in either their conduct of the war, or in their ultimate war aims. Aims which apparently included creating a power vacuum in the heart of Europe–a vacuum to be filled by the Soviet Union.

    WWII was hardly the first time Western democracies had chosen to adopt pro-Soviet foreign policies. During the WWI peace negotiations, the democracies agreed that the land Germany had conquered from Russia would be handed over to the communists. In the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-'21, the Western democracies did almost nothing to prevent Poland from being engulfed by the Soviet Union. Poland’s sum total of help received from all the major Western democracies consisted of a few French military advisors. In contrast, a pro-Soviet British government chose to sell weapons to the Soviets, but not the Polish.

    During the 1930s, Western democratic politicians attempted to convince Stalin to join them in a war against Germany. The plan failed–not because of Western democratic reluctance to witness the Red terror spread into Eastern and Central Europe, but because Stalin refused. Stalin wanted to remain neutral while the Western democracies and Germany fought each other; so that his intended victims would bleed each other white. Only after both sides were war-weary, with depleted populations, would the Soviet Union launch its invasion of Europe.

    The actions of Western democratic politicians bore no relationship at all to morality. If Der Kuenstler wants to imply that Germany was less immoral toward the Western democracies than they were to Germany, he’d be 100% correct. Not because Hitler was a shining paragon of moral virtue, but because the conduct of Western democratic politicians was so bad it would have been almost impossible for Hitler to have been worse.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    I don’t get the feeling that you came to this thread to have a reasonable, civil discussion with those whose perspectives differ from yours. That’s certainly your choice. But I’d ask you to refrain from throwing around vague, sweeping, unsubstantiated accusations against undefined targets or undefined positions. Such a tactic enlightens no one, and merely serves to increase the emotional temperature of the room.

    I stopped having civil discussions with neonazis 20 years ago when I saw one of my best friends get beaten up by 10 neo-nazis because he was walking down the main street and had a darker skin color.

    And since you want me to be more precise:
    @KurtGodel7:

    Nazism consisted of three core aspects:

    1. Love for Germans and Germanic peoples
    2. Indifference or hatred for Slavs
    3. Intense hatred for Jews

    The motives for Nazis’ actions could generally be explained in terms of the above. However, the degree they were willing to act on 2) and 3) has been deliberately exaggerated and distorted by Allied propagandists.

    If this isn’t Holocaust denial, then you are pretty close IMHO. And the same applies for several ideas being tossed around under the cover of “civil discussion”.



  • @Hobbes:

    I stopped having civil discussions with neonazis 20 years ago when I saw one of my best friends get beaten up by 10 neo-nazis because he was walking down the main street and had a darker skin color.

    And since you want me to be more precise:
    @KurtGodel7:

    Nazism consisted of three core aspects:

    1. Love for Germans and Germanic peoples
    2. Indifference or hatred for Slavs
    3. Intense hatred for Jews

    The motives for Nazis’ actions could generally be explained in terms of the above. However, the degree they were willing to act on 2) and 3) has been deliberately exaggerated and distorted by Allied propagandists.

    If this isn’t Holocaust denial, then you are pretty close IMHO. And the same applies for several ideas being tossed around under the cover of “civil discussion”.

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. What the neo-Nazis did to him was wrong.

    As for the text of mine you’ve quoted, it’s worth bearing in mind that both sides told lies during WWII. Goebbels claimed that half a million people died in Dresden, for example, even though the official police report indicated only 60,000 deaths. Granted, he might have felt the police report had been overly conservative; and that many of the people who’d died had been buried under rubble or had their bones incinerated by the inferno. But that half million number was pulled out of thin air.

    The more I’ve learned about WWII, the more I’ve realized the Allies did the same thing, only on a greater scale. Take William Shirer’s book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for example. Any mention of the Allied food blockade or the food shortage in Germany is carefully omitted. For Shirer, any Slav or Jew who died in German occupied territory was killed solely because the Nazis were bloodthirsty killers. In his eyes–or at least in the propaganda he created–the Nazis were so eager to begin killing right away that they were even willing to incur significant military disadvantages to do so.

    At first, I naively accepted Shirer’s book and others like it as the truth. Then I encountered claims about the Allied food blockade. I read a book–The Wages of Destruction–which confirmed these claims. Germany really did have a massive food shortage during WWII. It could not feed all the people within its borders. If it killed large numbers of Slavs, it was not (as Shirer would have it) because Hitler was like a little kid who wanted to open his Christmas presents early. It was because Germany didn’t have food.

    Shirer’s book–and many others like it–is a carefully blended mix of historical fact and Allied fiction. On the other hand, pro-Axis sites are also less than 100% reliable. What is needed are truly neutral sources. (As opposed to sources who think it’s somehow “okay” to lie about Hitler because Hitler was bad.) Adam Tooze–the author of Wages of Destruction–is probably as close to a neutral source as you’re going to get. He writes from a pro-Allied perspective; but (as best I can tell) he is not willing to distort, omit, or misrepresent factual data to advance his pro-Allied view. He is also willing to admit the Allies had flaws; making his perspective more balanced than many other historians.



  • You are off topic again, Kurt, 4 engines remember ?


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