Attacks by Allied submarines and surface ships had also cut most of the country's trade routes, and US Navy aircraft carrier task groups had raided locations in the home islands on several occasions. Shortages of fuel had confined most of the Imperial Japanese Navy 's surviving ships to port and forced them and the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service to hold its air units in reserve against the Allied invasion that was expected to be launched late in the year.
Nonetheless, such mass bombing raises moral questions, since civilian casualties were inevitable. Even when only military objectives are targeted, civilian casualties occur. When those waging war identify themselves as standing on higher moral ground than their opponents, they risk slipping into a moral quagmire if the means they use to prosecute their cause begins to shed doubt on whether it is being justly pursued.
A war that is just also has to be justly prosecuted. Alongside the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasakithe bombing of Dresden is said to have compromised the just cause of World War IIwhich otherwise for many appeared to have been without question a war in which the champions of democracy and freedom were pitted against oppression and evil.
The plan was to bomb Berlin and several other eastern cities in conjunction with the Soviet advance. In the summer ofplans for a large and intense offensive targeting these cities had been discussed under the code name Operation Thunderclap, then shelved on August Sir Charles Portal, the chief of the air staff, noted on January 26,that "a severe blitz will not only cause confusion in the evacuation from the East, but will also hamper the movement of troops from the West.
Sir Norman Bottomley, deputy chief of the air staff, requested Arthur "Bomber" Harris, commander-in-chief of RAF Bomber Command and an ardent supporter of area bombing, to undertake attacks on Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz as soon as moon and weather conditions allowed, "with the particular object of exploiting the confused conditions which are likely to exist in the above mentioned cities during the successful Russian advance.
Pray report to me tomorrow what is going to be done. The Air Staff have now arranged that, subject to the overriding claims of attacks on enemy oil production and other approved target systems within the current directive, available effort should be directed against Berlin, Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig or against other cities where severe bombing would not only destroy communications vital to the evacuation from the east, but would also hamper the movement of troops from the west.
They thought that the Germans could complete the reinforcement by March The Soviets had several discussions with the Allies on how the strategic bomber force could help their ground offensives once the eastern front line approached Germany.
Tedder in Januarywhen he explained how the strategic bomber could support the Soviet attack as Germany began to shuffle forces between the fronts.
On January 31, after studying the JIC recommendation which was contained in a document entitled "Strategic Bombing in Relation to the Present Russian Offensive" and consulting with the Soviets, Tedder and his air staff concurred and issued a recommendation that Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, and associated cities should be attacked.
The intention to use the strategic bomber forces in a tactical air-support role was similar to that for which Eisenhower had employed them before the Battle of Normandy in He was counting on strategic airpower in to "prevent the enemy from switching forces back and forth at will" from one front to the other.
The deputy chief of the Soviet general staff, General Aleksei Antonov, raised two issues at the conference relating to the Western Allied strategic bomber force. The first was the demarcation of a bomb-line running north to south where to avoid accidentally bombing Soviet forces; Western Allied aircraft would not bomb east of the line without specific Soviet permission.
The second was to hamper the movement of troops from the western front, Norway and Italy, in particular by paralyzing the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig with aerial bombardment. In response to the Soviet requests, Portal who was in Yalta sent a request to Bottomley to send him a list of objectives which could be discussed with the Soviets.
The list sent back to him included oil plants, tank and aircraft factories and the cities of Berlin and Dresden. In the discussions which followed, the Western Allies pointed out that unless Dresden was bombed as well, the Germans could route rail traffic through Dresden to compensate for any damage caused to Berlin and Leipzig.
Antonov agreed and requested that Dresden be added to his list of requests. RAF Air Staff documents state that it was their intention to use RAF bomber command to "destroy communications" to hinder the eastward deployment of German troops, and to hamper evacuation, not to kill the evacuees.
The priority list drafted by Bottomley for Portal, so that he could discuss targets with the Soviets at Yalta, included only two eastern cities with a high enough priority to fit into the RAF targeting list as both transportation and industrial areas.
These were Berlin and Dresden. Both were bombed after Yalta. Soviet military intelligence asserted that trains stuck in the main station were troop trains passing through Dresden to the front. This proved incorrect, as they were trains evacuating refugees from the east .
RAF briefing notes mentioned a desire to show "the Russians, when they arrive, what Bomber Command can do. During the evening of February 13, Avro Lancasters and 9 De Havilland Mosquitoes were dispatched in two separate waves and dropped 1, tons of high explosive and 1, tons of incendiary bombs by the early hours of February The first attack was carried out entirely by No.
This allowed the first bombs to be released over Dresden at This last Lancaster bomber of No. The weather was now clear and Lancasters dropped more than 1, tons of bombs with great accuracy. RAF casualties on the two raids were 6 Lancasters lost, with 2 more crashed in France and 1 in England.During the last weeks of World War II, warships of the United States Navy, the British Royal Navy, and the Royal New Zealand Navy bombarded industrial and military facilities in Japan.
Mar 01, · We investigate long-run effects of World War II on socio-economic status and health of older individuals in Europe. We analyze data from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of SHARE in Europe in SHARELIFE provides detailed data on events in childhood during and after the war for over 20, individuals in 13 European countries.
This is one of the most complete reports on the bombing of civilians in World War II.
FREE COLLECTION John S. McCain POW CIA-Defense Depart Documents: World War II Naval Damage Reports & Photos.
1, pages of reports and photographs of damage done to U.S. Navy vessel during World War II. By the end of the war, had detonated in London, killing 2, people. The damage from World War II transformed London into the architecturally diverse city it is today.
The Second World War was documented on a huge scale by thousands of photographers and artists who created millions of pictures. American military photographers representing all of the armed services covered the battlefronts around the world. Every activity of the war was depicted--training, combat, support services, and much more.