[Marxism] From David McReynolds

Edward Crawford tcrawford at revhist.datanet.co.uk
Fri Mar 18 01:51:50 MST 2005

I have never heard that there is any documentary evidence for such a motive
for Harris and Churchill anymore than there is documentary evidence that
Hitler personally ordered
the Holocaust. But I think it is very likely true. Of course another
technical factor is that the RAF night bombing was wildly inaccurate and
*certainly* could not hit a railway line! All they could manage was a large
town and sometimes they missed that. The claims and behaviour of the RAF top
brass were quite disgraceful. In the same way they claimed that in Malaya in
1941 they could sink the Japanese battleships 200 miles out (claims not made
in the bar after several drinks but in official documents and in the
defense council at Singapore) though in fact the only Japanese naval ship
they sank throughout the entire war was a 270 ton patrol boat in April
But at the back of their minds (and perhaps what they muttered to their
friends) there must have been the hope that Nov-Dec 1918 would not be
repeated although they justified their bombing on industrial towns because
they were the centres of war industries. In fact German war production rose
untl late 1944, in part, as Galbraith has pointed out, stimulated by the
bombing. At least the USAF in 1945-47, but not nowadays in Iraq or
Afghanistan (they do not do estimates of civilian casualties) made
considerable scientific efforts to find out how effective their strategic
bombing had been. That survey also showed
how ineffective the RAF had been. The USAF who did daylight bombing were
relatively much more accurate but had  more difficult job with German
fighter aircraft.
Ted Crawford
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shane Mage" <shmage at pipeline.com>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2005 5:03 AM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] From David McReynolds

> Alan Bickley wrote:
> >David McReynolds writes that "one of the painfully brutal ironies of
> >history is that Berlin, which had never been a Nazi stronghold,
> >suffered so badly from the bombing." It was not so much an irony as
> >the result of a cold-blooded intention by Sir Arthur Harris, head of
> >Britain's Bomber Command, to expend his bombs on the working class
> >district of Berlin. It was "Bomber" Harris' hope and expectation
> >that by making miserable the lives of those Germans who were, more
> >than most, opposed to the Nazis an uprising or some other form of
> >resistance would be brought about. Berlin was, to Hitler and the
> >National Socialist leadership a red city. It was a red city to Sir
> >Arthur and to his political master, Winston Churchill. They bombed
> >the homes of Germany's leftmost citizens when they could have been
> >bombing authentic military targets.
> To say that Harris and Churchill thought that through their genocidal
> terror bombing of the German proletariat "an uprising or some other
> form of resistance would be brought about" is 180 degrees removed
> from the > truth.  They knew from the experience of the blitz that terror
> only serves to increase  people's support for the government that is
> their only protector and only provider of their survival needs.

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