A famous image from the vastly overrated “London Blitz.” According to one estimate, about nine times as many German civilians were killed by Anglo-American bombing, compared to British civilians killed by German bombing, during the Second World War.
Recently I heard Jewish radio talker Michael Savage (né Weiner) claim during one of his usual rants that nobody ever hears about the bombing of British cities by Germans during the Second World War.
Really? Nobody ever mentions the so-called Battle of Britain? In my experience, this is rubbish.
Perhaps they are not quite as loudly publicized nowadays, but the “London Blitz” and the supposedly unprovoked bombing of Coventry, as subjects of Anglo-American war-propaganda, for a long time received attention that was quite disproportial, given the compared tolls in civilian deaths and wrecked cities wrought by Anglo-American vs. German bombs.
On just one night in one city, Darmstadt on 11 September 1944, about ten times as many civilians were intentionally killed by the RAF as were inadvertently killed by the Luftwaffe’s bombs in Coventry — “targeted due to its high concentration of armaments, munitions and engine plants which contributed greatly to the British war effort,” says Statemaster Encyclopedia — during the entire war. Yet the bombing of Darmstadt is nowhere near as well known as “the bombing of Coventry.” An RAF-officer named F.W. Winterbotham stated in his book The Ultra Secret that Churchill had advance notice of one of the raids, but rather than take steps to avoid civilian casualties in Coventry, Churchill kept the information to himself. There are denials, but if the story is true it means only that Churchill did not have much more regard for British civilian lives than for German civilian lives.
|Dresden, February 1945. If you want to see corpses, those are online too.|
I just happened to run across an essay from 1972 by syndicated newspaper-columnist John Chamberlain that touches on the disparity:
A careful researcher, Benjamin Coleman of Washington, D.C., has estimated that during World War II 537,000 German civilians were killed by bombing. The Colby account has it that 61 German cities, with a total population of 25 million, either were destroyed or devastated beyond recognition. Britain, by contrast, got off lightly, with a loss of 60,000 civilians.
Cologne, save for its cathedral, and Hamburg were gutted; Dresden was gratuitously ruined after the Allies had the war all wrapped up.
At this point, Chamberlain unintentionally indicates why, in 1945, false accusations about gas-chambers, etc., may have seemed necessary:
Because Hitler was what he was, a monster, I don’t weep much for what happened to his country, which had become a totalitarian war-machine.
Take away the gas-chamber story, rebranded 35 years later as “the Holocaust,” and what was done to Germany no longer seems justified, Chamberlain implies.
The point of the essay, however, was to show the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party’s leftist 1972 presidential candidate, George McGovern, who moralized about inadvertent civilian casualties in the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, but seemed to have no second thoughts about the bombing of civilians in which he had participated during the Second World War:
Senator George McGovern, who goes about the land weeping for the North Vietnamese Prussians, is fully cognizant of the nature of air warfare. After all, he flew 35 World War II missions. By his own admission, he bombed through overcast, which means that he could have hit civilians and even, if they had been present, a dike or two.
His admiring biographer, Sam Anson, quotes him as saying to a friend after the war, “You just dropped those damn bombs where you could and got the hell out of there.” On one occasion, his plane, Dakota Queen, jettisoned its bombs over Yugoslavia, vaporizing a farmhouse. It wasn’t bomber-pilot McGovern’s fault that the bombs hit where they did, and he subsequently kicked the careless bombardier off his crew. But he made no issue of the episode, nor did he report a conversation he heard about a possible war crime involving fighter pilots who shot Italian civilians off a bridge for sport. If he had, we might have had a My Lai then.
McGovern never has made excuses for being part of something in World War II that he condemns in Vietnam now. We must assume, then, that he makes a distinction between the spread of fascism and the spread of communism. It was alright to hit civilians inadvertently in the course of doing away with the Nazis. But when a General Giap, pursuing his Communist objectives, stages an invasion of another country through a demilitarized zone and through bordering neutrals, it is not the same thing as Hitler swinging through the neutralized North European lowlands or descending on neutral Norway.
Not, at least, in the mind of George McGovern.
So let it be understood: McGovern isn’t against bombing per se. It was all right to knock the Rhineland to pieces. But it is wrong to bomb Communists in Asia. Stated baldly, that is McGovern’s position. He is entitled to it, but let us be spared his tears. [The Evening Independent, 4 October 1972]
George McGovern, in 1972, seems to have been ahead of his time with an axiom that could be stated: white lives don’t matter.
1. Bombing dikes to create floods that interrupt supply-lines was a strategy used successfully against the Communists in Korea, forcing them to make peace, but during the Vietnam War a propaganda-offensive by the Communists, echoed by American leftists like McGovern, prevented the same method from being used.
2. The My Lai Massacre was a war-crime by soldiers of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War that was heavily publicized by news-media in the early 1970s.
3. The Anglo-French strategy in 1940 was based on the expectation that Germany would cross Belgium to invade France, since going through the Maginot Line or the Ardennes Forest was considered too difficult. This strategy of declaring war, then waiting to be attacked, was understood to mean that Belgium must become a battleground; thus Britain and France deliberately precipitated a German invasion of Belgium, although Germany would get the blame.
4. In early 1940 Britain and France were waging war against Germany by means of a blockade. To tighten the blockade by cutting off a route whereby raw materials were still reaching Germany, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill proposed to invade and occupy Norway. Without the prospect of a British occupation of Norway, there would have been no pressing need for Hitler to occupy Norway, but as it happened the British intention was discovered and German forces barely beat the British forces to it. In the case of Norway, as in the case of Belgium, the British forced a German action then blamed the Germans for it.