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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/29/2005 10:03:08 PM EDT
My law partner and I were arguing about whether America was wrong for not bombing the rail lines going to the concentration camps.

My position was the only way to help those poor folks was to end the war as quickly as possible. He ofcourse took the position that the bombing raids should have been used to destroy the rail lines so the trains could not get to the camps.

My response was the Nazis would have just parked the trains on a side spur and let the people die of hunger and dehydration.

What are we missing and what are your thoughts?
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:20:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 10:25:43 PM EDT by Max_Mike]
Second guessing is always a great game to play… and why not make America the villain even when we were trying to save as many people as possible.

I suspect you are correct... IMO if the Nazi’s had detected an attempt on our part to disrupt the death camps they would have accelerated the process and we would have likely rescued no one.

It is all a mute point.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:31:38 PM EDT
When did the US find out about the death camps? I heard it was after the US invaded Europe? I never really heard or thought much about it till now. I dont think it was ever said "Gee we need to go after Hitler he is killing Jews" That alone would of been enough to get us involved in WW2.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:33:31 PM EDT
We never bombed rail lines except for major rail yards and some key bridges, and even then they managed to rebuild them in no time flat. Bombing the rail yards affected that traffic just as much as all other rail traffic.

Our "daylight percision bombing" in WWII was not anything like it is today. If we send 100 B-17's to bomb 1 rail line, maybe 8 or 9 would actually get bombs on a target that small. Using that coviently located concetration camp labor the Germans would have had that fixed in 48 hours.

Our most effective tool against german rail lines was P-47's and P-51's running low level strafing missions against locomotives, and they were targets of oppertunity.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:33:39 PM EDT
By the time we really started bombing Germany the holocaust had been going on for several years and was already in full swing.


We did the best we could by liberating the camps when we did.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:34:38 PM EDT
Far worse than that. We turned around ships full of Jew refugees before the war broke out. So did Great Britain.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:36:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 10:37:13 PM EDT by Jerret]
I think it was best to help ourselves first. We had everything tied up to help our offensive effort. Then, I dont think anyoen knew about the camps fully until 1945.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:37:02 PM EDT
Did anyone even know what was going on in the concentration camps? How do you make a decision to stop something you aren't aware of?
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:54:59 PM EDT
The SS would have come up with most probably a more barbaric method of dealing with them if the rail lines had been totally severed. I would never underestimate these evil bastards ingenuity for murder.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 11:09:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 11:12:24 PM EDT by Spade]

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
Did anyone even know what was going on in the concentration camps?




Yes. We knew about the camps, and what happened to Poles, Czechs, etc. Maybe not the full extent and scale of it all, but the world knew. We knew about the attitudes towards Jews, Poles, Slavs, etc. Hell, watch Casablanca. They mention them there. The Berlin Olympics are another example.

It's something everybody now claims we did not know about. Like finding an anti-war person or pro-Nazi person from the 1940's. Suddenly, though there were LOTS of them, they all vanished.

People knew. Granted probably not the full extent of how bad it was, but we knew. So did the German people.


Would cutting the lines have helped? Maybe saved a couple hundred. I don't think a lot. Choice: gas in one camp, starvation in another, bullet in another, bayonet in another? Not much choice there. But saving some people would've been better than saving none.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 11:25:17 PM EDT
We knew about the camps, I don't think we knew the full extent of what was happening. You're in a war to the finish and you make a practice of killing your cheap labor? In fact making an industry around killing them off instead of using all those resources? We're talking the efficient mechanical Germans here who knew the Soviets were going to be coming after them. And they are wasting all those resources?

I doubt we could or would have allocated assets to stop the camp trains, we didn't have the assets and repairing rr lines is not all that hard. In any case, stopping the trains would have just caused a new method to be developed. Leaving them locked in the trains on a siding for a few weeks, in a marshalling yard to be nailed by a B-17 raid, all kinds of ways. Your friend is stuck on stupid in the Blame America First mode.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 11:44:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
Did anyone even know what was going on in the concentration camps? How do you make a decision to stop something you aren't aware of?

Nobody really believed that somebody could be so methodical and murderous.

During World War I there were all sorts of atrocities attributed to Germany. They all turned out to be false. So during World War II when rumors of what Germany was doing started surfacing nobody gave them much credibility. Nobody dreamed just how bad it really was.

This was not like Rwanda where if you were from a different clan you where simply murdered and left on the roadside. Or a huge ditch for that matter.

The Nazi’s did everything so that the murder of Undesirables was done as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Remember the tales of Sorting people who could work and those that couldn’t? The people who were to be murdered were originally shot in the back of their heads. The idea was that the SS doing the killing couldn’t see that they were killing another human being. But after a while seeing the backs of their victims got to the killers and started to awaken their conscience. So they started using towed vans with the exhaust fumes from the motor leading into the inside of the van. But with gasoline being so precious and the total murdered being so low pre trip they were not being as efficient as they wanted. To make a long story short you have to realize that places like Auswitch wasn’t built until 1943. They took everything they knew about organized murder and perfected it there. Germany took every single mark of value they could from them. And you also have to remember that the Nazi’s never bothered with how young or old their victims were. If you could work in the factories you got to live a little longer. If you couldn’t you died. Nothing at all was wasted.

This is what really enraged liberating soldiers. Seeing the empty booties of babies that were murdered because they were born “Subhumans”. Nobody could really comprehend what was going on in the camps until they were Liberated. With Germany’s history of culture it was impossible to believe that they were so ruthless and murderous. We at Arfcom often look down at the slaughter that happens almost daily in the African continent. We can believe that Africans can murder one another because they aren’t quite “As Human” as we are. No culture of any kind that we can relate to. So when the camps were discovered to be so perfect in carrying out mass murder hardly anybody who wasn’t actually there couldn’t believe what happened.

And sadly, too many people today don’t believe what happened in the Holocaust either.

Nobody back then really believed what was going on in the Camps. That was what really happened.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 11:48:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 11:49:44 PM EDT by swingset]
One of the most rotten lies of history is that the US was unaware of the concentration camps until their liberation. The ONLY thing we didn't know was the brutality of the death camps and the total numbers, but we were completely aware what was going on as far as the liquidation of the Jewish race during early WWII.

Almost EVERY nation in the west was complicit in not only turning back jewish refugees, political dissidents, gypsies and other undesirables but in some cases helping to round them up.

The holocaust was a blight on Europe, not just Germany.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 12:13:31 AM EDT
Aerial photograph of Auschwitz industrial complex accidentally
recording the extermination facility.



Link Posted: 9/30/2005 12:14:53 AM EDT
But nobody really realized just how organized it was; how systematic.

If it was a barbaric nation, like Cambodia under Pol Pot, it was believable. But Germany was just not believable. People back then really thought that the Jews were really going to be resettled to live outside of Germany. Nobody really thought somebody was going to be murdered just because they were a Rom (Gypsies), or a Jew…

And you are also forgetting just how much a media genius Joseph Goebbels was; how completely believable his propaganda was.

How many times do I have to say it: Nobody believed that Murder on such a scale was happening.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 1:08:06 AM EDT
The Nazis were spending up to half of their war dollars and devoted lots of soldiers to "the final solution". Imagine what would have happened if they stopped and devoted all their attention to fighting the allies. They might have been able to stretch out the war several more years and maybe fight us to a stand still. The result would have been several million more dead allied soldiers, possibly US civilians and 0 concentration camp survivors. Even with the strong public support, if WW2 kept dragging on with millions of casualties, the home support for the war would have dropped drastically.

I guess we could have eventually nuked Germany in late 1945 too, but in 1944 they were very close to completing the V3 rocket. V3s could hit the US East Coast with any kind of payload - mustard, sarin, nerve gas etc. We nuke them, and then they gas us. Catch 22.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 1:57:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 2:01:49 AM EDT by swingset]

Originally Posted By GiggleSmith:
But nobody really realized just how organized it was; how systematic.

If it was a barbaric nation, like Cambodia under Pol Pot, it was believable. But Germany was just not believable. People back then really thought that the Jews were really going to be resettled to live outside of Germany. Nobody really thought somebody was going to be murdered just because they were a Rom (Gypsies), or a Jew…

And you are also forgetting just how much a media genius Joseph Goebbels was; how completely believable his propaganda was.

How many times do I have to say it: Nobody believed that Murder on such a scale was happening.



They didn't believe it, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't evidence of it happening. Plenty of Jews and Europeans knew what was happening, but their voices fell on deaf (or unbelieving) ears. There were escapees from the camps, ya know. Some of them provided convincing evidence of the killings, but were dismissed or ignored.

Even if, and I say this knowing the political climate of the 1930's/40's was very different than today, people were unaware of the mass killings, the systematic erasure of Jews from European countries should have been a gigantic clue. It was a horrendous wrong, even if it wasn't just killing. That was the failure of the west. The signs were glaring and most of the world was all too happy to see the Jews driven to extinction.....or put to work in slave camps.

The New York Times reported in 1942 that the Nazis had machine-gunned 200,000 Jews. The London papers reported shortly after that over 1,000,000 Jews had met their end. That's 3 FULL YEARS before we liberated the first camps. But, those stories weren't front page articles....they were small, neutral printings deep in the paper. Why?

Answer that, and you'll know the reason we "discovered" the holocaust long after the war had ebbed.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 2:40:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By GiggleSmith:
But nobody really realized just how organized it was; how systematic.

If it was a barbaric nation, like Cambodia under Pol Pot, it was believable. But Germany was just not believable. People back then really thought that the Jews were really going to be resettled to live outside of Germany. Nobody really thought somebody was going to be murdered just because they were a Rom (Gypsies), or a Jew…

And you are also forgetting just how much a media genius Joseph Goebbels was; how completely believable his propaganda was.

How many times do I have to say it: Nobody believed that Murder on such a scale was happening.



They didn't believe it, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't evidence of it happening. Plenty of Jews and Europeans knew what was happening, but their voices fell on deaf (or unbelieving) ears. There were escapees from the camps, ya know. Some of them provided convincing evidence of the killings, but were dismissed or ignored.

Even if, and I say this knowing the political climate of the 1930's/40's was very different than today, people were unaware of the mass killings, the systematic erasure of Jews from European countries should have been a gigantic clue. It was a horrendous wrong, even if it wasn't just killing. That was the failure of the west. The signs were glaring and most of the world was all too happy to see the Jews driven to extinction.....or put to work in slave camps.

The New York Times reported in 1942 that the Nazis had machine-gunned 200,000 Jews. The London papers reported shortly after that over 1,000,000 Jews had met their end. That's 3 FULL YEARS before we liberated the first camps. But, those stories weren't front page articles....they were small, neutral printings deep in the paper. Why?

Answer that, and you'll know the reason we "discovered" the holocaust long after the war had ebbed.

Recall what I said about the "Atrocities" that Germany was supposed to have done during World War I. They turned out to be lies. Many people thought it was happening all over again.

And don’t forget about Goebbels. He was a genious in his craft.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 3:06:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 3:22:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 3:31:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 4:48:20 AM EDT by Makarov]
My Father served as a Tailgunner on a B-24, 15thAF, 376thBG, 512thBS. He was based in North Africa and later Italy. He saw lots of combat in the skies over Germany and occupied Europe. I have had this discussion regarding the KZ & death camps with him severals times. He really got pissed during a visit to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. when the tour guide implied that anti-semitism was the reason the the Allied Command would not commit "air resources" toward that mission.

My Father loudly informed him that those "air resources" were made up of a limited number of aircraft available at any given time and a limited number of intensively trained men and even fewer experienced men leading them. He stated that even on a "milk run" raid losses could be 1 in 10. Anything less than a 30% loss of equipment & crew on a mission was considered an acceptable cost. Too often the cost was much higher.

So, if you are the Allied Command and you have an endless list of designated strategic and tactical targets and a limited number of aircraft, ordnance and air crews and you are facing a proven, tenacious and resourceful enemy on an evolving battlefield and in addition your air power plans are all weather dependent, how do you prioritize? Remember in 1943-1944 Allied victory was not a foregone conclusion.


Forgot to add that my Dad's plane (although he served on others) was named"Bad Penny because they kept coming back!" The last he saw of her was as a smoking wreck, parachutte view, after he and the rest of the crew bailed out over Yugoslavia. They had been shot up badly over Germany and limped back to "friendly" lines before the Capt. said "time to excuse ourselves from the dance with this lady boys". He is still alive and kicking at 81yo. He has a zest for life like I have never seen in anybody else. He is currently gearing up for the Fall hunting season and planning a fishing trip to Alaska for next Summer as well as a trip to Key West so he can "get close enough to spit in Castro's eye"
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 3:45:52 AM EDT
Folks, World War II was a war.

What was happening to the Jews was not a top military priority. Beating the Nazis WAS a priority. The entire war effort could not afford to be sidetracked into becoming a rescue mission.

People can argue that everybody knew or should have known, but the simple fact is that the soldiers who liberated these camps had no concept of what they were until they stood in the middle of them and saw the sheer horror of it.

The best way to help people in the concentration camps was to beat Germany back and liberate them as you were able to, which is exactly what we did.

We tend to look back at WWII with the confidence of the victor and many wonder why we didn't do more. The truth is that WWII was actually a desperate struggle for survival and our victory wasn't a certain thing by any stretch of the imagination. Even as we seemed to be "winning" the war, planners knew that Germany had been "winning" the war before we turned the tide on them.

If a commander has to choose between rescuing innocent civilians in German hands at staggering losses to his troops, or preserving the military assets he needs to finally defeat the Germans and hope he can do so fast enough to help some of the civilians, he really only has one choice.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 3:49:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
That the Germans would have used it as propaganda against the allies is the reason British politicians and military sources gave.

Imagine the scenario… USAAF and RAF bombers smash the ramp at Birkenau so cutting off the camp… all the germans would have done was massacred thousands of men, women and children by blowing up trains at a railyard then call in the Red Cross to show them how the Allied bombers had murdered thousands of refugees they were 'resettleing' to there new homes….

Sound far fetched? The Germans kept an entire sham 'resettlement camp' at Terezenstadt were the Jews there lived in near luxury with orchestras, swimming pools and everything. Whenever the Red Cross came to investigate the claims of the death camps the Nazis would take them there to see this veritable Holiday Camp.

You can be sure the Nazis would have made sure the bombing killed jews being 'resettled' to there not to Auschwitz.


ANdy



Indeed.

People tend to examine history from the perspective of the present, without taking themselves into the past to see it as those who lived it saw it.

The Jews were going to be slaughtered. Period. They were going to be slaughtered because the Nazis wanted to kill them. The only way to stop this was to stop the Nazis in general by winning the war.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 3:58:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Makarov:
My Father served as a Tailgunner on a B-24, 15thAF, 376thBG, 512thBS. He was based in North Africa and later Italy. He saw lots of combat in the skies over Germany and occupied Europe. I have had this discussion regarding the KZ & death camps with him severals times. He really got pissed during a visit to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. when the tour guide implied that anti-semitism was the reason the the Allied Command would not commit "air resources" toward that mission.

My Father loudly informed him that those "air resources" were made up of a limited number of aircraft available at any given time and a limited number of intensively trained men and even fewer experienced men leading them. He stated that even on a "milk run" raid losses could be 1 in 10. Anything less than a 30% loss of equipment & crew on a mission was considered an acceptable cost. Too often the cost was much higher.

So, if you are the Allied Command and you have an endless list of designated strategic and tactical targets and a limited number of aircraft, ordnance and air crews and you are facing a proven, tenacious and resourceful enemy on an evolving battlefield and in addition your air power plans are all weather dependent, how do you prioritize? Remember in 1943-1944 Allied victory was not a foregone conclusion.



Exactly.

Don't drink the libbie kool-aid. (They must be putting something in the water supplies lately...)

Anyone who tells you that we didn't "help" the victims in the camps because we were racists too is a revisionist moron with no more grasp of history than a chimp has of calculus. History is a deep subject that is really only understood when you understand the life of every person involved in an event, every force that played into an event, etc.

People think of bombing in terms of how bombing works today. Today it is a fairly clean-cut and precise thing that yields few losses. But in WWII there were no smart bombs, no AWACS, no missles. Bombing runs consisted of sending hundreds upon hundreds of bombers over a target area that was blanketed with munitions, because there was no way of directing each bomb to a target.

As the planes flew in, flak cannons were fired and enemy fighters were attacking the slower larger bombers in their formations.

The average air crew could be expected to survive ONLY 16 missions. With such high casualty rates and so many strategically important targets to hit, Allied Command didn't have the resources to divert to bombing rail lines or stopping camp functions.

People don't realize this, but Dwight Eisenhower was one of the smartest men to ever live, and one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world. He and those who helped him plan WWII did what they had to do, and they did a damn fine job of it.

Some college aged punk who has taken 3 history courses who tells you otherwise is too stupid for words.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 4:01:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Indeed.

People tend to examine history from the perspective of the present, without taking themselves into the past to see it as those who lived it saw it.

The Jews were going to be slaughtered. Period. They were going to be slaughtered because the Nazis wanted to kill them. The only way to stop this was to stop the Nazis in general by winning the war.



If "someone" wanted to kill you, would you be dead? Or would you fight back?
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 5:03:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sp0rk:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Indeed.

People tend to examine history from the perspective of the present, without taking themselves into the past to see it as those who lived it saw it.

The Jews were going to be slaughtered. Period. They were going to be slaughtered because the Nazis wanted to kill them. The only way to stop this was to stop the Nazis in general by winning the war.



If "someone" wanted to kill you, would you be dead? Or would you fight back?



Many people fought the Nazi party - my family was very active in the Polish Resistance. Many were sent to Camps after being captured. Some were killed during raids on Nazi troops. A few managed to survive.

As for the rail lines, WW2 bombers were not dropping precision guided bombs. It took dozens, if not more sorties of hundreds of planes to knock out a target. Even then, it would be repaired quickly.

Rail lines could be fixed very fast by slave labor and rear-echelon troops. The Nazi's never really had trouble fixing the rail lines. They did have trouble replacing the train engines, however.

Av.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 5:25:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 5:26:36 AM EDT by scuba_ed]

Originally Posted By DADX3:
My law partner and I were arguing about whether America was wrong for not bombing the rail lines going to the concentration camps.

My position was the only way to help those poor folks was to end the war as quickly as possible. He ofcourse took the position that the bombing raids should have been used to destroy the rail lines so the trains could not get to the camps.

My response was the Nazis would have just parked the trains on a side spur and let the people die of hunger and dehydration.

What are we missing and what are your thoughts?



_____________________

Intelligence intercepts from early in the war indicated that both the British and American governments were aware of what was being done to Jews. Not only did the Allied governments fail to do anything whatsoever to stop the extermination of the Jews, they did not even inform the Jews of Europe by radio of that danger they were in, known to the Allies but not yet to the Jews themselves. In a television interview with Bill Moyers, shown on the PBS network in 1991, the Nobel prizewinning writer Elie Wiesel spoke of his anger at the Allies.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 was the start of the Holocaust as we know it. Messages reaching Churchill through his intelligence services told of the murder, in groups, of thousands of Jews. He made powerful reference to these killings when he broadcast on November 14 1941:

'None has suffered more cruelly than the Jew the unspeakable evils wrought upon the bodies and spirits of men by Hitler and his vile regime. The Jew bore the brunt of the Nazi's first onslaught upon the citadels of freedom and human dignity. He has borne and continued to bear a burden that might have seen beyond endurance. He has not allowed it to break his spirit; he has never lost the will to resist. Assuredly in the day of victory the Jew's suffering and his part in the struggle will not be forgotten.'

In March 1944 German troops occupied Hungary. Three quarters of a million Hungarian Jews were at risk. Churchill asked Marshall Tito to protect any Jews who escaped Hungary to partisan-held Yugoslavia. That July, Jewish leaders brought Churchill an horrific account of Auschwitz. It had been smuggled out by two escapees, and revealed for the first time the nature of the gas chambers there. Asked to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz, Churchill instructed Eden: 'Get anything out of the Air Force you can, and invoke me if necessary.' A few days later, when it was learned that the deportations from Hungary had stopped, the Jewish request changed from bombing to protective documents. This too Churchill supported.

Jews in the United States requested that the Allies bomb the railway lines leading to the death camps, or even the camps themselves. These requests fell upon deaf ears.

source: http://www2.thny.bbc.co.uk/history/war/genocide/churchill_holocaust_03.shtml





Link Posted: 9/30/2005 5:44:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 5:47:06 AM EDT by Grunteled]

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:

Originally Posted By DADX3:
My law partner and I were arguing about whether America was wrong for not bombing the rail lines going to the concentration camps.

My position was the only way to help those poor folks was to end the war as quickly as possible. He ofcourse took the position that the bombing raids should have been used to destroy the rail lines so the trains could not get to the camps.

My response was the Nazis would have just parked the trains on a side spur and let the people die of hunger and dehydration.

What are we missing and what are your thoughts?



_____________________

Intelligence intercepts from early in the war indicated that both the British and American governments were aware of what was being done to Jews. Not only did the Allied governments fail to do anything whatsoever to stop the extermination of the Jews, they did not even inform the Jews of Europe by radio of that danger they were in, known to the Allies but not yet to the Jews themselves. In a television interview with Bill Moyers, shown on the PBS network in 1991, the Nobel prizewinning writer Elie Wiesel spoke of his anger at the Allies.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 was the start of the Holocaust as we know it. Messages reaching Churchill through his intelligence services told of the murder, in groups, of thousands of Jews. He made powerful reference to these killings when he broadcast on November 14 1941:

'None has suffered more cruelly than the Jew the unspeakable evils wrought upon the bodies and spirits of men by Hitler and his vile regime. The Jew bore the brunt of the Nazi's first onslaught upon the citadels of freedom and human dignity. He has borne and continued to bear a burden that might have seen beyond endurance. He has not allowed it to break his spirit; he has never lost the will to resist. Assuredly in the day of victory the Jew's suffering and his part in the struggle will not be forgotten.'

In March 1944 German troops occupied Hungary. Three quarters of a million Hungarian Jews were at risk. Churchill asked Marshall Tito to protect any Jews who escaped Hungary to partisan-held Yugoslavia. That July, Jewish leaders brought Churchill an horrific account of Auschwitz. It had been smuggled out by two escapees, and revealed for the first time the nature of the gas chambers there. Asked to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz, Churchill instructed Eden: 'Get anything out of the Air Force you can, and invoke me if necessary.' A few days later, when it was learned that the deportations from Hungary had stopped, the Jewish request changed from bombing to protective documents. This too Churchill supported.

Jews in the United States requested that the Allies bomb the railway lines leading to the death camps, or even the camps themselves. These requests fell upon deaf ears.

source: http://www2.thny.bbc.co.uk/history/war/genocide/churchill_holocaust_03.shtml








You people are amazing.

Rail lines were repaired in hours. Hours. Bombing proved to be of dubious long term value as they would have bombed facilities back in operation in days. But I'm sure Generals Moyers and Wiesel would have effectively ended the Nazi holocost.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:11:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:

Originally Posted By DADX3:
My law partner and I were arguing about whether America was wrong for not bombing the rail lines going to the concentration camps.

My position was the only way to help those poor folks was to end the war as quickly as possible. He ofcourse took the position that the bombing raids should have been used to destroy the rail lines so the trains could not get to the camps.

My response was the Nazis would have just parked the trains on a side spur and let the people die of hunger and dehydration.

What are we missing and what are your thoughts?



_____________________

Intelligence intercepts from early in the war indicated that both the British and American governments were aware of what was being done to Jews. Not only did the Allied governments fail to do anything whatsoever to stop the extermination of the Jews, they did not even inform the Jews of Europe by radio of that danger they were in, known to the Allies but not yet to the Jews themselves. In a television interview with Bill Moyers, shown on the PBS network in 1991, the Nobel prizewinning writer Elie Wiesel spoke of his anger at the Allies.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 was the start of the Holocaust as we know it. Messages reaching Churchill through his intelligence services told of the murder, in groups, of thousands of Jews. He made powerful reference to these killings when he broadcast on November 14 1941:

'None has suffered more cruelly than the Jew the unspeakable evils wrought upon the bodies and spirits of men by Hitler and his vile regime. The Jew bore the brunt of the Nazi's first onslaught upon the citadels of freedom and human dignity. He has borne and continued to bear a burden that might have seen beyond endurance. He has not allowed it to break his spirit; he has never lost the will to resist. Assuredly in the day of victory the Jew's suffering and his part in the struggle will not be forgotten.'

In March 1944 German troops occupied Hungary. Three quarters of a million Hungarian Jews were at risk. Churchill asked Marshall Tito to protect any Jews who escaped Hungary to partisan-held Yugoslavia. That July, Jewish leaders brought Churchill an horrific account of Auschwitz. It had been smuggled out by two escapees, and revealed for the first time the nature of the gas chambers there. Asked to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz, Churchill instructed Eden: 'Get anything out of the Air Force you can, and invoke me if necessary.' A few days later, when it was learned that the deportations from Hungary had stopped, the Jewish request changed from bombing to protective documents. This too Churchill supported.

Jews in the United States requested that the Allies bomb the railway lines leading to the death camps, or even the camps themselves. These requests fell upon deaf ears.

source: http://www2.thny.bbc.co.uk/history/war/genocide/churchill_holocaust_03.shtml








You people are amazing.

Rail lines were repaired in hours. Hours. Bombing proved to be of dubious long term value as they would have bombed facilities back in operation in days. But I'm sure Generals Moyers and Wiesel would have effectively ended the Nazi holocost.



______________

Re:

You people are amazing.

___

By your reference, I will politely assume you're not referring Jews as "You people..."

Many camps were situated near rail lines already supporting the infrastructure of the Nazi regime, yet political leaders where hesitant to, and issued orders specifically, to not bomb adjacent camps. Carpet-bombing of these sites would have been easilly within the mission profile of bombing raids...avoiding concentration camps in fact placed allied air crews at jeopardy by interfering with a normal bomb run.

Re:

Rail lines were repaired in hours.

___

And by that you, in hindsight, now reflect that destroying the rail infrastructue of the Nazis was a poor and illigitament of the Allied air campaign, irresptective of orders to avoid concentration camps?

I had thought this was a discussion of bombing rail lines to stop the Holocaust...you have seemingly turned it into an issue of whether bombing rail lines was a wise decision at all.

People of your ignorance are...facinating.


Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:17:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
Many camps were situated near rail lines already supporting the infrastructure of the Nazi regime, yet political leaders where hesitant to, and issued orders specifically, to not bomb adjacent camps. Carpet-bombing of these sites would have been easilly within the mission profile of bombing raids...avoiding concentration camps in fact placed allied air crews at jeopardy by interfering with a normal bomb run.



And carpet bombing of the Camps would have what?

Killed more people than it would have saved.

Bombers were not very good at hitting large targets (oil fields, air bases, etc). They did not drop precision guided bombs.

If the US Army Air Force bombed a Camp, the loss of life to the civilian population would have been huge, and would not have accomplished anything on a tactical or strategic scale. It would have been a waste of munitions, fuel, and planes.

Av.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:19:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Avalon01:

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
Many camps were situated near rail lines already supporting the infrastructure of the Nazi regime, yet political leaders where hesitant to, and issued orders specifically, to not bomb adjacent camps. Carpet-bombing of these sites would have been easilly within the mission profile of bombing raids...avoiding concentration camps in fact placed allied air crews at jeopardy by interfering with a normal bomb run.



And carpet bombing of the Camps would have what?

Killed more people than it would have saved.

Bombers were not very good at hitting large targets (oil fields, air bases, etc). They did not drop precision guided bombs.

If the US Army Air Force bombed a Camp, the loss of life to the civilian population would have been huge, and would not have accomplished anything on a tactical or strategic scale. It would have been a waste of munitions, fuel, and planes.

Av.



Indeed. To try to bomb the rail lines right by the camps would have wiped out the camps themselves, which isn't really a good solution.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:25:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Aerial photograph of Auschwitz industrial complex accidentally
recording the extermination facility.

www.bbc.co.uk/history/games/nazi_genocide_timeline/open_images/open_1944_04_14.jpg




This picture wasn't found untill the 1950s.

Yes we "had" it, along with a bagillion other pictures. We had very limited numbers of trained guys to analyze them though, and they generally analyzed pictures of industrial areas trying to figure out what factories to hit. It was only untill after the war that this picture was found and ppl realized what it was.

I dont think you can ask us to do anything more than we did.

WWII was not a slam dunk like modern war, so we couldnt be redirecting resources to bomb prison camps. All that would have done is it would have killed all the prisoners, and then the Nazis would have turned it right around on us via propaganda (plus the prisoners would have died either way).

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:59:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 6:59:41 AM EDT by scuba_ed]

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By Avalon01:

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
Many camps were situated near rail lines already supporting the infrastructure of the Nazi regime, yet political leaders where hesitant to, and issued orders specifically, to not bomb adjacent camps. Carpet-bombing of these sites would have been easilly within the mission profile of bombing raids...avoiding concentration camps in fact placed allied air crews at jeopardy by interfering with a normal bomb run.



And carpet bombing of the Camps would have what?

Killed more people than it would have saved.

Bombers were not very good at hitting large targets (oil fields, air bases, etc). They did not drop precision guided bombs.

If the US Army Air Force bombed a Camp, the loss of life to the civilian population would have been huge, and would not have accomplished anything on a tactical or strategic scale. It would have been a waste of munitions, fuel, and planes.

Av.



Indeed. To try to bomb the rail lines right by the camps would have wiped out the camps themselves, which isn't really a good solution.



__________________

"...a good solution"

___

As if the final solution were better?

They at least would have had to re-build the camps.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:05:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:

Indeed. To try to bomb the rail lines right by the camps would have wiped out the camps themselves, which isn't really a good solution.



__________________

"...a good solution"

___

As if the final solution were better?

They at least would have had to re-build the camps.

No they wouldn't have.

Just unload the rail car and machine gun the folks.

They were virtually dead as soon as the Nazis got them. Freezing, starving, bayonet, gunned down, gas chamber, or just worked to death. The Nazis were not above digging a trench, having people stand in it, and then machine gunning the whole line of them.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:08:08 AM EDT
A lot of people seem to not understand.

1) The Allies did not have a warehouse filled with unused bombers, ordnance and air crews waiting for a need. All theatres of WWII had desparate need for more air power. Deployment of air power resources had to be based on the cold calculations of what yeilded the best return in advancing the war toward the defeat of the Axis powers PERIOD.

2) Bombing of the railway lines leading to the KZ & death camps would not have been simply a little job to do on the side, in their spare time. It would have required a major shift in strategic planning. It would take repeated strikes over months (maybe endless months) with each mission consuming more planes, ordnance, fuel and air crew. These efforts and losses would mean that other (strategic) targets could not be hit and would continue to serve Hitler's needs in a war whose victory was still up for grabs.

3) Disruption of the railways would not have prevented the Nazi murder of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Communists and others. The camp system was established for efficiency (bottom line cost per victim) not necessity. The only way to stop the Holocaust was to stop the Nazi war machine, which was the prime mission of the stategic bombing campaign!
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:11:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 7:11:58 AM EDT by scuba_ed]

Originally Posted By Avalon01:

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
Many camps were situated near rail lines already supporting the infrastructure of the Nazi regime, yet political leaders where hesitant to, and issued orders specifically, to not bomb adjacent camps. Carpet-bombing of these sites would have been easilly within the mission profile of bombing raids...avoiding concentration camps in fact placed allied air crews at jeopardy by interfering with a normal bomb run.



And carpet bombing of the Camps would have what?

Killed more people than it would have saved.

Bombers were not very good at hitting large targets (oil fields, air bases, etc). They did not drop precision guided bombs.

If the US Army Air Force bombed a Camp, the loss of life to the civilian population would have been huge, and would not have accomplished anything on a tactical or strategic scale. It would have been a waste of munitions, fuel, and planes.

Av.



____

"If the US Army Air Force bombed a Camp, the loss of life to the civilian population would have been huge, and would not have accomplished anything on a tactical or strategic scale. It would have been a waste of munitions, fuel, and planes. "

The camps were within normal mission bombing parameters.

For example, Ploesti (Questions & Answers)

Bombing would have killed inmates and there was no guarantee bombing would have
stopped the slaughter.


The truth is rail-lines and bridges together with the Birkenau
Cremation buildings could have been bombed with a minimum loss of life the same way two other areas were bombed. On June 10th, 1944, from the same air-field in Foggia, Italy that planes which photographed Birkenau flew out of, a group of P-38 dive-bombers flew 950 Kms (600 mi) to destroy the Ploesti oil refinery in Hungary, and on August 24th, '44, the Gustloff-Werke armaments factory 150 m (500 ft) from Buchenwald detention camp, was destroyed by medium-height B-25 bombers without a single bomb hitting the Buchenwald camp.

_

Monowitz Industrial Complex

___

Air Photo Evidence published air photos proving the Germans made no attempt to hide the Birkenau Cremation buildings which had no outer fence and only one wire fence close to the buildings so mass executions would have been visible, and Birkenau was not out of range as American planes bombed the Monowitz industrial complex 6 km (4 mi) east starting in August, '44

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:12:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
_________________

"...a good solution"

___

As if the final solution were better?

They at least would have had to re-build the camps.



So the US should have bombed Jews to save Jews? Dropping bombs on those camps would have killed lots of the people in those camps.

And it still wouldn't have stopped the Germans from killing Jews. As I recall, they managed to kill quite a few Jews with nothing more than small arms.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:15:19 AM EDT
What a rousing debate

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:18:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Makarov:
A lot of people seem to not understand.

1) The Allies did not have a warehouse filled with unused bombers, ordnance and air crews waiting for a need. All theatres of WWII had desparate need for more air power. Deployment of air power resources had to be based on the cold calculations of what yeilded the best return in advancing the war toward the defeat of the Axis powers PERIOD.

2) Bombing of the railway lines leading to the KZ & death camps would not have been simply a little job to do on the side, in their spare time. It would have required a major shift in strategic planning. It would take repeated strikes over months (maybe endless months) with each mission consuming more planes, ordnance, fuel and air crew. These efforts and losses would mean that other (strategic) targets could not be hit and would continue to serve Hitler's needs in a war whose victory was still up for grabs.

3) Disruption of the railways would not have prevented the Nazi murder of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Communists and others. The camp system was established for efficiency (bottom line cost per victim) not necessity. The only way to stop the Holocaust was to stop the Nazi war machine, which was the prime mission of the stategic bombing campaign!



____________________

"Disruption of the railways would not have prevented ..." what? You mean that all the bombing campaigns against the German railway infrastructure would have a poor use of resources? Don't be stupid...we concentrated our bombing forces upon all of the Nazi infrastructure. Railways, industrial production. All of it. We destroyed (and for good reason) Dresden due to the manufacturing facitlities there...also killed more civilians than died in our bombing of Hiroshima.

Oh, oh...you mean to say that the deaths of the civilians was bad, yet not hurting the Jews would have been awfull?

Learning history is imperative, understanding it, Makarov, is an art.


Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:32:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 7:38:59 AM EDT by Garand_Shooter]

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:


And by that you, in hindsight, now reflect that destroying the rail infrastructue of the Nazis was a poor and illigitament of the Allied air campaign, irresptective of orders to avoid concentration camps?

I had thought this was a discussion of bombing rail lines to stop the Holocaust...you have seemingly turned it into an issue of whether bombing rail lines was a wise decision at all.

People of your ignorance are...facinating.





Your ignorance of how the air war and how it was conducted is fascinating, cosindering you are arguing the point.

Bombing large rail yards was a wise decision. We did it, and it seems to not have had much effect on the movement of jews.

Bombing rail lines to stop the holocaust would have involved trying to bomb single spur lines leading to the camps. This was simply not a feasable thing given the technology. Despite US Bragging about our "daylight percision bragging" and the Norden bombsite, like I said earlier if you tried to bomb a single track with 100 B-17's less than 10% of the bombs would have found thier target. Those few bombs would have not done enough damage to change anything. So you wasted a day of good bombing weather, a mission, and the 5-20% of the aircraft that would be shot down, to no effect. So we chose to bomb large targets like factories, rail yards, refineries, and later cities that we could hit effectively and do damage to. That wise use of resources helped bring the war to a faster end, and saved more jewish lives than ineffective bombing of single lines leading to the camps.

Bombing rail lines leading to the camps is one of those ideas that only makes sense if you are ignorant of the facts. Those who push it as a viable solution are either ignorant or just want to try to find anti-sematism in everything.... or both.

Ending the war as fast as possible was the best way to save jewish lives, and that is exactly what we did.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:47:25 AM EDT
This is moronic.
No blame is on the allies whatsoever, wether we knew or did not know.
That is immaterial.
We were not the ones who put those folks into camps.

I asked my grandfather once about this.
If people "knew"
My grand dad said it was pretty common knowledge that the Nazis had prison camps for political prisoners, but that we figured they were just that - prison camps.
Like we interned the Japanese - a camp to concentrate people you don't trust.
Thats what a "concentration" camp is - a camp where a population is concentrated.
In Casablanca, Victor Laslow had escaped from "a concentration camp."
The Nazis ran 2 types - concentration camps and death camps.
Very few death camps early on.

But all this is immaterial - we were not the ones who put the people in the camps, we bear no blame whatsoever.

Anyone who says we do, might as well turn in their credibilty card and exchange it for a "revisionist" card instead.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:49:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
The camps were within normal mission bombing parameters.



Yes, they were within range of many of the bombers.

There was no STRATEGIC OR TACTICAL reason to bomb the camps. We didn't have access inventory around to support bombing the camps. Shells, bombs, and small arms ammo was in short supply in almost every theater.

It was a war to destroy Nazi Germany as fast as possible. Diverting scarce resources to bomb camps would not have accomplished anything.

I asked a family member, who was in a camp, whether or not Allied planes should have bombed the camps and helped free them.

His response: "Why? The guards would have gunned us down if we tried to escape. Were would we go if we did escape? Our chance of surviving outside the camp was almost as slim as it was inside the camp."

Av.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:56:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:


______________

Re:

You people are amazing.

___

By your reference, I will politely assume you're not referring Jews as "You people..."

Many camps were situated near rail lines already supporting the infrastructure of the Nazi regime, yet political leaders where hesitant to, and issued orders specifically, to not bomb adjacent camps. Carpet-bombing of these sites would have been easilly within the mission profile of bombing raids...avoiding concentration camps in fact placed allied air crews at jeopardy by interfering with a normal bomb run.

Re:

Rail lines were repaired in hours.

___

And by that you, in hindsight, now reflect that destroying the rail infrastructue of the Nazis was a poor and illigitament of the Allied air campaign, irresptective of orders to avoid concentration camps?

I had thought this was a discussion of bombing rail lines to stop the Holocaust...you have seemingly turned it into an issue of whether bombing rail lines was a wise decision at all.

People of your ignorance are...facinating.






Look in the mirror. By your gross assumptions (without even a hint of truth) you prove to me you are exactly the type of person I'm refering to. Monday morning quarterbacks who twist facts into absurdity. It's absurd to suggest that although directly tacticaly useful that the Allies chose to not attack rail assets because they knew they were linked to the killing of jews and therefore indeed wanted the killing to continue.

And yes, I say the bombing of rail lines was not terribly effective until very late in the war, and more than a few folks involved in the issue have said the same. Maybe the guys that were doing the bombing were ignorent too though.

Oh, and thanks for your snide "polite" choice to not take my comment as meaning "Jews". It was obviously nessisary to point that out because there was certainly some confusion as to who I was directing my comments to.... "Revisionists that seek to force history into a framework of racism" or "all jews". I can see how that was very confusing.

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 8:20:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:

Originally Posted By Makarov:
A lot of people seem to not understand.

1) The Allies did not have a warehouse filled with unused bombers, ordnance and air crews waiting for a need. All theatres of WWII had desparate need for more air power. Deployment of air power resources had to be based on the cold calculations of what yeilded the best return in advancing the war toward the defeat of the Axis powers PERIOD.

2) Bombing of the railway lines leading to the KZ & death camps would not have been simply a little job to do on the side, in their spare time. It would have required a major shift in strategic planning. It would take repeated strikes over months (maybe endless months) with each mission consuming more planes, ordnance, fuel and air crew. These efforts and losses would mean that other (strategic) targets could not be hit and would continue to serve Hitler's needs in a war whose victory was still up for grabs.

3) Disruption of the railways would not have prevented the Nazi murder of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Communists and others. The camp system was established for efficiency (bottom line cost per victim) not necessity. The only way to stop the Holocaust was to stop the Nazi war machine, which was the prime mission of the stategic bombing campaign!



____________________

"Disruption of the railways would not have prevented ..." what? You mean that all the bombing campaigns against the German railway infrastructure would have a poor use of resources? Don't be stupid...we concentrated our bombing forces upon all of the Nazi infrastructure. Railways, industrial production. All of it. We destroyed (and for good reason) Dresden due to the manufacturing facitlities there...also killed more civilians than died in our bombing of Hiroshima.

Oh, oh...you mean to say that the deaths of the civilians was bad, yet not hurting the Jews would have been awfull?

Learning history is imperative, understanding it, Makarov, is an art.





"Disruption of the railways would not have prevented ..." what? You mean that all the bombing campaigns against the German railway infrastructure would have a poor use of resources? Don't be stupid...we concentrated our bombing forces upon all of the Nazi infrastructure. Railways, industrial production. All of it. We destroyed (and for good reason) Dresden due to the manufacturing facitlities there...also killed more civilians than died in our bombing of Hiroshima.

Denying infrastructure resources (including railways) to the enemy (to the extent you have the ability to do so) is always a good thing. However, as I stated, destroying railways serving the KZ and death camps would not have prevented the Holocaust. The mobile death squads would just have to work overtime.


Oh, oh...you mean to say that the deaths of the civilians was bad, yet not hurting the Jews would have been awfull?

WTF? I don't even understand what you are trying to say.


Learning history is imperative, understanding it, Makarov, is an art.

Understanding history is an "art" if you are a liberal Kool-Aid drinker! Understanding history needs to be objective and honest (which "art" is not) in order to use the past to shape the future.

BTW- Please don't resort to name calling (ie. "stupid"). Save that for some other web sites.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 8:40:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 8:41:54 AM EDT by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:

Originally Posted By Makarov:
A lot of people seem to not understand.

1) The Allies did not have a warehouse filled with unused bombers, ordnance and air crews waiting for a need. All theatres of WWII had desparate need for more air power. Deployment of air power resources had to be based on the cold calculations of what yeilded the best return in advancing the war toward the defeat of the Axis powers PERIOD.

2) Bombing of the railway lines leading to the KZ & death camps would not have been simply a little job to do on the side, in their spare time. It would have required a major shift in strategic planning. It would take repeated strikes over months (maybe endless months) with each mission consuming more planes, ordnance, fuel and air crew. These efforts and losses would mean that other (strategic) targets could not be hit and would continue to serve Hitler's needs in a war whose victory was still up for grabs.

3) Disruption of the railways would not have prevented the Nazi murder of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Communists and others. The camp system was established for efficiency (bottom line cost per victim) not necessity. The only way to stop the Holocaust was to stop the Nazi war machine, which was the prime mission of the stategic bombing campaign!



____________________

"Disruption of the railways would not have prevented ..." what? You mean that all the bombing campaigns against the German railway infrastructure would have a poor use of resources? Don't be stupid...we concentrated our bombing forces upon all of the Nazi infrastructure. Railways, industrial production. All of it. We destroyed (and for good reason) Dresden due to the manufacturing facitlities there...also killed more civilians than died in our bombing of Hiroshima.

Oh, oh...you mean to say that the deaths of the civilians was bad, yet not hurting the Jews would have been awfull?

Learning history is imperative, understanding it, Makarov, is an art.




And knowing when someone spouting stupid bullshit is imperative.

All you are proving is you have absolutely no grasp of the situation and understand nothing.

Only a child would propose carpet bombing a concentration camp to save the prisoners.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 8:42:13 AM EDT
Bombing the railways would probably have contibuted "nil" to the saving of Holocost victims lives.
I knows oodeles about WWII and i can say it would've done near nothing. Finishing the war quickly By hitting more war strategic targets saved more lives. First Off people need to remember that most of the camps were in the east not the west. For Allies in England to fly all the way to poland and Russia would be almost a death sentance. The west of Germany was as far in as the Air corp got with Berlin being the only exception. They tried to reach Romania once and got smacked down. Second For germany the Reichbann (railroad) was their lifeline. Germany did not send her supplies to soldiers by truck, evertything was by rail. This meant that the railroad was given the highest priority in defense and repair. If say a mission was flown to carpet bomb some railroad in poland the German engineers would have fixed the severed line in about 18 hours!! And many long range bombers and crews would have been lost for naught. Also dont forget that there was more than one rail line. If a segment had been destroyed the train scould've easily been rerouted
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 8:49:16 AM EDT
wow, good thread. tag to read at home.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 3:10:23 AM EDT
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