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Author Topic: WW2 in hindsight and the value of people?  (Read 1898 times)

Offline Europan Ocean

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WW2 in hindsight and the value of people?
« on: 16/02/2013 16:36:17 »
Old world reasoning would have us put honour before justice... see some people as worth more others... it was good that people were not hateful for example the WW2 English. The English were honourable and tried to be clean fighters, cool headed.

I am glad my nan and her husband never fought in the Axis power where they lived.

Looking at the Bismark sinking, should the RN done more to save the crew? Even risked themselves?

And the much more worked question, in benefit of hindsight, did the USA and Britain, need drop the bomb on Japan? We now know they would have lost many more US soldiers, but would still have won the war.
« Last Edit: 25/02/2013 07:17:00 by Europan Ocean »


 

Offline Don_1

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Re: WW2 in hindsight and the value of people?
« Reply #1 on: 20/02/2013 14:11:02 »
The cruiser Dorsetshire and destroyer Maori did pick up survivors from the stricken Bismarck, but broke off when a U-boat was sighted. The U=boat and fishing vessels picked up more survivors. It has been suggested that the U-boat should have come to Bismarck's aid earlier. Had the U-boat's commander been aware that other ships of the RN battle group were dangerously short of fuel, perhaps he would have.

As to the dropping of the bombs on Japan, Japan had vowed to fight to the last man. The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki actually saved not only American and British lives, they also saved Japan from obliteration.

Now, those 'hateful WW2 English' were entitled to be a tad peeved with Germany. In 1940 the Luftwaffe launched an all out attack on the RAF as a prelude to Operation Sea Lion, which was to be the invasion of Britain. Despite outnumbering the RAF, the Luftwaffe failed to gain the all important air superiority Germany needed for the invasion to begin. So attention was turned from bombing the RAF to bombing London, Coventry, Birmingham, Liverpool and other major cities. Some 43,000 civilians were killed and nearly 200,000 injured.

Another thing which would have rather upset Britain, had it not been covered up, was that after the 'Great Escape' from Stalagluft 3, most of the re-captured men were murdered. Shot in the back by SS officers.

Now, of course, it wasn't all one sided and it is only recently that the RAF's Bomber Command has received recognition for its part in the war effort, having been spurned for many years over the decision by Air Marshal Arthur Harris (aka Bomber Harris aka Butcher Harris) to bomb Dresden in February 1945 when the war was all but won.

By the end of the war France had lost over 200,000 military personnel and some 350,000 civilians.
Germany lost 5.5m military and perhaps as many as 3m civilians. Japan lost over 2m military and 1m civilian. Holland 17,000 military and nearly 300,000 civilian. The Soviet Union lost around 10m military and a staggering 14m civilians. The UK lost nearly 400,000 military and nearly 70,000 civilian, while the USA lost over 400,000 military, but only 1,700 civilian. ('ONLY'???)

As to the German concentration (or extermination) camps, an estimated 6m Jews died in them or in the ghettos before they even reached them and many others, such as Roma, the handicapped, homosexuals, Catholic clergy, Jehovah's Witness, black people, socialists and others are estimated to make a total of some 10 - 13m deaths.

There can be no question that war brings out the best and the worst in people. Though Hans Langsdorff, Captain of the German pocket battleship Graff Spee only targeted unarmed merchant vessels carrying supplies to Britain, he would always ensure the crew was safely off the vessel before sinking it. And in his ship’s final hour, left the bulk of the crew ashore before sailing out of the River Plate to scuttle the battleship rather than put them at risk of the overwhelming odds of the RN he believed to be waiting for him in the South Atlantic.

Both sides committed acts to be proud of and acts to be ashamed of. That, I am afraid, is war. Today Germany and Britain, the USA and Japan are friends and allies. While we should never forget the horrors of war, it is long overdue that we put the two world wars behind us once and for all.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: WW2 in hindsight and the value of people?
« Reply #2 on: 20/02/2013 17:51:53 »
War is a high stakes games where the stakes are:
  • Human Lives
  • Equipment & Cost
  • Civilian hardship, casualties, and perhaps fear
Perhaps, in a sense, the very bloody trenches, or Normandy D-Day are a necessary part of war.

Countries are always trying to get an advantage, so that the enemy risks more than they do themselves. 

Thus, having various tanks or armored vehicles.  Drones may be an extension of the idea having the pilots safely out of reach.  I just hope someone has considered building anti-drone technology too.

Of course, technology is expensive.  So one method of fighting is to just bleed the enemy's coffer's dry.

I do find it interesting that it wasn't until the US invasion of Iraq that they started incorporating armor into all military vehicles.  Of course there are benefits of a lightweight maneuverable jeep, but so much of the old technology offered no protection against snipers and lightweight ambush assaults.  Military tactics pioneered by the USA nearly 2˝ centuries ago.

Anyway, I believe that in many senses, the populace is far less polarized than the governments, and hope one day we will find a way to settle our differences peacefully.
 

Offline Europan Ocean

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Re: WW2 in hindsight and the value of people?
« Reply #3 on: 24/02/2013 17:04:46 »
Good thing people were not hateful, such as the British, who were not hateful and seemingly cool headed.

Sorry about the wording in the OP.

I am thinking about India and it's law changes. And I am thinking of the victims of slavery and trafficking.
« Last Edit: 25/02/2013 14:27:42 by Europan Ocean »
 

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Re: WW2 in hindsight and the value of people?
« Reply #3 on: 24/02/2013 17:04:46 »

 

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