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However, following the first Allied "successes" on the Ruhr, the nazis were extremely effective in scattering their industry across the country, which meant that less of it could be effectively targeted by era's technology. So, the bombing focus changed to area bombing (aka collective punishment) on the basis that cities were economically productive for the reich even if they weren't industrial or munitions centres. In this they were conforming to Sherman's doctrine of destroying the economic basis of the enemy's ability to wage war.
However by the time of Dresden, much of what remained Germany's western productive capacity was already in Allied hands. There wasn't much left to bomb and Dresden was on the list. There were also the claims that a german army was due to use the railway connections through the town to attack approaching Russian armies.
Whatever the reasons, Dresden was destroyed for reasons that barely made sense at the time and look worse as time passes. Was it a crime ? Possibly/probably; but that is war. The doctrine of armies is always the same; until your enemy surrenders you attack and attack. Any suggestions of pulling your blow would only encourage their resistance. The lawyers on the winning side decide at the time who can be blamed on the losing side, while historians have the luxury of hindsight to determine and revise "verifiable" truths.
My parents lived through the war and I'd consider them both typical in their attitudes of feeling that Dresden was regrettable but after 5 years of war and a continent in ruins they wanted the nazis destroyed. Utterly. Bomb every last building until Hitler surrendered. and, as somebody who did not live through it, I cannot answer that lived-experience.
My Dad served in the RAF. My mother was evacuated to S Wales, but returned to the East end during the latter part of the The Blitz. Her family was relocated on several occasions after their home was destroyed. She had a V1 fly over her head at 50' (15m) and a V2 exploded within 300' (90m) of her. On VE (Victory in Europe day) she says that her overwhelming feeling was that she was going to live. Up until then she had literally taken every day, every hour as stolen. Now she had a future that wouldn't be marked by sirens and bombs and missiles and sudden death raining from the sky. And anything that had been done by the Allies to bring her to that moment was perfectly fine with her. Then and forever more.
And nobody, nobody who has not lived through such things has the right to argue with her. Now or forever.
keep to the Fen Causeway
It gave them incredible advantages compared to the european allies who may have won the war, but lost the peace due to excessive efforts restoring the war machines they now only needed for the vainglory of their politicians.
keep to the Fen Causeway
the Allies' apparent strategy to leave Germany's industry and manufacturing capacity alone.
I was just this morning trying to articulate that very circular process you describe so well to my 13-year old daughter this morning, and I gave it up as too big a bite for someone her age, even though it seems pretty straightforward to me. Or perhaps I just did it poorly.
As for historical inquiry, I'm sure there has been some good work looking into the psychological roots of the Nazi phenomenon--- but apply the above criteria to those investigations, and it's clear that if the point was to generally illuminate the relationship between patriarchal authoritarianism and wars of dominance, it all has failed.
The old guard, the old elite are dead or dying.
The old guard lives on, in their children.
The existence of brass plaques on the buildings is nice, but reveals no insight into the culture's heart.
To see evil, and name it, is not to understand from whence it came.
Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
the arc from the renaissance to the modern era has been first to limit the liberties of the nobility
the irony is way too rich.
the only thing bigger than business and the glittering baubles of its prize mechanisms is concern for the environment, which is being monetised in both good and bad ways.
the advocates point to successful marriages like Jerome's work and say 'see, capitalism works!'
the detractors point to greenwashing and military buildup in the arctic...
if business ambition is what gets most people jumping out of bed in the morning filled with motivation to better their lot, then i guess it makes sense, in a lewis carroll sort of way, to try and harness that energy to better humanity's lot too.
it's a dubious foundation, imo, but better than business aligned with resource plunder, which has been a huge moneymaker for so long it has become a given that it will continue for ever.
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
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