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Was Allied bombing of Germany Jan - April 1945 a war crime?

 
 
LI995
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 08:52 pm
@Setanta,
Check out articles by Dr. Victor S. Alpher in The Submarine Review, October 2009 and April 2010 regarding new magnetic-influence torpedo exploder mechanisms employed in the last year of the war. One type was successfully employed in the Mark 13 air to surface torpedo in TBM Avengers, sinking the Yamato. True, some of this information was classified at least until 1996, but recent books ignoring this work done at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and U. of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory missed the boat, so to speak. It did not all end with Admiral Lockwood. BuOrd's Hussey continued to grapple with the problems, as did the physicists and engineers at these laboratories, under Secret contracts of the type that produced the Proximity Fuze.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 02:42 am
So what? A fat lot of good that did any of the submariners in 1942.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 06:02 pm
@LI995,
The Yamato lies in about 2,000 ft depth and has been thoroughly examined - this is a pic of one of her deckguns, btw....Any evidence that any of the torpedoes that hit her was of the type you describe?
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ships/subs/I-401/2005/deckgun.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 09:26 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:

The »Historical Commission on the Aerial Bombing of Dresden between 13th and 15th February 1945« brought its investigations on behalf of the City of Dresden to a close on 17th March 2010 with the publishing of a final report.

Up to 25,000 people died in the Allied bombing of Dresden during World War II - fewer than often estimated.

During the five years of research, the Dresden Historians’ Commission reviewed records from city archives, cemeteries, official registries and courts and checked them against published reports and witness accounts.

The figure of 25,000 matches conclusions reached by local authorities immediately after the war, in 1945 and 1946.

The report also found that the number of refugees fleeing the Eastern Front who were killed in the bombing was lower than often presumed, and dismissed speculation that many victims’ bodies were never recovered.


Press release (English)

Final report (German)
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 09:34 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter, what happened to Steve4100 who opened this thread?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 09:43 am
@CalamityJane,
He's doing fine - we meet quite regularly - but he's just not posting here.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 01:33 pm

Well he should.
0 Replies
 
LI995
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 01:37 am
@Setanta,
Setanta. The Mark 14 torpedo with the Mark VI Torpedo Exploder Mechanism had been tested twice in live fire in 1926 (50% success rate). the 1941-43 period was the "test" period for this torpedo. Tests with dummy loads of explosive were notoriously unrealiable. Read the articles by Alpher mentioned above before making an inane comment about what happened in 1942. German torpedoes had problems dealing with degaussed escorts for ships headed to England with necessary war supplied also. Charles Goodeve (a Canadian by birth) virtually invented the degaussing methods that demagnetized these ships. He presided over a large portion of British Naval Research and Development. The German magnetic-influence torpedo became the U.S. Mark 18, the first U.S. electrically-driven torpedo. Not sure how this ended up in this thread as it was originally posted on another forum. Nontheless, it shows up in web searches. Watch for more on degaussing, another "secret" project that helped with the war. The U.S. continually demagnetized naval vessels, including submarines, while Germany did it once--when a vessel was launched. Acquired magnetism from the Earth's magnetic field, and other sources, was and is a major problem for navies worldwide.
LI995
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 01:38 am
@High Seas,
Read the Submarine Review articles.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 03:09 pm
@LI995,
Thank you - could you pls provide a more precise reference (like a date / issue) or a link?
LI995
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2011 02:20 am
@High Seas,
Victor S. Alpher, Ph.D. has now four articles in The Submarine Review pertinent to this discussion (Torpedo Exploder Mechanisms and Degaussing of Naval Vessels). The journal is published quarterly by The Naval Submarine League.
These articles, with Dr. Victor S. Alpher as sole author, are: "The Mark 9 Torpedo Exploder Mechanism: A Contact-Influence Successor to the Mark 14 Mod 6 During WWII" (October, 2009, pp. 117-133); "Torpedo Exploder Mechanisms of World War II: A New Perspective" (April, 2010, pp. 83-105); Degaussing Policy During WWII: Key to Submarine Action and Victory in the Atlantic and the Pacific, Part I of II" (October, 2010, pp. 57-70); and "Degaussing Policy During WWII: Successful Operations and Proposals for Modification, Part II of II" (January, 2011, pp. 93-105). Much of the material used to prepare these articles comes from newly-declassified documents. These important subjects are rarely discussed in historical material intended for the general public or the educated lay reader. These projects involved personnel (scientific, engineering, and technical) hired for defense advancements that commenced with the formation of the National Defense Research Council and the Organization for Scientific Research and Development in the summer of 1940. A great deal of the work was conducted under the auspices of the Department of Ordnance, U.S. Navy, and the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University through Navy contracts. [The Submarine Review does not employ volume numbers]
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 06:07 am
As an aside:
US students bring Kurt Vonnegut back to Dresden for firebombing anniversary
Quote:
American students unveil an interactive Kurt Vonnegut exhibit and commemorate Dresden's firebombing. ...
[...]
Now members of the group have chaperoned the exhibit - all six containers and 125 kilograms of it - from Indiana to Germany. Its destination is the Dresden Public Library, in the city where the young Allied soldier Vonnegut was imprisoned by Germans and placed with other POWs inside an underground meat locker named Schlachthof Fünf, or Slaugherhouse-Five. The macabre accommodation helped Vonnegut survive the firebombing of Dresden on February 13, 1945 and inspired his semi-biographical novel of the same name.
... ... ....
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 10:08 am
@LI995,
Pay some attention to the time-line for the deployment of weapons systems in the war before making inane criticisms.
0 Replies
 
LI995
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 04:54 am
@High Seas,
Formerly classified documents show the TBM torpedo and exploder type. Cited.
0 Replies
 
LI995
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 04:55 am
@Setanta,
That's true, but the failures of 42 led to development of better exploders as well as the proximity fuse, which was in development at that time.
0 Replies
 
LI995
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Apr, 2019 04:34 pm
@LI995,
Obviously, my 4 articles in The Submarine Review are not directly pertinent to the question about bombing of Germany being a war crime. The reader did pick up on my conclusion that the Yamato was sunk by a Mark 13 air to surface torpedo. We know the Yamato was sunk by torpedo. My conclusion about the Mark 13 comes from Naval Odnance documents. Ralph A. Alpher, my father, was employed at JHUAPL beginning 8/1/44 to develop the magnetic influence-contact exploder (Mark 10). These records show when it was deployed--many months before the sinking of the Yamoto. It is reasonable to conclude that TBMs would have been using this air-to-surface torpedo by the time the Yamato was sunk. This is about as conclusive as you'll get. The documents I found were not in the National Archives.

As for loss of submarines, I can't comment. The "happy time" for German U-Boat aces was over by the end of 1942. They used hydrophones to detect ships in convoy--which isn't relevant to degaussing. However, once the Allies deployed Magnetic Airborne Detection to find U-Boats under the water, it was the end of the U-Boat war.

Security was always a paramount issue. So, although the Proximity Fuze was deployed on D-Day, it was not used until the Ardennesoffensiv (Battle of the Bulge). Risk of the Germans finding an unexploded bomb and retro-engineering it was significant. The war was over before they could produce their own proximity fuze, although the concept originated in the 30s.

Interestingly, the Proximity Fuze was declassified in 1976 and by 1980 Ralph Baldwin, one of the Ph.D.s employed to work on it, wrote a full account. He also published, privately, a book in 1999 called "They Never Knew What Hit Them" which describes German infantry accounts of dealing with the Proximity Fuze during the Ardennesoffensive (Battle of the Bulge). The learned never to leave overhead shelter. The basics of the Proximity Fuze were declassified and even published by 1946. Several accounts of "scientific" progress during the war at the Office of Scientific Research and Development (headed by Vannevar Bush) were published shortly after the war. However, details such as employed in my articles were obtained through an extensive search of the National Archives, and fortunate searches of what I could find through the internet. Some documents I have from 1950-55, during which my father worked at JHUALP, have been reclassified. This applies to anything having to do with underwater ordnance, which would include the Mark 13 torpedo. I was lucky.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2019 06:05 pm
@LI995,
Just an afterthought about wars and nukes. I worked with nukes in the US Air Force from 1955 to 1959 (10 years after WWII), and it was our job to maintain and load them onto bombers. The politics on the use of nukes have changed since that period, and some top generals in the US military are now declaring that they will not follow any "illegal use of nukes from Donald Trump." Even before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many scientists who worked on nukes wanted to have a demonstration to show the world what they can do before its actual use. Although my ancestors are from Hiroshima, I have always felt that Truman's decision to use nukes on Japan was the right decision, even after many have arrived at the conclusion that Japan was close to surrender. The debate is on-going. https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/debate-over-japanese-surrender
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2019 06:39 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:
some top generals in the US military are now declaring that they will not follow any "illegal use of nukes from Donald Trump."

Any military officer who will undermine the defense of the nation during a nuclear war needs to be fired and replaced with someone who will protect the country.


cicerone imposter wrote:
Although my ancestors are from Hiroshima, I have always felt that Truman's decision to use nukes on Japan was the right decision, even after many have arrived at the conclusion that Japan was close to surrender. The debate is on-going. https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/debate-over-japanese-surrender

I wouldn't call it a debate. One side of the supposed debate is a bunch of delusional leftists spouting gibberish.

It doesn't matter whether Japan was "about" to surrender or not. They only surrendered after both A-bombs had already been dropped.

War doesn't end when one side is "ready" to surrender. It ends when one side does surrender.
cicerone imposter
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2019 07:08 pm
@oralloy,
You never understood right from wrong. Fortunately for us, the top generals in the military understands what is legal and illegal. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42065714
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2019 07:52 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Trump never understands what this country is about, and he threatens "sanctuary cities" with flooding them with illegal immigrants. From BBC News: "Mr Trump has previously ordered federal funding to be withheld from sanctuary cities, but that plan was torpedoed by a federal judge in California in August last year.
He has amplified his criticism of illegal immigration since Congress denied funding for his long-promised border wall earlier this year.
The president - who often depicts those crossing the US-Mexico border without papers as criminals - recently retreated from a threat to close the international boundary.
Meanwhile, his plan to make asylum applications more difficult was thwarted by a federal judge only this week." Trump was ignorant of the fact that billions of dollars in trade happen daily. Closing the border will essentially kill jobs and businesses. His ignorance is universal; he understands nothing. How many times have judges interceded to reverse Trump's orders?
0 Replies
 
 

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