PDA

View Full Version : Why LW bombed London during BoB



zugfuhrer
04-28-2007, 11:38 AM
The LW intelligence assumed that fightercommand was defeated. They, like most airforces, overestimated, their kills.

So Goering thought "when fighter command is defeated, lets bring England to surrender" and as well as get rid of his selfinflicted nickname Meier and get revenge of the RAF:s bombing of Berlin.

According to Giulio Douhet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Douhet
theories, terror bombing of big cities could make the enemy country to surrender.

Douhet theories was commonly accepted as true of most of countries with airforces.

After the war scientist stated that RAF fighter command was on its knees but not counted out, when LW switched focus from attacking RAF to attacking London.

According to Deightons book the true story of battle of Britain there where a conflict between fighter- and bomber command before the war.

Bomber command wanted strategic bombers to make enemies surrender, fighter command thought that defence of the island was the primary issue for RAF and that they got three fighters for a bomber.

It was better to get fighters for protection than bombers for making the enemy to surrender. After all U.K could manage without Europe.

L.W was reinstaded 26 februari 1935 and was focused on how to support the army. The strategic role wasnt of priority. They where forced to take a mission they where not suited,or equipped for.

It must have been quite a hard work for L.W to create on of the strongest air-force in the world in only four years.

heywooood
04-28-2007, 11:44 AM
I can almost hear the banjo...nice avatar.

'Mueller' ???? it was Meier.

your boat...errrm post is riddled with holes and you have a bent nail for a hook.

no fish for you.

zugfuhrer
04-28-2007, 11:49 AM
Its no troll, its a common historical lemma.
Counterfact me, I be most obliged.

heywooood
04-28-2007, 12:16 PM
Nav error by a Luft crew during a night raid followed by a reprisal from RAF bomber command.

Goering was a drug addled megalomaniac suffering from a lack of reasoning among other things - yes the Luftwaffe was designed to support ground troops and attack was geared more toward use of massed waves of smaller single and twin bombers against military battlefield targets instead of the larger strategic types.

The Luftwaffe was by design ill suited for an airial campaign against England due to the logistics yet still could have accomplished dominance and invasion with what they had were it not for poor command and an unfortunate (for them) break in discipline.

As their losses mounted and as more poor discipline and poor leadership led to battlefield assumptions and decisions that were far from accurate, the morale and confidence of the veteran pilots of the Luftwaffe flagged even as time ran out and the opportunity was lost.

If her Meier had made a better tactical decision before the war to build larger 4 engined strategic bombers specifiacally for the inevitable planned campaign against England and/or bothered to vet the accuracy of the Luftwaffen reports of their own losses vs damage to the RAF during the Battle or had he remained focused on the destruction of the RAF and its bases - well - plain ol' didn't happen.

Now that I look at it again - was your thread title a statement - or a question?

p-11.cAce
04-28-2007, 04:01 PM
I'll bite - why not? I'll keep it very basic though.

It comes down to this really - The LW had little time in which to develop. The predominate thinking in the 30's was to create a tactical airforce which would assist your groundforces and prevent the trench debacle of WWI. War, even into the early 40's, was fought army to army with civillians GENERALLY (I know there are many instances where this was not so but I think in general this is true) left alone.

During the SCW the practice of tactical use of a/c by the LW was developed to a high level with great succcess. These success further encouraged the development of tactical aircraft - day fighters, dive bombers, and medium tactical bombers. Why would you need a lage bomber?

Anyway, prior to the SCW, Arthur Harris and the RAF had been busy area bombing in the middle east. He pushed for the idea of strategic bombing of civilian targets as a means to break morale and reduce production. The RAF and the US AAC begin to develop larger strategic bombers in anticipation of this tactic. The AAC focused on "precision bombing" while the RAF focused on "area bombing". Both of these strategies would culminate late in the war with the devestating bombing of Dresden.

So when the war does break out the story is true - a LW crew gets lost and drops on London. Shortly afterward the RAF begins to employ the tactics developed in the middle east on a vastly larger scale. By the time things really get rolling the LW is locked into its pre-war strategy of tactical strikes in support of the troops on the ground and is in no-position to switch gears and develop large strategic bombers in any significant way.

Strategic bombing was certainly the best way to take out civilians - while the blitz cost 32-35,00 dead, Dresden alone suffered that many during the Feb. 45 bombings.

leitmotiv
04-28-2007, 04:18 PM
P-11.cAce 100% correct. Bert Harris and pals worked out quite a bit of bombing theory and practice in lumbering bomber/transports over Iraq in the '20's, oddly enuf.

M_Gunz
04-28-2007, 04:22 PM
LW crew got lost and dumped their bombs one night.
Against orders they had hit London which was off limits.
After IIRC two nights of bomber attacks on Berlin, Adolph addressed the crowd in Berlin about
how British cities would be leveled.

Did he have any choice? Some but not much. He had to save face and in doing so did give the
RAF room to rally and desperation enough to allow Mallory to put the "Big Wing" to the test.
In a straight war of attrition the RAF would have been ground down and perhaps the Gigant
gliders could have delivered enough troops and supplies to have started an invasion RN or not.
They were ready to try.

Did Hitler, before making his speech and changing the strategy say "I think we have the RAF
beaten so let's bomb London."? If that was the case, I believe the invasion would also have
started at the same time which it did not. He didn't speak to the crowd the day after the
the first strike either.

Consider that later in the war the LW also massed interceptors in point attacks on the Allied
bombers that at least they came away with one lesson from that. But they also lost the war
when they left Britain as a safe base. Prior to that the diplomacy of Hitler had kept the
fight down to one front at a time.

ImpStarDuece
04-28-2007, 07:36 PM
This is going to be fun...

Popcorn anyone?


Originally posted by zugfuhrer:
The LW intelligence assumed that fightercommand was defeated. They, like most airforces, overestimated, their kills.

Some sections of Luftwaffe intelligence considered Fighter Command defeated, particularly the 5th Abetilung under Schmid. Others, such as operational level intelligence considered it patently undefeated. There was no agreement on how much damage had actually been done to the RAF.

By 20th August 1940, Abetilung 5 concluded that 644 RAF aircraft had been destroyed on attacks into England in the previous week, and that 44 airfields had been permanently disabled (against 103 actual RAF losses and one airfield, Manston, being out of commission for more than 72 hours).

However, at The Hauge tactics conference of early September, Feldmarschall Sperrle considered that the RAF had more than 1,000 aircraft left and there was serious disagreement about the state of Fighter Command at almost all command levels.


So Goering thought "when fighter command is defeated, lets bring England to surrender" and as well as get rid of his selfinflicted nickname Meier and get revenge of the RAF:s bombing of Berlin.

Well, the Germans had been bombing London with fighter bombers and small level bomber attacks since August 15th, and the British had been bombing Berlin since the 24th of August, so idea of immediate revenge attacks forcing British capitualation isn't really all that cut and dried.

It was Hitler himself that initally prevented bombing of London. Kesselring and Schimd, as well as other sections of LuftWaffe Command, pushed for the bombing of British cities in the opening phase of operations, but were overruled. By August 31 Luftflotten 2 and 3 had both drawn up plans for reprial bombings of London, but it wasn't until after the conference at The Hauge, that they were permitted to carry them out.


According to Giulio Douhet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Douhet
theories, terror bombing of big cities could make the enemy country to surrender.

Douhet theories was commonly accepted as true of most of countries with airforces.

Well, the Germans certainly found the bombings of Weilun, Rotterdam and Warsaw effective, but that was against an opponent with forces in the field, not against a country dislocated from the battlefield with a 28 mile mote between it and the opposing army.

Dohuet was not followeed universally and there were others who had similar opinions, such as Trenchard. Certainly Dowding was never a follower of these theories, and had confidence that Fighter Command could defeat bomber attacks, given the necessary strength.


After the war scientist stated that RAF fighter command was on its knees but not counted out, when LW switched focus from attacking RAF to attacking London.


Fighter Command was struggling valiantly against heavy opposition, but never "on its knees" (I'd love to know where that phrase comes from, because I've never read it in any serious history of the Battle of Britain). FC still had more than 700 fighters and 44 sector airfields available for immediate use before the LuftWaffe began level bombing London.


According to Deightons book the true story of battle of Britain there where a conflict between fighter- and bomber command before the war.

Bomber command wanted strategic bombers to make enemies surrender, fighter command thought that defence of the island was the primary issue for RAF and that they got three fighters for a bomber.

It was better to get fighters for protection than bombers for making the enemy to surrender. After all U.K could manage without Europe.

L.W was reinstaded 26 februari 1935 and was focused on how to support the army. The strategic role wasnt of priority. They where forced to take a mission they where not suited,or equipped for.

It must have been quite a hard work for L.W to create on of the strongest air-force in the world in only four years.

Military arms always struggle for more funding, even against each other. Fighter Command was only formed in mid 1936, consisting solely of biplane fighters, some 20 years old. It didn't get its first monoplane squadrons until 1938, two years later then the LuftWaffe.

In the pre-war period, bombers recieved priority, as the Trenchard Doctrine was firmly fixed in the minds of UK parlimentarians and military strategists. However, as the certainty of war with a rearmed Germany intensified, the tactics turned to defence rather than attack, and Fighter Command was born out of it.

The assumption made by the British was that they would be fighting another Continental war, basing their fighters and bombers in France for realtively short range opperations against German, Italian and Austrian military/population centres.

It was thought British fighters would only be required to establish battlefield control in Europe and intercept German bombers coming in, unescorted, over the Northern Sea.

So Fighter Command, too, fought a mission it was never designed for. It was meant to support the British Army and control the air above British trenches, not defend attacks on its own airfields, or engage in dogfights over London. Pre-war fighter training emphasised attacks on bombers. Fighter-on-fighter tactics were sparsly practiced at best.

zugfuhrer
04-29-2007, 03:25 AM
Goering was in many cases what is described, addicted to morphine, separated from reallity living in a fairyworld in Karinhall, but he was also a very cunning man.

If you look at how he defended himself during the Nurenberg trials you see that he was smart.

The picture as totally incompetent is not compleatly true.

Im not a fan of either the theird reich or anything they did but if you pick out only the bad things of any person he becomes ridiculous.
Stereotypes are never true.

Many countries developed a strategic bomber command, Great Britain and USAF. Other countries planned for it but but it was very expensive.
Of course RAF fighters where trained to attack bombers. Its logical according to Douhets therories.

The bombing of Rotterdam was a tactical mission.

The best pilots in LW where assigned to the bomber command. Fighters where only to support bombers. The doctrine in L.W was offensive, to support offensive army units by make way for them.
A statement said "One bomber will always get trough" but after the initial daylight bombings in 1940 by Bomber command. The crews changed this to "One bomber will always come back"

England was never a main target for Nazi-Germany. A.H admired England for their way of handling their empire and how to deal with the natives. A.H wanted land in the east, no windsvept island in the Atlantic. A.H hated the sea, he became seasick very easy.

It must have been clear in July 1940 that Nazi-Germany wouldnt get what they needed for Seeloewe, so why not try Douhets teories and bomb them into surrender.

After all Goering got the power to put an end to the bombing after the initial misstake of bombing London.

England never planned for a expeditionary force on the Europeean mainland, British armys main task was to deal with natives in the their colonies. It was a dogm that no army of white men has ever been defeated by a non-white army. Singapore ended this dogm. No capital ship could be destroyed by aircrafts. The ships in Taranto and Pearl Harbour where unable to make countermeasures. The airattack and sinking of Repulse and Prince of Wales proved it to be wrong

RN should secure shipping from the colonies and to prevent any invasion from France or any other threat against their island, and fighter command should deal with the new threat, bomber fleet.

People with more knowledge than A.H in Nazi-Germany said that Germany wasnt ready for war before 1944 -45, mainly because of its lack of fleet and capital ships. It takes many years to build a oceanic fleet. Bismarck took nine years to build, from drawings to comission

But Nazi-Germany got big loanes from USA and payback should start in 1941-43 and that would have ruined Nazi-Germany because much of the loans where invested in weapons instead of more profitable investments.