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View Full Version : Britain Acknowledges Bomber Command as heroes at last (60 years late)



Xiolablu3
08-27-2006, 12:56 PM
The heroes of bomber command where at last acknowledged by the Queen today, 60 years after they risked/gavce their lives for their country.

Bomber COmmand was the ONLY British service not to recieve a heroes medal and be recognised by the country as heroes after teh war.

If was felt that they wanted to forget their dangerous work as it often killed civilians.

This was of course terribly wrong, they risked their lives and followed their orders just like every other service. We hear a lot about Dresden and so forth, but this was their job, I am sure they didnt feel good about it. Without them and the US 8th airforce bombing targets across Germany, no doubt the war would have lasted a lot longer.

Justice at last, I feel. Salute to the heroes of the bomber forces who risked their lives for their countries, British, German, American, Canadian, Japanese and all. You were very brave. Salute.

Capt.LoneRanger
08-27-2006, 01:06 PM
Oddly enough Luftwaffe-pilots who bombarded London are now called war-criminals. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Xiolablu3
08-27-2006, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by Capt.LoneRanger:
Oddly enough Luftwaffe-pilots who bombarded London are now called war-criminals. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

By whom?

Thats just ridiculous

I know some American bomber pilots were beaten to death by German cicilians after the parachuted out, but to call any bomber pilots war criminals with the jknowledge we have now is just daft. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

AWL_Spinner
08-27-2006, 01:23 PM
Oddly enough Luftwaffe-pilots who bombarded London are now called war-criminals

Ditto the post by Xiolablu3, I don't know of anyone/any literature that describes Luftwaffe bomber pilots in this way.

Care to enlighten us, or was that just a casual bit of trolling?

Some moving footage on the news tonight of a Lanc flying over Lincoln cathedral.

ploughman
08-27-2006, 01:55 PM
"Per ardua ad astra."

About time.

rcocean
08-27-2006, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The heroes of bomber command where at last acknowledged by the Queen today, 60 years after they risked/gavce their lives for their country.

Bomber COmmand was the ONLY British service not to recieve a heroes medal and be recognised by the country as heroes after teh war.

If was felt that they wanted to forget their dangerous work as it often killed civilians.

This was of course terribly wrong, they risked their lives and followed their orders just like every other service. We hear a lot about Dresden and so forth, but this was their job, I am sure they didnt feel good about it. Without them and the US 8th airforce bombing targets across Germany, no doubt the war would have lasted a lot longer.

Justice at last, I feel. Salute to the heroes of the bomber forces who risked their lives for their countries, British, German, American, Canadian, Japanese and all. You were very brave. Salute.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

The men of Bomber Command were brave men and patriots. (But I won't salute "Bomber" Harris.)

JSG72
08-27-2006, 04:18 PM
Watched the Item on the News Tonight.

I am Very pleased to see those Brave fallen. Getting the recognition they deserve.

All this talk of Dresden and War criminals. Should not be subject of this thread.
This is an aknowledgement of Fallen Servicemen/women. And not of decisions made by their Peers.

LStarosta
08-27-2006, 04:30 PM
Superiors, you mean

p1ngu666
08-27-2006, 07:03 PM
higher rank, not superior http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

the plaque is rather pathetic really, just a nice bit of stone slab with some words carved in.

bomber command suffered the heaviest losses of any large british group, about 50% http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

the men of bc did what there country asked them todo, and paid a heavy price doing it too.

i hope they get a big fancy memorial soon

and the footage of the lanc was moving http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

p1ngu666
08-27-2006, 07:07 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/5291094.stm

LStarosta
08-27-2006, 07:08 PM
Hay, at least you guys didn't arrest your leading Aceā® and sentence him to death...

VW-IceFire
08-27-2006, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by Capt.LoneRanger:
Oddly enough Luftwaffe-pilots who bombarded London are now called war-criminals. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif
I haven't seen that kind of news story. Where abouts?

Not Coventry either? Just London?

p1ngu666
08-27-2006, 08:12 PM
there was numous places all sides bombed that where really bad, or successful depending on how you look at it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

orkan_3d
08-27-2006, 08:32 PM
Interesting read on the subject of war crimes, interview with chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg:

http://us.oneworld.net/article/view/138319/1/

leitmotiv
08-27-2006, 09:35 PM
Long overdue for the aircrew. Statue of Harris in London was a public rebuke of Winston's cowardly humiliation of him and Bomber Command in 1945. Press on regardless.

hop2002
08-27-2006, 09:42 PM
Bomber COmmand was the ONLY British service not to recieve a heroes medal

Bomber Command wasn't a servic, the RAF was the service, BC was just a branch.

BC crewmen are entitled to the same campaign medals as the rest of RAF aircrew, mainly the Aircrew Europe Star.

In other words, fighter pilots operating out of Britain and Europe got exactly the same medals as bomber crewmen. The only exception is that there was a clasp (not a medal) for flying fighter operations during the Battle of Britain.

leitmotiv
08-27-2006, 09:46 PM
They were denied a campaign medal, which, considering the length of the bombing campaign, was a low blow.

Tator_Totts
08-27-2006, 10:29 PM
I knew a bomber pilot that flew over Germany. After the war every time he saw a church steeple he would break down. He knew he was bombing civilians, but it was his orders. Did he like it no. He had nightmares a long time. He just followed orders.
Salute to all you followed orders. War is such a waste.

leitmotiv
08-27-2006, 10:45 PM
No denying some were anguished. Leonard Cheshire felt ferocious satisfaction seeing Cologne in flames in May 1942. To most it was a hair-raising job they were glad to finish.

Enforcer572005
08-27-2006, 11:27 PM
yeah the casualties were terrible among them. A huge percentage of them were Canadians to.

Ive often wondered why more emphasis wasnt given to night fighter ops along in the war....mossies,Beaus, P-70s, P-38Ms, even P-61s. I know they were there , Im just curious as to why there wasnt more emphasis on them. Technology limits I suppose.

orkan_3d
08-28-2006, 10:59 PM
Yeah, and most of them came to late.

BiscuitKnight
08-29-2006, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by orkan_3d:
Interesting read on the subject of war crimes, interview with chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg:

http://us.oneworld.net/article/view/138319/1/

Ugh, useless pacifist who'd sacrifice twice as many of tomorrow's children to save today's.

orkan_3d
08-29-2006, 12:15 PM
Why use reason, lets bang!
Hm, useless pacifist, its better alternative than usefull militarist...What names come to mind, Goebels, Beria, etc?

hop2002
08-29-2006, 12:26 PM
They were denied a campaign medal, which, considering the length of the bombing campaign, was a low blow.


No, they weren't denied a campaign medal, they got the same campaign medal as the rest of the RAF in Europe. The Aircrew Europe Star (http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/warrants/h11-reg.html)

p1ngu666
08-29-2006, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Enforcer572005:
yeah the casualties were terrible among them. A huge percentage of them were Canadians to.

Ive often wondered why more emphasis wasnt given to night fighter ops along in the war....mossies,Beaus, P-70s, P-38Ms, even P-61s. I know they were there , Im just curious as to why there wasnt more emphasis on them. Technology limits I suppose.

most came quite late, plus production capacity aswell. and the first radar sets where poor. some in the RAF feared germans capturing radar tech, i think the germans felt the same too...

plus theres the matter of media coverage, think how much information there is on eastern front... and that was THE main theatre of ops.

Xiolablu3
08-29-2006, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by hop2002:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They were denied a campaign medal, which, considering the length of the bombing campaign, was a low blow.


No, they weren't denied a campaign medal, they got the same campaign medal as the rest of the RAF in Europe. The Aircrew Europe Star (http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/warrants/h11-reg.html) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

They were certainly denied some kind of heroes medal which every one of the other services got.

Perhaps you can tell us exactly which one it was.

hop2002
08-29-2006, 02:05 PM
British campaign medals WW2:

1939-45 Star. Members of any of the forces who served 6 months or more. BC crewmen received this.

Atlantic Star. 6 months service at sea in the Atlantic. Mainly RN or merchant seamen.

Aircrew Europe Star. 2 months operational flying over Europe from 1939 - 1944. BC crewmen received this.

Africa Star. Operational service (any duration) in NA between 1940 and May 1943.

Pacific Star, Burma Star, Italy Star. Service in respective theatre.

France and Germany Star. Service in Europe between 6th June 1944 and VE Day. BC crewmen elligible for this.

Defence Medal. 3 years service in the UK, or 6 months overseas in a territory subject to attack. BC crewmen elligible for this.

War Medal 1939 - 1945. Similar to the 1939/45 Star, but for only 1 month's service. BC elligible for this.

There were others issued by Commonwealth countries, and some other overseas theatre medals, but in short BC crewmen received the same campaign medals as everyone else.

Some specific battles/formations received clasps to the campaign medals, for example there was a Battle of Britain clasp for the 1939-45 Star. However, there's no campaign medal a fighter pilot who flew from Britain post BoB could receive that BC crew couldn't also receive.

So BC crew received the same medals as Fighter Command pilots who "leant into" France in 1941 and 1942 and 1943, or recce pilots who flew over Europe until 1944, or Hurricane pilots who flew ground attack sorties over occupied Europe.

From D Day, they received the same medals as any RAF or army or even RN personnel who served in Europe.

The other types of medals awarded were gallantry medals:

Victoria Cross. Highest gallantry medal awarded by the UK. 19 awarded to BC (only 1 to FC, iirc)

Below the VC, different branches had different medals, for example the RAF had the Distinguished Flying Cross, which obviously wasn't awarded to the army or navy, but each service had its equivalent medals.

In short, Bomber Command crew are entitled to the same medals as the other services, and the other branches of the RAF. The complaint originally seemed to be that there wasn't a specific medal created for BC. That has since been wrongly portrayed as BC not receiving medals other services and branches were entitled to, which simply isn't true.

Xiolablu3
08-29-2006, 03:01 PM
MAybe we dont mean exactly 'medals' probablt some sort of 'award' if we are going to be picky.

There was SOME kind of award which was awarded to the other services/branches of the British services that wasnt awarded to Bomber COmmand.

p1ngu666
08-29-2006, 03:14 PM
where there battle medals for other services?

some of the "battles" BC faught in where pretty rough.

hop2002
08-29-2006, 05:37 PM
There was SOME kind of award which was awarded to the other services/branches of the British services that wasnt awarded to Bomber COmmand.

I don't think so. The usual complaint is the lack of a campaign medal, and that would mean a specific campaign medal just for BC, when no other branch got a specific campaign medal.

Possibly it's driven by the fact the fighter units in the BoB got a clasp to the campaign medal, but that's the unusual part, not that BC didn't get a clasp.


where there battle medals for other services?

Not usually for individual battles, no.

Xiolablu3
08-30-2006, 12:31 AM
OK I looked it up :

'The planned campaign medal for Bomber Command was never struck and Harris turned down the offer of a peerage in protest at the snub. In spite of tying up huge resources in defence of Germany, which might have been diverted to the Eastern and Western Fronts and elsewhere by their raids and physical destruction of war materiel, Bomber Command's contribution had become shameful to the incoming Labour Government of 1945. The battle for a campaign medal continues.' (now rectified)

'The attacks on German cities and the casualties these attacks caused have been the source of much controversy and Winston Churchill failed to even mention Bomber Command in his victory speech on VE Day and no campaign medal was ever issued to the unit.'

'Bomber Command was the only unit of the British war machine from 1939 to 1945 that did not receive a campaign medal.'


There you go, bomber command was the ONLY unit of the British war machine not to recieve a campaign medal and were not even mentioned in Churchills speech congratulating the other branches.

Ruy Horta
08-30-2006, 05:17 AM
The very nature of strategic bombing in WW2 makes it difficult to leave out the fact that much of it was indiscriminately aimed at civilians. The tactics of targeting cities in the very sense of the word and its inhabitants leave little room for nuance, although a target of some military value was bound to be found in the general target area the size of a city.

To honour the men who faced danger every time they boarded their planes is only right.

A Campaign medal - or more accurately medals - would be to emphasize the nature of the targets. What would you like to see: the Berlin and Ruhr Medals? To name but a couple examples.

Every Medal would stand for courage for sure, but it would also stand for x-thousands of dead civilians. Where would be the honour in that?

Harris was the ultimate tragedy, a henchman with perhaps too much keenness to do the job asked of him(*).

Society sometimes needs henchmen, or at least it thinks it does, but we'd rather not remember them and certainly find it difficult to make heroes out of them.



(*)
The bombing campaign continued and in many ways exceeded anything in tonneage and sorties during the last months of the war in Europe trying to proof that strategic air power wins wars (or saves lives on the ground), it had to proof its worth in a post war world and the price had to be paid by an already defeated Germany.

While Harris was still thinking of bombing Germany into the stone age, Churchill was already visionary enough to see a place for a new Germany and the struggle against the Soviets.

Just my opinion.

stathem
08-30-2006, 05:38 AM
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

Kipling.