Awaiting Indictment of Allied Forces for strategic bombing and planned starvation of German CIVILIANS
– by Shenali Waduge –
The topic is accountability. The question is why has there been zero accountability of crimes against humanity committed by Allied Forces which specifically targeted civilian populations with strategic area bombing and post—war comprehensive starvation campaign that killed 2million German POWs and 5.7million German civilians – how else can such a number die after the war has ended? Why have these crimes escaped the attention of the World Court and why are present day Germans and Japanese leaders not calling for justice for the millions of civilians killed by Allied Forces during and after World War 2?
They say there are no permanent friends but permanent interests. The Soviets were friends of the Allies but now no more. The Germans were enemies and are now friends – same applies to Japan. Osama bin Laden was a friend but turned enemy and killed, Saddam was also a friend but he too became an enemy and he too was hung. Mubarak was a darling of the West but now languishes in prison – there’s a long list of friends turned enemies and enemies turned friends. The official transcript of the meeting between Churchill and Stalin on 12 August 1942 at 7p.m. reveals how much Germany was hated.
“The Prime Minister said that we hoped to shatter twenty German cities as we had shattered Cologne, Lubeck, Dusseldorf, and so on. More and more aeroplanes and bigger and bigger bombs. M. Stalin had heard of 2-ton bombs. We had now begun to use 4-ton bombs, and this would be continued throughout the winter. If need be, as the war went on, we hoped to shatter almost every dwelling in almost every German city.” (Official transcript)
US, UK, and most of all Germany and Japan have forgotten the past – or have they? Can Angela Merkel or any other German politician really forget how US and British killed their people, targeted their homes, destroyed their infrastructure and even went on to starve the remaining Germans to death?
Bombing Germans to death
Use of strategic air power was first propagated by Italian Lt.Col. Giulio Douhet and made this theory known in his book “The Command of the Air” in which he proposes use of area bombing on civilian populations. He proposed the use of a combination of bombs to be dropped in waves, starting with high explosives and followed by incendiary bombs filled with phosphorus (later napalm) to burn structures to the ground followed by gas bombs to kill those who survived. This is exactly what the US and Royal Air Force applied in Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo which created the horrific firestorms.
From the strategy of no deliberate attacks on civilians professed by British Premier Neville Chamberlain claiming it was “against international law to bomb civilians as such and to make deliberate attacks on civilian population”, that policy was changed by Winston Churchill who claimed need for “absolutely devastating exterminating attack by very heavy bombers from this country upon the Nazi homeland”.
The US State Department in 1937 condemned the Japanese bombing of Chinese cities and declared “any general bombing of an extensive area wherein there resides a large population engaged in peaceful pursuits is unwarranted and contrary to the principles of law and humanity” and President Roosevelt went on to say that civilian bombing was “inhuman barbarism”. US too changed its policy and went on to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki using nuclear bombs that were tested on Japanese in August 1945 well after World War 2 ended and killed over 140,000 civilians and to this day the people suffer radiation and other complications. Is it not White racism for the Americans not to test the bomb on Germany but to test the bomb on the Japanese?
The objective was to destroy the “morale of the enemy civilian population” by strategic bombing by US and UK troops. These two very nations speak of protecting civilians!
Did the British military along with its US counterpart deliberately set out to commit genocide of the German people? When Churchill used words like “extermination” and “annihilation” we can but think so.
150 German cities was bombed between 1940 and 1945 (reference book by historian Jorg Freidrich) – cities included Kassel, Paderborn, Aachen, Swinemunde, and of course Dresden. Cities like Cologn and Essen experienced more than 250 raids each with British bombers turning ruins into ruins! Hamburg experienced the first firebomb which killed 45,000 people. Lets not forget that a staggering 87% of all bombs dropped by American planes “missed” their targets and left thousands of German civilians dead.
“A 2000lb cluster bomb no matter where you drop it is a significant emotional event for anyone within a square mile” (Carl Vinson, US officer)
“The destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilized community life throughout Germany [is the goal]. … It should be emphasized that the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives; the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale; and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories.“ — “Air Marshal Arthur Harris to Sir Arthur Street, Under Secretary of State, Air Ministry, October 25, 1943” quoted in Tami Biddle, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing,
“It was the origin of the idea of bombing the enemy out of the war. I should have been proud of it, but it originated with Winston.” — Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, Vol. VI: Finest Hour,
“We must bomb Germany and Italy to the greatest extent possible.” — Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Defence Committee Memo, October 31, 1940 quoted in Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill,
“Everything is being done to create the bombing force on the largest possible scale, and there is no intention of changing this policy. … It is the most potent method of impairing the enemy’s morale we can use at the present time. … Even if all the towns of Germany were rendered largely uninhabitable, it does not follow that the military control would be weakened, or even that war industry could not be carried on. … The Air Staff would make a mistake to put their claim too high. … It may well be that German morale will crack, and that our bombing will play a very important part in bringing the result about. … The only plan is to persevere.” — Prime Minister Winston Churchill to Air Staff Chief Sir Charles Portal, October 7, 1941,
“We are bombing Germany, city by city, and ever more terribly, in order to make it impossible for you to go on with the war. That is our object. We shall pursue it remorselessly. City by city; Lubeck, Rostock, Cologne, Emden, Bremen, Wilhelmshaven, Duisburg, Hamburg – and the list will grow longer and longer. Let the Nazis drag you down to disaster with them if you will. That is for you to decide. We are coming by day and by night. No part of the Reich is safe. People who work in [factories] live close to them. Therefore we hit your houses, and you.” — Pamphlet dropped in Germany by the RAF, Summer 1942, quoted in A.C. Grayling, Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WW II Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan
“It is surely obvious that children, invalids and old people who are economically unproductive but must nevertheless consume food and other necessaries are a handicap to the German war effort and it would therefore be sheer waste of effort to attack them. This however does not imply … that no German civilians are proper objects for bombing. The German economic system, which I am instructed by my objective to destroy, includes workers, houses, and public utilities, and it is therefore meaningless to claim that the wiping out of German cities is ‘not an end in itself but the inevitable accompaniment of an all out attack on the enemy’s means and capacity to wage war‘.” — Air Marshal Arthur Harris quoted in Tami Biddle, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing,
“The destruction of factories, which was nevertheless on an enormous scale, could be regarded as a bonus. The aiming-points were usually right in the center of the town.” — Arthur Harris, Bomber Offensive
Historian Richard Overy compiled a listing of the tons of bombs dropped over Europe (inc. Germany and occupied territories) by the RAF and USAAF during the Second World War. This tonnage was dropped predominantly on cities in area bombing raids, not in tactical attacks on infrastructure or war materiel industries. Even as late as 1945, with Germany reeling and fighting almost completely within her own borders, the bombing of German cities proceeded apace. Had the war continued until 1946, the Allies were on track toward dropping a projected total of roughly 1,432,000 tons of bombs.
|Year||No. of Bombers||
Tons of Bombs Dropped in Europe
Source: Richard J. Overy, The Air War, 1939-1945 (NY: Stein & Day, 1980), p. 120.
In all Germany lost 650,000 if not more people. In 1938 over 22million Germans lived in 58 towns each with over 100,000 inhabitants. The strategy was to depopulate one-third the German population. German bombing of UK caused deaths to 60,595 British.
The support of pro-West media whenever accusations pile against atrocities committed by the West is “the report cannot be independently verified” or these are “enemy propaganda”.
When others put bombs they are uncivilized killers. When the West puts bombs, they are upholding civilized values. When others kill they are terrorists when the West kills, they are striking against terror. This is the logic. But in the case of Germany and Japan that logic changed.
What do the British public say of British accountability? What do present day British parliamentarians have to say about bombing civilians by their British troops the very bombers who were knighted for their achievements and Bomber Harris became SIR Harris and Winston Churchill became Sir Winston Churchill and buried from Westminster Abbey the highest tribute paid and termed the “Greatest Englishmen that ever lived” – but does the Dresden murder of German civilians deserve such a title?
What a contrast to the manner in which the Sri Lankan armed forces physically compromised 6000 military lives to save 294,000 Tamil civilians but Britain calls for “accountability”. Well Sri Lanka’s accountability is the 294,000 civilians saved. Of course within the terrain the armed forces were fighting in whilst attempting to save these people proved by the fact that 6000 soldiers also died we cannot rule out that civilians would have also died. But what is ruled out is that any civilian deaths were not strategic bombing of civilians, nothing intentional or deliberate and certainly none of the unverifiable guestimates the world is quoting.
We also need to clear wrong perceptions. It was not Germany that declared war it was Britain and France that declared war on Germany.
What is not told us is that Hitler did not plan to invade Britain instead he was planning to invade Russia. What is also not told is that even when Hitler had the opportunity to capture the entire British army on 24 May 1940 at Dunkirk, he chose not to do so. All Hitler had wanted from Britain was for them to recognize Germany’s position on the Continent and desirable return of Germany’s colonies. (refer David Irving “The Warpath”). If so why were Britain and the US so brutal to Germany and Germans?
Sri Lanka has not committed crimes against humanity – US and UK has
The contrasts are significant. When US and UK deliberately targeted civilians in Germany and Japan, the Sri Lankan forces saved 294,000. When US and UK dropped leaflets warning of bombing were dropped ONLY AFTER the bombing Sri Lanka not only dropped leaflets but used loudspeakers to advise Tamil civilians to move to safe areas. When post-war the Allies planned a systematic starvation of German civilians, the Sri Lankan armed forces were well prepared with refugee welcome centers, Tamil-speaking armed forces personnel, women soldiers at every point and food and medical aid. It was at one of these centers that an LTTEr disguised as a civilian blew herself up killing scores of Tamil civilians as well as the female soldiers who were looking after these rescued civilians. When US and UK designed a systematic program to starve Germans to death, the Sri Lankan Government not only pardoned 594 child soldiers but designed an indigenous rehabilitation program and has rehabilitated and reintegrated over 10,000 former LTTErs, educated them and now they are all involved in higher education or engaged in a livelihood.
Starving Germans to death post war – American food policy in occupied Germany
The world will be shocked to know the American food policy in the first 2 years of the decade occupation of Germany following World War 2.
The country that champions human rights prohibited food relief shipments to Germany until December 1945. The War ended in May 1945. CARE shipments were prohibited until 5th June 1946. There is nothing really to be surprised – Iraq, Iran and sanctions on other countries are good examples of how civilians are made to suffer.
A relief worker described the situation in Germany (June 1946) :
“people in mobs crying for food and falling over in the streets. The starving… those who are dying never say anything and one rarely sees them. They first become listless and weak, they react quickly to cold and chills, they sit staring in their rooms or lie listlessly in their beds… one day they just die. The doctor usually diagnoses malnutrition and complications resulting therefrom. Old women and kids usually die first because they are weak and are unable to get out and scrounge for the extra food it takes to live. It is pretty hard for an American who has lacked enough food to become ravenously hungry perhaps only once or twice in a lifetime to understand what real starvation is.”
Captured or surrendered German soldiers were designated as “Disarmed Enemy Forces” not Prisoners of War as required under Geneva Convention because the law states that the same quantities of food must be given to POWs as the US troops. None of Sri Lanka’s captured or surrendered LTTErs had any complaints about their treatment.
Whilst laughing at the refugee camps set up to accommodate 294,000 Tamil civilians the US and UK cramped these German soldiers into wired-in enclosures that lack even the basic necessities resulting in tens of thousands prisoners dying from HUNGER and DISEASE whilst UNFIT and SICK prisoners were forcibly used for labor and even mine clearing – this is the treatment given by US and UK the champions of Human Rights! In French camps alone over 16,500 German soldiers died in 1945!
Whilst human rights organizations demanded entry into Sri Lanka’s refugee camps the International Red Cross were not allowed to involve itself in captured German soldiers and prohibited from providing aid, food or visit the camps. Visits were allowed only after February 1946
Whilst retribution played a significant role for the US the many letters written by former LTTE child soldiers reveal their gratitude to Sri Lanka’s armed forces in particular those that looked after them in the rehabilitation centers.
Whilst Sri Lanka begged for loans to take care of the refugees and kickstart the infrastructure development US and UK did not allow international aid and relief only went to NON-GERMAN displaced persons.
General Lucius Clay, Deputy to Gen. Eisenhower said “I feel that the Germans should suffer from hunger and from cold as I believe such suffering is necessary to make them realize the consequences of war which they cause”.
Not only were US forces given strict orders not to share their food with the Germans even their wives were also prohibited from doing the same and told not to even give left overs to the German maids – even if food was destroyed, the Germans were not to be given. There are no words to describe how the US could even think of such a directive and what a terrible crime against humanity this was. While at the Nuremberg Tribunal the Nazi leadership was accused of crimes and mass starvation and US were doing absolutely the same! Feeding the German population was an Allied legal obligation under Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Rules of Land Warfare!
Can US and UK be proud of themselves for refusing to feed the German civilians by claiming they were enemy civilians?
Can US and UK be proud that these civilians and even POWs suffered due to vengeance?
Investigate, Indict and punish UK and US for crimes against humanity
World War was not about vanquishing the enemy. It was more about wholesale destruction, blanket bombing, planned extermination of people and the total disregard for human values which has had a domino effect on all conflicts thereafter.
1. Osaka, Japan (13 March-August 1947) – over10,000 killed using 274 American B-29 heavy bomber airplanes. Napalm and incendiary cluster bombs aimed at civilian housing by low-flying bombers. The first night raid left over 4000 dead.
2. Kassel, Germany (February 1942-March 1945) – over 10,000 killed by British Royal Air Force using 1800 tons of bombs including incendiaries creating lethal firestorms. Kassel had a population of 236,000 and by April 1945 there were hardly 50,000 German civilians.
3. Darmstadt, Germany (September 1943-February 1944) over 12,000 killed by RAF bombing raids which targeted the wooden houses which worsened the fire that ensued.
4. Pforzheim, Germany (April 1944-March 1945) – over 21,000 killed by RAF by 379 British aircraft which within 22 minutes destroyed 83% of the town depopulating the inner city areas.
5. Swinoujscie, Poland (12 March 1945) – over 23,000 killed by US Air Force
6. Berlin, Germany (1940-45) – the German capital, over 50,000 killed by 363 air raids between 1940 and 1945 by airplanes belonging to British, American and Soviets with specific orders to strike housing and civilian centers (strategy of “area bombing”)
7. Dresden, Germany (October 1944-April 1945) – Over 35,000 dead (some opine even 1million deaths). Dresden was Germany’s 7th biggest city. In three days starting from 13th February 1945 1300 bombers from British and US air force dropped more than 3800 tons of high explosives and firebombs creating hot winds that burnt people to death.
8. Hamburg, Germany (September 1939-April 1945) – over 43,000 killed. Hamburg was an important port and industrial center and the city was almost obliterated because the firestorm raged by 3000 aircrafts using 9000 tons of bombs for over a week reducing 8sq.miles of the city to ashes. More people died in Hamburg that all the people German bombed in England!
9. Tokyo, Japan (November 1944-August 1945) – over 100,000 plus killed by American airforce with 90% of the bombs falling on Japanese homes by B-29s.The night raid on 9-10th March 1945 using 1700 tons of bombs destroyed close to 300,000 buildings which were made from wood and paper and killed an estimated 100,000 citizens and over 1million injured and homeless.
10. Hiroshima and Nagasaki – August 1945, the bombs 3 days apart from each other displayed the lack of humanity by Americans in using these 2 cities as targets to test its atomic bomb. It was a shameful act of racism killing over 140,000 civilians, destroying areas and property and people continue to suffer impacts of radiation to this day.
Winston Churchill says “We should never allow ourselves to apologize for what we did to Germany.” — while Clement Atlee, Deputy Prime Minister says “There is no indiscriminate bombing. … the bombing is of those targets which are most effective from the military point of view.” And Sir Archibald Sinclair, Secretary of State, in his Statement in the House of Commons says “The objectives of our bomber offensive in Germany are to destroy the capacity of Germany to make war and to relieve the pressure of the German air force and armies on our Russian allies. No instruction has been given to destroy dwelling houses rather than armament factories, but it is impossible to distinguish in night-bombing between factories and the dwellings that surround them.” on December 1, 1943.
Nevertheless, while we are on the topic of accountability, Anglo-American crimes against humanity cannot be let off the hook. These are all serial murders. The number of German civilian deaths during the war and the millions of German civilians and soldiers who died by deliberate and planned starvation needs to be investigated, needs to be indicted and most of all these crimes against humanity need to be punished.
We demand action.