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08 May 2016


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Henry Moore, Grey Tube Shelter, 1940


Historian CC. Adams calls it "The shining legend of the good war". America went to war with Japan in 1941 following Pearl Harbor. Germany declared war on America on December 11 and the United States returned the favour thereafter. There was no "great humanitarian cause" motivating Americas declaration of war, merely the stupid actions of Japan and Germany.

Prior to the declaration by the USA, American industry had been doing quite nicely thank you. Britain had spent every pound and ounce of gold she had on American weapons - this was the reason for lend lease, etc. Britain had no more money! American trade with Nazi germany is also well documented.

As for the American people, according to some histories, they were deeply divided over participation in a European war.

So no. There was no great cause that stirred Americas loins.



You seem to have forgotten "Lend-Lease." pl

Max H

I read or saw (History Channel?) something about how the RAF used psychologists in the planning of bombing raids on Dresden (and maybe others). They helped determine when certain elements of the population would emerge from shelter to in order to time the subsequent bombing waves. I specifically recall they targeted the time for young women with children would emerge in order to liquidate them in subsequent raids. I guess there was a strategic reason for this (kill those who produce other enemy population) as well as a psychological reason (destroy morale).

Babak Makkinejad

Dresden, based on the testimony of Freeman J Dyson, was a fluke. The RAF had been trying to do so for while and was never successful - only at Dresden they were successful for reasons unknown to this day.

Richard Sale

there was NO valid strategic reason for the bombing.

Richard Sale


Dresden was for many years an unattractive target, deep inside Germany. For this reason it was not very damaged in 1945.

The RAF developed a very scientific approach for destroying German cities and they usually did extensive test runs against smaller cities before raiding the larger ones, e.g. Brunswick (Braunschweig) was the test run for Hamburg in 1943.

Therefore, to assume that in 1945(!) Dresden was a "fluke" is strange. It was an undamaged city that became a nice target in 1945 with the dramatically decreasing strength of the German fighter units.


To may best of knowledge the final decision to use a carpet bombardment against civilain target was made in 1941.

In 1940 the RAF used operational resaerch to assess the damage that was done and found that the crews simply did not find their assigned targets, often they missed the city in which the target was.

The interesting aspect of the decision making in 1941 was that despite the hard data on the uselessness of the strategy it was decided to continue with a carpet bombing because the German population would be weaker than the British and falter. If hard data do not fit your opinion replace them with gut feeling.

At the same time the British Merchant Navy fought for survival and the UK groundforces were defeated in Africa.

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