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"The Effects of Strategic Bombing in WWII on German Morale" Topic

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Tango0107 Jun 2022 8:18 p.m. PST

"This report summarises the conclusions of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey in their research into the effects of air raids on the willingness and ability of the German population to support the war effort.

Research was conducted in Western Germany over two months following the end of the war. It comprises two parts: the first reports on findings from interviews with civilians; the second from official German documents and interrogations with officials…"

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Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2022 12:53 a.m. PST

Interesting read, thanks for sharing.

Tango0108 Jun 2022 2:26 p.m. PST

A votre service mon ami….


Nine pound round29 Jun 2022 3:03 p.m. PST

I'm not so sure I buy the idea that bombing decreased morale or led the German civilian population to blame their government. Isn't it possible that it increased morale, spurring the populace to see themselves as heroic victims? Setting aside the tricky business of trying to survey people on past emotions, if decreased morale had any effect at all, it would translate into physical effects: decreased productivity, surrenders at the front, that kind of thing. Bombing did produce some of that, but it came through the physical destruction of the infrastructure for resistance and production, not moral effects.

It has always been interesting to me that when I see and hear anecdotal evidence about the German attitude toward the bombing, it does not simply translate into blaming the regime. I first visited the rebuilt Dresden with a friend, long resident in Saxony, who observed that the destruction of the city was "one of the few events of the war in which the Germans see themselves as victims." Similarly, a convention has grown up that Flak service was one of the few completely morally defensible Wehrmacht activities- that's why Joachim Fest always reminded people that he did it, and why Gunther Grass pretended he had. To me, this indicates that they expect their audience to share a common understanding that the bombing was wrong, and resistance to it was less morally equivocal than, oh, just about anything the Wehrmacht did between 1939 and 1945.

The far right groups periodically bring up the destruction of Dresden as an Allied war crime because they know that some portion of the German population agrees with them. I think the underlying sentiment is more mainstream than people realize.

Tango0129 Jun 2022 3:21 p.m. PST



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