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Cogito ergo sum

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  • Originally posted by tabibito View Post

    If I recall the Dresden matter correctly, there were incendiaries used, but the result was thoroughly unanticipated i.e. it wasn't deliberate firebombing. After the event - oohh...lookee that. Maybe we can do this on purpose , but not in Europe - that would be unconscionable.
    I think many Germans, particularly Hypatia_Alexandria would strenuously disagree with that assessment. It was there that some cities were deliberately targeted not because of military value but as payback for the 8 month long London Blitz.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      I think many Germans, particularly Hypatia_Alexandria would strenuously disagree with that assessment. It was there that some cities were deliberately targeted not because of military value but as payback for the 8 month long London Blitz.
      Europe hasn't been a focus of attention for me. Dresden did come up as an incidental somewhere in the information about firebombing of Japan - (almost unmentioned in the NASA site's records) but I was looking at the Japan/America war.

      As I had understood it, German towns and cities were subjected to carpet bombing, but not fire-bombing. However, Hamburg alone is also mentioned alongside Dresden as being firebombed in Germany, on a site that mentions only Tokyo being firebombed in Japan. So - more digging to do.

      ETA:
      And then there's this - which does explain in part why the A-bomb wasn't particularly impressive to the Japanese.
      It might reasonably be assumed that the deadliest weapons aimed at civilians were these atomic bombs; however, this is not the case. Massive firebombing raids in Japanese and German cities consistently killed more civilians than any contemporary nuclear weapon could have. Incendiary munitions, such as firebombs, could—when used in massive numbers over a small area—create a raging inferno which destroyed life and property with greater rapidity than any technology under the control of man. Firebombs were the most devastating weapons of the Second World War.



      So - where were the white hats?

      Last edited by tabibito; 08-27-2021, 09:08 AM.
      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

      Comment


      • Originally posted by tabibito View Post

        Europe hasn't been a focus of attention for me. Dresden did come up as an incidental somewhere in the information about firebombing of Japan - (almost unmentioned in the NASA site's records). As I had understood it, German towns and cities were subjected to carpet bombing, but not fire-bombing. However, Hamburg alone is also mentioned alongside Dresden as being firebombed in Germany, on a site that mentions only Tokyo being firebombed in Japan. So - more digging to do.
        The one conclusion that virtually everyone can agree on is that Sherman was spot on correct when he declared that "War is Hell."

        And no, H_A, if you read this, that is not a "glib remark" but the recognition of a very harsh truth.


        Btw, to those killed, it matters little if the bombs were HE or incendiary. An obliterated city is an obliterated city.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          The one conclusion that virtually everyone can agree on is that Sherman was spot on correct when he declared that "War is Hell."

          And no, H_A, if you read this, that is not a "glib remark" but the recognition of a very harsh truth.


          Btw, to those killed, it matters little if the bombs were HE or incendiary. An obliterated city is an obliterated city.
          Likewise "The first casualty of war is the truth."

          Any war that continues for as long as 12 months will produce atrocities on both sides. Without serious digging, only the story from one side will be readily available - and as also used to be observed, "The victors write the history books." These days, it is more likely to be ideologues.

          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

          Comment


          • Originally posted by tabibito View Post

            Likewise "The first casualty of war is the truth."

            Any war that continues for as long as 12 months will produce atrocities on both sides. Without serious digging, only the story from one side will be readily available - and as also used to be observed, "The victors write the history books." These days, it is more likely to be ideologues.
            OTOH, History classes in many American schools right now focus almost exclusively on what we have done wrong as a country while quickly glossing over all the things we did right.

            I'm always still in trouble again

            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

            Comment


            • Some here may not know that Dresden is now twinned with Coventry.
              "It ain't necessarily so
              The things that you're liable
              To read in the Bible
              It ain't necessarily so
              ."

              Sportin' Life
              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

              Comment


              • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                OTOH, History classes in many American schools right now focus almost exclusively on what we have done wrong as a country while quickly glossing over all the things we did right.
                As I said: These days, it is more likely to be ideologues.

                Unbiased histories are hard to come by. To the extent that they exist, it is most likely the result of individual effort that would not be accepted for publication anyway. Nor can any individual be certain that there hasn't been some unrecognised bias in his own research.

                What did the Japanese do to foreign nations in WWII that was so different from what European nations, Australia, and America had been doing in foreign nations and at home? Not a whole lot. (I think maybe NZ might have done a bit better than most - but only a bit better.)

                Did the European (etc) nations feel they had the right to subjugate and maltreat the "inferior" races? Sure they did. Did Japan have the same attitude to the races they saw as inferior? Certainly.


                The old saw about finger pointing applies.
                sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                Comment


                • Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                  As I said: These days, it is more likely to be ideologues.

                  Unbiased histories are hard to come by. To the extent that they exist, it is most likely the result of individual effort that would not be accepted for publication anyway.
                  Such as?

                  Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                  Nor can any individual be certain that there hasn't been some unrecognised bias in his own research.
                  If research confounds a hypothesis the hypothesis needs to be either rejected or reassessed. The term "bias" with its connotations of preconceived or unreasoned beliefs is something that reputable scholarship today will avoid and peer reviews and comments will address any unrecognised leanings. Serious academics will not misrepresent historical events, although a political ideology will interpret a set of events in a slightly different manner.

                  Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                  What did the Japanese do to foreign nations in WWII that was so different from what European nations, Australia, and America had been doing in foreign nations and at home? Not a whole lot. (I think maybe NZ might have done a bit better than most - but only a bit better.)

                  Did the European (etc) nations feel they had the right to subjugate and maltreat the "inferior" races? Sure they did. Did Japan have the same attitude to the races they saw as inferior? Certainly.
                  As you have noted arrogant assumptions premised on racial and/or ethnic/religious superiority exist but therein lies a risk that extenuating reasons might be offered for the perpetration of atrocities.

                  "It ain't necessarily so
                  The things that you're liable
                  To read in the Bible
                  It ain't necessarily so
                  ."

                  Sportin' Life
                  Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                    As I said: These days, it is more likely to be ideologues.

                    Unbiased histories are hard to come by. To the extent that they exist, it is most likely the result of individual effort that would not be accepted for publication anyway. Nor can any individual be certain that there hasn't been some unrecognised bias in his own research.

                    What did the Japanese do to foreign nations in WWII that was so different from what European nations, Australia, and America had been doing in foreign nations and at home? Not a whole lot. (I think maybe NZ might have done a bit better than most - but only a bit better.)

                    Did the European (etc) nations feel they had the right to subjugate and maltreat the "inferior" races? Sure they did. Did Japan have the same attitude to the races they saw as inferior? Certainly.


                    The old saw about finger pointing applies.
                    There is a lot of truth here but there might be one or two distinctions.

                    Unit 731. Not sure how much you've read about them, but they could have taught the Nazis a thing or two about experimenting on humans and conducting vivisections. And with the Germans it was a few evil doctors like Mengele, whereas with the Japanese it was systemized and involving an entire unit dedicated to it.

                    The other aspect was the utter cruelty that was the Imperial Japanese Army's trademark. Don't get me wrong here. ALL armies are brutal but by all accounts the IJA made it a point to be so. FWIU, the officers treated their own men like crap on a good day and as they say, that sort of stuff rolls down hill. In some cases it appears to have been policy in order to terrorize the populace. The Germans had some SS units that specialized in that sort of behavior but this appeared to be a feature of the entire IJA.

                    Then there was the matter of the Bushido code that did not allow for surrender. So when their enemies surrendered they were thought of as being disgraced and deserving of whatever happened to them. Life as a Japanese P.O.W. was its own special kind of hell. Statistics show that even after the war those who survived didn't have very long life expectancies. They had endured too much.

                    Again, it is easy to find instances of similar barbarous actions with any army over the course of a war, but that's the point. They're instances. With the IJA it was effectively policy and you have to look for instances when they didn't behave like monsters.
                    Last edited by rogue06; 08-28-2021, 06:46 AM.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      There is a lot of truth here but there might be one or two distinctions.

                      Unit 731. Not sure how much you've read about them, but they could have taught the Nazis a thing or two about experimenting on humans and conducting vivisections. And with the Germans it was a few evil doctors like Mengele, whereas with the Japanese it was systemized and involving an entire unit dedicated to it.

                      The other aspect was the utter cruelty that was the Imperial Japanese Army's trademark. Don't get me wrong here. ALL armies are brutal but by all accounts the IJA made it a point to be so. FWIU, the officers treated their own men like crap on a good day and as they say, that sort of stuff rolls down hill. In some cases it appears to have been policy in order to terrorize the populace. The Germans had some SS units that specialized in that sort of behavior but this appeared to be a feature of the entire IJA.

                      Then there was the matter of the Bushido code that did not allow for surrender. So when their enemies surrendered they were thought of as being disgraced and deserving of whatever happened to them. Life as a Japanese P.O.W. was its own special kind of hell. Statistics show that even after the war those who survived didn't have very long life expectancies. They had endured too much.

                      Again, it is easy to find instances of similar barbarous actions with any army over the course of a war, but that's the point. They're instances. With the IJA it was effectively policy and you have to look for instances when they didn't behave like monsters.
                      I was not aware of the details provided here about Unit 731. Brutality inflicted on prisoners - that I was aware of, and that Japanese soldiers were treated much the same way as were prisoners. Bushido wasn't particularly a factor, as far as I am aware - army units and most often their officers were not drawn from Samurai families. Samurai were officially disbanded sometime around 1895, which began Bakumatsu, concurrent with the last 20 years or so of Meiji. Japanese army officers carried pressed steel katana, they were not permitted the folded (Damascus) steel katana - though descendants of Samurai families were.

                      However - assuming all that is wrong - one thing is not. The civil government (including the emperor) had no say over military affairs. The emperor could request things of the Shogun, but the Shogun was not bound to heed the requests, though traditionally it had been considered bad form not to. Tradition seems to have gone by the board during WWII, and maybe as early as Bakumatsu.
                      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                        I was not aware of the details provided here about Unit 731. Brutality inflicted on prisoners - that I was aware of, and that Japanese soldiers were treated much the same way as were prisoners. Bushido wasn't particularly a factor, as far as I am aware - army units and most often their officers were not drawn from Samurai families. Samurai were officially disbanded sometime around 1895, which began Bakumatsu, concurrent with the last 20 years or so of Meiji. Japanese army officers carried pressed steel katana, they were not permitted the folded (Damascus) steel katana - though descendants of Samurai families were.

                        However - assuming all that is wrong - one thing is not. The civil government (including the emperor) had no say over military affairs. The emperor could request things of the Shogun, but the Shogun was not bound to heed the requests, though traditionally it had been considered bad form not to. Tradition seems to have gone by the board during WWII, and maybe as early as Bakumatsu.
                        FWIU, the Bushido code was enshrined by the IJA, and it may well be that those who weren't raised in families where it was strictly followed that perverted it.

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          FWIU, the Bushido code was enshrined by the IJA, and it may well be that those who weren't raised in families where it was strictly followed that perverted it.
                          That they did - much along the lines of preserving the privilege and blowing off the obligations.
                          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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