|Commander K. and the RAF Bomber Command Memorial|
The Conservative tour of London continues with a visit to the brand new Bomber Command memorial (http://www.bombercommandmemorial.co.uk/). This June a long awaited and overdue memorial to RAF Bomber command was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in London's Green Park, not far from Buckingham Palace.
|"The Fighters are our Salvation But the Bombers Alone Provide the Means of Victory", Winston Churchill|
Bomber Command was always somewhat controversial. The bombing of German cities was imprecise with many civilian casualties (the estimate in about 700,000 killed). Most British veterans of the Second World War earned campaign medal such as Italian campaign, etc. Veteran of RAF Bomber Command received no such medal.
Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five (www.amzn.com/0385333846) and other writers, including Anthony Beevor in his latest book, The Second World War, (www.amzn.com/0316023744) have criticized the fire bombing of Dresden as being excessive and unnecessary.
|"Strike Hard, Strike Sure," London|
It must be remembered, however, that the Allied strategic bombing campaign did contribute significantly to Allied victory in the Second World War for several reasons...
|RAF Bomber Memorial, London|
|RAF Bomber Command Memorial is on Piccadilly!|
3) The Allied Bomber offensive was the Allies best answer to Stalin's demands to opening up a second front in the West. A premature assault on France in 1942 or 1943, as Stalin called for repeatedly, might have well have led to disaster for the Allied cause.
4) The Bombing campaign, while lacking pinpoint precision, did lay waste to German industry and force its inefficient redeployment and dispersal. Specific targets were hit such as Peenemunde (site of V-2 rocket research) and RAF Mosquito bombers hit the Mohne, Edard and Sorpe dams (The Dambusters www.amzn.com/B000H1RFSM). The French railways were devastated by Allied bombing prior to D-Day, making it difficult for the Wehrmacht to redeploy its forces against the Normandy beachhead.
5) Goering, head of the Luftwaffe, famously said, "When I saw Mustangs over Berlin. I knew the war was lost."
The Americans and British divided up bombing duties in order to bring "round the clock" devastation to Nazi Germany. The Americans bombed Germany by day in their B-17s, B-24s and B-29s, while the RAF bombed at night in their four-engine Avro Lancasters. The USAF 8th Army Air Force was based at Duxford (see earlier post, Duxford and...George Carlin, 4/30/12) near Cambridge.
|Avro Lancaster Bomber|
|55,573 Commonwealth Airmen lost in World War II|
|Lancaster Bomber Crew grave site in Belgium; Note Australian, New Zealand and British Crew|
|Ritz Hotel facing Green Park, Note Blitz Damage, London|
You can now find Commander Kelly's first book, America Invades, here www.americainvades.com or on Amazon www.amzn.com/1940598427