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Subject: A question about the battle of britain
aceofw    10/24/2004 6:31:22 PM
Why did the gremans decide to change to bombing cities instead of airfields? I heard it was a german pilot who accidently bombed London, then Churchil bombed Berlin, then Hitler got crazy and descided to go all out against the british cities. Or was it Churchil who descided to strike Berlin first? (this is an argument I have with a freind, so an answer witha little info would be welcomed). Thanks, Aceofw
 
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aceofw    RE:A question about the battle of britain-another thing...   10/24/2004 6:34:47 PM
I heard that later in the war, after the allies cracked the german "enigma" code, churchil learned of a town which was about to be bombed, he decided to allow it to be bombed than evacuate it and alert the germans their code had been broken. Is this correct? A little info would be appriciated too.
 
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DropBear    RE:A question about the battle of britain-another thing...   10/24/2004 6:55:07 PM
Coventry was said to be sacrificed, and hence bombed in order to save London at one stage. Who knows what truth there are to many of these old WW2 rumours??
 
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Ehran    RE:A question about the battle of britain-another thing...   10/25/2004 2:05:03 PM
Deciding to allow coventry to be bombed rather than tipping the germans to the penetration of enigma was a decision churchill agonized over. believe it was discussed in his autobiography.
 
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giblets    RE:A question about the battle of britain-another thing...   10/26/2004 6:08:13 AM
The germans at that stage of the war were bombingt he docks in the east of London, so bombing the city was not that far off. The Germans did have a radio beam bombing system, where they followed one beam until it was intersected by another beam. The Brits cracked this, and apparently at one stage the Germans were bombing Ireland!
 
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PhillipTweedie    RE:A question about the battle of britain-another thing...   11/5/2004 9:15:47 PM
Believe the Germans bombed the docks in Belfast a few times, unsure about anything in the South. There was also a rumour spread amongst some more radical (nutcase) Irish protestants, that the Republicans were in communication with the Nazis to allow German troops to deploy in Ireland with a guarantee of Irish independance if the Nazis were successful. Was later proven to be complete rubbish tho.
 
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Ad    RE:No Mistake   11/6/2004 6:28:26 AM
The notion that the change in strategy was due to a mistake, which followed in RAF BC bombing Berlin, is a false notion. Despite Hitler’s ratings for revenge, it was two weeks later that the “Bltz” as we’ve come to call it started. This to me suggests a time where Kresslings offensive over Kent had failed in its intended objective and a new strategy was needed. The “Blitz” of Britain was intended to destroy RAF FC, as if you look at pivotal dates such as the 15th of August, then the numbers of Luftwaffe causalities were simply unacceptable in terms of both experienced pilots and aircraft, in comparison to the RAF FC, which although was in no better position, inferior German intelligence didn’t suggest so. The idea of bombing major cities and London in particular was to draw the RAF FC into a one final showdown, Hollywood style if you will. This would where loses on Germany’s side would have been acceptable if the end result was the overall objective, of moving the RAF FC out of the way so the RN could have been dealt with. This too would have been no small task as the RN was the largest and most powerful Naval force on the planet at the time; some 80 vessels were in the N Sea alone. Therefore, the blitz, wasn’t a mistake, just a final gamble at attempting to win the Battle of Britain. At the time it made sense as a tactic, however in retrospect it clear was the mistake which cost Germany the war. Britain, as she is today, was the gate to America, leave it open and you have the largest Empire ever known with considerable muscle and then the might of the US to deal with. The German strategic nightmare, especial when your tackling a frosty bear to the east.
 
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F22    RE:No Mistake   3/4/2005 11:24:00 PM
According to various accounts that I have read, events went like this: July 10 - Luftwaffe begins air campaign to sink British merchant ships and RN ships in the Channel. August 13 - Adlertag. The Luftwaffe begins its campaign of bombing RAF airfields and aircraft factories. August 24 - London is bombed by the Luftwaffe. It's not clear if the bombing is intentional. August 25 - RAF bombs Berlin in retaliation. September 4 - After three more bombing raids on Berlin by Bomber Command, Hitler promises retaliation. September 7 - The Luftwaffe launches its first full-scale bombing attack on London. The Blitz begins. September 15 - Battle of Britain Day. The Luftwaffe launches a maximum effort against London. The Blitz is in full swing. September 17 - Realizing that Goring had failed to destroy the RAF and achieve air superiority over Britain, Hitler indefinitely postpones Operation Sea Lion. May 10, 1941 - The Luftwaffe launches its last---and one of its most devastating---large-scale attacks on London. Luftwaffe units are then transferred to the Eastern Front for Operation Barbarossa. The Blitz is over. It's not clear to me that the Blitz on London was part of the Luftwaffe's plan to destroy the RAF, especially when the Luftwaffe discontinued daylight raids because of high losses. Hitler had expressly forbidden bombing civilian targets, knowing that such bombings would stiffen British resolve. The Germans clearly switched tactics, but the switch made no sense. Sustained attacks against 11 Group airfields were having an effect (sustained attacks against Britain's radar stations would have had even greater effect). Attacking London took the pressure off 11 Group and gave the RAF a definite, fixed target to defend. They knew where the Germans were going. The Blitz was a gamble, but it appears to have been one born out of anger, not calculation. Hitler was no longer trying to destroy the RAF. He was trying to destroy the will of the British people to resist. Fortunately for human civilization, he failed.
 
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Ad    RE:No Mistake   3/5/2005 12:57:58 PM
Anger weeks after the event? I’m not so sure. You commented, as is widely known, the high (intolerably so) loses of the Luftwaffe prior to the Blitz. The switch in tactic, was as I said, a move intended to knock RAF FC out in one go, in a battle over a target they (Germany) believed the RAF FC would flock to defend. The attempts to destroy morale were a secondly to the attack. After all isn’t seeing/reading about more RAF casualties and the appearance of German air superiority a demoralising thing anyway, even prior to the tactical switch?
 
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F22    RE:No Mistake   3/5/2005 5:20:58 PM
Anger weeks after the event? I’m not so sure. With Hitler, it's quite possible. But I don't mean anger in a necessarily literal sense. I mean in the sense that the Blitz was retaliatory, not calculated. You commented, as is widely known, the high (intolerably so) loses of the Luftwaffe prior to the Blitz. The losses were high after the Blitz as well. It was the switch to night bombing only that brought losses down. But that also brought down RAF losses, which was contrary to the goal of destroying the RAF. The switch in tactic, was as I said, a move intended to knock RAF FC out in one go, in a battle over a target they (Germany) believed the RAF FC would flock to defend. The attempts to destroy morale were a secondly to the attack. After all isn’t seeing/reading about more RAF casualties and the appearance of German air superiority a demoralising thing anyway, even prior to the tactical switch? I'm curious as to what your source is. Are you referring to Kesselring's persuasion of Goring to attack London to destroy Britain's "last 50 Spitfires"? Are you suggesting that Kesselring, Goring, and maybe even Hitler believed the Blitz would lead to FC's destruction?
 
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fall out    RE:No Mistake   3/6/2005 8:21:29 AM
either way, none of us will more than likely ever know the real reasons and nor will we know exactly how close the Luftwaffe was to destroying RAF Fighter Command... :)
 
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