Ernst Zündel Replies:
Rebuttal # 13
The question is poorly phrased. It should have read: “What nation is credited with being guilty of the first acts of bombing civilian targets during World War II?”
This item was included in the IHR pamphlet because it refers to the widely popularized version that Hitler massively unleashed the “London Blitz” and thus caused many civilian casualties – a “London Holocaust” of sorts. This myth is part of the overall atrocity lore about the disregard with which the Führer is supposed to have treated civilians, particularly British civilians.
Hitler did not want war with England. This has been documented many times. Moreover, the Allies knew from reading the German Air Force signals, which they had broken on May 26, 1940, that Hitler had given orders that NO British civilian towns and cities were to be bombed. Hitler was very clear on insisting that London was to be off-limits to German bombers. The German Air Force was allowed to bomb ports, harbors and dock yards, but NOT the civilian population as such.
This order stayed in force for almost a year; we know this from the Allied captured German documents and the German archives.
However, on August 25, 1940, Churchill gave the order to the British Air Force to go and bomb Berlin. Although the Chief of Staff of the British Air Force warned him that if he bombed Berlin, Hitler would lift the order about not bombing British towns, Churchill disregarded that warning; the idea was to provoke Hitler to strike back.
At 9:15 that morning Churchill personally ordered the bombing of Berlin. That night, Berlin was bombed by 100 bombers – yet Hitler didn’t make a counter-move.
Churchill ordered another raid on Berlin.
And another. And another.
There were also raids on Freiburg and Wilhelmshaven.
These bombing raids went on until finally on September 4, 1940 Hitler lost his patience and made that famous speech in the Sports Palace in Berlin during which he is supposed to have made the comment:
“I shall wipe out their cities.” (“Ich werde ihre Städte ausradieren.”)
School children are now told, both here and overseas, about the Hitler speech. They are not told, however, how this speech came about and who was bombing first – and why. They are not told how Churchill set out deliberately to provoke the bombing of his own capital in order to get the German (and English) war spirit aroused.
After the Churchill provocation, Hitler was no longer in a position to hold back his forces indefinitely without losing political and military credibility and advantage. Therefore, he ordered the bombing of London’s industrial area where, unfortunately, five German bombers went astray over the blacked-out city and dropped, by navigational mistake, some bombs in a civilian populated area.
In order to gain some perspective on who did what and why in the entire war, I suggest J. J. Martin’s book, Revisionist Viewpoints. On page 100, we find the following:
“As for the total damage achieved in England by the Germans, as compared to that achieved in Germany, the summary by Allen A. Michie, a one-time Time-Life reporter, in the Reader’s Digest in the summer of 1945, is particularly dramatic and succinct:
‘The combined damaged areas of London, Bristol, and Coventry and all the blitzed cities of Britain could be dumped in the ruins of just one medium-sized German city and hardly be noticed.”
Coventry was many times cited in the popular propaganda as the excuse for an obliteration strategy applied later on in Germany. Michie estimated that by comparison Berlin suffered 363 Coventrys; Cologne, 269; Hamburg, 200; and Bremen, 137.
(The original reference can be found in the Michie essay, Germany Was Bombed to Defeat, Reader’s Digest, August 1945, pp. 77-78.)
Here is a definitive answer for Nizkor to the implied question “Who started the bombing of civilians targets?”
I refer to J.J. Martin’s book, page 103:
“A book which appeared in early 1944, by J.M. Spaight, principal assistant secretary of the [British] Air Ministry, _Bombing_Vindicated_, was the first inkling for many that such a policy [of terror bombing] was of English origin.
Mr. Spaight, who launched the incredible slogan, ‘The bomber is the savior of civilization’, dated the decision to engage in such warfare from May, 1940, and bluntly declared, ‘We began to bomb objectives on the German mainland before the Germans began to bomb objectives on the British mainland’.
This is a historical fact which has been publicly admitted. Spaight went on to explain why it had been suppressed from general news so long:
‘. . . because we were doubtful about the psychological effect of propagandist distortion of the truth that it was we who started the strategic offensive, we have shrunk from giving our great decision [of May, 1940] the publicity which it deserved.(Bombing_Vindicated_ London: Geoffrey Bles, 1944, pp. 68 and 74.)
That surely was a mistake. It was a splendid decision'”.
Re-read this carefully: “. . . it was WE who started the strategic offensive.” A “splendid decision” to boot? Over 50,000 people killed in Hamburg. More than 300,000 killed in Dresden. Millions killed in many other towns – would such mass murder count as a “war crime”?
For the sake of further enlightenment, I would suggest that Nizkor read the entire Spaight text, Bombing_Vindicated_ or the US Air Forces analysis on Allied bombing in Germany. The way to find these books is to request them from the public library.