No one cares to challenge the idea that Hitler needed to be stopped. I cannot think of a cow more sacred in the common mind—as I have known the common mind—than the righteousness of World War II. The enemy of the Allies was so ghastly, that even much-deplored developments on the part of the “good guys”—the Bomb, for example—cannot dethrone Hitler from his place as the exemplary villain of our age.
Countless sermons, in my experience, have held up Hitler as the paragon of evil—a case-study for everything from the dangers of the gospel of self-esteem (“Hitler had good self-esteem—and look what he did!” ) to an example of anti-Christ. If this is the case now, in North America in 2008, then how much more villainous did he appear, for example, to the citizens of Britain, victims of his bombs, an isolated people whose nation trembled but remained firm before the force of the Nazi wave?
In fact, Hitler appeared so evil that the ones who opposed him could hardly help but appear good. WWII is the closest thing to a post-Christendom crusade.
[...] Norton and Co Garrett, Stephen A. Ethics and Airpower in WWII. New York: St. Martin's Press Janssen, Brian. "The Mortification of Sin, Pt. 6." Hospers Presbyterian Church, Hospers, IA Nov. Jasper, Ronald. George Bell: Bishop of Chichester. New York: Oxford University Press Messenger, Charles. Bounder Harris. New York: St. Martin's Press Middlebrook, Martin. The Battle of Hamburg. London: Allen Lane Pub Janssen, Brian. "The Mortification of Sin, Pt. 6." Hospers Presbyterian Church, Hospers, IA Nov. Garrett, Stephen A. Ethics and Airpower in WWII. [...]
[...] pg Chamberlain, Neville. Vol Parliamentary Debates. London: British House of Commons Best, Geoffrey. Humanity In Warfare: The Modern History of International Law of Armed Conflicts. Bristol: Methuen Press pg Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. pg Best, Geoffrey. Churchill: A Study in Greatness. London: Oxford University Press pg Churchill, Winston. "'Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat'" Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat: the Great Speeches. Ed. David Cannadine. London: Penguin Books pg For an interesting book on the German side of this very same equation, consult The [...]
[...] For example, Lord Cherwell, in a minute to the Prime Minister on March suggested from an analysis of German bombing of British cities that house damage was even more demoralizing than loss of relatives, so the idea of shattering of the German people's morale, and thus of Germany's will or ability to continue her became one of Bomber Command's guiding principles. (It may be unnecessary to point out that this rationale ignored the nearest example of the effect of area bombing upon national morale: Britain itself. [...]
[...] This directive stated that now the bombing offensive was to be “focused on the morale of the enemy civil population and in particular of the industrial workers.” The chief of Air Staff added in a memo the next day, aiming points are to be the built-up areas, not, for instance, the dockyards or aircraft factories.” Over the next three years, about three quarters of the bombs dropped on Germany by Great Britain were against densely populated civilian targets. The Rationale for Area Bombing In war it is always easy to find excuses for successful violence. [...]
[...] This is absolutely contrary to international law, and I would add that, in my opinion, it is a mistaken policy from the point of view of those who adopt it, but I do not believe that deliberate attacks upon a civilian population will ever win a war for those who make them. Chamberlain could say that this sort of bombing was “absolutely contrary to international not because there was any law against aerial bombing of civilians in particular, but because of a precedent established at the Hague conference. [...]
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