Sunday, November 10, 2013

Reflection for Remembrance Day

From Brother Ivo:

Today we observe our festival of Remembrance.

Our solemn national and civic services will take place with dignity: our military will process with precision and our religious leaders will deliver their annual addresses, carefully composed so that no one may accuse them of jingoism or triviality. The annual spat over the legitimacy of the red or white poppy has surfaced, and the inevitable bout of student shallowness have been duly played out.

November 11th is the day of the 1918 Armistice, but it is also the Feast Day of St Martin of Tours, a soldier saint, and this is our starting point today. An Eastern European, he is best known for taking pity on a beggar and dividing his own cloak to give warmth. Later, in a dream, Christ appeared to him wearing the other half.

This story bequeathes to us two interesting etymologies.

St Martin was a close follower of the much underestimated Hilary of Poitiers, who was the principal advocate of Trinitarian doctrine at the Council of Nicæa. This association brought Martin to the Poitiers area and led to him becoming Bishop of the adjacent city of Tours where a large monastery was built. This was later to receive England's foremost scholar, Alcuin of York, Charlemagne's librarian.

St Martin's half-cloak became a holy relic and the subject of veneration by pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostella. The monk charged with responsibility for keeping the relic was known as the cappelani (cloak keeper). When moved, the relic was housed in a small temporary shelter, the cappela (little cloak). From these words we derive our terms 'Chaplain' and 'Chapel'.

Martin became the patron saint of infantrymen, and many in France saw significance in the fact that the Armistice was signed on his feast day at the end of the Great War.

Brother Ivo has been spending time in the French countryside of Hilary and Martin, where his evenings have been spent reading a fascinating account of what happened in the locality after the Normandy landings in 1944.

Operations Bulbasket and Houndsworth were mounted by small units of the SAS deep inside enemy territory. They were charged with liaison with the growing Maquis, but especially tasked to slow the arrival of the feared and powerful armoured division Das Reich, which had been based in Toulouse in case the allies invaded from the South. It was fanatical and of greater size and quality than the average German division. Keeping it out of Normandy until after the invasion had established was a major priority. In the event, its normal journey time of three days was delayed to 17, which was critical, but came at a cost.

Bridges and railway lines were disrupted, and hit-and-run attacks impeded their progress. In retribution for attacks by the local Maquis, the entire village of Oradour-sur-Glane was destroyed. The remains of the village are exactly as they were: some find it even more chilling to visit than Auschwitz. The doctor's car rusts in the street; lines of machine-gun bullets are discernible across the altar and confessional where the women and children were murdered. A baby's pram stands before the altar.

Oradour-sur-Glane is a place to sense the tragedy and cruelty of war.

The SAS similarly suffered when 32 of its Bulbasket soldiers were captured. Their story is told in the very readable book by Paul McCue.

Hitler had issued a decree that all captured commandos were to be summarily executed, and any officer who failed or even questioned the order was to be similarly punished. The capture of the commandos presented a real moral dilemma for the local German commanders. Several had real distaste for the order: they were regular army officers, and for days there was discussion and attempts to pass the buck. They considered whether their captives could be regarded as ordinary prisoners of war, but their area of command had no front line. They tried to avoid responsibility by treating them as airmen to be passed to the Luftwaffe, but they were refused. A hypothetical case was offered to a military judge whose opinion confirmed no legal loophole.

In 1947, the German Wehrmacht officers commanding the unit which murdered the SAS - General Curt Gallenkamp, Colonel Koestlin and Captain Schoenig - were tried by a British military court. General Gallenkamp was sentenced to death, but hanging was commuted to life imprisonment. Colonel Koestlin was sentenced to life in prisonment, and Captain Schoenig to five years. All were released in the 1950s.

For the cold-blooded execution of 32 captives, a harsher generation deemed less than 15 years to be proportionate. We might reflect on these sentences as we consider the the punishment awaiting Commando Sergeant 'A', who has been convicted of shooting a wounded Afghan insurgent.

The German officers concerned had time and took advice as they weighed their options. They knew the illegality of what they were doing. The executions were carried out secretly in a remote woodland miles from the Army HQ, and the bodies were buried in unmarked mass graves. A US airman who was captured with them and easily exempted from the order was executed so that no witness lived. The bodies of three wounded troopers killed by lethal injection in their hospital beds have never been discovered.

The officer who organised the execution had been involved in planning the capture. He was killed during the war and so his culpability was never formally considered. Strikingly, and uniquely, the military records do not show that he made representation against, or that he sought to avoid his responsibilities even though the senior officers were clearly discomfited before they sinned.

Oberleutnant Vogt probably never expected to find himself embroiled in such a tragedy when he was posted to the Bicycle Reconnaissance Corps. Nevertheless, he seems to have busied himself locating the remote execution site, organising the execution detail, announcing the sentence giving the order to fire, and burying the bodies.

Perhaps he was aided by his familiarity with funeral liturgy: in civilian life, he was a Protestant clergyman from Tübingen.

Having read the Bulbasket history, Brother Ivo's mind went back many years to when he first learned French and came to love its countryside. At 14 he spent time with a family in Normandy where he was taken to a woodland where, on 24th August 1943, a local Maquis group was attacked, captured and killed. On the memorial stone a strange name jumped out at him. It was German.

For years, the mystery puzzled. Brother Ivo speculated that perhaps this unknown soldier was an Alsation conscript. How else could he have been accepted by the French partisans?

Fortified by a single malt, Brother Ivo cranked up his linguistic recollections and has spent recent days trawling the French sector of the internet to resolve this puzzle, and he has been rewarded with a name.

In 1943, at the height of Nazi power in Western Europe, Rudolph Pfandhaur deserted that army, taking his uniform and weapon with him. He was Austrian. The French do not record or celebrate him much, yet surely this deserter was remarkable for his courage, as were they who welcomed him into the ranks of those combating tyranny. It is impossible for a Christian to reflect on this without calling to mind Ananias, who was called upon to put aside his fears and reservations to welcome Saul of Tarsus.

As we consider the obedience to secular orders of Oberleutnant Vogt, we should not be despondent or overly condemning. We have not been there, any more than those lining up to condemn Sergeant A can understand how he came to compromise his own integrity and that of his comrades in arms.

A feast day is a time to celebrate, however, and so we should. We should celebrate that for every Vogt there is a Pfandhaur - even amongst our enemies. For every persecuting Saul there is a potential Paul. As we remember our military this day, we should give thanks that so many do not succumb to the temptation to abuse the power which their armaments give them. What is amazing in this fallen world is not that a few fail to live up to the best of standards, but rather most soldiers do.

On this Remembrance Day, let us mourn and repent. Just as Good Friday gives way to the hope of Easter Sunday, let us remember and celebrate the integrity and valour of our armed forces, and give thanks that with St Martin every sinner can hope for redemption thanks to that strange and inexplicable initiative of Christ that we call grace.

Brother Ivo is the Patron Saint of lawyers


Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Enjoyed your recollections of this special time for us who care and for your personal reflections.
May we never forget and may those who sacrificed themselves for others always have a place in our hearts.

We will remember them.


10 November 2013 at 11:10  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This is one day(11th), if not the only one, that makes me feel proud and privileged to be British.


10 November 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Thank you Brother Ivo for a thoughful and reflective piece here.

Straight back from our benefice Remembrance Service. The roomy medaeval church was fairly full.

I see that those lovely people at the BBC, egged on by the NSS, are trying to undermine the role of Christianity at the national Cenotaph Service. The story is in The Telegraph today.

10 November 2013 at 12:14  
Blogger non mouse said...

We will remember them - ours, that is.

They had to fight in foreign fields, we know; so perhaps that's why most of this post seems to be about foreigners. Sorry you've demoted Alcuin, though Brother Ivo. ....

10 November 2013 at 13:13  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Brother Ivo

Let us not forget that atrocities were committed by both sides in the war.

Yes the murder of the civilians and the SAS men was inexcusable. However, we do not need to look far to see similar atrocities committed by our side. One can think of the bombing of Germany as one example. The airmen knew that they were killing women and children just as surely as the SS men did. We also tend to forget that more Germans civilian and military, were deliberately killed in the months after the war ended by our communist "allies" in the east than had died either through bombing and battle during the whole war.


10 November 2013 at 13:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Let us remember marine ‘A’ today too. A man guilty of no more than breaking standing orders. The Inspector refuses to acknowledge that a combatant in the field has a duty of care to a rebel who was out to kill him. That is not what war is about. Yes, it’s an imprisonable offence, but a life sentence ??

10 November 2013 at 13:56  
Blogger IanCad said...

David Hussell,

Don't worry too much about the BBC.
I saw the Remembrance ceremony on Radio 4.
It was dignified, sober and reflective.
Nicholas Witchell earned his pay, and Bishop Nigel McCulloch reminded us that this is not a celebration of war but an honouring of all whose lives have been marred by conflict.


You're right. Life is too long.

10 November 2013 at 14:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack takes his hat off and gives thanks to all those who have given and risk their lives to make our world better and a safer place to live.

Jack has read Brother Ivo's piece. Jack did not understand it all because he kept jumping about. Now Jack has read all the articles and other bits he has talked about he is still trying to 'join the dots'. There are a lot of dots though from Saint Martin to Sergeant A. This is not easy and Happy Jack is going to have to think more about it. Jack thinks it is to do with following our consciences as well as following and sticking to rules about how to behave even when we have to kill people.

10 November 2013 at 14:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

A deserter is a useful resource to be exploited. He is not a man to be honored. How do you honor one who would willingly draw a sight picture on those he once considered comrades? The deserter has made himself contemptible. He doesn't get a pass because he joined 'our side.'

When my wife was called up for Desert Storm there was a Second Lieutenant in her unit who suddenly made himself scarce. Evidently he didn't realize that being in the military might require him to ... well ... kill people. Which is curious since he commanded a security unit. What did he think all those rifles were for? Anyways, he declared himself a pacifist and beat feet out of town.

Eventually he realized the magnitude of what he had done. He turned himself in one day short of being charged with desertion in the face of the enemy. He was court-martialed for being AWOL and became something of a local celebrity among the effete fashionably left-wing set. A martyr for conscience as it were. Nah. He was just a deserter.

I don't know Pfandhaur's story. There are lots of factors that could impel a man to desert, and most reflect badly on the deserter. Either way I wouldn't honor him. To me he is no different from that 'suddenly pacifist' lieutenant.


10 November 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, deserters are a despicable lot indeed. One of the worst in this man’s book was a certain George Washington. You might have heard of him...

10 November 2013 at 14:38  
Blogger Patrick Cox said...

Well said, Bro Ivo. Living where I do in Germany (and being married to a German lady) I am constantly reminded of how we rained death on German cities and towns, not all of them evenb remotely 'military' targets. Hardly a day goes by without someone digging up yet another unexploded bomb, and we tend, to carry around the propaganda image that all Germans were Nazis - which fails to understand anything of the difficulty of living in a society such as that created by the Nazis in 1933 - 1945, or the Communists in East Germany 1946 - 1989. Nor should we forget that almost 500,000 German PoWs have never been returned home or their whereabouts revealed by the Russians. My wife's family lost their homes in the Eastern Provinces of Germany, and some family members to the Russians. They started again with nothing, and large gaps among their members, my mother in law lost both her brothers in the "East" and still does not know where they are buried.

My own family lost members on the British side in both the world wars, so I keep this Remembrance Day to remember those who died, and those who returned - many carrying physical and mental scars that impacted on the rest of their lives and on their families.

It is easy to be triumphalist about having 'beaten the Germans', but perhaps we should celebrate having liberated them from the Nazi thugs. It is a pity that we allowed Stalin to impose an equally vile regime in half the nation - and supported it with massive payments of 'aid' for a further 43 years.

10 November 2013 at 14:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

It’s not even for sure that an Austrian, conscripted into the German army, the very army that annexed his country can be technically guilty of desertion. More a case of a pressed man liberating himself...

10 November 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"The Inspector refuses to acknowledge that a combatant in the field has a duty of care to a rebel who was out to kill him."
The Black and Tans.

10 November 2013 at 14:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. That’s it exactly, sir. Those thugs were given a free rein in Ireland. Colonel Bernard Law Montgomery stated that the war in Ireland would be lost, because journalists would record the deeds these men would have to do to pacify the island...

10 November 2013 at 14:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


George Washington never received a Commission in the British Army. He resigned his commission in the Virginia Militia in 1758.


10 November 2013 at 14:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. He was a colonial reservist who would have sworn allegiance to the King of England. What you are saying then is such an oath is not forever binding, but needs, {AHEM} ‘renewing’, every so often lest it lapse.

Oh dear...

10 November 2013 at 15:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Patrick Cox

Whatever difficulty a German might have experienced in living under the Nazi regime, this disappears into nothingness when compared to the difficulty of living in a nation occupied by the Nazi regime. Considering what the Germans did in Poland, Germans are best advised to not complain about the loss of property in Prussia. Germany started the war after all. And Germans weren't calling for Hitler' head in the Summer of 1940. As a practical matter, it is not wise to start a war and then complain about the consequences of losing it.

As for the bombing. The circular error probable of a dropped bomb in 1944 was about 5000 ft. A very small percentage of bombs actually hit the target. That represents the limits of technology at the time. So, yes, wide areas of German cities were destroyed. The necessity of war required it. A shattered transport network is (for example) what kept the Type XXI boats out of the Atlantic. Don't expect me to shed tears for the Germans buried in rubble. Better their civilians than mine.

Or those of my Allies.


10 November 2013 at 15:29  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Saint-Germain (both signed in 1919) explicitly prohibited the inclusion of Austria to politically join the German state.The idea of a union remained popular until the end of WW2.There is a long list of Austrian Nazis.

10 November 2013 at 15:41  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


It is not possible to desert from an army when you are not a member of that army. You are confounding desertion with treason. The latter was the underlying issue of the American Revolution and that issue was settled in 1783 at Yorktown.


10 November 2013 at 15:44  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The Austrian deserter may well have been a communist.
There was an Austrian communist resistance network in Belgium, the Österreichische Freiheitsfront (English: Austrian Freedom Front).

10 November 2013 at 16:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. Having sworn allegiance to admit him to the militia, he is technically a deserter if he puts on the uniform of a hostile power. This is because he has put himself at his majesty's pleasure by that very oath, until he is released from that oath, if the King desires it, or ultimately by his own death. You do know the implication of oath taking, don’t you ?

10 November 2013 at 16:01  
Blogger Manfarang said...

But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

10 November 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Hannah said...

I was happy to walk into a Church today and join in the act of remembrance; I've had my poppy on for a month. I think people will find that these events are often ecumenical and that in London the C of E 'leads' the religious side, but that there is also various other religious leaders there as well.

10 November 2013 at 16:15  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Carl,

Isn't there a difference between a career solider, i.e. one who does so by choice and not state enforced, not turning up to fight and someone who might have been forced into it? And possibly more importantly, fighting for the Nazi regime is a bit different to fighting for America. 'The bad guys verses the good guys' sorta thing.

10 November 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger Hannah said...

For Patrick Cox and Phil Roberts,

Have any of you guys been to,say,Coventry? Or heard of the Blitz or the brutal occupation of most of Europe, the slave labour camps, the ideology of the Nazi state, the gas chambers, the concentration camps? You both make it out as if there is some kind of equality between Britain and Nazi Germany. There isn't anything of the sort.

Further do you guys realize exactly what the Germany did to the population of the Soviet Union- many if the minority nationalities welcomed, at first, the 'liberation' from Stalinist Russia, such as Ukrainians,Poles, etc, only to be treated in such a barbaric fashion as make them turn against the Nazis. And then there is the treatment of the Russian -slavic- population as well as the Jewish population of Russia. The groups who were 'sub-human',whose atrocities to said groups and actions made even Himmler physically sick when given an 'example' by the SS (which made him turn to the gas chambers as the 'humane' version of undertaking the 'final solution').

I never see that being mentioned when it comes to the bombing of Germany and in any case I think it is questionable to say the least, to try and equate Britain and America with such a foul regime. As for the Soviet Union, not a nice regime either, but then WWII did bring the largest Socialist state, the largest Empire and the largest capitalist state together in a common cause- defeating fascism.

10 November 2013 at 16:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Well, yes I do understand since I took the following oath.

I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God

Did you take a similar oath?


10 November 2013 at 16:36  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

It is alleged that Dan Snow thinks that because he believes that we are a minority Christian country Remembrance should br a secular service.
He has forgotten that the srrvice isn't about him and his views, it is about remembering those who died, the majority of whom in the UK wanted a ghfistian funeral. It's about them and Mr Snow should respect them.
We are living in a selfish society.

10 November 2013 at 16:38  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

typos are amazing courtesy of auto spellchecker. ghfistian should read Christian

10 November 2013 at 16:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

"I promise and swear by my Faith as a Christian that I will be entirely faithful and will truly obey His Majesty King George II, whom I acknowledge as the sovereign lord of ...., so help me God."

10 November 2013 at 16:52  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

grumpyoldcl said...

" typos are amazing courtesy of auto spellchecker. ghfistian should read Christian" No problem, old boy...We Vathered it! *Yrfrtles bo %elf*

10 November 2013 at 16:58  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Marine A and his field superior were wrong to shoot that wounded man: I say this not from any fluffy sense of mis-placed pity. It was bad soldiering and a damned stupid action, made all the worse with witnesses to hand and backed-up by recorded evidence.

The British Army is not some blood-thirsty, murderous rabble that shoots prisoners or incapacitated combatants simply because they can. If not for any other contingent motive we furthermore don't because in doing so we gift;-

1. a propaganda coup to Islamists every where and naturally a golden reason for them to 'justifiy' some sort of random ruthless retaliation.

2. and be seen as behaving no better in our morals or actions than Lee Rigby's killers or any other keen to be seen be-headers.

They should have simply let him die where he was.

I doubt that Marine A's conviction in court will do anything to mitigate the damage done to Britain's image abroad.

10 November 2013 at 17:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, it looks like we have a defence for Washington after all. It seems that the oath may not have extended to his ‘legitimate heirs and successors’, in which case when George II died, he was released.

One wonders if the fear of a Catholic usurper to the throne was involved in this somewhat surprising omission...

10 November 2013 at 17:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dreadnaught, They should have simply let him die where he was.

And let some ‘human rights’ lawyer have all three convicted for manslaughter by neglect ? This is what you get with the bloody stupid idea of trying to apply civil law to battle situations...

10 November 2013 at 17:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Isn't there a difference between a career solider, i.e. one who does so by choice and not state enforced, not turning up to fight and someone who might have been forced into it?

No, there is no difference. The state has full authority to draft its citizens and require them to fight. If the citizen has some legitimate moral objection then he can refuse and accept the consequences of his refusal. What he cannot do is run away.

And possibly more importantly, fighting for the Nazi regime is a bit different to fighting for America. 'The bad guys verses the good guys' sorta thing.

During the Vietnam War many individuals chose to flee the United States to avoid fighting in Vietnam. In so doing, they substituted their private judgment for the judgment of rightful authority. The US Gov't had the authority to go to war and force them to fight. Now their formal reason for fleeing was that the war in Vietnam was immoral. The US was the 'Bad guy' in the fight. That determination isn't a private decision however. Rightful authority had committed the country to fight. If you disagree you stay and accept the consequences of your disagreement.

But that wasn't what they did. They chose instead to flee and the primary outcome of their flight was personal protection. They didn't end up in the army. They didn't end up in prison. Someone else went to war in their place. They had to manage the self-accusation of cowardice which they accomplished by calling the returning vets murderers and baby killers. 'I'm not a coward because you are a killer.' The problem with the 'Bad guy' argument is determining the bad guy. We don't allow our own citizens to make that determination. How then can we allow it for citizens of other countries?

I don't fault the German soldier for his service. He did what he was required to do. By and large he did it honorably. Not all of course. Reagan's 'the Waffen SS were victims too' speech was not his finest hour. But the average German soldier was just a guy who had no more control over world events than any other soldier in the fight. He just did what his country asked of him because that was what he was supposed to do.


10 November 2013 at 17:36  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


So you quoted an oath but when did you take such an oath? Were you in the British Military?


10 November 2013 at 17:43  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack nearly missed about the killings at Bulbasket, "A US airman who was captured with them and easily exempted from the order was executed so that no witness lived." The Germans knew what they were doing was wrong, did it anyway and wanted to hide their crime.

Jack thinks it is the same with Commando Sergeant 'A'. He and his friends also knew what they were doing was wrong, did it anyway and agreed to try to keep it quiet. Whoever decided to bring the evidence against them and charge them, knew right from wrong and did the right thing.

10 November 2013 at 17:50  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Hannah/ Carl

Because the Germans did evil things does not make it OK for us to do evil things as well.

The bombing of Germany was not done in the main as Carl has stated to hit legitimate targets, but to create firestorms and kill civilians. Hamburg was a case in point, but there are many others. You can try and justify an atrocity by stating some "legitimate" war aim and killing large numbers of civilians in the process, but if you engage in the same it makes you morally the same as the enemy. Therefore Coventry and similar, was not and is not an argument for bombing German cities with the sole aim largely, of killing civilians.

Many commentators have stated that it seems incredible that the canals for example were not regularly mined, (Only once in the entire war.. it took weeks to clear) and disrupted much of the economy in the process. But no we wanted to bomb cities, broadly to kill civilians. It was a almost a complete waste of effort. Yes Carl even the ones your guys did. E.g. the Schweinfurt raids were a disaster and almost completely ineffective at stopping ball bearing production.

The point I made was that the Germans did nasty things yes. We (the Allies) did terrible things to the Germans especially after the war. Up to 11 million Germans were killed between 1945 and 1950. It is well documented in this book

You could also read "Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation"

It is interesting that these crimes of occupation were committed by the Russians, the Americans and the French, but not the British. We generally have a good record after the war in our zone of occupation. The French and the Russians being broadly non Christian countries we can understand, but the Americans?

Why? My view for what it is worth, is that Britain was and still is a broadly Christian Country in values. The other Allies were on the whole not. America likes to think of itself as a Christian Country. but it was and to a large extent, is sill in the main a form of Christianity that values pride and selfishness rather than compassion and humility. This is just a personal experience. Carl I am sure will have an eloquent paragraph to try and rubbish this assertion, but just try and think for a moment. What does your experience tell you of what American Christians broadly consider important and virtuous. If you are not sure turn on the American Christian TV channels for an hour or so.


10 November 2013 at 17:50  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

what a day Ernst has had.

Stopped off as McColls (ad placement) to buy a rag for perusal on latrine.

Forgot I have mild Alzheimer and purchased that which must NOT be named on Sun day?..for a reason..

Flicking through, happy as a pig in, when i saw the strap line. Louise Mensch. Damned and Blast! rather than taear of the column and use vigorously for sanitary and mental satisfaction Ernst continued to follow main article..Big Mistake.

She now thinks Ann Soubry's rant at Farage was genius and showed what a racist he was...Ahem..He merely reflects the concerns raised by Hard Working and Hard pressed families up and down the nation.!!

Just like Soubry, she honestly believes she is Mrs T in incarnate and is doing a Churchill wilderness years in the good ole US of A until she receives the clarion call of a desperate people to return and take the nations reins..

Louise, child..the only resemblance to Maggie is that she too carried a handbag and wore nice shoes..the rest is just pure delusion..

The only thing we got in common today is that both you and Ernst were full of **** but Ernst got his off his mind and out of his system, whereas all you did was put yours down in a newspaper that is as reputable as you are. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Now please, no more postcards from America, there's a nice peroxide airhead!!


10 November 2013 at 18:02  
Blogger Hannah said...


The muddle in that argument is :

Austrians weren't really given a choice about whether or not they wished to be citizens of the Third Reich and no choice as to whether or not they wanted to fight at all. If France decided to occupy the UK, I'd have no business in feeling in any way shape or form obliged them in whatever war they wanted to fight.

10 November 2013 at 18:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl.So you quoted an oath but when did you take such an oath? Were you in the British Military?

One’s background is classified, as you American chaps would put it. Why do you wish to know, or as the English would ask “What’s that got to do with the price of fish ?”

10 November 2013 at 18:07  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2013 at 18:19  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger Hannah said...

Phil Roberts,

Given your historical revisionism in other areas, I'll take your argument and therefore evidence with a pinch of salt (least we get onto 'gay Nazis' memes).

I still object to your 'we did evil things too' so that puts us on a par with Nazi Germany, as if one can be 'objective' (as in neutral, sitting on the bench, the combatants were both as bad as each other) in assessing this bit of history. Except, I for one wouldn't be here. Neither would this blog.

Germany was the aggressor in that war; the British had previously tried to appease Hitler and continually failed, the German state committed genocide on a industrial scale, had a hideous ideology, were brutal in the places they controlled, committed vile human guinea pig experiments and needed-had to be- defeated. Whatever the cost and whatever the burned and whatever the casualties. The same goes for the other Axis powers.

10 November 2013 at 18:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Because you asked of me 'You do know the implication of oath taking, don’t you?' I would find it curious that you would presume to lecture me about something I have done when you have never done yourself.


10 November 2013 at 18:29  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Fair enough. But there were many Austrians who wanted the Anschluss.


10 November 2013 at 18:37  
Blogger Hannah said...


However, putting the Austria guy aside, I can see and accept the point you are putting together in other respects, e.g. a guy whose job it is (and knows it is his job as he voluntarily signed up) to kill people,deserts when he is called to do that, does seem to be cowardice. In respect of Vietnam, I'm afraid I don't know much about it, if veterans were treated badly, then I can accept that isn't right, they are not the ones to choose to go to war , but the politicians (in a democracy).

I am surprised am American has such an absolute view of state power, given your apparent individualism and selfishness (words of Phil Roberts, not mine).

10 November 2013 at 18:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, I would find it curious that you would presume to lecture me about something I have done when you have never done yourself.

Curious, you say ? So only one who has taken an oath can fully understand the implications thereof. Interesting concept you have there, if nothing else...

10 November 2013 at 18:54  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


It's not about absolute state power. It's about rightful division of authority. We are responsible to obey lawful authority so long as it does not exceed the scope of its authority. Remember Shadrach. He was responsible to obey the law until the law demanded that he disobey God. But he didn't run away from publicly defying the king's law to avoid the consequences.


10 November 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Re the Vietnam war.

One forgets which president it was who stated that the National Guard would not be going to Vietnam. So Joe, the would be conscripted infantryman does a runner, but the well heeled socialite types merely walk to the National Guard HQ and signs on the dotted line.

Care to comment Carl ?

10 November 2013 at 19:06  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


" German state committed genocide on a industrial scale, had a hideous ideology, were brutal in the places they controlled, committed vile human guinea pig experiments and needed-had to be- defeated. Whatever the cost and whatever the burned and whatever the casualties. The same goes for the other Axis "

Morally then you are no better than the Nazis. They committed atrocities to get what they wanted and you state that we should do the same to get what we want.


10 November 2013 at 19:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


The draft laws in place during the Vietnam War were disgraceful. And they weren't intended to just protect well-heeled socialite types. They were primarily intended to protect the sons of the middle class. The key to avoiding the war was getting into college. You got an educational deferment. And if you were inducted after college you were too valuable to the military to be sent into the jungle with a rifle. The typical soldier in VN was the son of a blue collar worker, or black, or Hispanic.

10 November 2013 at 19:20  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2013 at 19:35  
Blogger Hannah said...

So I am " no better than the Nazis'


10 November 2013 at 19:36  
Blogger IanCad said...

Carl wrote:

"---The typical soldier in VN was the son of a blue collar worker, or black, or Hispanic."

And, as you pointed out, the result of a skewed draft system.

The calibre of the volunteer army in Iraq was also pretty dismal. In times of prosperity the military is often the only option for those who are unemployable elsewhere. Witness Abu Ghraib.

I would suggest that the only way to ensure a military that is representative of the average citizen is through a draft system that has no loopholes.

Draft by lottery may be the best bet.

10 November 2013 at 19:37  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


"During the Vietnam War many individuals chose to flee the United States to avoid fighting in Vietnam. In so doing, they substituted their private judgment for the judgment of rightful authority" ....and the rest of the tripe...

Again you are justifying what the average German soldier did. So follow this argument to its conclusion regarding George Washington. Did he submit to the will of the Government? He certainly "substituted his private judgment for the judgment of rightful authority". Morally what makes his actions any different fundamentally, from those that fled the draft. Don't say because in the Vietnam example they fled because they were cowards, because that is an easy answer and I don't believe they all fled for that reason.

The more dangerous route is not to agree to what the state requires, especially when it requires from the individual evil acts. The cowards are those that do what the state requires of them. E.g. fight in Vietnam, push women and children into gas chambers, or indeed bomb and kill defenseless women and children from aircraft. (Nothing has changed as this cowards war, is what Obama and Cameron suggested for Syria).

America lost the war in Vietnam for two reasons. It lost the support of the Vietnamese people due mainly to the way that they were treated and it lost support at home because, in the main the Vets themselves thought it was not a just war and privately and the bravest publicly, said so.


10 November 2013 at 19:40  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


So I am " no better than the Nazis'

You are willing to throw stones with everyone else at the Adulteress are you not?


10 November 2013 at 19:42  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! It seems to me that politicians decide that our friends today become our enemies tomorrow - that those on this side of a line have to hate those on another side when it suits, and when it suits another scenario, to love them and offer the hand of friendship. War is an evil artifice - it is nothing more than a weapon of state: ordinary folk are simply pawns. I do not wish to disparage those fighting in battle, no not at all. I do however wish to decry those who send men and women to their deaths for some made-up cause, and they are the politicians, those ever-ready to broker deals with 'the enemy'.

10 November 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Phil

No, that doesn't cover it as you very well know. You should not use the cover of the internet to insult people in a way you would not do if you met them in real life and they had a 7 foot bodyguard next to them with a keen sense of justice.

The fact that Jesus said "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" does not logically lead on to you being permitted to throw boulders right left and centre, calling Hannah no better than a Nazi, and me, recently, no better than a paedophile. If it did I could call you no better than a scrofulous VD infected child pornograpohy downloading conman who enjoys shooting disabled children on his days off from cheating pensioners and kicking the crutches away from the lame.

But that would not be nice, now, would it, and nor would it be true, so I would remain civilised and not come out with ridiculous inaccurate nonsense.

Now do be a good boy, and apologise, as you know perfectly well Jesus would not have said to Hannah what you did say.

10 November 2013 at 20:03  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says all this squabbling is not a fitting way to remember our war dead. Maybe tomorrow, not today.

Goodnight everybody.

10 November 2013 at 20:15  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


"let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

Hannah states that she is willing to Do what was "needed-had to be- defeated. Whatever the cost and whatever the burned and whatever the casualties"

Total war in other words. The end justifies the means, whatever the cost and whatever moral compromise is required along the route.

The logic for both of you is the same. If you fail to protect children by your deliberate inaction then you are as guilty as those that cause them harm by direct action.

If are willing to win wars by any means then you are not any better than your enemy.

I did not insult you or Hannah.

I told you what you did not want to hear. The logical deduction from what you say.


10 November 2013 at 20:16  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...



I should have added. Those that wanted to condemn the Adulterous woman wanted to do so because of their moral high ground.

Jesus simply pointed out that they did not have one and they were just the same as the adulterous woman, but their pride made them think that they were morally superior.


10 November 2013 at 20:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


A couple of things.

1. I have generally avoided the subject of the American Revolution because I believe I would have been a Tory had I lived at the time. I find the Declaration of Independence to be a bad argument for justifying rebellion. Every charge made against the Crown was related to a royal act performed by virtue of its legitimate authority.

2. Yes, in fact I can call the Vietnam draft dodgers cowards. I do it all the time. Here. I will do it again. They were eff'ing cowards. Their primary intent was to avoid the war and so save their own skin. That's why they ran. I don't care about their opinion about the morality of the war. And neither did the law. If they wanted to resist the draft they should have stayed and accepted the consequences. That would have been honorable. Running away to Canada was just craven.

3. You REALLY need to find some credible historical sources.

4. The US lost the Vietnam War because it tried to fight a war of attrition from a position of strategic defense. The weak value of VN to the US interest made that policy unsustainable over time. The US population didn't understand the strategy and could not see progress. They couldn't see the purpose in the sacrifice. The enemy was willing to sustain the loses. The US wasn't. Ironically enough, the strategy was viable. If the US had isolated the battlefield all the way to the Mekong River, the NVA effort would have collapsed.


10 November 2013 at 20:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This is what happens when lightning rods like me or David B don't comment on a thread. :)

10 November 2013 at 20:28  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Phil
Have you been in too many of those Welsh rugby scrums without full head protection?

I am not able to be physically in countless different places at once. I have never ever not acted if my actions could have prevented child abuse, and have suffered as a result of living with someone who has not only done that but also helped to progress cases. I have helped on two occasions to look after abused children while the correct authorities did the right thing. How does that translate into failure to act exactly? Or are you suggesting I should have hunted these people down with a shotgun?

I don't think irresponsible and unbalanced vigilantism is a good thing at all.

Though you appear to criticise Hannah for speaking in that direction yourself. I don't agree with the tenor of her comments, and think she got carried away, BUT she is different from the Nazis in many respects, as you know. So you owe her an apology. On many blogs calling s.o. a Nazi or worse than a Nazi results in the comment being instantly wiped, and I think you are taking advantage.

I think you are frequently using the "you are no better than x y or z" as it gives you a "reward". In other words it makes you feel better than your victim. Ironic to say the least.

Would Jesus say what you are saying?

And what have you ever done to stop any child being abused? What risks have you taken, other than typing??

Or is just empty hwyl from s.o. a few raisins short of a welshcake?

10 November 2013 at 20:38  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2013 at 21:02  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2013 at 21:03  
Blogger Hannah said...

Phil Roberts,

I'd say I'm happy to throw stones at the ideology, the actions and consequences of the Nazi regime 1933 to 1945. I detest and hate that regime. I make no bones about that. The analogy you are using about the new testament adulteress and suggesting Nazi Germany is the same, hardly seems appropriate, but I'll leave Christians to argue over that.

I believe it was President Kennedy who said 'we shall bear any burden and pay any price' (or something along those lines) to which I was alluding to. In respect of the price, as WWII is an historical event, we know that price. Millions died because of a fanatical regime, which you seem to want to put on a par with Great Britain (except one side aim was conquest and genocide, the other to defeat the same).

To me there is a clear moral difference between a bombing campaign -albeit with the cruder weapons of WWII- against a city (cities contain, chemical factories, metallurgical factors, weapons factories and other 'war making potential') than the Nazi actions in attempting to conquer Russia, starve Britain or bombing Britain, along with human experimentation and the worst part of their actions, the Holocaust. It is know to us Jews as the Shoah. I am sure you are at least aware of this fact and I am also sure that you knew fully well that by calling me a 'Nazi' you'd be trying to score a cheap point.

But it still stands, if one is to be weighed in the balance, it is the Nazis that are found wanting. Not the allies.

Happy Jack

It is precisely because I wish to remember those who died fighting in the war and equally as important, why it was fought, how it had to be fought, that I am 'bickering'.

10 November 2013 at 21:36  
Blogger Hannah said...

Lucy Mullen,

I cannot help letting my passions get the better of me when this particular issue is bought up, hence my tenor isn't going to be polite and meek.

I am trying to take the advice of Carl Jacobs, who once said to me only get offended by people whose opinion matters to you. Good advice I think from the old cracker there...

10 November 2013 at 21:51  
Blogger non mouse said...

War is Hell, Ladies and Gentlemen --- even greater hell than this world usually is.

That's why, today, we quote Mr. Binyon:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

10 November 2013 at 22:19  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

War is a dirty business that's why politicians should think twice before committing willy nilly to it. They seem to be so lase faire sending in the troops at the drop of a hat without really considering the innocent that will inevitably get killed and injured.

To my mind you can't have politically correct soldiers! They are trained to fight and kill the enemy, they are not aid workers. You can't expect to have soldiers shooting the enemy dead one minute then nursing and rescuing the enemy in the next. It doesn't work. Going to war is just that, it's not an exercise in politeness, it's a last resort. You can't fight and win with the attitude of Oh no after you, dithering around waiting for them to fire the first shot.

I cant help but feel that had the boot been on the other foot because we have become such a pathetic nation of apologists, everything would have been OK in the eyes of the great and the good.

The Taliban are the enemy so it's a sorry state of affairs that this got even near a hearing let alone a conviction of murder!!! I'd ban all web cams whilst on duty.
I think Marine A did the Taliban insurgent a favour by killing him thereby relieving him of the pain and suffering of his injuries. We didn't need to hear all that battle field man talk that was on the video or see the video for that matter.

11 November 2013 at 00:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Marie1797 said...
The problem as old Ernst sees it is that we call it a war in Afghanistan but is it? The troops in WW2 wore uniforms, fought for their country, tried to maintain a code to reach victory..Thankfully WE won!a lack of respect for the other was known that one side may kill another with a respect that the other was only doing their duty honourably.

We then find ourselves facing a cowardly adversary that lurks in shadows, that dons local clothing and hides amongst local villagers thereby assuring our boys and girls that they no longer know who is friend or foe where they patrol!!.

They wear friendly garb of a soldier or policeman and smile ever so sweetly but as soon as back is turned they shoot you in it or send small children for sweets from our troops then blow them up when near a target.

This is a combat situation that inflames the passions and senses for those embroiled amongst our defenders..A sense of decency should be maintained but it must be damned hard to see these vile guerrilla's as worthy of pity and compassion knowing what they had just intended for you as they had done to your colleagues blown up elsewhere?!

Who would really want to be a soldier fighting for their country in our modern age of deception, bleeding heart propaganda and easy armchair criticism.


11 November 2013 at 01:41  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

With tremendous pride I want to say that our daughter, our quiet and shy twelve year-old, will have the honour of reciting John McCrae's famous poem before her entire school.

Here it is, in remembrance of all the Canadian boys who fought in the two World Wars:

In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

11 November 2013 at 02:51  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The Rememberance service in Afghanistan icluded the
Kohima Epitaph

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

11 November 2013 at 03:16  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

I think the poem that Avi's daughter will read today makes a fitting end to our thread. When visiting our war graves in europe and elsewhere, even the smaller ones,I am always stuck by the shear numbers, then as I look closer, what strikes me is how young most of them were. The few words that the loved ones can place on the stones are always heartbreaking, but there is always one or two....


11 November 2013 at 03:21  
Blogger Ivan said...

Bomber Command was not value for money. While sucking in a huge part
of the defense outlay and the talent of many able men including the 50,000
or so dead airmen, Arthur Harris had used it primarily as a means to "scourge the Hun".
Winston Churchill's useless science adviser, Lindemann ensured that other
saner voices, Tizard and Blunkett, men who knew how to conduct a war
based on operations research were sidelined. The result was less than satisfactory
in return for the huge sacrifices involved. Then when Germany was already
collapsing, the Western Allies put up a big show over Dresden, incenerating all those people.
Supposedly Dresden was a major railhead in the supply-chain to the Eastern Front. Stalin
had already shown by this time, that he had no intention of allowing the Eastern Europeans
any independence. Why then the eagerness to smooth his path to domination?
Others retroactively justify the saturation bombing of Dresden on the grounds that all those Roccoco buildings
had in fact housed facilities for making electronics. But what is the use of electronics to
the German forces when they had no fuel for mobility by then - a stage that would have been reached
the sooner had "reap the whirlwind" Harris concentrated on strategic industrial targets, instead of dehousing
the German working-class.

11 November 2013 at 03:59  
Blogger deimos said...

Amen to Avi, Manfarang, non mouse and all those who have posted the traditional tributes to the fallen.
My own personal wish for the years 2014 to 2018 is a simple one - no new wars.

11 November 2013 at 04:46  
Blogger Ivan said...

Phil @10.40

The Americans and their allies had showed only a decade earlier in Korea that they were capable of confronting
the Communists and defeating them. In Vietnam they had never lost on the field to either the NVA or the Vietcong,
though this was not the message carried by the self-described "best and brightest" pundits such as Halberstam and
Sheehan. The US generals leading the war there were proud veterans of the Korean and World Wars. They were
stymied by a political establishment that did not want to carry the war to Hanoi. The Communists knowing this had
only to bide their time.

As for the Vietnamese themselves, where is it written that bloodthirsty Communists are the only type of "patriots"
that nation was capable of producing? Ho Chi Minh was, as all Third World Commies a card-carrying Comintern
drone, awe-struck by Leninism which gave a starring role to the colonial peoples in the global revolution. He and his
kind, slavishly followed every twist of the sorry course as per the diktat of Moscow. Yet these were the patriots, while
men who followed Ngo Dinh Diem, the staunch and incorruptible Catholic were kulaks or running-dogs of capitalists.

11 November 2013 at 04:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The major achievements of the Strategic Bombing Campaign against Germany.

1. The achievement of air supremacy due to the high level of attrition suffered by the Luftwaffe.

2. Creation of a severe fuel and ammunition shortage due to sustained attacks on German oil and synthetic oil production.

3. Paralysis and collapse of the German economy due sustained attacks on the German transportation network. This was the decisive contribution of the bombing campaign to the war.

The attacks in ball bearing production and air frame production were generally not effective because the production machinery proved resilient to attack and the Germans much more capable of regeneration than expected.

Remember that this was the first air campaign of its kind in history. The planners were learning as they went. Of course they would make mistakes. They for example chose not to attack German energy production on the assumption that it was too redundant. In fact it was vulnerable and it's loss would have significantly accelerated the decline if the German economy. That the campaign was not perfectly effective is a given. That it made a decisive contribution to the war effort is undeniable. Just ask the German tankers who couldn't move for lack of fuel. Or the flak batteries that didn't have ammunition. Or the commanders who couldn't move forces quickly to the point of attack. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply historically illiterate.


11 November 2013 at 05:32  
Blogger non mouse said...

Furthermore - for we will remember - why should we assume that it was OK for the Germans to bomb us, ad infinitum, but that we should never defend ourselves and put a stop to it?

Some of the present generation were perhaps educated by whingeing German sympathisers - but these critics of our brave defenders clearly didn't grow up walking past the evidence, the bomb sites in British cities and towns. To wit (for example): Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Coventry, even Harrogate ... oh, and LONDON!

And then there were the V-Is and -2s. That's when my Ma, hearing them on their way to London, used to grab her babies and run under the nearest reinforced structure - just in case the engines cut ...

And now, here, today, anti-Britons side with the enemy, instead of honoring the Brave who saved the Islands for us ...

The euro principle of 'Divide and Conquer' appears to have run amok.

11 November 2013 at 06:13  
Blogger Patrick Cox said...


I live in Germany and all around me are reminders of that period of Nazi "Herrschaft" and the consequences. Yes, Germany started the war, and yes, the Nazi commanded troops committed atrocities. So did the Russians. I bet you didn't know that they treated the Poles as 'Germans' and even gave cart blanche to their troops to 'take' any woman they fancied in Poland.

Yes, I have visted Auschwitz and Birkenau. I grew up knowing Jewish families who had escaped and, funny that you should mention it, but I have been to Coventry - for the good reason an Aunt and several cousins died in that bombing. My uncle was serving in the RAF, but its a funny thing, I never heard him 'celebrate the carpet bombing of Hamburg or Dresden. In Hamburg alone 40,000 civilians died over two days - cremated in their homes and in the inadequate bomb shelters. In fact I never saw him actually wear his Air Crew Europe Star.

You don't hear many Germans complaining at the loss of land and property. They accept it, it is past, now they must live with it and make sure it doesn't happen again, but all too often, when I read comments like yours, I get the feeling that there is a large element in Britain who want to renew the war and exterminate Germany completely.

Carl, while the bomb aiming left a lot to be desired, have any of you seen Kassel in North Hessen? Pre-war it was a medieval city. In one night in 1943 it was burned to the ground with the dropping of 4,000 or more incendiary bombs over the Old Town. Several hundred tons of HE were also dropped, just to make sure.

Sure, they started it - but perhaps its time to recognise that we could have shown a little more restraint ourselves. Surely the point of Remembrance is to remember ALL those whose lives were sacrificed?

And before anyone asks - I have also served, though I suspect some commenting here have not. Shrapnel, from a bomb or a shell does not discriminate between baby, child, civilian or soldier. Praying for victory is to equally pray that the 'enemy' is torn apart, shredded and maimed. Thanks, I've done my bit, and I'd do it again, as would my grandfathers, my father and my uncles. I've smelled the explosives, felt the shockwave, heard the patter of shrapnel and the stench of fresh blood as I've dealt with wounded comrades.

I would not wish it on anyone, friend or foe, but I will carry the scars and the memories to my grave. Instead of triumpahnt and absolutist pronouncements show some compassion, some understanding of the much wider picture than the narrow 'we're right; you're wrong' imagery displayed in some comments here. I'm with the Austrian soldier, and he certainly wasn't alone - many Germans also switched sides and formed 'undergrounds' and were betrayed and paid the price. They don't appear on any memorials. Nor do the many more German civilians who hid Jews, Gays, and even escaped PoWs before passing them along to other 'safe' houses.

History is never 'black and white' there are always many shades of grey between the selected facts the authors of our history (always the winners) permit us to be taught.

My apologies, Your Grace, if I have offended your rules. I shall humbly submit to your penance for it.

11 November 2013 at 07:46  
Blogger Hannah said...

Patrick Cox,

I will take issue with the comment about wanting to exterminate Germans for good (you might find it was the Nazis who were into master races, genetic fitness,final solutions, genocides and holocausts). There is nothing in my comments that suggests that and nor would I suggest such a course of action and there is nothing historically which suggested the allies wished to exterminate Germans either. That is hyperbole in extremis.

Secondly, I also think you are being a tad patronizing this automatic assumption 'you can't comment because you haven't served' meme is like suggesting you can't comment on the Church of England because you are not Anglican, however that doesn't stop other people here from giving their views. Beside which it is a bit of an incorrect view as my family have 'served', both here and Israel. My uncle kept a vivid journal of his war years and reading through them, I am aware of the graphic nature of war and concentration camps. Don't blame anyone but Hitler &the Nazis for deaths, though, as far as WWII is concerned.

Thirdly, praying for victory is praying for peace. So we won and there was peace in Britain and Germany. And more importantly a peace which didn't involve the completion of the shoah. And that is, however much gloss is put on it, the difference and the lack of equivalence or grey revisionists wish to bring to this, but in any case 'your as bad as us' argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny and neither does it absolve the Third Reich from its own crimes.

11 November 2013 at 09:59  
Blogger matt zx said...

Not really interested in the religious side to this but I do have issue with those who seek to make the allies be an 'evil the same as' sorry but no here's just a few ideas why
The Nazi regime killed it's own citizens on an industrial scale as well as those of many nations so tell me which allied state did that ?
Nazi officials had a meeting in 1941 at a really nice place near Berlin and decided that their plan was the murder of over 11.5 million men women and children can you show me evidence of say the UK doing the same ?
Which allied state killed 3.3 million+ P.O.W s like the Germans ?
Today there is a German nation with a strong industry.politics morals and is generally an influence for good and that is thanks to the allies for rebuilding then protecting, feeding the Germanpeople through the long way back , now show me in which occupied country the Nazis did the same or even had a plan that wasn't starvation for the indigenous people then taking the land for Germans ?

11 November 2013 at 10:12  
Blogger Hannah said...


Exactly and well put.

11 November 2013 at 10:18  
Blogger Roy said...

Phil Roberts said...

The bombing of Germany was not done in the main as Carl has stated to hit legitimate targets, but to create firestorms and kill civilians. Hamburg was a case in point, but there are many others.

The horror of the firestorm in Hamburg must have been unimaginable but I don't think there weren't "many others". Unless I am mistaken the raid on Dresden was the only one that created damage on a scale comparable with the Hamburg raids.

Hamburg was Germany's main port. The bombing, terrible as it was, did serve a military purpose. A leading Nazi is supposed to have said that another half dozen similar bombing raids would have forced Germany to sue for peace.

According to Wikipedia:

"Figures given by German sources indicate that 183 large factories were destroyed out of 524 in the city and 4,118 smaller factories out of 9,068 were destroyed. Other losses included damage to or destruction of 580 industrial concerns and armaments works, 299 of which were important enough to be listed by name. "

Albert Speer, the German Minister for Armaments said after the War"

The real importance of the air war consisted in the fact that it opened a second front long before the invasion in Europe . . . Defence against air attacks required the production of thousands of anti-aircraft guns, the stockpiling of tremendous quantities of ammunition all over the country, and holding in readiness hundreds of thousands of soldiers, who in addition had to stay in position by their guns, often totally inactive, for months at a time . . . No one has yet seen that this was the greatest lost battle on the German side.

Even so, I do feel sympathy for the German civilians who were killed by bombing, and indeed for those who were lucky enough to survive the bombing. I also feel sympathy for the German and other Axis soldiers who died during the war.

My father, like many other former World War II British soldiers, (even though he had seen examples of Germany brutality during the War) got on well with former German soldiers he met in later years.

That is often the case with former adversaries but is probably far rarer among the Russians and Germans who fought on the eastern front because of the vastly greater atrocities committed by the Germans there, and the terrible revenge exacted by the Russians in many places.

I did read somewhere that the elite units of the Red Army were better behaved than the rank and file of the support units, but I don't know whether that was generally true or not.

11 November 2013 at 10:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Matt zx

The Soviets committed every crime the Germans committed - except the Soviets killed by class instead of race. The Soviets also had the good sense to win. The reason the Nuremberg Trials became a legal farce is that the Russians sat on the bench instead of in the dock.


11 November 2013 at 12:54  
Blogger Patrick Cox said...


Your suggestion that I might not have heard of the Blitz, the Holocaust or seen Coventry was offensive, though I've no doubt you won't see it that way. Nor did I suggest that you can't comment because you haven't served, my comment in that regard was simply a matter of putting on record that I have served. And, in serving, I have taken the Oath to serve the Crown. That does not mean someone who hasn't can't comment either.

Yesterday I attended a service at the site of the former Synagogue in Wiesbaden, and heard the prayers in Hebrew and in German. I would suggest that unless you have lived in a totalitarian society you cannot even begin to imagine the fear of being betrayed is. A very small number of evil men and women can hold entire populations in thrall by such methods. Ask any Eastern European what it was like to live under the Soviets, or any East German what the Stasi were like and you get some idea of what it was like with the Gestapo and the Nazis. No one was immune, and no one was safe - even your child repeating an unfortunate nursery rhyme could get you hauled off to prison.

As Carl Jacobs has said, the only difference in the end was that the Russians sat on the Bench at Nuremburg and not in the dock. Among my many Polish friends, I find they are far more inclined to like the Germans and the work in Germany, or invite Germans to live and work in Poland, than they are likely to invite a Russian to do anything but leave.

Roy, if the accounts of the survivors of the "elite" Russian Corps' advance through Poland and Eastern Germany are to be believed, the reason their reputation is still 'good' is that they took care not to leave many survivors.

As I said above, for me, Remembrance is about remembering the victims on all sides, not celebrating a victory. Yes, we won, and I think I will agree to differ with Carl and Hannah - the carpet "strategic" bombing of cities was, according to Bomber Harris himself, intended to cow the civilian population and provoke fear and rebellion. It failed. Someone else mentioned Hamburg and Dresden as the "only" fire storms. There were many more, most not as big or as dramatic. The List is extensive, but it includes -

Mainz, (Wiesbaden, across the river escaped because the US Army had earmarked it as their HQ),
and several more.

Lübeck has the most interesting memorial I have yet come across. At the west end of the medieval brick Mariankirche, the crumpled and half melted remains of the great bells lie where they fell on the night the RAF visited the Medieval Old City with Incendiary and HE bombs. The ancient city burned like a torch and the fallen bells were left there after the war and the church's restoration as a memorial to the hundreds who died in the fire storm that night.

In a recent BBC report it was stated that "anti-semiticism is rising in Germany" - but it failed utterly to mention that it is Middle Eastern immigrants who are the biggest cause of this. I wonder why?

11 November 2013 at 13:56  
Blogger Wry Comment said...

Thank God for the likes of Phil Roberts and Patrick Cox, to set the record straight. I never had a doubt that the British and the Russians were equally as bad as the Germans; the wicked bombing campaign of Bomber Harris proves it and is on a par with the holocaust.

I am also glad people have mentioned Russia. As has been demonstrated here, the Soviets of course were savage-slavic Jews, who clearly deserved what they got when the entirely peace loving Third Reich ordered the tanks into that country and started slaughtering everything that they came into contact, with the neat trick of getting the blighters to dig their own graves first! (a year or so after a non-aggression treaty).

Let's hear no more from Jacobs and Hannah, about how wicked the Nazis were. They were just the victims of circumstance like everyone else, the average german was merely defending his harth and home (which just happened to be most of europe at the time) from bolsheviks and jews. Can't see the fuss myself. Hitler never wanted war with the UK, admired the British Empire. It was the warmonger Churchill who made the war go on; that is why the Germans had to unfortunately bomb coventry, which is in a different league to the mass slaughter of British bombs on German cities!

To suggest anything else is warmongering jingoism and as Phil Roberts said 'casting the first stone'. Which we as Christians should never do; how can we judge the Nazis as wicked when that would be casting the first stone?

11 November 2013 at 14:29  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

There are differing forms of judgement that are necessary. To those suggesting all judgement is evil may I ask them to unravel the word judgement a bit.

For none of us want the truly dangerous roaming the street, and we are happy to make those distinctions and fools not to. In which case it is not only foolish but deeply wicked and irresponsible to make no distinction between an axe murderer and a quietly living citizen.

Yet for those who attempt to live by the Law of God and live a good life which will get them to Heaven, it is no more possible without repentance and grace than it is for the axe murderer, and in such a way we are fellow fallers short so should not become sanctimonious and proud and make ultimate judgements that belong to God.

This is I believe a fair summary of mainstream orthodox Christian teaching on making judgements. I see no suggestion that Jesus wants us to go round insulting people by telling them they are no better than drug dealers, paederasts, serial murderers, arch fraudsters arms dealers, and psycopaths, even partly because it is so darned useless in making a better world!!

Of course all war is ghastly, and the carpet bombing of Dresden, the rape and pillage of Russian and other soldiers is ghastly, as was the bombing of the East End, and of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and...and..and.

Undoubtedly however those states that pushed totalitarianism were the worst just because of the bossiness, infringement of liberty and inhumanity of the system. Jews, gypsies, the disabled, some homosexuals and large numbers of deaf and blind people were killed in the gas chambers. Let us not forget the horrors of eugenic selection- nor repeat them ourselves in different format.

11 November 2013 at 14:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

Yes. Well.

Instead of wasting oxygen re-fighting the World Wars of the past, present Britons would do well to set themselves against the insidious, subversive, totalitarianism of the euSSR,* which presently imprisons us, entangling Britain in its ring of barbed wire.

The danger is both clear and present. Those who today disrupt the tribute to our Dead Defenders align themselves not only with the invaders, but with burners of the Union Flag and poppy burners; and they continue to give away what is left of Britain. They oppose our liberties and sovereignty.

The enemy is now embedded within our non-ranks.

*This, btw. is not without German roots - and franco-german ones).

11 November 2013 at 16:28  
Blogger Wry Comment said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 November 2013 at 17:08  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Patrick Cox

I must admit that my knowledge of Bomber Command operation is weak. My arguments principally focus on the efforts of the Eighth Air Force because that is what I know. They always had designated targets. That's why they flew in daylight. The massive destruction they inflicted was incidental to the purpose of the raid. However, I will say this.

In the Fall of 1940 when Britain stood alone - when the Luftwaffe was bombing British cities, and the U Boats were sinking everything they could find, and the German Army was victorious from one end of continental Europe to the other, Bomber Command was the only offensive option available to Great Britain. And area bombardment at night was the only effective operation it could mount. Morale is a strategic resource. For the sake of morale, it was important to hit back at the enemy. You couldn't just leave the population to absorb the constant barrage of bad news. They had to see the enemy on the wrong end of the whip somewhere.

It is easy to ponder the possibility of restraint from the vantage point of 70 years. We have the luxury of assuming the war would have been won in any case. But of course we don't actually know that. And the people who were prosecuting the war in 1940 didn't certainly didn't know what the outcome of the war would be. They made their choices based upon the cards they held. And Britain didn't hold many trump cards in the Fall of 1940.

The reality of war is that nations will expand the boundaries of allowable action in proportion to the perceived risk of defeat. You don't get any points for losing nobly. No one would remember the German civilians spared so that British civilians could be herded into cattle cars. I personally cannot imagine any action that would have been worse than allowing Hitler's army to win. If that meant burning out German cities, then so be it. If that meant burning out every German city, then so be it. You do what you have to do.

Above all else victory had to be achieved. People today may judge from the position of safety that was purchased for them by those with the courage to act. They argue that it would have been better to lose than do X. But it's an abstract argument that is quietly founded upon the reality of victory. They will never have to face the implications of their positon. I do not understand the logic. I would never willingly submit my population to the depredations of Hitler for the sake of some abstract principle whose primary beneficiary is the enemy population. The whole of Germany would die first.

Better a dead Germany than a dead Britain.


11 November 2013 at 18:19  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack is not sure about these comments made by Carl. "You don't get any points for losing nobly" and "Above all else victory had to be achieved". Does Carl believe there are no moral or civil laws covering war? This sounds like he think we can do anything we want to win a war and that there is no good or bad except winning.

Happy Jack thinks that without military objectives there is no difference between the mass bombings of German cities to demoralise civilians and the mass murders at Oradour-sur-Glane.

11 November 2013 at 19:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

There are individuals on this site who do not appreciate a known truth about WW2.

The British were prepared to fight the war WITHOUT bombing civilians. It’s damn true. When Goring switched the bombing from airfields to the London docks, and stray bombs devastated the East End, did Goring issue an apology ?

And so, not long afterwards, the first British bombs fell on Berlin. A light raid it was.

One wonders what if Goring HAD issued that apology. Would the British have continued observing ‘the rules’. Well, yes, they would have...

11 November 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack is not a student of world war two. From what he has read, Britain and Germany agreed not to bomb civilian property outside combat zones so long as Germany didn't. Britain abandoned this in May 1940when the Germans bombed Rotterdam. The RAF then attacked targets in the Ruhr like oil plants and industrial targets that aided the German war effort. This seems acceptable to Happy Jack. The first raid on Berlin in August 1940 bombed an airport in Berlin. The damage was slight but enraged Hitler and made him order the Luftwaffe to target British cities instead of airfields and air defences. Some think this saved Britain from defeat. Again, bombing a target to undermine the war effort of Germany and not just to kill civilians seems acceptable to Happy Jack.

What Happy Jack is saying is that it is wrong to just bomb cities and kill civilians without there being a military objective or target in mind, just to demoralise the population. Jack hopes you agree.

11 November 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jack, you’ve rather missed the point. The British strategy hinged on terror air attacks on BRITISH towns, not continental.

And no, one does not agree with your final sentiment. There are no rules in war, you do what must be done, what can be done. To suggest otherwise is to turn the vileness of war into some kind of gentleman's game to be entered in on occasion. You’ll find that is the right attitude this man has. It was the British position during the Cold War. To wit, Mutually Assured Destruction...

11 November 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, if you've made up your mind then Happy Jack and you have nothing to discuss. Jack believes war should be conducted with a sense of honour and its vileness constrained by rules of proper conduct that protects civilians and combatants from its excesses. .

'Mutually Assured Destruction' is different because it does not involve decisions about individual targets and objectives. It is a strategy where a full-scale use of weapons of mass destruction cause the annihilation of both sides. It is based on deterrence where the threat of using such weapons against the enemy prevents the enemy's using those weapons. If it works, and it has so far, fine. If not, "Goodbye Vienna".

11 November 2013 at 21:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Happy Jack

That's fine, Jack. But just say it out loud. "I would rather that Britain had lost and Europe had been thrown into a thousand years of darkness if victory meant violating the rules of war."

The only way you would say that and mean it is if you never actually expected to have to live with that statement. I say out loud what people think but refuse to say.

The reality is simple. Given a choice between rules of war and national survival, a nation will choose national survival. Every time. The rules will be followed only so far. They won't be followed to the point of national destruction. So you can say "Britain should not have area-bombed German cities in 1940." So what else could it have done to take he war to Germany? Or should Britain have simply sat there to be pummeled until its population gave up on the hope of victory?


11 November 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack believes in God and says he believes that evil has a way of defeating itself.

When Germany broke the agreement it made through America to avoid bombing industrial areas where people lived and started bombing industrial centres, they lost the opportunity to cripple Britain's air force. If they'd continued bombing airfields Britain would have lost the Battle of Britain and been invaded.

Happy Jack sees nothing wrong in bombing industrial centres that produce the means of war or strategic targets in cities if this is necessary to avoid defeat or hasten victory. To simply bomb for the purposes of terror and kill civilians is wrong. Happy Jack does not know for sure if Britain did this. He hopes not.

And yes, Happy Jack hopes he would be brave enough to die doing the right thing rather than fighting evil with equal or greater measures of evil. That is not God's way.

11 November 2013 at 23:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

An afterthought to the Inspector’s earlier post on the targeted bombing of civilians in English towns...

“Being a NAZI means you never have to say you are sorry”

11 November 2013 at 23:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Happy Jack

But you aren't making the decision to die doing the right thing only for yourself. You are making it for millions of other people as well. Don't you comprehend the difference?


11 November 2013 at 23:39  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Cox, Remembrance Day is for commemorating Allied servicemen and at most, those who fought in various resistance movements. Shoehorning the fate of Axis civilians and speculating about motives for and the effectiveness of bombing campaigns...on this very day... insults the fallen and the survivors.

Your hypothesis about unfortunate populations living under terror is entirely unrealistic. There never has been a time when a tiny minority could control an uncooperative majority. The historical record is ample and clear enough about the wild popularity Nazism enjoyed and about the ebullient support it received from all sectors of society. Germany was cool, Germany was in, Germany was the wave of the future and Germany was going to bring down the stale Old Order, clean out genetic and racial misfits and defeat the Bolsheviks, after which, the world was its oyster. At the start, the War brought record levels of employment, urbanization and modernization, travel, automobiles, motorcycles and all sorts of luxuries. The population adored Hitler and was deeply loyal to their new Germany. One doesn't get cheering crowds lining the streets twenty-deep by getting them out of their beds and dragging them out at the point of a gun. Likewise, the majorities among Germany's allies went along with gusto. The massacres and then the collection and transport of millions of Jews and Gypsies from thousands of cities, towns, ghettoes, suburbs and villages all over Europe would not have been remotely doable without the eager, enthusiastic assistance of entire societies.

Living as a decorated partisan in an Axis country, my paternal grandfather told us quite a bit about what things were like. When the Americans began bombing our factories in our cities, my family lost a number of people. Never, ever, did I hear my grandfather, nor my mother who lost a brother and a sister in law, fault the Americans for this. As he said, it was the incessant bombing raids, with the terror of the wailing sirens, the whistling bombs, the rubble, stench of death and misery which disrupted the happy daydreams of a glorious future the majority entertained and got them to visualize, taste and smell defeat and to worry about their own skins. The collaborating government and the hostile and indifferent population of my country felt the fear only after the bombs started to fall and the Wehrmacht began to evacuate to easier pastures. The bombs "brought the war home," as they say and the fickle people quickly smartened-up and stopped the transfer of Jews to Poland shortly before it was to take place. It was days after losing a close friend to American bombs, that my grandfather's partisan unit organized an escape for an American airman from a downed Liberator. My grandfather and other partisans protected the man, fed him, befriended him and safely transferred him across the country to Tito's units who eventually got him to the Americans. Like my grandfather, I regret the loss of some of my relatives and yet I bless the British and American bomber airmen and their commanders, for without their intelligence, courage and sacrifice, without hard and harsh decisions by the Allied commands, this World would have been a horror and I certainly would not be around to complain about it.

12 November 2013 at 00:10  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack understands what he is saying. Do you?

12 November 2013 at 00:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Yes, Happy Jack. I understand exactly what I am saying. I am saying that I would choose burning 10,000,000 Germans to death in bomb-induced firestorms rather than accept a million dead Brits by the hands of their new Nazi overlords. And I would choose that outcome every time.

Every. Single. Time.


12 November 2013 at 00:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Then Carl if by that you mean by any method, good or evil, just so long as it succeeds, Happy Jack says that you and he have a different view on what God expects from individuals and from nations.

12 November 2013 at 00:45  
Blogger Len said...

Having briefly looked through the posts here the main point seems to be 'innocent civilians' caught up in wars.
Many unpleasant decisions are taken in wars particularly World war 2.
What seems to illustrate this to me is when a ship was sinking and the crew were in the water a passing ship could not stop to pick up the survivors because that would make it a target to get torpedoed itself.
World war 2 brought in the concept of 'total war'which I don`t think had ever happened before?.
I am not saying this is 'the right thing to do' only that it happened.

We are currently living in a period of God`s Grace but there will come a time when God wages 'total war' on sin and this will include those who have repeatedly rejected His offer of redemption through Jesus Christ.
NOW is the time to accept God`s offer through His Son Jesus Christ.

12 November 2013 at 11:22  
Blogger Hannah said...

Patrick Cox,

Except the fact and reality is that Germany, in ashes after WWII, is now the richest and most powerful country in Europe, to the extent that she can topple a few governments at will (Greece,Italy), dictate to the rest of Europe and think they can have a constant current account surplus thanks to the Euro or the usual, but this time without a war (so far).

When you've got it that good, have the leadership of a continent of 500,000,000 people at your feet (although only 80,000,000 could actually elected the ruler of Europe), why cry into your soup?

12 November 2013 at 11:43  
Blogger IanCad said...

Could I suggest to some here; paticularly to OIG, who used the upper case, not to use the abbreviation "Nazi," but to apply the full term - "Nationalzosialist."

It is misleading inasmuch it tends to blur the fact that Hitler was a man of the left.

A socialist. As in Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot and others of that persuasion who have little regard for the lives of any who oppose their diabolical creeds.

12 November 2013 at 13:43  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Ian Cad,

I do apologize for not using the correct lingual usage. So, I shall refer to the National Socialist German Worker's Party as :

#Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei#

Or to use my fellow Jew's Ashkenazi language of Yiddish :

#ess drek und shtarbn-Putz-Gai in drerde partei#

PS- anyone who likes #Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei# gets *two fingers* from me- murdering genocidal ...s- as transliterated in English- which is exactly what they were...

12 November 2013 at 17:08  
Blogger Hannah said...

Carl Jacobs,

I was just thinking about this desertion thing. Did you know that thousands of brave Irish soldiers quit the Irish army and served with the British to fight the 'Nationalzosialist', including one might add some of my Irish family, but were branded by the Quisiling type Irish government as 'traitors' (until recently):

12 November 2013 at 17:11  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Avi,

Thank you for your various posts, they are very moving as usual. When I was in Ottawa I did see the war memorial there and visited the Canadian War museum, you guys fought with us through thick and thin, through not one but TWO world wars, when it wasn't your war to begin with...

12 November 2013 at 17:21  
Blogger Hannah said...

OR technically 5 world wars, if we include the 'French and Indian wars', the wars with France 1790- 1815 and the Cold war...

12 November 2013 at 17:24  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


"So what else could it have done to take he war to Germany? Or should Britain have simply sat there to be pummeled until its population gave up on the hope of victory?"

There are loads of well documented alternatives that would have, albeit with the help of hindsight, have been more effective.

Killing civilians is always an option in war. We did not kill all the civilians in German towns and villages in 1944/45 to strike terror and perhaps hasten the surrender of others. We could have done, as the Germans did earlier, but we decided otherwise.

Correctly in my view


14 November 2013 at 18:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

You should enumerate these offensive options for taking the war to Germany sp we all might know what they are. I presume however that these options must be centered on Star Fleet since the three traditional branches had no options at all. The simple fact is that Britain did not possess the strength to defeat Germany by herself.

The basic difference between us is that you are asking "Who kills?" and I am asking "Who dies?" I am not willing to sacrifice very many of my own people on the altar of ethics. That's the underlying point. War is by definition a distorted moral environment. These easy assertions you make would have real collateral impacts on real people. And those people have much greater value to me than do enemy civilians.


15 November 2013 at 05:15  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


The good Samaritan is a useful parable because it highlights the goodness in everyone, even your enemy.

The Sinhalese are very pleased with their president because in order to win the war against the Tamils, he authorised the destruction and murder of Tamil civilians on a large scale. In so doing he minimised the casualties to his own side. No doubt the SS made the resistance in occupied countries think twice before murdering German soldiers by their actions. Neither actions are morally justified in my opinion, in any event.

The logical extension of what you say above is that it does not matter how many of the enemies non combatants die if one of your side is saved as a result.

The problem is that I like to believe that you really do have moral lines that you would not cross when it comes to war.

If someone like you doesn't have any moral lines at all Carl.

God help us.


15 November 2013 at 18:01  

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