Dienstag, 18. Mai 2010

Britain at War: Bomber Command's strategic bombing of Germany

Between the evacuation of the British Army from the beaches of Dunkirk on 3 June 1940 and its return to the beaches of Normandy four years and three days later, the only possible way that Britain could strike back at Nazi Germany in Western Europe was through her strategic bombing campaign.

After the Blitz, in which the Luftwaffe had killed over fifty thousand British civilians, questions about the morality of bombing Germany were put to one side, for armchair moralists to debate over once the war was won, and the freedom of speech necessary for any such debate had been saved.

To wage one global war of aggression in a generation might be as misfortune, but to unleash two on the world seemed to call for retribution against Germany, and the ideal vehicle to deliver this was RAF Bomber Command. Founded in 1936 with its headquarters in High Wycombe, the Command was organized into groups which controlled stations and units largely based on the eastern side of England. There were only 33 squadrons, comprising 480 aircraft, when war broke out in 1939, and for the first three years of the war the Command was hampered in its effectiveness by the Blenheim, Wellington, Whitley and Hampden bombers that it flew, increasingly at night and with unreliable navigational and radio equipment.

Everything changed in 1942, however, with the appointment as Air Officer Commander-in-Chief of Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, who can lay claim to being one of the principal architects of the Allied victory over Germany. Harris believed implicitly that Germany’s morale could be broken and its capacity for waging war wrecked by the systematic destruction of its industrial base, production facilities and city centres. It was a ruthless policy, but one that was called for in a Total War in which defeat meant utter subjugation.

From 1942 onwards, Bomber Command took possession of a new generation of four-engined heavy bombers such as the Stirling, Halifax and especially the Avro Lancaster, huge machines with far better navigational, radio and radar equipment, as well as much better bombing accuracy. From August 1942, elite crews were organized into the legendary Pathfinder Force which identified targets ahead of the main bombing forces. Harris’s other achievement was to introduce the massive 1000-bomber raids, the first of which struck Cologne on the night of 31 May 1943.

In May and June 1943, the saturation bombing of the Ruhr and Hamburg suddenly brought the average monthly growth in German armaments production – which had been 5.5 per cent since February 1942 – crashing down to an average of nil between May 1943 and February 1944. As a leading expert on the Nazi economy, Adam Tooze, records: ‘For six months in 1943 the disruption caused by British and American bombing halted Albert Speer’s armaments miracle in its tracks. The German home front was rocked by a serious crisis of morale. By July 1943 the war was obviously lost.’

Although production did rise again in 1944, by then the bombing campaign had forced the Germans to divert two-thirds of their fighters, one-third of their artillery and 20 per cent of all ammunition from the Eastern Front to the Reich, taking huge pressure off the hard-pressed Red Army. Both the Armaments minister Albert Speer and the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels acknowledged privately that the bombing campaign crippled Germany’s chances of fighting back. Around half a million Germans lost their lives as a result of the 955,044 tons of bombs that were dropped by the Allies during the war.

Yet the campaign – which was also carried out in large measure by the US Eighth Air Force – was very costly indeed in terms of Allied lives. A similar number of members of Bomber Command died during the Second World War – 55,000 - as infantry officers in the Great War, or Americans during Vietnam. Their bravery was exemplary; no fewer than twenty-three Victoria Crosses were awarded to bombers. Poles, Dutch, French and especially British Commonwealth pilots served with distinction and in large numbers, sometimes forming their own squadrons within the Command. The effect on home morale of the campaign was hugely important; after years of ‘taking it’, Britons saw and heard the vast bombing formations flying over to Germany to ‘give it back’.

As well as the high-profile actions such as the ‘Dambusters’’ Raid on the Mohne and Eder dams, the fire-bombing of Hamburg, the Ruhr Offensive of 1943-44 and the daylight precision raids against Normandy targets prior to D-Day, it is sometimes forgotten that Bomber Command also was responsible for 30 per cent of all enemy shipping sunk in European waters, through its mine-laying operations. The bravery of the men of Bomber Command – including this writer’s great-uncle who won the DFC and Bar – in facing German fighters and anti-aircraft fire night after night hundreds of miles over enemy territory simply cannot be over-estimated.

Yet instead of concentrating on the heroism of the men of Bomber Command, much attention since the war has been directed onto the (admittedly devastating) Dresden Raid of 13 February 1945, in which between 25,000 and 40,000 Germans lost their lives, a perfectly justifiable attack that has nonetheless been denounced as a war crime, along with much of Bomber Harris’s strategy for victory.

The order to RAF Bomber Command’s Five Group for its operations for Tuesday, 13 February 1945 could hardly have been starker: ‘To burn and destroy an enemy industrial centre.’ The target chosen was Germany’s seventh largest city, only a little smaller than Manchester. It was, as one report put it, ‘by far the largest un-bombed built-up area in Germany’. As well as being one of the largest garrison towns in Germany, the 1944 Handbook of the Wehrmacht Weapons Command states that Dresden contained 127 factories manufacturing military equipment, weapons and munitions, and that only related to the larger factories and not the smaller suppliers and workshops. There were also huge railway marshalling yards.

Dresden was not merely a city, but a work of art in itself, an architectural jewel whose aesthetic attractions had made it Saxony’s pride for nearly half a millennium. That long chapter of its history closed when a thousand-bomber raid created a firestorm that burned for forty-eight hours, consuming virtually the entire city centre. The before-and-after photographs taken of the Raid underline the appalling scale of the destruction. The writer Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden, and had to dig corpses out of the ruined city, in scenes that inspired his searing novel Slaughterhouse Five.

For all the undeniable horror of the bombing, however, Dresden was a legitimate military target whose destruction was justified in the context of the Total War that Hitler had unleashed. Furthermore, the high death toll was the result not of deliberate Allied policy so much as a number of accidental factors. ‘In practical terms,’ argues Frederick Taylor in his definitive account of the Raid, ‘Dresden was one heavy raid among a whole, deadly sequence of massive raids, but for various unpredictable reasons – wind, weather, lack of defences and above all shocking deficiencies in air raid protection for the general population – it suffered the worst.’ (When the Nazi gauleiter of Dresden, Martin Mutschmann, fell into Allied hands in 1945 he quickly confessed that ‘A shelter-building programme for the entire city was not carried out’, since ‘I kept hoping that nothing would happen to Dresden.’ He had, however, taken the precaution of having a shelter built for himself, his family and his senior officials.)

The respected German historian Gotz Bergander believes that whereas before Dresden the concept of accepting unconditional surrender was unthinkable to ordinary Germans, ‘The shock of Dresden contributed in a fundamental way to a change of heart.’ That change has been permanent; part of the reason that Germany is such a peace-loving country today – entirely shorn of the aggression that had led to five wars of expansion in the 75 years after 1864 – is because of what happened to her at the hands of the heroes of Bomber Command.

Have your say: Share your memories of this episode in Second World War history

Masters and Commanders: How Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Alanbrooke won the war in the West by Andrew Roberts is published by Allen Lane, RRP £25. Available from Telegraph Books for £23 + £1.25 p&p. Call 0870 428 4112 or go to books.telegraph.co.uk


Rule Britannia: Black Magick in Service to The Crown

by L.C. Vincent for henrymakow.com

It was perhaps the high point for Germany in World War II. France lay prostrate under the boot of the German war machine. The only thing that stood between England and Germany was the Royal Air Force. Or so it seemed.

We know what traditional history books tell us. The Royal Air Force withstood the repeated savagery of the German Luftwaffe and Hitler grew increasingly restive with the idea of an amphibious assault.

The reality, of course, is more complex. The British utilized the forces of occult technology--of Magick--and it would not be the first time the English Crown had availed itself of the power of its most infamous magicians.

The British Crown, the shareholders of the Bank of England, overlapping with the Illuminati, are Satanists. It stands to reason their Intelligence services would use witchcraft to further their ends. The Lion's share of the world's evil originates from this source.

In 1986, book called "Lammas Night", strictly fictional of course, suggested that a group of witches and warlocks had gathered at sacred sites during England's most desperate hours to perform ceremonial magick, with the object of keeping Hitler from invading England by filling his head with confusion and trepidation over the amphibious assault known as "Operation Sea Lion."

Many people have congratulated the author, Katherine Kurtz, on her realistic portrayal of this "fictional" event. She was applauded for creating vibrant and finely drawn characters. The reason this "fictional" event had such a ring of truth is because such ceremonies actually did occur throughout England.

According to author Gerald Suster, in his book "Hitler: The Occult Messiah", quoting English magician Gerald Gardner, "Witches cast spells to stop Hitler from landing after France fell. They met, raised the great cone of power, and directed the thought at Hitler's brain: 'You cannot cross the sea. You cannot cross the sea. Not able to come. Not able to come.' ... I am not saying they stopped Hitler. All I say is that I saw a very interesting ceremony performed with the intention of putting a certain idea into his mind and this was repeated several time afterward; and though all the invasion barges were ready, the fact was that Hitler never even tried to come."

Gardner may have been referring to the work of Dion Fortune, author of the book "The Magical Battle of Britain." Fortune was the head of the Society of The Inner Light. When Germany invaded and defeated Poland in a matter of days, Fortune, according to a review of this book, "... initiated a series of magical programmes designed to thwart the expansionist intentions of the Third Reich."


This was not the first time England used applied magick to turn the tides of history. Perhaps the first recorded event is when England faced the Great Spanish Armada in 1588.

In 1579, King Philip II of Spain, at the urging of the Vatican, prepared to invade England. Unbeknownst to Philip II, however, The Queen of England, Elizabeth I, had employed two occult technicians (magicians) to continue and expand England's reign on the high seas. These two magicians were Sir Edward Kelly and Dr. John Dee.

With the blessings and the facilities of the English Crown, Kelly and Dee performed numerous magickal workings, called skryings, which allowed Dee and Kelly direct communication with angelic beings. This process of drawing magickal sigils and talismans was accomplished by using a "shewstone." Through this stone, said to have been given to Dr. Dee by the angel Uriel, John Dee was able to construct an angelic language with its own alphabet, which he called Enochian. Through using this angelic symbolic language, Dee and Kelly, according to legend, were able to construct and consecrate talismans specifically designed to create a mighty storm to blast and sink the Spanish Armada, and scatter it into disarray.

Indeed, a mighty storm did sink or damage a large portion of the Spanish Armada before the remainder made its way back to Spain. But what most historians and students of history do not know was that there were actually THREE attempts by Spain's Armada to engage the English Navy and invade England, and each time, a huge storm unexpectedly arose, sank and scattered a significant number of the invading Spanish fleet.

Rumors persist that Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelly applied their Enochian ceremonial magick, and each time the forces of Nature arose at their command to save England from certain defeat.

Dr. Dee and Sir Edward Kelly traveled extensively for the crown, and Dr. Dee reported to Sir Francis Walsingham, Spymaster to Elizabeth the First. Dee was also reputedly the original double O Seven (007), as Dee signed his reports to Walsingham with two circles, representing eyes, above which he drew the mathematical sign of the square root, which appeared to be the number 7, or together, 007! Yet there is even more to this story, for Aleister Crowley claimed, according to John Symmonds in his book, "The Great Beast", that one of Crowley's past incarnations was Sir Edward Kelley, the skryer of the "shew stone" who helped Dr. Dee formulate the powerful Enochian magickal language.


Approximately four hundred years later, Ian Fleming, future author of James Bond (007) who was in the employee of British Intelligence at the time, and Aleister Crowley were summoned by Winston Churchill to formulate a magickal strategy against Hitler and Germany. According to a March 4, 2008 article in the British newspaper, "The Telegraph", Crowley decided to construct an occult ceremonial ritual in the Ashdown forests. This necessitated clearing a circle along with a path of trees leading to the circle. Ritual ceremonies were conducted designed to lure Rudolph Hess to England by leaking word of these ceremonies to the Romanian Embassy, and thence to Germany.

The purpose of these ceremonies were designed to convince Hess that there was a genuine Peace Party in Britain, led by the Duke of Hamilton, reputed leader of the Cliveden Set, a loose assemblage of upper class nobility supposedly sympathetic to an alliance between England and Germany. It was into this strange milieu that Hess launched his solo peace mission. The result of this subterfuge was that England was able to flush out her Nazi sympathizers and neutralize them, while parading a captured Hess, the Number Two man of the Nazi Machine, as a military captive. According to the article: "The propitiousness of the 11th of May as a day for Hess to travel was carefully rehearsed into the rituals and Crowley made a genuine attempt to use them to ensnare their quarry by magic."

Apparently, the was not the first time that Aleister Crowley had been asked to contribute his unique talents to the English war effort. According to author Gerald Suster, in his book, "The Legacy of the Beast", Crowley was invited to meet the director of British Naval Intelligence at the very beginning of WWII. Suster states: "Crowley claimed that he advocated the use of two magickal signs which were to boost British morale and which were frequently used by Winston Churchill: the 'V' sign, which in magickal terms is the counter to the Swastika, and the 'Thumbs Up', the sign of the phallus and Victory, which was published in a pamphlet of Crowley poetry during the most desperate days of 1940 and whose use spread throughout the Nation."

Crafting these magickal signs for the masses to be used against Hitler and the Third Reich may not have been Crowley's only contributions to England's WWII war effort, as British Intelligence may also have used Crowley as Churchill's double on more than one occasion. In "The Legacy of the Beast" opposite page 131, is a photograph of Crowley impersonating Winston Churchill. The resemblance is extraordinary.


Yet for all his theatrics, without a doubt Aleister Crowley's greatest war time service to The English Crown occurred during World War I. Crowley was in New York, America had not yet entered the war, and the war was not going well for England and her allies. Various subterfuges had been tried and failed to lure America into the conflict.

Crowley decided to become a contributor to the English language German newspaper based in New York, called "The Fatherland" after convincing its editor, George Sylvester Viereck, that he (Crowley) was actually Irish and therefore a foe of England and friend of Germany.

Writing under various pen names, Crowley wrote the article that may have actually resulted in the sinking of the British passenger liner, 'The Lusitania' by a German submarine, when he promoted, in the most extreme and hyperbolic ravings, his case for Germany to conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. In the book, "The Legend of Aleister Crowley" by P. R. Stephenson and Israel Regardie, they quote Crowley as stating: " I advocated.... 'Unrestricted Submarine Warfare,' secretly calculating (rightly so, as time showed) that so outrageous a violation of all law and human decency would be the LAST STRAW and force America to come in on our side."

There was no doubt in Crowley's mind that his writing had been the deciding factor. He had written an earlier article in "The Fatherland" called "The Future of the Submarine" which described this new underwater warship as the future of ocean warfare. Now, his article entitled "Unrestricted Submarine Warfare" advocating the unrestrained use of such underwater warships, had been published in "The Fatherland" and undoubtedly read in Germany. As Crowley wrote in his autobiography, "The Confessions of Aleister Crowley" upon meeting secretly with a member of the British Embassy in New York, he waved a copy of the article and eagerly proclaimed: "The damned fools have printed it; and it's going to turn the trick."

On May 7, 1915, The Lusitania was struck by one torpedo from the German submarine U-20, and sank in 18 minutes, taking 1,198 of the 1,959 lives aboard with her. Her sinking caused an international furor, and because of the substantial loss of American lives, played a pivotal role in the entry of the United States on the side of England and her allies.

As a Satanist, the loss of life as a result of this act was of no consequence to Crowley, who had so passionately advocated and now celebrated the result of his magickal Will upon the Earth.

The irony, of course, is that "The Great Beast" may very well have succeeded in convincing the German Navy, with his printed tirade advocating Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, to commit the very act which would seal the fate of the German Nation and lead it to defeat in World War I.

Aleister Crowley's monicker for Great Britain was "perfidious Albion." It refers to the fact, according to Crowley, that the most common characteristic of the English upper class is betrayal, "double-dealing" and hypocrisy. By this standard, what "the Crown" did to Germany would be par for their course of conduct. They are Satanists, after all.

L C Vincent