Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Dugald » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:17 pm

Socceroo, the information you posted about some of the hardware items available from the Luftwaffe's arsenal is very interesting, and while it certainly belongs in the Bombs over Glasgow thread, I don't believe it is relevant to the topic currently under discussion. I mean, with or without these weapons, the Luftwaffe's attacks on Glasgow could be indiscriminate and wanton or not indiscriminate and wanton. You believe they were indiscriminate and wanton; I believe they weren't indiscriminate and wanton. Ferocious weapons in themselves do not imply something indiscriminate and wanton. Knowledge of the existence of these weapons resolves nothing.

Certainly there was a measure of brutality inherent in the Clydeside bombing, but again this could have been part of the planned attack and therefore, neither indiscriminate nor wanton. This is suggested in fact by your own information regarding the purpose behind the incendiary bombs (forcing population to take cover was "...not a benevolent act')... brutal, callous, perhaps, but according to your information, part of the plan...not indiscriminate.

"For me if you drop a 1000kg Luftmine on a Parachute over a City in the hope as much as the expectation that it hits its target, then that is fairly indiscriminate".

By March 1941 the Luftwaffe would have been fairly well aware of the level of accuracy of their weapons, and any which were dropped on Glasgow were dropped, with a fair knowledge of their behavioral patterns, in the minds of those who planned the attack. (An Aside: Sometime, not now, I'd like to find out a bit more about being killed by blast at a distance of 500m from the point of impact of a 1000kg Luftmine... especially as it related to the death of the three French sailors).

No Socceroo, your description of Luftwaffe weapons is not relevant. I do not think the Luftwaffe left very much to haphazardness when they attacked the Upper Clyde area.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Dugald » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:43 pm

HollowHorn wrote:
And with all of the above, they still missed most of their industrial targets in Clydebank. We'll just put it down to pilot error. ::):


HH, the fact that among my examples regarding the accuracy of the Luftwaffe's bombing I did not include the effect of bombing civilians, is not to suggest that creating havoc among the civilian population was not a part of the Luftwaffe's planned modus operandi. Anyone who walked through the acres and acres of devastated housing in Clydebank could see at a glance how this could affect the production in, for example, the nearby John Brown's yard. If I recall correctly, one of the pre-war Luftwaffe pictures appeared to have been the "background" area to the Browns' Yard... this "background" area is clearly that of residential dwellings, and any damage there could result in damage to "...one of the top strategic military-industrial complexes of the world..." (not my words).

Oh yes, hitting Beardsmore's rather than Browns' Yard could of course have been, as you so helpfully suggest, the result of pilot error. Aha.what's this you say. pilot "error"... hmmmmm, would we describe that as something indiscriminate or something wanton?
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Socceroo » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:46 pm

Dugald wrote:Socceroo, the information you posted about some of the hardware items available from the Luftwaffe's arsenal is very interesting, and while it certainly belongs in the Bombs over Glasgow thread, I don't believe it is relevant to the topic currently under discussion. I mean, with or without these weapons, the Luftwaffe's attacks on Glasgow could be indiscriminate and wanton or not indiscriminate and wanton. You believe they were indiscriminate and wanton; I believe they weren't indiscriminate and wanton..............


Whoaaaa lost me here. Who decides what the topic is here Dugald? You? You really are clutching at straws here and trying to hold on by the fingernails to an argument on a finite point that is of no real interest to anyone really (i assume) other than perhaps yourself.

I really do not know what your problem is with me - what you think my politics are perhaps? You take particular points out of my posts and apply them out of context. Bet you hate losing at Scrabble. :P

I have already stated on this thread that the Luftwaffe was organised, Christ* a thirteen year old Schoolchild knows that from their school history lessons on the Third Reich. They spent most the 1930's building up the largest military Air Force that the world had seen. I have stated more than once that they used Radio Beams etc and that they had a Incendiary Bomb strategy, so yes that is planned and that is not indiscriminate.

Do you think for a minute that i thought it went something like this :

Heinrich : "Franz what are you doing tonight? Do you fancy a wee sortie down the Clyde to bomb some Jocks?"

Franz : "Okay Heinrich, i'll phone up the other boys and see if they fancy it as well, and we'll get a team up. What do fancy tonight Heinkels or Dorniers?"

Yes the Bombing was planned, the point i am making is that it was not as precise as you stated previously (no doubt you will come back with a twelve paragraph defence) and that the effects of the bombing was indiscriminate.

Now i have conceded (although i already knew this and did not think to the contrary) that the bombing was planned. Can you concede that the net effects of getting a 1000kg Luftmine landing in someones back garden in Hyndland is pretty indiscriminate (in the non selective sense) and we can all move on before we bore everyone to death.

*Note the indiscriminate use of a religious figures name thereby giving you the option of leaving the thread for no good apparent reason.
Last edited by Socceroo on Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Dugald » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:18 pm

Socceroo said:

"...and we can all move on before we bore everyone to death."

Socceroo, if we bore anyone to death, it's a death self-inflicted.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Roxburgh » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:23 pm

I agree with Escotregen. Pilot error insofar as they lacked the technical means to ensure reasonable accuracy in the bombing. Indeed, accurate bombing only really became available with "smart" bombs which had some form of guidance. The RAF used laser guidance in the latter stages of the Falklands war but, in wars prior to that, bombing was very much hit or miss.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Roxburgh » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:29 pm

Socceroo wrote:Now i have conceded (although i already knew this and did not think to the contrary) that the bombing was planned. Can you concede that the net effects of getting a 1000kg Luftmine landing in someones back garden in Hyndland is pretty indiscriminate (in the non selective sense) and we can all move on before we bore everyone to death.


It was a Luftmine that landed 100 yards from my mother's home in the leafy Manchester suburb of Northenden. Luckily for her - and me - it failed to explode (I wonder how many did not explode?). They were probably aiming for nearby Ringway airport but were out by around three miles. Had it exploded she would have become what the Americans deliciously call "collateral damage" due to the lack of accuracy prevalent at the time.

It was perhaps indiscriminate in its effects but only insofar as they were generally unable to hit the intended target except by accident.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Socceroo » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:38 pm

A very lucky escape Roxburgh. I have a photograph of a reinforced concrete factory building down South which took a hit plumb on it with a Luftmine. A huge building stripped back to it's concrete frame.

A large number of the fatalities (perhaps the majority) in the Glasgow Air Raids were caused by Luftmines. The largest loss of life in the Clydebank Raids in a single incident was when a Luftmine landed on Second Avenue and ripped apart over 150m of Tenements.

And Dugald is of course correct in that the houses in Clydebank, those of the Shipyard workers were targeted in an attempt to disable the effectiveness of the production of these facilities.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby HollowHorn » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:03 pm

Hmmmmm, Dugald, would you be so kind as to point me in the direction of the keyboard buttin that make some words go all funny? ::):

Seriously though, this is the first time that I have heard that the bombing of the residential areas of Clydebank was deliberately calculated with the intent to kill off the employees of the shipbuilding & armaments factories. I really shoud read more on the subject. In fact, this thread is getting so interesting that I may well go back to page 1 and read it all again. At the very least it may start me on a quest to seek out all the bits that we have missed.

Excellenty.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Dugald » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:02 am

Roxburgh wrote:I agree with Escotregen. Pilot error insofar as they lacked the technical means to ensure reasonable accuracy in the bombing. Indeed, accurate bombing only really became available with "smart" bombs which had some form of guidance. The RAF used laser guidance in the latter stages of the Falklands war but, in wars prior to that, bombing was very much hit or miss.


Roxburgh, might I respectfully remind you that the British transport ship , the Lancastria was sunk by bombs in 1940, by Junkers 88 aircraft, long before the Germans had started to use guided bombs. There are quite a number of examples of ships being sunk by bombing, not to mention the British bombing of two dams in Germany (by bombs that were not electronically guided).
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Peekay » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:12 am

Dugald wrote:Your excellent post here Roxburgh, clarifies clearly what I was trying to say to HH. The "great armada" style of bombing never really did hit the Clydeside just as hard as we perhaps, had expected. Oh yes, Clydebank did, sadly, get hit hard, but even this was hardly a patch on what the likes of Hamburg and Dresden suffered, in what I'd describe as "great armada style of bombing". !


The planes that hit Scotland flew from Norway and Holland. They would use the East Clyde as a guide to the yards then use either Loch Lomond or Katrine as their waypoints to turn North and East back over the North Sea. That's why wee villages in that neck of the woods often have "the day we were bombed" stories....the Germans would try and dump any leftovers in the Lochs with them sometimes 'missing'. Anyhoo, the reason Clydebank didn't get hit as hard as London or Coventry is the big luftwaffe squadrons were all in N. France or Germany and didn't have the range to get to the Clydeside. Oban was bounced by Heinkels on a few occasions as well for the convoy holding area in Ardmucknish Bay.

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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Dugald » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:47 am

HollowHorn wrote:Seriously though, this is the first time that I have heard that the bombing of the residential areas of Clydebank was deliberately calculated with the intent to kill off the employees of the shipbuilding & armaments factories. I really shoud read more on the subject. In fact, this thread is getting so interesting that I may well go back to page 1 and read it all again. At the very least it may start me on a quest to seek out all the bits that we have missed.


I don't wish to mislead you HH. In my last post addressed to you, my comments about the residential area bombing is not meant to suggest the Luftwaffe flew all the way to Clydeside to bomb the residential area above Browns' yard. No, I don't think this is what happened. The damage done to the residential area was not exactly what one today would call "collateral" damage; no, I'd call it rather Plan II as opposed to Plan I. (No, I don't know what Plan I or Plan II was).

The essential idea in this discussion is that the bombing of the residential area in Clydebank was not indiscriminate and wanton bombing. To my way of thinking, there is a helluva difference between saying "The Luftwaffe bombed Clydebank indiscriminately and wantonly", as opposed to simply saying " The Luftwaffe bombed Clydebank". The first suggests a level of barbarism, the second suggests an act of war... a big, big difference, especially to your European brethren, the Germans.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby escotregen » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:48 pm

Peekay, I think we could debate a couple of aspects of when you say:

Anyhoo, the reason Clydebank didn't get hit as hard as London or Coventry is the big luftwaffe squadrons were all in N. France or Germany and didn't have the range to get to the Clydeside. Oban was bounced by Heinkels on a few occasions as well for the convoy holding area in Ardmucknish Bay.


Clydebank, and as we have been finding out in this thread, Glasgow’s western side, was ‘hit as hard as London or Coventry’ if you look at the intensity of damage and loss of life over a given area over a given period. Indeed part of the tragedy of the Clydebank and Glasgow experience is that the intensity of the loss and suffering inflicted on a relatively small region was always under-recognised and under-played by a London-based Government.

In terms of sustained attacks over a wide range of targets, London was of course the prime target. But that was nothing to do with the range of Luftwaffe bombers – as the Clydebank and Glasgow experience demonstrated, they could easily raid this far north and west.

That London got the most sustained attacks over time was partly political - to hit at the capital London and thereby British morale i.e. wanton and indiscriminate attacks affecting civilian and military targets equally (that some folks don’t seem to think the Luftwaffe capable of :wink: ). It was partly tactical inthat London offered by far the greatest number of military-industrial targets for the square mileage. But a major factor was a strategic one and that, as I have said before, the Luftwaffe never developed a heavy bomber. Consequently, to achieve anything like near saturation area bombing they had to mass all their available bombers on specific locations and London offered the best such location.

Dugal, I have to say that my earlier suggestion that you and I just accept that we have very different perspectives on all this, also might apply between yourself and others here :) . I just don't think you want accept anything other than your own versions - no matter what evidence is put in front of you... fair enough but that's not really in the spirit of what we are seeking in this thread. For example, your dismissing the material evidence that others post, and then your citing attacks by specific plane types on single ships at sea - completely unrelated to any context of or relevance to systems and methods of mass bombing of urban areas (after you dismissed others postings as Irrelevant :? ).

What the Luftwaffe did was 'wanton and indiscriminate' in its intended effects regardless of its intended prime targets. They well knew that collateral damage and civilian loss of life would be an inescapable and direct consequence of what they intended to do. A reasonable person would reasonably surmise that the Luftwaffe would have not only knew this but capitalised on it - after all this was the same air force that exploited the civilian terror consequences of its intended actions in the Fall of France... and of course Guernica.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Socceroo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:58 pm

Dugald wrote:The essential idea in this discussion is that the bombing of the residential area in Clydebank was not indiscriminate and wanton bombing. To my way of thinking, there is a helluva difference between saying "The Luftwaffe bombed Clydebank indiscriminately and wantonly", as opposed to simply saying " The Luftwaffe bombed Clydebank". The first suggests a level of barbarism, the second suggests an act of war... a big, big difference, especially to your European brethren, the Germans.


Dugald, our modern day "European bretheren, the Germans" as you refer to them, were not responsible for the bombing of the Clydeside. The Nazi German war machine was. That is a big, big difference.

Also what i said with regards to the indiscriminate aspect of the bombing was :

"Every day tens of thousands of Glaswegians and visitors walk or drive past areas of Glasgow totally oblivious to the death and destruction that occurred in the early 1940's. Oblivious to that worst kind of demonstration of mans inhumanity to man which occurred, that of dropping HE bombs indiscriminately on a civilian population from the skies."

No mention of Clydebank there Donald, more of a reference to mans inhumanity to man and lessons be learned etc. So please stop taking it out of context.

And what's it to be Donald :

(a) The Luftwaffe was really well planned and accurate - after all they dropped a Luftmine some 40 yards outside Stephen's Shipyard gates.

(b) Random bombing of a residential area was perhaps due to Aircrew jettisoning surplus bombs (i'd call that indiscriminate)

(c) The bombing of the Houses in Clydebank was planned as a measure to disable the output capacity of the Shipyards.

You have argued all three options in your posts over the last few days. I'd agree with (b) and (c) as i have read of such accounts.

There is a real danger in some of your assumptive posts that you are trying to rewrite history in some sort of way so that it all sits neatly in your mind.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Dugald » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:29 pm

Socceroo, you say:

(1) "Dugald, our modern day "European bretheren, the Germans" as you refer to them, were not responsible for the bombing of the Clydeside. The Nazi German war machine was. That is a big, big difference".

My answer to HH, which you make use of here, was nothing more than an explanation to HH, of my reason for objecting to the use of "indiscriminate " and "wanton". Of course the modern day European brethren, the Germans, were not responsible for what the Luftwaffe did, but as Germans, they can object to the use of "indiscriminate " and "wanton". Over and above this, many ex-Luftwaffe personnel who took part in the bombing might well object to the implications in the use of "indiscriminate " and "wanton" in describing their raids on Clydeside.

(2) "Every day tens of thousands of Glaswegians and visitors walk or drive past areas of Glasgow totally oblivious to the death and destruction that occurred in the early 1940's. Oblivious to that worst kind of demonstration of mans inhumanity to man which occurred, that of dropping HE bombs indiscriminately on a civilian population from the skies."
No mention of Clydebank there Donald, more of a reference to mans inhumanity to man and lessons be learned etc. So please stop taking it out of context
."

I am unaware of having made any comment on your "tens of thousands" paragraph above. I'd be obliged if you'd direct me to where I specifically commented on this paragraph... especially the part you accuse me of taking out of context.

(3) 'And what's it to be Donald :'

"(a) The Luftwaffe was really well planned and accurate - after all they dropped a Luftmine some 40 yards outside Stephen's Shipyard gates."

I did not say this. I said, "I don't think for example, the placing of an explosive device about 40 yards from the Stephens' shipyard, or a direct hit on the Harlands' Yard, or a direct hit on the Beardsmore yard, were the result of indiscriminate bombing. I feel rather, that these air-raids were well-planned, and coordinated,..."

I did not say 'The Luftwaffe was really well planned and accurate...'. I suspect you made a typo here. Also, "Luftmine" is a word I don't recall using under this topic.

(4) (b) Random bombing of a residential area was perhaps due to Aircrew jettisoning surplus bombs (i'd call that indiscriminate)

Again, I did not say this. Regarding the jettisoning of bombs ( the word 'surplus' is yours... the jettisoning of bombs were generally entire bomb loads, not 'surplus' bombs), I said: "these [jettisoning] happened for a variety of reasons, the most common of which, I'd guess, to be the result of the explosive devices being jettisoned by aircrew". That is not what your "indiscriminate" implies. Jettisoning, generally took place as a response to some difficulty, or change of plans... nothing to do with indiscriminate bombing.

(5) (c) The bombing of the Houses in Clydebank was planned as a measure to disable the output capacity of the Shipyards.

Once again Socceroo, you have me at a disadvantage; I searched through what I have written and cannot find this. Perhaps you have taken upon yourself the liberty of paraphrasing what I said to HH, which is as follows:

HH, the fact that among my examples regarding the accuracy of the Luftwaffe's bombing I did not include the effect of bombing civilians, is not to suggest that creating havoc among the civilian population was not a part of the Luftwaffe's planned modus operandi. Anyone who walked through the acres and acres of devastated housing in Clydebank could see at a glance how this could affect the production in, for example, the nearby John Brown's yard. If I recall correctly, one of the pre-war Luftwaffe pictures appeared to have been the "background" area to the Browns' Yard... this "background" area is clearly that of residential dwellings, and any damage there could result in damage to "...one of the top strategic military-industrial complexes of the world..."

Or, if not that one then perhaps this one:

I don't wish to mislead you HH. In my last post addressed to you, my comments about the residential area bombing is not meant to suggest the Luftwaffe flew all the way to Clydeside to bomb the residential area above Browns' yard. No, I don't think this is what happened. The damage done to the residential area was not exactly what one today would call "collateral" damage; no, I'd call it rather Plan II as opposed to Plan I. (No, I don't know what Plan I or Plan II was).

One or the other makes no difference I guess, I did not say what you have shown under your Item (c).

Socceroo, i'd appreciate it very much if when paraphrasing something I have written, that you tell me the source... especially when your paraphrasing involves some criticism of me.

"There is a real danger in some of your assumptive posts that you are trying to rewrite history in some sort of way so that it all sits neatly in your mind. "

Yup, 'n just don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up.
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Re: Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

Postby Socceroo » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:38 am

Dugald i did not paraphrase you. Only you seem to do that every post. I made one line points as brief summations of the variety of points that you made.

What is your problem with indiscriminate and wanton and you seemingly wishing to redefine their meaning?
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