Aby April 11th, 2007
It is generally acknowledged in Europe and United States that Hitler and his forces committed the worst massacres in human history. For an internationalist who grew up learning history in different country and from different perspectives, I learned a very significant thing – there is no absolute truth in history. The history that one learns is often coloured by the victors in the society or nation where their version of history is written. It is selective, manipulative and uses psychological factors like social sanction to approve one’s ideology over the other. For example, in Europe and United States, the Nazi holocaust is given a lot of hype and social taboo effect while similar scale of crimes by Allied victors is largely ignored. I’m writing in brief about the major Allied crimes during World War 2, the part of history which shows the dark side of Allied countries, mainly US and UK during World War II - from a neutral and humanistic viewpoint.
Bodies sprawled around the city after Dresden firebombing
Dresden Massacre – It is considered as the largest single act of mass murder in the 20th century, carried out on 13th February 1945 at Dresden, a cultural city of Germany. Over 300000 people including men, women and children refugees were burned or gassed to death in firebombings by Britain and United States. The exact number is not known because of the presence of 1.2 million refugees in the city but a close estimate was made by the Germans from the body counts. The raid of 14 hours was carried with repeated bombings after short intervals ending with US Mustangs destroying all rescue vehicles, hospitals and Red Cross zones to ensure no survivors escaped. 16000 acres of land were destroyed in one night. As the perpratators of this horrific massacre were victors, there was no trial after the incident. To add an insult to injury the German corpses were piled up, photo shoots made and shown to Anglo-US media as ‘Auschwitz massacre of Jews’. The authenticity of these photographs came into scrutiny by the Red Cross and news agencies covering the Dresden massacre, on various grounds. As a damage control, it was made a social taboo and even a legal offence in some countries to question the Holocaust figures. For more details about the Dresden Massacre click the link here.
Hamburg Massacres – Carried out throughout 1943, more than 50000 civilians were killed by Bomber Harris, who was authorised by Churchill to bomb civilian locales. On questioning on the morality of bombing civilians by his cabinet, Churchill quoted “Now everyone’s at it, it’s simply a question of fashion - similar to that of whether short or long dresses are in”. A technique called ‘Shock and Awe’ , similar to Blitzkrieg was used which caused casualties in many ways – not just by burns, but also from smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning and asphyxiation, as the oxygen is sucked out by the conflagration. R.H.S. Crossman, a cabinet minister under Winston Churchill authorized the mass murders as he wanted to pound the Germans civilians into submission. Source –> History Net
Tokyo Firebombing – At least 100000 people were massacred in Tokyo bombing by US on March 1945. Incendiary bombs, made of a mixture of thermite and oxydising agents (sometimes including napalm) burned 200 km2 of the Japanese capital. The fires were so hot they would ignite the clothing on individuals as they were fleeing. Many women were wearing what were called ‘air-raid turbans’ around their heads and the heat would ignite those turbans like a wick on a candle. In the context of war, the large number of Japanese civilians killed by strategic bombing was seen as acceptable by the American administration. Curtis LeMay, commander of the Tokyo bombers quoted after the World War 2: “Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time… I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.” (The same Curtis Lemay was honoured and became a General during Vietnam War and known for this notorious quote “We should bomb Vietnam back into the stone age.“)
Aftermath of the atomic holocaust on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945
Hiroshima Atomic Bombing - 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima by a U-235 Nuclear Bomb names ‘Little Boy’ in August 6, 1945. People were vapourised instantly and the floor melted to glass due to the extreme heat generated by nuclear fission. The few survivors were crippled for life and their genetic defects caused their descendants to be genetically defective and deformed. After the Hiroshima bombing, President Truman announced, “If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth.”
Nagasaki Atomic Bombing – On the morning of August 9, 1945 Nagasaki was destroyed. 80,000 civilians were instantly killed by the US Atomic Bomb ‘Fat Man’. The bomb caused the temperature of Nagasaki city to rise to 7000 degrees C and a wind of 1000 kph. An unknown number of survivors from the Hiroshima bombing made their way to Nagasaki and were bombed again. Casualties followed days after the bombings and most of the city’s 150000 survivors had a grisly death in the next 10 years. Their offsprings were subject to genetic aberrations.
It must be noted that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree that the atomic bombings of Japan are justified or even necessary. They argue that these mass massacres were needed “to hasten the end of the war” and to avoid a theoretical casualty figure that a land based invasion would have supposedly caused. The fact that a conditional surrender of Japan was already underway is conveniently ignored, in favour of claims that favour the Anglo-American justification. (The same Americans would be vehemently outraged if anyone were to presumptively suggest that the 11 September 2001 attacks could somehow be justified.)
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