Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Boxheads having a sulk.

I see Ze Germanz are having a whine (as in complain, not the distinctive Hydraulic whine of JU-88 Bomb Bay doors opening over Warsaw, Guernica or Coventry – just needed to clarify that) over the proposed memorial to the Sacrifice of Bomber Command at Green Park. Paid for out of public money, including yours truly, Mrs Orosz says the memorial is against the spirit of Remembrance. Yes those Remembrance statues are so against the spirit of Remembrance aren’t they Mrs Orosz?

Orosz, doesn’t sound very German does it? Suspect the good folks of Dresden would have been examining your papers very closely 65 years ago.

I have no idea where the urban myth has grown up about Dresden being a purely civilian part of Germany who concentrated on manufacturing small puppies and lollipops for children. It was a major communications centre, had 110 factories producing equipment for the armies of the Third Reich including a poison gas factory (Chemische Fabric Goye & Co), anti aircraft and field gun factories (Lehman), Optical gun sight factories (Zeiss Ikon AG). It also had barracks, and at least one munitions storage depot. The fact that not many of them were hit is due more to the inaccuracy of the equipment the crabs had to put up with rather than intent.

But nevertheless we need to be sensitive to the Germans, who have been so helpful and generous to us in these times of Peace. I especially want to thank them for their continued support in the EU every time the Frogs try and leg us over for more money. The Green Park location is obviously insensitive, I accept that. I suggest putting it just of Belgravia square; a nice quiet part of town. We could quite easily make some space opposite No 23.


Anglo-German said...

As a student of the Royal Saxon Army (mainly in its last war, 1914-18), it is at least of great benefit to my research that the extensive military district of the city (Dresden-Neustadt, a suburb on the North bank of the Elbe) survived the bombing totally unscathed and is still there today - whilst the beautiful baroque city centre (and its population) burned to the ground. The only substantial strategic targets in the centre of Dresden were the major bridges over the Elbe.

The city was still semi-ruinous (and badly polluted) when the Commies were finally deposed, but has since been rebuilt magnificently and has regained much of the beauty it had under the old Kings. The Dresdeners I know are proud of their city, but they do not like attempts to make political capital out of what happened to it (however they are decent ordinary people, not politicians). Saxons are generally some of the most laid-back and peaceable of Germans, something that was briefly noticed in the British press at Christmas 1914, and which is often alluded to in the memoirs of WW1 Tommies.

Carpet bombing of population centres, no matter which by airforce, was a vile tactic which has mercifully been consigned to history. However that is not to say that it would be remotely fair or decent to deny the bomber crews who risked (and often lost) their lives the memorial they deserve as much as the more glamorous fighter pilots.

N.B. this politician with the Slavic name might conceivably be a Sorb - this is the indigenous Slavic minority in parts of Saxony, which was always historically well-integrated (except under Hitler). They are Catholic (in a 95% Protestant Kingdom), as was the royal family, so many of the royal servants were drawn from this small community.

Demetrius said...

Am I right, but didn't the Soviet's ask for Dresden to be be raided large scale because of its role as a communications and transport hub? This might explain why the barrack areas were not hit so badly but the central areas were.

Anglo-German said...

I believe you are correct - hence the concentration on the bridges. The barracks were not hit at all, except for the old Royal Saxon Jaegerkaserne (which was the only one in central Dresden) which had once housed 2. Königlich Sächsisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 13.

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