The History of Aerial Bombing from Guernica (1937) to Hiroshima (1945)

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

Table of Contents

Oct. 23rd 2009
Sept. 21st 2009
Sept. 16th 2009
Sept. 14th 2009
August 20th 2009
August 20th 2009
August 20th 2009
August 17th 2009
August 16th 2009
August 16th 2009
December 22nd 2008
October 16th 2008
September 23rd 2008
June 14th 2008
June 14th 2008
May 28th 2008
May 21st 2008
May 19th 2008

October 23rd 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) Chart
(a) Days of Bombing : double-check Dresden figures; according to my information 2 days & three nights. Americans during the day, the RAF at night
(b) population figures. Double check all urban population data; use The data for Coventry are way above my expectations
(c) recovery for Dresden : Fast ???? attack happened in February 45, surrender in May 45. At that time German infrastructure "suffered a stroke"; too many attacks had made the railway system unreliable; the entire war economy was disintegrating. This comment seems rather propaganda of the time.
Now I find your reference, much further down in the text. You may want to relativize this comment : The city, as a center of urban production, may have functioned again soon after. Lost workers replaced by "displaced persons". The industrial area was much less damaged anyway. But it took decades to repair the damage done to the historic inner city, which had suffered the hardest blows.
(2) chart, chart 1, chart 2 : if you number charts, you number all of them. chart becomes chart 1 (table 1), chart 1 becomes chart 2 etc.
(3) The house per ton shows
In English please. The house per ton relation, house per ton figure ...
(4) However, that would account for 3 to 4 times the bombing for the bombings, ????
(5) British-German Common
You tend to be too abbreviative in your expression. Better : What British and German sources agree on (that is, if I interpreted you correctly)
(6) We can observe from Chart4 from chart 4.

September 21st 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) First is the resource at hand. As a high school student living in South Korea, there is a limit to the resources that I have at hand. redundant phrasing.
Seems okay to me.

September 16th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

Just two points : (1) Belfast NYT Total articles: 9 (1/3/5) Articles on the result of the bombing: 2
I believe should read : Total articles: 9 (1/3/5) Articles on the result of the bombing: 1
(2) Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 3 -On bombing, zoo killings THE PATTERN OF BOMBING
no date given

September 14th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

About time to get into the articles.
(1) I think we upgrade you to the "absent-minded professor from Hong Kong". Under the headline "Guernica" you list Rotterdam articles, under the headline Rotterdam you list Guernica articles. In the age of copying and pasting, double-checking is a necessity. Perhaps you stayed in my class too long ...
(2) I like your stressing the page number in the Times of London; it illustrates how the Guernica story was pushed back as time progressed.
(3) Times of London instead of "The Times", as in this paper you want to avoid confusion.
(4) The different intensity of coverage by the ToL and the NYT (Rotterdam) is astonishing; Rotterdam probably was the leading Atlantic port of continental Europe, and the NYT seems having been disinterested.

August 20th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) Gaulieter => Gauleiter
(2) . However, on July of 1943, the city still was pouring out equipments for the Germans.
The word equipment can not be used in plural.
(3) and there once large empire was shrinking.
prosaic language which justifies German rule over the occupied areas; rephrase. Germans would not use this phrase, as Reich (Empire) would refer to Germany proper and the annexed areas, but not the occupied areas.
(4) The city was not lightly defended. The city had well-formed anti-aircraft defenses, over 1,700 shelters for 230,000 citizens, or 1/6 of the whole population, and radars that could pick up bombers from 100 miles away.
Either give a reference or convert the miles into the metric system.
(5) Wiki quote the specific article.
(6) Feuersurm => Feuersturm
(7) Rothenburgshot cand find any place of this kind; definitely misspelled. German language Wikipedia article refers to Hammersbrook, but not to Rothenburgshof (?).
(8) the sources differ
If you give such a comment, add a note where you list in detail the sources you used and what data they give

August 20th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) no reference to the before-and-after images posted by Thomas van Hoey Smith on my website
(2) no reference to the fact that Rotterdam, due to its geographic location, has neither underground bomb shelters nor basements in the houses - which I told you in class
(3) No reference given for Weisung No.11
(4) Although Netherlands Although the Netherlands ..
(5) Phony War Phoney War
(6) Netherlands and the Luxemburg. the Netherlands and Luxemburg
(7) the thirds city => the third city
(8) This was sent at 10:00, setting the guillotine time to 12:00 rephrase guillotine time
(9) Although the exact numbers are not sure, most records agree that 800 to 900 people were killed in the bombing. The city was destroyed to a large extent, and 24,978 homes, 24 churches, 2,320 stores, 775 warehouses and 62 schools was destroyed.
900 persons, 62 schools were destroyed

August 20th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) Timesonline => Times Online
(2) hypocrisy
(3) 1630s I read this as pertaining to an event in the 30 Years War.
1800 as 6 o'clock in the afternoon is military jargon. Please convert such terms into civilian language; your paper is to focus on the victims, not on the perpetrators.
(4) The city was under control of the Basque Government, which was an autonomous regional government. The Government, made of leftist and Basque Nationalist (different from Franco¡¯s Nationalist) was more inclined toward
The government, made up of Leftists and Basque Nationalists (different from Franco's Nationalists)
(5) (Guernica states 6, while the Wikipedia states 12),
put this kind of information in a footnote or endnote
(6) First, the number of civilian casualties is debated. The Basque forces counted more than 1500 dead (G?rard Brey, La destrucci?n de Guernica, Tiempo de Historia n¨¬ 29, April 1977,)
Will Brey appear in your reference list ? If not, in a note you need to explain how you know (after Guernica p.245637 or so)

August 17th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

Link does not work, also not if I correct Aviantion to Aviation
(2) ¡°Florence of Elba,¡±
I had a good laugh. Florence on the Elbe, the Elbe being Germany's second largest river, not the Italian island.
(3) "cultural hub" never saw that term. Cultural center better.
(4) The city of Dresden confirmed around 18,000 victims that they could identify. 18 19
do not use two numbers consecutively without anything in-between; merge notes into one.
(5) the best estimate that I have is around 30,000.
Whose estimate ? Given the fact that you exclusively refer to Anglo-American sources, I must get the impression that you (intentionally ?) ignored sources reflecting a German position. At least look into the German language version of the Wikipedia article. You will find it not being identical with the English language one.
(6) You do not discuss the allied objective to create a big splash forcing Germany to surrender (such as Hiroshima did with Japan)
(7) Alstadt => Altstadt

August 16th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) This was the first large-scale bombing on a city outside for Britain, and this had a technological and a psychological effect.
I don't understand "a city outside for Britain"
(2) The damage done to Dresden was not more devastating than those of other cities after the war.
??? copy-pasted and not adapted to this chapter ?
Again, no newspaper articles used (yet)

August 16th 2009 . . . go to Student's Log

Interesting read. Solid chapter giving an analytical overview of what happened. I expect a list of newspaper articles on the attack, and an analysis of the latter somewhere in your paper. Hyun Kyu, the factor which concerns me most is the originality of your paper; the analysis of the newspaper articles will provide just that, keep this in mind.

December 22nd 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Your peculiar way of keeping track of sources is irritating me. For W you never give page numbers, so I assume it to be a website without pagination.
You cannot quote "the timesonline reports ..". The London Times, of Germinal 45th 3657 reported; never quote a newspaper article without giving a specific date.
I am not sure if the last two paragraphs were ment to be a quote or are authored by you; the bluish background irritates me again.
There is a lengthy direct quote without reference.
Work on the project now, you do not know if you will find the time later.

October 16th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Mention in a footnote that Heinkel also may be spelled Heinckel.
Behelfsbombers - that hurts, because 'bomber' in German already is a plural. If the word you use is of German origin, use the German plural, if it is of Greek origin, the Greek plural (phenomenon -> phenomena) etc.
Rudlof von Moreau : double check ; I assume it to be Rudolf.
Abbreviations at the end of a paragraph - I assume them to be your sources. In footnotes for sources I expect page numbers.
Guernica's population - data of 1937 or of today ? Precise figures here, under Guernica
was the most ancient and the central city of the Basque region for a settlement of 2-5 thousand in the 20th century, isn't that a bit of an exaggeration ? You want to convince your reader, not amuse them !
The Government, made of leftist and Basque Nationalist (different from Franco¡¯s Nationalist) made up of Leftists and Basque Nationalists (to be distinguished from Franco Nationalists). If you omit the plural s here, the Basque autonomous government is composed by men who are both Leftist and Basque Nationalist. Also, read ; you might want to replace the term 'Franco Nationalist'. For all the parties you use I expect footnotes with the proper names of the respective parties, and in case of Franco's Nationalists, a reference to Shin's paper.
Guernica was in between the forces and Bilbao, and many Republican refugees were using Guernica as a rally point.W better : between the front and Bilbao
The bombing was done by the Condor Legion of the German army. Wikipedia : nor army, air force
The Condor Legion¡¯s commanding officer was avoid unnecessary apostrophes : The commanding officer of Legion Condor was .. Legion Condor is a name; do not turn the order around.
The flier is conjectured to be Major Rudlof von Moreau, .. Fliers are photocopies I distribute to teachers at GLPS every now and then. How about 'pilot' ?
What you describe is a Stuka (Sturz-Kampfflieger or dive-bomber). von Moreau flew a Dornier.

September 23rd 2008

Times of London online, all issues since 1785 annual fee for access L 74,95 - reasonable.

Update June 21st
L'Attacco a Tripoli / Bombardate Tripoli 1941, from Cronologia, in Italian

Update June 17th
Yesterday I got the following book : The Oxford War Atlas, Volume II, 1 September 1941- 1 January 1943, by Jasper H. Stembridge, Oxford UP 1943; Chapter Bombing Offensive over Europe, with map, 2 pages (booklet unpaginated)
(British) Naval Intelligence Division, Geographic Handbook Series, Germany Volume III : Economic Geography, 1944, 710 pp., Vol.IV, Ports and Communications, 1945. "For Internal Use Only". Books published for the use of the British military. Guess what the Royal Air Force used to pick their targets.
Article Bombardement op Rotterdam, Bombardement op Rotterdam-West, from Wikipedia Dutch edition
Article Bombardimento di Roma, from Wikipedia Italian edition; Categoria Campagne d'Italia from Wikipedia Italian edition lists a few bombardments by city, but not Napoli
Article Bombardeo de Guernica, from Wikipedia Spanish edition

June 14th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Streamlinung your paper by taking out sideshows makes a lot of sense.
You divided your paper in two parts - Individual Cases, and Impact by City. I believe, II. Offensive Developments and III. Defender's Developments, do not fit under the headline "For Each City" and rather fit "The Reality of Aerial Bombardment" or a similar title.
Perhaps in the Individual Cases section you might want to incllude one city in Germany, one in Britain for which the development of getting ready for aerial attacks (development of bunker technology, Flak / Ack-Ack, Darkout, Evacuations) was perfected in the course of the war, is well documented, irrelevant of the fact if that city ever was subjected to a major raid.
Historical accounts dealing with the aerial bombardment tend to focus on the big splashes, i.e. on the success stories from the perspective of the attackers. I listed a site on bunkers in my home region below.

May I suggest that, as next steps, you concentrate on individual cases; perhaps start with the "smaller ones"; write those chapters complete with notes. Prepare a list of NYT articles for every case, even if you do not download many of the articles listed there. To have appendices listing these articles makes your paper look more professional.
It is comparatively easy to compile the case chapters. Only after you have completed that section can you seriously think about writing the later part.

June 14th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Your reference list will be a work in progress and require updating on a number of occasions. see update below.

Update June 12th 2008 : The Morality of Area Bombing On Germany By Bomber Command During World War Two by LTA (NS) Wong Tze Yung, Journal of the Singapore Armed Forces April 1998,

May 28th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

A.) Factual errors : (1) Guernica was not part of World War I; the Spanish Civil War was a separate affair. (2) Germany did not participate in the Winter War; this chapter thus dus not fit under the headline "German Blitz". Check if the bombing of Helsinki was limited to 1939; the Winter War lasted into 1940. (3) III.3 : get an atlas. Prague is nor located on the Balkans peninsula.
B.) Let us change the title to "The Historical Development of Aerial Bombardment in Europe, from Guernica (1937) to Dresden (1945)". IV.4 superfluous.
C.) Chapter II - I suggest you integrate it into chapter I. The British referred to German aerial attacks as "The Blitz".

You divide your Working Table of Contents into two sections. The first section is rather concentrating on establishing facts, the second on analysis. This is a good organization; however I fear that correlating both the way you do, may exclude valuable sources.
By selecting the victimized cities before looking into the record situation may result, in one or the other case, in disappointing results; you may have good coverage on some of the cities you observe, mediocre coverage (by easily available records) on others. This may negatively affect your analysis; for comparison you need compatible data. If you would try establish what records are available before deciding which cities to examine, you may arrive at a more satisfactory analysis.
When we first discussed the topic, I told you that I am less interested in the perspective of air force generals on either side, and more interested in the affect aerial bombing had, and if it even is taking precautions for the eventuality. How you structure your table of contects affects how your research is going (and may preclude you from asking certain questions). I regard the present table of contents as a first draft, likely to undergo several, perhaps drastic, changes.
If you tend look at the matter from the perspective of air force generals, why not look at the two great failures of the German air force in WW II - Dunkirk and the Stalingrad Airlift ?

It might be possible to organize a table of contents among the following lines :
(I) Classifications of Aerial Bombardments by purpose (short-term, medium- or long-term)
(II) Development of Destructiveness of Bombs and of Precision Bombing
(III) How did airplane technology affect the ability to bomb enemy
(IV) What could the defenders of the city do to prevent being bombed, and to minimize damage in case they were (as it developed over time)
(V) What information did the perpetrating side have about the impact of their respective bombing raids ? How accurate were their reports ?
(VI) How did the bombing raids, even the possibility of bombing raids, affect society ?
(VII) By what criteria did the perpetrators select their targets ?
(VIII) By what critieria did the perpetrators decide the destructiveness of the bombs they used ?

A site you may want to look into : Bunker in Dortmund. Erforschung und Dokumentation von Luftschutzanlagen (bunkers in D., Research and Documentation of Air Raid Shelters); in German, has typology of bunkers.
You have to start somewhere. I suggest you try write a sample chapter on one city.

May 21st 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Table looks okay; for the version to be published you may shorten the titles, establish chronological order. I understand that at this phase you list every article potentially containing relevant information; those without reference to bombing you may eliminate at a later stage. Double check date of entry number 5 - date accident or break-up of chronological order on purpose ?
It makes sense to create similar lists for the other cases; for instance how much did the American public know about the impact of the Dresden bombings - this may considerably differ from the view of historians with the benefit of hindsight.

May 19th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Longer than the first list of references I received from a number of seniors.
(1) Make it a habit to write down complete bibliographic information. In no case of the books you gave place of publication, publisher, year; the eferences to websites were equally sloppy.
(2) I am disappointed that a number of sources I mentioned to you in earlier conversations - the collection of photos on Rotterdam as posted on my website, the account of the bombing of Bremerhaven (which I translated) on psm-data, the accounts on the bombing of Dresden and other cities in the Eyewitness Account book of mine (it is not in the helf, I can not be more precise at the moment) and the uernica book in the library are missing in the list. Make it a habit : always, if you find a source which may be relevant for your topic, write down the bibliographic data - BEFORE you take the next breath.
(3) I reorganized your bibliography. Sorting by books and websites is boring.

Which bibliographic sources did you use in order to compile your list ?
add general overviews, such as : Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms. A Global History of World War II, Cambridge : UP 1994 [G]

You can proceed in several ways simultaneously. (a) complete your bibliography (add missing data, add more sources). (b) create a timeline of important historical bombings, no matter if you plan to write about the individual cases or not. (c) write an outline : why did you choose this topic, what aspects do you want to cover in your paper.