A Quora - Arthur Harris address

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Oct 6, 2021, 11:18:22 AM10/6/21
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James Flack

What leaders had a great ability to see problems before they came?

This short address was made in mid 1942, by a senior officer of the RAF,
Arthur Harris

The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they
were going to bomb everybody else and nobody was going to bomb them. At
Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put
that rather naive theory into operation.

They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.
Cologne, Lubeck, Rostock—Those are only just the beginning. We cannot
send a thousand bombers a time over Germany every time, as yet.

But the time will come when we can do so. Let the Nazis take good note
of the western horizon. There they will see a cloud as yet no bigger
than a man’s hand. But behind that cloud lies the whole massive power of
the United States of America.

When the storm bursts over Germany, they will look back to the days of
Lubeck and Rostock and Cologne as a man caught in the blasts of a
hurricane will look back to the gentle zephyrs of last summer. It may
take a year. It may take two.

But for the Nazis, the writing is on the wall. Let them look out for
themselves. The cure is in their own hands. There are a lot of people
who say that bombing can never win a war. Well, my answer to that is
that it has never been tried yet, and we shall see.

Germany, clinging more and more desperately to her widespread conquests
and even seeking foolishly for more, will make a most interesting
initial experiment.

Japan will provide the confirmation.

This was before the Manhattan project had even been started, and it
truely foresees the power of strategic bombing, nuclear weapons and the
cold war.

comments include:

Jagjeet Singh
September 27
Carpet bombing, indiscriminate dropping of bombs only strengthened their
resolve to fight and caused minimal damage to infrastructure or any
other thing which may have mattered.

Dominic Johnson
September 28
The Blitz very nearly broke the UK, the Propaganda says otherwise, but
the Government didn't seize control of newspapers for nothing.
Germany executed 30,000 civllians for “defeatism”, IE complaining about
the bombings

Jim Wilkins

Oct 6, 2021, 12:44:21 PM10/6/21
"a425couple" wrote in message news:07j7J.35089$oY4....@fx20.iad...

Profile photo for James Flack
James Flack

What leaders had a great ability to see problems before they came?

This short address was made in mid 1942, by a senior officer of the RAF,
Arthur Harris

The Douhet school of air power had many followers whose claims sometimes
predicted and sometimes exceeded reality, and Britain never achieved the
long range fighter escort to ensure that The Bomber Will Always Get Through.
I have Seversky's book that predicts we would reach or exceed B-2
capabilities in the 1940's. Billy Mitchell greatly inflated the actual ship
bombing accuracy of the B-17.

Jim Wilkins

Oct 7, 2021, 8:04:00 AM10/7/21
"Jim Wilkins" wrote in message news:sjkjp4$hj0$1...@dont-email.me...


If you've been involved in the complexities of military R&D and procurement
that book sheds some light on the situation of the late 1930's when the
Depression and pacifism combined to squeeze military budgets to the
subsistence level, leaving too little to explore the options that rapidly
advancing technology might provide. Clinton's budget was similar, Midnight
Basketball cost me project funding. Later he discovered the god-like power
that advanced electronics could give him, increased spending, and misused it
to blow up the African medicine factory.

1930's military planners were limited to supporting only their best guesses,
which were based on insufficient information and sometimes overly optimistic
claims and untested theories, and they couldn't realistically estimate
whether or not the manufacturers would solve the many issues that delayed
new designs. For example Seversky offered the P-47 in 1937, before its
R-2800 engine had been proven reliable. Instead he was allowed to produce
the P-43 which proved to be an inferior fighter.
We remember only those who got it right amidst a thicket of less successful

Often the breakthroughs depended on recognizing and hiring the right genius,
such as Vladimir Pavlecka, Stanley Hooker, Kelly Johnson and Frank Walker.
At that time engine development consisted of strengthening whatever broke
during tests, the mathematical stress, vibration and fluid dynamics analysis
tools that enabled optimal designs were only just appearing.

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