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Old 03-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #51
Ratamahatta
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Re: The Second World War

The worst thing is that scientists from that unit, while being much more brutal than say Mengele, were never persecuted after the war.

One of the things they did was testing how human body reacts on extreme cold. During this experiments they would freeze limbs of people in such a way that flesh would come out of the bone:


NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED!!!
Spoiler:
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:35 PM   #52
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Re: The Second World War

That clip is from the film 'Men Behind the Sun', it's a Chinese film about Unit 731 (so it's not a real clip if anyone was wondering) although those types of tests were real.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093170/

It's been criticised as being exploitative (that is to say, disgustingly graphic for the sake of being so) which does carry a lot of merit if you watch the film. I'm not sure to what extent scenes were exaggerated because of that. But netherless it's interesting to watch the film, but you should read up on it first, a background history of Unit 731 then some criticisms of the film before watching. It's very disturbing so be careful if you decide to watch it, especially more disturbing when you know it's based on truth.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:49 AM   #53
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Re: The Second World War

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Originally Posted by Ratamahatta View Post
The worst thing is that scientists from that unit, while being much more brutal than say Mengele, were never persecuted after the war.

One of the things they did was testing how human body reacts on extreme cold. During this experiments they would freeze limbs of people in such a way that flesh would come out of the bone:


NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED!!!
Spoiler:
clicked the spoiler to see if it was what i thought it was. when i realized it was just that i quickly scrolled down; that sequence plus some more before and after is on youtube and is still the most grueling thing i've ever seen (and it's only from a movie), no need to watch it or something worse ever again.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:03 AM   #54
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Re: The Second World War

Haven't seen it mentioned.

"The Rise and Fall fo the Third Reich" by William L. Shirer.

It's been a few years since I last read this one, but I remember being amazed at how I was at times basically on the Nazi side. That's a pretty terrible statement for me to make, but for example; When they invade Yugoslavia to put down an uprising, delaying the invasion of Russia, I found myself irrate that strategic planners could allow such a delay. Obv, I'm happy it happened the way it did, but you get the idea.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:14 AM   #55
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Re: The Second World War

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The large scale firebombings rank up there with the worst tragedies of WW2 in my opinion. Largely ineffectual in any military sense, they killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, destroyed some of the great cultural cities of the world, and wasted thousands of pilots lives that could have been used to attack military and supply targets.

It's an often over looked part of the Allies conduct during the war as the winners tend to wright the history, but it is always worth remembering that the British killed more civilians in one night in Dresden than died in the entire of the Blitz/V1/V2 campaign against England.
The british only killed more in Dresden than the Germans did in England because THEY COULD. If Germany had the ability to fire bomb England or the US you could bet your ass they would have!
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:26 AM   #56
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Re: The Second World War

Yeah, nazis, yanks, british, all the same.
The only difference is that they killed more civilians then nazis, because they COULD, yup.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #57
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Re: The Second World War

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Yeah, nazis, yanks, british, all the same.
The only difference is that they killed more civilians then nazis, because they COULD, yup.
Hah??? Wtf?
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:02 AM   #58
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Re: The Second World War

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Yeah, nazis, yanks, british, all the same.
The only difference is that they killed more civilians then nazis, because they COULD, yup.
Yeah, they should have made better use of those laser and GPS guided bombs.
Err...Wait

You do realize that factories, refineries, power plants, and communication centers were all considered legit military targets right? In fact, they are still considered legit military targets. The difference between WWII and now is they didn't have any good way to target those facilities with any sort of accuracy.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:31 AM   #59
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Re: The Second World War

The allied bombings were more destructive and malicious than simply missing legitimate targets.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:38 PM   #60
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Re: The Second World War

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The allied bombings were more destructive and malicious than simply missing legitimate targets.
Maybe so, maybe not. In any case, the definition of the term "civilian" for the purposes of a WWII discussion demands discussion. The citizens of Germany and Japan were complicit in starting and maintaining the war. The citizens of Germany were complicit, either directly or indirectly in allowing the holocaust.

Unless the citizens of Germany and Japan were demonstrating in the streets demanding their governments' capitulation, I don't consider them civilians.

When you are partially responsible for putting a chain of events in motion and you do nothing to stop it once it gets going, you are not innocent. Any real innocent people adversely affected are their responsibility, not that of the parties fighting and losing their own people's lives in order to end the war.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:44 PM   #61
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Re: The Second World War

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Maybe so, maybe not. In any case, the definition of the term "civilian" for the purposes of a WWII discussion demands discussion. The citizens of Germany and Japan were complicit in starting and maintaining the war. The citizens of Germany were complicit, either directly or indirectly in allowing the holocaust.

Unless the citizens of Germany and Japan were demonstrating in the streets demanding their governments' capitulation, I don't consider them civilians.

When you are partially responsible for putting a chain of events in motion and you do nothing to stop it once it gets going, you are not innocent. Any real innocent people adversely affected are their responsibility, not that of the parties fighting and losing their own people's lives in order to end the war.
Technically Britain declared war on Germany so really the blood is on our hands if we are really getting nitty.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:50 PM   #62
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Re: The Second World War

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Technically Britain declared war on Germany so really the blood is on our hands if we are really getting nitty.
Yeah, YOU are getting quite nitty. Do you really believe Britain opened the hostilities? Do you think the premise of my point is somehow changed by the insertion of your technicality?
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:55 PM   #63
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Re: The Second World War

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Unless the citizens of Germany and Japan were demonstrating in the streets demanding their governments' capitulation, I don't consider them civilians.
Hitler would agree.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:13 PM   #64
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Re: The Second World War

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Hitler would agree.
What do you mean by this?
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #65
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Re: The Second World War

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Has anyone watched the documentary series The World at War? It was produced in Britain in the early 1970's; as such, it contains extensive interviews with people who lived through the war, both "common" people and historically significant personalities, such as Albert Speer. I found the series absolutely riveting. You can watch it at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-w...rsary-edition/

I'd also like to highly recomend Bloodlands, by Timothy Snyder. It's a pretty recent book detailing the effects of Hitler and Stalin on the region between Germany and the Soviet Union, especially Poland. It's not entirely about WWII, as the book deals fairly extensively with Stalin's crimes in the Soviet Union prior to the outbreak of the war (like the Ukranian famine and The Great Terror), but most of the book deals with events during the war.
Bloodlands is an incredible book.

One facet of WWII that I find interesting is that Axis and Soviet troops were far more effective than Western Allied troops, presumably because, coming from brutal regimes, they could be compelled to do dangerous things like actually attacking the enemy. US/UK troops would frequently just refuse orders to advance or claim to be pinned down and unable to make progress. (Retribution and Armageddon by Max Hastings, both recommend, talk about this some) It would be interesting to know when this changed, and what effect the shift to the volunteer army had.

Also, there's a history forum? Yay!
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:13 AM   #66
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Re: The Second World War

Hey, have u guys heard of Unity 731 - japan, they've been doing the most inhuman experiments during the I-II WW, to produce bio weapons such as plague.End of WWII, all leaders,doctors and crew there,did not go to the matrial court for what they've done.Instead, the US government proposed them freedom in exchange of their biological weapon results and researches.i think it would be an interesting theme to discuss
best wishes
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:11 AM   #67
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Re: The Second World War

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Unless the citizens of Germany and Japan were demonstrating in the streets demanding their governments' capitulation, I don't consider them civilians.
That's so wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start.

First of all, the definition of a civilian is quite simple.
Someone who does not work in military service.




That is an original picture of the ballot paper as people got to vote if Austria will join the German Reich 1938 and means "Do you agree to the German reunification and to the help from our Führer".

The vote wasn't in closed cabins, but in front of armed soldiers who would shoot you on the spot if you voted "nein" which means no.
No wonder 99,73% voted yes. Jews weren't allowed to vote in the first place.

Do you even have the slightest clue about how many assassination attempts were made on Nazi officers, not only Adolf Hitler?
Do you have any idea about how many people were involved in underground movements against the Nazi regime all over Europe?

Obviously not, otherwise you wouldn't make such misanthropic comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donk007 View Post
Hitler would agree.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oski View Post
What do you mean by this?
That your logic is flawed and similar to the propaganda used by the Nazi regime.

Last edited by wellju; 04-08-2011 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:18 AM   #68
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Re: The Second World War

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That's so wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start.

First of all, the definition of a civilian is quite simple.
Someone who does not work in military service.




That is an original picture of the ballot paper as people got to vote if Austria will join the German Reich 1938 and means "Do you agree to the German reunification and to the help from our Führer".

The vote wasn't in closed cabins, but in front of armed soldiers who would shoot you on the spot if you voted "nein" which means no.
No wonder 99,73% voted yes. Jews weren't allowed to vote in the first place.

Do you even have the slightest clue about how many assassination attempts were made on Nazi officers, not only Adolf Hitler?
Do you have any idea about how many people were involved in underground movements against the Nazi regime all over Europe?

Obviously not, otherwise you wouldn't make such misanthropic comments.
Quite conveniently, you omitted the first part of my post:

Quote:
Maybe so, maybe not. In any case, the definition of the term "civilian" for the purposes of a WWII discussion demands discussion. The citizens of Germany and Japan were complicit in starting and maintaining the war. The citizens of Germany were complicit, either directly or indirectly in allowing the holocaust.
I was merely opening the topic for discussion since it is not as black and white as you like it to appear. The Allieds had to make some very difficult decisions which were made necessary by the aggressors.

I am quite certain you will be able to find other instances of forced submission, but that does not prove your point, either. After the war, many German and Japanese citizens aimed to distance themselves from their (direct or passive) involvement in the war, so you will find many accounts portraying them as pure victims/civilians.

Again, it is not that simple, and because of the events the world found itself in, these people are not on par with the citizens of the non-agressor countries and it is certainly arguable that their loss was justifiable collateral damage at worst.

You also omit the final portion of my post:

Quote:
When you are partially responsible for putting a chain of events in motion and you do nothing to stop it once it gets going, you are not innocent. Any real innocent people adversely affected are their responsibility, not that of the parties fighting and losing their own people's lives in order to end the war
Is it your opinion that the German and Japanese citizens were not complicit in starting and maintaining the war? Is it your position that the German citizens were not complicit in allowing the holocaust?

Given your "simple" definition of civilian, it was not exactly clear who was and was not working in the military service. The definition is not very clear, especially since a lot of "civilian" roles directly supported the military.

I think you should restructure your approach to my statement; I don't appreciate your hostile tone when I am merely trying to participate in a discussion. These questions do not lend themselves to easy answers. Just because one attempts an answer that you do not agree with, does not mean that a hostile response is warranted.

Like many Americans, I am of German descent. However, it takes a lot for me to be sympathetic with the German people's plight during and at the close of the war. They go right to the back of the line when I'm handing out my sympathies. Yes, they suffered dearly; yes, a lot of "innocent" "civilians" died and lost everything.

Join the club.

Last edited by Oski; 04-08-2011 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:04 AM   #69
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Re: The Second World War

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When you are partially responsible for putting a chain of events in motion and you do nothing to stop it once it gets going, you are not innocent. Any real innocent people adversely affected are their responsibility, not that of the parties fighting and losing their own people's lives in order to end the war
You are arguing a very strange set of points. What about the people who votes 'no' in the ballot? What about children, disabled people, Jews? How do you define 'partial responsibility'?
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:00 AM   #70
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Re: The Second World War

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Maybe so, maybe not. In any case, the definition of the term "civilian" for the purposes of a WWII discussion demands discussion. The citizens of Germany and Japan were complicit in starting and maintaining the war. The citizens of Germany were complicit, either directly or indirectly in allowing the holocaust.

Unless the citizens of Germany and Japan were demonstrating in the streets demanding their governments' capitulation, I don't consider them civilians.
Would you apply the same principle to Palestinians in Gaza and Hamas daily shelling of Israel? Since they not protesting daily against it, should we not count them as civilians?
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:02 AM   #71
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The people of Germany are responsible for Hitler's rise to power. Even those who vote "no" consent to the result by consenting to the voting process.

In any event, the U.S.(for example) and its citizens certainly didn't allow Hitler to gain power and aid him in starting and continuing his war machine.

However U.S. civilians, as a result of the war, were forced to give up their civilian lives and fight to save the Allies. If not for the war, I am sure they would have chosen to do something else with their lives.

Meanwhile most of Germany is soaking up the propaganda and doing nothing to stop the war and the holocaust - far from it, most are contributing to the industrial machine and positioning themselves for when the war ended.

Of course you may argue "what else could they have done?" Well, perhaps they might risk their lives to put an end to the war like the citizen-soldiers of the U.S. and other countries. Also, what do you expect the "civilians" to claim once the game was up? All of them either say they had no idea what was going on or that they were powerless to stop it.

Funny how ripping a town apart starts the citizens thinking about whether they are about to find themselves on the wrong side of things and perhaps it may be time to do more to prevent Germany from continuing on.

It's not like the Allieds bombed Dresden right out of the gate. It was a clear sign of escalation to show Germany the costs of continuing on. Its pretty hard to convince a government of something when their people are still behind them.

Its easy to sit and reflect in the quiet moments about what should be and what is. This is a large-scale war we are talking about and things don't always easily fall into the proper places.

In my dreams, nobody dies in war, but that is not reality. Many innocent people died in the war. You set forth a number of examples of such. However, if we are assigning blame for those deaths, I put more blame on the people that originated the problem and did not do enough to stop it.

Last year near my town, a wildland fire broke out in a brush area owned by a neighborhood of residents. They failed to clear the brush, even after multiple warnings. In order to save other homes in the area, the fire deparment set a backfire. However, in the confusion of the event, that fire went out of control and burned far more houses than the orininal fire was likely to burn.

The firemen made a mistake in responding to the fire caused by a certain group of people who ignored their duties. All but one lost their homes. Some of the loss was from the backfire. Who do you think was at fault here? The firemen Knew some of the houses were going to be burned by their fire, but it was done for a greater purpose and was deemed neccessary under conditions they did not create.

Some of the neighbors tried to blame everything on the firemen and claimed ignorance of the danderous condition that they were responsible for.

Poeple outside that group were indeed innocent, but suffered from this chain of events not caused by themselves. Who do you feel sorry for here? The people responsible had children, thus innocent children lost their homes. Well, I suppose (since the choice WAS FORCED on us) that I would much rather have the children of the responsible parties lose their homes than those who's parents had nothing to do with it.

If you think the German people bear no responsibility for starting and continuing WWII, we have nothing to talk about here. If you think WWII could have been won by the Allieds by means other than they employed, please state your case.

At the end of the day (under the circumstances faced by the Allieds) I am not going to criticism them for carrying out tactical missions that include a high risk of "civilian" casualties because the protection and preservation of OUR civilians rates as a higher priority in this case.

If germany was hell bent on starting a war and putting industrial targets in residentially-dense zones, they should have made sure they won it. Barring that, they should have surrendered when it became obvious they would lose.

Last edited by Oski; 04-08-2011 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:13 AM   #72
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Re: The Second World War

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You are arguing a very strange set of points. What about the people who votes 'no' in the ballot? What about children, disabled people, Jews? How do you define 'partial responsibility'?
I think most of you are forgetting that Nazis (and Allies btw) looked at civilians as a resource for the Army needs, be it a recruitment for the active duty, working for army needs etc. That principle applied both to enemies and their own population. Exterminating civilians was viewed as cutting down on enemy resources.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:22 AM   #73
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Re: The Second World War

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I think most of you are forgetting that Nazis (and Allies btw) looked at civilians as a resource for the Army needs, be it a recruitment for the active duty, working for army needs etc. That principle applied both to enemies and their own population. Exterminating civilians was viewed as cutting down on enemy resources.
You're going to have to back that up with evidence as it's a very strong thing to say which I entirely don't believe.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:23 AM   #74
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Would you apply the same principle to Palestinians in Gaza and Hamas daily shelling of Israel? Since they not protesting daily against it, should we not count them as civilians?
My opinion applies specifically to world war II and concerns the practical difficulties of providing a simple "bright-line" definition of "civilian" and hence, what would be rightfully deemed an attack on a "civilian target."

I suggest you step back from your "a hah!" moment and read the entire post and respond to the qustion posed as opposed to applying my comment to an entirely different set of circumstances.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:28 AM   #75
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Re: The Second World War

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The people of Germany are responsible for Hitler's rise to power. Even those who vote "no" consent to the result by consenting to the voting process.
Are infants/children/teenagers also responsible? OK to bomb them?

Disabled people?

Where do you draw the line at who as responsible. Did they all share equal responsibilities?

It's absurd to hold the entire population accountable, and justify their violent ends by holding people responsible who are not even recognised in their society as fully independent entities.

It's also absurd to hold people accountable for the actions of one of the most evil men the world has ever seen, who used violent and repressive political tools to further his cause.#

I also completely understand and empathise with families who didn't want to sacrifice their lives by 'standing up against Nazism'. This does not mean they are accountable for Nazi actions through their inaction.

A lot of front line German troops were absolutely appalled when they learnt of what was happening to the Jewish population, this is well documented. This goes to show the Nazi motives were not transparent nor easy to determine from an individuals perspective.
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