68 1 min 14 yrs

dambusters_med.jpg65 years ago today, the RAF’s 617 Squadron set out to destroy three dams in Germany’s Ruhr valley. They managed to breach two, giving a boost to Britain’s war effort. They have become immortalised as the Dambusters and their contribution to our winning the war effort was considerable. They were brave young men 65 years ago today but now, sadly, only one of the pilots remains and Sqn Ldr Les Munro was present today to watch the fly-over the Derwent reservoir. I note that there was a memorial service to remember those airmen who lost their lives that day …. along with their victims. Times change, eh? The last of the brave…

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68 thoughts on “SALUTING THE BRAVE…..

  1. Great post. One of the brave British WW2 female pilots just past away, I’ll try to find her obit for some more details. She and other women flew planes from the factory fields to combat zones and came under fire several times. Their finest hour indeed.

  2. I saw a piece on that on the BBC last night.

    Those pilots were beyond great- they had to fly through a narrow valley, and drop a "bouncing bomb" very precisely ( there were only one very large bomb per plane ) in order to hit the target.

    Tip of the hat to Sqn Ldr Les Munro and his comrades who have passed on .

  3. Well said, David. Let’s not forget also the Sir Barnes Wallis, designer of the bouncing bomb, whose brilliance made it possible.

  4. Diana Barnato Walker, age 90, passed away on April 28th. One of the last "Atagirls" who helped transport the planes.

  5. This is nothing to celebrate here, and that picture above more or less reflects the mindset of people who haven’t escaped the schoolboy comic phase.

    There was little irreparable damage done to German industry by these attacks (apparently the industrial areas affected had reached over 100% of pre-raid production within only 3 months of the raids), and they killed thousands of innocent people.

    But who cares about them at such glorious moments!

    Those commanding the bombers at the time at least didn’t know what was likely to happen on the ground, and what not. We haven’t got that excuse.

  6. Noel

    There’s little "irreparable damage" done to industry by any series of bombing raids.

    Please state with exact precision/detail what you would have had the RAF / Allies do instead of this to defeat the Nazis?

    I recall an armchair general down the road who was bellyaching about Dresden, and those who said that the Japanese were begging to surrender well before Nagasaki. No facts to back it up, but hell, it makes for a nice yarn.

  7. "they killed thousands of innocent people"

    No. That would be Hitler’s and Germany’s responsibility.

  8. Noel

    The allies decided that they would do whatever it took to bring the war to an end as soon as possible. By the time of these raids it was obvious that the axis powers were going to lose the war. But the Nazi fiends choose to fight on for another two years until Germany was in ruins. It was their call, motivated by their desire to exterminate all Europe’s jews.

  9. There is an ongoing attempt to re-write history in some circles.

    Which is why people need to know their history and to know it well so that they can counter the "nothing to celebrate here" crowd when they say that up is down and that black is white and that the deeds of brave men should not be celebrated.

    Britain and the liberal democracies could well have lost that war, which would have ensured a new dark age. Its only because of men like Sqn Ldr Les Munro that civilization survived. So, a second tip of the hat to him.

  10. Noel: You live in a fantasy world if you think that war is not sometimes necessary. This fantasy life is a luxury afforded to you by others who died on your behalf.

  11. Noel Cunningham isn’t being wholly contrarian, notwithstanding his habit of damning Our Boys while ignoring the crimes of evil communists.

    The damage done to Germany’s industrial capacity was greater than the revisionists pretend, but not hugely damaging. Hundreds of civilians were killed, not the thousands he claims, but these deaths are still to be regretted (as they are) and no-one who knows of the Dambusters Raid needs reminding.

    Typically, Noel forgets to mention that 53 RAF crew of 153 failed to return that night.

    What ought to be celebrated is the daring and dash of the very young men in those Lancasters. The illustration, which Noel derides as ‘comic’, captures the spirit perfectly.

    He isn’t alone, but then we live in self-indulgent comfort and ignorance of the near past is common.

  12. Setting aside Noel’s snide comment, it is worth noting that very few, if any, British war film ever reveled in depicting the slaughter and humiliation of the enemy.
    That is the province of Hollywood.

    British war films have always high-lighted personal bravery, fortitude, triumph against the odds, and historical detail.
    The fact that David chose to show the painting above, rather than a German war archive photo, (of which there are hundreds) is in the best traditions of English ‘restraint’ in recalling wartime episodes; a job bravely done; not bloodthirsty or triumphalist.

    Think how many US war films have been made about Vietnam and subsequent; but not one British film about the brilliant Falklands campaign. That speaks volumes.

    If Noel Cunningham has any understanding of the character of the English and their recognition of selfless sacrifice, he would not have written such a crass, ignorant, and profoundly immature diatribe.

  13. PETE’s comment here is a perfect summary of exactly how I feel about this event. Great admiration for the bravery of the Bomber crews, while also acknowedging that the civilian deaths were a sad by-product of the action.

  14. Bernard – Gee, I thought Gone in Sixty Seconds was the film about the Falklands. Seriously though, I don’t think we have to compare movies, we have sufficient history to know fortitude of the British Armed forces during the Second World War.

  15. Ha ha, the "Victor" School of British History being well aired here..

    >>if you think that war is not sometimes necessary<<

    Did I say that?

    >>Please state with exact precision/detail what you would have had the RAF / Allies do instead of this to defeat the Nazis?<<

    I didn’t say they should have done anything else.

    >>Which is why people need to know their history and to know it well so that they can counter the "nothing to celebrate here" crowd when they say that ..the deeds of brave men should not be celebrated.>>

    Phantom, the more people learn about history – or this particular section of it at least – they less inclinded they’d be to "celebrate" this kind of act, I should think.

    >>Typically, Noel forgets to mention that 53 RAF crew of 153 failed to return that night.<<

    LOL, and this coming after a post that fails to mention the 1,600 plus people killed, the vast majority of them innocent civilians and prisoners!

    In fact, if there is anything that can wake you guys out of their schoolboy fantasies, maybe it could be that the RAF that night killed more of their own comrades on the ground than they lost through the raid.

    Ah, the joys of precision bombing!

    Of the 1,600 bodies found floating in the rivers over the following days, more than 1,000 were Allied prisoners of war and slave labourers. The majority of the labourers were Russian, mostly girls and young women who lived their wretched lives in the textile factories in the valleys. They slept beside their machines on the factory floor and didn’t have a chance when the bombers came.

    "Atagirls" indeed, eh mahons?

    So, Phantom, did you “know this, your history, well” but just didn’t think it worth mentioning, or did you perhaps not know it?

    I didn’t see the "Dambusters" film, Bernard, but I doubt if the British filmmakers gave us any nice close-ups of the faces of these drowning girls of the kind L. Di Caprio got in Titanic

    By the way, I was mistaken when I said how full economic recovery for the Germans took only three months. The dams had actually reached pre-raid production after five weeks.

    So a huge loss of innocent life for what was only a minor inconvenience for German industry, and something to titillate future generations of greying schoolboys, ignorant of their own history and the horrors of war.

    The horrors they celebrate today like true Christians.

  16. Touché Mahons. But not quite.

    Your ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ only lasted 2 days but produced a whole slew of Hollywood films.

  17. Interesting comment Bernard re visual depictions of war and pretty accurate regards cultural differences in the 20th century/21stC. Film being the most relevant.

    Actually though Vietnam was a turning point in American film history showing them at their weakest and introspective and war at its most horrendous. It was anything but American triumphalist.

  18. Blackhawk Down is my favourite – lasted even less than 2 days. What a fiasco that was. But the human element in it and the way that film was constructed was brilliant. But then i’m a Ridley Scott fan 🙂

  19. — It was anything but American triumphalist.–

    Yes, for all but the Rambo cartoons, that’s exactly right

    Noel

    Into your mental gymnastics you may wish to compute a) the morale boost to a Britain that desperately needed it, b) the shock to German morale, c) the diversion of German men and resources in repairing these facilities.

    And even if these count for nothing to you, then the heroism and skills of the pilots and crew in these missions, who performed a mission many thought impossible, is worthy of remembrance.

    The deaths of innocents and/or allied soldiers is nothing to gloss over. Friendly fire is the most awful thing, and it has always existed and it will always exist.

    –I didn’t say they should have done anything else.–

    Well, that settles that. For a second, I thought you were bullshitting.

  20. Rent the movie Zulu, shows the heroic Welsh Unit that defended a small mission in Africa (I think they got 13 VCs that day) which is a standout movie as it portrays both the Zulu tribesmen and the Europeans with respect. One of Michael Caine’s first.

  21. Rambo – i didn’t even know that was all set in Vietnam I avoided them all. Glad you think they are cartoonish. I still think Sly looks like Pluto!

  22. >>The deaths of innocents and/or allied soldiers is nothing to gloss over.<<

    But the post and comments did just that, including yours.

    So, a question: Did you know about the deaths of these innocents but decided to gloss over it or are you one of the "people who need to know their history and to know it well"?

    >>the diversion of German men and resources <<

    Phantom, if you think the Germans in 1943 actually used their men to repair these dams, I think that more or less answers the above question.

    They had a practically limitless supply of slave labour.

    By the way, the remarks about individual daring and heroics, logistic skills etc. could also be said about many IRA bombings.
    As of course could the massacre of the innocents.

  23. So Noel

    You think the dambusters raid was not morally justified and was equivalent to (say) Guernica or Dresden, albeit the death toll was much less?

  24. War is unpleasant which is why it is to be a last recourse. I am all for honoring the British servicemen who fought in it from scary day one to the vitorious end. If there are Germans from the time who wish to complain, let them complain to their mirrors.

  25. Mahons, as you’re hinding from my main point behind platitudes. Let me repeat it.

    Of the 1,600 bodies found floating in the rivers over the following days, more than 1,000 were Allied prisoners of war and slave labourers. The majority of the labourers were Russian, mostly girls and young women who lived their wretched lives in the textile factories in the valleys. They slept beside their machines on the factory floor and didn’t have a chance when the bombers came.

    Not much talk of "Germans who wish to complain here".

    The RAF that night most likely killed more of their own comrades on the ground – and Americans – than they lost to German defences. This is the act you are celebrating.

    Peter, I said that the decision-makers back then did not have full knowledge of the situation on the ground (although they knew of course that many innocents would be killed) or of the (lack of) economic/effect the attack would have.

    So it is difficult to judge their decision from a moral p.o.v. On the other hand, they were motivated by a desire to end the war quickly and thought the likely civilian deaths – if they thought about them at all – was a price worth paying. Of course they wouldn’t have sacrificed even a fraction of that number for the same very worthy end if it had been their own families, but that is always the way with war leaders. Ultimately, someone has to make these decisions.

    I’m not sure what you mean about Guernica and Dresden, but of course both of those attacks were totally different to the DB.

  26. Alison.

    Vis à Vie short wars. (though BHD was not strictly a war)
    The shortest war in history only lasted 45 mins, and was when the Sultan of Zanzibar declared independance from the Brits in 1896. He fired a single ball from a bronze cannon at one of our warships and was met with a salvo in return that convinced him it was futile to continue. True.

    Ridley Scott’s great grandfather, Sidley Scott, was there to film the action and a slew of Hollywood films then followed. (could have been true)

  27. Actually Noel I was bypassing your points, which seem a tad offpoint. I don’t think anyone was celebrating the unhappy circumstances of some civilians caught up in the conflict, rather just admiring the men who flew the missions.

    Franklin Roosevelt’s cousin and son of President Teddy Roosevelt is buried in Normandy, so I suspect at least one side’s leaders understood the cost.

    If the Germans have a problem with it, too bad.

  28. >>I don’t think anyone was celebrating the unhappy circumstances of some civilians caught up in the conflict, rather just admiring the men who flew the missions.<<

    Oh, I see, like those who admire the logistics of some IRA bomb attacks and ignore the innocent victims.

    >>Franklin Roosevelt’s cousin and son of President Teddy Roosevelt is buried in Normandy, so I suspect at least one side’s leaders understood the cost.<<

    Understanding the cost of war is something completely different.
    Would he have ordered an attack that he knew was going to kill his civilian children?

  29. Noel – The IRA attacks were terrorism, the mission above war. And there is a difference.

    I don’t really follow you on this. Should the Allies not have fought germany becuase duringthe course of the war german Civilians could die?

  30. Noel

    I thought my point about the dam busters / Guernica / Dresden was clear enough.

    But to spell it out: Were they equally evil in your view?

  31. >>german Civilians could die?<<

    Hey, this must be the 4th time you (and only you) mentioned this (straw gerMan). We are talking about RUSSIANS, you know, that lot between Poland and China. The languages may sound similar to you, but never mistake them for Gemans if you ever go there.

    Oh, and of course also Americans and English.
    Does your server show only parts of comments?

    >>The IRA attacks were terrorism, the mission above war. And there is a difference.<<

    Exactly, and that difference disappears when you concentrate on the acts of the individual operators in some attack and ignore the victims.

    >>Were they equally evil in your view?<<

    Peter, of course not. But didn’t I say: "…Guernica and Dresden, but of course both of those attacks were totally different to the DB."

    I didn’t mean just different in the altitude the bombers flew at.

  32. Noel

    In that case, I suggest you quit attacking the dambuster raids, and accept that they were a well-intentioned effort to shorten WW2.

  33. >>I suggest you quit attacking the dambuster raids,<<

    But how can I? I never started.

    I don’t know how you can have failed to notice I was throughout attacking the schoolboy view of history displayed here and the way such air raids – whatever about their good intentions – that had little positive effect and much negative, are celebrated and glorified, while their countless innocent victims are ignored.

    I suggest you, and mahons, go back over the thread and this time read the comments, starting with "Great post. One of the brave British WW2 female pilots just past away,.."

    Meanwhile, I can catch up on sleep. Goodnight.

  34. One remarkable thing about Barnes Wallis was the fact that his daughter was the daughter in law of Marie Sropes, who was a eugensticisit and was totally opposed to the marriage because the bride wore glasses, thus showing her genetically flawed.

    I would have thought that a bit of dodgy eyesight would have been more than made up for by the gene poos she had access to!

    Nice post David and good that all the csualties were remembered.

  35. Fascinating fact Aileen – good to see you making one of your rare appearances here.

  36. Cheers Colm
    – keep them begging for more is my motto.

    Although that wan’t exactly begging ;o)

    Hope all is well with you!! (((((Colm))))

  37. Noel,

    While I don’t agree with all you said I salute the way you fought your corner.

    Mahons,

    I’m glad you spelled Attagirls with one "t" in "’Atagirls’ who helped transport the planes." Otherwise I’d have been reminded of this charming chap.

  38. I also think Noel put forward a very potent and well informed argument about the nastier and murkier side to events like this. When I posted my comment it was purely to express an admiration for individual bravery which I maintain, not to express any view as to the necessity of this particular operation , something I am not informed enough to judge, but Noel’s contributions here have been illuminating.

  39. I don’t think he did. I think it is an elaborate piece of guilt mongering.

    He misses the single most obvious thing. It was a war which we did not start. War sucks. Shit happens. People die.

    The mission in itself was brave as were all those who took part.

    It is not wrong to commend the work and their efforts and the mission.

    This ridiculous idea that with hindsight we all feel guilty is just that – ridiculous.

    35 000 people died in London alone. Because of Hilter. It remains on his head that any and all civilians died. Don’t pretend otherwise.

  40. Noel

    It may be mentioned that –even if they had known beforehand the consequences– some of the prisoners and slave laborers would have cheered the arrival of those bombers. Oh, yes I said it.

    Just as prisoners in the death camps may have been happy to see allied planes bombing the trains and tracks ( which in hindsight should indeed have been done ) , there is no reason to believe that many prisoners would not have not have cheered the destruction of the dams, part of the German war and death machine. So that others could live. So that the world could ultimately be restored.

    I doubt that you’ll get the point I make. But I absolutely believe it to be true.

  41. Actually Phantom – there was a history programme that detailed exactly that. I will see if i can find it on youtube. The accounts of Polish prisoners many of whom died in allied bombing raids but some of who were freed. They all knew what was at stake. They all cheered the Allied bombers. Im sure it relates to this. But if not i would say that could be extended to any situation in WW2.

  42. Alison/Phantom

    You both have articulated well the bigger picture and necessity of harsh and cruel actions required to deal with a great evil, but Noel has also been right in reminding us of the colder reality behind much of the romanticised view of historic events like the Dambusters mission. He does not deserve the criticism laid at his contributions here.

  43. Colm

    All that people were doing was acknowledging this mission, the bravery of those involved and the unique nature of what was actually taking place. He even managed to immediately sneer at the image chosen. I think his comment was in poor taste and just flowery guilt mongering ignoring what essentially wars are all about. Noone wanted that war.

    For all the information on civilians, there is a ton of information missing which Phantom has touched on and which we would do well to investigate before accepting his view as wholly accurate (since we have the benefit of hindsight and history as Noel hinted at).

    "He does not deserve the criticism laid at his contributions here"

    I think it is the other way around. The post and the commentary here did not deserve the rather trite response from Noel at the outset. It spoiled any factual information in his comments that followed. I think Pete Moore made a better crack at that generally.

  44. Alison

    I agree with you that Pete’s comment was the most dignified, and yes that Noel did sneer unnecessarily at well meaning tribute comments here, but until proven otherwise I still believe his contributions about the historical reality of the event were informative and sobering.

  45. Historical reality is an interesting choice of words. I am slightly amazed people don’t know that civilians died in WW2 allied bombing raids. I do not think it was his objective to remind us of that. Perhaps he can remind us who started it. As I said it’s war that noone wanted. Certainly not the people of London, Coventry and various other cities in this country smashed to pieces because of Hitler and for whom missions like this and the bravery of those involved were paramount. Forgetting, mocking or denigrating their bravery is appauling. When Noel writes ‘the horrors they celebrate’ Im afraid his credit as a worthy historian pointing to truth kind of dissipates.

  46. >> I think it is an elaborate piece of guilt mongering.<<

    Alison, I hope you don’t think that I – an Irishman – could feel guilt about anything the RAF did, unless of course guilt for the common human condition!

    Thanks Colm and Dawkins,

    A lot of people here are unable to deal with the dirty facts I brought up as they no doubt burst many of the romantic bubbles in their heads, so they come out with the stupid defence of lying about my attitude to this raid, etc. Actually, like you, I find it difficult to judge on the morality of this issue, but in general I think the air offensive against Germany was justified in the context of the war and what was known and not known at the time.

    Why did I bring this up? Because it’s more than a point of historical interest: The romantic naivety about war and its consequences that stories like this both feed and reflect is one of the factors that keep wars and massacre going. The people that planned and supported the war in Iraq were also reared on this stuff – it creates the "our glorious boys" and The Demon Enemy attitude that has been the cause of so much mischief.

    "We have fed our hearts on fantasies
    The heart’s grown brutal from the fare"
    as Yeats said.

  47. Well Alison if Noel chooses to defend himself on that charge here I will leave that to him, but I don;t think he mocked anyones individual bravery.

  48. Oh touche i don’t think. I keep forgetting about the Irish and WW2. Thanks for the reminder!

    As for romantic bubbles none are fatter than the one you are busily constructing around yourself right now Noel.

    If you think the horrors of Hitler and his war were anything but his own creation. And those involved in preventing his wretched attempt at european domination less than heroes we should and did salute in this post. No matter how ‘cartoonish’ you view the simple image posted.

    There was nothing romantic for the people in the cities in this country Hitler set about trying to destroy either. They are rarely remembered. But to attempt to portray people here saluting those involved, those ‘glorious boys’ you mock (that is what they are and were to the civilians dying here). And in such a callous way too. Presenting yourself as some kind of devils advocate on the side of the good and righteous? Well, it’s really quite astonishing up your own arsed-ness.

  49. I can see that my attempts to get Alison to respect Noel’s contributions here are doomed to failure 🙁

  50. Well all that’s left for me to do is step out of the ring and let you two slug it out !

  51. Alison,

    "He misses the single most obvious thing. It was a war which we did not start. War sucks. Shit happens. People die."

    No, that won’t wash. ‘But he started it’ is a child’s excuse.

    It is true that Hitler bears responsibility for everything that happened, but that does not mean nobody else does. In anything like this you have to make a fundamental decision: are you going to hold yourself to Hitler’s standards, Saddam’s, those of the terrorist, or your own.

  52. Noel

    I didn’t know the magnitude of allied/slave prisoner deaths that resulted from these individual actions–but I certainly was well aware that there were many such friendly fire deaths in the war. You’ve shed no light here.

    Were it not for the actions of those air crews, and the actions of the many like them from all allied forces, all the good things of civilization may have ended. In all of Europe, amigo.

    I’ve not seen a hint of naivete in the post or the comments here. This isn’t "jingoism" of any kind. Its remembering the actions of young men whose courage leaves me speechless.

    Let it go.

  53. Nah, i’ve heard enough thanks. I gotta go out now.

    He can say whatever. He is pouting poetry now – better or worse than David’s criticised "romantic" image i wonder?.

    No mention of Hiitler’s ‘mischief’ either!

    So childish.

    I think Noel is German. So the German Irish combo makes him understandably guilty and sore – and feel the need to finger point XD

  54. Frank

    Good point. While we can rightfully acknowledge the moral correctness in the efforts we took to defeat Nazism, that does not absolve the allies from making ethical judgments with regards to the pursuits of our military endeavours.

  55. >>I am slightly amazed people don’t know that civilians died in WW2 allied bombing raids. <<

    Then you must be extremely amazed when they called me ignorant of history and a liar just for pointing out an example of precisely that!

    >>If you think the horrors of Hitler and his war were anything but his own creation. A<<

    You see, those bubbles in your head even distort what happened 10 minutes ago – my comment – never mind 60 years ago.

    >>There was nothing romantic for the people in the cities in this country Hitler set about trying to destroy either.<<

    Exactly, and you can be sure the people – whether civilians, prisoners or war or slave labourers – under the hail of Allied bombs didn’t feel very romantic about it either. Even though you now claim they actually welcomed getting hit on the nut by their countrymen as it hastened the war’s end!

    If you think that, you know as little about human nature as about WWII history, I’m afraid.

    >>those ‘glorious boys’ you mock<<

    Again, you are telling lies. Show me where I mocked the airmen. What I am mocking is people like you who glorify nasty, murderous but necessary acts into something romantic – just because they were carried out by your countrymen.

  56. Interesting Frank but that was not my point.

    Noel is accusing others of jingoism which is rubbish, of romanticising when he also does so ignoring Hilter, being naive, same issue …and then he alludes to mischief as though it were all ours. Yet makes no mention of Hilters own mischief which saw people into a war, as i said earlier, that they did not want.

    It is foolish and pathetic to finger point and avoid those facts. This was a simple enough salute to the brave. He certainly provides no news insight into what happened. We know people died in allied bombing raids.

    His BS was misplaced and rather snide.

  57. You are SO mocking Noel. Your tone is self evident and was at the outset. Stop bullshitting!

    As for this:

    glorify nasty, murderous but necessary acts into something romantic – just because they were carried out by your countrymen.

    Cannot decide if that is an ‘outright lie’ or just your usual sanctimonious bullshit. So i’ll err with the latter! Ignoring your romantic poetry back there – an attempt to romanticise your own view?

    Take it easy – it was a post commemorating the brave – and they were that Noel.

  58. Alison

    I think you better go out, as you were planning to. Stay here on ATW and you might explode !

  59. >>Ignoring your romantic poetry back there – an attempt to romanticise your own view?<<

    Alison, that poetry wasn’t romantic. It was from Yeats’ Middle Period, after he’d abandoned romanticism and become a modernist and social ironist !

    But I’m going to follow Phantom’s reconciliatory tone and let this go, before you cause more collateral damage wherever you are :-).

    Thanks for the debate and goodnight folks.

  60. Aileen

    To those not familiar wth the context, that comment could sound very kinky indeed 🙂

  61. Do you think i might explode Colm. Really?! Nope. Just cutting to the chase and using an exclamation mark. I know that throws people on ATW and they get worried. Bit like a bombing raid! LOL.

    Im just calling patronising BS when i see it…seriously it went on for so long someone had to!

  62. Noel,

    That the war, indeed any war, throws up a number of brave people who are inspirational heroes to those whom they are defending, seems not to mean much to you. They provide an often much needed ‘morale boost’. and are often the difference between success and failure, and are certainly better as role models than many vaunted as such at this time.

    You wish to change, if not destroy the memory of brave deeds, and for what – to make the obvious point that was is an awful thing? Perhaps when using hindsight, it may help not to use it, ‘out of context’.

    To read you, and others here, one would think that the decision to defend and protect by retaliation is taken lightly, rather than as an act of last resort.

    That there are people prepared to stand and defend us, is to their credit, and for the rest of us to repect and honour,, and not to be decried in some feeble attempt to rewrite history to suit some political stance.

    Your doubting, often sneering remarks, on matters where civilians are killed in a military action,take little account of the fact that, civilian, or not, they are still ‘the enemy’, and vice versa. The military represent their country of origin, like it or not, they act on behalf of all the population.

    That our current military leaders make every effort to minimise such collateral damage, says much for their humanity. The total disregard for life, whether friend or foe, ended with WWI…and that was probably it’s biggest achievement…

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