It always amazes me how each state will turn what other states could classify as a war crime, into a great victory celebration, and honour it with pomp and ceremony. Today, May 17, is the anniversary of the "Dam-busters" raid by Britain in the Ruhr Valley. I have no doubt that it was an ingenious piece of engineering, but then most war instruments of mass slaughter are, when it comes to killing our fellow man, our ingenuity knows no bounds.
On this particular occasion, there was no doubt that the Ruhr valley would be filled with ordinary people going about their daily affairs. Never the less, 19 Lancaster bombers were dispatched to destroy three dams in that area. They succeeded, but only 11 bombers return and 53 airmen were killed. However, their "success" meant that a 30 foot wave of water went rushing down the Valley, killing, at a conservative estimate, 1,600 people. It also left in its wake an area of totally destroyed infrastructure, schools, shops, homes, railways, all collateral damage to the aim of destroying the factories. Of course our celebrations doesn't mention these facts, it is all about the bravery of the air crews, which nobody doubts, and the ingenuity of our engineers, again, nobody doubts.
There is also no doubt that those who calculated and planned this event, called "operation chastise", were well aware of the effect of sending a 30 foot wave of water through a densely populated area, to them, the deaths of so many men, women and children, and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, was a price worth paying, and would be ignored. The German state responded with heavy bombing raids on London, and so the spiral continued.
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