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"What is the difference between throwing 500 babies into a fire and throwing fire from aeroplanes on 500 babies? There is none.” --British Captain Philip S. Mumford, 1937. Both Sides Agree Not to Bomb Civilians. Washington Post headline September 3, 1939.

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Both Sides Agree Not to Bomb Civilians


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Presentation Transcript
slide3
"What is the difference between throwing 500 babies into a fire and throwing fire from aeroplanes on 500 babies?

There is none.”

--British Captain Philip S. Mumford, 1937

both sides agree not to bomb civilians

Both Sides Agree Not to Bomb Civilians

Washington Post headline

September 3, 1939

slide6

“Another popular fallacy is to suppose that flying machines could be used to drop dynamite on an enemy in time of war.” --William H. Pickering, 1908

slide7

“When my brother and I built the first man-carrying flying machine we thought that we were introducing into the world an invention which would make further wars practically impossible.” --Orville Wright, 1917

slide8

1903 Wright brothers’ first flight

1916 German Gotha raids on London

1922 Guilio Douhet publishes Command of the Air

1937 German destruction of Guernica

1939

1945 Firebombing of Japan begins (3 Feb 1945)

Allied destruction of Dresden (13 Feb 1945)

Destruction of Tokyo (9-10 Mar 1945)

Atomic bombing of Hiroshima (6 Aug 1945)

Atomic bombing of Nagasaki (9 Aug 1945)

Firebombing of Tokyo (10 August 1945)

Surrender of Japan (15 August 1945)

London Blitz 1940-1941

Combined Bomber Offensive 1943-1945

air power may either end war or end civilization winston churchill house of commons 14 march 1933
“Air power may either end war or end civilization.”--Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 14 March 1933
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“It is not possible . . . to concentrate enough military planes with military loads over a modern city to destroy that city.”--US Colonel John W. Thomason Jr., November 1937

Hiroshima, August 1945

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"What is the difference between throwing 500 babies into a fire and throwing fire from aeroplanes on 500 babies?

There is none.”

--British Captain Philip S. Mumford, 1937

world war ii bombing casualties
World War II bombing casualties

Dresden 18,000-40,000

Hiroshima 70,000-80,000

Nagasaki 45,000-70,000

Tokyo more than 100,000

slide53

“Japan was defeated and… dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary. I thought our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’ The secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude, almost angrily refuting the reasons I gave for my quick conclusions.”

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“No effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb.”

Secretary of War Henry Stimson

slide57
“A singular fact about modern war is that it takes charge. One begun it has to be carried to its conclusion, and carrying it there sets in motion events that may be beyond men's control. Doing what has to be done to win, men perform acts that alter the very soil in which society's roots are nourished.”

Bruce Catton