Carpet Bombing

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sardia
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby sardia » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:50 am UTC

I mentioned it over in news, but I thought you guys should see the original source.
http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb5 ... irst-Ever/
The ideas presented in the papers indicated by what was included, and what order they were to be nuked. Read it and weep at what the Allies were planning for.

morriswalters
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:51 am UTC

Weep harder. You can be sure the USSR had equally deadly plans. I suppose it puts a face on the phrase, Mutually Assured Destruction.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:57 pm UTC

Yeah....I'm not really surprised that global thermonuclear war would be awful.

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Zamfir
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Zamfir » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:07 pm UTC

Weep harder. You can be sure the USSR had equally deadly plans. I suppose it puts a face on the phrase, Mutually Assured Destruction.

At some point, I suppose. But not at that time. The Soviet union didn't have a fraction of that amount of bombs or bombers.

That gives a weird mirror-fighting aspect to those SAC plans, with their emphasis on destroying air bases and air command infrastructure at absolutely any cost. It's a plan to prevent an assumed Russian version of itself, that didn't exist.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:02 pm UTC

There's a long history of Russia putting up a big external front, but behind the scenes, not being quite so competent as they put on. Lotta that throughout the cold war.

And of course, everyone would generally prefer to err on the side of extra caution, so if there's uncertainty, it makes sense that they'd prepare for the worst. In retrospect, it looks a little odd, but given the information at the time, it kinda fits.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:39 pm UTC

It wouldn't have mattered. Europe would have died from strikes by both sides, and enough bombers would have survived to plaster both coasts of the US at a minimum. The minute both sides had the weapons Western civilization would have ended as we know it, if they had been used.

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sardia
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby sardia » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:52 pm UTC

I'm not sure that justifies the nod at whole sale slaughter of 1200 enemy cities.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:24 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:It wouldn't have mattered. Europe would have died from strikes by both sides, and enough bombers would have survived to plaster both coasts of the US at a minimum. The minute both sides had the weapons Western civilization would have ended as we know it, if they had been used.


Well, MAD sort of rests on that principle, yeah. It's VERY difficult to me sure you've hit all of them, and even a few nukes leaking through is sort of a big mess.

Fortunately, it all worked out, and nobody nuked each other. So far, anyway.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:23 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I'm not sure that justifies the nod at whole sale slaughter of 1200 enemy cities.
Justification? When in the real world did that matter? We hit civilian populations throughout WW2. Germany lost in part because it could never hit the manufacturing base of the US or the USSR. Who do you think builds those weapons of war? The insanity lies in the idea that you can win a nuclear war, in any meaningful way.

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sardia
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby sardia » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:19 pm UTC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic ... rld_War_II
Sources show that strategic bombing had a mixed record. It implies that indiscriminate bombing if only useful if you increase the size of the explosion to city limits. Carpet bombing isn't enough. Try death star.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:22 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing_during_World_War_II
Sources show that strategic bombing had a mixed record. It implies that indiscriminate bombing if only useful if you increase the size of the explosion to city limits. Carpet bombing isn't enough. Try death star.


What, you think that Trump would shrink from building a death star?

You underestimate the power of the dark side.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:14 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing_during_World_War_II
Sources show that strategic bombing had a mixed record. It implies that indiscriminate bombing if only useful if you increase the size of the explosion to city limits. Carpet bombing isn't enough. Try death star.
Do you think Fat Man and Little Boy ended the war with Japan? Here is a link to amuse you. However tactical bombing is what the pols have to be referring to and its been obvious from the git go. There are no strategic targets, other than the oil fields and refineries.

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Paul in Saudi
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Paul in Saudi » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:59 am UTC

(Forgive me for coming so late to the thread. The US never tried to carpet bomb North Vietnam. We did carpet-bomb lots of jungles, mostly in South Vietnam. We also carpet-bombed Germany and Japan. In those two cases, yes we managed to wipe out truly pernicious ideologies. Please return to your discussion of more recent comments. Again, my apologies.)

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:22 pm UTC

That's kind of why we lost Vietnam. Not the "not carpetbombing North Vietnam" thing, but the "not attacking North Vietnam" thing. It's all too easy to send your kids to die, but a bit more difficult when the battle is in your own living room. The North could send kid after kid after kid (and so could the US), but as long as there was no attacks on the North itself the war was a battle of wills; who could keep on sending kids off to die the longest. Spoiler alert: the US gives up after a decade.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby elasto » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:04 am UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:We also carpet-bombed Germany and Japan. In those two cases, yes we managed to wipe out truly pernicious ideologies.

Bombing industry and infrastructure obviously helps when an entire nation is devoted to a war effort, but it's very debateable whether carpet bombing German civilians helped in any way. When the Germans carpet bombed the UK it only made our resolve stronger, after all.

None of that is relevant when it comes to deliberately carpet bombing civilians in the ME - except for the 'it will only make their resolve stronger' part. Training camps aside, they aren't employing any industry/infrastructure in a war against us, so there's no point making efforts to degrade it.

Modern wars are asymmetric and can't be won from the air - and often can't even be won from the ground (see Afghanistan). Instead they have to be won through diplomacy backed up with the threat of force (eg. Iran). Once you get to the use of actual force you're done for - because a victory comes from winning over hearts and minds - the one thing force can never do.

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Paul in Saudi
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Paul in Saudi » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:17 am UTC

I would suppose that if we were willing to do to Afghanistan what our grandfathers did to Germany we would be able to win. But of course the fact is we are unwilling to do that. But the OP wondered if carpet bombing (as they claim we did in North Vietnam) could destroy an ideology. History clearly shows the answer is yes. How you have decided otherwise is unclear.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby elasto » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:47 pm UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:I would suppose that if we were willing to do to Afghanistan what our grandfathers did to Germany we would be able to win.

Not sure what you mean. We warred inside Afghanistan with an occupying army for a decade, which is far more than we ever did with Germany. We didn't defeat Germany because we killed its citizens, but because we defeated its army. We were never able to defeat Afghanistan's 'armies' because they are not top-down but factional and autonomous. Germany fought a symmetric war which can be defeated. Afghanistan fought an asymmetric war which can't.

But of course the fact is we are unwilling to do that. But the OP wondered if carpet bombing (as they claim we did in North Vietnam) could destroy an ideology. History clearly shows the answer is yes.

Excuse me? So fascism as an ideology no longer exists? It was defeated militarily and that's the end of it?

Sorry, ideologies can't be defeated as easily as nation states. German fascism was defeated in 1945. Fascism is effectively immortal. There are still practising Nazis - and terrorists who believe in white supremacy still kill to this very day.

Sure, if you kill all white people you'll defeat white supremacy as an ideology, and if you kill all Muslims, you'll defeat Islamism as an ideology, but that's like claiming a shotgun is a cure for cancer...

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Paul in Saudi
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Paul in Saudi » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:02 pm UTC

You are being silly.

elasto
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby elasto » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:09 pm UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:You are being silly.

And the idea of carpet bombing the whole ME (which would still leave thousands of radical Islamists alive and out for revenge outside of the ME) isn't?

Anyhow, I disagree that I was being silly. You were claiming that history has taught us that carpet bombing can defeat ideologies. History has taught us no such thing, it has taught us that strategic bombing can defeat nation states.

There is no nation state that the West is at war with though; There is a violent ideology out there but it is truly global, with many of the worst atrocities of recent memory being carried out by citizens of Western countries. Since we're not going to carpet bomb our own citizens it's a bizarre 'solution' to be proposed...

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby jewish_scientist » Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:58 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Training camps aside, they aren't employing any industry/infrastructure in a war against us, so there's no point making efforts to degrade it.

There is one very important form of infrastructure your forgetting; roads and bridges. If all of the roads leading into a ISIS controlled city were destroyed, then it would be much harder for supplies or reinforcements to enter the city. Rendering roads between cities that span large distances useless would prevent troops from relocating. ISIS does not have factories or manufacturing plants, so let's use that to our advantage by destroying bridges. ISIS may be able to fix roads with great difficulty, but there is no way they can systematically fix bridges without adopting a more traditional structure. Otherwise, they could not direct engineers and materials to the locations that they are needed. In graph theory, you only need to remove a couple of edges to make a graph much larger. Similarly, you only need to make a few roads or bridges unusable to make travel much more difficult. On the other hand, our forces use the same roads and bridges. Still, I think that ISIS, who does not posses an air force, would be hurt much more than us.
Last edited by jewish_scientist on Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:29 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Paul in Saudi wrote:You are being silly.

And the idea of carpet bombing the whole ME (which would still leave thousands of radical Islamists alive and out for revenge outside of the ME) isn't?


Nobody is actually trying to do that. Wasting perfectly good bombs on empty desert is pointless. You carpet the things you want to bomb, you don't bomb EVERYTHING. That simply requires way, way too many bombs to be even vaguely reasonable.

So, this particular "shocking" thing is just a giant strawman.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:24 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
elasto wrote:
Paul in Saudi wrote:You are being silly.

And the idea of carpet bombing the whole ME (which would still leave thousands of radical Islamists alive and out for revenge outside of the ME) isn't?


Nobody is actually trying to do that. Wasting perfectly good bombs on empty desert is pointless. You carpet the things you want to bomb, you don't bomb EVERYTHING. That simply requires way, way too many bombs to be even vaguely reasonable.

So, this particular "shocking" thing is just a giant strawman.

To me it seems the proposed "solution" would be to eradicate the entire (largely civilian) population. Dropping bombs on empty desert would be useless, even for that. Carpet bombing on cities and villages and shooting everyone you can find outside of the bombed areas would be far more cost-effective to achieve the proposed genocide.
Your "strawman" is a strawman.
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he/him/his

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:18 pm UTC

I don't think anyone seriously wants to target civilians as the goal.

However, I think that some folks are comfortable with risking/killing more civilians in the process of bagging the combatants. Where exactly that bar is set does have tradeoffs, but it shouldn't be something beyond talking about.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:03 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I don't think anyone seriously wants to target civilians as the goal.


Hamas does.

And ISIS.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:01 pm UTC

You set civilians as a goal when you use drones, the Air Force, and artillery to fight a war.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby BeerBottle » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:52 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:You set civilians as a goal when you use drones, the Air Force, and artillery to fight a war.
Indeed, for example using white phosphorous artillery shells over heavily populated cities. Obvious what the outcome will be, and also obvious what the intent is.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby leady » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:25 am UTC

Do you really think any military planner seriously takes decisions based on some sort of personal enjoyment of killing a handful of civilians like that?

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:02 pm UTC

I don't think Military planners are sadists, I do think that the term acceptable collateral damage tells the story. Bombing decreases Military causalities at the expense of civilian casualties. The area of effect for a weapon highlights the point. A bullet is a point source application of force. A Hellfire missile replaces that point source with death by an explosive over pressure and a a cloud of shrapnel.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby leady » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:27 pm UTC

Indeed, for example using white phosphorous artillery shells over heavily populated cities. Obvious what the outcome will be, and also obvious what the intent is.


This I assume is a reference to the Israeli conflict and my read implication is that this is a deliberate policy of civilian murder. I would suggest this Is nonsense.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:48 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I don't think anyone seriously wants to target civilians as the goal.


Hamas does.

And ISIS.


Sure. But nobody here is endorsing that. And in the US, that's just not a popular approach to take. We view intentional targetting of civilians as pretty straightforwardly evil.

Collateral damage is treated somewhat differently. Still as pretty bad, and potentially evil, if you're careless enough about it, but not on the same level.

morriswalters wrote:You set civilians as a goal when you use drones, the Air Force, and artillery to fight a war.


How exactly DO you fight a war without civilian casualties then? What wars have been successfully prosecuted without using heavy weaponry or causing civilian casualties?

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:21 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:How exactly DO you fight a war without civilian casualties then? What wars have been successfully prosecuted without using heavy weaponry or causing civilian casualties?
You don't, however at some point your tactics can't help but to be responsible for increasing civilian deaths, the effect a trade off to preserve the combatants of the army in question versus the civilians around them. I'll define a metric, civilian versus combatant deaths. The Civil War and WW1 had more Military casualties than civilian. WW2 started a new trend. The metric isn't an absolute but is a fairly clear answer to the question, when did we start targeting civilians? That disparity can be traced at least in part to aerial bombardment. From a Wired article.

Marc Herold, in looking at casualties in Afghanistan, quotes an ‘effective casualty radius’ for the Mk82 of 200 feet: this is radius inside which 50% of those exposed will die. Quite often the target is taking cover or lying down and the effect is reduced, but if you can catch people standing up or running then the full effective casualty radius will apply

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:31 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:How exactly DO you fight a war without civilian casualties then? What wars have been successfully prosecuted without using heavy weaponry or causing civilian casualties?
You don't, however at some point your tactics can't help but to be responsible for increasing civilian deaths, the effect a trade off to preserve the combatants of the army in question versus the civilians around them. I'll define a metric, civilian versus combatant deaths. The Civil War and WW1 had more Military casualties than civilian. WW2 started a new trend. The metric isn't an absolute but is a fairly clear answer to the question, when did we start targeting civilians? That disparity can be traced at least in part to aerial bombardment. From a Wired article.

Marc Herold, in looking at casualties in Afghanistan, quotes an ‘effective casualty radius’ for the Mk82 of 200 feet: this is radius inside which 50% of those exposed will die. Quite often the target is taking cover or lying down and the effect is reduced, but if you can catch people standing up or running then the full effective casualty radius will apply


Probably when people stopped wearing uniforms and showing up to the same battlefield to slug it out.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby leady » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:48 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:WW2 started a new trend.


I think revived a very very old trend after a 100 year anomaly would be more accurate.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:29 am UTC

leady wrote:I think revived a very very old trend after a 100 year anomaly would be more accurate.
No data. Update! The Wiki has a page on this.


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