Who started the mass bombing of civilians in World War II? This book proves, with clinical detail, that it was the Allies, and not the Germans, who started the “blitz” and once underway, carried it to the most extreme murderous ends.
To add insult to injury, at the end of the war, the Allies then arrested German military leaders and put them on show trials for responding to these Allied-initiated atrocities.
The author, a legally-trained expert, shows how European conflicts prior to 1939 had an unwritten agreement to avoid involving civilians in warfare and gives several historical examples where victors exercised non-vindictive restraint in dealing with the vanquished. This code of conduct, however, vanished in an orgy of hatred in the 1939–1945 conflict, particularly with the deliberate Allied bombing of civilian, non-military areas of cities.
Veale is meticulous in his arguments and cites cabinet meeting transcripts, memoirs of those involved in the decision-making, and many other sources to prove that the British and Americans were the first and the best at killing innocent civilians—and that if there had been any justice at Nuremburg, the accused would have included the Allied leaders as well.
He points out that an appalling precedent had been set by the Nuremburg Trials, for the judgments meant that in any future war the admirals, generals and air marshals of the defeated side could expect to be condemned to death for obeying the orders of their government. In addition, the prosecutors were judge and jury in their own cases.
Frederick J. Veale (1897 t0 1976) was a professional soldier, a prolific writer, and a regular contributor to the famous Nineteenth Century and After monthly review. In addition to articles on economic and historical subjects, Frederick Veale wrote Lives of Lenin (1932) and Frederick the Great (1935).
Cover image: The bombed city of Dresden, February 1945.
Foreword by The Very Rev. William Ralph Inge
Foreword by The Rt. Hon. Lord Hankey
Chapter 1 — Primeval Simplicity
Chapter 2 — Organized Warfare
Chapter 3 — Europe’s Civil Wars
Chapter 4 — Civilized Warfare (The First Phase)
Chapter 5 — Civilized Warfare (The Second Phase)
Chapter 6 — The Splendid Decision
Chapter 7 — The Nuremberg Trials
Chapter 8 — The Last Phase