Bombing raids also saved lives

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A FRIEND of mine lost his father in a wartime bombing raid just before he was born, and having read the correspondence in the letters page (July 6) regarding the placing of the Bomber Command memorial at Beachy Head, we felt the need to respond.

We agree with George Farebrother’s view, but John Carmody has unfortunately overlooked the fact these lives were sacrificed in order that we (and he) can enjoy relative peace in our lives today - and therefore it is necessary to remind people of the cost of peace.

What a pity Dorothy Forsyth appears to have based her letter regarding the bombing of Dresden on Nazi propaganda and grossly exaggerated casualty figures.

For from producing only cups and saucers, Churchill ordered the bombing of the City at the request of the Russians as it was a major supplier of products to aid the German war effort as well as being a major rail hub and road network leading out to the Eastern front supplying troops and ammunition.

The number killed in the raid on Dresden as later verified by the city authorities was 25,000 and not 260,000, and shocking as this figure may be, this raid probably shortened the war by several months. It is impossible to calculate the number of subsequent lives saved by this operation, be they Allies, Germans or Jews in the concentration camps.

This whole subject has been a matter of controversy ever since, and while one can continue to argue the facts and figures and the morality of bombing by both sides, the fact remains that they should not be allowed to detract from the fact the memorial on Beachy Head is dedicated to the brave (and mostly young) men and women of Bomber Command who lost their lives doing their duty for this country during the war, and were then shamefully neglected afterwards together with their leader Sir Arthur Harris.

ALAN HOOK

Carpenters Way

Hailsham