In this first interdisciplinary study of this contentious subject, leading experts in politics, history, and philosophy examine the complex aspects of the terror bombing of German cities during World War II. The contributors address the decision to embark on the bombing campaign, the moral issues raised by the bombing, and the main stages of the campaign and its effects on German civilians as well as on Germany's war effort. The book places the bombing campaign within the context of the history of air warfare, presenting the bombing as the first stage of the particular type of state terrorism that led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and brought about the Cold War era "balance of terror." In doing so, it makes an important contribution to current debates about terrorism. It also analyzes the public debate in Germany about the historical, moral, and political significance of the deliberate killing of up to 600,000 German civilians by the British and American air forces. This pioneering collaboration provides a platform for a wide range of views - some of which are controversial - on a highly topical, painful, and morally challenging subject.
Igor Primoratz is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra. His publications include Banquos Geist: Hegels Theorie der Strafe (Bouvier, 1986), Justifying Legal Punishment (Humanities Press, 1989, 1997), and Ethics and Sex (Routledge, 1999), and a number of edited books, including Terrorism: The Philosophical Issues (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Civilian Immunity in War (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Contributors Introduction Igor Primoratz Part I: The bombing Chapter 1. The bombing campaign: the RAF Stephen A. Garrett Chapter 2. The bombing campaign: the USAAF Douglas Lackey Chapter 3. Under the bombs Earl R. Beck Chapter 4. Firestorm Martin Middlebrook Part II: The moral issues Chapter 5. Can the bombing be morally justified? Igor Primoratz Chapter 6. Four types of mass murderer: Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, Truman Douglas Lackey Chapter 7. Was it genocidal? Eric Markusen and David Kopf Part III: The debates Chapter 8. The British debate Mark Connelly Chapter 9. The German debate Lothar Kettenacker Index