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tv   Lectures in History  CSPAN  September 12, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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decisions were when the court took decisions that were quite unpopular. >> if you had to pick one freedom that was most essential to the functioning of democracy, it has to be freedom of speech. >> let's go through a few cases that demonstrate very dramatically and visually what it means to live in a society of 310 million different people who stick together because they believe in rule of cases.mark an exploration of 12 historic supreme court decisions and the human stories behind them. a new series on c-span produced with the national constitution center. debuting monday, october 5 at 9:00 p.m. >> next, lafayette college history professor talks about what daily life was like for u.s. and british airmen during world war ii.
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the roles of each member of a flight crew and how their experiences differ from infantrymen. this class is two hours. prof. miller: i'm going to show you some slides. it is not a pro forma lecture. if you have questions, observations, let me know. where we are at the 1943. we have invaded sicily, we have invaded italy. we are beginning to win the title of the atlantic.
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an enormous russian victory at stalingrad. where we were hurting, now the war is beginning to reverse itself. we are going to turn back a little bit to the beginning of the american participation and take that through d-day. next up we will do the d-day invasion. ok. there is the basis, east anglia. i have been there a lot. it is a backward area of england, only 60 miles from london but it might as well be six centuries away. as i say, it is shaped like a giant hachette aimed at nazi, germany. this is the closest space you can get.
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the fighter boys were further south, down here. the british pilots and bomber command was north near york. you have this in your book. you don't have it in color. you have the ranges of the fighter aircraft, how far they could get. that tells you the course of the air war. in the beginning we can only do this in the shallow penetration missions. if you're trying to knock them out, that is featured in the great film 12:00 high, they are mostly british. you get further into the war, fighters with longer range. thunderbolts and lightning. they can take the german bombers. this is the war of the
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industrial area of germany. then these boys are on their own. these missions you read about, they are going down a corridor, a bloody shoot all the way from here to the target and back. they go to regensburg, all the way to italy, to north africa. when you get the people 51 mustang, the mustang has long legs and it can go deep in germany. it can go all the way into poland to prague. hemingway says the dominant feature of warfare is chance. even our commanders didn't expect it. they were pressing for the
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planes. they get into production late but it shows up just in the neck of time. those are the stages of the air war. any questions on that? student: with the initial bomb runnings, when the bombers would be turned with the flight that carried them out, would they be waiting for them? prof. miller: not necessarily. they went in waves. even when they had the mustang. they fly out with thunderbolt coverage to hanover and then the mustang would take off from england. they would overtake them.
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then there will be another fighter group waiting for them while they returned. once they got to the target they were on their own and they start back. they are picked up. it just determines, if it is a mustang it is going to pick them up. the thunderbolt is not going to pick them up until you get to the german border. they depend on those guys all the way. student: would they have counted in for the missions they ran, like the fighters shooting at ground targets? prof. miller: as part of the mission? student: when they can't have our they are going out, with elite extra room to run the mission? prof. miller:? what do little started to do, the mustang already has tremendous fuel efficiency, it is a nimble plane, it is powerful. it can go a long way. the extra weight hurts you in some ways if you run into
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opposition. let's say the luftwaffe means you. you have to drop those tanks. the guys go out on the reserve tanks. then the plane is nimble and can fight a dogfight. that is how they planned the operation. doolittle takes over. your most important mission is to dive and kill as many planes on the ground. you're killing them on the ground as well. fighter boys love that stuff. that is not the best film footage. they had those cameras on the guns. you get that kind of footage. anybody else? ok.
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so, here you get a better sense of the targets. they are going to be initially right here. we just took a trip to normandy. we stopped here. immense submarine fortification. then you see some of the other key spots. when they finally put an air force in italy through the south here, that is the 15th air force. they will fly over the outs and hit targets here, dresden, even berlin. germany has almost no match for oil. this will be a air force territory here. germany is getting it from both sides here and here. you get daylight bombing, and the raf at night.
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from italy they would mount missions across here into romania because romania germany gets most natural oil from romania. it is important to knock out spots there. this is where the african-american pilots flew, the tuskegee airmen, out of italy. they escorted bombers to eastern europe. student: did the russians, where they able to mount the aerial campaign? prof. miller: good point. no. there is only two countries in the world that have these four engined bombers, britain and the united states. germany tried to put one into production and ran into problems even with their crack engineers. the russians concentrated
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entirely on strategic air force. they had two engine bombers. that is how they bombed britain. they don't have these babies that can go long distances. we are the only countries that have this sort of thing. anybody else with a question? there is the picture. there is the instrument of destruction. a b-17. it looks big. it looks big on the ground. it looks like the cabin on the submarine. you get a 10-11 person crew in here. you get a plexiglass nose. one of the first missions, you might have read this.
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the only casualty was a page who had the glass on the front. it knocked the splinters into their heads. 26,000 deaths later. that first mission was a cake run. you have a navigator sitting at a desk, he is the boy. he has to get you the target. i talked to a guy, he is a history major. he is about to go into his junior year. he is drafted, six months later he is navigating a bomber to scotland with a crew of five. the gunners in the back of the plane went to his ship.
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these guys are not well trained. they are rushed into this war. that explains the early casualties. a lot of responsibility on a navigator. the bombardier has this highly sophisticated instrument called a norton bomb sign. you aim at the target. it adjusts to wind, whether, the height you are at. you could on a clear, clean day, desert conditions, you could drop bombs into a circle as big as this room. the idea was this was going to be a great secret weapon of the war. when the crews landed, there were two guards that went out.
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they escorted the bomb sign with them. it did not really matter that much after retired because the germans, there were enough crashes and these instruments were safe so the germans knew what was going on but they never implemented one. that is the front of the plane. you step up in here into the cabin, and pilots. behind this, standing behind them is a guy called the engineer. he knows all the instruments. anything goes wrong, he is watching all the dials. if you are under attack, he just sticks his head into that thing. these are all powerful machine guns. the best we have.
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you have 10 of them on the plane. that is the front of the plane. they are all opposites. -- officers. you will across a very precariously narrow catwalk. you could not get them closed. you had to go on that catwalk thinganked down on this and close the bomb doors by hand or a bomb would stick. the bombs were in racks. you had to unleash this bomb and drop it through. there are cases of guys falling. then you move back into the back.
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this is where my father was trained. everybody is wired up. it is symbolic of the organic bombs. and the symbol, they are all on the same wire. they are connected technologically and personally. so, they have an interphone. when they talk to each other on the plane nobody else can hear that. unless he hooks of a general radio signal, generally they are on silence. all the way to the target. there is not much direction from the home base. these kids are entirely on their own. i don't think there has been a case where a guide this young, the average age is 22 years old, the old man is 26 years old. he would generally be the pilot.
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so, it is a lot of responsibility. entirely in the hands of the own navigator, and whether you destroy the target or not, it is up to you. terrific amount of pressure on these kids. on each side there is a machine gun. the plane is so narrow, when one guy is narrowed, the back is touched. these things are open to the weather. if there is a little heat from the engine, the compartment isn't heated. you would be over germany, in january, five below zero inside the plane. 26,000 feet. that explains the proper dominant -- the predominant frostbite.
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frostbite can be a killer. they will close these and stick the gunther a whole. i don't know if you ever heard the expression the whole nine yards. for going all the way. that was the length of a machine gun. ammunition boxes for here. it was nine yards from here to these guns. you could get underneath here if there was a pilot. and all by himself is the gunner. finally, there is this guy sitting in a plexiglass bubble. we track into the plane when they take off and land. a tough position to bn. -- to be in.
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that is the b-17. >> how often do the guns jammed? prof. miller: good question. they generally jammed for two reasons. cold weather. everything breaks down in cold weather. the other thing is overheating. the barrel can blow up in your face. you have to be careful of that. that happened. in a prolonged air battle. generally it would not last more than 30 minutes. unless you are going to stuttgart. the germans are flying over their homeland. they can go up and get you, refuel, get you again. they may land four times trying to get a fleet of bombers.
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you could have guns clog up with conditions like that with persistent fire. good question. anybody else? student: it said in the movie yesterday it was so cold, their hands would freeze to the gun. was it difficult to unjam them? prof. miller: you were two sets of gloves. a light racetrack driver silk gloves. they were not weather resistant. they wore gloves over that. you took off the larger glove and then put the silk glove on and hope that did not stick. sometimes guys, in the chaos of combat, your gun jams and you are in danger, you pull both gloves off and try to clear the
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jam. you have not been told this before. maybe it is your first mission. your hand would stick their. at that temperature. you would stick to it. that is what is going on here. they are fighting at four miles high. no one had flown before this. the big thing is, everything is new. you get new kinds of problems, new kinds of medicine, everything. these guys are lab rats. everything is experimental. student: how quick were air commands to adapt? prof. miller: very quick.
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i will tell you where they were slow. preparing. they had no idea -- all the thinking went into the technology of the plane. boeing makes it. they start producing these things in 1935. they get into production of prototypes. we start to mass-produce them. everything is sophisticated. nobody thought about the guys. ear problems. if you go up in a commercial plane you start to have your ears pop. these guys are under permission -- pressure and unpressurized cabins. ear problems are a regular problem in addition to frostbite. nobody had thought of that. nobody thought of giving these guys armor. they got the museum, the met in
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new york city, which has all these old medieval armor. they had met artists to design armor for these guys. when they went on the bomber they put helmets on with holes in the ears to listen with earphones pretty put on a vast, and iron vest that was candace -- canvas on the outside and steel on the inside. that provided protection. if you got a flak burst, a piece of shrapnel that blew through the aluminum of the plane, it is very thin. that is why it is so cold. you can go with a screwdriver and go like that and drive a screwdriver through the plane. that is how thin the aluminum is. they took a lot of punishment but they had a good
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superstructure here, here, across like that. you could literally blow out the sides. sometimes the whole area of the plane would be exposed. they could see the gunners in there. they are adapting all the time later on. this is a gun operated by the bombardier. they start the radar, a form of guidance system on the plane. they are making modifications as they go along. student: were any of the members on the plane trained as a medic? prof. miller: no.
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you are a marine, your buddy goes down, medic. put some sulfur on the wound. they don't have penicillin until 1944. all you can do is stop an infection. a guy goes down here with no medic. they had a file, a vial of morphine. as soon as a guy went down you take him out of his misery and you give a shot of morphine. we put him on the floor of the plane. a couple of blankets may be. you hope he survives. i described one incident where a guy went down in the front of the plane, and he was in the section here, in the middle of a chaotic air battle. the pilot is usually checking everybody.
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sometimes he passes on that responsibility to the navigator. everything ok back there? reading oxygen? -- are you breathing oxygen? a lot of the time their masks would clog up. the guy doing the checking goes down. he's on the floor of the plane for an hour. when they got him back to england they cut off his ears, they fell off. his nose fell off. his lips were gone. his eyeballs froze into his head and had to be removed. frostbite. a killer. most of these times they would use the russian cure. they would wait until everything turned purple, turned black, and then they would start falling off. then you could treat the guy. rough stuff. it was done on the base. where there is a doctor.
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there's a little hospital on every base, and a general hospital if you needed surgery, amputation, all the smaller stuff is done at the base. anyone else? on the plane itself? student: was there any prior scientific research over weather conditions were -- i was a trial and error? prof. miller: trial and error. now we had a lot of research on mountain climbers. people go up here. i was in colorado when the book came out. i saw the airport they have these books about mountain climbing in the himalayas and places like that. these guys are going up only 4-5 miles.
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they have to pay $400,000 to mount a major climb. they are getting paid $3000 a day and are getting shot at. there isn't a lot of this. there is not a lot of thought. the crazy thing is when they are developing this plane they thought it was impervious. these machine guns, if you fly these things in combat formations, so close, fall was -- paul was telling me you would have to be strong to control a bomber because we were flying so close i could hear my wing bumping into the wing of the plane next to me. it is like driving a gigantic truck in the sky, rocking and rolling in the sky. a lot of wind currents in the sky as well. it is tremendously difficult to keep this instrument under control.
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student: how would dropping the bomb after that affect the handling? prof. miller: a lot. 5000 pounds. the atomic bomb was 9000 pounds. he described as dropping the bomb, the plane just jumped because you lose that weight. you were jarred like that. that often happens. these things would spin sometimes upside down. i talked to a guy in savannah, he was telling me, he was telling me anything special happened to you? nothing?
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a little guy about 90 years old. he said well, there was one mission where the plane flipped, and the pilot was killed, and the copilot was killed, and the navigator was killed, and i was the radio gunner. we flipped upside down and i started to float in the air. i said, nothing happened? [laughter] he got back, obviously. anybody else? so, of course, the commander. the eighth air force, a lot of pressure is going to be on him. a guy named carl spotts was head of the air force. but then baker takes over. his mission is to prepare them to fly, to gain air supremacy over northwestern europe to make
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the d-day invasion possible. there is spotts, who was sent to north africa, he is brought back and has all the american air forces in the european theater. then it is jimmy doolittle. he will change the nature of the air war. the war is as new to these guys as the common soldier. they have all the american air forces. it's not the america air force, it is the american air forces. he is under tremendous pressure throughout the war from roosevelt, who is under pressure from churchill. these guys cannot fly in daylight.
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you don't have escorts. you are getting hammered. you're getting hammered so hard you are not able to have navigators get to the target properly. why don't you fold up the air force and commented bombers, learn to fly a knife and fly with us? us?nd night and fly with it is safer at night. we don't try to aim specifically at this target or that target. we wipe out city. nighttime, not being able to see doesn't matter. what matters is the luftwaffe. their casualties are staggering. these are the characters, i gave a talk earlier in savannah on the film we are making.
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these are our major characters. this is rosie rosenthal. 51 missions, a jewish kid from brooklyn, all-american athlete, baseball, football, lawyer. got a job with a law firm the day after pearl harbor he volunteers. he kept his vow as long as hitler lived he would fly. he react for a couple of missions and went down three times. interesting character. comes back of the end of the war and he is transferred out. the war is over in may. he signs up to go to the pacific.
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he wants to fly the b29 but the war is over. what he does, he is a lawyer. he reads about the nuremberg trials. they sent him to trial to prosecute german civilians who committed atrocities against downed airmen, hanging them, shooting them, throwing them into burning buildings. he went after these guys. he met a girl he liked named phyllis. they fell in love. she is a trial lawyer. they got married at nurnberg during the trial. they came home, closure for him. he helped prosecute the big ones. a really interesting character. what a lot of people don't talk about, because veterans don't even like to talk about it when i bring it up, segregation. this is a relentlessly
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segregated area. there are no african-americans ever in the bombers. nor are the african-americans flying fighter planes out of england. the only african-americans flying are the tuskegee airmen flying out of italy. he insisted it was impossible to maintain crew discipline if you have blacks and whites together, southern whites especially with blacks in the same cabin in close proximity. it's one of the great marks against the eighth air force. 10% of the air force personnel in england are black. they have less than 1% of people of color in 1954. -- 1944.
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they are doing with these guys did, building airbases. they are on trucking detail and take the bombs to the air base. they would show up, deliver the bombs, and asked have a meal. they were not even allowed in the mess hall. they would have to go eat rations and sleeping trucks. there were a number of racial riots. the english girls would date black guys. there is a colored night and a white night. the white kids liked that until they wondered what is my girlfriend doing on the black night when he is in town? the strangest warfront in history, bucolic countryside, cows, sheep, meadows. crumbled churches in the background.
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there were more of those made in b-17s. it is a crazy battlefront. it is like you go to war, a machine full of gas, you come back and you are fighting for your life over berlin, you come back to base, clean sheets and good meals, you can get psychiatric or medical care, there's women, there's london. you get a two-day pass to go to london. you can be at berlin with the girl of your dreams in london at 10:00 at night. it is a different war than thought for a guy on the ground in combat. that has insisted bandages. -- it's disadvantages. student: that may not be a shock
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-- as sharp when they are flying. prof. miller: right. why would they not be flying? student: they are coming from a relaxed state. prof. miller: what would stop a mission? student: the weather. prof. miller: exactly. it is capricious. it comes on you suddenly. student: drunkenness is also a problem. prof. miller: it could be. if you were drunk the night before you flew drunk. the easiest way to get over a hangover is oxygen. i should not have said that. student: for the infantrymen, they become callous. for the guys in the air was they come home they can relax. they have to face the problem of getting back in the plane and doing it over and over again. the stress of being relaxed and throwing yourself back into a
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terrible situation which leads to combat fatigue. prof. miller: that's right. there is electric chair. you walk there, or the one to give you the injection. you have seen it not work a couple of times in the news. you go back to your cell. and you wait three days to die again. that is what these guys did. the pressure builds up. it is enough trauma in the plane. they come back and start thinking about all the time. maybe there are 12 other guys. there are five empty bunks. maybe you turn them oversee besideave to see the guy you. you were just playing softball with him.
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he is gone. the intermittent of the thing, it is horrible. incessant combat like ogallala, all this stuff -- student: it would be very psychologically taxing to be in a plane, similar situations and people who are training by sea, because you are stuck. you don't have the backup when you are up in the air. prof. miller: that's right. then the bicycle effect. you fall on your bike, you get back up again. if you sit for two weeks and don't ride the bike again, it is like trauma. or in an air accidents. you are flying from abe to atlanta. the plane experiences problems.
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you're not going to want to fly again right away. you have to make a flight six weeks later, you're thinking about it. that is the phobia. student: it is kind of incredible, people have a fear of flying, fear of going into planes. something like that today will stop people from flying. this is a more high stress situation. prof. miller: it is. almost half of these guys had never been in a plane before. a lot of them did fear heights. they did not like to be up there. a lot of them got airsick. we have a character we are to feature in our hbo series named crosby who died a couple of years ago. every time he went up he would
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throw up into the oxygen mask. what happens? student: it freezes. prof. miller: and you don't know it sometimes. you do not know if you're pulling oxygen. you don't feel it filling up your lungs. then you have oxygen deprivation. you blank out. four more minutes, you are dead. it is the worry about this sort of stuff. student: [indiscernible] that they are used to it now. they are worried because they might make it out. prof. miller: the guys i talked to say, they will tell you the last missions were hell. i made it to 23, i'm going to get it on 25.
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so many guys did. i tell them, a guy had a girlfriend waiting for him. they were going to get married the next day. he was on his 25th mission. he had a shell come through the window and blows his head off. he had to land. the crew decided to land at a different spot than where the girlfriend was. [inaudible] student: i just imagined one of the other big problems, there was a certain amount of monotony. prof. miller: that's right. you would fall asleep. the sound of the engine. the plane is filled with cigarette smoke. they are not smoking while they are fighting but they are
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smoking until the time they reach 12,000 feet. the plane smells like grease and dried blood, and smoke. all the smoke in the air can -- they could listen to the radio before they got to germany. popular songs, listening to the bbc, listening to the top 20. beautiful countryside. everything else will happen quick, just like that. student: were the reactions of the men who have to stand there and watch their friends die? prof. miller: they had to go to a flak farm, a country estate, the family may be moved to london.
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you had badminton or tennis. some guys said it didn't do much good. all you thought about, you would try to get your mind off it. you are still thinking you have got to go back. that is the thing. what a difficult job being a combat surgeon was. maybe you come to me and say i can't fly. if you're crazy then you should be crazy because nobody could sanely go to the air and fly. that is the catch. suppose you say parkinson shakes at night.
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not traumatic night dreams. i'm tossing and turning at nine. -- at night. i am edgy all the time. i want to cure you. , i send youssful right back to the situation i got you there in the first place. you wanted to send people like you back to the state you couldn't do because your job was to get guys into combat. they are in a difficult position. that is what a lot of guys didn't go to see the combat surgeon. the cure is just to get me back in the war. i will just punch there and try to get 25 done. you will say to the guy in the plane, watch me. make sure not doing some this
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-- i'm not doing something that will injure the crew. i only need three more missions. the comrades would stick up for you. you are flying with nine fully able guys and that is dangerous. guys would do it help each other out. student: i was wondering when you said the surgeon would treat them and then send them back, how long would they usually have between being cured? prof. miller: we saw sodium -- it is a truth serum. you can walk, you can urinate. you can speak, sometimes fall tingley. y. faultingl what they usually do, they would lay you down in a dark room and go through the mission. your friends had blue across the plane.
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trauma, trauma, try to release the trauma. that was a general so-called cure. the ordinary cure was rest, shower, change of clothes, light therapy, two days, relax you, then send you back unless you had a deep psychosis. they sent you to a medical establishment in england that handled psychic cases, guys that had gone off the edge. they were there long-term. if they were considered incapable of turning to combat they were sent back to the states and put in a hospital in the states. i had a guy, sherman small, i said how did he get through? he said, i pretended i wasn't sherman small.
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i was in a movie. the luftwaffe were actors. they were fake claims read this -- fake planes. this was hollywood. it got me through the war. what happened when the movie stopped? he went nuts. he was there and a hospital for three years. -- in a hospital for three years. commanders on the base never recognized, never wanted to recognize this. because that is taking men away from them. a lot of them distrust to psychoanalysis. these witch doctors are trying to cure these guys. all they need is rest, the commanders are saying. they're ok. they will make it through. as i said before, the british are tough on it. they called it absence of fortitude.
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you just didn't have it, no moral fiber. that was a mistake we made in training by letting you through. this is a guy who got through who didn't have the mental fiber. anyone else? student: when they were flying, were these bombers on a skeleton crew? how vital was it to have everyone? prof. miller: you had to. if one of their guys was sick, he had asthma and he couldn't fly, and you put a replacement in, that broke up the karma. that is bad luck. these guys are superstitious. special jacket here, rabbits foot in here, we are going to take off in five minutes, no we always go at six minutes after 10, not five minutes. the biggest was, because you did
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not work with the guy. it is putting a new infielder in your infield. ok. that was a problem with replacement crews. it happened a lot. individual guys are killed on these planes. very few crews made it intact, all 10 guys survived the war. you came back with a partial crew. student: what role in the plane -- reporters. what role do they play? prof. miller: cronkite and rooney flew with two other reporters. one was shot down and killed. they had to go through gunner school and the trained as gunners to get certified to be
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allowed on the plane. they had to perform some sort of function in the plane. on rooney's mission, if they had been attacked by the luftwaffe, he had to operate a machine gun inside the plane. that is what reporters generally did. edward r murrow flew with the raf. so did ernest hemingway when he went over. those are the guys that came back and reported what it was like inside the plane. one report i read in stars & stripes magazine, the reporters that it is an eerie feeling when they close the door. the propellers go, there is no way out. it is like when you don't want to go on a roller coaster. you are off. off to war. there is no stopping it.
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anyone else? we are not getting very far in this. this is good stuff. flying from there, ok, intermittent flying. these are the voice you are up boys you are up against, some crack outfits. they flew, no limits on missions for them. they flew until they died. they were hit pretty heavily. this is adolph golland. he went toe to toe with hitler. hitler would claim they were -- he would accuse them of absence of bravery, being chickens.
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that would drive him nuts. one time he pulled off his knights cross and threw it on the desk. everyone draws a breath on that one. hitler did not do anything. this guy here, curtis lemay, he is a guy who arrives in october of 1943. he teaches the air force how to fly. he has a bombardment wing, a whole air division. what lemay says, and he will of course go on and fly, he was in charge of the higher rates -- fire raids against tokyo. he is in charge of the strategic air command in the 1950's. this is a guy who wanted to bomb cuba. he is satirized in dr. strangelove. cigar chomping.
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he is that guy. right wing, left wing, pulled a -- middle politically, he ran for president with barry goldwater. the guys loved him in the war because he cared about his men, he flew with his crew. he kind of taught them how to fly. they didn't want to execute the strategy but he said look, if you see flack in front of you, you can't avoid it. why not? you couldn't. you are in such a tight box. if you stretched out a little more, what else would this evasive action --
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the invasion would cause you to miss the target. if you miss the target, you have to go back again. you don't want to go back again. do it right the first time. you see all this flack in front of you. you have a plexiglass bubble in front of you protecting you. you have to fly right into it. to keep a steady platform. the other thing you figured out, there are a lot of bombardier's that rushed into the war. he said i can't train enough skilled bombardiers. here's what i'm going to do. you are all navigators and
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bombardiers, we're going to have a lead bombardier and a lead navigator. that is one of you guys. you're the lead guy, i'm going to really train you. you are the smartest guy on the crew. when you drop your bomb, everyone drops a bomb at the same time. you drop a smoke, it is called dropping on the leader. you put a highly skilled guy in the lead plane. you are likely to get a lot less mishaps on missions with well-trained crews. with those two strategies, the bombing starts to get a little more effective. when they went against these
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u-boats, what was the problem? student: they were bulletproof. prof. miller: bulletproof. bombproof. they are bunkers. they are not actually underground. take a shoebox, turn the shoebox over, put a little entranceway on there. the submarine floats into the ,rotection of the bunker reinforced concrete. it is as big as me. six feet tall of concrete. germans must go here and think how could we lose the war if we can build bunkers like this? here is the problem. the sub is under protection. you know we can't hit it.
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how do you send men out on missions like that? that is why that movie 12:00 high deals with that. the corporate trainings don't go through this course because trainers say to them here is the situation. you take over a company, we are not selling product for the customer doesn't want it. we still have to sell the product. how do we keep morale up where everything is a loss? we have to fire a lot of salesman. this guy was under that stress and dilemma. so were the guys fighting against the u-boats. it never works. the operation never works. u-boats were finally killed at sea. they would attend a long-range bombers there. they had a lot of legs on them.
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they had big lights. submarines had to be on the surface a lot of times. they had to recharge their batteries. you could spot them and then call in task forces. these killer teams. the small aircraft carrier, send the planes against it. try to catch the equipment if you can. try to catch the personnel. if not, down the submarine. they are killed at sea, not their bases. these guys are flying against targets they cannot see well and cannot hit. when they hit them by accident, they can't hurt them. complete futility. this is what churchill is saying at casablanca, holger air force -- hold your air force up and do something different. typical mission. he had foot pedals here.
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and he your bombardier would control these two machine guns appear for -- up here. scary mission. student: you should be looking it's like caning over a cliff. straight down. you don't have any metal beneath you. if anything happens, it will happened to the nose of the plane. prof. miller: exactly. student: it looks like all of the things are coming right at you. prof. miller: we are seeing what looks like a spark, a flame coming out of the barrel of a gun. they had rockets that were like
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missiles. everything seems to be coming in on you. what you are doing -- what are you doing? student: [indiscernible] yes, until you get to the target. then what you have to do? what you have to do to punch the bomb? student: you have to hunch over. prof. miller: exactly. you can't look at what is coming at you. that is tough. you are looking into this thing. you are heading over the edge of the cliff. you can't fire back. like carrying the regiment the civil i like this shot. look at the faces of the guys. look how young they are. remind me of the junior
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varsity football team. they prepare for war. look at these kids. that is another dread they had, going over the channel. there is not much air-sea rescue if you go down. flew.mes celebrities you heard about clark gable. star of "gone with the wind." go wife told him he had to to the war. he went through training, came out an air gunner and filmed a beautiful documentary. one of the guys said they had to get out of concepts because they were taking such great chances. the great actor jimmy stewart,
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squadron commander. air force had a good publicity machine. there is a guy that is the embryo and the egg. how would you like to be this? don't forget, this ball gunner is uneven. they had electrical suits they could wear. they are wired like old-fashioned christmas trees used to be wires. i used to go not putting up lights because one like when outcome of all lights went out. with yourre wrestling wife on the floor trying to kill each other because you can't get them in time for the kids and santa claus. electrical suits. it's eclectic. you don't know if it is going to work or not. they were asking me last class who would be the most vulnerable person the plan, we think it
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would be this guy but that --son in the plane, vulnerable person in the plane, we think it would be this guy, but it would be the pilot. they are all alone during combat. a lot of times they would try to get you from below. there is the first group, one of the first groups to return intact after 25 missions. from october until may in a 1942, 1943. groups, tells angels and another plane. 71% of the guys -- i checked last night -- that flew in that highd, i call it the 12:00 war -- 77 percent of them were casualties. imagine that. moving around. student: when the crews 35 missions, i
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imagine the replacements at a few missions to go. what about them planes themselves? were they retired? brought the: they memphis belle back. they flew her back. morgan was engaged to a girl from memphis. the plane was kept in memphis. when he got back, his girlfriend broke up with him. he married someone else that he met on the bomb drive going around the country. but generally, the crew went home and the plane stayed. sometimes you take the markings off the plane, but that was rare. against superstition. you had markings on there, the of bomb runs. betty grable on the side of the plane or something like that, "destroy the furher," something like that. artworktings, any stayed on the plane and the plane was kept in duty. student: were there any superstitions on writings on the bombs?
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prof. miller: no, they just sent little messagees humor themselves. we saw that, like right here. "a special easter egg for hitler." this was dangerous work. sometimes if you were in a hurry, the bombs were fused, they were live when you were loading them. there was one instance, a plane in england 17 people were , vaporized in where there was once a plane. ground crews gone, a huge explosion. it was tough work. here's a classroom where everyone paid attention. nobody went to sleep. i can't imagine going in there at 6:00 in the morning. they have that big wall map covered.
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then they pull the curtain back, and you saw a long line from england. it was string. the longer the string, the tougher the mission. you got an inkling half an hour before. you went to breakfast and they were serving real eggs, the guy used to collect the last supper. especially if there was bacon with it, that means you are going to berlin. "b" for bacon, berlin. the room gets real quiet. this operations officer in a half-hour explained everything about the mission. the target, the wind conditions, the weather over the target, the expected weather coming back. the expected nature of the opposition. you had to memorize all of that.
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these are the officers. these are the guys in charge. then there is a special session for navigators bombardier's, pilots, and copilots. everyone was here for the initial thing. then you're off. the gunners would be out already greasing up the guns. the pilot, copilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer would run out on a jeep. it was a real tough mission, you saw that long string, you got the protestant chaplain to bless the plane, bless the crew. i talked to rosie rosenthal many times before he passed away. he says, i was jewish and their were no rabbis. i go to the protestant guy, i go to the catholic guy, i go to anybody to cover all my bases. then i say a prayer from the torah. that is not new work airport --
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newark airport. they're not flying out every 12 minutes. they are flying out 45 seconds apart, one after the other. notice how spread out it is. it would be magnified 11-12 times what it is here all over the country. you don't want everything concentrated. one squad is a mile away. that is why they rode english bikes around the bases. you took off one after the other. you shot a radar beam up up to about 20,000 feet and you turn your radio on, bended around like this. you circle like this all the way up until you pop out of the clouds like a fish popping out of water. it is all clear up there. it takes you an hour to get through the overcast going slowly. you can't see anything if you are in the clouds.
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if you hear an explosion, fire and smoke all over the place, you know the plane in front of you is blowing up. a lot of these planes would run into each other taking off or landing. a tremendous number of accidents close to the bases in england. you pop out and there would be multicolored planes. the regiment flag that i mentioned out there. would rally around that plane and off you go. you are joined by bombers from other bases. they would join you and they would join you and by 1944, they had air trains, as they call be 16, 17 miles long, sometimes longer than that. on some flights, the first plane would have its nose over amsterdam and the tail would still be over england. that is how big these things were. 1000, 1200 planes, 1000 fighter
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planes. the english were coming back for hundred or 500 at night. you talk to people who were kids and they said the ground was shaking all the time. tremendous air currents and .oise gigantic aircraft carrier for the war in england. navigator sitting at his seat, oxygen mask on. silkgloves that i would -- gloves that i was talking about. his parachute on in this case. but that is a staged photograph. this is a radio gunner. he would fire a gun at the rear of the plane from an opening on the top. he would be open to the air so he could stick his head. this is a waste gunner. this is a staged shot as well. as in combat, the floor would be filled with these slippery cartridges as you fire.
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you would be slipping and sliding on these things, and the guy right behind you. this is the outfit, the flack vest that they wore. he doesn't have a helmet on. but he's really bundled up for the cold. if his gun would jam, he would take his glove off and do the operation right there like that. a lot of guys took cameras with them in the planes. you get shots like this. this is on the bomb run. the bomb bay doors open up. this is where you had to keep it stable. tragically, some guys captured comrades blown to smithereens in the air. this is a crash that takes place over in english base. look at how thick that overcast is. this guy got a shot of that thing. here you waited for the guys to return. out ande base came
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counted the planes as they came in. did you read this section -- yes? student: in that picture with the explosion, is that overcast due to clouds or smoke from combat? prof. miller: they are coming back from a long mission over england, looking for their base. they are looking through tremendous overcast, maybe a ceiling of 6000 feet. you're coming in at 2400. you are dropping, dropping, dropping. you can't see the airfield. there are over 40 of these things and it is a very small space. it's hard to recognize your field. a lot of guys landed at the wrong place or ran out of gas and landed at the wrong place. this is the caprice of the air war. this is the chance thing that having we talked about. you could have beautiful weather when you win out, terrific
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weather over the target for overcast sets in over england, your base is clouded up. ordinarily you don't fly in this weather. this weather grounds everything, it oru have to land in else you die. student: weather reports over germany, how was that usually done? prof. miller: they intercepted german radio signals. they picked up german weather reports. their meteorologists were trained -- england always gets continental weather. are trainedologists at picking up continental weather. you also had weather planes and observation planes over the target. they'd fly on the day of the mission and try to assess the situation over the target. is it clear? would leave asrs
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early as 8:30 in the morning, they would be flying over at daybreak. you never factored in home weather, the mission it just went forward. in these missions, there is no turning back. this is the difference between this and infantry. i go into a battle, and say i'm patton and-- directing a tank battle. i'm getting hammered on my right reinforcement over there. you change the nature of the battle by moving reinforcement around, or i can make a strategic retreat. get better cover for my tanks. in an air battle you could not do that. they were ordered to go to the target, muscle through, bomb it, and come back. not only know of race of action with the flack, but no diversion -- no evasive action with the but no diversion either.
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none of them were ever turned back. they were not all successful, but none turned back. the results were calamitous. you cannot redirect the battle. a strange thing, too. i can walk the battlefield in the civil war and say, there is lee getting ready to charge on cemetery hill. there is a mile between them. i can walk the battlefield and i say, was lee crazy to do this? well, the wall was low and we thought we hurt them with our artillery. in other words, i can play with the battle because you can go to the site. no one ever returns to an air battle. you never hear about regensburg because it is a beautiful day, affe suites in, and there's carnage in the sky. one airman told me, you dump
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, engines, men, into a giant ashtray bigger than this room. you are seeing men dropping with men' dropping without parachutes propellers going , down. it is like a hieronymus bosch painting. you can't go back to it. these airman can't go back to anything but their old basis. not to the sea. nothing about the air war. it was different. you rarely saw corpses. -- ground guys would see corpses all the time. they would ignore. they would get used to it. at the battle of the bulge, they got so hardened by warfare that they would sit on their comrade's dead body and eat
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-rations on top of them. that is how desensitized you could get in battle. this was a different kind of war, the air war. there are nobodies here. these bodies were vaporized. i once saw in a book like i was hitchhiking -- a guy with hitchhiking and an ambulance stopped him. instead of getting in the cabin, he goes to the back of it. this like a baker truck. they are screaming, no! he opens it up and sees six dead bodies on the stretchers. the first six corpses he had ever seen. fish white, dead. there is not a lot of closure. strange thing about it. i'm standing here and breathing air, which is keeping me alive. i like sunshine. we don't have a lot of it now. sunshine is great.
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but air is a killer. war, above 12,000 feet, it is fatal. and the sunshine, it's a bright day, a good day for hunting. four who? for the germans. they could see them. in the summertime, guys would pray for clouds so they could clouds, get above the roof of the luftwaffe. this scene here is something we saw briefly in the film "the air war," but this is a real case where they could not retract the vaulter at into the plane. the whole plexiglas thing was shattered and the guy died in there. the guy, well, you can imagine what the remains look like. his remains were taken in a coffee can. these the guys that returned from the vision. they were not happy. andy rooney cover the air war and said going to the air base
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and expected it to be a college and so fun, that happened, but most of the time it was depressing. one time he saw a volleyball game being played. everyone was grunting and groaning but no one made a sound. you could watch the game for an hour, no one was screaming. it is just a silent, depressing place. everybody is counting. in a prison, you count your days until you get out. you are counting the missions until you get out. when they sign-up they were fighting the germans. when you asked them why they were here, i'm fighting in the war so i can go home. that is what you had to do. you had to kill to go home. student: did they have ceremonies for bodies in the air? there are nobodies to bury. prof. miller: they would take trips to england. we have some old pilots we are
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going to meet and it will take us to a pub in cambridge where the americans went to as well. ,n the ceiling of the pub what they would do is some of these guys would smoke cigars and mark the guy's initials with cigar ashes, or burn it in with lighters. that was a better way to do it, just burned the initials in there. then you went to the bar. let's say there were two guys that went down, five of us are sitting at the bar, you drink to -- you all get up and you leave two full glasses of beer at the bar. that was the symbol. then you absolutely forget about it because you can't dwell on that. one of your friends dies today, you are mourning for a long period of time. thatr, you couldn't do because you were not functioning
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and then you would die. guys learned they couldn't do that in the war very quickly. they handle death by avoiding it. when you came in, there was a red cross girl on base. there were a few of them, god bless them. 3000 guys and a couple of women on an airplane. coffee, doughnuts, a little camaraderie. some of the guys didn't make it back. this is a very rare photograph. an archivist gave this to me from the savanna museum. the guy in the middle is an american airmen. these are father and son, both farmers. they pick this guy up on the ground and hustling him away. he was interrogated afterwards. we know what happened. they hustled him away to a barn and would hide him. then they would brief him.
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we're going to put you in charge of a woman will take you to spain or gibraltar. don't act like an american. the big problem was, you had to take your uniform off. the minute you take your uniform off, if you're captured, you are considered a spy. the gestapo could shoot you. if you're captured in uniform, you are a prisoner of war. they would put their dog tags, sew them into their arm so that if they were caught, they'd pull the dog tag out and say, army, air force. maybe that would work. a lot of these women were caught by the gestapo. broke, which was a concentration camp mostly for women and some of them died thereafter months under torture. a lot of guys thought about escape and evasion. nobody thought about what will land if -- what will happen if i
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land and try to get out or what will happen if i become a prisoner. any questions up until now? this is the moment when the air war changes. we get through the 12:00 high period. , they continue missions tocorted germany and they are getting pounded. they try to get the ball back at and regensburg. here is october. the entire war is in the balance. december, january, february, march, april, may -- five months. they have to achieve air superiority. , lates point in the war
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1943, they are losing to the luftwaffe and that is when panic sets in. panic, in the sense that, arnold from washington replaces him with doolittle. doolittle releases the planes. what stays them is not jimmy doolittle. what stays them is what we started talking about today, the mustang. there are those winged tanks. it was that nick of time moment when the whole course of the air war -- this is a game changer. the whole course of the air war is reversed. when the luftwaffe comes up, they can't handle these guys. fast, toos are too quick, too nimble. the pilots are extremely well-trained. they have been trained on other planes. we have good pilots. the bombers are in a tough
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position. they are used as bait and they know it. they will pick targets. doolittle will say, bomb berlin. why berlin? you know, some of those -- too little with sometimes question -- doolittle would sometimes question targets. we ought to be hitting the oil refineries rather than a big city. warfare nowlood of the game is to make sure you have air superiority over the channel for the d-day invasion. that means destroying the luftwaffe, but only if the luftwaffe comes out to fight. they will fight over berlin, but why is that? student: hitler is there. it is the center of german culture. bombedn't let it get over and over again. prof. miller: it is a prestige
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target. hitler can't allow something like that to happen. the price of nationalism kills him in this case. they had the best fighter defenses in the reich around berlin it is an economic powerhouse, but still. if you mount 1000 bomber raids on berlin and population of berlin sees luftwaffe isn't enough and the flat guns are flak guns are firing constantly -- a dictatorship does depend somewhat on popular opinion. they had spies going to nazi meetings. this is -- the bombings are starting to erode confidence in the fuhrer. they dropped a lot of ordinance on berlin, a lot.
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in some raids, 17,000 bombs. they are there. when heerman full me was a kid, i knew the first time they hit berlin, and they hit it, i knew that if they can do it once, they will do it again and again until there is no berlin. that is exactly what happened. it was a skeleton of a city. the russians finished it off with their artillery. bait 'em and kill 'em is the strategy. there is no plane that the luftwaffle has that can handle these mustangs. the only outside chance, the wildcard is that hitler could have gotten jets. he had a jet plane. they didn't have proper fuel and they did make enough of them. he did not make the decision to go to jets early enough. if they had a jet aircraft going 700 miles an hour, they could have won the air war. it would have been decisive. he did not get the plane up in
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enough numbers in time. here is the thing. berlin, the next day the furher is on the radio screaming and pounding the table that we will get revenge on the british. ok. you can't hit new york. they were working on a rocket called the new york rocket that could go all the way to new york. they had heisenberg and william von braun working on nuclear warhead. before that, they had the rocket to manhattan. hitler puts most of his funding into vengeance weapons, the v2 rockets, flying rockets. it was not very discriminant about what it hit but it caused a lot of damage in london. instead of putting money into jets and more fighter aircraft. this goes to your point about
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nazi mistakes. he should be awarded for having a victoria klos -- cross forvictoria helping us win the war. prof. miller: [laughter] exactly. one mistake after another. another fighter pilot. he is flying a thunderbolt. they almost did as much damage as the mustang. low, hittingng in aircraft on the ground. we lot a lot of aces on these missions because they were the most dangerous missions. had heavys antiaircraft support around there. cutting the grass, as they called it. 10-11 feet off the ground. those are dangerous missions. a lot of good flyers lost their lives on missions like that.
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finally, this point. here is the moral dilemma of the bomb war. it is summed up in these two slides. what is a bomb? this takes us ahead to the period beyond d-day. this is an oil refinery. synthetic oil, which they made from coal. brown coal, as it's called, soft coal. the south africans make it like that today. germany doesn't have a lot of natural coal. if you are going to bomb that, there is no danger. you are out in the middle of nowhere. it's like being in the ndsherlands -- meadowla
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without giants stadium. it is schlocky out there. there is nothing around it. you don't get bombs drifting off course, hitting here, hitting there. we start to hit the target just before d-day, then incessantly afterwards. we knocked the german air force out of the sky. we don't knock out their production facilities. i have heard so many historians say the germans were producing as many planes in 1944 as they were in 1943. how can you say that we beat the luftwaffe? there is nobody to fly the planes. what they did was kill the experienced pilots. -- they sending up with are sending a pilots with 12 hours experience against guys that have 120-150 hours in the air. that is what the campaign before pilot-killing, a campaign. it comes at a tremendous cost.
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18,600 allied air casualties before d-day just in the period , before february and june. 10,500 american airmen killed. how many people do you think were killed on d-day? anybody have a guess? jeremy, what you think? elusive, by the way. student: 60,000? prof. miller: no. student: wasn't it like 5000? prof. miller: 5000 american casualties. 10,000 for all five beaches. killed americans on omaha beach, believe it or not, less than 2000. it is a horrible fight, but less
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than 2000. my uncle was there. he landed with a unit called the big red one. they traveled on d-day and they went into the battle of the he went into germany where he was captured at the end of the war. they saw everything. these guys took horrific casualties. my uncle's outfit started with a rifle team, 30 guys, and there were only two of them at the end of the war. monument a beautiful to my uncle's unit right on the beach at normandy. division called the big red one. they made a great movie. there is a great mighty meant and they are offering my uncle. i am thinking to myself, why isn't there a monument on the beach to these guys, the 18,500 casualties who died making the invasion possible?
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five times the number killed on omaha beach. it is a little-known aspect of the war. but it makes the invasion absolutely possible. impossible if it does not occur. it is a last-minute thing. to wrap this up, this is no problem morally. here is we get into moral problems. we start to get into it when we decide what would you do in a situation like this? we know where we're going to land on d-day. we know germans are going to rush reinforcements to the beach. they just don't know where they are going to. how are the going to rush reinforcements?
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by rail. tanks, troops, things like that. here's a city in france. you name it the trainyard where these trains are assembled is called a marshaling yard. what is around it? probably workers. y hometown of reading, pa, the workers live real close to where they work. if you bomb the marshalling yard -- you don't want to bomb the train when it leaves the marshaling yard. why not? student: why don't you want to bomb the train? prof. miller: yeah, a moving train. student: you have to bomb the tracks and prevent them from moving further. prof. miller: yeah, and also in that yard they are assembling a lot of trains. trains are bringing troops up.
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each train with 78 cars would bring up like 700 troops. there are four trains that congregate and they are all transferred to a larger train towards normandy beach. that is the marshaling that takes place at the marshaling yard. you want to hit this. it is like why they went after ball bearings or coal. later in the war we will see this. why hit a coal mine? mine underground. why even bomb a factory? why not bomb the train yard that is loading the coal? coal and oil become targets later. you are in a moral dilemma. if your bomb drifts, you killing belgian and french civilians. churchill says we could kill up
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to 600,000 of them. eisenhower wanted to go with it, roosevelt wanted to go with it. roosevelt was going to make the call. churchill was pleading with him not to do it. he said it would kill a lot of germans, but it would destroy relations for 100 years. even cutis lemay firebombed japanese and dropped leaflets. there's nomuch going on in terms of leaflets or evacuations . the cities have to be hit by surprise attack. they are going to be dangerous missions. and the d-day clock is running. that is what they go after. student: obviously the deaths are tragic, but if you look at -- a numbers perspective --
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prof. miller: that is what we are looking at. student: don't you have to make the decision to bomb these areas? prof. miller: that is emily's argument, too. these guys did not set out to kill. student: and if they don't, more people die. prof. miller: that's for sure. that's the problem with a lot of moral arguments. when they argue morally, like for the atomic bomb, they made the argument that the war would have went on. conventional bombing could have killed more people than atomic bombs. the war wasn't going to stop. so i don't know. ,go ahead student: said we had to -- go ahead. student: we said we had to look at it as a numbers game. that struck me as -- prof. miller: matt said it would be a numbers game. student: it had so much weight
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on this. prof. miller: it took a toll on the pilots. some of the commanders were very blunt and called these baby killing operations. some of them even opposed them. they don't stubbornly refuse or they would be cashiered, out of the air force. later on in the war we see this come up again and again in the eighth air force. they start going after more civilian centers. that is not how we started the war. we would surgically bomb from high up, not a lot of collateral damage. we were not like the british. we're not going to be like that. is that similar to atomic bombing? if we had went through with operation downfall, that would have been awful not only for the u.s., but for the japanese too. do you bomb the railways and save the guys on the beach? prof. miller: that is right.
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student: 40 you lead them to slaughter? -- or do you lead them to slaughter? americans too. -- prof. miller: i like the way you are putting it. what you have to do in these situations it's not use ex post facto logic. what you have to do? decision is made you , don't know what the consequences of the decision will be. we know there were 45,000 killed later. they thought more would be killed. we have to put ourselves in the heads of those making decisions. that is why like narrative history. narrative history flows like the narrative of life itself. you go through the course of things. understand them. you like to live that from the back. one step at a time. that, to me, is good history, that is good storytelling. it also allows you to see the
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dilemma that people face. how many guys are going to die on the beach, etc. you start to think about numbers. wehnergoing to send 52,000 guys on the beaches and if these trains get through and troops get through, maybe they are stopped. maybe the whole invasion goes kaput. the -- theing into thee etw is falling into look of d-day. this is a tough decision. student: the germans are necessarily fighting in a moral way. if the americans and british wanted to fight in a moral way, would they end up winning the war? the germans are cheating. prof. miller: is not really cheating. it's an excellent point. student: if you had taken these moral precautions. prof. miller: that is how a lot of the bomber pilots would argue back to me when i raise it as a question.
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they said, hitler really took the country to war. they said that, and i think correctly hitler was supported , by the whole country. what one german told me was very interesting. he said the minute i supported the furher and he went to war in poland and i supported that war, i put my whole family in high jeopardy. a famous german writer went on the radio, didn't you expect reprisals for what you did? didn't you expect consequences? here they are. saturation bombing by the british. having bombing by the americans. it isn't accurate. this is what you expect. women and children will die. of the 6000 germans killed during the war, civilians, 2/3
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are women and children. student: would the average bomber have sentiments against german people? i know we are killing babies and women and killing, but -- prof. miller: most guys are living with a lot of hate in their hearts because unlike an infantrymen, they are not facing them. there is a certain kind of impersonality. i hate to call the air war impersonal because there is so much killing up close. pilots shooting at pilots. it is a little more impersonal, pushing the button, just as it push a button and send a rocket than to go to cut someone's head off, stick a knife in someone? student: did that
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rationalization make it easier on the guys? prof. miller: a lot of them did know about the camps. they knew about the ss and the way they were fighting. as the germans were moving towards the beaches, they went to small towns. there were a lot of collaborators. they would hang every man and boy above the age of 14. they would put people in churches and burn the churches to the ground. that is going on while this is happening. we have intelligence to know what is going on in the ground. we know from the french, who are reporting this on the radio. once you go to war, everything changes. the war acquires a momentum all on its own.
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you cannot stop it. wars don't wind down, they get worse and worse. student: they go to the pacific pretty fast. prof. miller: they went to china first and then they went to the pacific to read -- pacific. the airfields would have been lengthened. we knew that we were close to winning by march. it's not until march that we get troops on german soil. on the german homeland. that is a long time. there is a month and a half left in the whole war. once that happens the russians , come cascading across poland, we have germany in a pincer movement. that is when you know it will be over. then the bombing stops in a. -- stops in april. we call off the bombing. germany didn't say uncle, it's over, we just called off because it was extraneous. we knocked out 60 german cities,
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turned them to cinder and ash. ironically, we knocked out exterior one japanese city. -- we knocked out 61 japanese cities. equivalent. this is the moral dilemma, because we don't know if we are going to win. that is why d-day is important. if we don't get on the continent, we may not win, but the war might be prolonged 2 years. that is decision these guys had to go through. we have a little thing in the world war ii museum in new if"ans called the "what thing. we have actors and footage. we have dilemmas like this documented. we have visitors in the museum vote that they would have done bomb or not bomb. , this comes out about even, 50-50. i think i mentioned another one, where soldiers used human shields, japanese soldiers used civilians -- pregnant women. they charged american positions. you kill the women with the babies to get to the japanese
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soldiers? what do you do with that one? we haven't put that one up yet. we showed it to a test group, and they thought it was too tough for young people to be faced with something like that. but that is what happened in warfare all the time. especially as we send our marines house to house. they had to make the decisions all the time. student: just acting up a little, the decision for the british to carpet bomb. they saw not only the opportunity to the initial target to eliminate factories and railroads, but to get a second target which was to kill workers. they could go into a factory and make 250 votes a day which will be used to kill allied soldiers. student: you're thinking like alfred miller. the british put all kinds of euphemisms on a saturation bombing.
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they said don't call it , saturation bombing, they told their commanders. don't call it firebombing. call it de-housing. wow, de-housing. harris says i don't want anything about de-housing anyway. i'm not out to hit houses or factories, i'm out to kill german workers. just for the reasons you describe. that was what harris thought muenster and things like that. that was one official's ideda. let's wrap up on this idea of intention. you are in a german city, any city -- munich. there is a dual raid that day -- americans at day, british at night. you are a housewife and have three kids. your husband is fighting on the russian front, or is killed on the russian front. you go to the cellar of your house when you hear the fire alarm go off, which is the air raid signal.
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down you go into the cellar. you are down there with a candle and your three kids. the americans are going to try to bomb accurately, what can't. the british are going to knock the whole city out. what do you prefer? which raid would you prefer? student: i'd much prefer the american one because i have a higher chance of coming out the other end. prof. miller: you do. you know there are going to be casualties. student: they are not targeting them -- prof. miller: intentionally. it is like the simplistic example i game. student: a slight moral difference. prof. miller: intention can matter. that is what the air community argued. they argued about the barbarism. we didn't start it, they did, etc. they are running the holocaust, da-da-da.
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the nature of the enemy calls for semi-barbaric tactics like saturation bombing, they thought. the brits run away from this, most civilians. the big heroes in britain or the fighter boys. those defending the homeland. these guys want to dresden, flew very tough missions. half of them who flew died. they did not get a campaign medal is incredible. if you were in north africa, and you are british, your father, one of your irish ancestors they , would get a campaign medal. they did not get a campaign medal for the bomber war. they would not raise a statute london untilris in maggie thatcher said put it up. some peas groups through blood all over the thing. they still feel undervalued.
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they put their lives on the line to run these raids and they still believe in the cause they were fighting for. that's just from their perspective. they had to believe that. student: if you're a german citizen who lived near those train yards, if a bomb hits you, do you look out and go to someone else's house? do you know there is a target around the train yard, or would they not have been told? prof. miller: no, you knew. the french and belgian people knew at this point. there were evacuations from these areas. there was a lot of evacuation from big cities. the whole evacuation program starts in london when they evacuate all the kids. they took all the children under 12 out of london and took them to the countryside with borders. boarding houses. a lot of that happened in
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germany. when a town gets wiped out like hamburg, 40,000 people killed in that rate, where do the people of hamburg go who lost their houses? 60,000 houses have been lost. they are sent all over germany. there is some resentment about that, too. someone has to take them in. they have to go somewhere. they are in crazy conditions sometimes. i described one instance in the book where woman is sitting on a train. she has a vacant look in her eyes. she doesn't have any soot or marks from the bombing on her, like two other women who have been disheveled. they have been in the fire. they look over and say, at least you survived and got out with your luggage. she's not quite right and she opens her suitcase and pulls out what looks like a doll. and it was her vaporized child,
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was once 5'2". reduced by the fire to this. she was carrying it around in a suitcase. that was how "off" people would get in cities like hamburg or cologne. imagine being in a city like cologne and getting hit 100 times. like 100 9/11s. the ironic thing -- you talk about the chance thing. take that family sitting there with a candle. whether a bomb drops on them or not was luck. theyare just lucky if survive and unlucky if you are dead. like the guys in the planes. they survive, it's good luck. this nothing he could do about it. they just had to go straight ahead. there are two victories in the bomber war. -- there are two victims
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in the bomber war. they're the ones we talk about, the once under. i should be in a history course, and instead i'm flying to leipzig. and is not going to be friendly. student: what happened to these bombers at the end of the war? prof. miller: scrapped. of the b-17's, only nine are flyable. the museum in savanna just acquired one. we have one at the world war ii museum in new orleans. this one on the i scribble newfoundland -- on the ice in newfoundland. it crashed. it went on its belly and the propellers were bent. embedded in the ice. if you cannot turn your propellers, you cannot use your
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radio. an entrepreneur from ohio rescued the plane of the ice, brought it back to a small airport in ohio, reconstructed the whole plane, and the airport told him that he was a renter -- thead a little hanger on larger airfield. they told him they would not rent to him anymore. he gave his plane away to the world war ii museum. now we have it hanging in the boeing center. we get them. some people in midland, texas cut the nose off. someone went into a big gigantic junkyard and cut off the nose. they have nose art hanging like so many paintings on the wall of a museum. there is a film "the best years
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of my life," about airmen returning from the war. scrapyard goes to a and sees the old bomber used to turned to junk. okay guys, thanks a lot. i will see you next week. next week we will do d-day. >> this weekend on the c-span networks, politics, books, and american history. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] speeches by two republican presidential candidates. scott walker visits president reagan's all my matter, eureka college. governor bobby jindal at the national press club. sunday at 6:35 p.m., two interviews with gop candidates. former governor george pataki talks about his career and issuing his candidacy. former senator rick santorum talks about his time in congress , has 2012 presidential run, and
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why he is running again. on c-span twos book tv tonight at 8:45 p.m., jack cashill discusses his book "scarlet letters." it argues that progressives have become intolerant to opposing political views. klobucharsenator amy talks about her life with susan page. on american history tv on c-span 3, on lectures in history, clemson university's paul christopher anderson teaches a class on warmer south carolina confederates viewed reconstruction. he explains how some whites of theirs romanticize their defeat -- white southerners romanticized their defeat. decisionsupreme court in loving v virginia ruled it
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was unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriage. we discussed the complexities of the case and how it affected similar legal challenges. get error complete schedule at >> lou and herbert hoover came to the white house has trained worldist, travelers who were successful in public and private ventures. the financial market crash. lou hoover used her office to work for volunteerism and charity. at the depression deepened, their one term ended over public anger. lou hoover on "first ladies." their influence on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama.
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sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv >> history of shelf features popular writers and airs on american history tv every weekend at this time. jefferson morley recounts the first race right in washington dc of august 1835, set off by the actions of an 18-year-old , ave owned by anna thornton respected socialite. the slave was tried by francis scott key, famous for writing the lyrics to the star-spangled banner. he defended slavery and sought capital punishment. magers &quinn booksellers hosted this event in 2012. it is about 50 minutes.


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