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A lasting stain
I WATCHED a programme on the Yesterday channel called Who Betrayed The Bomber Boys?
Those young men and their leader, Bomber Harris, received no recognition from Winston Churchill during his victory speech to Parliament and the British people. He mentioned every other branch of the Armed Forces, but ignored Bomber Command.
In the early stages of the Second World War and after the Battle of Britain, Bomber Command was the only force taking the fight to the enemy.
The young men who flew in the Whitley, Wellington, Manchester, Lancaster, Stirling and Halifax bombers were, to a man, volunteers and 55,573 paid the ultimate price.
I used to hold Churchill in awe for the way his many speeches would inspire.
However, as the war was drawing to an end, the Russian leader Joseph Stalin asked Churchill for much-needed support.
Churchill ordered Bomber Command and the US Eighth Air Force to carry out raids on Dresden. There was a large death toll of some 26,000. However Josef Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister, simple added a zero to the casualty list and leaked the figure of “260,000 dead”.
Churchill sensed that if his name was associated with Dresden, his post-war ambitions would be damaged. So he distanced himself from Bomber Command.
The way those young men of Bomber Command were mistreated is a stain which can never be removed.
Philip Roe, Roman Avenue South, Stamford Bridge, York.
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