In October, Queen Elizabeth of England visited Germany. Parts of the German press demanded an apology for the bombing of German cities in World War II. The bombing issue is more than historical, because it bears on the evolving character of war and on what is happening now in Iraq. During World War II, bombing brought the war home to German civilians in a way unlike what they had experienced during World War I. It is possible that one motive for city bombing was to effect not only wartime civilian morale, but also the postwar attitude of the mass of Germans. Certainly by 1939 it was clear that the majority of Germans considered war far more acceptable than did other Western Europeans. How did Hitler persuade Germans to fight a new world war when everyone else in the major European countries was aware of how devastating the previous war had been? It seems at least arguable that Hitler succeeded with the Germans because they accepted the myth that they had been victorious. The myth was credible to German civilians who had never been touched by the Allied armies. If that were believed, then it followed that a little adjustment could win the second time.
World Naval Developments: Is Modern War Too Precise?
By Norman Friedman, Author, The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems