Letter: Bomber Harris: missions accomplished, targets missed

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The Independent Online
Sir: Tom Wilkie is right; the story of what Harris called 'barnyard door' bombing is full of ironies - none more tragic than what happened to Harris himself.

Harris believed blindly - often against the evidence - that 'barnyard bombing' could contribute to victory. Why couldn't he cow German civilians as he had cowed Iraqi tribesmen with aerial bombing? He encouraged his crews to think they were bombing industrial targets.

Of course Churchill and the War Cabinet knew what he was doing - and supported him - although Harris's own boss, Air Chief Marshal Portal, had doubts and scruples. After Dresden Churchill and the War Cabinet disowned Harris and the bombing policy. He was denied the expected peerage and Bomber Command received no campaign medal.

Yours,

KEN CLARK

Bedford

9 August

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