the million and bundled together, did the trick; when supple-mented by mixtures of benzol, rubber, resins, gels, and phosphorus,they formed unprecedentedly destructive blockbuster ﬂamingbombs that could wipe out cities in a matter of minutes (seventeenin the case of the attack on Wurzburg, March 16, 1945). The cre-ation of urban “annihilation zones” destroyed masses of civilianlives, an outcome accepted by all sides in the war—and “by thepeople, parliaments, and armed forces.” And with that, in JörgFriedrich’s words, “modernity gave itself up to a new, incalculable,and uncontrollable fate.”Pretensions of precision targeting were put out for public con-sumption, while secret estimates showed that fewer than half thelarge bombs hit their targets. But in favorable atmospheric condi-tions these bombs ignited ﬁrestorms that razed Darmstadt, Heil-bronn, Pforzheim, Wurzburg, and, of course, Hamburg (40,000deaths), Dresden (12,000), and Tokyo (88,000). Or in WinstonChurchill’s words, “We will make Germany a desert, yes, a desert”through the power of incendiary bombing—only “an absolutelydevastating, exterminating attack by very heavy bombers” would ﬁ-nally bring Hitler to his knees. The goal was to destroy the moraleof the enemy and the people, a horizon that receded even as the at-tacks intensiﬁed.
U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey
demon-strated that enemy morale was mostly unaffected by the bombing,but also that the actual level of civilian deaths was less than pre-dicted—that is, “far removed from the generally anticipated totalof several millions.” Morale was not broken, and even the harvest of blackened, scorched, blasted, or asphyxiated human beings was an-ticlimactic (not even several millions). Furthermore, both countrieswere democracies, so some rose up to criticize mass attacks againstcivilians (Bishop George Bell told the House of Lords that “toobliterate a whole town” because it may have some industrial tar-gets violated “a fair balance between the means employed and thepurpose achieved”
150· The Korean War