War Crime Analysis

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To what extent can the bombing of Dresden (1945) be perceived as a war crime according to international law today? The analysis that is set out hereafter presents the case that there is a strong argument that the Dresden bombing CAN be perceived as a war crime. There have always been elements of controversy attached to it for a few important reasons with the main issue of concern being why this city was chosen as a target after five years of war. Some of the reasons proffered are as follows: a) The city was part of Nazi Germany and therefore could be legitimately attacked in the ordinary scheme of things. The Allied forces were after all at war with Nazi Germany b) There was the belief that the city was being used under the cover of…show more content…
Or a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations: Or a contest carried on by force of arms, as in a series of battles or campaigns It describes that the participants in a war are soldiers. Hence what is determined as a War crime? According to the International Criminal Court, a war crime is defined as an act which “include grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict and in conflicts "not of an international character" listed in the Rome Statute, when they are committed as part of a plan or policy or on a large scale. These prohibited acts include: • Murder; • Mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; • Taking of hostages; • Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population; • Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historical monuments or…show more content…
The first argument put forth would be that although the bombing was intentionally directed the civilian population, there was no mutilation, rape, sexual slavery or any of the sort that took place. The bombing of Dresden was just the dropping of bombs that had the effect of burning down a majority of the monuments that represented German culture in order to diminish its dominance. A stronger argument against the bombing being a war crime lies in the fact that Dresden was a key railway junction linking three specific routes that were being utilised to transport military personnel across the various parts of Germany. The argument against this theory is of course, why then it was attacked so late into the war when the war was already over and in fact had already been won. Consideration also needs to be given to the fact that Churchill was a strategist , (Definition of war) hence there is merit in the argument that the bombing of Dresden also had the impact of traumatising the people so badly that they may have given up the will to continue fighting and capitulate. Churchill knew that getting to the Germans emotional needs would affect their ability to continue
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