Arthur Travers Harris
Royal Air Force air marshal
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- The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.
- Statement of 1942, at the start of the bombing campaign against Germany, as quoted in "Sir Arthur Harris & The Lancaster Bomber" at The British Postal Museum and Archive
- We are going to scourge the Third Reich from end to end. We are bombing Germany city by city and ever more terribly in order to make it impossible for them to go on with the war. That is our object; we shall pursue it relentlessly.
- Radio address (28 July 1942), as quoted by Sir Courtauld Thomson, in a House of Lords debate on bombing policy (9 February 1944)
- In spite of all that happened at Hamburg, bombing proved a relatively humane method.
- Statement on the July 1943 bombings of Hamburg, as quoted in The Valour and the Horror : The Untold Story of Canadians in the Second World War (1991)by Merrily Weisbord and Merilyn Simonds Mohr, p. 107
- I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier. It therefore seems to me that there is one and only one valid argument on which a case for giving up strategic bombing could be based, namely that it has already completed its task and that nothing now remains for the Armies to do except to occupy Germany against unorganized resistance.
- Letter to Sir Norman Bottomley (29 March 1945), quoted in [ Bomber Harris: The Story of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Harris (1985) by Dudley Saward, p. 294
- People talk a lot about picking out targets and bombing them, individual small targets – in the European climate? I’ve come to the conclusion that people who say that sort of thing not only have never been outside, but they’ve never looked out of a window.
- The World at War: the Landmark Oral History from the Classic TV Series (2007) by Richard Holmes, p. 296
- I never engaged in these idiotic pamphlet-dropping exercises. They only served two purposes really - they gave the German defences endless practice in getting ready for it, and apart from that they supplied a considerable quantity of toilet paper to the Germans.
- The World at War: the Landmark Oral History from the Classic TV Series (2007) by Richard Holmes, p. 298