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Extra resources for A World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937-1945 (Publications of the German Historical Institute)
Nevertheless, before 1939 both the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force contained within their ranks enthusiasts for the sort of total war that implied the erosion of the principles of noncombatant immunity and of proportionality. 12 The primary reason why neither conception was put into immediate practice was – once again – rational calculation. In 1940, both the Germans and the British did begin bombing civilian targets, although neither air force was ready in terms of equipment to do so. In 1939, pragmatism was shaped both by these economic considerations and by sensitivity to international law.
5 Jeffrey Legro, Cooperation Under Fire: Anglo-German Restraint during World War II (Ithaca, 1995), 145–214; Peter Schrijvers, The Crash of Ruin: American Combat Soldiers in Europe during World War II (New York, 1998), 61–2. 36 Hew Strachan European history as a whole that it permeates ﬁn de si`ecle perceptions of the nature of war in the twentieth century. Ultimately, it is the vulnerability of women and children, and the destruction of so much of the infrastructure of European civilization, that gives the phrase “total war” its contemporary resonance.
Therefore, the most signiﬁcant aspect of all in this phase of the war was that bombers were not deliberately and continuously directed against civilian targets. Admittedly, this was in part, as with the submarine, a product of procurement. , IV, 463. , II, 176–8; IV, 461; Legro, Cooperation Under Fire, 55–61. ”10 Although the British created Bomber Command in 1936 and opted for the development of a fourengined bomber, they did not have the capability to mount a full strategic bombing offensive until 1943.