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American attitude to British

LAURENCE REES:   How did the Americans feel about the British area bombing?

CONRAD CRANE: The Americans understood the British motivations for what they were doing; they understood their desire to hit back at the Germans and they also understood, with British technical limitations, why they couldn’t bomb the way the Americans were bombing. They also thought that the British were contributing to the war effort with what they were doing and basically they thought the way the British airforce was configured and trained and equipped that it was the best that they could do. In private they had a lot of problems, in some quarters, with what the British were doing. They thought that there was going to be a massive backlash against this kind of bombing after the war, or they thought it was the wrong way to go after the enemy industry. They also thought it was inefficient, but they were not going make any kind of accusations like that in public because it would not only perhaps weaken the alliance but it would also be used by enemy propaganda to exploit as well. They didn’t want to give the enemy propaganda with an open dispute about bombing procedures.

LAURENCE REES:   Was there a sense of moral superiority amongst the American airforce, as they must have though that their methods were better?

CONRAD CRANE: I think there was a sense of technological superiority: we’ve got better equipment than they do, we can do better things than they do, our bombing’s going to be a lot more effective than their bombing. I’ve never seen any justifications to think that Americans thought they were superior morally to what the British were doing.  Nothing that I’ve seen written or stated.