Lecture THE FIREBOMBING OF GERMAN CITIES: Culpability (Ethics) & Futility (Strategy)

Raymond Pelly Header © Raymond Pelly

Fri, 04.05.2018

Wellington, Goethe-Institut, 150 Cuba Street

150 Cuba St (entrance on Garrett St, level 6)
PO BOX 9253

Two convergent critiques of the Bomber Command (& USAF) policy of indiscriminate firebombing of civilian populations: The post-war report, "The results of the strategic air war 1939-1945", by Professor S. Zuckerman, F.R.S, and researched by the British Bombing Surveys Unit, commanded by my late father, (then) Air Commodore C.B.R. Pelly; and the wartime ethical critique of Bishop George Bell, Bishop of Chichester & friend of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Together, they establish the ethical culpability & the strategic futility of the firebombing of 70 German cities.


Raymond Pelly is an anglican priest living and working in New Zealand. Raymond has an MA in Theology from Oxford University and a Doctorate in Ecumenical Theology from the University of Geneva. Besides serving in numerous parishes, he has taught at Westcott House, Cambridge; St John’s College, Auckland; and the University of Massachusetts (Boston Campus). He was also visiting scholar at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., in 1982/3 and 1995/6. His most recent work, 2005-2014, has been as Honorary Priest Associate at the Cathedral of St Paul, Wellington, New Zealand, where he had a ministry of counselling, spiritual direction and education.