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The Militant, 7 April 1945

Why Allied Bombs ‘Miss’
Some Plants in Germany

From The Militant, Vol. IX No. 14, 7 April 1945, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Amid the slaughter and devastation in the Rhine and Ruhr areas after three years’ of merciless bombing, American troops were startled to discover huge war plants virtually unscathed. They are plants in which American and British capital is invested.

Writing from Krefeld-Uerdlingen, Germany, Chicago Sun correspondent John M. Mechlin reported last week in a delayed dispatch that American soldiers are asking “with ill-concealed sarcasm” how it happens that they found “several giant factories running full blast,” including those of the Krupp steel, I.G. Farbenindustrie chemical and Wagonfabrik automobile trusts. All these companies have been associated in cartel deals with American and British monopolies.

“There is a rumor circulating that the reason the Allies did not bomb the Wagonfabrik plant is because six members of the company’s board of directors are Englishmen ... the rumor is important because the Yanks believe it,” says Mechlin.

In the New York daily PM, March 27, Max Lerner reporting on his tour in the Rhineland, stated that “it gave me a jolt to see American industrial plants in Neuss. It also gave me a jolt to find out that the Ford motor plant in the suburbs of Cologne was relatively unharmed.” He added that there is “bitter suspicion” among the American troops. “They think that British and American air bombardment deliberately spared factories in which Anglo-American money had been invested.”

When asked at a press conference why these particular vital war factories were skipped in bombings for over three years, Gen. Arnold, chief of the U.S. Army Air Forces, first asked, “What reason could there be for missing them?” Informed of the Anglo-American financial connections, he passed off the whole matter laughingly, saying “I could say something about that, but I won’t.”

One of the greatest scandals after the first imperialist World War was the revelation of the “gentlemen’s agreement” between the contending powers not to shell or bomb plants from which capitalists on both sides of the lines were making blood profits. The second imperialist World War – in which the suffering of the masses has been incalculably worse than in 1914–18 – also finds the capitalist rulers safeguarding their mutually profitable interests.

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Last updated on 7 November 2018