World War II, No More Limits

Although the term, WMD, has become a part of our daily lexicon, it remains very much an abstraction for most of us. In fact, the term is not well defined or even well definable. Most people would accept that a weapon that indiscrimately targets both combatants and non-combatants and/or destroys the infrastructure needed to support life would qualify. However, civilian populations engaged in the production of war materiel were as vital to the war effort as soldiers carrying guns, and were gradually seen as de facto combatants. The problem that this viewpoint inevitably subjected innocent children to suffering and loss of life was not resolvable and ultimately was justified, by the Allies at least, as being part of the irremovable immorality of war. Wartime necessitates many difficult choices, and it was ultimately decided that using all means to bring the war to its earliest end would be the lesser evil. The advent of the heavy bombers and unmanned rockets shown in this series allowed the detachment necessary for such a strategy to be conducted. Admittedly, I have taken a certain license to include Hitler's armored parade car in the mix. However, it is a potent symbol of the politics that led to the deaths of at least 55 million people and, in that sense, is the most destructive weapon that has ever existed. This car was captured by Stephen Ambrose's "Band of Brothers" near Berchtesgaden, Austria in the spring of 1945. It currently is in the collection of the Canadian War Museum.