Bomber Harris (1989 TV Movie)
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: War. The only thing that matters is you win. You bloody well *win*! And then to hell with it.
[responding to criticism over the destruction of Dresden, Germany]
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: We've been accused of murder. What would we have been accused of had we let Hitler and *his* bloody gang win the bloody war? As for Dresden, it's simple, any psychiatrist can explain it: it's all to do with German brass bands and Dresden shepherdesses! All I can say is that all the German towns *put together* aren't worth the bones of a British grenadier!
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: [Harris advocates the concentration of bombing attacks on major German cities, starting with Berlin] War is a battle between heavyweights. The winner is the one that clobbers hardest, with the maximum effort, in the minimum time. *That means Berlin*!
Sir Charles Portal: I'll say this Bert: If "single-mindedness" was a virtue, *you'd* be *canonized*!
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: [amused] "Saint Bert"? No, *you* be "Saint Peter". It's only *The Devil* that wins wars.
Rev. John Collins: [Protesting the destruction of Hamburg, Germany] I realize this is not a popular thing I'm doing...
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: Say what you've got to say.
Rev. John Collins: We began the war in the defense of humanity, with God on our side!
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: Did *He* tell you that? He didn't tell *me*.
Rev. John Collins: I think it so!
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: You're privileged, Collins. I was just told to win the war with every means at my disposal, but not God.
Rev. John Collins: Was it necessary?
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: What? Killing people? Barbarism? Savagery? If you are going to win a war, *Yes*!
Rev. John Collins: No! But there are moral limits, *surely*!
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: You want me to admit it was a terrible thing we did to Hamburg? Right. It *was* bloody terrible. It was *ghastly*! Feel better now? Unless you can offer me alternative targets that will win the war quicker, shut up! You return to your conscience, and let me get back to the war. Okay?
Wing Commander Harry Weldon: [lecturing on "The Ethics of Bombing"] ... So therefore, it is not a question of *ethics* at all! War is *not* the opposite of *peace*, nor is it a corollary of it! War is a *complete breakdown* in civilization, so it shouldn't have "ethics" thrust upon it. Because that way lies danger; that way, *war becomes acceptable!* The means of death and destruction are immaterial, war was always war, the only *difference* today is the *scale* of it! So, when this war is finally over, the world should accept that there is no limit; there are no "Hague Rules of Combat" anymore! The worse war is, the more *savage* it becomes! When people *understand* this, and stop trying to *limit* it, then perhaps, we shall achieve *lasting peace!*
[Harris is dining with three staff officers at his home]
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: [amicably] I'll tell you *my* philosophy: I did so much foot-slogging in the *last* war, that I got into the air as fast as I could... it's far more *comfortable!*
Wing Commander Harry Weldon: Uh, that's not "philosophy"...
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: [amused] Isn't it?
Wing Commander Harry Weldon: No sir... that's *common sense.*
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: [amused] The army only recognizes a tank if it eats hay and *defecates!*
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: [Fuming about the difficulties of expanding his bomber forces] I don't need *a* miracle... I need a *half 'a dozen!*
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: What *is* "Political Warfare", Harry?
Wing Commander Harry Weldon: Conservative versus Labour!
[a visiting Political Warfare Officer proposes a half-baked idea, then departs]
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: [bemused] Strange what *some* people think of as "war".
Wing Commander Harry Weldon: That's the danger: "Thinking"!
Winston Churchill: The Russians, you know, want me to help them by starting a "second front". If I told them that *you* were my "second front", could you do it?
Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris: Give me 4,000 aircraft, and we wouldn't *need* the Russians!