WAH 63: Presenting Propaganda as facts?

“On June the 5th the New York times assesses the damage in the Ruhr area so far. {The Allied Raids of the past few week had paralyzed the whole area, which is still ablaze in places. […] Between Cologne and Hanover were seen extensive devastated areas. The smoke from the many factory chimneys has been replaced by another variety, thick and very often yellowih, almost asphyxiating because of the phosphoric smell of the British incendiaries. The inundations due to the mining of the Eder and Möhne Dams by the RAF proved most terrible of all, however. […] four feets of water covered the streets of Dortmund and suburbs, and traffic was maintained by means of flat-bottomed boats. […] The mines were not spared. They were flooded, drowning hundreds of the night shift workers […] The Dortmund attack was the climax. Many Dortmunders said it was impossible to give even an approximate idea of its horror. ‘Hell broke loose’ is all they can say even today. ‘What the waters spared was destroyed by bombs’.” -New York Times, June 6, 1943 - “Ruhr devastated, Says Eye-Witness”} " /quote end

And then the video moves on to general assessment of the fighting spirit of Germans.

Now apart from saying it was June 5th and then citing a June 6th source:
That article is bollocks and a total propaganda fabrication. But it is NOT presented that way! Why not?

Now why am I so sure it’s a fabrication: I live there. The waters stood higher than 4 feet, at least temporarily, but not in Dortmund. In Schwerte. I can show you that and other high water marks at the old mill. Talking of Schwerte: If I’m not mistaken the picture with the people on floats are in Schwerte. It should be the walkway below(!) the church St. Viktor. There is a ~3m high staircase leading down and the house on the right should be the “Friedrich-Behrens-Haus” -local school reformer. They named a gymnasium after him.

The picture before should give itself away by the railway viaduct: That should be Herdecke. But I’m not checking that. Because I don’t have to. Modern(!) Dortmund has only one place touching the ruhr itself: Syburg. Syburg sits on a hill roughly 200m above sea level. The Ruhr flows at roughly 96m in a big lake created by a smaller Dam.
So you do the math for even a single drop flowing over that hill. And even if you say “Oh they probably meant Hörde” - which was independent from Dortmund at that time, the waters would’ve gone above the Freischütz path in the Schwerte forest, which is a forested hill also roughly 200m high and there is an entire hill chain along the Ruhr down until you reach Essen (where the floodwave coincidentally(?) ended when the Baldeneysee came in sight and had already been only a “normal” high water since Hattingen), the Ardeygebirge protecting the big cities in the North. Not the small ones like Herdecke or Schwerte. At least not their meadows and quarters in it.
Which btw makes me guess at least one of the other pictures where you see a flooded bigger city is Hagen. Because Hagenis on the flat southern river bank and has always had a problem if one of its many rivers had high water. So the main river getting a huge flood wave…yeah, Hagen was done for it that night. But not bombed at that day. Worst hit was Neheim right below the Dam btw.
(I checked and the aerial view is also a town like Schwerte called Fröndenberg closer to the Möhne, I know it, been there but only rarely.)

And that’s only the topographical impossibilities. How the NYT got several eye-witnesses on record in Goebbels Germany is also beyond me. But not my expertise.

But I can confidently say: No mine in Dortmund, not even (later) Great-Dortmund was flooded that day from the Möhne disaster. (the Eder flows into the Weser, not the Ruhr)

SO, why was that not mentioned and the obvious propaganda lies of the NYT not put into perspective and proper context? Now people will believe that bollocks as facts!


I don’t know if anyone can get beyond this paywall, but here is the original article: RUHR DEVASTATED, SAYS EYE-WITNESS; Account in Stockholm Paper States Area Is Paralyzed, Coal Deposits Still Burn - The New York Times

Sounds like that is relevant when discussing whether this is an eye-witness account.

Also, I think mixing up European geography is an incredibly American thing to do, but to be fair, in this context it is a rather small mistake to be honest. The message of the report is that many people lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the flooding. That is not a message you are disputing. You are disputing where exactly it happened and to how many people. This report gives an idea, but doesn’t really state specific numbers. It does make for an overexaggeration, but its not quite false propaganda, though propaganda it is.


The fact that they would use propaganda at all as a source for a, supposedly, credible series is unacceptable. The quality of the research has definitely gone down.


It appears to me that Sparty is using very few sources to justify his claim. For eg : in WAH 43 (part 2) Sparty says something along the lines of ,“the British support the Muslim league after the Pakistan declaration of 1940. Nehru views it rightfully as a rule of division by the British”… which is BS. They supported the Muslim league because they were loyal to the war effort and the Congress wasn’t.

Also did you try posting in the comments? Norman did for Breen’s anti-Semitism and his comment was shot down. If you did and it was shot down too, then it would confirm that they are silencing criticism.


The ruhrvalley widens west of Witten. Where today the Kemnade lake is, has been much space for the water.

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