When they came back to the surface, “the city was gone,” remembered writer and social critic Kurt Vonnegut—one of the American POWs who witnessed the bombing of Dresden. Directed by Roland Suso Richter. The punishing, three-day Allied bombing attack on Dresden from February 13 to 15 in the final months of World War II became among the most controversial Allied actions of the war. It is thought that some 25,000–35,000 civilians died in Dresden in the air attacks, though some estimates are as high as 250,000, given the influx of undocumented refugees that had fled to Dresden from the Eastern Front. As the two fronts began to near, the Western Allies … The criminal allied commanders ordered that murderous attack Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. The U.S. Eighth Air Force followed the next day with another 400 tons of bombs and carried out yet another raid by 210 bombers on February 15. Aided by weather conditions, a firestorm developed, incinerating tens of thousands of people. (Irving later earned notoriety—and a criminal conviction—as a holocaust denier.). Yet there is no reason to suppose he would not have met his ally's appeal. David Irving would claim in his 1963 book, The Destruction of Dresden, that the bombing was “the biggest single massacre in European history.” His estimate of 150,000 to 200,000 dead was long accepted without dispute. Attempts to treat the bombing of Dresden as a war crime perpetrated against the innocent inhabitants of a historical cultural centre of no industrial or military significance began two days after the attack. In the time that Vonnegut and others hid underground, the British Bomber Command’s Blind Illuminator aircraft had rained explosives and incendiaries over the city. The allied bombing of Dresden, Germany, from February 13 th, 1945, to February 15 th, 1945, epitomizes Werrell's statement. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. During the next two days the USAAF sent over 527 heavy bombers to follow up the RAF attack. Dresden, 1945, view from the city hall (Rathaus) over the destroyed city. 23 The skyline of Dresden photographed in 2019, with the rebuilt Church of Our Lady (right). Assigned to a sanitary clean-up crew after the bombing, POW Vonnegut had to dig into shelters and basements which “looked like a streetcar full of people who simultaneously had heart failure. The bombing of Dresden in February 1945 has remained one of the more controversial aspects of World War Two.Dresden, a city unaffected by bombing up to that point in the war, lost many thousands of civilians in the firestorm that was created by the Allies. For most of them, the end of the war looked near and inevitable and a full-scale attack unnecessary. On the ground, however, thousands of small fires merged into a powerful firestorm that created such powerful winds that it sucked oxygen, fuel, broken structures, and people into its flames. The Bombing of Dresden took place Feb. 13-15, 1945 during World War II. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. And yes, that was indeed cold blooded murder as Dresden had absolutely NO ‘military value’ at all and was overladen with millions of refugees fleeing the advancing Soviet armies. They had heard the “whump a whump” of distant aerial bombings many times before. The bombing of Dresden by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) between February 13 and February 15, 1945 remains one of the more controversial events of World War II.Historian Frederick Taylor said: The destruction of Dresden has an epically tragic quality to it. The later Semperoper was completely destroyed during the bombing of Dresden during the second world war. Dresden had avoided the destruction wreaked on major urban centers like Berlin and Hamburg. Updates? It certainly had that effect. On the morning of February 14, the bombing of Dresden left the city dying and burning, its own funeral pyre. RAF heavy bombers are seen dropping bombs over Dresden, Germany toward the end of World War II in this remarkable archive footage from 1945. Then, “visual marker” aircraft swooped low to drop thousands of flares and fire-target markers. Seventy-five years after the city's destruction, the bombing remains a … Then, “visual marker” aircraft swooped low to drop thousands of flares and fire-target markers. The Horror of Dresden Between Feb­ru­ary 13th and 15th, 1945, 800 Allied bombers destroyed 1600 acres in Dres­den and killed 25,000 peo­ple. The bombs began to fall shortly after 10:00 p.m., and shortly after the first wave had left, a second wave arrived to continue the attack. RAF heavy bombers are seen dropping bombs over Dresden, Germany toward the end of World War II in this remarkable archive footage from 1945. The U.S. Army alone had suffered almost 140,000 casualties from December to January 1945 and 27,000 in the week prior to the Dresden bombing alone—the heaviest losses in the Western Allies’ war against Hitler. On February 13, 1945, thousands of Allied planes started bombing the German city of Dresden in World War II. Although 84 heavy anti-aircraft guns had been deployed around Dresden in the summer of 1944, by the middle of January, these had all been withdrawn to the east to counter the Soviet offensive. The allied bombing of Dresden, Germany, from February 13 th, 1945, to February 15 th, 1945, epitomizes Werrell's statement. 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