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Default Dresden: The World War Two bombing 75 years on
by Notebook 02-13-2020, 01:03 PM

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On 13 February 1945, British aircraft launched an attack on the eastern German city of Dresden. In the days that followed, they and their US allies would drop nearly 4,000 tons of bombs in the assault.
The ensuing firestorm killed 25,000 people, ravaging the city centre, sucking the oxygen from the air and suffocating people trying to escape the flames.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51448486
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:10 PM   #2
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And still there are Nazis around trying to claim that this bombing of a heavily fortified town with substantial weapons industry was a war crime even under the past laws.

A pretty idiotic claim, especially if you remember how the commander of the city talked about using the massive forces gathered in his town to turn the tide in WW2. He literally invited the bombing after the first bombings of the city in 1944 only caused small damage.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:30 PM   #3
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Area Bombing strategy still pops up here, especially wrt "Bomber Harris" Chief of Bomber Command for much of WWII.

He was no apologist for it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Ar...s,_1st_Baronet

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At the start of the bombing campaign, Harris said, quoting the Old Testament:[b][c] "The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
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"The aim of the Combined Bomber Offensive ... should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany ... the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories."
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In his postwar memoirs Harris wrote, "In spite of all that happened at Hamburg, bombing proved a relatively humane method",[64] which augmented his wartime views expressed in an internal secret memo to the Air Ministry after the Dresden raid in February 1945:[65] "I ... assume that the view under consideration is something like this: no doubt in the past we were justified in attacking German cities. But to do so was always repugnant and now that the Germans are beaten anyway we can properly abstain from proceeding with these attacks. This is a doctrine to which I could never subscribe. Attacks on cities like any other act of war are intolerable unless they are strategically justified. But they are strategically justified in so far as they tend to shorten the war and preserve the lives of Allied soldiers. To my mind we have absolutely no right to give them up unless it is certain that they will not have this effect. I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier.[d]


Whenever the bombing campaign of World War II is considered it must be appreciated that the war was an "integrated process". As an example, quoting Albert Speer from his book Inside The Third Reich, "ten thousand [88mm] anti-aircraft guns ... could well have been employed in Russia against tanks and other ground targets".[66] The Soviet commanders clearly recognized Harris' efforts, as shown by the 29 February 1944 award of the Russian Order of Suvorov First Class to the air marshal.[51]
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:47 PM   #4
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Yes, but especially when including the available technology and the reality of warfare back then, it was the only working strategy. And it was very effective.

It was ugly, sure. But it hit people who also did ugly things. It does not make you worse than them, it only makes it harder to appear better than they are. Using fire in warfare is an horror mentioned from 3000 years ago, and the British mastered using incendiary bombs. Not just to the point to cause maximum destruction to a city and kill thousands of civilians along the way. But also to do that in one night with a single massive strike with limited losses and good use of its available resources. And likely with far less German civilian losses as many smaller raids to get the same effect on the military targets.

Sadly there is no video of the attack on Dresden on the Youtube Channel "The Operations Room" yet. Its way to present the back-then air tactics is really great and would be really helpful to explain why Dresden had to happen like it did. This daytime bombing raid already shows the challenges for the US attacks on Dresden a day later:

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Old 02-13-2020, 06:44 PM   #5
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There has been a short news item on tv, not just the website above.

Accurate, but does stress the "unease felt at the time" of bombing civilians "as the Second World War is coming to an end".

Mid February 1945, I doubt anyone then on the Eastern or Wester Fronts felt the war was ending soon. On either side.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Notebook View Post
 Mid February 1945, I doubt anyone then on the Eastern or Wester Fronts felt the war was ending soon. On either side.
In case of Dresden, the Russians even demanded that the city was bombed, because it was a major logistics hub.

And the Germans planned to use the forces gathered inside the city to turn the tide against the Russians. It did a lot to really end the war, because it reduced some half-way equipped reserve units into badly crippled units - less fictional units for Hitler in his final fantasy battles.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:19 PM   #7
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Remotely connected(It is a bomber).

Interesting story.

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