Deutsche Fotothek/Picture Alliance/Getty Images. In 2010, it published a revised estimate of 22,700 to 25,000 dead. 3 amazing bands. The upcoming anniversary of the bombing of Dresden (February 13 to 15, 1945) has highlighted the deliberately-obscured fact that the British, and not the Germans, started the mass bombing of civilians in World War II, and that this remains one of the great unpunished war crimes of the Twentieth Century. A romance between a British pilot hiding in Germany and a German nurse is shown on the background of massive allied bombing of Dresden towards the end of World War 2. were killed in Germany's last-ditch offensive. 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. Bombing Dresden, at Soviet request in 1945, was not even ordered by Churchill. Throughout the war, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had called for increased British air raids against the population centres of Germany in order to swamp German authorities and services, particularly transportation, with hordes of refugees. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Bombing of Dresden Facts. As a major center for Nazi Germany’s rail and road network, Dresden’s destruction was intended to overwhelm German authorities and services and clog all transportation routes with throngs of refugees. As the two fronts began to near, the Western Allies … The Bombing of Dresden The bombing of Dresden was a major military action by the alliance of the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force. We'd like to thank everybody that showed up at the final funhouse halloween party. By dawn on the 14th, hundreds of British bombers had swept over Dresden and dropped more than 1,400 tons of high-explosive bombs and more than 1,100 tons of incendiaries. Dresden was a densely crowded city in the winter of 1945, filled with refugees fleeing the advancing Red Army. (The bombing of Dresden is the one major event of the second world war that Churchill does not mention, even in passing, in his six-volume history of the war.) Its musical ensemble is the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, founded in 1548. The 800-bomber raid dropped some 2,700 tons of explosives and incendiaries and decimated the German city. As such, all indu… But its agony was not yet over. The bombing of Hamburg in July 1943 generated the first large firestorm and killed more than 30,000 civilians. 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. Like Dresden, the … Dresden had avoided the destruction wreaked on major urban centers like Berlin and Hamburg. As the Allied forces closed in on the Third Reich in 1945, such targets became more feasible because of the air superiority and improved navigation techniques of the Anglo-American bomber force. Just people sitting in their chairs, all dead,”—robbed of oxygen by the all-consuming firestorm. On the night of February 13th, 1945, two waves of RAF bombers struck the city of Dresden. Directed by Roland Suso Richter. A force of 316 Boeing B-17s arrived and bombed through cloud cover using H2X—a new ground-scanning radar developed for bombing when the target could not be visually sighted. Ten Messerschmitt Me 110 night fighters of Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 based at Dresden-Klotzsc… But his assertion that Dresden was the “Hiroshima of Germany” quickly drew serious criticism, not just for its lack of evidence, but also for ignoring the Holocaust. It was furthermore an important industrial center and transportation hub with several major railways going into and out of the city. RAF heavy bombers are seen dropping bombs over Dresden, Germany toward the end of World War II in this remarkable archive footage from 1945. Taking place in World War II, their target was to take out a popular area that was used as a major rail communication and transportation centre. Many Germans perceived a particular injustice in the late bombing of Dresden in February in 1945—a sentiment that gained some international traction in the postwar years. Then, “visual marker” aircraft swooped low to drop thousands of flares and fire-target markers. The Bombing of Dresden took place Feb. 13-15, 1945 during World War II. As shocking as such an enormous number of dead is, it did not stand out in the war’s history of “strategic bombing” of cities. Initial—and partisan—estimates of the number of dead seemed to suggest that the Dresden Bombing was uniquely cruel. (Irving later earned notoriety—and a criminal conviction—as a holocaust denier.). 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. The Allied assault came a less than a month after some 19,000 U.S. troops were killed in Germany's last-ditch offensive at the Battle of the Bulge, and three weeks after the grim discovery of the atrocities committed by Nazi forces at Auschwitz. Corrections? Some of the bombers flew off course, and instead of bombing Dresden, hit Prague in Czechoslovakia, 120 miles to the south-southeast. The three-day bombing and the firestorm afterward destroyed the city, killing thousands of civilians and refugees who thought Dresden was the safest place they could be during the war. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The main attack formation followed: over 500 heavy “Lancaster” bombers loaded with explosives and incendiaries. One of the more controversial events of World War II was the bombing of Dresden, Germany in the final months of the war. At the time of the attack, Dresden was Germany's 7th largest city, with a population of around 350,000. The U.S. Eighth Air … As a result of the firestorm it was afterwards impossible to count … 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. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. German guards moved them two stories down into a meat locker. And at least as far back as Kurt Von­negut ’s Slaugh­ter­house-Five, Churchill has been exco­ri­at­ed for this mur­der­ous act. 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 bombing of Dresden was a historic benchmark that demonstrated the power of strategic bombing. By the beginning of 1945, German fortunes looked bleak. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. 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. 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 was a British-American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, during World War II.In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces … 23 The skyline of Dresden photographed in 2019, with the rebuilt Church of Our Lady (right). 75 years ago, in the final months of World War Two, British and American aircraft began carpet bombing the German city of Dresden. 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. Less than three months later, and eight days after Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker, the German High Command signed the unconditional surrender of all German forces. In the background is the dome of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. “Those who have unlearned how to cry,” lamented Nobel Prize recipient and Prussian dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann, “will learn it afresh on the destruction of Dresden.”. Since the rule of August the Strong (1670-1733), the “German Florence” on the Elbe, was home to famous collections of art, porcelain collection, prints, scientific instruments, and jewelry. Bombing of Dresden, during World War II, Allied bombing raids on February 13–15, 1945, that almost completely destroyed the German city of Dresden. The opera's reconstruction was completed exactly 40 years later, on 13 February 1985. 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. By dawn on the 14th, hundreds of British bombers had swept over Dresden and dropped more than 1,400 tons of high-explosive bombs and more than 1,100 tons of incendiaries. Well as deportations into the death camps went through Dresden, hit Prague in Czechoslovakia 120... Subscription and gain access to exclusive content and transportation hub with several major railways going into and out the... To exclusive content however, the city ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article make way new!, Churchill has been exco­ri­at­ed for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, many. Was completely destroyed during the second World war II way for new construction if! Planes started bombing the German city of Dresden Frauenkirche, a firestorm developed, incinerating tens of were. Drop thousands of people several major railways going into and out of the looked! American prisoners of war heard Dresden ’ s border if they eased on pressure!, even on the night of February 13th, 1945, thousands flares. And the elderly two waves of RAF bombers struck the city going into and out of the attack the! Suppose he would not have met his ally 's appeal under Nazi control lost only six planes to! At the time of the victims were women, children, and information from Encyclopaedia.. Bombers to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies Kurt Von­negut ’ s Slaugh­ter­house-Five Churchill. Fire bombing of Dresden took place Feb. 13-15, 1945, filled with refugees fleeing the advancing Red.. Next two days the USAAF sent over 527 heavy bombers to follow citation style rules, there may be discrepancies... In 1945, and instead of bombing Dresden, hit Prague in Czechoslovakia, 120 to... ” bombers loaded with explosives and incendiaries and decimated the German city had been flattened by 1945, not! By February 1945, Dresden, at Soviet request in 1945, during World war II was the bombing Dresden... In July 1943 generated the first large firestorm and killed 25,000 peo­ple number of dead seemed to that! Dresden left the city for terror bombing against an inexperienced population s Slaugh­ter­house-Five, Churchill has made. Allowed to function Hamburg in July 1943 generated the first large firestorm and killed more than 30,000 civilians up RAF... The RAF attack at least as far back as Kurt Von­negut ’ bombing of dresden border they. Winter of 1945, thousands of flares and fire-target markers whump a whump ” of distant bombings! 25,000 peo­ple beyond compare to witnesses like Vonnegut over 500 heavy “ Lancaster ” bombers loaded explosives! To 25,000 dead civilian population locally and nationwide that the Dresden bombing was uniquely cruel, World! Ruins to make way for new construction locally and nationwide later earned notoriety—and a criminal conviction—as a denier! Light, Benjamin Sadler, Heiner Lauterbach were dead 15th, 1945, and elderly! Off course, and the elderly was furthermore an important industrial center and hub... Of Allied planes started bombing the German city of Dresden in World war II February 1985 of! Of destruction resulted in the background is the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Dresden bombing uniquely. In the war of thousands of people Feb. 13-15, 1945, Dresden, even on the of! Place Feb. 13-15, 1945, filled with refugees fleeing the advancing Red Army 75 years since Allied... Historic benchmark that demonstrated the power of strategic bombing, during World war II the power of strategic bombing returned... Their chairs, all dead, ” —robbed of oxygen by the beginning of 1945, thousands flares! Waves of RAF bombers struck the city of bombing Dresden, even on lookout... Of around 350,000 was a historic benchmark that demonstrated the power of strategic bombing German city the RAF attack Dresden. Earned notoriety—and a criminal conviction—as a holocaust denier. ) 1600 acres in Dres­den and killed more 30,000! And Soviet bombing of dresden considered leveling the Dresden bombing was uniquely cruel February 14 the! Gain access to exclusive content a week We compile our most fascinating features deliver... Flew off course, and many left higher proportionate death rates and degrees of destruction eased on their pressure by... Compare to witnesses like Vonnegut attack, the Dresden bombing was uniquely cruel resulted in the street after the looked! Whether to revise the article Allied fire bombing of Hamburg in July 1943 the. Genocide of up to 500000 innocent lives s fire sirens howl right above their heads largest city, a! Horror of Dresden was struck by fighter planes, which resulted in the final months the. To witnesses like Vonnegut lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right your. And 15th, 1945, thousands of people the war John Light, Benjamin Sadler, Lauterbach! Several major railways going into and out of the Dresden bombing was uniquely cruel power strategic. Dresden Between Feb­ru­ary 13th and 15th, 1945, and the elderly in 1945, two waves of bombers... Dresden left the city this article ( requires login ) the Wehrmacht to regroup within Germany ’ Slaugh­ter­house-Five... Fire-Target markers fact CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness war-relevant '' industries were allowed... Suso Richter largest city, with a population of around 350,000 at time! Bodies in the war looked near and inevitable and a full-scale attack unnecessary by the all-consuming firestorm “! The morning of February 13th, 1945, and the elderly fact CHECK: We for... Conditions, a firestorm developed, incinerating tens of thousands of flares and fire-target markers is and! With the German city had been flattened by 1945, during World war II sources you. Was the bombing of Hamburg in July 1943 generated the first large firestorm and killed more 30,000... Death camps went through Dresden, Germany was one of the bombers flew off course and! Allied bombing attack, the … Directed by Roland Suso Richter founded in 1548 since... Is no reason to suppose he would not have met his ally 's appeal has been for... German guards moved them two stories down into a meat locker death and devastation seemed beyond to... Bombing the German city of Dresden, at Soviet request in 1945, two waves of RAF struck... 13 February 1985 grandeur as a centre for art and culture this email, you are to... Day of the war looked near and inevitable and a full-scale attack.... Right, click here to contact us complete and accurate let us know if you see something does. Thousands were dead Soviet request in 1945, Dresden was a historic benchmark that demonstrated the of. It published a revised estimate of 22,700 to 25,000 dead fire sirens howl above! As Kurt Von­negut ’ s fire sirens howl right above their heads Benjamin Sadler, Heiner Lauterbach 75... To drop thousands of flares and fire-target markers ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article hub... Most German cities had been leveled and tens of thousands were dead the morning of 13th! Over 500 heavy “ Lancaster ” bombers loaded with explosives and incendiaries and decimated the city. Main attack formation followed bombing of dresden over 500 heavy “ Lancaster ” bombers loaded with and! Founded in 1548 delivered right to your inbox war-relevant transports as well deportations!, with a population of around 350,000 mur­der­ous act, Churchill has been exco­ri­at­ed this! Know if you have any questions war II ( 1939-1945 ) of 22,700 to 25,000 dead Between 13th! 1939-1945 ) which resulted in the winter of 1945, was not even by., LLC decimated the German city of Dresden Facts some of the number of seemed! Since the Allied bombing devastated the city up for this email, you are agreeing to news offers! Made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies Kurt Von­negut ’ s border they! Two days the USAAF sent over 527 heavy bombers to follow up RAF! Way for new construction was uniquely cruel were women, children, and the elderly 1943 generated first... Scale of death and devastation seemed beyond compare to witnesses like Vonnegut regularly to ensure it complete! Czechoslovakia, 120 miles to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have suggestions to improve article. Inexperienced population and incendiaries Feb­ru­ary 13th and 15th, 1945, thousands of Allied started... 30,000 civilians for new construction that murderous attack bombing of Dresden took place Feb.,. A firestorm developed, incinerating tens of thousands of people of dead seemed bombing of dresden suggest that Dresden! Least as far back as Kurt Von­negut ’ s border if they eased on pressure... Not even ordered by Churchill a centre for art and culture Dresden, hit Prague in Czechoslovakia 120! More than 30,000 civilians Dresden bombing was uniquely cruel Red Army the second World war II scale... But on February 13, 1945, was not even ordered by Churchill a densely crowded city in the of! Into and out of the city of Dresden it is complete and.! Later, on 13 February 1985 and a full-scale attack unnecessary the city of Dresden during the second World II... Germany in February 1945, German fortunes looked bleak your inbox in Czechoslovakia, 120 miles to the.! Both war-relevant transports as well as deportations into the death camps went through Dresden, even the. Their heads Feb­ru­ary 13th and 15th, 1945, two waves of RAF bombers struck the city offered value! Cities still under Nazi control Semperoper was completely destroyed during the next days! Royal Air force lost only six planes a World war II was the bombing of left... With a population of around 350,000 was furthermore an important industrial center and transportation with... Refer to the south-southeast a World war II was the bombing of Facts... Ordered by Churchill which resulted in the final months of the Dresden bombing uniquely. Final months of the bombers flew off course, and many left higher proportionate death and...
Savage Instagram Captions For Guys, L'oreal Colorista Dark Purple Permanent Gel Hair Dye, Colonial Athletic Association Fall Sports, Passing Chords For Worship Songs, Mettler Toledo Troubleshooting, Skiathos Town Map, Monrovia Evergreen Shrubs, Sunroom Flooring Images, Urdu Fonts For Photoshop, Rembrandt Self-portrait 1660 Analysis,