The Bombing of Dresden
February 1945 the city of Dresden saw something that could not ever be erased from history. The British air attacked with incendiary bombs and the Americans attacked with explosive bombs leaving Dresden a pile of rubble. This city that used to be the center of German culture now was done to bricks and stones laying in a heap. What was different about Dresden was that it was not a huge center for military operations therefore it was clearly a civilian attack on Germany. Nearly a hundred thousand people lost their lives when Dresden was overcome by the bombardment. Dresden became the home for many refugees during the war and had nearly 1 million people in the city. The most important thing to note was that their were no bunkers or public air raid shelters for these people. Did Britain and America know this and plan to attack this city to have the most devastating effect? Many people were told that Dresden would be spared but it was all rumors and no one was prepared for what was to come. In Sax and Kuntz there is a survivors account of the night bombings and he described it as “The thundering fire reminded me of the biblical catastrophes I had heard about in my education in the humanities. I was aghast. I can’t describe seeing this city burn any other way.” (362) I cannot even imagine having to compare something to biblical catastrophes. This truly was a horrendous attack on Dresden and I feel that it was very wrong because their was not high German military occupancy in Germany and that is who the British and Americans should have been targeting. Many innocent people lost their lives that night and it was very tragic.
As I watched this video it struck me, this is a British POW who was in Germany who was affected by the horrible bombings that his country did. It was very hard to listen to him say that it was “evil” because he was from the country that did this and yet he still knew it was completely wrong what they did. So who makes the decision if this was right or wrong, the Germanys had attacked London causing horrible destruction so who is there to say that this retaliation was not coming.?
Sax, Benjamin C., and Dieter Kuntz. “The 1935-1945 War.” In Inside Hitler’s Germany: A Documentary History of Life in the Third Reich. Lexington, Massachusetts: D.C. Heath, 1992., p. 359-363
“BBC Breakfast: The Horror of Dresden.” YouTube. February 14, 2015. Accessed October 28, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suOBgOk1SgY.
“Dresden Firebombing.” IB Times. February 14, 2015. Accessed October 28, 2015. http://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1423950/dresden-firebombing-70th-anniversary.jpg?w=1180&h=772&l=50&t=40.