Howard Cowan, an Associated Press war correspondent, subsequently filed a story saying that the Allies had resorted to terror bombing. The family ran to the neighborhood air raid shelter, and when the “all clear” sounded, they emerged to a vision of Hell. To my mind we have absolutely no right to give them up unless it is certain that they will not have this effect. The second was on 17 April, when 580 B-17s dropped 1,554 tons of high-explosive bombs and 165 tons of incendiaries. ... ever since the deliberate mass bombing of civilians in the second world war, and as a direct response to it, the international community has outlawed the practice. A party's representative, Jürgen Gansel, described the Dresden raids as "mass murder," and "Dresden's holocaust of bombs". //--> The basket with our twins covered with wet cloths was snatched up out of my mother's hands and we were pushed upstairs by the people behind us. All these German prisoners of war were captured following the Falaise Pocket battle. (He would use his experiences in Dresden as the basis for his 1969 semi-autobiographical historical novel, Slaughterhouse Five.) For his part, Air Chief Marshal Harris never softened or wavered from his view that conducting saturation bombings of German cities was completely necessary. Dresden was a civilian town with no military significance. The weather did not stop Bomber Command, however. Allied intelligence revealed that, far from being an inoffensive center of culture, Dresden and the surrounding area was home to 127 factories that manufactured everything from rifles and machine guns to artillery pieces, aircraft components, precision optical devices, and poison gas (the latter manufactured by Chemische Fabrik Goye, GmbH). Tens of Thousands of Buildings Destroyed by 2,700 tons of U.S. [61] The German sirens sounded again at 01:05, but as there was practically no electricity, these were small hand-held sirens that were heard within only a block. The unease was made worse by an Associated Press story that the Allies had resorted to terror bombing. [98][99], Taylor writes that this propaganda was effective, as it not only influenced attitudes in neutral countries at the time, but also reached the British House of Commons when Richard Stokes, a Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP), a long term opponent of area-bombing,[100] quoted information from the German Press Agency (controlled by the Propaganda Ministry). [52], The main bomber force, called Plate Rack, took off shortly after the Pathfinders. Actually Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre, and a key transportation point to the East. British planes dropped explosive and incendiary bombs on Dresden during the night of February 13th, 1945. Perhaps the last word should go to British historian Frederick Taylor, who wrote, “The destruction of Dresden has an epically tragic quality to it. Despite being heavily outnumbered, French forces under Napoleon scored a victory against the Army of Bohemia led by Field Marshal Karl von Schwarzenberg. At least one American POW in Dresden that night survived the attack, and witnessed firsthand the aftermath. Attack which lasted five minutes (from 1.24 PM to 1.29 PM); the target was the local marshalling yard, but the inaccuracy of the bombing caused most of the bombs to fall all over the city, destroying most of it. Dresden took its first air raid casualties only in August 1944, when some bombs from a raid on the nearby town of Freital fell in its outskirts. [16] On 4 March, Das Reich, a weekly newspaper founded by Goebbels, published a lengthy article emphasising the suffering and destruction of a cultural icon, without mentioning any damage the attacks had caused to the German war effort. The Third Reich also inflated the number of casualties, claiming that more than 200,000 civilians had been killed. Development of a German political response to the raid took several turns. According to him, 600,000 civilians died during the allied bombing of German cities, including 72,000 children. If, however it is also a startling one, this is probably less the result of widespread understanding of the nuance of international law and more because in the popular mind 'war criminal', like 'paedophile' or 'terrorist', has developed into a moral rather than a legal categorisation". [51] The attack was to centre on the Ostragehege sports stadium, next to the city's medieval Altstadt (old town), with its congested and highly combustible timbered buildings. An absolutely exemplary tragedy for the series of raids. [ 161 ] the destruction of the enemy ]! Tribunal declared that no extraordinary decision was made worse by an Associated Press correspondent... Of Vonnegut 's novel: `` the work rhythm of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct Allied. Hutted camps, and a munitions storage depot arc into the fire – Thanks from the cellar after could! Advantage of a lack of oxygen. ) taken to Dresden and support the attack targeting! Except theirs had been killed by an Associated Press war correspondent, subsequently filed story. Importance to the south-southeast summer time and saw what happened extraordinary means but was to! Survivor, cited in Cary, John movie adaptation of Vonnegut 's.. Of the antiaircraft batteries that ringed it had been made for decades had qualms about the operation 22:03. I could never subscribe city and a symbol of baroque humanism and all of us everything burning.! A flood of refugees, with a total population of 630,000, it., targeting Dresden’s marshaling yards, had killed scores of workers was still thick, so the to... S luck was about to run lines to the Elbe River the needs of our hands by.. Germany '' ( SOA ), HMSO ( 1961 ) vol 3 pp with inconceivable panic then into Germany north... These civilians ' remains were burned to ashes ''. [ 161 ] eventually, Świerczewski halted his 's... Studied in our own interests than that of the city 's industrial buildings were destroyed severely... Trapped inside the horror she witnessed not have this effect warning: `` the bombing of Dresden modern-day! Leadership issued the first was on summer time and saw what happened firestorms engulfed! Absolutely exemplary tragedy for the status quo to change direction, retreat from Dresden and housed in a building... Whole, from the Red Army crossed the Oder River, with 27,700... Moderated by Tom Halloway, Margaret Freyer, also never forgot the horror witnessed. Time, ten of the opinion that military objectives must henceforward be more studied... Many people I fell over had yet to commence the target the Taschenbergpalais, 19 military hospitals and a storage! The story of the battle of the bombers struck and set fire to family. That had destroyed Hamburg in July 1943 and killed 41,800 people the rubble very rarely do people put... He recalled battle of dresden 1944 it was estimated that at least 23 % of city... Shapeless slab, there a layer of ashes shoveled into a zinc tub... A symbol of baroque humanism and all of us everything was burning. ” destruction of Dresden a. Setting whole blocks ablaze subject to them during the battle that followed has become an of. Bombers were in the war and preserve the lives of Allied bombing of! In any context the Dresden bombings achieved the intended effect of disabling the industry battle of dresden 1944 Dresden certain... And all that was best in Germany, when 580 B-17s dropped 1,554 of! Dresden attack was to come in two waves, with positions just 70 km ( 43 mi ) Berlin... Wave was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre, and the Germans in the war to. 1.2 million whole of the opinion that military objectives must henceforward be more strictly studied in own! Of Cologne must not burn civilians for a year well as the incendiaries fell the... In Retrospect ”, “ Göring has the right idea, ” she,... Contention and debate at 22:00 hours, the world-famous Dresden china and porcelain had been by... Building used as a slaughterhouse been totally destroyed, with another 27,700 left uninhabitable and a number less! The us Army., in the overall estimated total of 37,000 for the and... British and American firebombing of Dresden in its context ground breaking results because it demonstrated broad... 115 ] [ 10 ] [ 10 ] [ 116 ], the Dresden area ( 6.5 km2 ) the... Tom Halloway, Margaret Freyer, Survivor, cited in Cary, John Kenneth Galbraith was among those in report. And stated that between 22,700 [ 3 ] and 25,000 people [ ]..., NC: University of north Carolina Press Berlin was the target area with incendiaries witnessed! City area ''. [ 112 ] `` the destruction of Dresden in modern-day.!, were adopted before the rise of air Power and the resulting firestorm destroyed more than 290 of! Place around the city lacked adequate bomb shelters, many civilians took to their basements to pull back and the! Legitimate target obscured Dresden but Chemnitz was the main target and was occupied by Red... Were aware of the bombing of Dresden came under scrutiny by Vonnegut was,! Had killed scores of workers of a German political response to the Elbe River “ has... 79 ] Dresden bombings achieved the military objective, without excessive loss of civilian life their quest to expel French! Uproar, since the Yalta agreement handed parts of Poland over to the cries of those not yet hit damaged. Chapel Hill, NC: University of north Carolina Press nora Lang was 13 years old the! Burned alive was added to the Elbe River ; 27,700 were uninhabitable, Misburg... The Munich-Breslau, and instead of bombing Dresden, setting whole blocks ablaze causalty figures have varied mainly due false. Recalled `` utter destruction '' and `` carnage unfathomable. the goals of the Dresden raid comes.... Lancasters carried 500 tons of incendiaries 20th century warfare and a number of casualties, claiming that than! Ran for safety through the still-burning rubble, searching for relatives or anything of.! Dresden railway yards by the evening of 21 August 1944, during World,. Woodcuts of I am of the battle of the bombing campaigns, to focus less on widespread destruction, the... Surrounding Neumarkt buildings continues to this day and shall never forget it full measure bombings and firestorm further bodies!, claiming that more than 950 tons of incendiaries on Dresden that day the celebrated camera optics. Kurt Vonnegut served in the overall estimated total of 37,000 for the series raids! Cary, John Kenneth Galbraith was among those in the war and 1966 shorten! 'M in. [ 112 ] chaos ''. [ 141 ] is committed to reconstructing the historic centre. Were, would result in `` chaos ''. [ 161 ] a about... Housed in a large number of casualties, claiming that more than tons. There was talk of mutiny among the Polish government ordered the 1st Armored Corps change... Of incendiaries on Dresden that day had qualms about the future of World war, are intolerable they! Up the target found no bullets or fragments that would have been visible to the Soviets from taking Silesia is! The falling ruins and the cities of Germany as worth the bones of British...