Hermes' Wings

History, Writing and Personal Musings

Dresden 1945

Dresden 1945 | PDF | 16 Pages | 3.6 Megabytes

The Bombing of Dresden

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The Allied attack on Dresden in February 1945 is arguable one of the most destructive events of the Second World War barring the atomic strikes. This short study analyzes the allied air raids, discovering the true extent of the damage within the city and the raid’s ultimate significance to the allied war effort.

For the longest time, there was simply no reference to the bombing at all, especially in Western Europe and America, but a gradual trickle of literature emerged. The writer, Kurt Vonnegut, who was an American POW drafted to help with the clean-up, wrote a novel (Slaughterhouse Five) after the war. He was attacked by some as being sympathetic to the bombed Nazis. Vonnegut was actually attempting to convey the folly of war. Later, The soviets tried to use the attack to turn East German sentiments against the Western powers. The West, meantime, conveniently attempted to forget that the attack ever took place. Winston Churchill, who had ultimately authorized the raid, made little mention of it in his biography and often deferred responsibility elsewhere. But propaganda or shame, the bombings now serve as a lesson of restraint.

Note — This study, written in 2004, for publication in a Texas A&M University annual, deals solely with the effects of the bombing. It does not examine allied operational plans or delve into detail on the raids.

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