Dresden after the devastating British bombing campaign of February 1945. 'The purpose was simple: to kill civilians, to destroy cities and to crush German morale.' Don’t leave Dresden out of the story. According to The Guardian remembering wartime events remains important. But Britain’s 70th anniversary narrative must include the morally tough stuff too.

Seventy years ago on Friday, British planes bombed Dresden in the most overwhelming and destructive raid of the second world war. The firestorm in Dresden on the nights of 13 and 14 February 1945 killed approximately 25,000 people, mainly civilians, in a few hours. Out of 220,000 homes in Dresden, 75,000 were destroyed.

The bombing of Dresden was one in a series of exceptionally heavy raids intended to hasten the collapse of Germany. The wartime air ministry’s bombing directorate had been arguing since 1944 for a saturation bombing exercise, codenamed Operation Thunderclap. The aim was to provoke “a state of terror by air attack”, particularly in those parts of Germany (like Dresden in the east) that had been less affected by earlier raids and battles “in order to bring home to the whole population the consequences of military defeat and the realities of air bombing”. The purpose was simple: to kill civilians, to destroy cities and to crush German morale.

Read full article at: The Guardian.  

 

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Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis - http://www.theguardian.com/
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