By Frederick Taylor
The bombing started presently after 10:00 P.M. on February thirteen, 1945. within the fifteen hours that undefined, 1,100 American and British heavy bombers dropped greater than 4,500 a whole bunch high-explosive bombs and incendiary units, leaving the traditional urban of Dresden -- "the Florence of the Elbe" -- in flaming ruins and claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of its voters. Twelve weeks later the German hand over was once in hand, signaling the tip of worldwide struggle II.
Yet this day the bombing of Dresden is embedded in our collective recognition now not because the toppling blow to Nazi Germany yet as one in all history's harshest wartime atrocities, a vicious and militarily unjustifiable act of vengeful retribution opposed to a calm, attractive, defenseless urban someway faraway from the war-making equipment that had differently fed on all of Germany.
What relatively occurred at Dresden -- either the proof of the occasions themselves and the explanations at the back of the extraordinary legacy of propaganda that has left us at nighttime approximately these occasions for almost sixty years -- is the topic of Frederick Taylor's flooring breaking examine. After cautious learn into British, American, and German data (including lately came across files, now to be had after a long time of communist censorship) and interviews with either bombers and survivors, Taylor -- a bilingual pupil, translator, and author -- has created the main entire portrait ever assembled of town, its humans, and people concerned with its destiny. lots of his findings require a revelatory shift in how we comprehend those occasions. for example, he demonstrates that
the numbers of useless -- often stated in way over 100,000 -- have been enormously exaggerated, for propaganda reasons, by means of Josef Goebbels (Taylor estimates the particular loss of life toll at among 25,000 and 40,000)
charges that Allied pilots overhead shot down German civilians as they fled towards defense have been patently false
contrary to well known trust, Dresden was once a urban of substantial army significance, either as a transportation hub and a big manufacturer of armaments and army provisions.
is the 1st actually educated and fair-minded historical past of the bombing that lives in infamy. Frederick Taylor's booklet, a dependable and long-overdue corrective to a sixty-year-long legacy of incorrect information masquerading as truth, could be remembered for generations either as a piece of tolerating scholarship and as a relocating, compassionate narrative of a human tragedy of ancient importance.