Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dresden, step of madness

A few weeks before the end of World War Two, Winston Churchill drafted a memorandum to the British Chiefs of Staff:

'It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed ... The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing.'

Out of 28,410 houses in the inner city of Dresden, 24,866 were destroyed. An area of 15 square kilometers was totally destroyed, among that: 14,000 homes, 72 schools, 22 hospitals, 19 churches, 5 theaters, 50 bank and insurance companies, 31 department stores, 31 large hotels, 62 administration buildings as well as factories such as the Ihagee camera works. In total there were 222,000 apartments in the city. 75,000 of them were totally destroyed, 11,000 severely damaged, 7,000 damaged, 81,000 slightly damaged.

Overall, Anglo-American bombing of German cities claimed ca. 400,000 civilian lives.
Earlier reputable estimates varied from 25,000 to more than 60,000 dead, but historians now view around 25,000-35,000 as the likely range

1 comment:

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