by Charles Coughlin

The more information you dig up about the Allied firestorm bombing of Dresden, the more obvious an atrocity it is. By February 1945, Germany was only a few weeks away from total defeat. Dresden produced mainly soap, china and cameras. It’s value as a military target was dismissed by Allied strategists. One source reported “January 25 was the day when the decision was taken that resulted in the blotting out of Dresden. Until then, the capital of Saxony (Dresden) had been considered so famous a cultural monument and so futile a military target that even the Commander in Chief of Bombing Command, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, had given it hardly a thought…”

What Dresden did have was people. Hundreds of thousands of German refugees fleeing the Red Army had stopped in Dresden. Soviet soldiers were raping virtually all German women betwen the age of 10 and 50 (in another Allied atrocity). Winston Churchill wanted to strike at the German people one last time, mass murdering as many civilians as possible before the war ended.

One British pilot reported “On 13th February 1945 I was a navigator on one of the Lancaster bombers which devastated Dresden. I well remember the briefing by our Group Captain. We were told that the Red Army was thrusting towards Dresden and that the town would be crowded with refugees and that the center of the town would be full of women and children. Our aiming point would be the market place. I recall that we were somewhat uneasy, but we did as we were told… The penny didn’t drop until a few weeks later when my squadron received a visit from the Crown Film Unit who were making the wartime propaganda films. There was a mock briefing, with one notable difference. The same Group Captain now said, ‘as the market place would be filled with women and children on no account would we bomb the center of the town. Instead, our aiming point would be a vital railway junction to the east. I can categorically confirm that the Dresden raid was a black mark on Britain’s war record. The aircrews on my squadron were convinced that this wicked act was not instigated by our much-respected guvnor ‘Butch’ Harris but by Churchill. I have waited 29 years to say this, and it still worries me.”

The Allies discovered that if they dropped massive quantities of incendiaries on a city that a firestorm results. Temperatures in the middle of the firestorm can exceed 1,000 degrees and hurricane force wind draws anything loose (including people) into the fire. When this sort of attack was carried out on Hamburg, thousands of German civilians in air raid shelters were suffocated or cooked alive. The British knew what had happened during the firestorm at Hamburg. They deliberately chose to carry out this sort of attack on a city full of refugees with little if any military value only weeks before the war would end. What kind of a monster would do this to hundreds of thousands of civilians in the closing weeks of a war?

The German authorities and rescue workers counted and tagged 250,000 bodies at Dresden a few weeks after the bombing according to a report received and noted by Joseph Goebbels in his 1945 diary (”Final Entries”). This is the minimum number of dead. Who knows how many bodies could not be recovered in the few weeks before the Red Army overran the remains of the city? Many bodies were hopelessly buried under rubble. The extreme termperatures of a firestorm may have incinerated many victims near the center of the city. Allied historians have claimed a death toll at Dresden many times less, but they never explain how they arrived at their much-reduced estimates. Did they rely on observation plane photos from 30,000 feet? Did they come up with a figure of 35,000 dead because 250,000 dead would make them obvious war criminals? The German authorities were doing their best to retrieve the dead from the rubble during the last chaotic weeks of the war. The Germans were known to keep bureaucratic records of almost everything –even under the worst conditions. Once the Soviets overran Dresden, the truth of the death toll was unlikely to be revealed. The German records of this Allied atrocity were almost certainly hidden or destroyed by the Soviets.

One source suggests that the number of dead may be as high as 500,000. That article reports “On the evening of February 13, 1945, an orgy of genocide and barbarism began against a defenseless German city, one of the greatest cultural centers of northern Europe. Within less than 14 hours not only was it reduced to flaming ruins, but an estimated one-third of its inhabitants, possibly as many as a half a million, had perished in what was the worst single event massacre of all time..known as the Florence of the North. Dresden was a hospital city for wounded soldiers. Not one military unit, not one anti-aircraft battery was deployed in the city. Together with the 600.000 refugees from Breslau, Dresden was filled with nearly 1.2 million people. Churchill had asked for “suggestions how to blaze 600.000 refugees”. He wasn’t interested how to target military installations 60 miles outside of Dresden. More than 700.000 phosphorus bombs were dropped on 1.2 million people. One bomb for every 2 people. The temperature in the centre of the city reached 1600 degrees centigrade. More than 260.000 bodies and residues of bodies were counted. But those who perished in the centre of the city can’t be traced. Approximately 500.000 children, women, the elderly, wounded soldiers and the animals of the zoo were slaughtered in one night.”

The American writer, Kurt Vonnegut, who was a POW near Dresden, remarked “You guys burnt the place down, turned it into a single column of flame. More people died there in the firestorm, in that one big flame, than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.”