Dresden (Bloomsbury Trade)
photos on 16 plates and 3 sketch maps.
At 9.51p.m. on Tuesday, 13 February 1945, Dresden's air-raid sirens sounded as they had done many times in the previous 5 years, until then almost most always a false alarm. Ten minutes later the first marker flares were dropped by Mosquitos of 627 squadron. By the next morning, 796 RAF Lancasters and 311 USAAF Liberators had dropped more than 4,500 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices. More than 25,000 inhabitants (possibly many more) perished in the terrifying firestorm, and thirteen square miles of the city's historic centre, including incalculable quantities of treasure and works of art, lay in ruins. It was Ash Wednesday 1945.
Almost a lifetime later, controversy about Dresden's destruction continues. In this fascinating and meticulous new study, Frederick Taylor has intensively researched the German, British and American archives, and talked to the British and American bomber crews and to the city's survivors, to reveal the most complete portrait of the city and its fate ever attempted.