1945 – The Bombing of Dresden ends

One of the more pointless and vindictive acts on the part of the Allies, the bombing of the German city of Dresden from February 13 to 15 in 1945 was a massive operation consisting of four separate air raids. A total of 3600 planes took place in the raids, which dropped more than 3900 tonnes of incendiaries and high explosives on the city.

The resulting firestorm covered 15 square miles and killed thousands of people – the lowest estimate is 22,000, and the high end runs up to 250,000 – all for a target of little military value. Although Dresden did house industrial facilities, as well as communications and railway infrastructure, none of these were targetted in the raids. Instead, residential and historical landmark areas were bombed.

For these reasons and others – not least the spotlight shone on this event by author Kurt Vonnegut in his book Slaugterhouse Five – the incident remains a controversial one.

Referenced in:

Dresden — Cold Chisel
The Hero’s Return — Pink Floyd