Historical essay on the bombing of Dresden.

Essay by jhorz210High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

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On February 13-14, 1945 the British Royal Air Force gave the final clearance to commence what would later become known as one of the greatest atrocities that has ever been committed against a civilian population. That night the RAF launched 796 bombers and 9 Mosquitoes, which carried 1,478 tons of explosives in addition to 1,182 tons of incendiary bombs (Dear 311) which turned the city of Dresden, Germany into a virtual inferno. This attack included another strike by the US Air Force the following morning. The attack on Dresden was never a legitimate act of war, and its result was the terrorist mass murder of over 135,000 people. We must learn from this historic act and make sure it is never repeated.

The city of Dresden was a historic center of Europe, and was known world wide for its splendid architecture. It was the capital of Saxony, and located along the banks of the Elbe River.

Dresden had very little industrial activity, and it was a target only once before in a small raid by the US Air Force in October of 1944. It was a city that was also known for its production of fine China, and its glorious museums (Dear 311). The city was not at all suspected to be a target for attack because of the population influx that had occurred in result of refugees running from allied forces. Due to this situation, the Germans moved most of their air defense stations to other cities that were more likely targets. The city had become a hub for not only refugees, but also for POW camps, and hospitals. Of the 19 hospitals in the city, three were totally demolished, and the rest were partially damaged. Many of these hospitals housed wounded allied soldiers. (Barnes Review 10) The attack...