Site of one of the greatest atrocities of war ever. Incredibly disturbing, and frightening to know that something like this happened, because what's to say it could never happen again? As the old saying goes, History repeats itself. Here are some of the facts from a report I wrote on the subject:

- The bombing started on 13 February 1945, and ended 14 February 1945.

- The civilian casualty rate has been estimated at anywhere from 35,000 to 135,000.

- Refugees fleeing from the Red Army had caused the population of Dresden to double shortly before the attack, thus the high number of civilian casualties.

- What made matters worse, is that Dresden was not a city affiliated with the military, it was a cultural, and railroad distribution centre. It was not attacked because of its strategic value, the attack was meant to destroy civilian morale.

- The main reasons for the bombing were political. The PM of Britain at the time, Winston Churchill, wanted to destroy not only the military machine of Germany, but to stop the advance of the Soviet Union. Germany was one of Britain's imperialist rivals at the time.

- Civilians attempting to flee along the banks of the Elbe river were killed by low-flying planes equipped with machine guns. Roads known to be escape routes were also bombed.

- A few places in the city were left untouched: the barracks in the city's north, the train station where trains carrying reserves for the Eastern Front might depart, as well as large white oil tanks that belonged to Britain's Shell Oil. The only possible economic or military targets within the city were left alone.

I still find the most alarming thing about it all to be the lack of humanity and compassion a group of people can have towards another. I also think that schools should concentrate more on the terrible things that both sides did during the wars. I'm not sure about elsewhere, but I learned precious little about such things, the focus was placed on the supposedly good accomplishments of "our" side, and the "evil" ways of the opposing forces.

- See also: Hamburg.
A city in Germany. It sits on the Elbe river about 80km northwest of the Czech border. After Berlin, Dresden is one of the greatest and best-known East German cities. It is the capital of the Bundesland of Sachsen (Saxony in English). The Dresdner Schloss is the old palace of the Saxony Electors and Emperors, which is being restored after having been firebomded in WWII. Also of note is the German Museum of Hygiene.

Dresden still shows many scars from the Allied bombings in February 1945, that claimed over 50,000 civilian lives.

In the attack on Dresden, Allied bombers dropped phosphorous bombs to make the streets burn. To get away from the burning, people went into stone ditches which were built in the centers of the boulevards and which were full of water. The original purpose of these ditches had been to put out house fires. The ditches were built at an angle on either side, and 6 feet deep at the bottom. Over time, algae had begun to grow on the sides of the ditches, and therefore in their attempt to flee the bombing, the residents of Dresden slipped into the ditches and drowned because the water was too deep.

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