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Dresden Bombing

[Summary]Bombing of Dresden Allied victory Strategic targets destroyed Extensive German casualties 769 heavy bombers (RAF) 527 heavy bombers (USAAF) 784 North American P-51 Mustangs 28 Messerschmitt Bf 110 night fighters Dresden, 1945, view from the city hall

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Bombing of Dresden

Allied victory

Strategic targets destroyed

Extensive German casualties

769 heavy bombers (RAF)

527 heavy bombers (USAAF)

784 North American P-51 Mustangs

28 Messerschmitt Bf 110 night fighters

Dresden, 1945, view from the city hall (Rathaus) over the destroyed city

The bombing of Dresden was a British/American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, that took place during the Second World War in the European Theatre. In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city.[1] The bombing and the resulting firestorm destroyed over 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of the city centre.[2] An estimated 22,700[3] to 25,000[4] people were killed, although inflated casualty figures have been promulgated over the years by authors such as David Irving. Three more USAAF air raids followed, two occurring on 2 March aimed at the city's railroad marshaling yard and one small raid on 17 April aimed at industrial areas.

Bombing of Dresden in World War II

Dresden before its destruction

The bombing of Dresden by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) between February 13 and February 15, 1945 remains one of the more controversial events of World War II. Historian Frederick Taylor says:

The destruction of Dresden has an epically tragic quality to it. It was a wonderfully beautiful city and a symbol of baroque humanism and all that was best in Germany. It also contained all of the worst from Germany during the Nazi period. In that sense it is an absolutely exemplary tragedy for the horrors of 20th Century warfare…[1]

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