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Can the bombing of Dresden be justified?

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 750
  • Category: War

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Dresden was Germanys 7th largest city at the time of the war. Historically, Dresden had been northern Germany’s cultural centre – a city filled with museums and historic buildings. The Frauenkirche Cathedral was one of the world’s famous buildings. Dresden was also an extremely important industrial area, which was something that the allies really did not want, but before February 1945 Dresden was a peaceful country and there were not any threats from the British yet., Many refugees had fled to Dresden from the east because of the Soviet Union’s attack; therefore making it harder to find the actual figure of people who died. At 10 p.m. on Tuesday 13 February 1945, the first British marker flares drifted towards this beautiful city (Dresden) that had been almost untouched by bombing. Dresden overall was named 3rd most bombed cite in the world There were main reasons for the British to bomb Dresden; 1) The city was not only a cultural centre – there were factories that were producing weapons and equipment for the Nazi war effort. Therefore, the city was a legitimate target. 2) It was a city with factories capable of producing tanks, self-propelled guns, and jet engines. 3) It was considered full of transportation hubs and had oil production facilities.

This are the main reasons that I picked out or I thought had the most effect on why the allies dropped 3300 tons of bombs. In their bomb bay was a deadly concentration of high-explosive and fire-causing incendiary bombs. Each Lancaster bomber carried roughly 1.5 tones of high explosive bombs and 2.25 tones of incendiaries. In all, many of the bombs that were dropped were incendiary bombs. These created so much fire that formed a firestorm. The firestorm burned in large amount and since, many buildings were made of wood, the fire caught faster. These types of bombs were mostly used because it needed lots of oxygen to burn. The more, the city burned the more oxygen was used up and the more people that die from luck of oxygen.

“It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land.” by Winston Churchill, 28 march 1945.

Although there are other reasons that come through that make the bombing of Dresden seem like an unnecessary part of the war effort. In the first place Britain did not even start the war. In 1919 Ital, England, France, and U.S came to an agreement that Germany had to pay for all the damage they did in the First World War. When Hitler heard of this he started organising an army, air force and started making allies, like Mussillon’s Italy. Six months later Hitler breaks the treaty and starts another war.

Germany withdrew from the Geneva disarmament conference, which meant they refused to support a British proposal that air bombing be banned. Dresden was also a very important rail centre for moving troops, concentration camp prisoners and war material but it would be no good if the allies destroyed the buildings and factories, because if there will be, still human’s; they can rebuild it. The war factories of Dresden employed around 10,000 people, many of which lived in the very centre of the city.

The Russians were asking for help from Britain and the u.s.a because Dresden was too close to the Russian front line. The number of people that died shows clearly how the Nazi’s failed to provide air-raid shelter. People therefore sheltered in basements of houses which, due to the firestorm above filled with fumes and killed the people before the houses collapsed onto them and burned their corpses.

I now come to a conclusion that the bombing of Dresden can justified to a certain extent. Many people believe that bombing Dresden was no worse than a war crime although at the time that it happened it was not thought like that, it was planned to stop future conflict and seeing as it was right at the end of the war perhaps it did. Although people argue now that the bombing of Dresden has just amounted to nothing less than bombing of civilians. So it could be said that although the bombing of Dresden was considered a terrible thing do, at that time it was justifiable for the reasons mentioned above.

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