Monthly Archives: May 2010

Apocalypse 1945

The Destruction of Dresden


I have wondered for years about the deep seated and enduring animosity that exists between Germany and the UK. But not until I read Apocalypse 1945 [download book here:  ] did I realize the deep wounds in the German psyche that go back almost 65 years.

What happened to Dresden / and other German cities / during WWII also explains a lot the postwar period between those two counties. Although Germany and the UK are both members of the EU and the NATO. Margaret Thatcher disliked the idea of a German Reunification very much, going so far as to talk with Gorbachev on how the USSR should pay no heed to the official NATO statements but instead should stop German reunification. But in the end she was unable to stop it all alone.

Even for someone not interested in the history of WWII, a reading of this book will go a long way to shed some light on very recent history; and describe how 1400 bombers and aircraft turned central Dresden into a fire storm within 14 hours on the night of February 12/13, 1945 just before the end of the war. The death and destruction during this short period was unequlled even by Hiroshima & Nagazaki standards!

During this fateful night, the British Air Command dropped on central Dresden a total of 7500 high explosive bombs [many 4000 and 8000 lbs each]; 570,000 incendiary bombs and 4500 jet-fire bombs [filled with oil and phosphorus].

In less than 14 hours, tens of thousands of civilians burned to death, their corpses shrivelled to about 3 feet in length; with complete devastation of the city’s architectural treasures.A total of 3440 acres in the center of the city were more than 75% destroyed. Of the 35,470 residential buildings in the Dresden area, only 7,421 remained undamaged. Expressed in terms of homes and appartments: of the 220,000 living units, over 90,000 were destroyed. In terms of rubble, for each of the citizens including those killed in the raids, there were fifty-six cubic yards of rubble – more than eleven truckloads of rubble per inhabitant.

Of course Dresden was just one German city out of many who got the same "treatment" during WWII. But the Pompeii-like catastrophe that engulfed Dresden is an eternal blot on the escutcheon of the British goverments and people.

The author of Apocalypse 1945 [David Irving], upgraded the latest edition in 2005 with new historical data that was de-classified by the British government. Ironically, this–the first and best-researched book on the firebombing of Dresden–is now banned in Germany, due to political pressures there against Irving‘s other views about the War. No doubt this pleases many people who would much rather the world remain ignorant of what really happened when "the good guys" decided to wipe out a city and managed to kill a couple hundred thousand of its civilian inhabitants, with little thought and no remorse.