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Dresden Fire Bombing, Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse Five

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What Happened in 1945?
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Dresden Fire Bombing, Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse Five

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War crime or part of a necessary effort to end a World War? The 7th largest German City had previously been untouched by bombing. That changed on Valentines Day 1945. Kurt Vonnegut, as a prisoner of war, would later write about his experiences in Slaughterhouse Five-- after surviving the bombing in a slaughterhouse.

War crime or part of a necessary effort to end a World War? The 7th largest German City had previously been untouched by bombing. That changed on Valentines Day 1945. Kurt Vonnegut, as a prisoner of war, would later write about his experiences in Slaughterhouse Five-- after surviving the bombing in a slaughterhouse.

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Dresden Fire Bombing, Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse Five

  1. 1. 14 February 1945 The Dresden Firebombing
  2. 2. The Fire-Bombing of Dresden, during World War II, went from February 13– 15, 1945. The raids almost completely destroyed the German city of Dresden, the 7th largest in the country. The raids became a symbol of the “terror bombing” campaign against Germany, which was one of the most controversial Allied actions of the war. The Dresden Firebombing
  3. 3. Travel back in time to Dresden, Germany on 14 February 1945. The day Dresden is firebombed. Doc’s Mission: Valentines Day
  4. 4. The attack on a city with few militarily significant targets has been questioned ever since, with some calling it a war crime. On the other side, there were those who pointed to Dresden as a transportation hub. The Dresden Firebombing
  5. 5. In accordance with their usual procedures, British bombers attacked at night, while American bombers dropped their ordnance during the day. The Dresden Firebombing
  6. 6. The pattern was for Mosquito planes to fly over first, dropping target indicator flares. Then the bombing was a mixture of incendiary bombs and “cookies”: 4,000 pound, high explosives also known as blockbusters. These were designed to blow out windows and doors to make buildings more susceptible to fire. And destroy water mains. The Dresden Firebombing
  7. 7. “And, as if the Devil himself had decided their torments were insufficient, above the wind's howl and the inferno's roar came the interminable, agonized screams of the victims being roasted alive.” —Victor Gregg, survivor Dresden Firebombing
  8. 8. The Dresden Firebombing
  9. 9. The necessity for the raid is constantly questioned. Numbers of casualties ranged from 20,000 to 200,000 although the figure has generally been agreed upon at 25,000. The Dresden Firebombing
  10. 10. Kurt Vonnegut survived the raid as a POW (he’d been captured during the Battle of the Bulge) and went on to write Slaughterhouse Five. It contains scenes set in Dresden. He described the bombing as ‘carnage unfathomable.’ He was assigned a detail burying the bodies.
  11. 11. “The Dresden atrocity, tremendously expensive and meticulously planned, was so meaningless, finally, that only one person on the entire planet got any benefit from it. I am that person. I wrote this book, which earned a lot of money for me and made my reputation, such as it is. One way or another, I got two or three dollars for every person killed. Some business I'm in.” Kurt Vonnegut reference the Dresden bombing and his book Slaughterhouse Five
  12. 12. Vonnegut survived the raid by hiding in the lower levels of a slaughterhouse. The Dresden Firebombing
  13. 13. “If I had to have the same time again, I would do the same again, but I would hope I wouldn’t have to.” —Air Marshall Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris regarding the Dresden mission. The Dresden Firebombing
  14. 14. What if the firebombing didn’t take place? Or what if Vonnegut was killed in it? These are the what-if’s the Time Patrol deals with. The Dresden Firebombing
  15. 15. Click on Image for links
  16. 16. Free audiobook shorts on Soundcloud from the Time Patrol series. Roland’s complete mission from Independence Day. 4 July 1865, at Gettysburg. HERE Mac’s complete mission from D-Day. 6 June 1944. HERE Moms mission from Ides of March. 15 March 44 BC. HERE
  17. 17. Print Book Free downloadable Powerpoint slideshows on survival, history writing, and interesting information are available HERE
  18. 18. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million books. He was born in the Bronx and traveled the world. He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains, the Smoky Mountains and other places, including time in East Asia studying martial arts. He now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs. www.bobmayer.com

Editor's Notes

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