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The Dresden Fire Bombing


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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.

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The Dresden Fire Bombing

  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 city 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 The 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. The Dresden Firebombing
  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 The Dresden Firebombing
  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. Who Was St. Valentine? Who Was Captain Cook? The Dresden Firebombing. Who Were the ENIAC Six? What Was the St. Valentines Day Massacre? When FDR met King Ibn Saud. Valentines Day (Time Patrol) Overview What happened in 1779? What happened in 1945? What happened in 1946?
  16. 16. Click on tab above for FREE short/audio/Ides of March