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Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden

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Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden was first published on April 30, 1963. Using official papers, private records, and the accounts of eye-witnesses on both sides, David Irving gives a harrowing account of the two saturation bombing raids executed by RAF Bomber Command on Germany’s most beautiful city at the end of the war, a horrific firestorm raid which left over 100,000 innocent civilians dead or missing—jacketed hardback.

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Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden is first published on April 30, 1963.  At 10 p.m. on February 13-14, 1945, the Master Bomber broadcast the cryptic order: ‘Controller to Plate-Rack Force: Come in and bomb glow of red T.I.s as planned.’ The ill-famed R.A.F. attack on Dresden had begun. The target city was among Germany’s largest but had little military or industrial value. It was a centre for evacuating wounded servicemen, and schools, restaurants, and public buildings had been converted into hospitals.

The authorities expected that this, a city often compared with Florence for its graceful Baroque style, would be spared. By 1945, the legend was deeply entrenched that Dresden would never be bombed. It was not to be.

In February 1945, with the war’s political and military directors meeting at Yalta in Crimea, Mr Winston Churchill urgently needed some display of his offensive strength and willingness to assist the Russians in their drive westwards. Just seven miles behind the eastern Front, Dresden became the victim of Mr. Churchill’s desire for a spectacular ‘shattering blow’. As things turned out, this, the most crushing air raid of the war, was not delivered until the Yalta conference ended.

The city was undefended – even the Luftwaffe’s local night fighter force was grounded. There were no proper air raid shelters. Dresden was housing hundreds of thousands of refugees from Silesia, East Prussia, and western Germany, in addition to its population of 630,000. Up to a hundred thousand people, perhaps more, were killed in two or three hours, burned alive that night. Yet until the first edition of this book appeared in 1963, the raid scarcely figured in the Allied war histories. A veil had been drawn across this tragedy.

Stung by foreign revulsion at this new St Valentine’s Day massacre, the British prime minister – who had ordered it – penned an angry minute to his Chief of Staff, even before the war ended, rasping that ‘the destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of allied bombing’. It is from this remarkably forgetful minute that the sub-title is taken. For the first time, the full story, omitting nothing, of the historical background to this cruel blow and of its unexpected political consequences, is told.

320 pages

Zusätzliche Informationen

Weight 0.680388555 kg
Dimensions 26 × 28 × 3 cm


Reviews (7)

7 reviews for Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden

  1. Avatar of Gabe C.

    Gabe C.

    Tragic story of the murder of thousands of civilians and the destruction of one of Europe's most beautiful cities. A must read for any David Irving fan. It was his first book and it brought the horrors of Dresden into the public eye. You will really feel for the Germans as you read this.

  2. Avatar of A customer

    A customer

    Mr.Irving takes the gloves off with this informative and well researched book. Although written in the early sixties, it hasn't lost it's impact. The Allies went way overboard in destroying the city of Dresden despite it's limited strategic value.

  3. Avatar of Joseph Austin-Crowe

    Joseph Austin-Crowe

    I can only review this work on its literary impact, not its historical authenticity. However, it has the ring of truth about it.

    Originally I intended to provide copies of this book as gifts to friends and family who were interested in history, generally. But what of the impact of actually reading about the horrors? Were we not brought up to believe we were the 'goodies', and not the 'baddies'?

    As a child I wondered what it must have been like for the 'other side' to be 'the baddies'.

    With Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, I came to a realisation that the goodie/baddie distinction was quite borne of personal perspective. Suffering occurs wholesale by both combatants' families.

    Now, cast away the smugness and righteousness of what 'our boys' did, and be drawn emotionally into the lives of the other side. Real people who felt the same way about the war. However, they lost, so to the vanquished go no spoils.

    Well done, Mr Irving, but your work in this case does not a stocking-filler make. It sits upon my shelves as far more a sacred text than perhaps it was intended.

  4. Avatar of scott.d.laing@gmail.com

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    I have never taken so long to reach a book’s table of contents. The pages leading up require quiet reflection.
    I am writing this review having merely finished the chapter on Hamburg. My wife has asked me to stop reading, for now. You see, it is Christmas. I have German carols playing through the stereo. And I am bent over a book, weeping. So I think I will need to stop for a bit. History doesn’t play around. Neither does Irving.

  5. Avatar of Jamiescrobertson@yahoo.com

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    The content is very interesting and the detail takes you into the mindset of what the bombers intention was on the nights in qestion.
    This really was a horrific event and I can only speculate as to the intentions of this whole exercise and its timing

  6. Avatar of twday1@hotmail.com

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    I can proudly say I have a copy of most of David Irving’s books published to date. Recently I finished reading Apocalypse 1945, The Destruction of Dresden. The amount of research behind this book is amazing and there are pages of Notes & References to support the narrative details. Written in an easy to follow and understand day by day, hour by hour account of the Dresden bombing based on official records, military reports, transcripts, eye witnesses and interviews, you feel a part of the history that was a true holocaust. It was difficult to read Part 4 of the book dealing with the aftermath of the allied attack without feeling very sad for the innocent victims, survivors, rescuers and the unnecessary loss of an architectural treasure. Overall I thought the book gave a well detailed account of before, during and after the Dresden bombing campaign and is highly recommended.

  7. Avatar of michaelwdavies84@outlook.com

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    This book was the first David Irving book I had read, it was the most impactful due to learning of this horrid War Crime that the Allies carried out.

    After having read this I feel nothing but sadness and embarrassment that I had held the Allies in such high regard for so long.

    War is indeed full of indescribable actions, but to find out we British opened the doors to hell first was a real wake up to the real history.

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