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Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden

Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden
(3 reviews)  

SKU SKU17517
Weight 1.50 lbs
Our price: $48.00

Frst published, 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 center for the evacuation of 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 the Crimea, Mr Winston Churchill urgently needed some display of his offensive strength and of his willingness to assist the Russians in their drive westwards. Dresden just seven miles behind the eastern Front, 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 own 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

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Average customer rating:
(3 reviews)  

3 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
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.
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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.
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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.
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