At 9.51pm on Tuesday, 13 February 1945, Dresden's air-raid sirens sounded as they had done many times in the previous five years - until then most always a false alarm. No searchlights probed the skies above the unprotected target city; the guns had mostly been moved East to counter the Russian advance.
By the next morning, 796 RAF Lancasters and 311 USAAF Flying Fortresses had dropped more than 4,500 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices. More than 25,000 inhabitants perished in the terrifying firestorm, and 13 square miles of the city's historic centre, including incalculable quantities of treasure and works of art, lay in ruins. It was Ash Wednesday, 1945.
This is the first serious re-appraisal of an event that lives in the popular memory with Guernica and Hiroshima as a by-word for the horror of 20th-century air warfare. In addition to drawing on archives and primary sources only accessible since the fall of the East German regime, together with British and American records, Frederick Taylor has talked to Allied aircrew and the city's survivors, whether Jews working as slave labourers, members of the German armed services, refugees, or ordinary citizens of Dresden.
©2005 Frederick Taylor (P)2011 Audible Ltd
'Taylor weaves a chilling narrative from eyewitness accounts and...documentary research...His account of the air operation... is quite superb.' (The Times)
'Taylor's magnificent... study... surely as close as the English language will get to a definitive, balanced examination of the subject.' (Scotsman)
|This first part of the story of the bombing of Dresden gives an in depth build up history of the creation of this beautiful city as it was then in 1945. The history of how Dresden came about is very interesting and detailed. The narrator gives full depth of meaning to the descriptions that are given. Though it may be difficult to visualize what is being spoken about in the description of Dresden's forming throughout the early wars of dominance with most of the then surrounding European countries. Then Hitler arrived on the scene with his Nazi's. The demise of Dresden was only then a matter of time. Especially it became the hub of manufacturing factories of high grade optical instruments of war along with other war industries. Which slowly turned this beautiful city into an eventual legitimate target for the Allied air forces. Namely the RAF at night and then the USAAF during the day. Riveting listening which allows ones imagination to place you at the scene and become part of the story.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.