Dresden raid


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(February 1945)

One of the heaviest air-raids on Germany in World War II. The main raid was on the night of 13–14 February 1945 by Britain's Bomber Command; 805 bombers attacked the city, which, because of its cultural significance and lack of strategic importance, had until then been safe. The main raid was followed by three more in daylight by the US 8th Air Force. The Allied commander-in-chief General Eisenhower was anxious to link up with the advancing Red Army in south Germany, and Dresden came to be regarded as strategically important as a communications centre. The city was known to be overcrowded with some 200,000 refugees, but it was felt that the inevitably high casualties might in the end help to shorten the war. Over 30,000 buildings were flattened. The numbers of those who died in the bombing and the ensuing firestorm are still in dispute, estimates varying from 40,000 to 140,000.

Subjects: World History.

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