The bombing of Dresde

May 2017
519
France
#51
Thank you very much for your answers.Many tanks in Dresden ? Please which Panzerdivision ? We know all that the tanks were in the first line with the artillery of assault.Units of second line (Landsturm,Volksturm) perhaps but which division of the Heer ? We merit the truth 73 years after.
Anf for the Flakartillery (anti planes) how many ba
 
Oct 2013
12,486
Europix
#53
"Dresden the german Guernika ?".
With or without the answer, probably someone will publish (if it's not already done) that kind of book.

Maybe not under that title, as there isn't any Picasso making a fresco on Dresden. (btw, the question would be: how much would we been talking about Guernica nowadays without Picasso, in fact? Not to say that there was no Picasso dealing with the "Terror Rojo" during the Spanish civil war (the other side of the coin), so we don't even know it existed.
 
Jul 2016
7,353
USA
#54
Thank you very much for your answers.Many tanks in Dresden ? Please which Panzerdivision ? We know all that the tanks were in the first line with the artillery of assault.Units of second line (Landsturm,Volksturm) perhaps but which division of the Heer ? We merit the truth 73 years after.
Anf for the Flakartillery (anti planes) how many ba
The panzer divisions weren't stationed there, they were being moved through it.

Look at the axis of advance of the Soviet thrust during the Vistula Oder Offensive.

Look at where Dresden is on that map. Any German forces of the Heer or SS west of the German border that wasn't going to be routed north through Berlin to Poland, or south through Nuremberg to Prague then to Poland, has to go through the Dresden lines.

So who was that? Every replacement battalion from the Ersatzheer. Every replacement AFV, artillery piece, AT gun, box of MG ammunition, jerry can of fuel. Every existing division being moved from OB West to the east, which constituted the bulk of German panzer divisions since the Ostfront was stripped near bare to equip Army Group B for Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein/Ardenne Offensive/Battle of the Bulge, which had failed by January, as well as panzer divisions used for Operation Nordwind, fighting against Devers' 6th Army Group in the Alsace Lorraine area of the French-German border, who also failed. Most of those panzer divisions were moved east to help try to repel the Soviets, and all needed to be routed through Germany on trains to get there.

On top of that, there was a lot of train and road traffic moving west. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans had moved east to take advantage of Reich occupied territory. Businessmen, bureaucrats, and hanger-ons/camp follower types of the German military in all the land east of Germany that the Soviets were overrunning. They didn't stick around, they were all heading back to Germany by whatever means available and didn't have places to live, food to eat, etc, a lot picked up and left with the cloths on their back and maybe a suitcase or two. Many of them ended up in eastern cities like Dresden because they were transportation hubs for roads and rail both. They too were a target, since hitting them would put more strain on the German system to care for them, and the more effort wasted on civilians was less that could be devoted to military (in theory).

All of this was generally inconsequential. The Vistula Oder Offensive had ended before Dresden was hit, all necessary German units needed to repel it had already made it too the front. Sure, there were still many inside the city, but its not hard to repair train lines and most hadn't been touched by the bombing raid itself. Industry impact, by Speer's own admission, was minimal to say the least. Those that suffered were civilians, who the Nazi high command didn't care much about at all, whose deaths didn't cause a breakdown of morale or shorten the war in any meaningful way. IE., bombing Dresden was largely a waste of fuel and bombs.
 
Jul 2016
7,353
USA
#55
teries of artillery ? Can you tell us the number of planes crashed ?
If we are not able to answer to these questions,one day a book will be published:"Dresden the german Guernika ?".
I'm sure you're purely dealing with the ethics of killing of a couple tens of thousands of German nationals, citizens of a country making total war against most of Europe, being directly responsible for the deaths of tens of millions. In hindsight, Germany is lucky it wasn't liquidated itself after WW2 by the victorious powers. But Dresden and Guernica do bring up a valid point, that strategic terror bombing doesn't actually work all that well.

Though pop culture history incorrectly says otherwise, to many of the German Luftwaffe the bombing of Guernica proved to them that strategic bombing for morale doesn't work. Once the last of the Luftwaffe Douhet bomber fanatics died, Walther Wever, the Germans emphasized the use of their aircraft for the roles of air superiority, reconnaissance, and tactical close air support, and scrapped their heavy bombing production and doctrine. Why? Because it proved it was a waste of resources. They brought it back kind of sideways years later with the V-weapons, which proved just as much a waste of resources as well. Strategic bombing by the RAF and USAAC/F proved the same thing. Post war bombing surveys proved that they did definitely contribute, but that their effects were massively overstated.

But the atomic bomb changed the equation, with it strategic bombing absolutely 100% worked as Douhet and others intended, which saved the newly independent USAF more clout and funding than any other branch of the US military, it being the branch initially tasked with controlling nuclear weapons, long before the Army and Navy got them. With the Bomb, the Soviet Air Force also stretched far out from its role of tactical support. Without the Bomb, British cut back on strategic bombing, it didn't work and was just too expensive to maintain.

The only time conventional heavy bombing worked was decades later when new technology allowed greater accuracy, bomb load weight, and countermeasures against air defense (I'm describing Operation Lineback I and II against North Vietnam in the early 70s, the NATO bombing of Serbia in the 1990s, the only examples in history of conventional heavy bombing actually working as bomber aficionados said in the 1920-30s).
 
Oct 2018
53
Minneapolis, MN
#56
I can't pass this up since you just quoted the book by probably the most famous Holocaust denier of all time and the rest of Historum needs to be made aware that somebody who quotes a Holocaust denier always has a purpose and that purpose is never good for the historical record.

And just to promote how utterly ridiculous this back and forth has gotten the quote you posted about Patton referenced a wikipedia paragraph describing events that occurred in MID APRIL 1945, THREE MONTHS AFTER THE END OF THE VISTULA ODER OFFENSIVE THE SOVIETS ASKED THE ALLIES TO SUPPORT, TWO MONTHS AFTER THE DRESDEN RAIDS, A MONTH AFTER PATTON BROKE INTO GERMANY, A WEEK AFTER THE REDUCTION OF MOST GERMAN FORCES OF OB WEST IN THE RUHR POCKET.

Just stop already
Got to agree here, he's been proven to use forged documents creating false death counts that neo-nazi's and holocaust deniers use as fact. He's a guy who said Hitler was saving the jews and the holocaust wasn't real. That not one jew died in a gas chamber in Aushwitz. Not really a source I would quote myself.

If you want to be a voice for him and his lies, that's your choice.
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,756
#57
Got to agree here, he's been proven to use forged documents creating false death counts that neo-nazi's and holocaust deniers use as fact. He's a guy who said Hitler was saving the jews and the holocaust wasn't real. That not one jew died in a gas chamber in Aushwitz. Not really a source I would quote myself.

If you want to be a voice for him and his lies, that's your choice.
It was quoted as an example of the false information (tosh) on the raid. Irving published his best seller in 1963, the official records of the raid were declassified in 1978.
Dresden was targeted by SHAEF as part of the overall campaign, same as Leipzig and Chemnitz. Patton was to enter Czechoslovakia along the Elbe/Dresden, the 7th Army of Patch was to take the Munich - Vienna line and get between the mountain fortress, that stretched for 250 miles, and the German armies in the east.
The Red Army was on the Vistula 350 miles east of the mountains and had been for months when SHAEF air targeted Dresden, Warsaw wasn't occupied until the 17th January 45. (Warsaw uprising).
 
Dec 2014
346
Wales
#58

I found this to be an interesting look at the bombing of Dresden. It's done as a refutation of a modern political argument, so apologies to mods and I'll happily remove it if they want, however it does paint an interesting picture of the legalities of the bombing, responding to many of the reasons people say the bombing of Dresden was a war crime.
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,756
#59

I found this to be an interesting look at the bombing of Dresden. It's done as a refutation of a modern political argument, so apologies to mods and I'll happily remove it if they want, however it does paint an interesting picture of the legalities of the bombing, responding to many of the reasons people say the bombing of Dresden was a war crime.
While the criticism of the area raids in general started immediately after the war, Dresden was not singled out until Irving published his book. Other cities along the Elbe suffered far more raids, Hamburg 69 raids, Berlin more than 360 raids etc.

An uncle of mine was an armourer on 149 Lancaster squadron, they never got a campaign medal, when he was alive they were offered a general service medal and they all sent them back. Don't know if 149 took part in the Dresden raid.

Bomber Command veterans call for their comrades to be honoured with a full campaign medal
 

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