Huge fragments of material were flying through the air. Again, I joined the crews unearthing shelters under tons of rubble. By February 15, Dresden, in eastern Germany, was a smouldering ruin — 2,400 tons of high explosives and 1,500 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on the city. After using timber to shore up this tunnel, we finally broke through in the late afternoon — and found four women and two small girls huddled together and still alive. The Fire-bombing of Dresden An eye-witness account Since the facts of the combined USAF and RAF raids on Dresden became known, mostly through the novel 'Slaughterhouse Five' by Kurt Vonnegut, there has been great controversy as to why this appalling raid was considered necessary. Having survived the bombing attacks due to being held in the outskirts of the city, he was pressed into service by the Dresden fire brigades searching for survivors. Renner remembers the streets still being littered with bodies a week after the attack and coming across the corpse of a woman in a square. The fire made superheated air rise rapidly, creating a vacuum at ground level that produced winds strong enough to uproot trees and suck people into the flames. We ended up in a German work camp to the south of Dresden. I'd experienced so much fighting by then that I thought of myself as indestructible. The bombs they dropped this time were so big that we could see them falling through the air, then demolishing whole blocks of buildings in one explosion.Â. Along with the other lucky ones who survived, I was marched into German captivity laughing and joking. By February 15, however, it was a smouldering ruin — 2,400 tons of high explosives and 1,500 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on the city. It was then that we realised we were trapped in a locked cage that stood every chance of becoming a mass grave. We’re really pleased that you’ve read X Times of Israel articles in the past month. After reading this account it is clear why the raids on this city have not received a lot of attention by authors of WWII history. No one challenged me as I walked against the people moving westwards, pushing their most treasured belongings in small handcarts, prams, anything on wheels. Day five. Many Dresden residents died of collapsed lungs. As the morning grew lighter, it seemed the whole of Germany was on the move. Some historians, however, said the destruction was a tragic waste of human life and cultural patrimony — with little to no effect on the outcome of the war. “We started the war, but it is a war crime.”. After neo-Nazis began inflating the figure further, talking of 500,000 to 1 million victims of a “bombing Holocaust,” the city established an expert commission to investigate. My first reaction was: 'Good, can't wait to get back to my own mob.'. The Bombing of Dresden was one of the aerial assaults launched by the United States and Great Britain to stop any attempt to revive World War II.The three-day bombing and the firestorm afterward destroyed the city, killing thousands of civilians and refugees who thought Dresden was the safest place they could be during the war. Even the railway line was a mass of twisted steel. Only 500 yards of open land separated us from the heart of the city, yet not one bomb landed on us. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. After that they moved in with an uncle. 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