Regardless of the real reason, the city was reduced to rubble with a death toll of 135,000 people. Everyone has heard of the devastation to the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II history but Dresden was the single most destructive bombing of the war. Since the Germans were already on the verge of surrender, this bombing has been the cause for much speculation and was considered disproportionate to the stated strategic goal.
The single most destructive bombing of the war.
- More than 3,400 tons of explosives were dropped on the city
- 800 American and British aircraft involved.
- Two days of bombing set the city burning, littering the streets with charred corpses, including many children.
- Eight square miles of the city was ruined
- The total body count was between 35,000 and 135,000 (an approximation is all that was possible given that the city was filled with many refugees from farther east).
- The hospitals that were left standing could not handle the numbers of injured and burned, and mass burials became necessary.
Have you read Slaughterhouse Five, by the novelist Kurt Vonnegut? This antiwar novel detailed the Dresden experience as he was an American POW in Dresden at the time of the raid.