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Post Info TOPIC: 75 years ago today - the first wave of Allied bombers targeted Dresden, Germany.


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75 years ago today - the first wave of Allied bombers targeted Dresden, Germany.
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The firestorm that followed claimed over 35,000 lives.

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Sinclair McKay has a new book out called Dresden: The Fire and the Darkness. I am trying to download it but my one lunged computer is dragging its feet.



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Decades ago, most of the books I read about WWII claimed that countless numbers of refugees from the sourrounding countryside and other German cities had fled to Dresden because it was still intact, and were living there in early 1945. So the number of dead was always something like 135,000...and Dresden was supposed to have been the site of the deadliest bombing raid of the war. Far more deaths than either Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and even more than Tokyo, where 100,000 Japanese were killed by incendiary bombs in a single night.

But for some reason, the figure of 135,000 was disputed and made much lower. Never understood this. But 35,000 corpses is still a helluva lot. People became stuck in melting asphalt as they ran through the streets, and burned to death where they fell. I remember a female survivor who described seeing them die, in a heavy German accent, on the BBC's "World At War" series that was also shown on PBS. While she spoke, images of people running were shown. They looked like moving torches. Whenever I hear about Dresden, I can't get that horrible image out of my head.

Charlie

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KidCharlieMane wrote:


But for some reason, the figure of 135,000 was disputed and made much lower. Never understood this. But 35,000 corpses is still a helluva lot. .

Charlie


 David Irving quoted 300,000 but it turned out that both he and his source were a bit sus. God knows where these figures come from but the Dresden authorities reckon that the figure was around 23,000.



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An estimated 3% of the world population perished in that war. Think on that.

Wikipedia has some sobering casualty tables, you can play around with the sort order if you are inclined.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

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Dee wrote:

An estimated 3% of the world population perished in that war.


 Several of them were relatives of mine, including my father's father who was killed in the London Blitz.

The BBC had a TV programme about the Dresden bombing and my when the narrator, in a voice dripping with shame that the British had actually hurt foreigners, announced that zillions had died during the raids, my dear old mum who was the kindest woman who ever lived said, "Good."



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rumbletum wrote:
Dee wrote:

An estimated 3% of the world population perished in that war.


 Several of them were relatives of mine, including my father's father who was killed in the London Blitz.

The BBC had a TV programme about the Dresden bombing and my when the narrator, in a voice dripping with shame that the British had actually hurt foreigners, announced that zillions had died during the raids, my dear old mum who was the kindest woman who ever lived said, "Good."


That is understandable. No doubt that is a common sentiment at least for her generation.

When I visited Germany last summer we had a number of walking tours in which the very nice German guides would sometimes mention the war and the effect, or non-effect, it had on their town.  There was never a sense of awkwardness on their part, or resentment, it was all just very matter of fact, but I couldn't help feel somewhat uncomfortable myself. 



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rumbletum wrote:
Dee wrote:

An estimated 3% of the world population perished in that war.


 Several of them were relatives of mine, including my father's father who was killed in the London Blitz.

The BBC had a TV programme about the Dresden bombing and my when the narrator, in a voice dripping with shame that the British had actually hurt foreigners, announced that zillions had died during the raids, my dear old mum who was the kindest woman who ever lived said, "Good."


 My mother would say "Those sneaky Jap bastards!" whenever I watched anything having to do with Pearl Harbor, even decades later.

Don't forget, when she was 21 and a newlywed, she was listening to radio tunes like "We're Gonna Slap The Jap Right Off The Map." Which her generation almost did.

Her name was Pearl. I wanted to own a WWII-themed bar and name it "Pearl's Harbor"--after her. blankstare

After my parents died, I inherited all the letters that they exchanged during my father's 2 1/2 years of Army service. (summer 1944 to late fall of 1946).

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and just before the surrender, my mother's letter read: "Those sneaky Japs need a couple more of those atomic bombs dropped on them." 

I understood completely.

Charlie



-- Edited by KidCharlieMane on Friday 14th of February 2020 09:39:04 PM

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Dee


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Even the German side of my family were not too keen on Germans and some of them still had thick German accents. When my older brother offered a ride to one of them in his VW Beetle, more than 25 years after the war, they refused to get in "that Hitler car".

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Dee wrote:

Even the German side of my family were not too keen on Germans and some of them still had thick German accents. When my older brother offered a ride to one of them in his VW Beetle, more than 25 years after the war, they refused to get in "that Hitler car".


 



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Dee wrote:

Even the German side of my family were not too keen on Germans and some of them still had thick German accents. When my older brother offered a ride to one of them in his VW Beetle, more than 25 years after the war, they refused to get in "that Hitler car".


I once had a photo of the seven VW's I owned lined up in my driveway. Fastback, Squareback, Microbus, Thing and three bugs. Hitler did champion the beetle but they were good, solid vehicles. $70, four bolts, three wires and half a day and you could completely rebuild an engine.  



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Dee wrote:

Even the German side of my family were not too keen on Germans and some of them still had thick German accents. When my older brother offered a ride to one of them in his VW Beetle, more than 25 years after the war, they refused to get in "that Hitler car".


 My grandmother felt the same way about "The Wiz"...my Forest Green VW Bug...as late as 1975. disbelief

But her entire family back in the old country ended up as ashes, soap, lampshades, and smoke up the chimney...
So maybe she had a few good reasons.

And my uncle, the father of my Carolina Cuzz, refused to buy any German vehicles, no matter how well they were made.
He was a B-17 waist gunner in North Africa and Italy, and carried German shrapnel (and steel plates in his knee and head) to his grave.
So maybe he, too, had a few good reasons.

I did hear some good air-war stories from him, though...tales that chilled my blood. no.gif

Charlie twocents.gif



-- Edited by KidCharlieMane on Friday 14th of February 2020 10:55:22 PM

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KidCharlieMane wrote:
But her entire family back in the old country ended up as ashes, soap, lampshades, and smoke up the chimney...

So maybe she had a few good reasons.

And my uncle, the father of my Carolina Cuzz, refused to buy any German vehicles, no matter how well they were made.
He was a B-17 waist gunner in North Africa and Italy, and carried German shrapnel (and steel plates in his knee and head) to his grave.
So maybe he, too, had a few good reasons.



Charlie twocents.gif




 They both had solid reasons but a machine is just a machine. Seems like a cut off your nose to spite your face situation.



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Dee


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nytram wrote:

 


 They both had solid reasons but a machine is just a machine. 


 Until it is abandoned in a field of tall grass 



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Dee wrote:
nytram wrote:

 


 They both had solid reasons but a machine is just a machine. 


 Until it is abandoned in a field of tall grass 


 Spill the wine...



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Don't be afraid to listen to that song I posted. It's from the 70s so it won't hurt you..

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ghostal wrote:

Don't be afraid to listen to that song I posted. It's from the 70s so it won't hurt you..


 I don't feel pain.



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