counter create hit The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945

Availability: Ready to download

A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. On February 13th, 1945 at 10:03 PM, British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dresden. The first contingent killed people and destroyed buildings, roads, and other structures. The second rained do A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. On February 13th, 1945 at 10:03 PM, British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dresden. The first contingent killed people and destroyed buildings, roads, and other structures. The second rained down fire, turning the streets into a blast furnace, the shelters into ovens, and whipping up a molten hurricane in which the citizens of Dresden were burned, baked, or suffocated to death. Early the next day, American bombers finished off what was left. Sinclair McKay's The Fire and the Darkness is a pulse-pounding work of history that looks at the life of the city in the days before the attack, tracks each moment of the bombing, and considers the long period of reconstruction and recovery. The Fire and the Darkness is powered by McKay's reconstruction of this unthinkable terror from the points of view of the ordinary civilians: Margot Hille, an apprentice brewery worker; Gisela Reichelt, a ten-year-old schoolgirl; boys conscripted into the Hitler Youth; choristers of the Kreuzkirche choir; artists, shop assistants, and classical musicians, as well as the Nazi officials stationed there. What happened that night in Dresden was calculated annihilation in a war that was almost over. Sinclair McKay's brilliant work takes a complex, human, view of this terrible night and its aftermath in a gripping book that will be remembered long after the last page is turned.


Compare
Ads Banner

A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. On February 13th, 1945 at 10:03 PM, British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dresden. The first contingent killed people and destroyed buildings, roads, and other structures. The second rained do A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. On February 13th, 1945 at 10:03 PM, British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dresden. The first contingent killed people and destroyed buildings, roads, and other structures. The second rained down fire, turning the streets into a blast furnace, the shelters into ovens, and whipping up a molten hurricane in which the citizens of Dresden were burned, baked, or suffocated to death. Early the next day, American bombers finished off what was left. Sinclair McKay's The Fire and the Darkness is a pulse-pounding work of history that looks at the life of the city in the days before the attack, tracks each moment of the bombing, and considers the long period of reconstruction and recovery. The Fire and the Darkness is powered by McKay's reconstruction of this unthinkable terror from the points of view of the ordinary civilians: Margot Hille, an apprentice brewery worker; Gisela Reichelt, a ten-year-old schoolgirl; boys conscripted into the Hitler Youth; choristers of the Kreuzkirche choir; artists, shop assistants, and classical musicians, as well as the Nazi officials stationed there. What happened that night in Dresden was calculated annihilation in a war that was almost over. Sinclair McKay's brilliant work takes a complex, human, view of this terrible night and its aftermath in a gripping book that will be remembered long after the last page is turned.

30 review for The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    This is a WOW book. I will post a review in a few days. Well, here it is. I knew about the bombing of Dresden. And that was about it. This book will go back to the days and years before the Bombing of Dresden, 1945. What a great place that must have been. It seemed to have everything one could have asked for. Then the bombing changed everything. Everything. When the war ended the culture really never came back as it once was. I enjoyed reading this book since it tells us what Dresden was like before This is a WOW book. I will post a review in a few days. Well, here it is. I knew about the bombing of Dresden. And that was about it. This book will go back to the days and years before the Bombing of Dresden, 1945. What a great place that must have been. It seemed to have everything one could have asked for. Then the bombing changed everything. Everything. When the war ended the culture really never came back as it once was. I enjoyed reading this book since it tells us what Dresden was like before, during and after the war.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    My favorite history subject is World War II, preferably told through the experiences of individuals. Naturally, that meant I would be interested in Sinclair McKay’s book about the bombing of Dresden, experienced through Dresdeners, POWs held in the city, refugees fleeing from the advancing Red Army, and members of the Allied air forces who participated in the bombing raids. McKay introduces us to Dresden, a jewel box of a city of about 350,000 (in 1945) in southern Germany. It had largely escaped My favorite history subject is World War II, preferably told through the experiences of individuals. Naturally, that meant I would be interested in Sinclair McKay’s book about the bombing of Dresden, experienced through Dresdeners, POWs held in the city, refugees fleeing from the advancing Red Army, and members of the Allied air forces who participated in the bombing raids. McKay introduces us to Dresden, a jewel box of a city of about 350,000 (in 1945) in southern Germany. It had largely escaped bombing, and by February 1945 its residents had convinced themselves that its sheer beauty would protect it from being a target. Its Nazi Gauleiter, Martin Mutschmann, refused even to have fortified bomb shelters built or retrofitted—though he had a fortified shelter built under the home he had stolen from a Jewish family. At the same time, Allied war planners debated how best to bring the war in Europe to an end. The biggest debate was between those who favored targeted bombing of strategic sites and those who argued that “area bombing,” basically leveling entire cities, would cause the collapse of the Third Reich. In the first half of the book, McKay presents sketches of the various characters who will be involved in the story. Some of the most striking descriptions are of the few Jews left in the city, including the famous memoirist Werner Klemperer, who spent the day before the bombing began being forced to deliver transport orders to other Jews. Author Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden, sent with his fellow POWs to shelter in an underground abattoir during the raids. His experience inspired his famous Slaughterhouse Five. McKay’s also provides in-depth descriptions of how bombers were staffed and the wrenching experiences of bombing crews. While reading the first half of the book, it’s hard not to feel tense, on edge, knowing the furious attack that is soon to be visited upon Dresden. The tension becomes excruciating as McKay ticks off his characters and where they are just before the air raid sirens go off and, as the sirens wail, notes the trains of refugees and wounded soldiers that are pulling in to Dresden’s rail station. The sirens began to wail at 9:45pm, and the bombs started dropping at 10:03. In just 15 minutes, 244 RAF bombers dropped 880 tons of bombs, a mix of high-explosive devices and incendiaries. The high explosives broke open buildings, most in the old center of the city, and the exposed contents were fuel for the incendiaries. In minutes, the city was engulfed in firestorms. Most of the approximately 25,000 deaths came as a result of this first attack. Still, three hours later, the RAF sent in a second wave of bombers, and the next day the American Army Air Force attacked twice more. The deaths were horrifying and often macabre. I won’t repeat any of the descriptions here. It’s affecting to read of the Dresdeners McKay focuses on escaping death and trying to find friends and relatives. The bombing of Dresden is highly controversial, as you might imagine. Some argue that it was a crime against humanity and its planners should have been charged with war crimes. McKay doesn’t take a position, but he doesn’t shy away from discussion of the moral issues. Toward the end of the book, he writes “[T]owards the end of a six-year conflict, with millions dead, all sides exhausted, could it be that these city bombings were not vengeful or consciously merciless, but ever more desperate reflexive attacks launched to simply make the other side stop? McKay discusses the postwar history of Dresden, ending with praise for its restoration and the annual remembrance events. He made me want very much to visit. This is a stunning piece of history. McKay is not as fluid and lively a writer as Erik Larson (whose most recent book, The Splendid and the Vile, I had read just before this one), but this is a memorable and well executed history.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    Simply a fantastic book which I highly recommend. Full review to follow.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Having enjoyed books by Sinclair McKay before, I was delighted to receive a copy of his latest, for review. This is a detailed – but certainly not dry – account of the bombing of Dresden on the 13th February, 1945, shortly before the end of the war in Europe. In 1945, Dresden had a veneer of normality, but, beneath the surface, there was a deep sense of unease. However, for most of the inhabitants, the disquiet was more about the approaching Russian army than fear of being bombed. With the war c Having enjoyed books by Sinclair McKay before, I was delighted to receive a copy of his latest, for review. This is a detailed – but certainly not dry – account of the bombing of Dresden on the 13th February, 1945, shortly before the end of the war in Europe. In 1945, Dresden had a veneer of normality, but, beneath the surface, there was a deep sense of unease. However, for most of the inhabitants, the disquiet was more about the approaching Russian army than fear of being bombed. With the war coming to an end, it was hoped that Dresden had escaped the worse of the bombing campaign. Although Germans were aware of the destruction of cities like Hamburg, they tried to tell each other that it was unlikely the city would be bombed now due to the beauty of the city, or because of secret agreements. They were proved to be very wrong… In this book, McKay has walked a careful line between reporting what happened and telling the human stories from both sides, but not blaming those involved in the bombing. Even at the time, there was some hostility towards the airmen and their role in the conflict. While the RAF fighters were viewed as romantic figures, those manning the bombers were seen as involved in a more, ‘industrial form of warfare.’ With the war obviously coming to a close, there were questions about the destruction of cities and the killing of civilians, but Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris of Bomber Command, never showed a flicker of doubt about the campaign. What the author does so well, in this book, is to tell the story of what happened from the human angle. Some of those involved were well known, such as diarist Victor Klemperer. Others include workers, a surgeon, schoolchildren and others caught up in those events. It explains what the city of Dresden was like before the night of 13th February, during that long, long, night and the aftermath. McKay gives great background and juggles the various characters seamlessly. This has made me keen not only to read Klemperer’s diaries (for the few remaining Jews in the city, like Klemperer, as well as prisoners and slave labourers, many rejoiced at the sense of retribution, even while in personal danger, or used the chaos to escape) but also the later mysteries of Miles Tripp, a young airman who later became an author. I love the way that books lead you to other books and this was, certainly, one of those books. Engrossing, emotional, and gripping. This is a fantastic read, which takes you through the unleashing of a terrible air power. From circus tents, through hospitals, church crypts, and in the back of bombers, this is an unforgettable and moving book, which I am pleased that I read. I received a copy from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    The most eye opening historical piece of nonfiction- The Bombing of Dresden- was very informative, descriptive, and accurate. The world may not have known just how much was at stake during WWII and the end result of these strikes became what was known as questionable actions and behavior on the part of the US Army Air Forces which killed an estimated twenty five thousand people. Was it a 'war crime' a 'terrorist act' or was it something far more sinister? Ultimately, one must question whether or no The most eye opening historical piece of nonfiction- The Bombing of Dresden- was very informative, descriptive, and accurate. The world may not have known just how much was at stake during WWII and the end result of these strikes became what was known as questionable actions and behavior on the part of the US Army Air Forces which killed an estimated twenty five thousand people. Was it a 'war crime' a 'terrorist act' or was it something far more sinister? Ultimately, one must question whether or not the attacks were justified? The strategic target(s) were the rail transport and communication centers and therefore justified by the US Air Force however, not all infrastructures such as bridges were targeted leading some to believe it was an attack without military gain leading to nothing more than a war crime and a mass murder of civilians. Some note Dresden as a cultural landmark yet others argued its strategic importance. Either way this book addressed both sides and had truly made an emotional tug upon both sides. This was not only significant but important book to address especially in the current state of affairs in which history seems destined to repeat itself. I do hope we learn from our past and take heed that like divorce nothing good comes out of wars yet we are in another dark state of time in our country when tensions are running high and diversity and racial equality at an all time low. We need to come together and give attention to detail and significant facts before casting judgment. You cannot simply read this piece without taking away the importance of what was discussed and for that I thank the author for a job well done.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marks54

    This book was released for the 75th anniversary of the Dresden Bombing Raids of 1945. Then it struck me - Valentine’s Day. Dresden was bombed on the evening of February 13th and into February 14th. The US bombing raid on Dresden took place on Valentine’s Day. Sinclair McKay provides a nearly minute by minute account of the lead-up to the bombing, the actual attacks, and the aftermath. To do this, he has reviewed the personal accounts of those who survived the attack and those who took part in the This book was released for the 75th anniversary of the Dresden Bombing Raids of 1945. Then it struck me - Valentine’s Day. Dresden was bombed on the evening of February 13th and into February 14th. The US bombing raid on Dresden took place on Valentine’s Day. Sinclair McKay provides a nearly minute by minute account of the lead-up to the bombing, the actual attacks, and the aftermath. To do this, he has reviewed the personal accounts of those who survived the attack and those who took part in the attach. He follows a series of personal characters through the fire bombing and ties it together with the more widely known accounts, such as Kurt Vonnegut’s 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The structure of the book will bring to mind John Hersey’s book Hiroshima. This is a terrifying account and one wonders how anyone managed to survive these attacks - as well as the other fire bombing attacks of WW2. Apart from the use of the atomic bomb, the Dresden raids were arguably the most controversial of the war. Were they necessary? Was the fire-bombing of central cities based on military necessity or did it constitute terror bombing. This ties into the controversies about Bomber Harris and Bomber Command throughout the war. The Dresden raids were controversial when they took place, the remained controversial during the Cold War, and they remain controversial under a unified Germany. McKay’s wonderful book covers all of this, even while maintaining his narrative. He is especially good at comparing and contrasting the perspectives of the air crews with the people on the ground in alternating chapters. It recalls the old Doonesbury cartoon about bombing in the Vietnam War where the people in the plane suspect that all is not as beautiful on the ground as it is from the air. As part of the story of the rebuilding, the story of the Frauenkirche is amazing and makes me want to visit the next time I go to Germany. To see what the completely rebuilt church looks like, there is a video on YouTube of a choral presentation of the first part of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio that showcases the church as much as the choir and the music. (https://youtu.be/DlwcZT1XVss) The writing is well done. The stories are compelling. McKay provides lots of photos. With all of the 75th anniversaries of the War, this was bound to come around. If you are interested in the Strategic Bombing war, this is a fine book to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    I have spent the entire past weekend submerged in reading this book about the Allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945. Luckily for my kids we have all been under the weather so no one complained about me spending the entire weekend with my face in a book). I was born in Britain, and spent the first 10 years of my life there, living not too far from Coventry (one of the cities that was crushed by the Germans during the Blitz). I heard stories of German bombings and devastation from family membe I have spent the entire past weekend submerged in reading this book about the Allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945. Luckily for my kids we have all been under the weather so no one complained about me spending the entire weekend with my face in a book). I was born in Britain, and spent the first 10 years of my life there, living not too far from Coventry (one of the cities that was crushed by the Germans during the Blitz). I heard stories of German bombings and devastation from family members who had lived through it, it’s part of our history. But the Allied bombing of German towns and cities is also part of our history, and I think it’s important that we talk about, and understand what happened there. The Fire and the Darkness is a deeply researched and superbly well written account of the city of Dresden, before, during, and after it was annihilated by the Allies. This is a book of nonfiction, but it reads like fiction, beautifully blending fact into the stories of people who were there on the ground and in the sky. I was able to imagine the beauty of pre-1945 Dresden in my mind, and live through the terror and the horrors of the bombing campaign with the citizens of Dresden as I read. I really appreciated how the author does not shy away from posing ethical questions about the bombings, looks deeply into the reasons for the bombings through different sources, without providing excuses and/or blame. I personally don’t think there is any justification for mass murder in any shape or form, and I think it’s easy to overlook the tragedies that the German population endured in the last year or so of WW2 because of the amount of atrocities that were committed in the name of Nazism. I think Sinclair McKay takes the perfect approach in this book by providing the reader with an overall view of where, why, and how; and he does not shy away from stating hard truths. It was interesting to delve deep into the workings of the city, especially as I wasn’t very clued into how Dresden situated itself inside Nazi Germany. The detailed background of the city and the residents was very helpful in creating insight into Dresden at the time of the bombings. I also learnt so much about the ins and outs of bombings, the decisions that were made, the actual destruction that they caused, and how they were engineered to cause mass destruction (the idea of being stuck behind a fire tornado gave me nightmares, I can only imagine how terrifying it must be to be stuck there with nowhere to go). The narrative is structured in a way that the build-up to the bombing is terrifying: there are cold, hard facts mixed with personal background stories of people who were on the ground and in the air, and the first half of the book contains this build-up. It creates a canvas on which the reader only has to imagine the scene that is to unfold as the masses of Lancasters arrive on the horizon along the Elbe. I felt on edge most of the first part of the book, just waiting for the inevitable to happen. The descriptions of the bombing are also terrifying - definitely not for the faint of heart, but still a must read in terms of understanding the utter devastation and loss of life caused. What we do know now though, is that the real evil in Germany often managed to survive, and some participants even prospered after the war, sometimes hiding in plain sight. The “collateral damage”, or “spillage” as they used to call it, in places like Dresden, was mainly civilians who may or may not have toed the party line out of conviction and/or fear. In my opinion this amplifies the horrors of the bombings even more. In the end what did it really accomplish? (I think the same questions are completely viable for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and any more recent drone attacks and/or bombing campaigns that leave death and destruction in their wake.) I think the only issue that I may have had with this book, and it’s really a non-issue: the length. There were parts that I had to plough through a bit because I knew that if I put the book down then I may not be in a rush to pick it up again (some of the burrowing down into the history of the city, while relevant, lost my interest a little). I’m glad I continued though, this book is a deep mine of important information that I think we should all be aware of. Cities in different countries around the world are still being bombed to oblivion today (Syria comes immediately to mind but there are others), and warfare from the air is still something that I think brings up many of the ethical questions that we should still be posing ourselves today. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Barred Owl Books

    “Beautifully-crafted, elegiac, compelling – The Fire and the Darkness delivers with a dark intensity and incisive compassion rarely equalled. Authentic and authoritative, a masterpiece of its genre” -- Damien Lewis, author of Zero Six Bravo A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. On February 13th, 1945 at 10:03 PM, British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dre “Beautifully-crafted, elegiac, compelling – The Fire and the Darkness delivers with a dark intensity and incisive compassion rarely equalled. Authentic and authoritative, a masterpiece of its genre” -- Damien Lewis, author of Zero Six Bravo A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. On February 13th, 1945 at 10:03 PM, British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dresden. The first contingent killed people and destroyed buildings, roads, and other structures. The second rained down fire, turning the streets into a blast furnace, the shelters into ovens, and whipping up a molten hurricane in which the citizens of Dresden were burned, baked, or suffocated to death. Early the next day, American bombers finished off what was left. Sinclair McKay’s The Fire and the Darkness is a pulse-pounding work of history that looks at the life of the city in the days before the attack, tracks each moment of the bombing, and considers the long period of reconstruction and recovery. The Fire and the Darkness is powered by McKay’s reconstruction of this unthinkable terror from the points of view of the ordinary civilians: Margot Hille, an apprentice brewery worker; Gisela Reichelt, a ten-year-old schoolgirl; boys conscripted into the Hitler Youth; choristers of the Kreuzkirche choir; artists, shop assistants, and classical musicians, as well as the Nazi officials stationed there. What happened that night in Dresden was calculated annihilation in a war that was almost over. Sinclair McKay’s brilliant work takes a complex, human, view of this terrible night and its aftermath in a gripping audiobook.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I received an ARC from the publisher. This book turned out to be a fantastic surprise. An avid reader but only casual historian, I had to look up Dresden on google maps before I started. The book is structured in three sections detailing the before, during and after of the bombing. Part One examines Dresden's history up till February 1945, discussing the city's politics, art, science, education and military. The second part focuses on individual people on the day of the bombing. The final third of I received an ARC from the publisher. This book turned out to be a fantastic surprise. An avid reader but only casual historian, I had to look up Dresden on google maps before I started. The book is structured in three sections detailing the before, during and after of the bombing. Part One examines Dresden's history up till February 1945, discussing the city's politics, art, science, education and military. The second part focuses on individual people on the day of the bombing. The final third of the book takes the reader to the current day. The writing is exceptional, with striking imagery that paints a vivid mental picture of that terrible time. Sinclair McKay scrutinizes all of the participants of the historical event: German, British, American and Russian. Necessary military strike or inhumane terror bombing? It hardly matters to the ordinary citizens in their obliterated city. This is really their story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer

    Reading about the Dresden Firebombing of February 1945 is a painful and horrific encounter, as is reading about Hiroshima or Nagasaki, September 11 2001, the Holocaust or the history of lynching. Yet we as readers and thinking humans need to be aware of the evils of history as well as the glories. On the other hand, Dresden 's history also testifies to the invincibility of the human spirit, above and beyond the biological drive to survive. For biology alone cannot account for the city 's reconst Reading about the Dresden Firebombing of February 1945 is a painful and horrific encounter, as is reading about Hiroshima or Nagasaki, September 11 2001, the Holocaust or the history of lynching. Yet we as readers and thinking humans need to be aware of the evils of history as well as the glories. On the other hand, Dresden 's history also testifies to the invincibility of the human spirit, above and beyond the biological drive to survive. For biology alone cannot account for the city 's reconstruction nor for the impetus to record for posterity its tragedy, nor for those outside Dresden who strive to repair and to improve it. There is something in humanity that is propelled to rise above its frequent inhumanity and destruction.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    [I got an ARC via a Goodreads giveaway] McKay writes about what life was like in Dresden before, during and after the bombing from the perspective of the Allies, and Dresden residents. McKay writes in narrative form to give the reader an immersive experience and balanced accounting of why Dresden was bombed. Like properly written history books it can be a little tedious to read, but otherwise, this is a well-written book. I only heard of the Dresden bombing because I watched a WWII documentary th [I got an ARC via a Goodreads giveaway] McKay writes about what life was like in Dresden before, during and after the bombing from the perspective of the Allies, and Dresden residents. McKay writes in narrative form to give the reader an immersive experience and balanced accounting of why Dresden was bombed. Like properly written history books it can be a little tedious to read, but otherwise, this is a well-written book. I only heard of the Dresden bombing because I watched a WWII documentary that briefly mentioned it, and stated that it was a "terroristic" attack by the Allies that amounted to a war crime. I was shocked to learn of this, as I never heard this before (which it really shouldn't have shocked me given that the US whitewashes history). But in the name of being fully educated and trying to understand all sides, I researched the Dresden bombing. I came away with conflicts and not sure what to conclude. Luckily for me, I won this book in a giveaway and it cleared many things up for me. I no longer think of the bombing as a war crime, but I do think that bombing was meant to lower morale in Germany to bring an end sooner rather than later.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com

    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com I have always heard about the fire-bombing of Dresden, but the even never got more than a chapter (at best) or so in all the books I read. After reading The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 by Sinclair McKay I realized how devastating, and what a huge operation, it must have been. The raid took place in 13 February 1945, I never realized the scale of it 244 bombers dripping 880 tons of bombs. The attack For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com I have always heard about the fire-bombing of Dresden, but the even never got more than a chapter (at best) or so in all the books I read. After reading The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 by Sinclair McKay I realized how devastating, and what a huge operation, it must have been. The raid took place in 13 February 1945, I never realized the scale of it 244 bombers dripping 880 tons of bombs. The attack was done in waves, even though the majority of the damage was, as expected, on the first wave. Two waves were by the Royal Air Force (RAF), one of the waves was 120 miles long, the other two were done in daylight by the American Army Air Corps. The citizens of Dresden were sure they were mostly safe due to the historical nature of the city and its treasures. However, it was more important to the British High Command to make a point and try to demoralize the German population, even though the bombing seemed to have to opposite effect. It also didn’t help that Dresden enthusiastically embraced the Nazi anti-Semitic and racial ideology and laws. The author spends the first half of the book introducing the readers to the people he follows. Residents of Dresden, both prominent and regular citizens as well as Werner Klemperer who stayed in the Jewish area (having been forced the day before the bombing to deliver transport orders to other Jews) and POW Kurt Vonnegut who would go on to fictionalize his experiences in Slaughterhouse-Five. The author also follows the bomber crews and the terrifying experiences they had in the European skies. The author does not shy away from the controversy surrounding the bombing. Was it necessary? Was it a war crime? A crime against humanity? How did the people who ordered the bombing as well as those executing the orders deal with the morality of it? Mr. McCay does not take sides, but let his subjects speak for themselves. He does observe that maybe, after years of war and millions and millions dead, maybe the bombing of cities was done simply to make the other side stop. This is a very interesting and lively read, Mr. McKay writes with passion and care. The author creates a memorable, fascinating, and easy to understand narrative about a complicated subject with his still being revisited these days.The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 by Sinclair McKay tells about the extensive barraging of the city by the Allies during World War II using firsthand accounts of those in the air and on the ground. Mr. McKay is an author and reporter from England.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rupert Hague-Holmes

    This book is a very balanced account of the RAF and USAF air raids on Dresden in February 1945. I knew very little about the raids on Dresden, other than they were controversial. McKay’s book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand why the raids took place. His book covers the prewar period and the many cultural aspects of Dresden as a city of art, music, porcelain and fine architecture. The impact of the Nazi regime and the Nazi’s obsession with controlling the arts are also vividly p This book is a very balanced account of the RAF and USAF air raids on Dresden in February 1945. I knew very little about the raids on Dresden, other than they were controversial. McKay’s book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand why the raids took place. His book covers the prewar period and the many cultural aspects of Dresden as a city of art, music, porcelain and fine architecture. The impact of the Nazi regime and the Nazi’s obsession with controlling the arts are also vividly portrayed. What I hadn’t appreciated is that there were three separate bombing raids over the night and day of 13/14 February. The RAF bombed the city twice on the night of 13 February with the USAF bombing it the following day. McKay describes how many civilians were killed out on the streets by the second raid when they emerged from their cellars following the “all clear” from the first raid. McKay really brings to life what it must have been like to have been on the ground in Dresden that night - the heat of the fires from the incinderary bombs turning the roads into burning molten tar. About 25,000 civilians were killed in the raids - many asphyxiated in their cellars by the lack of oxygen created by the fires. The perspective of the airmen is also covered. This book is not for the squeamish. McKay describes vividly how people on the ground were burnt alive and how the gunner turrets of the bomber planes often had to be “hosed out” of human remains on return to base, when the gunners had been killed on a raid. The moral dilemma of the senior Air Force staff directing the raids is also covered well - the USAF favouring daylight precision target bombing and the RAF night time area bombing. McKay covers the controversial views of Sir Arthur Harris well and provides a balanced perspective of his decision to target Dresden in view of its position as a key transport link for the Eastern Front. An excellent book - a measured and balanced analysis of a controversial subject. I would have given it 5 stars but for one issue. McKay uses a lot of personalities in his book and I found it hard to keep moving from one to the other. I was also disappointed that he did not finish the story of what happen to Victor Gregg - a British POW from Arnhem, unluckily in Dresden the night of the raids, who had been condemned to death the day before the raids for sabotaging soap production. I know Gregg survived since he has written his own account “Rifleman” but one doesn’t hear how he survived the raids.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    I received an ARC of this book to review. This is an outstanding, serious study of the bombing of Dresden during World War II, and is probably the only military history book you will read that includes Kurt Vonnegut and H. G. Wells in the bibliography, while quoting Thomas Mann. Part of the reason is that the bombing of Dresden was horrific, but also because it was mythologized due to an odd combination of reasons. During what remained of the war, Goebbels exaggerated the casualties caused by the I received an ARC of this book to review. This is an outstanding, serious study of the bombing of Dresden during World War II, and is probably the only military history book you will read that includes Kurt Vonnegut and H. G. Wells in the bibliography, while quoting Thomas Mann. Part of the reason is that the bombing of Dresden was horrific, but also because it was mythologized due to an odd combination of reasons. During what remained of the war, Goebbels exaggerated the casualties caused by the bombing, and then anti-war and anti-bombing groups after the war either used his figures or made up their own, all apparently much larger than the real, still horrible number. Kurt Vonnegut was an American soldier at the time, and had been captured at the Battle of the Bulge. He and a small number of other Americans were being held in Dresden, forced to work in factories there [some of them making soap, of all things]. His novel, Slaughterhouse Five, takes place partly in Dresden, during the bombing. Because Dresden was a city with a long connection to the arts, there were writers, musicians, painters and others with connections to the city. The damage to the historic and cultural buildings of the city were enormous, and this author estimates that the real casualties were still over 25,000 dead, with many more injured in a variety of ways. For the bombing of a single night and day, that's terrible, but he makes the point that the head of the British bombing forces viewed it as a simple military action. The Russians had requested that the Allies bomb the railroad yards of Dresden, and there were a number of military factories scattered around the city. The "precision" bombing of the day wasn't all that accurate. What made the casualties so high was the heavy use of incendiary bombs in the run, which created a firestorm, both overheating the bomb shelters and sucking oxygen away from the ones not overheated. Thus, many of the people who died did so while "safe" from explosive bombs, or while running from the clearly unsafe shelters. Because this book tells the events from a number of different viewpoints, it is interesting. On the other hand, sometimes that leads the reader down stray paths that have only a little to do with the story of the bombing, the reasons for it and the aftermath. Still, it's very much worth reading.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jean Kolinofsky

    Seventy-five years ago, the people of Dresden lived with the belief that their city would be safe from bombing because of its’ historical significance and its’ lack of importance as a target. That changed on February 13, 1945 with one of the most devastating attacks that Germany had seen. Sinclair McKay takes the reader through the rich history of artists and musicians who lived and worked there, but the tragedy truly comes to life when McKay introduces a number of the residents who lived throug Seventy-five years ago, the people of Dresden lived with the belief that their city would be safe from bombing because of its’ historical significance and its’ lack of importance as a target. That changed on February 13, 1945 with one of the most devastating attacks that Germany had seen. Sinclair McKay takes the reader through the rich history of artists and musicians who lived and worked there, but the tragedy truly comes to life when McKay introduces a number of the residents who lived through the darkest days. Victor Klemperer was a university professor who lost his position and his home because he was Jewish. Along with a small number of Jewish survivors, he is relegated to demeaning jobs to avoid deportation. Winfried Biels is a member of the Hitler Youth aiding refugees from the Soviet onslaught and Kurt Vonnegut, whose experiences as a POW at the time of the bombing became the basis of Slaughterhouse Five. As life goes on in Dresden, McKay visits the war offices and airfields in Britain. While bombings were concentrated on rail yards, oil depots and armaments manufacturing, there was also an argument to bomb the cities in an effort to shatter the enemy’s will to fight. It was to become a moral dilemma that later preyed on Churchill’s mind. The actual bombings are told in heartbreaking detail, followed by survivors’ descriptions of the carnage and the incredible will to survive as fires raged. The reconstruction and life under Soviet occupation complete McKay’s history of Dresden. One of my preferred genres is historical fiction and I have read numerous tales of WWII. While these can give you a sense of the events that occurred, a non-fiction account like The Fire and the Darkness puts you on the streets during the actual events and it will stay with you long after the book has ended. I would like to thank NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for providing this fascinating book in exchange for my review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    A concise and very interesting book that raises some interesting moral questions about the Allies bombing strategy in WWII. Dresden was annihilated by both British and American bombing raids in February, 1945. Germany appeared to be headed towards defeat, with the Allies closing in from the west, and Russia from the east. Dresden, with several war-material factories and railroad distribution hubs, was chosen as a strategic target. But could these sites be accurately targeted to minimize civilian A concise and very interesting book that raises some interesting moral questions about the Allies bombing strategy in WWII. Dresden was annihilated by both British and American bombing raids in February, 1945. Germany appeared to be headed towards defeat, with the Allies closing in from the west, and Russia from the east. Dresden, with several war-material factories and railroad distribution hubs, was chosen as a strategic target. But could these sites be accurately targeted to minimize civilian and cultural collateral damage, with night bombing raids and 1945 technology? Was the inevitable assault on civilians an acceptable side effect to hasten the end of the war and prevent significantly more casualties? Or was this a calculated program of terror bombing to break the soul and spirit of the German people? And why a second wave of bombers, and then even a third in daylight by the Americans? How much, if any, was retribution for the blitz on London and Coventry? In hindsight, some even considered the bombing a war crime, and even Churchill doubted the effectiveness of 'morale' bombing in breaking the civilian's spirit and causing an internal rebellion against Nazi ideology. The first section of the book sets the stage, painting a picture of Dresden as a cultural epicenter, as across the Channel the Allies plot and debate their strategy. The second portion focuses on the bombing, with plenty of detail from survivors, drawn from diaries, memoirs, and interviews with survivors who were children at the time. Although some of the testimony is repetitive, the details of the onslaught , in particular the firestorm created by the bombing, leave quite an impression. The third section studies the aftermath of the bombing, exploring the moral and ethical questions raised by such a relentless assault. Recommended. This was a Advance Reader Copy and did not include maps or photos, which I'm sure will provide some useful context.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Bombing Dresden Posed a Moral Dilemma for the Allies Dresden was a cosmopolitan city filled with glorious buildings, home to the arts and music, and with a rich history. At the end of WWII, Dresdeners thought they would be spared. The city wasn’t a high value target from a military perspective, and it was renowned for its cultural significance. However, on February 13, 1945 that changed. The British and Americans agreed on one of the most devastating bombings of the war. After the war this decisi Bombing Dresden Posed a Moral Dilemma for the Allies Dresden was a cosmopolitan city filled with glorious buildings, home to the arts and music, and with a rich history. At the end of WWII, Dresdeners thought they would be spared. The city wasn’t a high value target from a military perspective, and it was renowned for its cultural significance. However, on February 13, 1945 that changed. The British and Americans agreed on one of the most devastating bombings of the war. After the war this decision was hotly debated. Sinclair McKay builds the picture of Dresden prior to the bombing. The early chapters detail the art and architecture, the boys choir, and other cultural landmarks. He also discusses the plight of the citizens at the end of the war. Many were starving, had no good place to live, and were ill. The plight of the Jews was particularly dreadful. The had lost their homes, treasures, and relatives. Now they were hoping to not lose their lives. After the scenes depicting the beauty of Dresden, the descriptions following the bombing are devastating. The streets were aflame. People were burned alive or suffocated in their shelters. Finally, the book ends with the reconstruction of the city and the friendship between Coventry, England and Dresden. It was a pleasing ending to the tale of tragedy. Throughout the book, the author introduces us to the real people who were affected by the war from Jews to Hitler Youth to the Nazis who governed the city. Their stories made the tragedy real. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy history, particularly that of WWII. I received this book from St. Martin’s Press for this review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I have to acknowledge to start that Dresden is one of my favorite cities I have visited, so I'm already biased in favor of most anything about Dresden. To my review: I enjoyed this book. McKay gives a good overview of Dresden before WWII: the history, the people, the culture, the significance of the city in the world of science and art, and so on. McKay focuses most of his narrative on specific individuals and their experiences as he recounts the bombing of Dresden—Dresdeners and those doing the I have to acknowledge to start that Dresden is one of my favorite cities I have visited, so I'm already biased in favor of most anything about Dresden. To my review: I enjoyed this book. McKay gives a good overview of Dresden before WWII: the history, the people, the culture, the significance of the city in the world of science and art, and so on. McKay focuses most of his narrative on specific individuals and their experiences as he recounts the bombing of Dresden—Dresdeners and those doing the bombing. Interwoven with those continuous stories are snippets from others' experiences that add to the whole picture McKay paints of the impact of the bombings. Of course the description of the destruction of Dresden is awful, especially the impacts of the fire storms, and McKay doesn't shy away from giving details about the scenes people faced even during the bombings, but then as cleanup began. I appreciate that McKay discusses the military aspect of the bombings, but he does it in a way that puts a human face on it and doesn't get bogged down in strategy. I especially appreciated that McKay followed up on Dresden through the years of the German Democratic Republic and beyond. Other books I've read on the bombings haven't always given much attention to the longer term impacts of the bombings, and that discussion helped the book feel much more complete. Would I recommend it? Yes, with the qualification that if you are squeamish, it may be hard. I listened to the book, so there were no pictures; the book may have images of the bodies, and those are disturbing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Terri Wangard

    Sinclair McKay offers a lot I hadn’t known before. The book begins with a historical overview before the bombing. The cultural life of Dresden, noted for its architecture and museums, is examined. War background is covered even in the Great War, when the Luftwaffe dropped as many incendiaries on London as possible. During WWII, the Germans bombed as a deliberate sacrilege, destroying beautiful cities that had three stars in the German Baedeker guidebooks, such as Exeter, Bath, York, and Canterbu Sinclair McKay offers a lot I hadn’t known before. The book begins with a historical overview before the bombing. The cultural life of Dresden, noted for its architecture and museums, is examined. War background is covered even in the Great War, when the Luftwaffe dropped as many incendiaries on London as possible. During WWII, the Germans bombed as a deliberate sacrilege, destroying beautiful cities that had three stars in the German Baedeker guidebooks, such as Exeter, Bath, York, and Canterbury. By December, 1944, a German resurgence brought the Battle of the Bulge. After five years of vicious war, both sides were desperate to make the other side stop. That led to Allied city bombings to destroy the German war machine. The Soviets asked for a Dresden mission to hamper German movement to the east. Postwar, the communist authorities of East Germany left the ruins of the Frauenkirche as a reminder of the “wickedness of imperialist America and Britain. Only in the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet-bloc was the church rebuilt. Reconciliation took root between England and Germany, Coventry and Dresden. Many Germans acknowledge their nation’s guilt in starting the war. As an eight-year-old Dresdener later said, “A fire went out from Germany and went around the world in a great arc and came back to Germany.” While much is made about the bombing of Dresden, Pforzheim suffered a more devastating bombing, but receives little notice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tumblyhome (Caroline)

    This book was excellent. I never read factual books about war...but I recently finished If this is Man by Primo Levi and I thought this book would be an interesting addition to that. Two stories unfolding at the same time just 250 miles but a whole world apart I really engaged immediately with this book because it isn’t an endless dry account of the minutiae of military strategy, it was really told from the perspective of the city of Dresden itself and the people living in it, the everyday person This book was excellent. I never read factual books about war...but I recently finished If this is Man by Primo Levi and I thought this book would be an interesting addition to that. Two stories unfolding at the same time just 250 miles but a whole world apart I really engaged immediately with this book because it isn’t an endless dry account of the minutiae of military strategy, it was really told from the perspective of the city of Dresden itself and the people living in it, the everyday person, not the ‘important’ people. Although there are facts and some strategy spoken of, these parts are still very much in the context of the people and city. I learnt so much and was totally gripped, to the extent that it was hard not to read through the night. I really did step into this book and was transported.,,and now I can’t stop thinking about it. So many thoughts, all conflicting...but isn’t that what makes a great book. The only thing I didn’t like was the almost end...the section about life in the soviet era...it seemed to distract from everything that had gone before. It was as if the author couldn’t stop and draw a conclusion just on what the main bulk of the book had dealt with. But this is a very minor comment because I am so very pleased to have read this. I totally recommend it to anyone.

  21. 5 out of 5

    victor harris

    Handled sources very well. Gave compelling descriptive commentary on the bombing and how the victims responded. Also evaluated the controversial mission from the view of the pilots, the decision-makers, and later authors. The destruction of the magnificent cultural center has usually been condemned and without defending it, McKay does present another side. It is often overlooked that is was a nexus center for civilian, military, and refugee activity, and the city did have value in contributing t Handled sources very well. Gave compelling descriptive commentary on the bombing and how the victims responded. Also evaluated the controversial mission from the view of the pilots, the decision-makers, and later authors. The destruction of the magnificent cultural center has usually been condemned and without defending it, McKay does present another side. It is often overlooked that is was a nexus center for civilian, military, and refugee activity, and the city did have value in contributing to the Nazi war machine. Therefore there is a counter-narrative to the often one-sided approach that regards it as a " terror bombing." Nevertheless, the horror and suffering of the residents was not minimized. It was a relentless, terrible ordeal that served as a propaganda device in the postwar for the Soviet regime that came to dominate East Germany. The author does cover the short and long-term aftermath and the first tentative steps to functioning in the city, then ultimate the restoration of cultural monuments. Dresden has become a tourist attraction in recent decades and the vitality of the city has been recaptured. A superb account from the outset to the finish, a very strong 5 rating.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    This is a subject that has the potential to upset many people for many different reasons; to tell the story well, and with all its nuances, requires a fine balance. This book is so finely balanced and so beautifully written. The heart of the narrative is of course the story of the night of 13th February 1945; but before we get there, a full context has been eloquently provided. We have been through the social and cultural history of the city; the story of its Nazi life; the history of firestorms This is a subject that has the potential to upset many people for many different reasons; to tell the story well, and with all its nuances, requires a fine balance. This book is so finely balanced and so beautifully written. The heart of the narrative is of course the story of the night of 13th February 1945; but before we get there, a full context has been eloquently provided. We have been through the social and cultural history of the city; the story of its Nazi life; the history of firestorms as natural occurrences and as weapons; the war experiences of the bomber crews; and the strategic frustrations of the Allies. The night of the bombing is described in vivid and appalling detail, taken from the memories and diaries of those who survived it. The descriptions of the horror of that night are deeply affecting. But we move on: to Soviet occupation, reconstruction and reconciliation. This is a beautiful, terrible and important book that reminds us of the humanity of all those involved.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Excellent look at the fire bombing of Dresden in February of 1945. Voices from both sides are used to illuminate the text and to give vivid feeling to what transpired that night, on the ground and in the air. It is interesting to note the handwringing that occurred after WWII from the Allied side whether or not that specific night's bombing was a "war crime". As the author duly notes such handwringing wasn't displayed regarding the worse firebombing of Tokyo a few weeks later in March of 1945. Mc Excellent look at the fire bombing of Dresden in February of 1945. Voices from both sides are used to illuminate the text and to give vivid feeling to what transpired that night, on the ground and in the air. It is interesting to note the handwringing that occurred after WWII from the Allied side whether or not that specific night's bombing was a "war crime". As the author duly notes such handwringing wasn't displayed regarding the worse firebombing of Tokyo a few weeks later in March of 1945. McKay quotes, to good effect, from the 1947 German novel "Doctor Faustus" regarding the German feelings around war crime talk: "We have experienced the destruction of our noble cities from the air, a destruction that would cry to heaven if we who suffer were not ourselves laden with guilt. As it is, the cry is smothered in our throats: like King Claudius's prayer, it can 'never to heaven go.'"

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Nichols

    I knew nothing about the bombing of Dresden, except that it happened. This book presented the time leading up to the bombing, the period of the bombing and the aftermath. Dresden was, prior to World War II, a cultural high point. It had beautiful architecture, art and music. The bombing destroyed most of that. It also affected morale, for both the Allies and the Nazis. The book was well researched and very informative. The writing, however, I felt to be somewhat overblown. I also was suspicious o I knew nothing about the bombing of Dresden, except that it happened. This book presented the time leading up to the bombing, the period of the bombing and the aftermath. Dresden was, prior to World War II, a cultural high point. It had beautiful architecture, art and music. The bombing destroyed most of that. It also affected morale, for both the Allies and the Nazis. The book was well researched and very informative. The writing, however, I felt to be somewhat overblown. I also was suspicious of the detail of the thoughts and memories of the people whose stories were delivered in the book. This is a good volume about a very specific moment in World War II. It would be of interest to many history buffs. Overall, I enjoyed reading this snapshot of a very different place and time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Received through FirstReads... Wow, this was definitely the most engaging, unputdownable history book that I've read in quite some time. And yes, I know that unputdownable is not a real word. This book hits just the right balance of giving you a good, clear description of places, things, events, without drowning you in so much minute detail that you feel you're reading some kind of manual. I really liked the way the author wove together the stories of lots of different individuals, some well know Received through FirstReads... Wow, this was definitely the most engaging, unputdownable history book that I've read in quite some time. And yes, I know that unputdownable is not a real word. This book hits just the right balance of giving you a good, clear description of places, things, events, without drowning you in so much minute detail that you feel you're reading some kind of manual. I really liked the way the author wove together the stories of lots of different individuals, some well known, some not. It was quite interesting to hear an actual real life description of the events that turned into Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. I love when books weave together. Of course this was a difficult book to read at times, but I think it was informative rather than gratuitous. Highly recommended for those interested in WWII.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Danner

    This is more than just a historical account of a battle during wartime. This book gives an account of all of the different viewpoints and actions that led up to the bombing of Dresden. The writer demonstrates how ordinary people can become so jaded/racist or nonchalant about what is happening to others, how military leaders can make decisions that are strategic and discount the individual lives that are lost, and how misplaced persons pull together and persevere. I had to read this book in piece This is more than just a historical account of a battle during wartime. This book gives an account of all of the different viewpoints and actions that led up to the bombing of Dresden. The writer demonstrates how ordinary people can become so jaded/racist or nonchalant about what is happening to others, how military leaders can make decisions that are strategic and discount the individual lives that are lost, and how misplaced persons pull together and persevere. I had to read this book in pieces because it broke my heart to know that all that was written actually occurred. However, it is a complete and concise account of this portion of the war and is incredibly well written. I recommend this book to all who enjoy historical accounts and war stories.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Craig Pearson

    Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunty to read and review this book. After any war it is the winners who write the history of it and that always show the losers to be the bad guys in the conflict. 'Fire and Darkness' shows very clearly that had the same actions concerning Dresden been done by the losers then the British and American air commanders would have been quite likely convicted of crimes against humanity. The story is written in a detailed and flowing manner that envelops the reader d Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunty to read and review this book. After any war it is the winners who write the history of it and that always show the losers to be the bad guys in the conflict. 'Fire and Darkness' shows very clearly that had the same actions concerning Dresden been done by the losers then the British and American air commanders would have been quite likely convicted of crimes against humanity. The story is written in a detailed and flowing manner that envelops the reader during the build-up and aftermath of the attack. As with most well written historical descriptions of specific events the author gives comprehensive accounts of the main players and events surrounding Dresden.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    This is a very thorough and detailed look at one of World War IIs most horrifying moments. The night of the raid is approached by a very thorough buildup, looking at Dresden’s place among Europe’s finest cities. In the years leading up to the war it is corrupted by the Nazi rise as so much of the country was and finds itself, literally, in the crosshairs of the Allies in their final push to end the war. Through a trove of first hand experiences the reader is given a harrowing look at the raid an This is a very thorough and detailed look at one of World War IIs most horrifying moments. The night of the raid is approached by a very thorough buildup, looking at Dresden’s place among Europe’s finest cities. In the years leading up to the war it is corrupted by the Nazi rise as so much of the country was and finds itself, literally, in the crosshairs of the Allies in their final push to end the war. Through a trove of first hand experiences the reader is given a harrowing look at the raid and the toll it took on people’s lives and a beautiful city. It was not a pleasant read, but a very good one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan by the United States, On February 13, 1945, Dresden Germany was devastated two days in a row by bombs. First by the British and second by the Americans. The first caused destruction and the second caused a firestorm which incinerated buildings and people. Many of Dresden's citizens were burned, baked, or suffocated to death by the intense heat from the fire. This tells not only the story of the devastation, But of the survivors and the re Before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan by the United States, On February 13, 1945, Dresden Germany was devastated two days in a row by bombs. First by the British and second by the Americans. The first caused destruction and the second caused a firestorm which incinerated buildings and people. Many of Dresden's citizens were burned, baked, or suffocated to death by the intense heat from the fire. This tells not only the story of the devastation, But of the survivors and the rebuilding of the city.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

    An exceptionally well-researched book about the fire bombing of Dresden. McKay meticulously describes the city before the bombing, through the bombing and after the bombing. Diaries and other documents from survivors detail the awful night of destruction. McKay also presents the dilemma of the Dresden bombing: was it a war crime or was it the logical end of a long and destructive war? Did the citizens of Dresden - the vast majority of whom supported Nazism - deserve such punishment? Books have b An exceptionally well-researched book about the fire bombing of Dresden. McKay meticulously describes the city before the bombing, through the bombing and after the bombing. Diaries and other documents from survivors detail the awful night of destruction. McKay also presents the dilemma of the Dresden bombing: was it a war crime or was it the logical end of a long and destructive war? Did the citizens of Dresden - the vast majority of whom supported Nazism - deserve such punishment? Books have been written about this and McKay does a good job of summarizing the many viewpoints.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.