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This serves to provide interesting context and background to a layperson such as myself to whom Dresden might have otherwise been just another city. As he works his way into the subject, he sets about debunking some of the allegations that the city was a wholly non-military target, by explaining some of the factories and works which were producing war materiel. The author brings us the stories of the aircrews who were flying the missions, putting a human face on the air war.

To borrow an excuse from another party, it is true that they were just following orders, and that decisions were being made in the war cabinet far above them. It also brings us the very human stories of the ordinary German citizens who were living desperate lives of deprivation under wartime conditions. The author does an excellent job of capturing their terrifying experiences, and torment which resulted from the loss of their loved ones. There is no getting around the fact that war is a brutal thing, and there are always going to be brutal acts and incidents which - while seemingly justified at the time - in hindsight seem unconscionable or unforgivable.

One only has to look at the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan that came some 6 months after the Dresden raids to see further acts of brutality which ultimately changed the course of history, and the world as a whole. The book does not seek to excuse, or scold any parties, and takes a fairly neutral stance, rather focusing on bringing the reader the very human stories of the people who were suffering on the ground through the great firestorm.

Bombing of Dresden, 13 and 14 February 1945

Written with the benefit of hindsight, and with access to historical records, and personal interviews, Dresden is a wonderful piece of narrative non-fiction that is engaging, heart-wrenching and thought-provoking throughout. Sep 03, Gonzalo Rodriguez Garcia rated it really liked it Shelves: world-war-ii , history , german , non-fiction , military-history. As a Dresden resident, I felt I had to read this book. If I did not do so immediately upon arrival, it was probably because I thought reading about the annihilation of a city could not be very interesting.

I was wrong. It might not be, it cannot be, as exciting? To the best of my knowledge, there is not much available in English for the general market. Actually, this seems to be the only book in English about the city you can get here.


  1. Review: Dresden by Frederick Taylor | Books | The Guardian.
  2. Dresden : Tuesday, 13 February, 1945.
  3. Bombing of Dresden - World War II, Germany & Facts - HISTORY!
  4. Non-Surgical Treatment of Keratinocyte Skin Cancer.

Many might be things one can read in the Wikipedia today, or visiting the local museums, but as the history moves to the prewar years, and gets more detailed, a lot of the information was new to me. The history of the Jews in Dresden was particularly moving, testimonies have a different meaning after walking those same streets. It also a very good starting point for those of us who do not much about area bombing, or aerial warfare in general.

Prior to reading this book I had been of the opinion the Western Allies could have certainly refrained in this and other city bombings. I am sure that is still or could be true, but I think I have a better understanding of why they did not restrain, here or elsewhere. The section on the bombing itself is concise enough to give you a clear idea of how the events developed details are important and the testimonies are, again, sufficient to give you a clear impression of the horror the population had to experience.

It does not dwell on it, and that is something I can appreciate. For me, two things could have been improved. One is the city map. Although it is clear which areas where bombed, it is not detailed enough as to include the names of the streets, and I would have appreciated that at least those mentioned where somehow marked. It is also my impression not all the names of the streets have been updated, and therefore cannot be readily located in Google Maps, although a quick visit to the local wiki was sufficient.

Jul 31, TR Peterson rated it liked it Shelves: unowned , world-war-2 , germany , aviation-history. Taylor's book on Dresden is really three books in one - a history of Saxony, a history of aerial bombardment and finally a history of the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War. He would have done well to only write the final book. One doesn't get to the actual event until halfway through the book which makes for an at time tedious read. In addition, Taylor uses a lot of cliches and statement which insult the reader's intelligence such as when he tells us the invention of the airplane change Taylor's book on Dresden is really three books in one - a history of Saxony, a history of aerial bombardment and finally a history of the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War.

In addition, Taylor uses a lot of cliches and statement which insult the reader's intelligence such as when he tells us the invention of the airplane changed warfare forever What is interesting about Taylor's book, and in spite of the filler, is his attempt at a revisionist history of what is long considered to be an allied atrocity without parallel. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't really pull it off and one comes away from it feeling that his argument is that Germany deserved the firebombing of Dresden. It is clear he doesn't intend this but nonetheless this is the logic of his argument.

Further he uses sources uncritically when they suit him and then especially critically when they do not. All in all, this book could have benefited from a good editor and from being a few hundred pages lighter. Sep 29, Jerry Young rated it really liked it. I know embarrassingly little about WWII beyond the broad outlines, one of those being the firebombing of Dresden. This book describes the firebombing in full, heartbreaking, detail. But it's not just a documentary of the event. Taylor, while in no way downplaying the tragedy, makes a convincing case for Dresden as a legitimate wartime target.

Keep Wikipedia and Google Maps handy, and by reading Dresden, you will get deeper insight into the larger war. May 19, Fran rated it it was amazing Shelves: twentieth-century , non-fiction , history , england , germany , world-war-ii , united-states , military.

Germany 1945 ▶ Bombing of Dresden - 13-15th February by RAF and US Army Air Force

Although the focus of the book is the bombing in February , the book also includes a brief history of Dresden and Saxony, the Nazi era, events in England and Europe during WWII and the development of military technology that made the devastating bombing possible. The author discusses the role the city played in Nazi warfare production and the half truths that resulted from Nazi and Communist propaganda. There are also interviews with survivors of the bombings.

Highly recommend this book. Apr 15, Gill Hodder rated it it was amazing Shelves: audible-finished. Very balanced account of an event for which the ordinary airmen who took part in it have been vilified by other writers for the purposes of propaganda both extreme right wing and extreme left wing. It's chilling to realize that the view of the Dresden bombings, held by history, is one of Goebbels's last and most effective pieces of propaganda! Jan 15, Christi rated it really liked it. This was a hard and dry book-definitely very academic!

It's a fantastic book and very well researched. It presents a lot of political thoughts and viewpoints, and lots of anecdotes and individual stories as well. It's a great read and very interesting, but full confession: I ran out of time and had to skim the last half. Not needing such an in-depth look at the Dresden bombing I won't be checking out the book again, but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to know about the Dresden bomb This was a hard and dry book-definitely very academic!

Not needing such an in-depth look at the Dresden bombing I won't be checking out the book again, but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to know about the Dresden bombing in WWII. Dresden's bombing is considered an atrocity and Taylor's book is considered revisionist history by some, but not having grown up with that I found it mainly just an interesting account of what happened.

Dec 01, Faith McLellan rated it really liked it Shelves: world-war-ii , history , germany , holocaust. A masterful account of a significant and deeply troubling event. Having been in Dresden last weekend, I felt I at least had educated myself a bit on this seminal day or 3 days, or forever, depending on how you look at it in world history. So well-written, with many eyewitness accounts and other evidently carefully chosen primary sources. Highly recommended. May 06, Casey rated it really liked it Shelves: history-world.

Very good book -- grisly and historical.

Dresden: Tuesday, 13 February - Frederick Taylor - Google книги

Dec 27, Tim Mitchell rated it liked it. This is a good summary but it falls between a number of different stools. There are better accounts on the evolution of area bombing for example, the series by Martin Middlebrook and it doesn't properly address the most interesting question; what makes Dresden an 'atrocity' with so many candidates.

As Taylor points out, part of that is the nature of Area Bombing and Harris' unapologetic personality; he also made the mistake of continually promising more than he could deliver. That hardly makes This is a good summary but it falls between a number of different stools. That hardly makes him unique; the USAAF also pursued strategies calculated to help its ultimately successful campaign to establish itself as a separate service.

The Atrocity School essentially relies on two arguments; first, that the regional capital of Saxony for centuries and one of the ten largest cities in Germany was 'non-military' for the art lovers, there's a long list of alleged 'cultural jewels' that were blown to bits. The second is that by February , the war was over which is utterly untrue. In August , after the Normandy breakout and the Soviet Bagration offensive, the Allies thought the war would be over by December.

The Wehrmacht's ability to continue fighting, let alone launch the Ardennes offensive, astonished Allied leaders. If anything, the Germans fought harder as the end neared, particularly on the Eastern Front. Very few people In February would have agreed the Germans had had enough. Taylor could spend more time on the post-war propaganda campaign that turned Dresden into an allied atrocity; but to be fair, not all the information was available when he wrote this in The death toll has long been debated; the Nazis came up with , which was roundly derided but the DDR stuck with it because it was part of the victims of Fascism trope.

After , the Neo-Nazi NPD came up with k which was used when campaigning for the Saxony Regional Assembly elections; because of the on-going controversy, Ingold Rossberg, the then Mayor of Dresden, set up a commission of German historians in to review the deaths; they estimated k. That's a lot of people either way; 70 years later, we still hear the term 'precision bombing' but hospital patients, school children etc are still dying.

It's valid to challenge the morality of specific actions in a war that cost the lives of 80 million people, but that doesn't mean that somehow, it all evens itself out. Aug 21, BC rated it liked it Shelves: german-history. This isn't a bad book, it just seems to be missing a few things. Overall, it does a good job of first describing the events that took place in Dresden in Februarty, , and then of secondly looking at the ways people remember the firebombing of Dresden. Taylor does a reasonable enough job of debunking the myths surounding both the event that Allied planes actively attacked civilians with machine-guns and the city that it had no industry, and was essentially a militarily useless open-city.

My main critiques: The writing style seemed both rushed and somewhat contrived. Too many fragments. Like this. Very distracting. There were a few instances of typos and other editing mistakes. Historiographically, there is a major gap in the discussion of David Irving. Taylor calls Irving a historian, but never once mentions the fact that he's a proven holocaust denier who uses the raid on Dresden to establish a moral equivalence between the Nazis and the Allies. This isn't something that you can gloss over when mentioning that Irving's body-counts for the event are orders of magnitude beyond official reckonings.

Taylor does problematize the East German reception of the events, but does not do the same thorough job when it comes to David Irving. I would have liked more complete footnotes.

Customer Reviews

There were a few questions that stil feel could be interesting in discussing Dresden. Would anyone feel different if Dresden had had better air defence? Are we partly worried that it wasn't a fair fight? Would the Allies have felt less guilt if they had lost some significant number of bombers?

Taylor mentions at one point that Dresdeners were getting their just desserts for burning the synagogue in town, but not once does Taylor mention the other horrific crimes of the regime. I kept thinking to myself that on an individual level, I felt compassion and pity for Dresdeners, but on a larger scale, part of me feels that this action is a simple form of payback for what the German nation inflicted on the rest of Europe. Sep 27, Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it.

About This Item

The flattening and firestorm of Dresden on the night of the 13th February and morning of the 14th of February continues to generate controversy. For many it has become a symbol of the extent to which the Western Allies overstepped the mark from a morally righteous war campaign to wanton destruction and mass murder. For others, Dresden was a legitimate target; a key transport node and a centre for armaments production and administration, and the next city that the Russians would face as thei The flattening and firestorm of Dresden on the night of the 13th February and morning of the 14th of February continues to generate controversy.

For others, Dresden was a legitimate target; a key transport node and a centre for armaments production and administration, and the next city that the Russians would face as their front moved forward. He does so by drawing extensively on archival sources, interviews with Allied air crew and survivors of the firestorm, and by considering other accounts of the raid and their arguments. The result is a book that does more than detail a particular harrowing destruction of a city, but tries to make sense of it. Some of the history of the city was probably not needed and the moral philosophy could have been deepened and extended, but otherwise Taylor succeeds in his aim, providing a very readable, informative and largely non-partisan account and arguments.

Jun 24, Mark rated it really liked it. It's an incredibly even-handed work of history. My only critique and it is a slight one, at that is the level of detail becomes overwhelming, esp. Very informative and answered many questions I have entertained for years with regard to selection of Dresden as a legitimate wartime target. Taylor did not shy away from controversy and even accounted for conflicting testimony, even when it went against the Allied side. He exposed "Bomber" Harris for the person he was, and the effects of war on both politicians and military alike.


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  • He was particularly critical of the lack of political will on the part of politicians in lending tacit approval of Very informative and answered many questions I have entertained for years with regard to selection of Dresden as a legitimate wartime target. Taylor, in stressing military tactics, was particularly keen in the observation that the Luftwaffe lacked a strategic bomber and in their "shuttle" raid on Coventry, controlled space, but not time, thus failing to cause a similar firestorm inflicted on Dresden by the British RAF and American AAF, who controlled both time and space.

    It is interesting to note that Coventry and Dresden, having shared such tragedy at the hands of their opposing wartime countries, are sister cities today. Jan 07, WW2 Reads rated it liked it Shelves: world-war-2 , germany , aviation-history. I found this book a bit annoying at first as it seemed the author was attempting to set up an argument justifying this most infamous of RAF raids but as the narrative continued a cohesive and unbiased account emerged.

    A fairly thorough background history of Dresden and Saxony is presented leading up to the Nazi's coming to power as well as a look at the industrial and commercial role of Dresden in the reich. An indepth look at the raid from many perspectives lends clarity to the events while att I found this book a bit annoying at first as it seemed the author was attempting to set up an argument justifying this most infamous of RAF raids but as the narrative continued a cohesive and unbiased account emerged.

    The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank. Ian Kershaw. Chernobyl Prayer. Svetlana Alexievich. Adam Zamoyski. Paddy Ashdown. Travellers in the Third Reich. Julia Boyd. The Shortest History of Europe. John Hirst. The Shortest History of Germany. James Hawes. The Strange Death of Europe. Douglas Murray. The King Over the Water. Desmond Seward. Serhii Plokhy. Stephen Clarke. Taylor's book on Dresden is really three books in one - a history of Saxony, a history of aerial bombardment and finally a history of the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War.

    He would have done Dresden : Tuesday 13 February Frederick Taylor.