Dresden : Tuesday, 13 February, 1945, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


At 9.51 p.m. on Tuesday 13 February 1945, Dresden's air-raid sirens sounded as they had done many times during the Second World War.

But this time was different. By the next morning, more than 4,500 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices had been dropped on the unprotected city. At least 25,000 inhabitants died in the terrifying firestorm and thirteen square miles of the city's historic centre, including incalculable quantities of treasure and works of art, lay in ruins.

In this portrait of the city, its people, and its still-controversial destruction, Frederick Taylor has drawn on archives and sources only accessible since the fall of the East German regime, and talked to Allied aircrew and survivors, from members of the German armed services and refugees fleeing the Russian advance to ordinary citizens of Dresden.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 608 pages, Illustrations, maps, ports.
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9780747570844

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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 changed warfare forever...<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>Further he uses sources uncritically when they suit him and then especially critically when they do not. <br/><br/>All in all, this book could have benefited from a good editor and from being a few hundred pages lighter.

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