STRANGE RITUAL IN DRESDEN
The bombing of Dresden is a strange case, with no military explanation. It occurred when the Allies had already won the war, two and a half months before the unconditional surrender was signed. All the more so because Dresden had no military objectives at all. The case is all the more inexplicable because Dresden had a population of 600,000 and then became congested with thousands of women and children fleeing the savagery of the Soviet army invading eastern Germany.
It was in these circumstances that it was bombed on 13 February 1945. There were 3,250 Allied tetra-motor flights, involving 33,000 aircrew and mechanics. Squadrons flew 5,500 kilometres and tens of millions of dollars were spent to drop 5,000 explosive and 400,000 incendiary bombs.
Women, with their children, were turned into human flares; some were thrown into the Elbe River, but they still burned because water does not extinguish the fire of liquid phosphorus. According to low estimates, a quarter of a million women and children perished. According to high estimates, such as David Irving’s, it was half a million, far more than the two atomic bombs that killed 155,000 Japanese. Was it a ritual bombing, straight out of the Old Testament? According to Exodus chapter 29, the Jews say that Yahweh asked them to burn animal flesh because the smell of burning flesh was very pleasing to him. In Dresden, the smell of burning meat rose thousands of metres high.
One of the phases of Winston Churchill’s personality was that in the conduct of the war on land, he left Marshals Auchinleck and Montgomery, and General Desmond Young, completely independent. The fighting in the air, on the other hand, was a war of his own, conducted with special care to cause as many casualties as possible among the German civilian population. As soon as the residential area of one German city was devastated, he had already set his sights on achieving ‘victory’ in another city, large, medium or small. Sir Arthur Harris, the bomber commander, was similarly determined.
The English historian Veale considers that Churchill and Harris went from civilised warfare to barbarism. In the House of Commons, Churchill announced on 21 September 1943 that ‘to put an end to Nazism there will be no extremes of violence to which we will not resort’ (F. J. P. Veale, The Crime of Nuremberg, 1954).