Picture of the Day: The Bombing of Dresden
THE BOMBING OF DRESDEN
In this powerful and chilling photograph taken between Sept. 17 and Dec. 31 of 1945, we see a statue overlooking the recently bombed and destroyed city of Dresden, Germany. The photograph was taken by press photographer and photojournalist Richard Peter who is best known for his images of Dresden just after the end of World War II.
The Bombing of Dresden was a strategic military attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, that took place in the final months of the Second World War. In four raids between 13 February and 15 February 1945, 1,300 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. The resulting firestorm destroyed 15 square miles (39 square kilometres) of the city centre and caused thousands of civilian casualties. City authorities at the time estimated around 25,000 victims; a figure which subsequent investigations, including one commissioned by the city council in 2010, support. [Source]
The bombing remains one of World War II’s most controversial incidents as at the time the war was approaching its end. Speculation and theories as to why the city was bombed vary from strategic (the city was home to military and industrial targets), to destructive (the city is considered northern Germany’s cultural centre), to posturing (Churchill and Roosevelt wanted to show Stalin the power of the Allies as a deterrent to breaking agreements made at the war conferences). [Source]