Conscience has been nagging me about that deeply worrying discovery I referred to last week about the UK bombing of Dresden.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A Lancaster releases the main part of its load, a 4,000lb (1,800 kg) HC "cookie" and 108 30lb (14 kg) "J" incendiaries. (over Duisburg 1944) Thanks to Wikipedia for the image: By Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain,
Of course, it was wartime when it seems to be ok to bomb hell out of a civilian population.

In my childhood, bombs were falling all around in Southampton and claimed the family home.

Fortunately, an air raid shelter ensured the flames didn't claim the family, too.


However, as ghastly, as horrendous as the notion of bombing civilian homes goes, nothing could match Churchill's Brit approach to firebombing Dresden.

I wrote last week of my, well, almost disbelief and disgust that the generation of my father's father could have dreamed up and carried out the slaughter by fire of a minimum of 18,000 women and children.

Wikipedia puts the toll much higher - between 22,700 to 25,000 burnt alive! Wikipedia offers a grisly picture of a mother and baby in a pram immolated.

My conscience took me to Germany a day or two after learning about it last week. I flew to Berlin, planning to to visit Dresden with my wonderful concert pianist friend Konstanze as translator to somehow … well, show repentance on behalf of those utterly callous people long gone.

However, Germany had its own opinion of this belated attempt to display remorse. The price of going on anything but a slow train to Dresden was more than the far-from-cheap BA flight from Heathrow.

Mission uncompleted

I don't have that sort of money, so it was back to UK for me with the mission uncompleted.

But I will return, directly to Dresden this time. Airlines other than BA puts the cost for that flight between £134 and £152. I'm saving for that now.

Wikipedia's report begins, 'The bombing of Dresden was a British-American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, during World War II.

'In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city.

'The bombing and the resulting firestorm destroyed more than 1,600 acres of the city centre. An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people were killed.'

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