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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  6 reviews
On February 13 and 14, 1945, three successive waves of British and U.S. aircraft rained down thousands of tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs on the largely undefended German city of Dresden. Night and day, Dresden was engulfed in a vast sea of flame, a firestorm that generated 1,500-degree temperatures and hurricane-force winds. In Firestorm, Marshall De Bruhl re-...more
Published October 1st 2009 by Findaway World (first published November 28th 2006)
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TheIron Paw
This book is not so much a "military" history as it is a "strategic" history. The actual bombing of Dresden is actually quite ordinary from a military perspective - at that time the allied air forces had a virtually free rein in the sky over Germany and could generally do whatever they wanted. This book is more about the development of the "strategy" of "morale bombing" and the controversies surrounding it. From that perspective it is a worthwhile read. If you are interested in aerial tactics an...more
Jul 29, 2009 Eric_W marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
IN Progress I love Dresden. I spent several weeks there in 2000 refreshing my German (I lived two years in Heidelberg as a child attending the public schools where we occasionally had a day off so they could dig up an unexploded bomb even though Heidelberg was technically an off-limits-to-bombing city.) Dresden, by 2000, had been mostly restored -- thanks to the industry and willingness of the East German regime -- to its former status as the most beautiful city in Europe. The Frauenkirche was b...more
An audiobook gift from my dad, who shares my interest in the WW2 air war. The book was very good, more than I was expecting since it examined the entire European air war, including all of the major events over the years leading up to the destruction of Dresden. The result was a much fuller understanding of the situation, the complexities & uncertainties faced by the planners at the time, and the gradual evolution of the concept of "morale bombing" against a civilian population.

Likewise, the...more
Well researched and an good counterbalance to the idea that Dresden was deliberately and wantonly destroyed for no other reason than to instill terror. De Bruhn's examination of the major personalities involved is also fascinating, especially hi description of the "flinty" "Bomber" Harris, a man who had the power and was ruthless in his use of it. This is the necessity for a military leader, though - something that we civilians should not ever forget.
I should preface this by saying that I’ve known Marshall (the author) pretty much my entire life. That being said, I have to admit that I was still impressed with the amount of research that went into Firestorm.

Behind the book’s basic question — why was Dresden firebombed — rests a great deal of detail on the city’s history, its people, and its importance to the Allied air campaign. All of those details are then overlaid with a picture of the successes and failures bombing raids were having, as...more
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