5 Group, based at RAF Coningsby. The second was on 17 April, when 580 B-17s dropped 1,554 tons of high-explosive bombs and 165 tons of incendiaries. Regardless, the debate over the attacks of February 13 and 15, 1945, continues to this day and those attacks remain as one of the more controversial actions of World War II. Once the bombing stopped, Anita emerged from the cellar after but could not find her parents. Actually Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre, and a key transportation point to the East. In one incident, it took his team seven hours just to get into a 1,000-person air raid shelter where they found no survivors or corpses—just a green-brown liquid with bones sticking out of it; what had once been a group of human beings had all been melted by the intense heat. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land…. [8] Critics of the bombing have asserted that Dresden was a cultural landmark while downplaying its strategic significance, and claim that the attacks were indiscriminate area bombing and not proportionate to the military gains. High Command to the Eastern front went through Dresden. Today Dresden has experienced a renaissance and returned to life as one of Germany’s most important cities—a center of education and technological advancement. ]]> The Dresden bombings achieved the strategic objectives that underlay the attack and were of mutual importance to the Allies and the Russians. Once the bombing stopped, Anita emerged from the cellar after but could not find her parents. The fifth point is that the firebombing achieved the intended effect of disabling the industry in Dresden. He claimed some 45,000 people died on one night during the firestorms that engulfed Hamburg in July 1943. “As the incendiaries fell, the phosphorus clung to the bodies of those below, turning them into human torches. “To my left I suddenly see a woman. For Dresden, the attack was to come in two waves, with the second coming three hours after the first. This exposed the Nazis’ crimes for all to see, further hardening Allied resolve to totally destroy the Third Reich—to drive a silver stake into its heart so that it could never rise again. Early in the war, British Chief of the Air Staff Charles Portal had calculated that a concerted program to bomb the Third Reich’s cities could kill 900,000 people in 18 months, seriously injure a million more, destroy six million homes, and leave 25 million Germans homeless, thus creating a humanitarian crisis that, he believed, would lead to the collapse of the Nazi government. It first tried to do so in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, but the UK and the US would not agree, since to do so would have been an admission of guilt for their systematic "area bombing" of German and Japanese civilians. [106][107][108] On 28 March, in a memo sent by telegram to General Ismay for the British Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff, he wrote: It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed. The Foreign Secretary has spoken to me on this subject, and I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive. The unease was made worse by an Associated Press story that the Allies had resorted to terror bombing.