Bombing Of Dresden Essay

1074 words - 4 pages

Bombing of Dresden - BackgroundBy the beginning of 1945, German fortunes looked bleak. Though checked at the Battle of the Bulge in the west and with the Soviets pressing hard on the Eastern Front, the Third Reich continued to mount a stubborn defense. As the two fronts began to near, the Western Allies began to consider plans for using strategic bombing to assist the Soviet advance. In January 1945, the Royal Air Force began to consider plans for the widespread bombing of cities in eastern Germany. When consulted, the head of Bomber Command, Air Marshal Arthur "Bomber" Harris, recommended attacks against Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz.Pressed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Chief of the Air Staff, Marshal Sir Charles Portal, agreed that cities should be bombed with the goal of disrupting German communications, transportation, and troop movements, but stipulated that these operations should be secondary to strategic attacks on factories, refineries, and shipyards. As a result of the discussions, Harris was ordered to prepare attacks on Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz as soon as weather conditions allowed. With planning moving forward, further discussion of attacks in eastern Germany occurred at the Yalta Conference in early February.During talks in Yalta, the Deputy Chief of the Soviet General Staff, General Aleksei Antonov, inquired about the possibility of using bombing to hinder German troop movements through hubs in eastern Germany. Among the list of targets discussed by Portal and Antonov were Berlin and Dresden. In Britain, planning for the Dresden attack moved forward with the operation calling for daylight bombing by the US Eighth Air Force followed by night strikes by Bomber Command. Though much of Dresden's industry was in suburban areas, planners targeted the city center with the goal crippling its infrastructure and causing chaos.Why Dresden?The largest remaining not bombed city in the Third Reich, Dresden was Germany's seventh-largest city and a cultural center known as the "Florence on the Elbe." Though a center for the arts, it was also one of Germany's largest remaining industrial sites and contained over 100 factories of various sizes. Among these were facilities for producing poison gas, artillery, and aircraft components. In addition, it was a key rail hub with lines running north-south to Berlin, Prague, and Vienna as well as east-west Munich and Breslau (Wroclaw) and Leipzig and Hamburg.Dresden Attacked:The initial strikes against Dresden were to have been flown by the Eighth Air Force on February 13. These were called off due to poor weather and it was left to Bomber Command to open the campaign that night. To support the attack, Bomber Command dispatched several diversionary raids designed to confuse the German air defenses. These struck targets in Bonn, Magdeburg, Nuremburg, and Misburg. For Dresden, the attack was to come in two waves with the second three hours after the first. This approach was designed to catch...

Find Another Essay On Bombing Of Dresden

Social Responsibility in Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

1010 words - 4 pages the words “so it goes”, irony in the bombing of Dresden, and foreshadowing in the boxcar when Ronald Weary dies, and asks Lazzaro, a fellow soldier to avenge him.“So is goes” and the Tralfamadorian concept of time is a motif used by Vonnegut that acts as a commentary on social responsibility. The Tralfamadorians can see events in time like a traveler can see the peaks on a stretch of the Rocky Mountains; they can see their

Why Slaughterhouse-Five Is an Anti-War Novel

809 words - 4 pages so great that any little event triggers a horrifying memory such as the destruction of Dresden. The third reason Slaughterhouse-Five is an anti-war novel is because it exposes the terrible realities of war. The way Vonnegut displays this theme is through the bombing of Dresden. In the novel Dresden is described as having beautiful architecture and being untouched by war because the city had running lights, businesses, and factories. However

Pro-War Characters with an Anti-War Message

2493 words - 10 pages In the first chapter of Slaughterhouse-Five, the narrator goes to meet an old war friend, Bernard V. O’Hare, who served with him in World War II and was also witness to the bombing of Dresden. The narrator, having attempted to write a novel based on his experiences during that time for many years, was hoping that, between the two of them, they could come up with some good war stories to incorporate into his novel. After many failed attempts to

Essay describes the insanity of war in "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

1466 words - 6 pages seriousness of the Battle of the Bulge and the bombing of Dresden are contrasted by many ironies and dark humor; the fantastical, science-fiction-type place of Tralfamadore is, in truth, an outlet for Vonnegut to show his incredibly serious fatalistic views. The surprising variations of the seriousness and light-heartedness allow Vonnegut to show effectively that war is absurd.The most important historical plot strand of Slaughterhouse-Five is Billy

An in-depth rhetorical analysis of Kurt Vonneguts' 'Slaugtherhouse-Five'

1229 words - 5 pages bombing of Dresden, it is done by making a concept of death. Going back to how death itself is what progresses renewal and hope in the story.Vonnegut is mostly seen to express this concept in his symbols throughout the book. Two of which are the moonscape and the bird in the end of chapter 10. The moonscape is always mentioned to cover all of Dresden after the fire bombings. As Billy Pilgrim emerges from the meat locker beneath a slaughterhouse into

"Slaughter House Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

835 words - 3 pages evidence of Vonnegut's display of surrealism in war is the scene at Dresden after the bombing:"There were sounds like giant footsteps above. Those were sticks of highly explosive bombs. The giants walked and walked... There was a fire-storm out there. Dresden was one big flame. The one flame ate everything organic, everything that would burn... the sky was black with smoke. The sun was an angry little pinhead. Dresden was like the moon now, nothing but

A report on several of Vonnegut's works

1813 words - 7 pages allied bombing. Because of this, its population had been doubled by refugees fleeing other, unprotected cities. Dresden was not, however, completely free of military targets, although there were not many of value. Late in the war, the decision was made by the allies to completely demolish the city in order to lower the morale of the German army by destroying many architectural masterpieces within the city. The fire bombing lasted two days and

Slaughterhouse Five: An Analysis of the Literature

981 words - 4 pages a POW. "You needn't worry about bombs by the way, Dresden is an open city and contains no war industries or troop concentrations of any importance". But it was bombed and it is reported that 135,000 people, mainly civilians, were killed in the firebombing. Compare with Tokyo, 84,000 and 71,000 in Hiroshima. He argues that this dwarves all the other atrocities. Vonnegut was there, and experienced it. Researched it not out of curiosity, but of

The Biblical Allusion of Lot's Wife in Slaughterhouse-Five

2050 words - 8 pages Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five, uses the biblical allusion of Lot’s wife looking back on the destroyed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to parallel the story of Billy Pilgrim during the war and his experience after, when he returns to the United States. Although the reference is brief, it has profound implications to the portrayal of America during World War II, especially the bombing of Dresden. Although Lot’s wife’s action dooms her

Fate in Kurt Vonnegut’s Novel, Slaughterhouse-Five

551 words - 2 pages for stealing or going through the Dresden bombing repeatedly. However, he is also able to visit pleasant moments like speaking as president in front of the Lions club or his honeymoon with his wife, Valencia. Vonnegut’s use of repetition and vision of war, time and death are crucial to Pilgrim as he warps through time emotionless due to the fact that he knows, and will always know what will happen next. Within the novel, Vonnegut kept a

Literary criticism of "Slaughter House Five", by Kurt Vonnegut

1846 words - 7 pages affected by his experience in Dresden and these themes become evident in his novels. The common thread between all of Vonnegut's themes is war. The bombing of Dresden had a profound impact on the life and writing of Kurt Vonnegut. "Rarely has a single incident so dominated the work of a writer" (Goldsmith IX). World War II shaped many of Kurt Vonnegut's philosophies that appear in his novels, especially Slaughterhouse Five. "With Slaughterhouse Five

Similar Essays

Historical Essay On The Bombing Of Dresden

788 words - 3 pages morale of an enemy nation was a key strategy, and was taken very seriously by the commanders of the allied forces.The bombing of Dresden was not a legitimate act of war, it was a horrible mass murder of a civilian community, but it may have aided the allied cause in some ways. Even though the allies had lots respect of on their home front, and subjected themselves to the criticism of the media, in some ways the result helped the cause. It is only

The Execution Of Private Slovik Essay

893 words - 4 pages In the narrator’s quest for information about the bombing of Dresden, he wrote to the Air Force, hoping to gain more knowledge about what went into the decision. His only official response at the time was “that the information was top secret still” (11). How bombing of Dresden could ever be considered classified when it had such a devastating effect on so many people is just one of the many absurdities pointed out by the narrator in his quest to

Nightmare Of Dresden Essay

815 words - 4 pages called, “Florence on the Elbe” (Hickman). The firebombing of Dresden was known as a military bombing. The British and United States Air Force bombed it on February 13 to February 15, 1945 in World War II. They dropped 3900 tons of firebombs in Dresden. (). Due to the large number of firebombs, the city was in a firestorm, which destroyed 15 square miles of land. There were more than 300,000 civilians burned alive. Thus, the bombing of Dresden was

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five Essay

2145 words - 9 pages . It took Vonnegut twenty years to directly face his private demon of the firebombing of Dresden in the form of this novel. He had trouble recalling any memories of substance about his time in Dresden. It could be said that he was blinded by the firebombs of Dresden. It was not until Vonnegut returned to the sight of the bombing twenty years later, along with one of his war buddies, that he was able to recall the disastrous and horrific incidents