The Devil’s Tinderbox: 70 Years Since the Dresden Bombings

It was the 70th anniversary of the Dresden bombings last week.

Controversy still rages about the Allied decision to bomb Dresden, as proven by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, when he was accused of ‘apologising’ for the attacks at the 70th anniversary commemoration last weekend (via Daily Mail).

Allied forces dropped 1,400 loads of explosives on the city, in attacks that lasted over two days. 90% of the city was destroyed and around 25,000 people died in the raids, which began on the eve of Friday 13th February 1945.

These incredible composite images from The Independent show how much work had to be done to re-build the city, by merging pictures of the past and present.

Souvenir Press publishes The Devil’s Tinderbox, the only book to present the personal descriptions of eye-witnesses, not only of the survivors in the city but the air-crews, both British and American, who flew on the bombing mission and observed the appalling impact of their attacks.

Alexander McKee carefully assesses the political and military decisions that led to the raids, drawn from official sources and archive material in the only oral history to be published. The Devil’s Tinderbox also includes contemporary photographs that bear witness to the devastating effect of an attack that reduced Dresden to rubble.

Meticulously researched and skilfully told, The Devil’s Tinderbox is gripping, shocking and deeply moving.

Devil's Tinderbox cover

“McKee has gathered a series of harrowing eyewitness accounts which give us a graphic picture of a wartime hell.”
‘Mail on Sunday’

“Alexander McKee specialises in a distinct and most valuable form of contemporary history…He is less concerned to name names than to reconstruct the mood in which the raid took place, to explain why the destruction and loss of life in Dresden was so heavy and to record the experience of those who survive… likely to linger for good in the memory.”
‘New Statesman’

(eBook only) Get a copy of The Devil’s Tinderbox here.

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