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The Fire:

The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945

Paperback (552 pages)
For five years, the Allies launched a trial and error bombing campaign against German cities with what can only be called "weapons of mass destruction."

The Fire:

For five years during the Second World War, the Allies launched a trial and error bombing campaign against Germany's historical city landscape. Peaking in the war's final three months, it was the first air attack of its kind. Civilian dwellings were struck by-in today's terms-"weapons of mass destruction," with a total of 600,000 casualties, including 70,000 children.

In The Fire, historian Jörg Friedrich explores this crucial chapter in military and world history. Combining meticulous research with striking illustrations, Friedrich presents a vivid account of the saturation bombing, rendering in acute detail the annihilation of cities such as Dresden, the jewel of Germany's rich art and architectural heritage. He incorporates the personal stories and firsthand testimony of German civilians into his narrative, creating a macabre portrait of unimaginable suffering, horror, and grief, and he draws on official military documents to unravel the reasoning behind the strikes.

Evolving military technologies made the extermination of whole cities possible, but owing, perhaps, to the Allied victory and what W. G. Sebald noted as "a pre-conscious self-censorship, a way of obscuring a world that could no longer be presented in comprehensible terms," the wisdom of this strategy has never been questioned. The Fire is a rare account of the air raids as they were experienced by the civilians who were their targets.

Bombing civilians in WWII...

Civilian Casualties during WWII
Great Britain 60,000 Germany 3,810,000
France 360,000 Austria 80,000
United States minimal Italy 85,000
USSR 7,700,000 Rumania 465,000
Belgium 90,000 Hungary 280,000
Holland 190,000 Bulgaria 7,000
Norway minimal Finland minimal
Poland 5,300,000 Japan 360,000
Greece 80,000
Yugoslavia 1,300,000
Czechoslovakia 330,000
China 10,000,000
Total - Allies 25,410,000 Total - Axis 5,087,000

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • 24 Aug 40: Accidental bombing of London changes the rules of war for Allies and Axis
  • 30 Oct 40: RAF Bomber Command first sanctions area bombing, aka carpet bombing
  • 19 Sep 43: Hamburg has been bombed to absolute ruins
  • 18 Nov 43: Battle of Berlin begins as the RAF bombs the German capital

Related WWII Store items...

  • Among The Dead Cities:
    The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan
  • The Fire:
    The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945

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