A year ago a friend of mine asked me to scan some High res images of her grandfathers flight log. I couldnt believe my luck.
I had reached page 22 when a name jumped of the page at me. DRESDEN.
In 1945, The Allies decided to Attack Dresden using Napalm incendiary Bombs. They considered it a good target as it had not been attacked during the war and was virtually undefended by anti-aircraft guns. The population of the city was now far greater than the normal 650,000 due to the large numbers of refugees fleeing from the advancing Red Army.
773 Avro Lancasters bombed Dresden. During the next two days the USAAF sent over 527 heavy bombers to follow up the RAF attack. Dresden was almost totally destroyed. As a result of the firestorm it was afterwards impossible to count the number of victims. Recent research suggest that 35,000 were killed but some German sources have argued that it was over 100,000.
After the war the British high command came under heavy scrutiny for the attack on Dresden. Still to this day, It is a hotly debated subject as to the validity of the attack seeing as though there was no military gain by doing so.
So, in my hand I was holding a flight log that was in Lancaster L over the city of Dresden on that fateful night. It was very humbling indeed.
I thought I’d share this with you to again highlight the senseless waste all wars inflict.
(The Dresden Raid is in red ink, and was flown on the 13th of February 1945. As shown in the far right column, the raid took 9 hours flight time. My friends Grandfather was Navigator.