Accession Number:

ADA346302

Title:

The Ethics of Bombing Dresden

Descriptive Note:

Strategy research project,

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-03-14

Pagination or Media Count:

41.0

Abstract:

This study describes the events, doctrine, and technical developments of World War II WW II that led to the destruction by area bombing of the city of Dresden and the deaths of 135,000 of its citizens. Prior to our entry into WW II our bombing strategy was to employ large numbers of high altitude bombers with heavy defensive firepower, flying in formation, using precision daylight bombardment. This ethical bombing technique was observed early on in WW II, but at some point the ethic changed. Why Was it a change in the ethics of the commander or country, or was it due to a technological push through the development of on-board radar This analysis will show that although no specific order or directive specified the destruction of Dresden, those in charge had tacitly endorsed it. History shows us that because of this change, the face of war in Europe also changed. To this day, the firestorm of Dresden remains one of the deadliest and ethically most problematic raids of WW II.

Subject Categories:

  • Fire Control and Bombing Systems
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Intelligence

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE