A few weeks ago we had the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In a few short months, we’ll have the 70th anniversary of the end of the European Theatre of WW2. However, as important as it is to remember these events, there’s another important one that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, one which happened 70 years ago today.
In case it isn’t obvious from looking at the timeline of events in the latter part of the war:
The Battle of Stalingrad ended with a German defeat in February 1943
The Battle of Kursk ended with a German defeat in August of 1943
D-Day (The Normandy landings) occurred in June 1944.
Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Union in January 1945
The Battle of the Bulge ended with a German defeat in January of 1945
Essentially, Germany had been getting crushed on both the Eastern and Western fronts for 2 years by February 1945. Allies had entered German territory on both fronts and their defeat was inevitable. All the allies had to do was keep the pressure on and they were always guaranteed victory just from their sheer numbers and greater amount of resources they had over the Germans. However, they instead chose to commit an act every bit as evil as anything the Nazis themselves have been accused of, an act that was in all honesty, completely unnecessary.
Much has been written about the crimes of the Third Reich and people rightly condemn those actions as being gravely immoral. However, it is simply a reality that history is written by the victors. People tend to have this black and white view of WW2 that the Axis powers were evil and the allies were a force for good. This is completely ridiculous of course just from the fact that the Soviet Union (a member of the allies) was ruled by Stalin (one of the most brutal tyrants in history) alone. However, it wasn’t just the Soviet Union that committed some nasty acts on the allied side. The Dresden bombing is one that the allies would like us to forget.
It’s important to note that Dresden was not some great industrial/military complex for the Third Reich. That’s not to say it had no great industry at all (there was the famous Albertstadt, which incidentally was not targetted during the bombings). For the most part though, Dresden was just a typical highly populated city. Bombing it was utterly pointless in the grand scheme of things. It didn’t help end the war any quicker (which at that point was inevitable anyway). All it did was lead to unnecessary destruction and loss of innocent civilian lives.
While we continue to mourn the deaths of so many innocent people during the second world war, let us also remember all of those innocent civilians who died for absolutely no reason during the Dresden bombings. They’re just as deserving as any other victims of the war.