Dresden and Nuremberg
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APOCALYPSE 1945. THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN. Using official papers, private records, and the accounts of eye-witnesses on both sides, David Irving gives a harrowing account of the two saturation bombing raids executed by RAF Bomber Command on Germany’s most beautiful city at the end of the war, a horrific firestorm raid which left over 100,000 innocent civilians dead or missing. Jacketed hardback.
APOCALYPSE 1945. THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN At 10 p.m. on February 13-14, 1945, the Master Bomber broadcast the cryptic order: ‘Controller to Plate-Rack Force: Come in and bomb glow of red T.I.s as planned.’ The ill-famed R.A.F. attack on Dresden had begun. The target city was among Germany’s largest, but had little military or industrial value. It was a center for the evacuation of wounded servicemen, and schools, restaurants, and public buildings had been converted into hospitals.
The authorities expected that this, a city often compared with Florence for its graceful Baroque style, would be spared. By 1945 the legend was deeply entrenched that Dresden would never be bombed. It was not to be. In February 1945 with the war’s political and military directors meeting at Yalta, Mr Winston Churchill urgently needed some display of his offensive strength and of his willingness to assist the Russians in their drive westwards. Dresden just seven miles behind the eastern Front, became the victim of Mr Churchill’s desire for a spectacular ‘shattering blow’. As things turned out this, the most crushing air-raid of the war, was not delivered until the Yalta conference ended.
The city was undefended – even the Luftwaffe night fighter force was grounded. There were no proper air raid shelters. Dresden was housing hundreds of thousands of refugees from Silesia, East Prussia, and western Germany, in addition to its own population of 630,000 Up to a hundred thousand people, perhaps more, were killed in two or three hours, burned alive, that night. Yet until the first edition of this book appeared in 1963 the raid scarcely figured in the Allied war histories. A veil had been drawn across this tragedy.
Stung by foreign revulsion at this new St Valentine’s Day massacre, the British prime minister – who had ordered it – penned an angry minute to his Chief of Staff, even before the war ended, rasping that ‘the destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of allied bombing’. It is from this remarkably forgetful minute that the sub-title of this documentary account is taken. For the first time the full story, omitting nothing, of the historical background to this cruel blow and of its unexpected political consequences, is told.
NUREMBERG. THE LAST BATTLE. David Irving’s history of the inside story of the post-war war crimes trial of Hitler’s satraps, based on the private papers and diaries of lawyers, judges and defendants that were exclusively available to the author. Jacketed hardback.
NUREMBERG. THE LAST BATTLE. Using the unpublished diaries and papers of the principal actors – the judges, lawyers, and the war criminals themselves – David Irving takes a close-quarters look at the trial which finally ended World War Two: the Trial of the Century, held in Nuremberg from 1945 to 1946. Where the city’s face bore the terrible scars of the mortal struggle between Germany and her enemies which had ended in May 1945, the ghosts continued the struggle for sixteen more months. The armies were unequal; one side was unarmed and had few friends.
President Harry S. Truman had appointed Robert H. Jackson as Chief of Counsel for the United States, charged with mounting the prosecution of the major Axis war criminals. His task seemed clearly defined. By the time that the trial began in November 1945 many of his ideals had already been betrayed.
There would be few crimes listed in the indictment at Nuremberg of which one or other of the four prosecuting powers was not guilty of itself. In the cause of defeating Adolf Hitler, civilian populations had been burned and blasted, murdered, brutalised, intimidated, deported, and enslaved; aggressive wars had been launched, neutral countries occupied by pretext and deceit, and the unalterable paragraphs of international conventions flagrantly violated. Bob Jackson knew this, and it hurt him. It damaged his name and career for ever.
The book includes hitherto unknown photographs, including many in full colour.