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TUESDAY AUGUST 14 2001
Bombing of Dresden
FROM MR MICHAEL SHRIMPTON
The great Anglo-American raids on Dresden were not, to my mind, a war crime, as Simon Jenkins asserts (Comment, August 3). Dresden was an integral part of the Nazi military-industrial complex, indeed the fourth largest centre of armaments manufacture in Nazi Germany. Dresden was also an important centre of communication and lay across the Red Army's line of advance. It was a probable routing for some trains to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The city was in all respects a legitimate target. The attack dealt a huge blow to the Nazis and almost certainly shortened the war. The RAF and USAAF aircrew were brave men who, in this and other smashing attacks, took the war to the Nazi enemy in conditions of extreme danger.
I have the honour to remain,
Sir, your most humble and Obedient servant,
- MICHAEL SHRIMPTON
- Tanfield Chambers, EC4Y 7BY.
- August 6.
To which letter David Irving sends this reply, Wednesday, August 15, 2001 :
- To: The Times
- Letters to the Editor
- 1 Pennington Street
- London E1 9XN
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Michael Shrimpton writes (Aug. 14) that Dresden was an important centre of communication and lay across the Red Army's line of advance: "It was a probable routing for some trains to the Auschwitz concentration camp." Not very probable: Auschwitz had been evacuated a month earlier; as for Dresden, the RAF target map for the raid, which is in my possession, shows that not one Elbe bridge, railway line or station was in the fan-shaped sector of the city marked out for saturation bombing. We now know that the twelve US air force bomb groups which attacked twelve hours later had these orders: "Primary target - visual - center of built up area Dresden. Secondary target - visual - M/Y [marshalling yards] Chemnitz. H2X [radar blind bombing] center of Dresden."
Picture below: funeral pyres burn in dresden's Altmark as there are not enough living left to bury the dead after the Allied raids of 1945 (picture from David Irving: Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden )