Remembering Dresden: 70 Years After the Firebombing

In the last months of World War II, Allied bombers from the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force conducted several major bombing raids on the eastern German city of Dresden. Beginning on the night of February 13, 1945, more than 1,200 heavy bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city in four successive raids. An estimated 25,000 people were killed in the bombings and the firestorm that raged afterward. More than 75,000 dwellings were destroyed, along with unique monuments of Baroque architecture in the historic city center. The scale of the death and destruction, coming so late in the war, along with significant questions about the legitimacy of the targets destroyed have led to years of debate about whether the attack was justified, or whether it should be labeled a war crime. The city of Dresden will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the firebombing beginning Friday night. Warning: Several of these photographs are graphic in nature.
Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ulet Ifansasti / Getty

    Fires in Indonesia Blanket Islands and Cities in Smog

    Thick clouds of smoke and haze are blanketing much of Southeast Asia, due to largely illegal efforts to burn thousands of acres to clear land for farms and palm-oil plantations.

  • Smithsonian Institution

    Photos of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

    In April 1904, St. Louis opened its doors to the world, welcoming millions to see the fascinating buildings and exhibits of art, technology, and history on display at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

  • Randall Hill / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Baobab Alley, Armed Mob, River Rescue

    A beard-and-mustache battle in Los Angeles, a sleepy young rhino in France, a shepherd among Turkish foothills, the Corso Zundert flower parade in the Netherlands, the “Futurium” in Berlin, and much more

  • Scott Olson / Getty

    Photos: The Wreckage Left by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

    Early images of the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Dorian’s slow crawl across the Bahamas