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Dresden: The Fire and the Darkness

Dresden: The Fire and the Darkness (Hardback)

By McKay, Sinclair

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In February 1945 the Allies obliterated Dresden, the 'Florence of the Elbe'. Explosive bombs weighing over 1,000 lbs fell every seven and a half seconds and an estimated 25,000 people were killed. Was Dresden a legitimate military target or was the bombing a last act of atavistic... mass murder in a war already won? From the history of the city to the attack itself, conveyed in a minute-by-minute account from the first of the flares to the flames reaching almost a mile high - the wind so searingly hot that the lungs of those in its path were instantly scorched - through the eerie period of reconstruction, here bestselling author Sinclair McKay creates a vast canvas and brings it alive with telling human detail. Along the way we encounter, for example, a Jewish woman who thought the English bombs had been sent from heaven, novelist Kurt Vonnegut who wrote that the smouldering landscape was like walking on the surface of the moon, and 15-year-old Winfried Bielb, who, having spent the evening ushering refugees, wanted to get home to his stamp collection. He was not to know that there was not enough time. Impeccably researched and deeply moving, McKay uses never-before-seen sources to relate the untold stories of civilians and vividly conveys the texture of life in a decimated city. Dresden is invoked as a byword for the illimitable cruelties of war, but with the ever-lengthening distance of time, it is now possible to approach this subject with a much clearer gaze, less occluded with the weight of prejudice in either direction, and with a keener interest in the sorts of lives that ordinary people lived and lost, or tried to rebuild. From general and individual morality in war to the raw, primal instinct for survival, through the seemingly unstoppable gravity of mass destruction and the manipulation of memory, this is a master historian at work. 'Extraordinary . . . a remarkably faithful account' Guardian on The Secret Life of Bletchley Park 'Painstakingly researched and fascinating' John Harding, Daily Mail on The Secret Listeners 'Lucid, well-researched and rich in detail' John Preston, Daily Mail on The Spies of Winter 'Fascinating, riveting, unsettling, and wonderfully rich in period detail' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday on Mile End Murder
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ISBN 9780241389683
Released NZ 4 Mar 2020
Publisher Penguin
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Availability
Reprinting

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780241389683
Stock Available
Status Reprinting
Publisher Penguin
Imprint Viking
Released 4 Mar 2020
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By McKay, Sinclair
Category World History: Second World War
European History
Military History
Air Forces & Warfare
Military Tactics
Battles & Campaigns
Military Vehicles
Number of Pages 400
Dimensions Width: 162mm
Height: 240mm
Spine: 37mm
Dewey Code 940.542132142
Weight 721g
Interest Age 16+ years
Reading Age 16+ years
Library of Congress World War, 1939-1945 - Aerial operations, World War, 1939-1945 - Personal narratives, Dresden Germany - History - Bombardment, 1945
NBS Text Military History
ONIX Text General/trade;College/higher education;Professional and scholarly

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