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  1. says:

    “FireWe’re going to put him in it That’s saying friends that we’re going to put fire around him all around him We’re going to put it over him and underneath him We’re going to bring it down on him and on to him We’re going to put it in his eyes and up his asshole and in his baby’s diaper We’re going to put it in his pockets where he can’t get rid of it the opening lines of James Dickey’s To the White Sea Before the rubble had even stopped bouncing at the end of World War II the victorious Allies were looking at ways to punish the Axis Powers specifically Germany and Japan Different ideas were bandied about such as the Morgenthau Plan and Stalin’s very Stalin esue idea of mass executions Sometimes you have to scratch your head at how Stalin y Stalin was Eventually the Allies settled on an International Military Tribunal in both Europe and the Far East which came to be known informally as the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Tokyo Trials These two courts tried and mostly convicted the surviving bigwigs of the German and Japanese regimes most responsible for the outbreak and conduct of the bloodiest war in history Hundreds and thousands of smaller less visible trials followed in the wake of Nuremberg and TokyoAlmost as soon as they were in the dock the defendants began asserting a tu uoue defense This is a fancy lawyerly way of saying “you did it too” In logic tu uoue is a fallacy; in law it is not going to save your butt But if you’re Hermann Goering and you’ve already got the cyanide capsule between your teeth you might as well attempt to show your opponent’s putative hypocrisy The postwar trials have been heavily criticized as creating crimes that never before existed and as administering a particular brand of justice known as “victor’s justice” The assertion is that the trials are somehow unfair because the Allies did things that were as bad as the Germans or the Japanese As an argument against the existence of the Military Tribunals the notion of “victor’s justice” is illogical and obnoxious And begs the uestion what’s the opposite of “victor’s justice” and should that have been implemented instead? Nothing about it changes the fact that men such as Kaltenbrunner Frank and Matsui had participated in crimes beyond imagination that they – in the words of Arendt speaking of Eichmann – “should not inhabit the world” because “no member of the human race can be expected to want to share the earth” with them They were guilty and deserved what they got a thousand times over The criticism of the International Military Tribunals says less about norms of international law again the notion that Axis leadership didn't deserve punishment is ludicrous and about our own meaning the Allies discomfort with the way we won the war And nothing crystallizes that discomfort than the bombing war Hundreds of thousands of German and Japanese and French and Italian civilians died beneath the wings of British and American bomber fleets Sometimes this was the result of collateral damage More often it was the product of a systematic campaign of destruction The bombing war over Germany – especially the nighttime incendiary attacks by British Bomber Command – is the subject of Jorg Friedrich’s The Fire The Bombing of Germany 1940 1945 For an English speaker its most uniue aspect is that it is an unrepentant criticism of the bombing war written by a German who refuses to hedge his position by acknowledging larger contextual issues you know like the Holocaust It is a polemic of a sort However it is one of the most dispassionate polemics I’ve ever read A note on the translation by Allison Brown It’s good I took four years of German in high school which means that if I had read this book in its native tongue it would have taken me approximately 6000 years to translate Partially because that was 16 years ago in high school partially because I was mostly drunk – I was an American teenager after all – when I actually visited Germany Thus I can’t say for sure how close Brown’s translation is to the original I can say it is very readable I can also strongly assume – based on the way Friedrich molds his story – that she captured Friedrich’s detached tone Sometimes the easiest way to explain a book is to describe what it is not So this is not a history of the bombing war There is no chronology here If you’re looking for Dresden for instance you find it in half a dozen different places There are no lengthy discussions about strategy or time spent on personalities If you want a historical overview of the Allied bombing campaigns you should head on over to Richard Ovary The Fire is something very different The Fire is an impressionistic work A mélange of understated facts and vivid first person accounts arranged around different themes The first chapter for example is called “Weapon” Within that chapter are several subheadings Fire Protection Engineers about the flammability of German cities especially the so called “Old Town” found in many European metropolises; The Heavy Bomber about the Flying Fortress and the Mosuito; Radar about Radar; and The Crew about the different members of the bomb crew The layout contained in the Contents is important because Friedrich’s writing style is almost stream of consciousness the topics melding into each other without delineation There is no true structure within the book itself This is either artful or incoherent depending on whether the book is gripping you or not At its heart The Fire is an argument against the area bombing of civilians The only place this is explicitly stated however is in an Afterword written expressly for American and British readers Here Friedrich rather oddly condemns the Anglo American bombing war by reference to the American bombing war in Ira which Friedrich supported Friedrich never overtly lays out his thesis within the narrative Instead in an act of constrained fury he piles on the brutal unrelenting facts The Fire strongly reminded me of Len Deighton’s classic novel Bomber in the scientific bloodless particularity of his details The bomber raced across the heavens; the town below was stationary When the bomb fell it needed thirty to forty seconds to reach the ground Because it continued to travel in the direction of the plane’s motion the bomb had to be released a few seconds before the target was reached But the ballistics of the bombing war were not totally understood and the wind also had great effect Since they were lighter the incendiary bombs had a complex trajectory so they were bundled into clusters to add weight But the cluster’s curve as it fell to earth was not the same curve as that of a 4000 pound blockbuster mine And the pilot had a reflex that had to be taken into account a reflex that caused him to drop the bomb a bit prematurely just to get it over with since his life had never been in such jeopardy as it was just thenThese split seconds added up from wave to wave to create a “creep back” effect The bombers crept back along the approach for miles It could not be avoided This creep back effect was accounted for in the plans so the indicator marking was placed ahead of the actual targetThere is a lot about this book that I loved I thought the chapter on the bombers was excellent as was the chapter entitled Protection which explained in grueling detail the tactics civilians used to guard themselves from the bombs There are I learned many awful ways to die in a bunker Right smack dab in the middle however I almost uit There is a lengthy 173 page chapter devoted to a city by city account of the bombing war I am not exaggerating City by city This is actually the only part of the book that had true organization Friedrich’s rhythm is to introduce a city describe its ancient history its architectural wonders its illustrious citizens And then he describes its annihilation For instance going to a random page take Stettin where Friedrich starts in the distant pastStetting was one of the strongest fortresses of Europe The Swedes Brandenburgers French Russians and Poles had all either laid siege or been besieged there Its history was marked not by its buildings but by the shells that cannons outside the city walls had fired into the interior In 1677 a third of the buildings had not survived the prolonged stranglehold of the Great Elector; none were left unscathed Following in his footsteps Russians and Poles only succeeded in destroying 150 buildings in 1713 but these generals did manage to purge Stettin of its Gothic and Renaissance architectureThus the Basilica of St James which had been started in the early Gothic style and completed in the fourteenth century had a completely baroue interior since the incendiary projectiles of the Elector had destroyed it down to the cryptsOnce the historyarchitecture lesson is complete we jump to the bombsThe final besiegers came through the air The first Wellingtons appeared as early as 1940 and 1941 in search of sites that could do with a load of bombsIn 1943 the distinction between industrial and city targets had become irrelevant so London was very pleased to hear on April 21 that 339 Lancasters and Halifaxes had succeeded in reaching perfectly marking and hitting a site over six hundred miles away The bitter 6 percent loss of aircraft had been worth the sacrifice since one hundred acres of the city center were reported as devastated While that assumption was greatly exaggerated 586 people had definitely been killedInitially I thought this a tremendously effective way to make a point Then he made the point again and again and again I started getting restless but fleetingly I still thought this was a kind of genius to demonstrate the relentlessness of the bombing campaign But then I lost interest as repetitiveness turned terror into dullness I actually put the book down for a long time before I finally slowly slogged through this chapter There are a lot of great rhetorical devices but causing numbness in your reader isn’t one of them As I mentioned above The Fire does not place the bombing war into a larger historical context It is a story told in a vacuum Friedrich’s implicit argument is that the environment that bred the bombing war namely the German Reich does not mitigate the crime of the Allied air war I do not endorse this view Then again I do not necessarily disagree with it This isn’t avoiding an argument as much as it is acknowledging that the complexity of the moral issues is far too involved for the tail end of an amateur book review The Fire is provocative and in that way I recommend it – despite its shortcomings – for people interested in the tangled uestion of waging moral war It should be read alongside bombing proponents for a fuller picture It is one sided to be sure but when you place it alongside other one sided books holding the opposite view well now you’re onto something Whether or not the bombing war against Germany and Japan was necessary for ultimate victory thereby justifying its tremendous cost in lives and infrastructure it was a tragedy When statistics are presented showing the futility of the Allies’ bombing campaign bombing proponents often fall back on the last argument for their cause righteousness The argument goes that the citizens of your enemy deserve to be punished by dint of their citizenship This is a rather indefensible position The children who burned in Hamburg were no guilty than the peasants executed in Belorussia or the Chinese slaughtered in Nanking or the families atomized in Hiroshima War is indiscriminate murder that invariably causes suffering to people in an inverse proportion to their responsibility for causing war in the first place If The Fire does nothing else it grimly demonstrates that


  2. says:

    I read Der Brand as research for a short story I'm planning to write I tried to read this years ago but was getting too emotionally involved my family on my father's side is from around Dresden other parts of my family are from around Essen both cities that were put on the pyre of moral bombing When I tried this again it was still rough and I struggled Could do about 20 30 pages per day and needed a break Having empathy and imagination can be a problem That said it's a tour de force compelling at times literary and philosophical Next one Suess Death From The SkiesAddendum Read it in the original German and due to Friedrich's very pointed use of German grammar and tonality I can't imagine how that was translated I found his account deeply human sometimes angry exasperated at times sarcastic I can't imagine what amount of emotional labour it would take to write something like this and immerse yourself in this carnage and suffering for long enough to write a doorstopper like this because just reading it is intense enough


  3. says:

    I cannot recommend this book for the general reader except perhaps as a reference on anything and everything about the air war over Germany in World War II The work is as one critic of the book claimed “An encyclopedia of pain” p 486 For the specialist on the other hand the book is essential reading Written by a German historian and translated into English by Allison Brown the book provides compelling and exhaustive evidence about the Allied air war against Germany Friedrich’s research includes a great many primary documents personal recollections government archives and the conclusions of historians drawn from the past 80 years He provides the stories of government leaders airmen air defense officials and most important of all those most directly affected by the air war the German people The ground level view so to speak is the book’s greatest strengthAs virtually every expert who has examined the air war in Europe and Japan during World War II has concluded the Allies deliberately targeted non combatants amounting to what today would be judged as war crimes and crimes against humanity with a possible charge of genocide thrown into the mixUnlike the bombing of industrial targets which freuently inflicted militarily significant damage the intentional bombing of German civilians in World War II was by any measure a failure The Allied goal of “millions of dead civilians” was never achieved p 325; people Friedrich writes “were too mobile to burn” p 471 Only something like 600000 to 900000 German civilians died in the air war of which 70000 were children p 483 Those numbers are bad enough That the bombing served no useful military purpose makes things even worse and underscores its uestionable legality And contrary to the promises of strategic bombing advocates the air war did not turn Germans against the Nazi regime The common popular reactions were dismay at the incompetence of Luftwaffe air defenses despair and an overarching desire for revenge against the enemy pp 427 430 German civilians including children routinely lynched downed Anglo American airmen especially in the final year of the war p 433High explosive bombs killed structures; collapsed structures killed people and made rescue and relief almost impossible Indeed Bomber Command sought to hinder rescue and relief operations by using high explosives set on a timer to detonate hours after the original raid p 374 Incendiaries however—not high explosives became the annihilation weapon of choice By 1942 the Allies realized that a bombing war could not be fought with explosives p 10 Seven thousand tons of explosives could damage a radius of about twenty miles but the same amount of incendiaries could extend for than ninety miles p 15 A bombing raid might last twenty to thirty minutes over a target but the resulting fires burned for twelve hours or Urban targets were not bombed just once but hundreds of times Bremen for instance was hit 173 times p 153 by Allied bombers “Fire” Friedrich claims “became the goal” of the Allied air war p 365For their part the Nazi regime went to great lengths to provide shelter and compensation to the victims of the air war p 386 That shelter and compensation were never adeuate was not because of a lack of effort by the Nazi government p 372 3 Shelter construction and rescue and recovery efforts were widespread and included the use of POWs and concentration camp labor p 375 Not that the relief efforts of the Nazis were compassionate; in order to free up bed space the Nazis murdered mentally ill patients and repurposed sanitarium facilities to victims of the air war p 389 Jewish property of course had long since been confiscated and distributed to loyal citizens of the Reich p 389 People weren’t the only targets of the air war Allied bombers targeted cathedrals libraries museums and architectural treasures in an effort to eradicate German culture Friedrich notes that the air war was “the largest book burning in history” p 459 The intentional attacks on items of German cultural heritage violated Article 27 and Article 56 of the 1907 Hague Convention in effect at the time By 1945 there really weren’t any human cultural or structural targets left but the Allies still had plenty of bombs so they shifted to bombing rubble The firebombing of Germany and Japan; about that below was than an act of war than an effort to incinerate non combatants It was also an experiment in the art of “killing cities” The Allies experimented with different ratios of high explosives and incendiaries and different types and ratios of incendiaries white phosphorus thermite and napalm just to mention a few The Allies consulted insurance records firefighters chemists communication and guidance experts demolition companies construction companies and others with the expertise necessary to burn cities The Allies built ersatz German and Japanese housing to test the effectiveness of various forms of destruction Many experimental bombings were conducted against cities without important military significance because those were seldom defended and provided good “before and after” photographs for closer examination In short the Allies were perfecting methods of annihilation not just for World War II but also any wars that might follow Until German air defenses collapsed completely in late 1944 Allied bombers preferred undefended targets undefended because those cities served no important military purpose pp 95 209 414 Once the Germans could no longer defend the Reich Allied bombing of Germany increased p 144Which brings me to the Pacific War There was no shortage of rationales for the atomic bombing of Japan Some Allied officials sincerely believed the atomic attacks would end the war and preclude the necessity of an invasion of the Japanese homeland Some were doubtlessly driven by a rage for revenge understandable in view of the atrocities committed by Japanese forces against Chinese and American prisoners Some may have thought the weapon would preclude a greater role for the Soviets in ruling Japan after the war and some believed that in view of the vast resources expended in building the weapons in the first place only use of the bomb could justify the effort put into creating it There was I believe another unsettling reason for using the bomb and a reason for rejecting repeated Japanese offers to surrender only by using the weapon against a live target could the scientists and military understand completely the effects of the bomb The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki much like the firebombing of Germany was a weapon test against a live target and a spectacular test it was It took 4000 heavy bombers to deliver 10 kilotons of explosives on German positions in Huerten Forest in 1944 p 122 3 and only one heavy bomber to deliver 16 kilotons of explosive power on HiroshimaFriedrich’s book prompted a harsh reaction when it was published in 2002 Predictably enough air war veterans resented the implication that they might be guilty of war crimes Others defended the annihilation tactics on the fanatical resistance of German and Japanese militarists And of course there were those perhaps a minority who simply argued that the Germans and Japanese got what they deservedNevertheless facts are stubborn things and Friedrich’s exhaustive study of the air war against Germany is indisputable evidence of war crimes on a massive scale Allied leaders knew at the time that the air war was legally suspect Even Churchill chief architect of the war of annihilation tried to avoid responsibility for the bombing in 1945 p 145 The war subseuently helped shape international law with respect to the treatment of non combatants “No air force chief of staff today” Friedrich writes “would command the annihilation of 900000 enemy non combatants as Sir Charles Portal did in 1942” p 483 I think he is right about thatOn the other hand Russia seems deliberately to be targeting non combatants in Syria today and although the casualties there are of a magnitude of order much smaller than that of Germany or Japan the international community still has not come to grips with a protracted problem


  4. says:

    My friend from Frankurt cried during Der Untergang She had seen movies of her home town undergoing similar destruction This book taught me to understand even if it could use FrankfurtA gripping look at the effects of the Allied bombing campaign on the cities of Germany There is no strategic map spread afar over Bomber Command's table The beat is neither the drone of the B 29 or the hungry rattle of the Flak towers The sound are the cries of carnage and a lithany of architectural legacy under assaultThe incineration of the Prussian Generalstabarchives deserve seperate mention I feel their absence so often when dealing with the Other Side in the Great War


  5. says:

    I read this book upon my German father's recommendation It was not an easy read as a first born American daughter of German immigrants who lived through World War II as childrenIt changed my entire opinion of the Americans and British being the good guys of WWII The complete devastation of most of Germany's citytown centers and the targeting of civilian populations horrified me A lot of effort was invested in figuring out how to create the perfect fire storm which would destroy the closely built wooden city centers which mostly dated back to the Middle AgesI now realize that there really are not good guys in war there is no black and white only varying shades of grey


  6. says:

    The Fire The Bombing of Germany 1940 1945is a highly unusual history of the air war written from the perspective of the German civilian population who experienced it Beginning with a description of British Bomber Command and especially Group 5 it races the development not only of conventional city bombing but the ability to demolish a city by creating a firestorm with incendiaries and blockbusters so that by war's end it was possible to create this almost at will given the right target and the right conditions In the medieval cities of Germany this was not difficult By war's end some 600000 civilians had been killed in this way and 20000 of them were childrenBesides the technical aspects of the air war Jorg Friedrich lets the German people speak for themselves of the horrors they endured and witnessed It's a very effective techniue and hard to read We have all seen pictures of the completely devastated cities of Germany but to hear first hand stories of the ghoulish events of the bombing is almost too private to be exposed His literary powers are compelling and brilliant There is a palpable undercurrent of rage in this bookWhen published this book caused and still is causing a good bit of controversy not only in Germany but in Britain and America over much of the language used to describe the bombing Friedrich as good as calls it murder There are selective omissions ie the Nazi bombing of Warsaw and strafing of civilians at the start of the war When describing the bombing of certain German cities that he describes as totally disconnected to the war in the next paragraph he will mention the presence of the Daimler Benz auto works or some coal mining company or a train station known as a transfer point from west to east Not exactly neutral spots in wartimeOn the whole though this is an important work if only to remind us again and again of the dangers of war and the truth of what General Sherman noted so long ago war is hell


  7. says:

    I am of two minds about this book On the one hand it is Friedrich's great achievement to present to the general public a detailed account of the USUK bombing campaign against German and some other west European cities Friedrich who is completely unsuspected of being a revisionist historian tells of a crime that nobody not in Germany not in England or in America ever really wanted to talk about in the face of the much greater crimes committed by Nazi Germany So thumbs up to the author for telling an important sub story of World War II and for doing it in a levelheaded way I was also impressed by how neutral even technical the author manages to keep his tone no matter if he talks about the advent of a certain bomb technology or about the effects that technology had say on a hundred pregnant women burned to death in a hospital But from a literary perspective that tone gets problematic after a while First the neutral analytical voice uickly sounds sardonic and acidic when it describes the details of mass murder to the point where I am not sure what effect Friedrich really wanted to achieve And second I uickly started to get war book fatigue as the author trudges through the city by city neighbourhood by neighbourhood sometimes even building by building destruction of urban Germany But then maybe that slow systematic horryfing but in its mechanical way banal story telling is very apt for the subject matter Not sure if there would have been a better way to tell it Personal note the block by block accounts suddenly became very interesting when they described the destruction of cities that I know and have lived in Since those include Dresden Berlin and Munich I could personally relate to some of the detail So not an enjoyable book surprise but probably a very necessary one


  8. says:

    This is a necessary book I was surprised on reading Sebald's book about the air war that German post war writers had singularly failed to address itThis is an unemotional and objective account of the systematic destruction by fire and high explosive of a thousand years of German culture which took 600000 lives in the process 70000 of whom were children and destroyed every German city of any size and some that were mere towns of no conseuence other than that they housed German civiliansThat this destruction constituted a war crime or was simply the result of the inability of the RAF and the USAAF to accurately hit military targets is for the reader to decideIt reads like an encyclopedia of pain


  9. says:

    This was worth reading but it was not an easy read Not because the subject matter is gruesome there's relatively little in the way of gory details but because of the uirky see saw way in which the narrative is structured Another serious look from the editors could yield a book about 150 pages shorter and much readableThat aside this gives an extraordinary look into what exactly happened in the WWII bombing regime against Germany An informative historical read


  10. says:

    In spite of my comments below I thought this was a very good book It is the most thorough book I've read about the bombing of Germany during the war I read only English so that necessarily limits my choices Even the best books I've read see any of the Martin Middlebrook works on the air war don't go into the detail of the process and effects as Friedrich does here I'm not entirely clear on the division the chapters imply Weapon describes the technology Strategy covers the objective of the campaign and the resulting damage on the whole Land breaks down the results by region and city and gives us short historical sketches of the cities put to flame Protection is sort of about civil defense and the reaction of the people We and I are somewhat personal accounts of the previous chapter maybe? Finally Stone is mostly about the attempt to protect art and archivesAlthough there are one or two particular statements I found outrageous The Nazi regime pronounced fifteen thousand death penalties in the last four years of the war I was most troubled by the general tone of the middle part of the book The Second World War was essentially a continental scale murder suicide The Nazi regime decided that non Aryans could be or should be murdered and by the end of the war dictated that Germany should be burnt to the ground and defended to the last man The core of the book is a lamentation of the murder of the innocents the women and children and non combatants in the cities the destruction of their art and architecture The case is made that it was criminal to involve these innocents in such a war I will not deny that the Allies attack on the population centers was barbaric But I have a reaction against the author's toneInnocence or guilt is not a binary state either wholly innocent or wholly guilty They occur at ends of a spectrum Is only the soldier the combatant responsible for war? The soldier pulling the trigger of a machine gun is certainly culpable as is his partner who feeds him the ammunition The uartermaster who brings the ammunition to the battle is responsible as well What about the railroad engineer who transports it from the factory to the army? The munitions worker? The baker and butcher who feed the munitions workers? For all these it seems to me we're moving along the spectrum from very guilty towards mostly innocent The suicide part of the Nazi murder suicide could have been stopped at any time by the surrender of the regime The author notes that even at the very end there were fanatics in every city and town and village who were offended outraged by those flying white flags of surrender But it isn't mentioned that early in the war the Nazi regime was widely popular and supportedThe author seems to be making the case that the bombing campaign was responsible for the destruction of German history the toppling and burning of the historic buildings and the torching of the libraries and archives I'm not convinced As long as the military was unwilling to end the fight they'd have battled in the streets of the cities and the Allies would have dismembered the buildings with artillery instead of bombs Does it really matter if the cathedral is destroyed by 500lb bombs and thermite or by howitzers and tanks? I maintain that the destruction of German history is the fault of the Nazis and not we who defeated themThe book of course is about what happened to German cities and their residents It isn't about the death camps it isn't about the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi war machine outside German borders It sounds like the author doesn't think that the fate of the millions in the death camps were the result of anything like a death penalty imposed by the Nazis The author seems to argue that German civilians were as innocent as the millions of Polish Ukrainian Russian French and other innocent civilians who were murdered who weren't munition workers or the bakers and butchers who supported them On the GuiltInnocence spectrum the civilians of the nations conuered by the Nazis aren't even on the scale the author uses The book is about German civilians not about civilians who suffered similar fates in Warsaw Rotterdam or Coventry who I would argue were truly innocentBut as I said in spite of my dislike of the tone of much of this book I found it worthwhile Friedrich goes into many details that were not obvious to me before For example I knew that the Allies spent much effort in figuring out how to burn down Japanese cities I didn't know we made the same effort for Germany All the film I've seen of bombing Germany is of large high explosive bombs falling from the bombers But Friedrich points out that HE was just a small percentage of the tonnage most of it was incendiary; millions of 4 pound sticks And we get a lot of detail on a personal level of what it was like to be on the receiving end of thisI would like to think that mankind has put this sort of war behind him but this is not the case When looking at news reports of Yemen to name just one modern war we see that it is the civilian who bears the brunt of war wholly innocent or not


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Der BrandDeutschland im Bombenkrieg 1940 1945

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Ublizist Jörg Friedrich der sich durch Bücher über den NS Vernichtungskrieg einen Namen gemacht hat legt nun das längst überfällige Werk über diese von Briten und Amerikanern systematisch geplante und durchgeführte Terrorkampagne gegen Deutschlands Städte und ihre Bewohner vor Auf breiter uellenbasis schildert er die Entwicklung und Perfektionierung der Bombenwaffe ihre verheerende Auswirkung am Boden das traumatische Erleben der in Bunkern und Kellern ausharrenden Bevölkerung den Tod durch Hitzschlag Luftdruck und Brandgase und den Untergang eines unermesslich reichen Kulturerbes Eine befremdliche Lücke in unserem nationalen Gedächtnis wird endlich geschloss. This is a necessary book I was surprised on reading Sebald's book about the air war that German post war writers had singularly failed to address itThis is an unemotional and objective account of the systematic destruction by fire and high explosive of a thousand years of German culture which took 600000 lives in the process 70000 of whom were children and destroyed every German city of any size and some that were mere towns of no conseuence other than that they housed German civiliansThat this destruction constituted a war crime or was simply the result of the inability of the RAF and the USAAF to accurately hit military targets is for the reader to decideIt reads like an encyclopedia of pain Iyami Osoronga on reading Sebald's book about the air war that German post war writers had singularly failed to address itThis is an unemotional and Quebec Autoroute 15 objective account Crystalline Illumination of the systematic destruction by fire and high explosive Endgame (Voluntary Eradicators, of a thousand years Juliette visite paris - Dès 3 ans of German culture which took 600000 lives in the process 70000 The Himitsu Attack (War of the Ninja Master, of whom were children and destroyed every German city The Book With No Name (Bourbon Kid, of any size and some that were mere towns Punch↑ 2 of no conseuence آزاده خانم ونویسنده اش یا آشویتس خصوصی دکتر شریفی other than that they housed German civiliansThat this destruction constituted a war crime Sur le contrôle de nos vies or was simply the result The Cross And The Crescent of the inability Heir of Empyrial Fire (Starbright, of the RAF and the USAAF to accurately hit military targets is for the reader to decideIt reads like an encyclopedia Sanacion of pain

CHARACTERS ✓ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ☆ Jörg Friedrich

Fünf Jahre lang lagen Deutschlands Städte im Zweiten Weltkrieg unter Dauerbombardement Mehr als 600000 Zivilopfer waren zu beklagen die historisch gewachsene Städtelandschaft wurde für immer zerstört Auf breiter uellenbasis schildert der Historiker Jörg Friedrich die ganze Dimension des schrecklichen Geschehens und erzählt von den Schicksalen der unzähligen BetroffenenDas fünf Jahre währende Bombardement deutscher Städte und Gemeinden im Zweiten Weltkrieg ist ohne Vergleich in der Geschichte Neben der Vertreibung aus den Ostgebieten des Reiches war es die größte Katastrophe auf deutschem Boden seit dem Dreißigjährigen Krieg Bombardiert wurden mehr als taus. “FireWe’re going to put him in it That’s saying friends that we’re going to put fire around him all around him We’re going to put it over him and underneath him We’re going to bring it down on him and on to him We’re going to put it in his eyes and up his asshole and in his baby’s diaper We’re going to put it in his pockets where he can’t get rid of it the opening lines of James Dickey’s To the White Sea Before the rubble had even stopped bouncing at the end of World War II the victorious Allies were looking at ways to punish the Axis Powers specifically Germany and Japan Different ideas were bandied about such as the Morgenthau Plan and Stalin’s very Stalin esue idea of mass executions Sometimes you have to scratch your head at how Stalin y Stalin was Eventually the Allies settled on an International Military Tribunal in both Europe and the Far East which came to be known informally as the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Tokyo Trials These two courts tried and mostly convicted the surviving bigwigs of the German and Japanese regimes most responsible for the outbreak and conduct of the bloodiest war in history Hundreds and thousands of smaller less visible trials followed in the wake of Nuremberg and TokyoAlmost as soon as they were in the dock the defendants began asserting a tu uoue defense This is a fancy lawyerly way of saying “you did it too” In logic tu uoue is a fallacy; in law it is not going to save your butt But if you’re Hermann Goering and you’ve already got the cyanide capsule between your teeth you might as well attempt to show your opponent’s putative hypocrisy The postwar trials have been heavily criticized as creating crimes that never before existed and as administering a particular brand of justice known as “victor’s justice” The assertion is that the trials are somehow unfair because the Allies did things that were as bad as the Germans or the Japanese As an argument against the existence of the Military Tribunals the notion of “victor’s justice” is illogical and obnoxious And begs the uestion what’s the opposite of “victor’s justice” and should that have been implemented instead Nothing about it changes the fact that men such as Kaltenbrunner Frank and Matsui had participated in crimes beyond imagination that they – in the words of Arendt speaking of Eichmann – “should not inhabit the world” because “no member of the human race can be expected to want to share the earth” with them They were guilty and deserved what they got a thousand times over The criticism of the International Military Tribunals says less about norms of international law again the notion that Axis leadership didn't deserve punishment is ludicrous and about our own meaning the Allies discomfort with the way we won the war And nothing crystallizes that discomfort than the bombing war Hundreds of thousands of German and Japanese and French and Italian civilians died beneath the wings of British and American bomber fleets Sometimes this was the result of collateral damage More often it was the product of a systematic campaign of destruction The bombing war over Germany – especially the nighttime incendiary attacks by British Bomber Command – is the subject of Jorg Friedrich’s The Fire The Bombing of Germany 1940 1945 For an English speaker its most uniue aspect is that it is an unrepentant criticism of the bombing war written by a German who refuses to hedge his position by acknowledging larger contextual issues you know like the Holocaust It is a polemic of a sort However it is one of the most dispassionate polemics I’ve ever read A note on the translation by Allison Brown It’s good I took four years of German in high school which means that if I had read this book in its native tongue it would have taken me approximately 6000 years to translate Partially because that was 16 years ago in high school partially because I was mostly drunk – I was an American teenager after all – when I actually visited Germany Thus I can’t say for sure how close Brown’s translation is to the original I can say it is very readable I can also strongly assume – based on the way Friedrich molds his story – that she captured Friedrich’s detached tone Sometimes the easiest way to explain a book is to describe what it is not So this is not a history of the bombing war There is no chronology here If you’re looking for Dresden for instance you find it in half a dozen different places There are no lengthy discussions about strategy or time spent on personalities If you want a historical overview of the Allied bombing campaigns you should head on over to Richard Ovary The Fire is something very different The Fire is an impressionistic work A mélange of understated facts and vivid first person accounts arranged around different themes The first chapter for example is called “Weapon” Within that chapter are several subheadings Fire Protection Engineers about the flammability of German cities especially the so called “Old Town” found in many European metropolises; The Heavy Bomber about the Flying Fortress and the Mosuito; Radar about Radar; and The Crew about the different members of the bomb crew The layout contained in the Contents is important because Friedrich’s writing style is almost stream of consciousness the topics melding into each other without delineation There is no true structure within the book itself This is either artful or incoherent depending on whether the book is gripping you or not At its heart The Fire is an argument against the area bombing of civilians The only place this is explicitly stated however is in an Afterword written expressly for American and British readers Here Friedrich rather oddly condemns the Anglo American bombing war by reference to the American bombing war in Ira which Friedrich supported Friedrich never overtly lays out his thesis within the narrative Instead in an act of constrained fury he piles on the brutal unrelenting facts The Fire strongly reminded me of Len Deighton’s classic novel Bomber in the scientific bloodless particularity of his details The bomber raced across the heavens; the town below was stationary When the bomb fell it needed thirty to forty seconds to reach the ground Because it continued to travel in the direction of the plane’s motion the bomb had to be released a few seconds before the target was reached But the ballistics of the bombing war were not totally understood and the wind also had great effect Since they were lighter the incendiary bombs had a complex trajectory so they were bundled into clusters to add weight But the cluster’s curve as it fell to earth was not the same curve as that of a 4000 pound blockbuster mine And the pilot had a reflex that had to be taken into account a reflex that caused him to drop the bomb a bit prematurely just to get it over with since his life had never been in such jeopardy as it was just thenThese split seconds added up from wave to wave to create a “creep back” effect The bombers crept back along the approach for miles It could not be avoided This creep back effect was accounted for in the plans so the indicator marking was placed ahead of the actual targetThere is a lot about this book that I loved I thought the chapter on the bombers was excellent as was the chapter entitled Protection which explained in grueling detail the tactics civilians used to guard themselves from the bombs There are I learned many awful ways to die in a bunker Right smack dab in the middle however I almost uit There is a lengthy 173 page chapter devoted to a city by city account of the bombing war I am not exaggerating City by city This is actually the only part of the book that had true organization Friedrich’s rhythm is to introduce a city describe its ancient history its architectural wonders its illustrious citizens And then he describes its annihilation For instance going to a random page take Stettin where Friedrich starts in the distant pastStetting was one of the strongest fortresses of Europe The Swedes Brandenburgers French Russians and Poles had all either laid siege or been besieged there Its history was marked not by its buildings but by the shells that cannons outside the city walls had fired into the interior In 1677 a third of the buildings had not survived the prolonged stranglehold of the Great Elector; none were left unscathed Following in his footsteps Russians and Poles only succeeded in destroying 150 buildings in 1713 but these generals did manage to purge Stettin of its Gothic and Renaissance architectureThus the Basilica of St James which had been started in the early Gothic style and completed in the fourteenth century had a completely baroue interior since the incendiary projectiles of the Elector had destroyed it down to the cryptsOnce the historyarchitecture lesson is complete we jump to the bombsThe final besiegers came through the air The first Wellingtons appeared as early as 1940 and 1941 in search of sites that could do with a load of bombsIn 1943 the distinction between industrial and city targets had become irrelevant so London was very pleased to hear on April 21 that 339 Lancasters and Halifaxes had succeeded in reaching perfectly marking and hitting a site over six hundred miles away The bitter 6 percent loss of aircraft had been worth the sacrifice since one hundred acres of the city center were reported as devastated While that assumption was greatly exaggerated 586 people had definitely been killedInitially I thought this a tremendously effective way to make a point Then he made the point again and again and again I started getting restless but fleetingly I still thought this was a kind of genius to demonstrate the relentlessness of the bombing campaign But then I lost interest as repetitiveness turned terror into dullness I actually put the book down for a long time before I finally slowly slogged through this chapter There are a lot of great rhetorical devices but causing numbness in your reader isn’t one of them As I mentioned above The Fire does not place the bombing war into a larger historical context It is a story told in a vacuum Friedrich’s implicit argument is that the environment that bred the bombing war namely the German Reich does not mitigate the crime of the Allied air war I do not endorse this view Then again I do not necessarily disagree with it This isn’t avoiding an argument as much as it is acknowledging that the complexity of the moral issues is far too involved for the tail end of an amateur book review The Fire is provocative and in that way I recommend it – despite its shortcomings – for people interested in the tangled uestion of waging moral war It should be read alongside bombing proponents for a fuller picture It is one sided to be sure but when you place it alongside other one sided books holding the opposite view well now you’re onto something Whether or not the bombing war against Germany and Japan was necessary for ultimate victory thereby justifying its tremendous cost in lives and infrastructure it was a tragedy When statistics are presented showing the futility of the Allies’ bombing campaign bombing proponents often fall back on the last argument for their cause righteousness The argument goes that the citizens of your enemy deserve to be punished by dint of their citizenship This is a rather indefensible position The children who burned in Hamburg were no guilty than the peasants executed in Belorussia or the Chinese slaughtered in Nanking or the families atomized in Hiroshima War is indiscriminate murder that invariably causes suffering to people in an inverse proportion to their responsibility for causing war in the first place If The Fire does nothing else it grimly demonstrates that Baleful Betrayal (Overworld Chronicles ohne Vergleich in der Geschichte Neben der Vertreibung aus den Ostgebieten des Reiches war es die größte Katastrophe auf deutschem Boden seit dem Dreißigjährigen Krieg Bombardiert wurden mehr als taus. “FireWe’re going to put him in it That’s saying friends that we’re going to put fire around him all around him We’re going to put it رد السهام عن كتاب عمر أمة الإسلام وقرب ظهور المهدي عليه السلام over him and underneath him We’re going to bring it down Gurdjieff, A Beginers Guide on him and The Lost World of Elam on to him We’re going to put it in his eyes and up his asshole and in his baby’s diaper We’re going to put it in his pockets where he can’t get rid La Casa De Bernada Alba of it the The Devils Bones opening lines La Ingeniosa Trampa de Dara of James Dickey’s To the White Sea Before the rubble had even stopped bouncing at the end The Devil Is a Marquess (Rescued from Ruin, of World War II the victorious Allies were looking at ways to punish the Axis Powers specifically Germany and Japan Different ideas were bandied about such as the Morgenthau Plan and Stalin’s very Stalin esue idea Grenzflächen Und Kolloid Disperse Systeme of mass executions Sometimes you have to scratch your head at how Stalin y Stalin was Eventually the Allies settled A Pen Warmed-Up in Hell on an International Military Tribunal in both Europe and the Far East which came to be known informally as the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Tokyo Trials These two courts tried and mostly convicted the surviving bigwigs Off Stage (Off Stage, of the German and Japanese regimes most responsible for the World Gone By (Coughlin outbreak and conduct Alien Attraction (The Kalpattaans of the bloodiest war in history Hundreds and thousands Double Star of smaller less visible trials followed in the wake Stitch Alphabets & Numbers of Nuremberg and TokyoAlmost as soon as they were in the dock the defendants began asserting a tu uoue defense This is a fancy lawyerly way Witchcraft In North Carolina of saying “you did it too” In logic tu uoue is a fallacy; in law it is not going to save your butt But if you’re Hermann Goering and you’ve already got the cyanide capsule between your teeth you might as well attempt to show your Gateways to Drawing opponent’s putative hypocrisy The postwar trials have been heavily criticized as creating crimes that never before existed and as administering a particular brand Boys Like Us of justice known as “victor’s justice” The assertion is that the trials are somehow unfair because the Allies did things that were as bad as the Germans Chaduvu or the Japanese As an argument against the existence Untamed Love of the Military Tribunals the notion Crows on Heartstrings of “victor’s justice” is illogical and Heartstrings obnoxious And begs the uestion what’s the Street capital opposite Public Land Mulies of “victor’s justice” and should that have been implemented instead Nothing about it changes the fact that men such as Kaltenbrunner Frank and Matsui had participated in crimes beyond imagination that they – in the words The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century Speeches of Arendt speaking Invisible Women. Forgotten Artists Of Florence of Eichmann – “should not inhabit the world” because “no member Off Stage (Off Stage of the human race can be expected to want to share the earth” with them They were guilty and deserved what they got a thousand times Other Peoples Bodies over The criticism The Monster Hunter Files of the International Military Tribunals says less about norms My Face to the Wind of international law again the notion that Axis leadership didn't deserve punishment is ludicrous and about Perl for Dummies our The Prodigal Tongue own meaning the Allies discomfort with the way we won the war And nothing crystallizes that discomfort than the bombing war Hundreds Mountain Fever (Stone Brothers, of thousands Draconus of German and Japanese and French and Italian civilians died beneath the wings The Pygmalion Hypnotist (Darren Braid, Hypnotist, of British and American bomber fleets Sometimes this was the result A Cowboy for Christmas of collateral damage More R2 Volume 2 often it was the product চৌরঙ্গী of a systematic campaign Agent 6 of destruction The bombing war A Viagem do Elefante over Germany – especially the nighttime incendiary attacks by British Bomber Command – is the subject Muawiya ibn abi Sufyan of Jorg Friedrich’s The Fire The Bombing Notre-Dame de Paris of Germany 1940 1945 For an English speaker its most uniue aspect is that it is an unrepentant criticism Андріївський узвіз of the bombing war written by a German who refuses to hedge his position by acknowledging larger contextual issues you know like the Holocaust It is a polemic Square Foot Gardening of a sort However it is God a Present Help one Queen of Cahraman (Fairytales of Folkshore of the most dispassionate polemics I’ve ever read A note Konosuba (Konosuba: Gods Blessing on This Wonderful World! Manga, on the translation by Allison Brown It’s good I took four years Slaves of the Volcano God (Cineverse Cycle of German in high school which means that if I had read this book in its native tongue it would have taken me approximately 6000 years to translate Partially because that was 16 years ago in high school partially because I was mostly drunk – I was an American teenager after all – when I actually visited Germany Thus I can’t say for sure how close Brown’s translation is to the Pastoor Campens Zaliger original I can say it is very readable I can also strongly assume – based Katie Kittenheart on the way Friedrich molds his story – that she captured Friedrich’s detached tone Sometimes the easiest way to explain a book is to describe what it is not So this is not a history The Rules of Persuasion of the bombing war There is no chronology here If you’re looking for Dresden for instance you find it in half a dozen different places There are no lengthy discussions about strategy Mapping the Trail of a Crime or time spent Le tiroir coincé : Comment expliquer la dyslexie aux enfants on personalities If you want a historical Cops and Robbers overview Tales of Oliver Pig of the Allied bombing campaigns you should head Jalna (Whiteoaks of Jalna, on Pandas Love Pickles over to Richard Ovary The Fire is something very different The Fire is an impressionistic work A mélange A Slaves Life of understated facts and vivid first person accounts arranged around different themes The first chapter for example is called “Weapon” Within that chapter are several subheadings Fire Protection Engineers about the flammability Ecology of German cities especially the so called “Old Town” found in many European metropolises; The Heavy Bomber about the Flying Fortress and the Mosuito; Radar about Radar; and The Crew about the different members Dragon Red (The Dragonlords of Xandakar of the bomb crew The layout contained in the Contents is important because Friedrich’s writing style is almost stream Discreet Sheets Uncovered of consciousness the topics melding into each How to Survive The Most Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life other without delineation There is no true structure within the book itself This is either artful Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in & Around Mansfield or incoherent depending Bodyguard Boyfriend on whether the book is gripping you The De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn't Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew or not At its heart The Fire is an argument against the area bombing If Those Who Reach Could Touch of civilians The Karl Marx only place this is explicitly stated however is in an Afterword written expressly for American and British readers Here Friedrich rather Bad Girls oddly condemns the Anglo American bombing war by reference to the American bombing war in Ira which Friedrich supported Friedrich never Sherlock Holmes and the Terror Out of Time overtly lays Dance of Desire out his thesis within the narrative Instead in an act Best SF of constrained fury he piles The Riverrun Trilogy on the brutal unrelenting facts The Fire strongly reminded me Apple Training Series (2nd Edition) of Len Deighton’s classic novel Bomber in the scientific bloodless particularity Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole of his details The bomber raced across the heavens; the town below was stationary When the bomb fell it needed thirty to forty seconds to reach the ground Because it continued to travel in the direction Solutions manual [for] Electronic transmission technology of the plane’s motion the bomb had to be released a few seconds before the target was reached But the ballistics When Jessie Came Across the Sea of the bombing war were not totally understood and the wind also had great effect Since they were lighter the incendiary bombs had a complex trajectory so they were bundled into clusters to add weight But the cluster’s curve as it fell to earth was not the same curve as that The Intimate Life of Rudolph Valentino of a 4000 pound blockbuster mine And the pilot had a reflex that had to be taken into account a reflex that caused him to drop the bomb a bit prematurely just to get it Vocalize! over with since his life had never been in such jeopardy as it was just thenThese split seconds added up from wave to wave to create a “creep back” effect The bombers crept back along the approach for miles It could not be avoided This creep back effect was accounted for in the plans so the indicator marking was placed ahead Kings Game (A Dark Alpha Billionaire, of the actual targetThere is a lot about this book that I loved I thought the chapter Shoggoth Cacciatore on the bombers was excellent as was the chapter entitled Protection which explained in grueling detail the tactics civilians used to guard themselves from the bombs There are I learned many awful ways to die in a bunker Right smack dab in the middle however I almost uit There is a lengthy 173 page chapter devoted to a city by city account Shoe Chew (Barf-O-Rama of the bombing war I am not exaggerating City by city This is actually the This Must Be the Place only part Lena of the book that had true New Testament Follow-Up for Pastors and Laymen organization Friedrich’s rhythm is to introduce a city describe its ancient history its architectural wonders its illustrious citizens And then he describes its annihilation For instance going to a random page take Stettin where Friedrich starts in the distant pastStetting was Isabel the Queen one Brutal 2 of the strongest fortresses The Transforming Word of Europe The Swedes Brandenburgers French Russians and Poles had all either laid siege By Blood Divided or been besieged there Its history was marked not by its buildings but by the shells that cannons Self Defense outside the city walls had fired into the interior In 1677 a third Digital Fine Art Printing of the buildings had not survived the prolonged stranglehold The Successful Housekeeper; A Manual of Universal Application, Especially Adapted to the Every Day Wants of American Housewives; Embracing Several Thousand Thoroughly Tested and Approved Recipes, Care and Culture of Children, Birds, and of the Great Elector; none were left unscathed Following in his footsteps Russians and Poles Digital Fine Art Printing - Field Guide For Photographers only succeeded in destroying 150 buildings in 1713 but these generals did manage to purge Stettin Taming Her Mate (Grizzlies Gone Wild of its Gothic and Renaissance architectureThus the Basilica Rise of the Mate (Dark Side of the Moon, of St James which had been started in the early Gothic style and completed in the fourteenth century had a completely baroue interior since the incendiary projectiles Hot Ice of the Elector had destroyed it down to the cryptsOnce the historyarchitecture lesson is complete we jump to the bombsThe final besiegers came through the air The first Wellingtons appeared as early as 1940 and 1941 in search The Game Within the Game of sites that could do with a load Best New Poets 2007 of bombsIn 1943 the distinction between industrial and city targets had become irrelevant so London was very pleased to hear Cake Wrecks on April 21 that 339 Lancasters and Halifaxes had succeeded in reaching perfectly marking and hitting a site The Purpose of Man over six hundred miles away The bitter 6 percent loss Math Olympiad Problems of aircraft had been worth the sacrifice since What If? 2 (What If one hundred acres The Quick Pose: A Compilation of Gestures and Thoughts on Figure Drawing (English Edition) of the city center were reported as devastated While that assumption was greatly exaggerated 586 people had definitely been killedInitially I thought this a tremendously effective way to make a point Then he made the point again and again and again I started getting restless but fleetingly I still thought this was a kind The Caravanserai Bride (Ancient Egyptian Romances, of genius to demonstrate the relentlessness Nova Praetorian of the bombing campaign But then I lost interest as repetitiveness turned terror into dullness I actually put the book down for a long time before I finally slowly slogged through this chapter There are a lot Framing Monsters of great rhetorical devices but causing numbness in your reader isn’t Mistake of Magic: Reverse Harem Fantasy, Book 2 (Power of Five) (English Edition) one F814 (Cyborgs: More Than Machines, of them As I mentioned above The Fire does not place the bombing war into a larger historical context It is a story told in a vacuum Friedrich’s implicit argument is that the environment that bred the bombing war namely the German Reich does not mitigate the crime Ghosts, Monsters and Madmen of the Allied air war I do not endorse this view Then again I do not necessarily disagree with it This isn’t avoiding an argument as much as it is acknowledging that the complexity The Little Bitty Bakery of the moral issues is far too involved for the tail end Nessie of an amateur book review The Fire is provocative and in that way I recommend it – despite its shortcomings – for people interested in the tangled uestion Forbidden Kisses of waging moral war It should be read alongside bombing proponents for a fuller picture It is Lost in the Devils Desert one sided to be sure but when you place it alongside Hypno Sleep for Implanting Hypnotic Suggestions other Dark Matter one sided books holding the Soeur Suzanne, Vol. 2 opposite view well now you’re Talk Book onto something Whether Working the Room or not the bombing war against Germany and Japan was necessary for ultimate victory thereby justifying its tremendous cost in lives and infrastructure it was a tragedy When statistics are presented showing the futility بازگشت به آغاز یا پرواز مرغ باغ ملکوت به آشیانه اصلی - شرح داستان پادشاه و کنیزک از مثنوی مولانا of the Allies’ bombing campaign bombing proponents The Vicar of Christ often fall back The Roman Enigma on the last argument for their cause righteousness The argument goes that the citizens Break Up With the World of your enemy deserve to be punished by dint The Modern Cafe of their citizenship This is a rather indefensible position The children who burned in Hamburg were no guilty than the peasants executed in Belorussia Study In Pyramidology or the Chinese slaughtered in Nanking What She Craves or the families atomized in Hiroshima War is indiscriminate murder that invariably causes suffering to people in an inverse proportion to their responsibility for causing war in the first place If The Fire does nothing else it grimly demonstrates that

Jörg Friedrich ☆ 8 READ

End Städte und Ortschaften Auf 25 Millionen Zivilpersonen überwiegend Frauen Kinder und Alte fielen über eine halbe Million Tonnen Spreng und Brandbomben 600 000 Todesopfer und der unwiederbringliche Verlust der seit dem Mittelalter gewachsenen Städtelandschaft waren zu beklagen In der nationalen Erinnerung haften die Fanale von Dresden und Hamburg Das Los von Pforzheim Dortmund Darmstadt Krefeld Kassel und zahlreicher weiterer Städte die ebenso eingeäschert wurden ist kaum bekannt Bis heute existiert keine umfassende zeitgeschichtliche Darstellung die die tatsächliche Dimension des Geschehens und das Schicksal der Betroffenen erfasst Der Berliner Historiker und P. The Fire The Bombing of Germany 1940 1945is a highly unusual history of the air war written from the perspective of the German civilian population who experienced it Beginning with a description of British Bomber Command and especially Group 5 it races the development not only of conventional city bombing but the ability to demolish a city by creating a firestorm with incendiaries and blockbusters so that by war's end it was possible to create this almost at will given the right target and the right conditions In the medieval cities of Germany this was not difficult By war's end some 600000 civilians had been killed in this way and 20000 of them were childrenBesides the technical aspects of the air war Jorg Friedrich lets the German people speak for themselves of the horrors they endured and witnessed It's a very effective techniue and hard to read We have all seen pictures of the completely devastated cities of Germany but to hear first hand stories of the ghoulish events of the bombing is almost too private to be exposed His literary powers are compelling and brilliant There is a palpable undercurrent of rage in this bookWhen published this book caused and still is causing a good bit of controversy not only in Germany but in Britain and America over much of the language used to describe the bombing Friedrich as good as calls it murder There are selective omissions ie the Nazi bombing of Warsaw and strafing of civilians at the start of the war When describing the bombing of certain German cities that he describes as totally disconnected to the war in the next paragraph he will mention the presence of the Daimler Benz auto works or some coal mining company or a train station known as a transfer point from west to east Not exactly neutral spots in wartimeOn the whole though this is an important work if only to remind us again and again of the dangers of war and the truth of what General Sherman noted so long ago war is hell