On the 13 February 1945 at 10:00pm 800 bombers of the British RAF bomb the German city of Dresden. A firestorm ensued. Oxygen was sucked out of the air. The slaughter was indiscriminate. Men, women, children, babies burned by phosphor. 35,000 people were killed, at a time when the war was already lost by Germany. The war would end three months after the destruction of the city. This documentary traces the invention of aerial bombing as a weapon of war. From the bombing of Guernica on 26 April 1937 by the dreaded Condor Squadron, on loan from Nazi German to Franco to win the Spanish Civil War. From that point on one atrocity followed another. The culmination in World War Two was the bombing of Hamburg and Dresden by the British and United States air forces in World War Two and then the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA. This film ends with VE Day.
The destruction is brutal beyond imagination and stomach churning to watch. On this day at this hour we should remember those millions who have died from the technologies of war, through no fault of their own and at the mercy of cruel and indiscriminate leaders. Those who flew the missions to deliver the bombs were often shocked to see the results of their work, as is expressed by the military survivors who took part in the raids in this film. Aerial bombing has rarely been found to be strategic from a military standpoint. A new survey on the use of aerial bombing during the Vietnam War has seemingly confirmed what many suspected: the massive and systematic bombing of South Vietnam detracted from, rather than furthered, U.S. war aims. The argument that the nuclear attacks on Japan shortened the war is not clearly established, and the attacks were rather a demonstration of destructive power by the USA was a statement to the USSR, which was about to launch attacks through Manchuria into the Korean peninsula when the war was about to end in the Pacific anyway.