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By Charles Irving

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Extra resources for Apocalypse 1945. The Destruction of Dresden

Sample text

Historians are unanimously incorrect in asserting that this running commentary tactic was an ad hoc emergency measure devised by frantic German defence experts after the success of Window on the first night of the Battle of Hamburg. -.  Hajo Herrmann, holder of the Knight’s Cross, and still alive as the revised edition of this book goes to press, has more recently acted as the author’s brave attorney in many a stiff legal skirmish with the present German authorities – thirty years after these lines were first written.

Before the first waves of bombers had even crossed the Dutch coast, the German ground controller’s running commentary was already suggesting that Berlin was the target. , over half an hour before zero hour, all night fighters were ordered to the capital. M. aircraft were being shot down by the fighter defences all along the route from Hanover into Berlin. The result that night was that Bomber Command mourned its highest loss to date: fifty-six bombers did not return, of which at least thirty-three had fallen to the German fighter defences – no fewer than twenty of these latter over Berlin itself, a most unwelcome innovation for the bomber crews, who expected to be spared this hazard when over the heavy flak areas.

M. on October , , the Duty Officers in these western control bunkers were informed by telephone from the Paris Headquarters of Funkhorchregiment West – the Radio Monitoring Regiment – that the position was ‘Eagles five-hundred’. By monitoring the enemy squadrons warming up their radios prior to take-off they had calculated that there would be approximately five hundred British aircraft operating that night. Soon afterwards a further report arrived, stating that the British Gee radio navigation chain had been switched on for an attack on Germany.

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