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Dresden: A Survivor’s Story (Kindle Single), by Victor Gregg
Download PDF Dresden: A Survivor’s Story (Kindle Single), by Victor Gregg
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In Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut fictionalized his time as a prisoner of war in 1945. Vonnegut was imprisoned in a deep cellar in Dresden while a firestorm raged through the city, wiping out generations of innocent lives. Victor Gregg remained above ground. This is his true story.
In four air raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 772 Lancaster bombers of the British Royal Air Force and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on Dresden. The resulting firestorm destroyed 15 square kilometres, or 6 square miles, of the city centre. 25,000 people, mostly civilians, were estimated to have been killed. Post-war discussion of whether or not the attacks were justified has led to the bombing becoming one of the moral issues of the Second World War.
An established soldier turning his uniform to the 10th Parachute Regiment in 1944, Victor Gregg was captured at Arnhem where he volunteered to be sent to a work camp rather than become another faceless number in the huge POW camps. With two failed escape attempts under his belt, Gregg was eventually caught sabotaging a factory and sent for execution.
Gregg’s first-hand narrative, personal and punchy, sees him through the trauma and carnage of the Dresden bombing. After the raid he spent five days helping to recover a city of innocent civilians, thousands of whom had died in the fire storm, trapped underground in human ovens. As order was restored his life was once more in danger and he escaped to the east, spending the last weeks of the war with the Russians.
Harrowing and vivid, Gregg draws us in to the heart-wrenching, often futile attempts to save lives, and the tentative friendships and near-misses along the way.
- Sales Rank: #327255 in eBooks
- Published on: 2013-02-13
- Released on: 2013-02-13
- Format: Kindle eBook
Most helpful customer reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful.
“The sheer horror remains burned into my memory.”
By Amelia Gremelspacher
As survivors of evil grow older, the need to ensure witness intensifies. Gregg is in his nineties, yet he remains haunted by the sights of the Dresden fire bombing. In 1944, successive nights of English bombing destroyed the city and the civilian population of Dresden. Incendiary bombs were then followed by block busters and then fire bombs. The. Author describes the aftermath in great detail. He was there as an English POW. The aftermath is here stipulated in detail.
As every monstrosity of war, this had a reason. Gregg is not a pacifist. He simply makes the point that extreme acts against civilians need to be outlawed, and our only chance of this is to never forget. So I recommend this book for the knowledge it imparts and for the imperative that we bear witness.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful.
The Dresden firebombing as seen through the eyes of an Allied POW
By J. Chambers
I’ve read a number of accounts of the firebombing of Dresden in World War II, but “Dresden: A Survivor’s Story” is the first one by an Allied soldier. Ironically, as a POW charged with sabotaging a factory, British paratrooper Victor Gregg had been sent to Dresden to be executed. When the RAF bombers dropped their bombs on the night of February 13, 1945, Gregg was one of the few Allied prisoners to escape death. Spending the next few days working alongside Germans trying to rescue survivors, he was exposed to the true horrors of the deadly bombing.
His story of that experience is written simply, with no need to embellish the details. In the afterword, the author has a retrospective on the morality of the bombing. Whether you agree with his opinion or not, his story is well worth reading.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
By Berkshire man
The author’s memories of such a big event in WWII was absorbing. It was short, but utterly worth the read. If only more people who witnessed other events would do something like this, so we had the “human” view of the big events.
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