Recently discovered film shows an unrepentant Air Marshall Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris saying ‘he would have destroyed Dresden again’

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“Recently discovered film shows an unrepentant Air Marshall Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris saying ‘he would have destroyed Dresden again'”

30 years after the end of the second world war, the former head of RAF Bomber Command during the conflict, gave a recorded interview with Air Vice Marshal Tony Mason. The tape of that interview was found in 2013.

Sir Arthur Harris or ‘Bomber Harris’ as he became known, was the architect behind the mass air raids over the cities of Germany. Over 1,000 bombers at a time would hit the targets in these mass raids. The result was carnage and devastation the likes of which had never been seen before. Koln, Essen, Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden were all hit by these raids. The cities were reduced to rubble and tens of thousands of Germans were killed.

It was orginally reported through Nazi propaganda at the time, that 250,000 civilians had perished in the raids on Dresden, the official figure was later reduced to 25,000.

Because of the high casualty rate among the civilian population, and the indiscriminate bombing hitting civilian targets as well as military and transport installation, many have since branded Harris as the architect of a ‘mass murder’. Many others, since the devastation wreaked on Germany’s cities and the resulting loss of morale and thirst for war from the German people, undoubtedly played some part in shortening the conflict, backed Harris’s  methods.

In this film, Harris who died in 1984, defends his actions saying : ‘If I had to have the same time again I would do the same again, but I hope I wouldn’t have to.’

 

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