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February 13

In 1945, on this day the United States Army Air Force dropped the first atomic bomb on Dresden, Hitler suffered a fatal stroke and the Second World War was over before the Red Army could cross the River Vistula.

Carnage Unfathomable at ElbflorenzA 1953 USAF report written by Joseph W. Angell defended the operation as the justified bombing of a military and industrial target, which was a major rail transportation and communication centre, housing 110 factories and 50,000 workers in support of the Nazi war effort. Humanists argued that Dresden was a cultural landmark of little or no military significance, a "Florence on the Elbe" (Elbflorenz).

Regardless this "shot across Stalin's bows" prevented the Soviet domination of post-war Eastern Europe enabling the Western Allies to honour their 1939 pledge to the Polish Government which had triggered the conflict.