The Astonishing Number of Dead In World War II Air Raids Most Of Us Couldn’t Name.

by Daniel Russ on June 24, 2014


 Wesel, in February 1945 the Allies destroyed 97% of this town, and killed 23,000 civilians



On May 14th, 1940 the Luftwaffe Heinkel bombers killed 850 people and it shocked the world. On April 6th 1941, the Germans bombed Belgrade and killed 17,000 people in one day.


17,000 dead people on one day.


Today this would be a tragedy that would CNN busy for 12 years.


It doesn’t end there, of course because this is World War II and the size of the war was beyond comprehension. On July 28th and 29th of 1943 the Royal Air Force under the orders of Arthur Harris firebombed Hamburg. 42,000 residents died.On February 12, 1943  Allies killed 35,000 people in Dresden and destroyed the town. On March 9th 1945 US bombers firebombed Tokyo and killed as many as 100,000 people in 12 hours.


OK, amortized, the firebombing of Tokyo killed 138 people a minute for 12 hours.


Incinerated, most of them.


As many as 166,000 people died in Hiroshima. As many as 80,000 people died in Nagasaki.


This means the US killed as many as 246,000 people in three days time.


It’s important to get some perspective for a few dead people here and there. Sounds callous doesn’t it? But World War II created death in a fashion few people can comprehend. To kill the amount of people who would otherwise match the population of a small town tells us that compared to World War II, today’s wars are not anywhere near as bad.


It also tells us that we are lucky to be alive now and not then. And it tells us that a lazy media, one that provides little or no analysis is a dangerous horror to all.


 source: The Great Bog Book Of Horrible Things, by Matthew White, Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc. 2011



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