Heroes & Villains

Transcript: Source2

Extracts from a report on Dresden prepared by Bomber Command, October 1944
(Catalogue ref: AIR 40/1680)

Source 5a


(i) General

Dresden is the historical capital of Saxony, its present administrative centre, and an industrial centre of considerable importance. It is one of the finest residential cities in Germany. With a population of 650,000 it is the chief centre of a populous belt which extends from north-west to south-east along the river Elbe from MEISSEN to PIRNA.

Based upon the number of persons employed in peace time, the largest single group of industries is the food and luxury trade (tobacco, confectionery etc.), with about 25,000 workers, but the manufacture of machinery and vehicles occupied 17,000 persons, regardless of the manufacture of iron and metal wares, and optical and electrical apparatus, the last occupying 10,000 persons. Other peace-time industries, in addition to light luxury industries, include textiles, glass, paper, rubber and photographic apparatus. The heavier industries are located in the W. and S.W. suburbs of Dresden, and further out in RADEBEUL (38,000 inhabitants), (engineering, rubber); FREITAL (37,000), coal, glass machinery); RADEBURG (16,000), (electrical apparatus, glass, engineering); PIRNA (36,000), (artificial silk, glass, machinery); HEIDENAU (18,000), between Dresden and Pirna (paper, machinery, glass etc.). The industries of Dresden are mainly light industries carried on in small factories, and are not very obtrusive in the aspect of the town except in its Western half.……

Source 5b

Public Buildings.

These cover a considerable area in Dresden and predominate in five districts.

(i) & (ii) Central City Area (ALTSTADT & NEUSTADT) noted above, facing both banks of the river. (Marked 1C. on the map).
(iii) East District on the south side of the river (closely built-up) includes Police Buildings, Law Courts, State Museum of Applied Art, and east of these, hospitals.
(iv) South-East District is the west of the GROSSER GARTEN, an open space 2 kms, by 1km. Here are the modern Exhibition Buildings, including the German Museum of Hygiene.
(v) South District – Technical College and County Courts (Landgericht).
(vi) North District is a very large Barrack Area on the edge of the Woodland. Area, one square mile.

4. Industrial Areas.

The chief industrial areas lie along the railways in the western half of the city and are especially clustered at the inter-section of the railways in the centre of the city.

A congested area of small factories lies immediately south of the railway intersection. It includes the railway goods yards.

Factories line the valley of the WEISSERITZ to the S.W. as far as FREITAL.

A chief industrial area lies between the marshalling yards and the Albert-hafen. It includes a large oil storage depot. The slaughter houses lie near to the river.

An industrial district lies in the north-west on the north side of the river and lies between the river and the railway. The district is closely built-up and is both industrial and residential.

Factories are strung along the railway which runs to the S.E. beginning well to the S.E. of DRESDEN at NIEDERSEDLITZ.

Source 5c