Heroes & Villains
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Transcript: Source5

Items from an Air Ministry report on the results of the Dresden raid, 19 April 1945
(Catalogue ref: AIR 34/605)

Source 5a

32/5/549 20 Dec F/24 1115 26000

Source 5b

Dresden
K4171
Dist N. 91c

3189 106G.5023. 22 Mar ‘45. F/36//544

Source 5c

INTERPRETATION REPORT NO. K. 4171

LOCALITY: DRESDEN

PERIOD COVERED: Up to 1500 A hours on 22 MAR 1945

ATTACKS:

  Date S.A. Reported Weather
U.S. 8TH AIR FORCE 7 OCT 44 2823 Clear
U.S. 8TH AIR FORCE 16 JAN 45 3149 Clear
R.A.F. BOMBER COMMAND 13/14 FEB 45 -- Clear to 10/10 Cloud
U.S. 8TH AIR FORCE 14 FEB 45 3207 7Clear
U.S. 8TH AIR FORCE 15 FEB 45 3212 10/10 Cloud
U.S. 8TH AIR FORCE 21 MAR 45 3314 8/10 to 10/10 Cloud

GENERAL STATEMENT:

Damage in the city of Dresden is concentrated and intense and it is estimated that of the fully built-up area, 85% is destroyed. The old town, which comprises the greater part of this area, is almost completely wiped out and the majority of buildings in the inner Suburbs are gutted. In the outer suburbs, however, few buildings have been affected by the attacks and there is practically no scattered damage.

A very large number of industrial concerns in the city have been destroyed or severely damaged, but most of those in the outer industrial areas have escaped. Identification, however, is difficult and only one damage priority target can be definitely located; this is the Chemische Fabric Geye and Co. (Priority 3), makers of poison gases in whose factory approximately one-third of the buildings have been burned to the ground and others gutted. In some other cases provisional identifications have been made where the address of the factory is known. Thus it is probable that one of the three factories belonging

[continues]

Source 5d

to Zeiss Ikon A.G., makers of optical equipment, that in Schandauer Strasse (Priority 1), has been very seriously damaged; that Koch und Sterzel A.G. (Priority 2) makers of electrical and X-ray apparatus has had all buildings except the probable offices gutted; that Seidel u. Nauman (Priority 2) small arms manufacturers, has been slightly damaged; that Anton Reiche A.G. (Priority 3) makers of moulds and metal packings, has been totally destroyed; that Saxoniawerke (Priority 3) making gears and differentials and Gebiuder Bässler A.G. (Priority 3) making electric gauges have been gutted; and that Lehman (Priority 3) making AA and field guns has been considerable damaged. It is emphasised, however, that the identification of these plants is only provisional and is subject to revision if further identification material becomes available. One unrated aircraft component factory in Zwickauer Strasse has been gutted and a second in the same street has one large workshop damaged at several points and a number of small sheds gutted.

Public utilities in the city are quite heavily affected. The gas works (Priority 2) has all its buildings either severely damaged or destroyed and one gas-holder burnt out. Two tram depots, one including fairly extensive work-shops, have suffered considerable damage and a bus station is destroyed. The district heating station in the Alstädt is more than half gutted, and the municipal slaughter house and cattle yard has suffered some damage, one building being almost burnt out.

Damage to tracks in the city marshalling yards had by the date of photography been repaired. Only one or two tracks remain blocked by a few burnt-out wagons. Damage to railway facilities, however, is fairly extensive. Adjoining the main marshalling yard at Fiedrichstadt the large Railway Repair shops (Priority 2) have suffered some damage and in the Loco Depot one round-house has been destroyed and two others and some sheds damaged. At the main Goods Station and the South Goods Station, both at Friedrichstadt, there is almost complete destruction of storage sheds so that of the storage available at the three Goods Depots more than half the sheds have been destroyed. In the Railway workshops at Pieschen (Priority 3), one shed is gutted and another shed half destroyed. All storage buildings and much of the stock in the District Coal Station has been destroyed. All three Passenger Stations in Dresden have suffered damage to buildings and platform coverings.