After suffering heavy losses of aircraft during attacks on German factories, Winston Churchill orders cities to be targeted in order to smash German morale and reduce the number of workers available for the Nazi war machine. Hundreds of thousands of German civilians are killed as incendiary bombs turn the center of cities like Hamburg and Dresden into tornados of fire.
Sixty years later, a new debate is underway over the reasons for this lethal bombing campaign. Were these relentless aerial attacks on German cities, which killed so many and destroyed so much, a necessary tactic in the war against Hitler? Or was it an act of revenge by the British and Americans?
Using rare film footage (much of it in color) and stirring interviews with historians, former bomber pilots and survivors of the destruction, this extraordinary film brings to light the devastating allied air campaign against Nazi Germany.
FACTS ABOUT THE ALLIED BOMBING OF GERMANY:
• 1.4 million bombs were dropped on the Third Reich.
• A firestorm can create winds of 150 mph and temperatures of 1,500°F.
• In combination with massive explosives that would blow the roofs off of buildings, Britain made use of a huge number of incendiary stick bombs that would shoot flames well after the initial explosions, overwhelming German firefighting capabilities.
• Britain raided Germany at night when visibility of their targets were poor, necessitating carpet bombing; America raided by day from above the clouds, with the same effect.
• Firestorms in German cities turned air raid shelters into pressure cookers- the asphalt boiled and fleeing pedestrians were sucked into the conflagration.
• German industrial sites, though bombed repeatedly by the allies, were quickly relocated and rebuilt by the Germans.
Firestorm is also available as part of the collection Inside the Third Reich.