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Dresden: A Survivor's Story (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, Kindle eBook, 13 Feb 2013
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Length: 39 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1591 KB
  • Print Length: 39 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader; 1 edition (13 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BAWAU5W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This is only the equivalent of 36 print pages in length, but the brevity is part of what makes this account so stunning. The product information sets the scene. Mr Gregg describes the destruction of Dresden in straightforward terms. This is very, very disturbing stuff - but it should be read. I can only imagine that Mr Gregg had the mental fortitude to get through these experiences because six years of war had hardened him to sights of appalling horror. 68 years ago today the Allies launched their attack that killed 25,000 civilians in an inferno that was planned to be totally devastating - and was. Despite Mr Gregg's assertion that he is not a pacifist, this is the most powerful piece of anti-war writing that I have ever read.
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This is a truly shocking first hand account of the events of that terrible night during which Dresden was reduced to ashes. I like the rather naive style of writing, it made me feel as if I were sitting with the author, listening to him first hand. Having read several accounts of the bombing of this city, this certainly is the most disturbing.
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This is a startling piece of humane, autobiographical writing from the perspective of a British army Prisoner of War who was being held in Dresden when the bombing occurred in 1945. Through the experience of being required to assist in the rescue and recovery of civilian victims, the compassion and humanity of the soldier surges into life.The credibilty of the writer's experience is both sobering and inspiring and raises important questions about the nature of war and it excesses.
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Dresden: A Survivor's Story is the brief memoir of Victor Gregg, a British soldier who, at the time the firestorm was ignited, was being held prisoner in Dresden. Managing to escape both the bombs and the prison by sheer good fortune, he then remained for the next few days helping as much as he was able with the immediate rescue efforts. This memoir is written very much as I think it would have been spoken. It is not great literature and there is a sprinkling of typos, but I think it has a far more immediate power through being so direct. I would be interested to learn if an audio version is also to be made available.

Gregg's memories encompass both the mundane and the horrific. He describes scenes that are almost impossible to comprehend and for him and the other witnesses to have lived with the memories of such sights without losing their sanity is incredible. We were taught about WW2 at school, but I don't remember Dresden getting a mention. It doesn't fit with our British view of ourselves as the conquering heroes. Gregg addresses this paradox at the end of his memoir calling for some law to prevent any reoccurrence of such civilian slaughter. In common with my thoughts after having read The Rape Of Nanking, I am left bewildered and horrified at the capability, seemingly existing in all humans, to destroy each other.
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This brief account of the bombing of Dresden gives an insight into the horrors of war. In my opinion it should not provide an opportunity to judge, as war on any scale is far too complex for such determinations. But the reader will be left with a glimpse of both the suffering and indeed the camaraderie that emerges from these dreadful situations. Everyone should read this. Well done Victor your actions make proud to be British.
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By OCBB on 12 April 2015
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This is a must read for everyone. It is one man's account of what he saw and experienced; a testament to the savagery and futility of total war.
Victor Gregg was in Dresden during the atrocity visited upon that city. His account is simple but spares no detail about what he saw. The image which sticks in my mind was when he saw a group of refugees from the fire storm engulfing Dresden trying to cross the road to safety. The road surface had melted and as they tried to cross they got stuck in it like flies on a fly paper. One by one the burst into flames as Gregg and his companions could only watch on in horror helpless to do anything to rescue them.
It was many years before he was able to talk about his experiences from that time; in February 2015 on the 70th anniversary of the bombing he was interviewed on the BBC news.
Then, as in the book, he was scathing about those who ordered the raid, not the bomber crews who carried out the raid. They were only following orders. It was the politicians, notably Churchill and Portal, who ordered it, despite the fact that the ancient and beautiful of Dresden had no strategic importance.
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What can you say about this account?

As a schoolboy I studied the bombing and almost total destruction of Dresden - an historic city with little military value - with horror and shame that my own country - the good guys - had orchestrated such a heinous terror attack.

I share the authors respect for the brave airmen of the RAF and USAF; this was not their crime. But "Bomber" Harris should have been investigatedg for war crimes. Too late for that, but not too late for the UK to issue a formal apology for the destruction of Dresden and the mass slaughter of tens of thousands of innocents.

This short book is a sobering and horrific first hand account of that terrible event. I would suggest that it should be mandatory reading for every school child, but perhaps it is simply too horrific....
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