THIS week the media are reporting on the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden. Between February 13 and 15, 1945, the RAF and USAAF dropped over a thousand tons of incendiary and high explosive bombs on this historic city creating a firestorm.

The action, which devastated the city and killed many thousands of civilians, has been condemned as totally unnecessary as the European war was only a few weeks away from ending in May.

However, other sources explain why the raid was vital to clear the way for advancing Russian armies.

It is agreed that Dresden was both strongly defended, constituted a major military transportation hub, and housed over 100 war industries including the factories which manufactured torpedoes, submarine parts, optical systems for targeting devices, and detonators. Many started working again days after the raid.

Controversy will always rage when the subject of Dresden is raised.

DW Lacey, Durham.