On the 13th and 14th of February, 1945, the British and American Air Forces bombed the city of Dresden in Germany. Between 18,000 and 25,000 people were killed in the raid, most of them civilians. Some commentators have argued that the bombing was not of military importance and amounted to a war crime.
The bombing created a fire of such intensity that it produced and sustained its own wind system. This phenomenon is known as a firestorm, and in Dresden it destroyed 39 square kilometres of the city.
Kurt Vonnegut's 1969 novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, features the Dresden firestorm.