Bomber Command: Still fighting

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65 years after the end of the Second World Ward, RAF Bomber Command has yet to be given an official public memorial. A legacy, some say, of the controversial area bombing which left German cities in ruins and thousands of their citizens dead.

Sixty five years ago this weekend, RAF Bomber Command carried out one of the most devastating air raids of World War Two.

In two separate attacks, more than 800 bombers dropped more than a thousand tons of incendiary bombs and nearly 1,500 tons of high explosive on Dresden. At least 25,000 people died and one of the Baroque jewels of Europe lay in ruins.

More than 55,000 aircrew lost their lives in the war but no campaign medal was struck for Bomber Command. Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Harris did not receive the peerage awarded to others of similar military rank after the war and it was not until 1992 that a statue of Bomber Harris was erected outside the RAF church, St Clement Dane's, on the Strand.

Since then memorials to the women of World War Two and even animals who served in war have been erected. Now, 65 years after the end of the war, plans are advanced for a permanent memorial to the brave air crews of Bomber Command. Plans will be submitted to Westminster Council for the memorial in Green park in the centre of London.

One of those who survived the attack on Dresden believes the memorial is long over due. Roman Halter, now 82, was working as munitions worker in Dresden at the time of the attack. A Polish Jew, he had survived the Lodz Ghetto and selections at the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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