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Before World War II, Dresden was called “the Florence on the Elbe” and was considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities owing to its architecture and art treasures. During the war, however, it was almost completely destroyed by massive bombing raids that took place on the night of February 13–14, 1945, by an Anglo-American force. The raids obliterated much of Dresden and killed thousands of civilians; various postwar estimates placed the death toll between 35,000 and 135,000 people, but in the early 21st century an official German commission concluded that up to 25,000 had perished. The city continued to be bombarded in raids lasting until April 17, 1945, but little was achieved militarily.
"Dresden." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 23 May. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/171352/Dresden>.
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