David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. Evans

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(F) Use of unreliable testimony: two United States Strategic Bombing Survey interrogations.

1. In the published account Irving recounted that two German medical officers (Desaga and Hurd) were interrogated by the United States Strategic Bombing Survey on 19 July 1945. They had stated that '"the most badly damaged town in their opinion is Dresden, with an estimated death-roll of 250,000"'142 As usual Irving provided no exact reference and no information as to who these doctors even were. There is no indication that they were in a position to do anything more than repeat rumour and nothing to link their statements to TB 47, other than of course to confirm that it was an effective propaganda figure. It is probably in connection with this source that official USAF historian Joseph W. Angell wrote in a report formulated in 1952 - 1953 (but not declassified until 1970):
The most distorted account of the Dresden bombing - one that may have become the basis of Communist propaganda against the Allies, particularly the Americans, of recent years - was prepared by two former German general officers for the Historical Division, European Command (U.S.A.) in 1948. In this account, the number of dead from the bombings was declared to be 250,000.
2. Angell concluded 'That this figure may be the "probable" number of dead, multiplied by ten for the sake of exaggeration...' by comparing death rolls and physical damage in other German cities.143
3. A second USAF historian wrote an account of the bombing raids on Dresden in 1954, and did not even mention the original United States Strategic Bombing Survey report, preferring rather   to approvingly to cite Rumpf's 60,000 figure as 'closer to the correct figure.'144 Irving's supporting source has thus been decisively described by official USAF historians as unreliable.

Notes

142. Corgi 1966, p. 226.
143. Dresden Updated Material, Josef W. Angell, Historical Analysis of the 14-15 February 1945 Bombings of Dresden, (n.d., n.p.). See further Dresden Updated Material, 'Dresden Raids Shortened War, AF Study Says,' Washington Star, 13 February 1970. Again, if Irving gives credence to this figure, he later quotes an overheard conversation of Karl Bodenschatz, on of Hitler's personal staff, putting the figure at 50,000, but in no way tries to reconcile the two See Focal Point edn., p. 215.
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