The ever expanding estimates of casualties in the Dresden attack started growing in the 1950s. As Dresden became a 'symbol' of the strategic bombing of Germany the numbers kept creeping upward with each breathless writer eager to have and even more 'shocking' number than the last. By the late 1950s numbers had grown by an order of magnitude to 250,000 and by the late 1960s in conjunction with the publication of Vonegut's book, the number 500,000 became popular. The Nazis did release a propaganda increasing the estimate of the dead to 200,000. The wild exaggerations that followed during the Cold War over casualties in Dresden and the number of expected casualties expected in an invasion of Japan were pathological attempts to either justify or condemn depending upon position. A good examination of the joint strategic bombing campaign was published by the USAF Air University Press and is free at http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/aupress/Books/Davis_B99/Davis_B99.pdf
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from the article: Did Nazis exaggerate death toll in WWII Dresden air raid?
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