I don't know any serious post war sources that claim half a million casualties. It is common to estimate a minimum of 18.000 and a max. of 25.000 - so whats the fuzz about? Flattening a complete town is a cruel thing even though it was full of f*cking Nazis. I know a short novel from a jewish girl who was living in Dresden hidden in a basement and who suffered bad fear that night.
Egypt to hold parliamentary election in 2 phases starting Oct 18-19 (Reuters)
from the article: Did Nazis exaggerate death toll in WWII Dresden air raid?