Where you didn’t want to be

“All across Hamburg, the firestorm sucked air to feed itself. The fire raged three miles up, and winds were moving at 150 miles per hour. As the heat hit clouds overhead, a greasy, black rain started falling. On the ground, the intense heat set many people afire. Many people saved themselves by diving into canals or taking refuge in open spaces like soccer fields. Others survived in public shelters that had gas- and smoke-tight doors. But there were few of those. In most shelters, the firestorm drew out the oxygen and replaced it with carbon monoxide. Others were felled by flying timbers or falling bricks or were even dragged off into burning buildings by the wind. In all, more than 40,000 people perished in the three-hour firestorm.” – David H. Lippman, “Allied Aerial Destruction of Hamburg”

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