70th Anniversary of London Blitz (YouTube)
London Blitz: Eyewitness to History
The Blitz: Survivor's Stories from Independent UK
London Blitz from BBC

File:B-17 Flying Fortress.jpg BBC on British Bombing Strategy (Dresden)
History Learning Site: Dresden
POW Bombing Survivor from The Guardian
Eyewitness Account: Margaret Freyer
Bombing of Dresden from History.com
The Tale of Two Cities: London & Dresden

These drawings should look familiar.

They are Kurt Vonnegut's graphs of the shapes of stories.


Today you are going to graph two more stories.

  • The story of the bombing of London.

  • And the story of the bombing of Dresden.


Like Vonnegut's stories, the stories of London and Dresden will be plotted on common X- and a Y-axes.

  • The X-axis, instead of progressing from Beginning to Electricity, will be the reverse: Electricity to Beginning. After all, the bombings of these cities, in essence, unwound time and reduced the manifestations of human achievement (call that electricity) to rubble (call that the beginning).

  • The Y-axis will be a P-H axis with Pragmatism at the top and Humanitarianism at the bottom. You should arrive at an agreement as to the definition of these terms; your group may revise or finesse the definitions as you proceed.

You will use post-its to mark parts of the story along the continuum. Your group can move the post-its as much as you want until you agree on the graphing of the story. Once you have reached consensus, write an explanation of your story directly on the graph. Then we will compare London and Dresden.

When we are done discussing these cities during the war, you will return to our propaganda analysis guide and create the propaganda that the government of the attacked city would use in the wake of the bombing of its city. What does the German government say to the Germans about Dresden? What does the British government say to the Brits about London?