It's the 70th anniversary of one of the darkest days of the Second World War, when Allied planes bombed the medieval German of city of Dresden into oblivion. To commemorate this tragic event, a photographer has revisited the sites to compare archived historical photos with present day scenes.

Top image: William Vandevert/The LIFE Picture Collection/Sean Gallup/Getty Images

These images were created by Getty Images's photographer Sean Gallup.

Richard Peter Sr/Archive Photos/Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In a series of four raids that transpired in the dying days of the Second World War, Allied bombers comprised of British and U.S. forces dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on Dresden. The ensuing firestorm consumed over 1,600 acres of the city center, killing an estimated 22,7000 to 25,000 in the process. Many of those killed were refugees who were fleeing military actions elsewhere in Germany.

Fred Ramage/Keystone/Sean Gallup/Getty Images

It's one of the most notorious and controversial operations conducted by the Allies, who claimed the city was a military and industrial target. Critics contend it was a cultural landmark with no military significance, and that the bombing was indiscriminate and disproportionate.

Fred Ramage/Keystone/Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Regardless, Dresden, along with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have come to symbolize the awful development in 20th century warfare, wherein no distinction is made between civilians and soldiers.

Advertisement

This is just a small sampling; you can see many more of Gallup's photos at The Telegraph.