Wartime rewrite

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Alan Clayton may object to accusations of rewriting history (Letters, 14 February), but he is certainly partial, in both senses.

Dresden’s destruction in February 1945 was indeed dreadful, and Churchill later regretted it – but Hitler began that policy in Coventry in 1940. Dresden was an important industrial centre and transport hub; had we intensified such bombing earlier the war might well have been shortened and the USSR kept out of central Europe. Meanwhile, right through until March 1945 Germany was still delaying its inevitable defeat and inflicting enormous damage on London with its V1 flying bomb and V2 rockets.

In his previous letter (10 February), Mr Clayton effectively blamed the UK for the Second World War due to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles (though France’s Clemenceau took a far stronger line than Lloyd George) and ignored the pre-eminent role of Kaiser Wilhelm and the German high command in creating the whole ghastly 20th century in 1914.

Mr Clayton’s denigration of Churchill as “Wartime Winston” and talk of Scotland’s “terrifying three centuries-old nightmare” and the “monster UK” reveal more of his own viewpoint than of objective history. Has he not read Professor Arthur Herman’s The Scottish Enlightenment – the Scots’ invention of the modern world?

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews, Fife