This policy – and it was a deliberate policy – of targeting centres of population in the hope that it would undermine German morale, was sufficiently well known about at the time for many British people to object strongly. This included the writer Vera Brittain, who later wrote about it in her book 'Testament of Experience'. Their protests made no difference whilst the war lasted, though afterwards Arthur 'Bomber' Harris – Commander in Chief of Britain's Bomber Command – was considered by many to have been a war criminal.
Much of this, however, has passed out of general consciousness. Like many people, I had heard of the firebombing of Dresden, but I did not realise that more than twenty German cities had been subjected to similar treatment; nor that civilian casualties were not 'collateral damage' (though at first Churchill's government claimed that this was the case), but that the raids were planned so as to maximise casualties, and also to create an enormous refugee 'problem'. The death and destruction created was several times that caused during the 'blitz' on Britain. In addition, the campaign resulted in so many RAF losses that Harris was known to airmen as 'Butcher' Harris.
Besides reading Vera Brittain's work, I was recently given a copy of a book called 'In Europe' by the Dutch historian and journalist Geert Mak. He provides page after page, chapter after chapter, of grisly details and statistics that confirm the story told in a more emotional vein by Vera Brittain. This includes details of the 'holocaust' and other Nazi atrocities, and none of this is in any way intended to make what was perpetrated by them 'alright'; at the same time, however, the reality of world war two was emphatically not black and white. Pretending that it was encourages the kind of nationalistic arrogance that has raised its ugly head once again in recent years, and which is certainly part of the problem and not part of the solution.