Inside the firestorm

New technology allows scientists to see the forces behind the flames.

  • A model German apartment building goes up in flames during a test of the M-69 incendiary bomb in the 1940s at Dugway Proving Ground, in Utah.

    Standard Oil Development Company
  • A Lancaster plane flies over Hamburg, Germany, in 1943. On the night of July 27, 1943, more than 700 planes dropped bombs that started the Hamburg firestorm.

    Imperial War Museum
  • An aerial view shows ruined buildings in Hamburg, Germany, after the bomb-induced firestorm, in July 1943.

    Imperial War Museum