Prisoner of war Victor Gregg was waiting to be shot dead when British bombs dropped on February 13th 1945 in Dresden.
Instead, he stayed alive to witness the full horrors of the Allied-ordered napalm attack which roasted to death 25,000 in the German city.
At 99, the former British soldier can still see the Dresden sky filled with floating women and children pulled up into the air by a typhoon of flames.
He told ITV News that he can still smell the “rotting flesh” in the rubble and recall the young bodies of children burned into "gooey mess of jelly" by the 1,500C heat of the bombing attack.
"The whole of the centre of Dresden was one big fire bomb and it was increasing by the minute, you never saw any children, the children were all melted."
And 74 years on he still maintains the British-led bombing raid is a war crime for which those who helped win the war, Winston Churchill included, should have been punished.
In the days that followed the attack he worked with Germans to clear the bodies, left lying in the street or incinerated en masse in basements, some of which remained too hot to reach for some weeks.
He maintains the mass killing of women, children and the elderly in Dresden, signed off by the British Prime Minister to pummel the Germans into surrender, was nothing like the Blitz that struck his home city of London.
Mr Gregg said he returned home a “psychopath”, a self-confessed danger to society and all forms of authority that he encountered in the decades afterwards.
He said he was one of a number of “ticking time bombs” of ex-servicemen, long before the term post-traumatic stress disorder was coined or understood.
Now, on the eve of his 100th birthday, he wants future generations to understand what he witnessed.
Mr Gregg gives an eyewitness account of the devastating week in February 1945 in a new book, 'Dresden: A Survivor’s Story'.
He told ITV News: "If I can do any good while I'm still alive, I'll try and do it... whether or not I'm banging by head against a brick wall or not, I don't know."
"Maybe, it will influence people if they believe it", he added.