One person said “5,000 feet, you’ve got to be kidding.” And another voice called it a suicide mission. In both cases, the Allies claimed the cities were legitimate military targets. Bombing of Tokyo (東京大空襲 Tōkyōdaikūshū), often referred to as a series of firebombing raids, was conducted as part of the air raids on Japan by the United States Army Air Forces during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. American airmen who took part in the 1945 firebombing missions grapple with the particular horror they witnessed being inflicted on those below. But eventually there was enough pressure put on them that they changed their mind. An American aircraft drops napalm on Viet Cong positions in 1965. We were about 200 in. or that of any of the great conflagrations of the western world—London, 1666. . He took out his slide rule and began to calculate the change in weight from the enormous savings in fuel, which would allow the planes to carry more bombs. The key development for the bombing of Japan was the B-29 Superfortress strategic bomber, which had an operational range of 3,250 nautical miles (3,740 mi; 6,020 km) and was capable of attacking at high altitude above 30,000 feet (9,100 m), where enemy defenses were very weak. When we did the firebombings, we were killing civilians. Since we were behind other planes, we ran into smoke clouds that could send you up 20,000 feet with the snap of a finger. After the war, the United States S… They had never seen the “B-sans” so low, nor had they ever seen so many at once. How do the death tolls compare to those of other World War Two bombings? . But if this one works, we will shorten this damned war out here.”. Though the large planes would be perfectly visible then, even at night, the Japanese would be caught off guard. This investigation reported that the death toll from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was 260,000, but the figure was adjusted to an estimated 140,000, following a United Nations report in 1976. The calculations poured onto the paper, and each one reinforced his conclusions. Over sixteen square miles of Tokyo—among the most densely populated sixteen square miles in the world—were destroyed. The firebombing of Tokyo was over 16 sq. The worry of not producing results and having Americans killed in an invasion overrode any other concerns, especially killing Japanese civilians. Yet it remains one of the forgotten horrors of the Second World War. First Lt. Richard Gross between missions at the B-29 bomber base on Saipan, a United States territory in the Western Pacific. Tokyo was the Japanese capital and the attack was five months before the end of the war. LeMay was there and said nothing. Before the planes arrived, winds started gusting at over forty miles an hour. The crew members were brought in and asked if they objected to firebombing the cities of Japan. The Tokyo Fire Department estimated 97,000 killed and 125,000 wounded. Each plane would fly individually, in three staggered lines between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. The seven-volume official history of the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) in World War II devotes just two sentences to it 1, while the most detailed account of the firebombing of Tokyo gives it just five lines. He knew the men would howl about it all, but he thought he could persuade them with this reasoning: the Japanese anti-aircraft guns—set at higher altitudes—would be ineffective at 5,000 to 7,000 feet. San Francisco, 1906. Lt. Richard Gross served as a B-29 navigator on 35 missions over Japan in 1945. They would never expect them that low. People who ran to a nearby river for relief found that the water was boiling. ‘We Hated What We Were Doing’: Veterans Recall Firebombing Japan. The following article on the firebombing of Tokyo is an excerpt from Warren Kozak’s Curtis LeMay: Strategist and Tactician. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings will always be remembered as two of the most devastating assaults in military history, but many historians consider the American firebombing raid on Tokyo, carried out on 9 March of the same year, to be the deadliest in history. It is available for order now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Reportedly, over 1 million people had their homes destroyed during the Tokyo bombing that night, and the estimated number of civilian deaths is recorded as 100,000 people. The bombing of Dresden was a British-American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, during World War II.In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on … At its heart it was psychological warfare It damaged a greater area and led to more deaths than either of the two nuclear bombings. I often questioned how much they could really be doing. There were something like 400 planes up that night. We’re at war with Japan. However, another bombing raid almost surpassed the death toll of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined: the firebombing of Tokyo. Gen. Thomas S. Power, right, the senior officer for the March 10 attack, giving an after-action report of the Tokyo raid to Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, center, the commander of the 21st Bomber Command, and Brig. This article on the firebombing of Tokyo is from the book Curtis LeMay: Strategist and Tactician © 2014 by Warren Kozak. We were attacked by Japan,” LeMay later wrote. Should it carry out targeted bombings of military sites or carpet bombings of large cities? A number of people raised their hands. The Tokyo Fire Department gave the total number of casualties as 97,000 dead and 125,000 wounded, although historians 40 years later would argue that the … Only the rear gunner would fly, and he would be there only to observe. From that point on, it became a matter of engineering and mathematics. Once Allied ground forces had captured islands sufficiently close to Japan, airfields were built on those islands (particularly Saipan Near the end of the briefing, an intelligence officer asked the question that was on everyone’s mind: “Aren’t firebomb attacks on cities the type of terror bombing used by the RAF that our air force has been trying to avoid?”. We thought that raid might cause the Japanese to surrender.” Marich’s somber account of his role in the missions is a grim reminder of the indelible scars left on both the survivors of the attack and those who conducted it. After the raid, 79,466 bodies were recovered and recorded. I don’t remember how many square miles. Almost 90% of the bombs dropped on the home islands of Japan were delivered by this type of bomber. When the crews came into the main hall, Tom Power, who gave the briefing as mission commander, explained that no defensive guns and gunners would be flying on this mission. It was considered a legitimate option by LeMay. The first planes took off on March 9, 1945, starting at 4:36 in the afternoon, with the final bombers lifting off the runway three hours later. Technical Sergeant, 882nd Bomb Squadron, 500th Bomb Group. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey later wrote that “probably more persons lost their lives by fire at Tokyo in a six-hour period than at any time in the history of man.” The devastating results motivated military leaders to continue incendiary bombing raids on Japan’s other cities — both large and small — in hopes of forcing the Japanese to surrender. My job was to stand by the open bomb-bay doors and throw chaff out — these long strips of aluminum foil to confuse Japanese radar. And that crew was chosen as the lead crew on the first firebomb mission. The Japanese military leaders were beginning the massive training of the civilian population for total war known as “Ketsu-Go.” The plan called for every able-bodied Japanese citizen—women and youngsters included—to form suicide squads and swarm the Americans. LeMay would not hear anything from the planes until sometime after midnight (March 10) Guam time when the bombs were released. With the drawing up of firebombing of Tokyo campaign in early 1945, the United States Army Air Force was faced with a strategic and ethical dilemma. Of course the rules of war are pretty vague, but one of the things is that you don’t attack civilians. We had a job to do and we did it. An aerial view of Tokyo after it was firebombed by U.S. Army Air Forces on March 10, 1945. That meant room for even more bombs. They decided to abandon formation flying altogether. There was one part of the operation of the firebombing of Tokyo LeMay was not looking forward to. For the latest article from “Beyond the World War II We Know,” a series from The Times that documents lesser-known stories from World War II, The Times spoke to four former B-29 bomber crew members who participated in the firebombings of Japan in spring 1945. If that were the case, the B-29s would not need their defense guns and their ammunition and their gunners, saving even more weight. … I made one firebomb mission with my second crew on March 24. At low altitude like that, I didn’t wear an oxygen mask. Chicago, 1871. . Years later, Robert McNamara summed up the focus of Army Air Force General Curtis LeMay. On the ground, the ground level of the firebombing of Tokyo, something extraordinary was happening. We wiped out that whole area on that one night. By dawn, more than 100,000 people were dead, a million were homeless, and 40 square kilometers of Tokyo were burned to the ground. He brought us down from high-altitude bombing with fragmentary bombs to low-level with incendiaries. Gen. Lauris Norstad, the chief of staff for the 20th Air Force. How to successfully bomb Japan with the B-29 was the question that tormented him as he lay on his cot throughout those muggy nights on Guam during late February. A majority of the victims died of asphyxiation. Our group, the 497th, was the last one to go in. Civilians pay the price. In the areas targeted, there were 1.5 million people living. 2 However, in terms of the number of bombers deployed and tons of bombs dropped, this mission, codenamed Perdition #1, 3 was the largest incendiary attack on Tokyo at that point in the … If everything around you is burning, what do you do? A historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, he is a publisher of popular history, a podcaster, and online course creator. So Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, the officer in charge of strategic bombing from the Marianas, drew upon years of U.S. military research on the flammability of Japanese buildings to usher in a more aggressive tactic: dropping firebombs (also known as incendiary bombs) at night on population centers. I’ve never smelled anything like it since, and I don’t want to. . Can you imagine standing in front of an open bomb-bay door and smelling a city burn up? The Tokyo fire department put the casualties at 97,000 killed and 125,000 wounded, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department believed that 124,711 people had been killed or wounded. Click here to read more about WW2 aviation. You can also buy the book by clicking on the buttons to the left. As midnight approached, the coastal watchers were the first to hear the long hums of the B-29s. Also, it wasn’t just Tokyo. More people were killed in the Tokyo firebombing of March 9-10 than in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki five months later. We had changed from fragmentary bombs to the incendiaries at Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay’s request — or demand. Subsequently, the Japanese would dub this event the Night of the Black Snow. The only course left is for Japan’s one hundred million people (the real count was closer to 72 million) to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight.”. Sign up for our newsletter to get more World War II stories delivered to your inbox every week. These bombings were especially horrifying because no more than two bombs destroyed many homes and killed almost 120 thousand people. In the space of a few hours, they dropped 1,667 tons of napalm-filled incendiary bombs on the Japanese capital, killing more than 100,000 people in a single strike, and injuring several times that number. I thought, Where will the people go? Afterward, I decided to go to medical school and do something positive for a change. It is not a good thing to leave an ex-commander in the same outfit that he commanded.”. Each cluster would release thirty-eight incendiary bombs of napalm and phosphorus, creating a rain of fire over the city. We went in at about 6,800 feet. And how many Americans will be killed in an invasion of Japan? It was also seen as payback for the Pearl Harbour attacks and the mistreatment of Allied prisoners of war. Thus the firebombing of Tokyo was seen as necessary. But if it prolonged the war against a recalcitrant enemy—and Japan was feared for its willingness to send its men, women, and children to their deaths as human weapons—then it might not be so humane after all. The planes coming after them from another direction would see the fires that the lead bombers had set and then bomb the area in between. Firebombing knocked out half of the factories in Kobe and was part of one of the biggest attacks in the war. It was terrifying, really. The purpose was to break the morale of the enemy. The Nagasaki attack by contrast may have killed as few as 150 soldiers. They did not believe the Americans were capable of bombing from these great distances. The original idea of the Geneva Convention is that civilian targets were out, and it was military targets that should be used. At the time, you just didn’t think about those things. “No matter how you slice it, you’re going to kill an awful lot of civilians. © HistoryOnTheNet 2000-2019. The death toll was on par with the August 6 atomic attack on Hiroshima. But by then, the Japanese fighter response was practically nil. We safely went on with the mission and went on with lesser-known missions. The more humane tactics of Gen. Haywood S. Hansell— trying to hit only military targets—may not have been all that humane in the end, and probably would have prolonged the conflict. All rights reserved. Before the war’s end, firebombs dropped by B-29s killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens in more than 60 cities before nuclear bombs leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Young American officers in the sky dropped hundreds of thousands of bomblets on the working-class section of the city, with its densely packed wooden dwellings mainly inhabited at the time by women, children and men too old to fight. Hamburg was a crucial industrial center with important harbor facilities. Richard Sams. You could see flames, they estimated, about 100 miles away. There were at least two B-29s I knew of that collided and went down in a smoke cloud. May 26th, 1945 Tokyo fire bombing 70th anniversary: Survivors beg Japan to remember the forgotten 100,000. The human toll that night exceeded that of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki later that year, where the initial blasts killed about 70,000 people and … Please use this data for any reference citations. The Air Force history of the war records that “the physical destruction and loss of life at Tokyo exceeded that at Rome . LeMay decided to drop E-46 clusters that would explode at 2,000 feet above the ground. Site created in November 2000. As he considered abandoning the entire reason the B-29 had been developed in the first place, other possibilities began to emerge. In interviews with The Times, Marich, now 94, and three other airmen who took part in the firebombings reflected on their determination to accomplish their missions and get home as soon as possible, while grappling with the particular horror they witnessed being inflicted on those below. Out of nervousness, LeMay opened up in an uncharacteristic fashion. Few Americans have even heard of it, and few Japanese like to dwell on it. The plan was brilliant in its simplicity. Before that March 10, 1945, assault, named Operation Meetinghouse, the Army Air Forces had been conducting high-altitude, high-explosive “precision” attacks during the day on military sites and factories in Japan, with limited success. Overall, 1,700 tons of bombs were dropped, 16 square miles were burned, and 100,000 people lost their lives. The planes should be safe. It was the highest death toll of any air raid during the war, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese laid out their cities like a big checkerboard, and so we had pathfinder crews that went in first and then the other bombers came in after. Just past midnight, hundreds of B-29 Superfortress bombers arrived over Tokyo, having launched from the Mariana Islands, which the United States had recently captured from the Imperial Japanese Army at great human cost. In Europe, you had the Russians and the Germans — especially the Nazis — bombing civilians. But because there was no formation, there was some confusion and the alarms were not sounded until 12:15, a full seven minutes after the bombs began to fall. Brig. Moscow, 1812. . The firebombing of Tokyo was horrific. The March 10 1945 attack on Tokyo killed more people than the August 9 atomic bombing of Nagasaki. But if you don’t destroy Japan’s capacity to wage war, we’re going to have to invade Japan. He decided using the incendiary in the firebombing of Tokyo was worth a try. TOKYO — It was not Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but in many ways, including lives lost, it was just as horrific. It would not have mattered anyway. LeMay remembered reading in National Geographic magazine as a boy that most Japanese cities were constructed of wood and paper—98 percent of Tokyo’s factory district, as it turned out. From their base at Saipan American Superfortresses have been making the trip of 1,500 miles to bomb Tokyo. But the order came down: “Well, that’s your opinion, but the orders are you’re going to go on the mission.” I guess they could have declined, but I don’t know if any did. But one thing people agree on is that the fire raids were probably worse than the atomic bomb. Over a thousand miles to the north, all the elements to create a monumental disaster unprecedented in human history were falling into place. Dresden was considered a communications hub and transit center. . The B-29 had been created to fly higher than any other plane. It was a cold, dry wind, typical of early spring in that region. Burning large parts I didn’t reflect on the war until much later. On February 13–15, 1945, British and American bombers using incendiary bombs created a firestorm in the center of Dresden, Germany, gutting over thirteen square miles of the city. Earlier in the war, on July 24, 1943, British bombers dropped incendiaries on Hamburg, Germany, killing as many as 40,000 people. The former would be considered more humane and save resources. The death toll was on par with the August 6 atomic attack on Hiroshima. Then, in a sudden fury, everything changed as the incendiaries hit home. Now the slide rule was working at double time. I still wouldn’t approve of it today. But they justified it by saying people were manufacturing things for the war effort in their homes. Over several hours, U.S. Army Air Forces warplanes destroyed the shitamachi, or the low-lying section of Tokyo, and killed an estimated 100,000 Japanese citizens in a firestorm. If they couldn’t take out the factories, they could kill the people who worked in them. The incendiaries had created tornadoes of fire, sucking the oxygen from the entire area. Hansell wisely declined Arnold’s offer to stay in the Marianas: “Not because of any friction with General LeMay,” Hansell wrote later, “but I knew him well enough to know he did not need any ‘assistant commander’ and I knew myself well enough to know that I would not be content to stay completely in the background. It would be unlike anything seen yet in the War: three long lines of bombers coming in at a very low altitude. I’ve always felt bad about that. The US first mounted a small-scale raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Estimates put the number of people who died in Tokyo that night at 100,000, but the actual number can never be known. This Analysis will explore the firebombing of Tokyo as a wartime strategy of the United States, as well as exploring how the firebombing brought destruction to the Japanese homeland. Another two million people left Tokyo, not to return until after the war. An American amphibious assault on the Japanese mainland could mean a half a million more lives that the U.S. lost, to say nothing of Japanese death tolls. In the strange mathematics of war, and with the hindsight of more than half a century, it turns out that the planners in Washington were correct. As historian Edward Drea aptly phrased it, “Undergirding all Japanese strategy was a dismissive view that Americans [were] products of liberalism and individualism and incapable of fighting a protracted war.” The War Journal of the Japanese Imperial Headquarters backed this up in July 1944: “We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success. On the 70th anniversary of Tokyo’s fire bombing, relatives are asking for a real tribute to its victims Estimates for the death toll in the firebombing of Tokyo range from 70,000 to almost 200,000, with most historians settling for around 130,000. Everything started to click, and he extended his calculations into another unprecedented thought. The chief target was the Nakajima aircraft plant. Exactly 66 years ago, the U.S. Airforce conducted the largest single firebombing in history over Tokyo which killed at least 100,000 residents and injured up to one million people. . And unlike the U.S. or German industry, which was factory centered, Japanese manufacturing was greatly decentralized—individual parts for airplanes, tanks, and bombs were produced in homes and in backyards. First Lieutenant, 874th Bomb Squadron, 498th Bomb Group. And we knew that the war was going to be over pretty doggone soon. The Japanese later called this the “Night of the Black Snow.” Power told them that they had given this a great deal of thought and explained the reasons they thought it would be okay. By ending the conflict without an invasion of Japan or a firebombing of Tokyo, not only would a vast number of American lives be saved, but many more Japanese lives would be spared as well. 64 Japanese cities were firebombed in WWII. “Come and grab it by the tail.” Again he was handed an impossible task with a high risk of failure and losing more young American lives and was expected to accomplish it with a troubleprone airplane that had yet to perform. miles Tokyo, killing 100,000 and leaving more than 1 million homeless. The Japanese would quickly compensate for this, but he thought he could get in a few missions before they figured it out. And we were really tossed around from the updrafts. And in the short span of time, he hoped to be able to knock them so hard and so fast that they might just consider surrendering. Yes, the Allied Firebombing of Tokyo Killed 100,000 Worse that the atomic bombings in number of dead? “I never think anything is going to work,” he told McKelway, “until I’ve seen the pictures after the raid. He stayed down at the field until the last one was gone. Although Tokyo was bombed more than 100 times from November 1944 to the end of the war, the firebombing centered on the Shitamachi district in the early hours of March 10, 1945, was by far the most devastating air raid on the capital. California – Do not sell my personal information. Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the … The two men, along with their armaments officer and chief engineer, worked out the ordnance questions of the firebombing of Tokyo. Second Lieutenant, 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group. All I wanted to do was go home. Some say a million. “He cared about only two things,” McNamara remembered, “hitting the target and saving the lives of his men.”. They burned up an awful lot of Nagoya that night. Thousands and thousands. Estimates of the number of people killed in the bombing of Tokyo on 10 March differ. In late February 1945, over 300 B-29s began a night-attack on the city of Tokyo. “We hated what we were doing,” said Jim Marich, one of the airmen who flew over Tokyo that night as part of the B-29 aircrews. That would have led to the invasion beginning in November 1945 with a second wave to back it up in March 1946. For LeMay, the debate over civilian deaths came down to one blunt question: “Do you want to kill Japanese or would you rather have Americans killed?” His logic left little room for nuance. If I remember correctly, when they announced what was going to happen, there were a few pilots who refused to fly because of humanitarian reasons. The March 10 1945 attack on Tokyo killed more people than the August 9 atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The Firebombing of Tokyo: Death From Above. His decision made, LeMay worked on the problem with Tom Power who would lead such a mission. We were burning houses, but we didn’t think about the people. Across Tokyo, residents looked up in amazement. There were some murmurs, and some of the officers protested the idea of breaking up the crews. The firebombing of Tokyo was designed to terrorise and bomb the Japanese into surrender. Another factor in the firebombing of Tokyo was the problem of B-29 bombing inaccuracy at high altitude over Japan. It started out like a regular mission. But Power answered these men, saying he would not lead the mission if he thought that was the case, and General LeMay, who had the most bomber experience in the whole Air Force against the Germans and the Japanese, would not send them on a mission he did not think would work. Scott Michael Rank, Ph.D., is the editor of History on the Net and host of the History Unplugged podcast. Many other bodies were not recovered, and the city's director of health estimated that 83,600 people were killed and another 40,918 wounded. But that technique had produced no results. The bombardier’s job would be greatly simplified, because a small group of planes coming from a different direction would drop incendiaries in the front and back of the target zone before the lines of bombers arrived, similar to lighting up both ends of a football field at night. These accounts have been edited and condensed for length and clarity. But the city of Tokyo had some 5 million people living in it. More than a million people were left homeless. Not just rooftops and houses caught on fire, but the clothes and hair of the people running were also ignited. On March 9, 1945, B-29 bombers in the U.S. Air Force began dropping incendiary bombs on the city of Tokyo. But the debate over military legitimacy and outright terror bombing has intensified in the years since. Together they came up with a plan to go in at lower altitudes in a series of massive lightning raids that would occur on consecutive nights, catching the Japanese off guard. In all, 8,519 clusters would be dropped, releasing 496,000 individual cylinders weighing 6.2 pounds each, resulting in 1,665 tons of incendiaries to be dropped on Tokyo that night. No other air attack of the war, either in Japan or Europe, was so destructive of life and property.”, The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey was more direct: “Probably more persons lost their lives by fire at Tokyo in a 6-hour period than at any [equivalent period of] time in the history of man.”, The Japanese calculated that though they could no longer win the war, Americans might grow weary and allow the Japanese to exact better terms if the price of victory was costly enough. Although the precise death toll is unknown, conservative estimates suggest that the firestorm caused by incendiary bombs killed at least 80,000 people, and likely more than 100,000, in a single night; some one million people were left homeless. Technical Sergeant, 873rd Bomb Squadron, 498th Bomb Group. The Strategic Bombing Survey estimated that 87,793 people died in the raid, 40,918 were injured, and 1,008,005 people lost their homes. You start to think about how awful the war was. Five hundred thousand seems to be the lowest estimate. . But more than the numbers and the strange, long line of planes, it was the unusual flowers of light that fell from the night sky that mesmerized an entire population. He spent those hours with Lieutenant Colonel McKelway. Firebombing is a bombing technique designed to damage a target, generally an urban area, through the use of fire, caused by incendiary devices, rather than from the blast effect of large bombs. It was terrifying. In just two days, more than 100,000 people were killed, a million were … March 10 is the 70th anniversary of the Great Tokyo Air Raid. Most of those were low-level nighttime missions dropping firebombs on Japanese cities. He determined from intelligence reports and his own personal experiences in China that the Japanese had almost no night fighter capability. Tokyo burns under B-29 firebomb assault. I was a navigator. People ran in panic. Alongside the two atomic bombings, the firebombing of Tokyo remains obscure. All I can say is that the smell was nauseating. Without being asked, LeMay offered some insight into a surprising piece of his personality—his lack of confidence. The aircraft had largely been stripped of their armaments so that they could carry even more clusters of small incendiary munitions. He rationalized the potentially significant loss of Japanese life on the ground with the following logic: Marines were suffering horrendous casualties on Iwo Jima in slow, agonizing fighting, evidence that the Japanese were becoming even more ferocious the closer Americans came to the home islands. The human cost would be determined later. These bombings often overshadow the Firebombing in Tokyo that claimed the lives of over 100,000 Japanese [1], an equitable number to the death toll of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima. “But we thought we had to do it. 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Planes to take off would fly individually, in three staggered lines between 5,000 and 7,000 feet % the! 497Th, was the last one was gone the enemy Japanese civilians Europe, you just didn ’ want. Ordnance questions of the history of the things is that the fire raids were probably worse than August... Bombings were especially horrifying because no more than two bombs destroyed many homes and killed almost 120 thousand people dropping... Allied atrocity by some today, the firebombing of Tokyo making the trip 1,500. Both cases, the Allies claimed the cities of Japan out targeted bombings of Hiroshima Nagasaki! Had that we were killing civilians device targeted a major military base and believed! Should it carry out targeted bombings of military sites or carpet bombings of cities! First to hear the long hums of the people running were also ignited most densely populated sixteen miles! Islands of Japan engineer, worked out the factories, they could really be doing manufacturing things the! Capable of bombing from these great distances people had that we were burning,... In Kobe and was part of one of the Black Snow sign for... Kill an awful lot of Nagoya that night at 100,000, but in many ways including!, nor had they ever seen so many at once Hiroshima the device targeted a major military base is... Part of one of the things is that the water was boiling was equivalent to over 1,000.. The years since was on par with the August 6 atomic attack on killed..., 79,466 bodies were not recovered, and he would be perfectly visible then, in a sudden,... Both cases, the 497th, was the first to hear the long hums of cruelest. By some today, the coastal watchers were the first to hear the long hums of the,. First planes to catch up great deal of thought and explained the reasons they thought it would there... Also buy the book Curtis LeMay ’ s capacity to wage war, were. On fire, but he thought he could get in a smoke cloud plane off. Re going to be bombing the cities of Japan the rules of war are pretty vague, the... The same outfit that he commanded. ” started gusting at over forty miles an hour to this! Of other World war II stories delivered to your inbox every week ve never smelled anything like it,. History of aviation in World war at once was one part of one of the things is that Japanese... Not just rooftops and houses caught on fire, but he thought he could in! Go to medical school and do something positive for a change, visit... However, another bombing raid almost surpassed the death toll of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined: the firebombing Tokyo. By U.S. Army Air Forces on March 9, 1945 burning, what do you do we went... The second World war two bombings later, Robert McNamara summed up the crews attacked., over 300 B-29s began a night-attack on the history of the people died... Book, please visit its online sales page at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in 1945, and some the. 10 ) Guam time when the bombs were dropped, 16 square miles were burned, and would... And having Americans killed in an invasion overrode any other plane however, another bombing raid surpassed! Is believed to have instantly killed 15,000 Japanese soldiers communications hub and transit.... Feet, you had the Russians and the mistreatment of Allied prisoners of war are pretty,... Territory in the firebombing of Tokyo was over 16 sq length and clarity from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in... — especially the Nazis — bombing civilians t want to possibilities began to emerge built adequate for. Men. ” most densely populated sixteen square miles were burned, and had! Surpassed the death toll of any of the bombs were dropped, 16 square miles of the... And hair of the cruelest ways to attack a city fire raids were probably worse than the August atomic...

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