Air strikes on Japan's mainland


November 28, 2021

The air raids on the mainland of Japan are bombings of cities in Japan by the Allied Forces during World War II. From the middle of 1944 (Showa 19), it became a full-scale strategic bombing, and a long-term large-scale indiscriminate bombing was also carried out.


Before the strategic bombing

On February 23, 1938 (Showa 13) during the Sino-Japanese War (China Incident), the Soviet Air Force Volunteer Corps and the Republic of China Air Force jointly conducted an air raid on the Taipei Songshan Base in Taiwan, which was a territory outside Japan at that time, and the private sector Some damage to people. On May 20, 1938, a Chinese B-10 bomber invaded Kyushu and dropped an anti-war villa. After that, the Japanese army started bombing Chongqing in December of the same year. The first air raid on mainland Japan in World War II was the Doolittle raid on April 18, 1942, when 16 medium-sized land-based B-25 bombers were launched from the aircraft carrier "Hornet" in Tokyo. Air strikes on Kawasaki, Yokosuka, Nagoya, Kobe, etc. After that, the Japanese army also attacked the American mainland in June and September. Hsinchu air raid on Taiwan on November 25, 1943 (Showa 18).

Preparing for strategic bombing

In November 1941, Chief of Staff Marshall announced at a secret press conference the idea of ​​incendiary bombing a Japanese city from a Philippine base. Immediately before the start of the war between Japan and the United States, the U.S. government ordered 250 B-29 bombers that had not been tested by Boeing, but the number of orders was doubled due to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in February 1942, General Motors and North American Aviation.・ American and Bell also requested cooperation and ordered the production of 1,600 aircraft. However, it took two years to realize it. When the Japanese air raid on the American mainland with incendiary bombs in 1942, the US Air Force also decided to develop incendiary bombs, and in 1942, when they landed in pieces after being dropped, they had a powerful ignition ability that ejected napalm from the tail and bounced off. A small incendiary M69 was developed. Russell, head of incendiary research and development at the National Defense Investigation Commission (NDRC) and vice president of Standard Oil, who developed the M69, argued that "incendiary bombing of urban carpets should be done rather than precision bombing of military factories." .. According to the 1943 NDRC Incendiary Report, "Most of the cities in Japan are wooden houses and are overcrowded, so large fires are likely to occur. The best way to bomb is to burn the surrounding factories together. " On August 27, 1943, General Henry Arnold, commander of the United States Army Air Forces, submits an air battle plan for the defeat of Japan. He claimed large-scale, continuous bombing of the Japanese urban industrial area and also mentioned the use of incendiary bombs. Arnold was warned by Vannevar Bush, Director of Science and Research and Development, that "the humanitarian aspects of the incendiary attack decision must be made at a high level," but Arnold made a request to senior management to make a plan decision. There is no record. In February 1943, Arnold asked the COA of the Operations Analysis Committee to consider the objectives to develop a bombing strategy suitable for the building characteristics of Japanese cities, and the COA issued "in the Far East" on October 10, 1944. An additional report on economic targets has been submitted, with the first target being the aviation industry, the second target being the urban industrial area, and the third target being the obstruction of navigation by aerial dropping of mine, and the second target being the burning of six cities in Honshu. It was an attack, and at the COA meeting in September, the possibility of a complete turmoil that would occur when 584,000 inhabitants of six cities were killed was discussed. William McGavan, Director of Strategic Information, claims a psychological effect and is a Japanese child.

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