On April 1, , Okinawa was invaded. This was the last stepping stone on the road to Japan. Admiral Nimitz was the commander in charge of the Invasion. He knew only too well of the Kamikaze capability and ordered LeMay to destroy as many on the ground as possible. Photo by W.
Marshall told news reporters in an off-the-record briefing on November 15, , three weeks before Pearl Harbor. An aerial armada of B bombers took off from newly established bases in the Mariana Islands, bound for Tokyo. In the space of a few hours, they dropped 1, tons of napalm-filled incendiary bombs on the Japanese capital, killing more than , people in a single strike, and injuring several times that number. It was the highest death toll of any air raid during the war, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Firebombing of Japanese Cities during World War II
All rights reserved. Balloon bombs aimed to be the silent assassins of World War II. Hitching a ride on a jet stream , these weapons from Japan could float soundlessly across the Pacific Ocean to their marks in North America. Still largely unknown, these armaments were a byproduct of an atmospheric experiment by the Axis power.
When the United States launched a bombing operation over Japan on Mar. For one thing, the firepower available to U. The hard-fought and ongoing battle for Iwo Jima proved worthwhile, affording the American pilots an airfield within striking distance of the enemy capital, and planes also flew in from Saipan, Tinian and Guam. The hundreds of aircraft each carried several tons of incendiaries for a combined total of about , bombs.