1945: Largest Bombing Raid in History

1945: Largest Bombing Raid in History
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 10. March 1945
  • About 100,000 people were killed during the U.S. bombing of Tokyo, so that attack was even deadlier than nuclear strikes on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. The Americans used incendiary bombs, so Tokyo was caught up in a firestorm.

It is estimated that the strongest bomber attack in the history of warfare was conducted on 9 and 10 March 1945, when U.S. bombers attacked the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Approximately 100,000 people were killed, and the attack was even deadlier than nuclear attacks on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

The Americans used incendiary bombs and, since most Japanese houses were built of wood and paper, the city was engulfed in a tremendous firestorm.

B-29 Superfortress bombers, which took off from an airport located on islands in the Pacific Ocean close enough to Japan, were used to deliver the attack. That was the reason why the U.S. military tried so hard to attain the small islands south of Japan.

The attack on this day was performed by 334 B-29 bombers that dropped 1,700 tons of bombs. With over 100,000 killed, around a million more were injured, and about the same number were left homeless.

The most heavily damaged parts of the city were near the Imperial Palace, but it is interesting that the U.S. Air Force issued a ban on targeting the palace itself (home of the Imperial General Headquarters).

When the emperor saw the extent of the devastation around the palace, he reportedly personally got involved in the peace process, which was achieved five months later.

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