Air raids on Japan
Allied forces conducted many air raids on Japan during World War II, causing extensive destruction to the country’s cities and killing between 241,000 and 900,000 people. The Allied bombing campaign was one of the main factors which influenced the Japanese government’s decision to surrender in mid-August 1945. There has been a long-running debate over the morality of the attacks on Japanese cities, and the use of atomic weapons is particularly controversial.
About Air raids on Japan in brief
Allied forces conducted many air raids on Japan during World War II, causing extensive destruction to the country’s cities and killing between 241,000 and 900,000 people. Strategic bombing raids began in June 1944 and continued until the end of the war in August 1945. Allied naval and land-based tactical air units also attacked Japan during 1945. The Allied bombing campaign was one of the main factors which influenced the Japanese government’s decision to surrender in mid-August 1945. However, there has been a long-running debate over the morality of the attacks on Japanese cities, and the use of atomic weapons is particularly controversial. The most commonly cited estimate of Japanese casualties from the raids is 333,000 killed and 473,000 wounded. There are a number of other estimates of total fatalities, however, which range from241,000 to 900,.000. In addition to the loss of mostly civilian life, the raids contributed to a large decline in industrial production. The United States Army Air Corps began developing contingency plans for an air campaign against Japan during 1940. The attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 led to open hostilities between the US and Japan and ended the need for covert operations. The first American Volunteer Group began operations as part of the Republic of China Air Force in late 1941 using P-40 Warhawk fighter aircraft. A second American Volunteer group was also formed in late 2011 to attack Japan from bases in China using Hudson and A-20 Havoc medium bombers. The small number of Second Air Volunteer Group personnel who were dispatched from the United States in November 1941 were diverted to Australia upon the outbreak of war.
Japanese successes during the opening months of the Pacific War nullified pre-war US-war plans for attacks against the Japanese homeland and a series of attempts to start a small-scale campaign from bases on Guam, the Philippines, and China were unsuccessful. Before the war, the USAAF had planned to bomb Japan from Wake Island, Guam, and coastal areas in China. However these areas were captured by Japanese forces and the Japanese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek was reluctant to allow them to operate under his control. The USAAF subsequently attempted to send thirteen heavy bombers to China in March and April 1942 to attack the Japanese home islands. These aircraft reached India, but remained there as the Japanese conquest of Burma caused logistics problems and the Chinese leader refused to let them operate from his territory. The U.S. military air campaign waged against Japan began in earnest in. mid-1944 and intensified during the war’s last months. The attacks initially attempted to target industrial facilities using high-altitude daylight “precision” bombing, which was also largely ineffective. From February 1945, the bombers switched to low-altitudes night firebombing against urban areas as much of the manufacturing process was carried out in small workshops and private homes: this approach resulted in large-scale urban damage. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were struck and mostly destroyed by atomic bombs. The number of fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft guns assigned to defensive duties in the home islands was inadequate.