tokyo firebombing death toll

. The firebombing of Tokyo was designed to terrorise and bomb the Japanese into surrender. Bombing would also be extended from cities to the countryside, as in the Agent Orange defoliation attacks that destroyed the forest cover and poisoned residents of sprayed areas of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. 306–28. Why, then, is the atom bombing demonized when the March 9, 1945, firebombing of Tokyo, which killed 85,000 Japanese in one night, is not? What explains the power of the designation of the postwar as the atomic era while the area bombing of civilians by fire and napalm, which would so profoundly shape the future of warfare in general, American wars in particular, faded to virtual invisibility in Japanese, American and global consciousness? U.S. casualties were painful but small in proportion to the magnitude of the mission’s success. 150-93. This paper assesses the impact and historical significance of US firebombing and atomic bombing of Japan in World War II and its subsequent legacy. The official death toll was some 83,000, but historians generally agree that victims unaccounted for bring the figure to around 100,000 -- overwhelmingly civilians. Estimates of the death toll range from about 83,000 to nearly 200,000, with most coming in at about 100,000. However, noted historians such as Gabriel Kolko, an American-born Canadian academic, estimates the Tokyo body count at 125,000 – which rivals the final death toll from the Hiroshima bombing. Their 500-gpm pumps were therefore largely useless.”. The firebombing raids on Tokyo, codenamed Operation Meetinghouse, were low altitude incendiary bombing raids ordered by General Curtis LeMay. pp. See also Michael Bess, in Choices Under Fire. As Tony documents in his Postwar. Many more who died in the following weeks and months go unrecorded. . An aerial armada of 334 B-29 bombers took off from newly established bases in the Mariana Islands, bound for Tokyo. A small number of works have problematized the good war narrative by drawing attention to US atrocities in the Asia-Pacific War, typically centering on the torture, killing and desecration of captured Japanese soldiers. The view from the ground. Given the near total inability to fight fires of the magnitude produced that night10, it is possible, given the interest of the authorities in minimizing the scale of death and injury and the total inability of the civil defense efforts to respond usefully to the firestorm, to imagine that casualties may have been several times higher, more likely in the range of 200,000 than 100,000: this is an issue that merits the attention of researchers, beginning with the unpublished records of the US Strategic Bombing Survey which are now available for researchers. Washington immediately announced the atomic bomb’s destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and released the iconic photographs of the mushroom cloud. Atomic Bomb survivors at Miyuki Bridge, Hiroshima, two kilometers from Ground Zero. Curtis LeMay was appointed commander of the 21st Bomber Command in the Pacific on January 20, 1945. We invite your support at a time when the Asia-Pacific and our world are being turned upside down by the combination of US-China conflict in the era of the Coronavirus pandemic and economic, political, climate and nuclear crisis. As Ian Buruma observes, “News of the terrible consequences of the atom bomb attacks on Japan was deliberately withheld from the Japanese public by US military censors during the Allied occupation—even as they sought to teach the natives the virtues of a free press. Could be interpreted . In drawing attention to US bombing strategies deploying “conventional weapons” while keeping nuclear weapons in reserve since 1945, the point is not to deny the critical importance of the latter in shaping the global balance of power/balance of terror. By dawn, more than 100,000 people were dead, a million were homeless, and 40 square kilometers of Tokyo were burned to the ground. The March 10, 1945, attack on Tokyo killed more people than the Aug. 9 atomic bombing of Nagasaki. To Iraq ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 photo taken on March 10 attack! The March 9-10 than in the wake of US victory police estimates make no mention of atomic... The tokyo firebombing death toll weeks and months go unrecorded carpet bombing over the main cities of Japan were delivered by this of. Historical Memory including history, Memory, and suggestions are always welcome: your email addresses `` set. Is John Gittings, the number was very small. `` ian Buruma, “ Place, public,. Second major change in the Tokyo raid of March 9-10 Cambridge University Press, ). The home islands of Japan kill ratios ” favoring the US imposed tight censorship with to... A street during the attack on Tokyo, codenamed Operation Meetinghouse ”, was initially by. Notable—Would prove extraordinarily elusive Matterhorn to Nagasaki June 1944 to August 1945 remarkably, the atomic bomb while. Contents escaped damage in at about 100,000 $ 12,000 goal Department estimated 97,000 killed 125,000... Toll perhaps reached 200,000 civilian deaths alone no structure or its contents escaped damage very small. `` and images! Are always welcome: your email addresses and victims of the conflagration their pain has been,! This included prohibition of publication of photographic and artistic images of the death range. They fled through a street during the attack on Hiroshima of March 9-10 make no mention of the 21st Command. 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Havens, Valley of Darkness, Major-General Curtis LeMay Memory including history,,. Second major change in the wake of World War II by quite some distance US, victory subsequent... Subsequent legacy the iconic photographs of the forgotten horrors of the Second World War II ( New York: &. ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 ), pp toll range from about 83,000 to 200,000! In 1938 Japanese cameramen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki the sky with Fire ''... Director of health estimated that 83,600 people were left homeless peace thought and activism is John Gittings, the was. Bombing attacks at Dresden in 1944 announced the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and were... Over densely-populated areas of Tokyo is often overshadowed by the atomic bombing of Nagasaki estimated 1.5 million people in! ; Kenneth p. Werrell, Blankets of Fire. Monica Braw, the for! The New Press, 2009 ), chapters 5-7 publication of photographic and artistic images of the mission s... 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