Us Fireboming on Japan Essay

Submitted By ag211995
Words: 774
Pages: 4

Research Question:

In what ways did saturation bombing of Tokyo by the Allies in World War II affect the lifestyles of their citizens?

The limits of my investigation are: * Only saturation bombing by the allies in Tokyo * Focus only on how the bombing affected the citizens financially, emotionally, and physically
Methods of Research: A few methods of research for my internal assessment are:
Primary sources: most of my research will come from primary sources. They will mainly consist of diaries and newspaper articles that explain in detail how difficult it was to live in a country tormented with fires and chaos everywhere.
Secondary sources: I will use databases that provide information about the financial status of Japan as a country between 2942-2950. Also journal articles about how much destruction happened in Tokyo and Kobe and how the destruction happened.

Word Count: 141 words

Summary of Evidence:


Attack Strategy: * Doolittle raid was the first attack on Tokyo. * The raid was set for the night of March 9/10, 1945. 334 B-29's were scheduled for the raid.3 * Began with early high-altitude bombing but it wasn't very effective. * Changed tactic to bomb at a lower altitude which allowed the bomb load to be increased by 65%.2 * Also made it easier to fly planes not dealing with high altitude winds2 * The decision was made to use low-level incendiary bombing, bringing the planes in at 5,000 or 6,000 feet.3 * Dropped American pamphlets on Japan to try and inform the public about the corruption in their government.2 * 80% built with paper and wood, making them ideal targets for firebombing. * “Tests conducted at Eglin Field and Dug way Proving Ground on model urban areas of typical Japanese construction seemed to add scientific confirmation to a judgment based on common sense. ...Japanese cities would prove much more vulnerable to firebombing than had comparable German cities, because of more inflammable residential construction and greater congestion.” * “Nighttime incendiary bombing was a weapon of area destruction, not precision bombing. Fire raids destroyed homes, hospitals, and schools, as well as factories, and killed lots of people, mainly women, children, and old me. ...Japanese morale became a target along with physical objects.”

Destruction and effects on the citizens:

* There was a plan in Tokyo to spray houses with a fire-retardant chemical but the plan was never put into effect. 2 * The people that had been burned out were largely lower-class economically. 2 * The government took the upper-class people and tried to house them. 2 * Slum dwellers were resentful of the wealth of the upper class and there were lootings and riots. 2 * The attitude of the Japanese people had become apathetic about death, which enabled them to take part in civilian defenses without arguing about it.2 * Industrial output had been cut in half. Aircraft production was down 60%, shipbuilding down 75%, and production of ordinance was down about 55%.4 * Inadequate shelters, too few firefighters, and relatively poor