Pictures from the Library of Congress, the U.S. National Archives and official military histories show bombers in action and depict the damage they caused:
Japanese aircraft production dramatically fell after the B-29s began their attacks. Still, the hardened military rulers of the country refused to end the war.
When President Truman learned how many lives would likely be lost if the Allies had to invade Japan’s home islands, he believed the cost would be too great for both sides. Instead, he authorized the use of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Many of the men who fought on the Pacific Islands, like Iwo Jima, rarely (if ever) spoke about their experiences to family members. What happened to the flag-raising survivors? What happened to the Japanese defenders?