Polk County Students Present Historical Stories - Surprise Bombing in Tokyo

B-29s Dropping Fire Bombs over Japan

"B-29s Dropping Fire Bombs over Japan", Image of a photograph depicting a B-29 bombing attack over Japan, Public Domain.

Crashes from left and right overwhelm all of your senses, causing fear to strike your heart. Everyone is screaming, and chaos is roaming through the city like a muggy fog. Explosions and fire spread through the city like a diseased plague. You try to find shelter, but there is no way out. What caused this madness?

In 1944, during World War II, Japan didn't want to surrender to America. Battles took place in Pacific islands, which were brutal and vicious, causing America's military leaders to take drastic measures. B-29 bomb planes didn't do their job as well as the military had thought. One problem was that they didn't drop their bombs on the intended targets. The Nordon was the mechanism that aimed the bombs, and back then the Nordon wasn't very effect.

The first B-29s flew over Tokyo on November 24th and they took off around Mariana islands with a total of 111 planes. Even though there were so many planes, only 24 of them found their target. On November 29th, America started to regularly drop bombs over Japan's war making headquarters. Japan was the target, but Tokyo was their main target. Japan was about to become a junk yard of destruction and chaos.

There was a plan to hit Tokyo with a massive bomb on March 10, 1945. America's allies took over the province of Jima and used its own air bases for their advantage. They flew very low at an altitude between 5,000 and 8,000 feet. General Lena wanted Tokyo to get hit with incendiary bombs, or bombs that spread fire, which might set fire to the wooden city. The incendiary bombs where on planes called M-69s, and each bomb was only about six pounds each with a cluster of 38 of them. The B-29s had 37. This meant a group of planes carried around 1,400 bombs in total.

Now was the time to strike and once the bombs fell far enough from the planes, they started to go off. America won the battle and the bombs where the reason why. The bombs killed everything, especially the headquarters. Without the B-29s and M-69s we could've lost, but we didn't. Thank you to all the veterans and thank you Tokyo for not knowing the surprise bombing.

Original Release: Jun 14, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Jun 15, 2016

1) Bos, Carole, Bombing Japan - Incendiary Bombs Over Tokyo, www.awesomestories.com, Apr/27/2016, May/23/2016, https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Bombing-Japan-Incendiary-Bombs-Over-Tokyo0
2) Carole Bos, Bombing Japan - Incendiary Bombs Over Tokyo, Part 2, www.awesomestories.com, Oct/07/2016, May/31/2016, https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Bombing-Japan-Incendiary-Bombs-Over-Tokyo-Part-2

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"Surprise Bombing in Tokyo" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 14, 2016. Nov 19, 2019.
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