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“In order to win a war, should you kill 100,000 people in one night, by firebombing or any other way?.. Is that moral? Is that wise?” 1 1 McNamara, Robert, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1
“In order to win a war,

should you kill 100,000 people in one night,

by firebombing or any other way?..

Is that moral? Is that wise?”1

1McNamara, Robert, former U.S. Secretary of Defense.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

slide3

Firebombing

  • Firebombing is a bombing technique designed to create a massive firestorm in a target city.
  • This technique uses incendiary bombs to start a massive fire, and can also include a preliminary bombing run designed to prepare the city for burning.
  • LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2
white phosphorus
White phosphorus
  • Firebombs are large cylinders containing a thickened, or gelled gasoline. We know this agent as Napalm.
  • When the bomb strikes the ground, the phosphorous ignites.
  • A large fireball of intense heat is produced and anything within range can catch fire.
  • LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2
slide5
Fragments of melted particles can become embedded in the skin of humans in close proximity.
  • Water extinguishes the burning phosphorus, but the particles will burn again when exposed to air.
  • Victims have been known to cut the ignited gelled solution out of their skin to prevent its spread.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

slide6

Human Horrors

  • Fragments of melted particles.
  • Water temporarily relieves ignited phosphorus.
  • When dry, however, it re-ignites.

? What could you do if you were exposed to Napalm?

  • Desperate solution: Cutting the ignited Napalm out of the skin to prevent its spread.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

bombing strategies over japan
Bombing strategies over Japan
  • During WWII, strategic bombing was an integral military tactic used by both the Axis and Allies.
  • The use of aerial bombing on Japanese cities increased as the war progressed.
  • In the beginning, only military targets such as bases and munitions factories were bombed.
  • Later, urban and industrial sites were targeted.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

lemay s control
LeMay’s Control
  • On January 20, 1945, when Major General Curtis E. LeMay took command of the 21st Bomber Command, the attacks began to change.
slide9
Air raids shifted from military to industrial and civilian targets as LeMay experimented with a high-altitude "fire bomb" raid on February 3rd against the city of Kobe.
  • Based on this and other trial raids, LeMay took a calculated risk and altered his bombing strategy.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

slide10
The B-29 bombers went from implementing high-altitude, daylight precision bombing with high-explosive bombs to using low-altitude night missions with incendiary bombs.
  • These bombs had a slightly more compounding effect on Japan than did the previous bombs.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

slide11

The Mission

  • Pathfinder planes would mark an X over the target as B-29s followed to drop the bombs.
  • The main construction material for homes in Japan was wood and heavy paper.
  • These materials would burn quickly when hit by incendiary bombs, creating massive firestorms throughout the cities.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

tokyo
Tokyo
  • On March 9th and 10th, 1945, under the command of LeMay, US forces dropped more than 1,500 tons of firebombs on Tokyo.
  • The pilots were targeting industrial districts of Tokyo with the goal of destroying Japan’s economy.
  • LeMay wanted to create a “permanent absenteeism among [Japan’s] workforce.”

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

slide13
More than one hundred B-29 bombers, each carrying “two tons of incendiaries packed in 100 lbs and 6 lbs gelled gasoline bombings” released their bombs on Tokyo during those two days.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

personal accounts
Personal Accounts
  • U.S. bombers described a column of superheated air which rose into the sky, “generating turbulence so strong that if flipped over U.S. bombers flying more than a mile above Tokyo.”
  • In the first six hours, over 100,000 civilians lost their lives.
  • Forty-six square kilometers (about 27 sq. miles) of the city were burned, 267,000 buildings were destroyed, and over 120,000 people were killed or injured.

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

slide15
In all, the United States dropped firebombs on more than sixty Japanese cities in the fire bombing strategic air raids.
  • Not only were many cities heavily damaged by air raids, but there are an estimated 700,000 people who were killed or injured.
  • (These statistics don’t include the hundreds of thousands of documented deaths or injuries resulting from the two atomic bombs dropped later that winter.)

LT: I can describe U.S. tactics towards Japan before the Atomic Bombs. DOK: 1-2; S. 2

multimedia resources for the classroom
Multimedia Resourcesfor the classroom

McNamara, Robert. "Fog of War" website. http://www.sonyclassics.com/fogofwar/indexFlash.html

Grave of the Fireflies. Central Park Media: 1992.

Tsuchiya, Yukio. Faithful Elephants. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts: 1988.

Cook, Haruko T & Theodore F., Japan at War. The New Press, New York: 1992.