The night that Tokyo was razed: how was the deadliest non-nuclear bombing in history (and that was overshadowed by the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

The night of March 9, 1945 is, without a doubt, one of the bloodiest and most brutal in the history of Japan.
The night that Tokyo was razed: how was the deadliest non-nuclear bombing in history

The night of March 9, 1945 is, without a doubt, one of the bloodiest and most brutal in the history of Japan.

The nightmare for the inhabitants of the city of Tokyo began at ten o'clock that Friday when 334 American Boeing-29 aircraft began to throw 1,700 tons of Napalm M69 incendiary bombs over the center of the Japanese capital.
In just minutes, the city became a giant bonfire fueled by the strong winds that spread the flames throughout the territory.
"I can still clearly remember people running in all directions through the flames. I think we should never participate in a war again," one of the survivors, Etsuzo Nukagawa, told the Kyodo news agency.
As a result of the violent onslaught - which caused a fierce increase in the city's temperature to 980 degrees, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people died.
This made it the attack with the highest number of immediate victims in history, even above Hiroshima and Nagasaki (approximately 80,000 and 70,000, respectively).
In addition, the attack destroyed 41 square kilometers (approximately a quarter of the city), leaving 267,000 buildings destroyed and more than one million Japanese homeless because their houses narrow, mostly built of wood, were readily consumed by flames.
Bridges and roads that connected Tokyo with the rest of Japan were also reduced to ashes. The capital of Japan was completely paralyzed and out of supply.
However, despite the magnitude of the tragedy, little is known about it. The research and studies that exist in this regard are not compared with the information available from other attacks such as that of the German city of Dresden, where an estimated 25,000 people died.
1,700 tons of bombs were dropped on the city of Tokyo on the night of March 9, 1945.
Several historians explain that the reason is that only five months after the bombing of Tokyo in August 1945, the USA launched the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1,700 tons of bombs were dropped on the city of Tokyo on the night of March 9, 1945.
Several historians explain that the reason is that only five months after the bombing of Tokyo in August 1945, the USA launched the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Both events - which in the long term ended up affecting many more people due to radiation - eclipsed the memory of that sinister night that, 75 years ago, devastated the Japanese capital.

Operation "Meetinghouse"

The attack on Tokyo - called " Operation Meetinghouse" and led by General Curtis LeMay - occurred at the end of World War II, in the framework of the so-called Great Pacific War.
Although the night of March 9 was by far the most destructive (described by some historians as a true "firestorm"), by now the US army had already perpetrated several onslaughts on various Japanese towns.
A quarter of Tokyo was razed, leaving thousands of charred bodies among the smoking remains of wooden houses.
A quarter of Tokyo was razed, leaving thousands of charred bodies among the smoking remains of wooden houses.
A quarter of Tokyo was razed, leaving thousands of charred bodies among the smoking remains of wooden houses.
However, not many of them had had military success. For that reason, LeMay decided that the attack on Tokyo should be different and ordered that the B-29 aircraft fly low and enter a single row at night.
The result, this time, was more effective than expected.
Remember that this operation was carried out four years after the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The attack - which sought to neutralize the United States Pacific fleet - killed 2,042 Americans. In addition, 1,178 people were injured.
The next day, on December 8, 1941, the United States officially declared war on the Japanese Empire. The United States was determined to retaliate.
More than 200 Japanese cities suffered bombings in the last months of World War II until Japan signed its surrender on August 15, 1945, just days after the launch of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The atomic bomb launched in Hiroshima caused the immediate death of approximately 80 thousand people. Then, due to radiation, the number of fatalities increased much more.
The atomic bomb launched in Hiroshima caused the immediate death of approximately 80 thousand people. Then, due to radiation, the number of fatalities increased much more.
The atomic bomb launched in Hiroshima caused the immediate death of approximately 80 thousand people. Then, due to radiation, the number of fatalities increased much more.

"Black Snow Night"

After the attack in Tokyo, thousands of survivors had to move to other cities. The fire consumed much of the public services of the capital, leaving the center turned into rubble.
The city then became a nucleus of military barracks.
But from the 60s, little by little the city began to rebuild itself with a much more modern architecture than before.
And so, today there are few memories of those streets that were protagonists of the most destructive non-nuclear bombing in history. And its impact remains largely little known.


However, for many tokiotas this episode is hard to forget. The so-called "black snow night" will undoubtedly remain in the retina of the millions of people who were affected.
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