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Tsuchizaki air raid memorial

The Bombing of Akita in World War II (秋田空襲 Akita-kūshū?), also known as the Tsuchizaki Air Raid (土崎大空襲 Tsuchizaki-Dai-kūshū?), on the night of August 14, 1945 was part of the strategic bombing campaign waged by the United States of America against military and civilian targets and population centers during the Japan home islands campaign in the closing stages of World War II.[1] This was reportedly the farthest-range and also the last bombing mission in World War II, coming only hours before Japan announced its surrender.[2]

Background

The town of Tsuchizaki was a major port on the Sea of Japan coast, railway nexus, and an important center for oil refineries fed by nearby oil fields. .[3] The town was incorporated into the neighboring city of Akita on April 1, 1941. Despite its military significance, it had not been attacked during the initial stages of the strategic bombing campaign, partly due to its remote location.

Air raid

On August 14, 1945, the night before the surrender of Japan, a force of 134 B-29 Superfortress bombers from the USAAF 315th Bombardment Wing launched a major firebombing attack on the central part of the city.[4]

The bombers arrived over target without opposition at 2230 hours on the night of August 14, and dropped a total of 7,360 100-kg and 4,687 50-kg bombs, with the final bomber departing the target area at 0330 on the morning of August 15. The bombs completely destroyed the oil refinery belonging to Nippon Oil (the current JX Nippon Oil & Energy Co) and adjacent port facilities, and the resulting fire spread to the neighboring town. The estimated civilian casualties were more than 250 people killed, and an estimated 200 were severely injured.[5]

See also

References

  • Werrell, Kenneth P (1996). Blankets of Fire. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-665-4. 
  • Bradley, F. J. (1999). No Strategic Targets Left. Contribution of Major Fire Raids Toward Ending WWII. Turner Publishing. ISBN 1-56311-483-6. 
  • Carter, Kit C (1975). The Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology, 1941-1945. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 1-4289-1543-5. 
  • Crane, Conrad C. (1994). The Cigar that brought the Fire Wind: Curtis LeMay and the Strategic Bombing of Japan. JGSDF-U.S. Army Military History Exchange. ASIN B0006PGEIQ. 
  • Frank, Richard B. (2001). Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-100146-1. 
  • Grayling, A. C. (2007). Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan. New York: Walker Publishing Company Inc. ISBN 0-8027-1565-6. 
  • Hoyt, Edwin P. (2000). Inferno: The Fire Bombing of Japan, March 9 – August 15, 1945. Madison Books. ISBN 1-56833-149-5. 
  • Shannon, Donald H. (1976). United States air strategy and doctrine as employed in the strategic bombing of Japan. U.S. Air University, Air War College. ASIN B0006WCQ86. 
  • Wainstock, Dennis (1996). The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-95475-7. 

Notes

  1. Hoyt. Inferno: The Fire Bombing of Japan, March 9 – August 15, 1945
  2. Reyher, Charles. Memoirs of a B-29 Pilot, page 146 (Lulu.com 2008): "This superfortress strike unwittingly collapsed a coup in progress at the Japanese Imperial Palace and saved Tokyo from a nuclear strike and ended World War II."
  3. United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Summary Report(Pacific War) July 1, 1946
  4. Carter. The Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology, 1941-1945
  5. [1] Japanese government site

External links


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