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March 9th 1945: Bombing of Tokyo begins

On this day in 1945, the bombing of Tokyo by the United States Air Forces began. There had been raids by B-29 bombers since November 1944, but this was one of the most destructive in history. The raid on the night of March 9th saw 334 B-29s take off in Operation Meetinghouse, with 279 of them dropping around 1,700 tons of bombs. 16 square miles of the Japanese capital were destroyed, around a million were left homeless and around 100,000 people died as a result of the firestorm. Tokyo saw many raids such as this, with over 50% of Tokyo being destroyed by the end of the Second World War. However the firebombing on the night of March 9/10th was the single deadliest air raid of the war; the immediate deaths were higher than seen at Dresden, Hiroshima or Nagasaki as single events.

“Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time… I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal…. Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.“
- Curtis LeMay, the American general behind the firebombing campaign

  • North Korea: *declares war*
  • me: lmao okay bitch I've been waiting come @ me I dare u
  • bighit: yoongis mixtape about to drop!!1!
  • Exo: coming @ u with that repackaged album
  • me:
  • me: ok but maybe if u can hold off on bombing us for a few months