10 March 2007

Sixty-two Years Ago Today

March 9-10 marks the sixty-second anniversary of the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo when more than 300 American B-29s dropped thousands of explosives onto the city. The ensuing firestorm raged through and destroyed around forty-one square kilometres of land and incinerated an estimated 100,000 people, predominately civilians, in a single night. Those who weren't burned alive either asphyxiated as the inferno sucked all the oxygen from the air, or drowned or boiled in the rivers in which they sought refuge.

It is considered by many to be the most devastating air raid in history.


  1. I'm not surprised this is not something I learned in school. It didn't involve the atomic bomb.

    How does the city commemmorate or memorialize these two days?

  2. the most devastating air raid in history

    Also most necessary, the mindset of Japan was never surrender, fanatics if you will run by a God. War is stupid but this had to be done to break Japan as was done on Dresden.

  3. Necessary, K?
    The deliberate mass murder of civilians to save a few GIs the bother of having to fight on for a bit longer?
    I'll stop here before I go off on one.

  4. Thanks for the reminder, GG.

  5. Remember who attacked who unprovoked.
    Who makes the weapons for the soldiers to use? the people, who farms their food? the people.

    You'd be speaking German not Japanese.
    Its WAR, cutting off supply lines has been done since Rome fell, not nice but thats why its called war not love.
    RAF brat I believe.
    I'll stop here as theres really no point.

  6. How many wars will it take before people realize that no one, and no country, ever truly "wins" a war. Nothing justifies the murder of civilian populations. We must strive to find other ways to resolve our differences.

  7. Goodness Dive & Old K, pistols at dawn. I shy from getting too involved but would have to say that my thoughts lean more towards Old K's i'm afraid, Dive, on this occasion. Anyone else?

  8. Robyn: There were memorial services, and a concert was held where survivors sang songs for peace.

    Old man: Yes, something had to be done, but essentially slaughtering between 40 and 90% of the civilian population in 67 cities across Japan before the atom bombs were dropped is a tad excessive in my book.

    Dive: No worries re the reminder.

    Old man: Its WAR, cutting off supply lines has been done since Rome fell.
    I don't think that makes it right or justifiable. If nothing else, why hadn't the then-leaders learnt the lessons of war if we have been doing it for that long? We just keeping making the same mistakes over and over.

    AT: I agree. I have an image in my head of (mainly) men running around playing their pathetic power games and killing each other, usually in the names of gods that don't exist (in my view). I think women should rule for a while and fix up the gigantic fuck up that this world has become.

    Lynn: No worries, thanks for your input. All opinions welcome.

  9. Google 'Dresden bombing' and you'll see that almost the exact same thing happened here, although it's not as well know.

  10. B: I actually knew more about what happened in Dresden than in Tokes before I moved here. Our education system (when I was at school) focused more on the UK/European side of things.
    It's probably different now.

  11. There's a whole horrifying side to US actions in WWII that doesn't get enough attention.

  12. How about this, 1944 the Japs were sending fire balloons over to America, thankgod they were quite incompetent and only one when off, the rest were shot doon or didn't make it.
    They had the same intent first.

    If you don't surrender after one nuke what does that tell you?

    Such a nice people, go ask a POW.

    The Japs of today are not those of then, just like the Germans but the ant colony mindset is still there which is very scary.

  13. My first thought was to say ditto Dresden, London, Coventry etc but you all beat me to it.
    I lost my uncle in the war, he was a rear gunner in a halifax bomber, Dive may have mentioned it in the past, his plane was shot down by night fighters while he was waiting to land, but lot's of bad stuff went on during WWII, and all the other wars, conflicts, police actions or what the hell else politicians want to call them, for which nobody should be proud. Shame our "Leaders" can't learn from the past rather than trying to find ever more hi-tech methods of repeating it.

  14. This is a HOT topic. I agree with Lynn who agree's with old "k" who agrees with ? hmmmm I guess he agrees with Harry Truman

  15. No wonder the aliens never land here.

    Hey, name this television show:

    "Don't go! To Serve Man; It's a cookbook!"

  16. "There's a whole horrifying side to US actions in WWII that doesn't get enough attention."

    Ah, good old "US as the baddest baddie" bashing.

    War is hell, sweetie. I refer you to the Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, the Katyn Forrest Massacre, the My Lai Massacre, the Hanoi Hilton.

    It would be so much better if Nazi Germany or the Soviets were the sole superpower today than than those nasty ole despotic Americans.