December 1, 2016
Volume 14 | Issue 23 | Number 4
Germany and Japan took the lead in the terror bombing of cities during World War II, acts that sparked outrage from President Roosevelt and many others. U.S. bombing, by contrast, hewed to strategic targets, prioritizing military installations and factories until 1944, when it supported Britain in the wholesale bombing of German cities. But the critical moment in US bombing and napalming of cities came with the firebombing and nuclear attacks that obliterated large areas of Japanese cities between February and August 1945, leaving an indelible imprint not only on the urban landscape but also on subsequent U.S. war making. This paper reflects on the meaning of the atomic age and the nature of U.S. strategic principles, in light of U.S. fire bombing in the final months of the war.
T O K Y P R O G R E S S I V E