Bombing of Hamamatsu in World War II

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Hamamatsu after the 1945 air raids

The Bombing of Hamamatsu in World War II (浜松空襲 Hamamatsu Kushu?) was part of the strategic bombing campaign waged by the United States of America against military and civilian targets and population centers of the Empire of Japan during the Japan home islands campaign in the closing states of World War II.[1]

Background[edit]

The city of Hamamatsu was a target for air raids by the USAAF on several occasions during the Pacific War. Hamamatsu, in addition to being a major transportation hub on the Tōkaidō Main Line railway connecting Tokyo with Osaka also had several targets of military significance. It was the location of armaments factories, including Shōwa Yakuhin, Nakajima Aircraft Company, and Suzuki Motors. It was also the location of the Hamamatsu Flight School of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force and a major military air field. Hamamatsu was also situated on the main flight route from Saipan to either Nagoya or Tokyo and was thus often assigned as a secondary target.[2]

In 1945, Hamamatsu city had an estimated population of 166,346 people. A year after the war, the United States Army Air Forces's Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific War) reported that 60.3 percent of the city had been totally destroyed.[3]

In addition to strategic bombing, Hamamatsu was also subject to tactical air raids launched by United States Navy carrier-based aircraft, and was bombarded by United States and Royal Navy vessels on July 29, 1945.[4]

Air raids[edit]

  • February 15, 1945 – 54 B-29 Superfortress bombers from the USAAF 20th Air Force attacked the Mitsubishi Motors factory in southern Hamamatsu. Six B-29s were shot down. 150 people on ground were killed.[5]
  • April 30, 1945 – 69 B-29 bombers launched a firebombing attack on central Hamamatsu; an estimated 1000 civilians were killed.[5]
  • May 14, 1945 – 135 B-29 bombers of the 314th Bombardment Wing attacked residential areas in eastern and north-eastern Hamamatsu in a daylight raid; an estimated 450 civilians were killed.[6]
  • May 19, 1945 - in a follow-on night mission, 32 B-29s of the 330th Bombardment Group (VH) bombed the south Nagoya urban area, with an unknown number of casualties.
  • June 18, 1945 – an unknown number of B-29 bombers launched a major firebombing raid on central Hamamatsu, creating a firestorm which destroyed most of the city; the estimated death toll was 1,800 people.[7]
  • July 29, 1945 – in a follow-on air raid against recently repaired Hamamatsu rail lines, Hamamatsu Station, and nearby factories; 170 people were killed.[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hoyt. Inferno: The Fire Bombing of Japan, March 9 – August 15, 1945
  2. ^ United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Summary Report (Pacific War) July 1, 1946
  3. ^ Wainstock. The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb. Page 9
  4. ^ Nalty, The War in the Pacific. Page 15
  5. ^ a b Carter. The Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology, 1941–1945
  6. ^ 330th Bomb Group Combat Mission Logs
  7. ^ Bradley. No Strategic Targets Left.
  8. ^ http://www.atkinsopht.com/atk/saipan.htm

References[edit]

  • Werrell, Kenneth P (1996). Blankets of Fire. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-665-4. 
  • 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. 
  • Nalty, Bernard C (1999). War in the Pacific: Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3199-3. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]