Bombing of Chongqing
The bombing of Chongqing (simplified Chinese: 重庆大轰炸; traditional Chinese: 重慶大轟炸, Japanese: 重慶爆撃, from 18 February 1938 to 23 August 1943) was part of a terror bombing operation conducted by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service and Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service on the Chinese provisional capital of Chongqing, authorized by the Imperial General Headquarters.
A total of 268 air raids were conducted against Chongqing, with more than 11,500, mainly incendiary, bombs dropped. The targets were usually residential areas, business areas, schools, hospitals and other non-military targets. These bombings were probably aimed at cowing the Chinese government, or as part of the planned Sichuan invasion.
In the first two days of the campaign, the raids of May 1939 killed more than five thousand Chinese civilians.
Two months later, after tens of thousands of deaths, in retaliation for firebombing, the United States embargoed the export of airplane parts to Japan, thus imposing its first economic sanction against that nation.
The majority of the air raids conducted against Chongqing were made with squadrons of Mitsubishi G3Ms, known as "Nells", Mitsubishi Ki-1-Is, Fiat BR.20 Cicognas ("Ruths"), Mitsubishi Ki-21s "Sallys" and Kawasaki Ki-48s "Lilys" although towards the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Mitsubishi G4Ms ("Bettys"), Nakajima Ki-49 Donryus ("Helens"), Yokosuka P1Y Gingas ("Frances") and Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryus ("Peggys") were also employed. Due to the unpreparedness of the Chinese Air Force at the beginning of the war, many of the air raids were totally unopposed until 1941. By August 1943, modern interceptor aircraft and ground-based radar equipment supplied by other Allied nations left the ROCAF in a much better position to fight back and, along with the diversion of Japanese aerial assets in support of the war in the Pacific, helped curtail further Japanese bombing sorties. The last recorded air raid of the campaign took place on 19 December 1944.
Total bomb tonnage and raids
Three-thousand tons of bombs were dropped on the city between 1939 and 1942. According to photographer Carl Mydans, the spring 1941 bombings were "the most destructive shelling ever made on a city", although by comparison 2,300 tons of bombs were dropped by Allied bombers on Berlin in a single night during the Battle of Berlin. A total of 268 air raids were conducted against Chongqing.
Lawsuit against the Japanese government
In March 2006, 40 Chinese who were wounded or lost family members during the bombings sued the Japanese government demanding 10,000,000 yen (628,973 yuan) each and asked for apologies. "By filing a lawsuit, we want the Japanese people to know about Chongqing bombings," said a victim.
- Herbert Bix (2001). Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan., p.364
- Don Moser (1978). China-Burma-India. Time-Life., pp.11, 8
- Don Moser, China-Burma-India, Time-Life, 1978, p.8
- "World War 2 Timelines".
- "Chongqing bombing victims sue". Japan Times. 31 March 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Japanese Government accused of Chongqing Bombings". People's Daily Online. Retrieved 3 January 2013.