+ Okayama Air Raid Overview +
A delicate topic to ask people about but I finally found an English language dossier about the incidents of June 29, 1945 in Okayama so I can learn more about the effects in my/our community.
Details & Annotations follow (via dossier pictured above, obtained to local library):
(If you have credible information or thoughtful opinion to add, please do)￼
- June 29 1945 – 2:43-4:07am
- 138 B-29s (1 aircraft lost reason unspecified)
- Launched from Tinian (Northern Marianas Island, just north of Guam)
- Incendiary bombs (12,602 M47, 83,106, M74, 2,187 E-48 cluster + photoflash 10 bombs)
- Attack Elevation 3000-4000m
- 1700-2000 dead
- 63% of city destroyed by fire via Detailed maps made the day of bombing
Original bombing strategy attempted precision bombing from 10,000m elevation (out of range of anti-aircraft gun/planes) with military ammunitions ammunition /factory targets.
Due to poor results, strategy was changed to night bombing at low elevation with fire bombs starting March 10 with aim of comprehensive destruction of metropolitan centers.
After initial large cities (Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe) were hit, a list was made of 180 medium-to-small cities as potential targets, of which Okayama was 31st.
Sasebo, Moji, Nobeoka bombed same night as Okayama.
Including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 66 cities were bombed/burned to the ground.
No military or industrial targets targeted in Okayama.
Okayama residents held air raid drills, carried air raid hoods and had a citizen fire brigade. Some people’s possessions had been evacuated the country in preparation.
Government office buildings were destroyed so citizen “disaster certificates” were rapidly made on carbon paper to give access to rations and emergency transportation and help.
Where we live (Tsuchida, Higashi Okayama), still plenty of prewar houses but as we drive into downtown (:20 mins or so), you can almost distinguish the line where the bombs reached.