Tokyo 1944–45

The destruction of Imperial Japan's capital

Tokyo 1944–45 cover

Tokyo 1944–45

The destruction of Imperial Japan's capital

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The full history of how the United States targeted and destroyed the Japanese capital from the air, in a ten-month long campaign by the US Army Air Force and the US Navy.

In November 1944, the US Army Air Force launched a 111-plane B-29 strike against Tokyo, the first raid since the morale-boosting Doolittle Raid of 1942. From then until August 13, 1945, the United States would attack Tokyo 25 times, 20 from B-29s based in the Marianas and five from US Navy carrier task forces. The campaign included the single deadliest air raid in human history, when around 100,000 people were killed by the firestorm created by the Operation Meetinghouse raid of March 10, 1945.

This book, the first to examine the full history of the United States' air campaign against the greatest target in Japan, looks at the USAAF's and US Navy's efforts to use air power to eliminate Tokyo's strategic value to the Empire. It considers how the campaign developed from daylight bombing to firebombing and anti-ship mining, and finally how the target was handed over to the US Navy, whose carrier-based bombers and fighter-bombers continued to strike Tokyo during July and August 1945.

Using specially commissioned battlescenes, strategic maps and diagrams, this volume presents a detailed picture of how Tokyo was vanquished from the air.

Table of Contents

Attacker's Capabilities
- America's growing reach
- Aircraft
- Facilities and infrastructure
- Weapons and tactics

Defender's Capabilities
Guarding the Empire's heart
- Aircraft
- Facilities and infrastructure
- Weapons and tactics

Campaign Objectives
The high-stakes target
- Allied objectives and plans
- Japanese objectives and plans

The Campaign
To destroy a capital
-Opening salvos: November 1–January 9, 1945
-Frustration, faltering, and the Navy's in: January 27 to
March 4, 1945
-The first fire raid: March 9–10, 1945
-Aircraft factory raids: April 1–12, 1945
-Returning to incendiary raids: April 13–16, 1945
-Water and fire: May 5 to 29, 1945
-To the end: June–August, 1945

Aftermath and Analysis
-Surviving aircraft

Product details

Published 15 Feb 2024
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472860354
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Illustrated throughout with 65 photos and 16 pages of colour illustrations
Dimensions 248 x 184 mm
Series Air Campaign
Short code ACM 40
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Mark Lardas

Mark Lardas has always been fascinated by things r…


Edouard A. Groult

Edouard Groult grew up inspired by watching histor…


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