The largest bombing campaign in history, at that point, was perpetrated by the US against Japan after the atomic bombings of civilians on August 6th and 9th, 1945.
Several days later,
In the largest bombing raid of the Pacific War, more than 400 B-29s attacked Japan during daylight on August 14, and more than 300 that night. A total of 1,014 aircraft were used with no losses.
At 2:49 AM on August 14, the US had intercepted a message from Japanese leadership to Japanese foreign embassies, instructing them “to accept the Allied terms of surrender.”
Writer Laurence M. Vance points out that “many timelines of World War II do not even list this event [the post-nuke bombing raids against Japan] as having occurred.”
Indeed, many top US officials believed the atomic bombings, let alone the gargantuan raids carried out afterwards, were gratuitous.
Historian Howard Zinn writes (ch. 16):
On July 13, Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo wired his ambassador in Moscow: “Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace.. ..” Martin Sherwin, after an exhaustive study of the relevant historical documents, concludes: “Having broken the Japanese code before the war, American Intelligence was able to-and did-relay this message to the President, but it had no effect whatever on efforts to bring the war to a conclusion.”
The US ultimately agreed to allow a conditional surrender – meaning with the Japanese emperor remaining in place – anyway.
However, the deadliest attacks against Japan were not the atomic bombings or the largest raid in history, the post-nuke raids, but were the US firebombings of Tokyo, “Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe, some of Japan’s largest cities”, which burned alive hundreds of thousands of civilians.
And why was the US wreaking such destruction on Japan in the first place?
Vance: “Simple. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.”
Japan had carried out brutal imperial attacks against China and elsewhere, but was it this brutality that the US objected to?
Zinn (ch. 15):
…American consuls in China supported the coming of Japanese troops. It was when Japan threatened potential U.S. markets by its attempted takeover of China, but especially as it moved toward the tin, rubber, and oil of Southeast Asia, that the United States became alarmed and took those measures which led to the Japanese attack: a total embargo on scrap iron, a total embargo on oil in the summer of 1941.
We have seen other examples of how the US reacts when its commercial and power interests are threatened or it is directly attacked: since 9/11/01, the US has killed an estimated 1.3 to 2 million or more people, directly and indirectly, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone.
Author focuses on force dynamics, national and global. @_DirtyTruths
Watch: As GOP candidates cavalierly push a new Cold War and take us to the brink of World War 3, we look at firsthand accounts of what survivors saw in a city that suffered a nuclear bomb on the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima.
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