Archived material Access restricted Article

Today's Front Page   View All of Sun 07/03/2022 View Sat 07/02/2022 View Fri 07/01/2022 View Thu 06/30/2022 View Wed 06/29/2022 View Tue 06/28/2022 View Mon 06/27/2022
2022-07-03 China-Japan-Koreas
Post Doolittle Raid: IJA launches a punitive raid on China, May-July, 1942
Archived material is restricted to Rantburg regulars and members. If you need access email with your nick to be added to the members list. There is no charge to join Rantburg as a member.
Posted by badanov 2022-07-03 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [10802 views ]  Top

#1 Little-known fact: in addition to bombing their targets, the Doolittle Raiders were instructed to expend their machine gun ammunition on ground targets. They strafed schools and other civilian locations, outraging the Japanese. The Japanese combed Zhejiang and Jiangxi for the downed aviators. Over 50,000 Chinese died in the operation.
Posted by Albemarle Snerert7268 2022-07-03 01:02||   2022-07-03 01:02|| Front Page Top

#2 Like the Russians at Kremenchug, I doubt they were deliberately targeted.
Posted by badanov 2022-07-03 07:14||   2022-07-03 07:14|| Front Page Top

#3 They strafed schools and other civilian locations

They didn't have the fuel or the time to deviate from the flight plan. That was even compromised by the decision of taking off way too early because they feared their presence was compromised by a sighting by a Japanese fishing boat. They stripped the aircraft of those weapons for a wee bit more distance. Nice try.
Posted by Procopius2k 2022-07-03 07:29||   2022-07-03 07:29|| Front Page Top

#4 ^^ Met a relative's friend that helped prep the Doolittle aircraft at the Mid-Continent Airlines Hanger in Minneapolis.

The aircraft were stripped of armament to the point that they would have pretty much been sitting ducks for even one Japanese fighter aircraft. The weight saved was mostly used for fuel storage with some interesting jury-rigging.
Posted by Mullah Richard 2022-07-03 08:30||   2022-07-03 08:30|| Front Page Top

#5 The Japanese offensive was to push the Chinese far enough back to remove the potential for American bomber bases. The Americans had planned and built bases for B29s in China but the capture of Saipan and Tinian made logistics way much easier.
Posted by Procopius2k 2022-07-03 09:08||   2022-07-03 09:08|| Front Page Top

#6 ^1 -


No. It didn't happen. I have that directly from the mouths of several of the Raiders, face to face with me.

The Japanese military at that time was embarrassed and mortified beyond words that the raid happened. They invented a great many offenses to explain their inability to prevent it and to punish the Raiders they captured.

I'd like to politely ask you to look things up again and reconsider your opinion.


Posted by Mike Kozlowski 2022-07-03 10:09||   2022-07-03 10:09|| Front Page Top

#7 I suspect truth and facts don't play much of a part in the intent of #1. Americans are bad, and the Juice are even worse.
Posted by Frank G 2022-07-03 11:39||   2022-07-03 11:39|| Front Page Top

#8 Really? The machine gunning is described in the book "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo." They definitely had machine guns. They also made sure to drop their incendiary bomb over flimsy housing in a civilian area. That's what incendiary bombs are for.

What's with the sudden shame and excuses? I thought bombing and strafing civilian targets was OK.
Posted by Albemarle Snerert7268 2022-07-03 12:20||   2022-07-03 12:20|| Front Page Top

#9 Which positions on the aircraft were the machine guns fired from?
Posted by Matt 2022-07-03 12:46||   2022-07-03 12:46|| Front Page Top

#10 #9 Which positions on the aircraft were the machine guns fired from?

Depends on the bird.
Posted by badanov 2022-07-03 12:58||   2022-07-03 12:58|| Front Page Top

#11 Five total mentions of "machine gun" in the entire book. Only mention of firing at Japanese was one plane firing towards a Japanese cruiser on the way in. One mention was of stateside training flights. Two mentions on the same page were of after arriving in China and negotiating with guerilla fighters. Only other mention involved the ability to unmount the single machine gun on the plane if they were shot down and needed it to fight.

No mentions of schools or hospitals in Japan. All mentions of schools were of the ones the flight crew members attended growing up. Oh, and one mention of Japanese bombing a university in Shanghai. All mentions of hospitals either in the US or China.

I did this research in 5 minutes using the find in book feature of my Nook reader, using the 60th Anniversary re-release of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. So, what I report here is what was found by that method. No accounting for hidden text in the Russian version, I am sure...
Posted by M. Murcek 2022-07-03 13:16||   2022-07-03 13:16|| Front Page Top

#12 Bravo on called BS on that!
Posted by NoMoreBS 2022-07-03 13:22||   2022-07-03 13:22|| Front Page Top

#13 It's call "Thirty Seconds" for a reason. They're flying 'tree top level', the most fuel burning altitude, and as fast as they can for the approach. That's about as much time just to release the bomb load and keep moving.
Posted by Procopius2k 2022-07-03 13:29||   2022-07-03 13:29|| Front Page Top

#14 Great job, MM, but Mike K's comment was enough for me. It was an incredible act of American courage and ingenuity.
Posted by Matt 2022-07-03 14:57||   2022-07-03 14:57|| Front Page Top

#15 Shame? Excuses? For what exactly. One of the most daring raids ever. They destroyed most of our base at Pearl. Then a few months later we bombed their capital city, boo hoo. They initiated the war and decades before 1941 for that matter. They proudly carried the torch of Total War, you know Nanking for only one. Their bullying death cult massacred civilians for the sport of it.
Posted by Cesare 2022-07-03 15:32||   2022-07-03 15:32|| Front Page Top

#16 Eventually they got their arses handed to them. Not a peep out of them ever since. Funny how that works isn't it.
Posted by Besoeker 2022-07-03 15:38||   2022-07-03 15:38|| Front Page Top

#17 Got to remember they were the second people who bombarded a federal military installation. They didn't learn from the first people's experience.
Posted by Procopius2k 2022-07-03 15:52||   2022-07-03 15:52|| Front Page Top

#18 If you count Ft McHenry, they were 3rd actually?
Posted by NoMoreBS 2022-07-03 16:29||   2022-07-03 16:29|| Front Page Top

#19 [From Wiki] The modifications included the following:

- Removal of the lower gun turret.
- Installation of de-icers and anti-icers.
- Mounting of steel blast plates on the fuselage around the upper turret.
- Removal of the liaison radio set to save weight.
- Installation of a 160-gallon collapsible neoprene auxiliary fuel tank, fixed to the top of the bomb bay, and installation of support mounts for additional fuel cells in the bomb bay, crawlway, and lower turret area, to increase fuel capacity from 646 to 1,141 U.S. gallons (538 to 950 imperial gallons, or 2,445 to 4,319 L).
- Installation of mock gun barrels in the tail cone.
- Replacement of the Norden bombsight with a makeshift aiming sight devised by pilot Capt. C. Ross Greening that was dubbed the "Mark Twain". The materials for this bombsight cost only 20 cents.

Two bombers also had cameras mounted to record the results of the bombing.

Looks like they might have kept the side gunner positions and the top dorsal turret. Wouldn't be able to do much ground strafing without the lower turret.

All I can say for certain is what the guy I met said, that they were pretty much stripped of armament for the mission.
Posted by Mullah Richard 2022-07-03 16:32||   2022-07-03 16:32|| Front Page Top

#20 LOL of course he doesn't confess to war crimes in the book. But it's a total lie what the other posters were saying, that machine guns weren't fitted.

They did indeed have orders to spray ground targets with machine gun fire. The one incident the author of the book confesses to is shooting up a yacht. The incendiary was definitely dropped on a civilian area, he definitely pleads guilty to that in print.

The fact that they indiscriminately shot at ground targets is part of history. I thought this was common knowledge, especially among people who apparently know history well. They didn't choose their targets, they just sprayed the ground with bullets, and what do you know shot up a school and other unarmed locations. Remember, the entire point of the mission wasn't to strike a meaningful blow, it was to spread terror. And what do those who commit acts of deliberate terror usually do?
Posted by Albemarle Snerert7268 2022-07-03 16:55||   2022-07-03 16:55|| Front Page Top

#21 Chew toy doubles down
Posted by Frank G 2022-07-03 17:13||   2022-07-03 17:13|| Front Page Top

#22  I thought this was common knowledge

A lot of myths are. Like Nazis are right wing when they were in fact left wing Socialist.
Posted by Procopius2k 2022-07-03 17:37||   2022-07-03 17:37|| Front Page Top

#23 In the '20s and '30s, it was always the Nazis and the Communists fighting & brawling in the streets of Germany, two sides of the same coin going for the same hearts and minds.
Posted by DooDahMan 2022-07-03 17:40||   2022-07-03 17:40|| Front Page Top

#24 Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, or, Too Close for Comfort

Herb Stone screens his latest creation:
In Air Pirates over Eurasia,
Rapacious invaders --
American raiders! --
Dishonor an innocent geisha!

OMG, I whatabouted Herb's schoolhouse! It's another KZ liberation massacre! Convene a tribunal! Call Spencer Tracy!
Posted by Gomez Ebbavimp3282 2022-07-03 18:11||   2022-07-03 18:11|| Front Page Top

#25 Albemarle Snerert7268, The Doolittle planes were flying way too high to even hit anything in Tokyo.

Why don't you list your sources so we can check for ourselves?
Posted by Seeking Cure For Ignorance 2022-07-03 20:43||   2022-07-03 20:43|| Front Page Top

22:32 magpie
22:20 NN2N1
21:58 Lord Garth
21:41 Slenter Panda4300
21:14 Secret Master
20:43 Seeking Cure For Ignorance
20:12 Seeking Cure For Ignorance
19:43 Canuckistan sniper
19:42 Canuckistan sniper
19:25 Matt
19:25 Charles
19:24 Dale
19:24 Black Charlie Slairt1430
19:21 jpal
19:18 Frank G
19:17 Black Charlie Slairt1430
19:17 SteveS
19:17 Frank G
18:48 Dale
18:46 Lord Garth
18:42 M. Murcek
18:24 Skidmark
18:23 Skidmark
18:11 Gomez Ebbavimp3282

Search WWW Search