In popular usage, any act in which an incendiary device is used to initiate a fire is often described as a "firebombing". This article is concerned with aerial incendiary bombing as a military tactic; for non-military (almost always criminal) acts, see arson.
Although simple incendiary bombs have been used to destroy buildings since the start of gunpowder warfare, World War I saw the first use of strategic bombing from the air to damage the morale and economy of the enemy, such as the German Zeppelin air raids conducted on London during the Great War. The Chinese wartime capital of Chongqing was firebombed by the Imperial Japanese starting in early 1939. London, Coventry, and many other British cities were firebombed during the Blitz by Nazi Germany. Most large German cities were extensively firebombed starting in 1942, and almost all large Japanese cities were firebombed during the last six months of World War II.
This technique makes use of small incendiary bombs (possibly delivered by a cluster bomb such as the Molotov bread basket). If a fire catches, it could spread, taking in adjacent buildings that would have been largely unaffected by a high explosive bomb. This is a more effective use of the payload that a bomber could carry.
The use of incendiaries alone does not generally start uncontrollable fires where the targets are roofed with nonflammable materials such as tiles or slates. The use of a mixture of bombers carrying high explosive bombs, such as the British blockbuster bombs, which blew out windows and roofs and exposed the interior of buildings to the incendiary bombs, are much more effective. Alternatively, a preliminary bombing with conventional bombs can be followed by subsequent attacks by incendiary carrying bombers.
Early in World War II many British cities were firebombed. Two particularly notable raids were the Coventry Blitz on 14 November 1940, and the blitz on London on the night of 29 December/30 December 1940, which was the most destructive raid on London during the war with much of the destruction caused by fires started by incendiary bombs. During the Coventry Blitz the Germans pioneered several innovations which were to influence all future strategic bomber raids during the war. These were: The use of pathfinder aircraft with electronic aids to navigate, to mark the targets before the main bomber raid; The use of high explosive bombs and air-mines coupled with thousands of incendiary bombs intended to set the city ablaze. The first wave of follow-up bombers dropped high explosive bombs, the intent of which was to knock out the utilities (the water supply, electricity network and gas mains), and to crater the road — making it difficult for the fire engines to reach fires started by the successive waves of bombers. The follow-up waves dropped a combination of high explosive and incendiary bombs. There were two types of incendiary bombs: those made of magnesium and iron powders, and those made of petroleum. The high-explosive bombs and the larger air-mines were not only designed to hamper the Coventry fire brigade, they were also intended to damage roofs, making it easier for the incendiary bombs to fall into buildings and ignite them. As Sir Arthur Harris, commander of RAF Bomber Command, wrote after the war:
In the early days of bombing our notion, like that of the Germans, was to spread an attack out over the whole night, thereby wearing down the morale of the civilian population. The result was, of course, that an efficient fire brigade could tackle a single load of incendiaries, put them out, and wait in comfort for the next to come along; they might also be able to take shelter when a few high explosives bombs were dropping. ... But it was observed that when the Germans did get an effective concentration, ... then our fire brigades had a hard time; if a rain of incendiaries is mixed with high explosives bombs there is a temptation for the fireman to keep his head down. The Germans, again and again, missed their chance, as they did during the London blitz that I watched from the roof of the Air Ministry, of setting our cities ablaze by a concentrated attack. Coventry was adequately concentrated in point of space, but all the same, there was little concentration in point of time, and nothing like the fire tornadoes of Hamburg or Dresden ever occurred in this country. But they did do us enough damage to teach us the principle of concentration, the principle of starting so many fires at the same time that no firefighting services, however efficiently and quickly they were reinforced by the fire brigades of other towns could get them under control.
The tactical innovation of the bomber stream was developed by the RAF to overwhelm the German aerial defenses of the Kammhuber Line during World War II to increase the RAF's concentration in time over the target. But after the lessons learned during the Blitz, the tactic of dropping a high concentration of bombs over the target in the shortest time possible became standard in the RAF as it was more effective than a longer raid. For example, during the Coventry Blitz on the night of 14/15 November 1940, 515 Luftwaffe bombers, many flying more than one sortie against Coventry, delivered their bombs over a period of time lasting more than 10 hours. In contrast, the much more devastating raid on Dresden on the night of 13/14 of February 1945 by two waves of the RAF Bomber Command's main force, involved the bomb released at 22:14, with all but one of the 254 Lancaster bombers releasing their bombs within two minutes, and the last one released at 22:22. The second wave of 529 Lancasters dropped all of their bombs between 01:21 and 01:45. This means that in the first raid, on average, one Lancaster dropped a full load of bombs every half a second and in the second larger raid that involved more than one RAF bomber Group, one every three seconds.
The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) officially only bombed precision targets over Europe, but for example, when 316 B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed Dresden in a follow-up raid at around noon on 14 February 1945, because of clouds the later waves bombed using H2X radar for targeting. The mix of bombs to be used on the Dresden raid was about 40% incendiaries, much closer to the RAF city-busting mix than the bomb-load usually used by the Americans in precision bombardments. This was quite a common mix when the USAAF anticipated cloudy conditions over the target.
In its attacks on Japan, the USAAF abandoned its precision bombing method that was used in Europe before and adopted a policy of saturation bombing, using incendiaries to burn Japanese cities. These tactics were used to devastating effect with many urban areas burned out. The first incendiary raid by B-29 Superfortress bombers was against Kobe on 4 February 1945, with 69 B-29s arriving over the city at an altitude of 24,500 to 27,000 ft (7,500 to 8,200 m), dropping 152 tons of incendiaries and 14 tons of fragmentation bombs to destroy about 57.4 acres (23.2 ha). The next mission was another high altitude daylight incendiary raid against Tokyo on 25 February when 172 B-29s destroyed around 643 acres (260 ha) of the snow-covered city, dropping 453.7 tons of mostly incendiaries with some fragmentation bombs. Changing to low-altitude night tactics to concentrate the fire damage while minimizing the effectiveness of fighter and artillery defenses, the Operation Meetinghouse raid carried out by 279 B-29s raided Tokyo again on the night of 9/10 March, dropped 1,665 tons of incendiaries from altitudes of 5,000 to 9,000 ft (1,500 to 2,700 m), mostly using the 500-pound (230 kg) E-46 cluster bomb which released 38 M-69 oil-based incendiary bombs at an altitude of 2,500 ft (760 m). A lesser number of M-47 incendiaries was dropped: the M-47 was a 100-pound (45 kg) jelled-gasoline and white phosphorus bomb which ignited upon impact. In the first two hours of the raid, 226 of the attacking aircraft or 81% unloaded their bombs to overwhelm the city's fire defenses. The first to arrive dropped bombs in a large X pattern centered in Tokyo's working class district near the docks; later aircraft simply aimed near this flaming X. Approximately 15.8 square miles (4,090 ha) of the city were destroyed and 100,000 people are estimated to have died in the resulting conflagration, more than the immediate deaths of either the atomic bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. After this raid, the USAAF continued with low-altitude incendiary raids against Japan's cities, destroying an average of 40% of the built-up area of 64 of the largest cities.
The 1973 Rome airport attacks and hijacking were a set of Palestinian terrorist attacks originating at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino International Airport in Rome, Italy, resulting in the deaths of 34 people. The attacks began with an airport terminal invasion and hostage-taking, followed by the firebombing of Pan American World Airways Flight 110.
Pan Am Flight 110 was a scheduled Pan American World Airways flight from Rome, Italy to Tehran, Iran by way of Beirut, Lebanon. On 17 December 1973, shortly before takeoff, the airport terminal and the flight aircraft were invaded and the aircraft was set on fire by armed Palestinian gunmen, resulting in the deaths of thirty persons on the plane and two in the terminal.Following the aircraft invasion, the gunmen hijacked Lufthansa Flight 303 and killed two more people before being taken into custody by the State of Kuwait.1989 firebombing of the Riverdale Press
The 1989 firebombing of the Riverdale Press was an attack in which two firebombs were thrown at the offices of a weekly newspaper, the Riverdale Press, in the Riverdale community of the Bronx, New York City on February 28, 1989. The building was heavily damaged. Two California bookstores were also damaged in similar attacks.The bombing took place shortly after the newspaper published an editorial defending Salman Rushdie during the controversy over The Satanic Verses.Air raids on Japan
Allied forces conducted many air raids on Japan during World War II, causing extensive destruction to the country's cities and killing between 241,000 and 900,000 people. During the first years of the Pacific War these attacks were limited to the Doolittle Raid in April 1942 and small-scale raids on military positions in the Kuril Islands from mid-1943. Strategic bombing raids began in June 1944 and continued until the end of the war in August 1945. Allied naval and land-based tactical air units also attacked Japan during 1945.
The United States military air campaign waged against Japan began in earnest in mid-1944 and intensified during the war's last months. While plans for attacks on Japan had been prepared prior to the Pacific War, these could not begin until the long-range B-29 Superfortress bomber was ready for combat. From June 1944 until January 1945, B-29s stationed in India staged through bases in China to make a series of nine raids on targets in western Japan, but this effort proved ineffective. The strategic bombing campaign was greatly expanded from November 1944 when bases in the Mariana Islands became available as a result of the Mariana Islands Campaign. These attacks initially attempted to target industrial facilities using high-altitude daylight "precision" bombing, which was also largely ineffective. From February 1945, the bombers switched to low-altitude night firebombing against urban areas as much of the manufacturing process was carried out in small workshops and private homes: this approach resulted in large-scale urban damage. Aircraft flying from Allied aircraft carriers and the Ryukyu Islands also frequently struck targets in Japan during 1945 in preparation for the planned invasion of Japan scheduled for October 1945. During early August 1945, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were struck and mostly destroyed by atomic bombs.
Japan's military and civil defenses were unable to stop the Allied attacks. The number of fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft guns assigned to defensive duties in the home islands was inadequate, and most of these aircraft and guns had difficulty reaching the high altitudes at which B-29s often operated. Fuel shortages, inadequate pilot training, and a lack of coordination between units also constrained the effectiveness of the fighter force. Despite the vulnerability of Japanese cities to firebombing attacks, the firefighting services lacked training and equipment, and few air raid shelters were constructed for civilians. As a result, the B-29s were able to inflict severe damage on urban areas while suffering few losses.
The Allied bombing campaign was one of the main factors which influenced the Japanese government's decision to surrender in mid-August 1945. However, there has been a long-running debate over the morality of the attacks on Japanese cities, and the use of atomic weapons is particularly controversial. The most commonly cited estimate of Japanese casualties from the raids is 333,000 killed and 473,000 wounded. There are a number of other estimates of total fatalities, however, which range from 241,000 to 900,000. In addition to the loss of mostly civilian life, the raids contributed to a large decline in industrial production.Anthony Smith (defensive end)
Anthony Wayne Smith (born June 20, 1967) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League and convicted murderer. He was drafted by the Raiders 11th overall in the 1990 NFL Draft. He played college football at Arizona and also Alabama.Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The bombing of Dresden was a British/American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, during World War II in the European Theatre. In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. The bombing and the resulting firestorm destroyed over 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of the city centre. An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people were killed, although larger casualty figures have been claimed. Three more USAAF air raids followed, two occurring on 2 March aimed at the city's railway marshalling yard and one smaller raid on 17 April aimed at industrial areas.
Immediate German propaganda claims following the attacks and post-war discussions on whether the attacks were justified have led to the bombing becoming one of the moral causes célèbres of the war. A 1953 United States Air Force report defended the operation as the justified bombing of a strategic target, which they noted was a major rail transport and communication centre, housing 110 factories and 50,000 workers in support of the German war effort. Several researchers claim not all of the communications infrastructure, such as the bridges, were targeted, nor were the extensive industrial areas outside the city centre. Critics of the bombing have claimed that Dresden was a cultural landmark of little or no strategic significance, and that the attacks were indiscriminate area bombing and not proportionate to the military gains. Some in the German far-right refer to the bombing as a mass murder calling it "Dresden's Holocaust of bombs". According to other critics, given the number of civilian casualties and a claimed paucity of strategic targets, Dresden's destruction was unjustifiable and should be called a war crime. They claim the city could have been spared, like Rome, Paris, and Kyoto, though both British and American militaries defended the bombing as necessary.Large variations in the claimed death toll have fuelled the controversy. In March 1945, the German government ordered its press to publish a falsified casualty figure of 200,000 for the Dresden raids, and death toll estimates as high as 500,000 have been given. The city authorities at the time estimated up to 25,000 victims, a figure that subsequent investigations supported, including a 2010 study commissioned by the city council.Bombing of Kure
The Japanese city of Kure, Hiroshima was attacked repeatedly by Allied aircraft during World War II. These raids targeted the major naval base located at the city, ships moored at this base or nearby, industrial facilities, and the city's urban area itself.
The following major attacks were conducted on Kure and the nearby region:
19 March 1945 - Attack on warships at and near Kure by the United States Navy's Task Force 58
30 March 1945 - B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers laid mines in the approaches to Kure and Hiroshima
Early April 1945 - Further minelaying by B-29s in the approaches to Kure and Kure harbour
5 May 1945 - Raid by 148 B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers on the Hiro Naval Aircraft Factory at Kure
5 May 1945 - B-29s laid mines in the approaches to Kure and Hiroshima
22 June 1945 - Raid by B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers on the Kure Naval Arsenal
1 July 1945 - Firebombing raid by B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers on Kure destroyed 40 percent of the city
24 and 28 July - Large-scale attacks on ships at Kure by the United States Navy, with the US Navy and British Pacific Fleet also striking ships in the Inland Sea area.
28 July 1945 - Raid by 79 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers on ships anchored at KureBombing of Nagoya in World War II
The Bombing of Nagoya in World War II by the United States Army Air Forces took place as part of the air raids on Japan during the closing months of the war.Bombing of Tokyo
The Bombing of Tokyo (東京大空襲, Tōkyōdaikūshū) was a series of firebombing air raids by the United States Army Air Forces during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. Operation Meetinghouse, which was conducted on the night of 9–10 March 1945, is regarded as the single most destructive bombing raid in human history. 16 square miles (41 km2) of central Tokyo were destroyed, leaving an estimated 100,000 civilians dead and over 1 million homeless.
The US first mounted a seaborne, small-scale air raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Strategic bombing and urban area bombing began in 1944 after the long-range B-29 Superfortress bomber entered service, first deployed from China and thereafter the Mariana Islands. B-29 raids from those islands began on 17 November 1944, and lasted until 15 August 1945, the day of Japanese surrender.Over 50% of Tokyo's industry was spread out among residential and commercial neighborhoods; firebombing cut the whole city's output in half.Bombing of Tokyo (10 March 1945)
On the night of 9/10 March 1945 the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) conducted a devastating firebombing raid on Tokyo, the Japanese capital city. This attack was code-named Operation Meetinghouse by the USAAF and is known as the Great Tokyo Air Raid in Japan. During the raid, bombs dropped from 279 Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers burned out much of eastern Tokyo. More than 88,000 and possibly over 100,000 Japanese, mostly civilians, were killed and one million left homeless, making it the single most destructive air attack of World War II. The Japanese air and civil defenses proved inadequate, and only 14 American aircraft and 96 airmen were lost.
The attack on Tokyo was an intensification of the air raids on Japan which had commenced in June 1944. Prior to this operation, the USAAF had focused on a precision bombing campaign against Japanese industrial facilities. These attacks were generally unsuccessful, which contributed to the decision to shift to firebombing. The operation during the early hours of 10 March was the first major firebombing raid against a Japanese city, and the USAAF units employed significantly different tactics than those used in precision raids including bombing by night. The extensive destruction caused by the raid led these tactics to become standard for the USAAF's B-29s until the end of the war.Fates Worse Than Death
Fates Worse than Death, subtitled An Autobiographical Collage of the 1980s, is a 1991 collection of essays, speeches, and other previously uncollected writings by author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.. In the introduction to the book, Vonnegut acknowledges that the book is similar to an earlier book, Palm Sunday. In it he discusses his attempted suicide.
Due to the autobiographical nature of the book, Vonnegut provides some details about his upbringing and life, such as his childhood in Indiana. His education at Cornell University, Carnegie Tech, University of Tennessee, and University of Chicago are briefly mentioned as well.
Vonnegut also describes life experiences that are found in his novels. For example, Slaughterhouse-Five deals with a firebombing of Dresden, Germany, an event that he was present at during his time in the Army. Specifically, "I was a battalion scout, a PFC, who was captured on the border of Germany in December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. Thus did I happen to be a laborer under guard in Dresden when it was firebombed on February 13, 1945.” As this experience was similar to that of Jewish prisoners in World War II, Vonnegut's use of "liberated" to describe his release is somewhat unsurprising. In fact, he "spent some time with concentration camp survivors and heard their stories before returning to the American lines." Despite similarities between Vonnegut's experiences and those of the main character of the book, Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut stated, "The firebombing at Dresden explains absolutely nothing about why I write what I write and am what I am.” He does give some insight to his motivation for writing though, saying, “the villains in my books… are never individuals. The villains again: culture, society, and history." This book also includes a "humanist requiem" that Vonnegut wrote as a reaction to the Roman Catholic Requiem, which he had heard in Andrew Lloyd Webber's setting and whose text he found "terrible and sadistic". Vonnegut's own text was then set as a "Cosmos Cantata" by the composer Seymour Barab, of whom Vonnegut said, "Barab's music is full of magic. He proved to an atheist that God exists. What an honor to have worked with him."The ending of this text is as follows:
"Let not eternal light disturb our sleep, O Cosmos, for Thou art merciful. Deliver me, O Cosmos, from everlasting wakefulness. On that dread day when the heavens and earth shall quake, when we shall dissolve the world into glowing ashes in the name of gods unknowable, I am seized with trembling and I am afraid until that day of reckoning shall arrive. Hence I pray, Deliver me, O Cosmos, from everlasting wakefulness on that day of wrath, calamity and misery. Rest grant us, O Cosmos, and let not light perpetual disturb our sleep."Firestorm
A firestorm is a conflagration which attains such intensity that it creates and sustains its own wind system. It is most commonly a natural phenomenon, created during some of the largest bushfires and wildfires. Although the term has been used to describe certain large fires, the phenomenon's determining characteristic is a fire with its own storm-force winds from every point of the compass. The Black Saturday bushfires and the Great Peshtigo Fire are possible examples of forest fires with some portion of combustion due to a firestorm, as is the Great Hinckley Fire. Firestorms have also occurred in cities, usually as a deliberate effect of targeted explosives, such as occurred as a result of the aerial firebombings of Hamburg, Dresden, firebombing of Tokyo and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.Hamburger Morgenpost
The Hamburger Morgenpost (Hamburg Morning Post) (also known as Mopo) is a daily German newspaper published in Hamburg in tabloid format.
As of 2006 the Hamburger Morgenpost was the second-largest newspaper in Hamburg after Bild Zeitung.Jericho bus firebombing
The Jericho bus firebombing was a Palestinian terrorist attack that occurred during the First Intifada outside the West Bank town of Jericho. In the attack, a bus was targeted by militants wielding molotov cocktails, and destroyed. It resulted in the deaths of 5 Israelis, and the wounding of 5 others.
Two perpetrators were arrested immediately, and imprisoned by Israel. They were released after 25 years as part of the renewal of peace negotiations with the Palestinian National Authority.Riverdale Press
Founded in 1950 by David A. Stein, The Riverdale Press is a weekly newspaper that covers the Northwest Bronx neighborhoods of Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights and Van Cortlandt Village. It is one of a handful of weeklies to win a Pulitzer Prize.
In the 1950s, The Press fought to rezone Riverdale to preserve private homes and open space threatened by development. It played a key role in the creation of new public schools to accommodate the residents of newly-built apartments and in rescuing a large tract of land in Spuyten Duyvil for a park. Later, it advocated creation of a special natural area district to protect the area's distinctive trees and rocks In 1978, Bernard Stein succeeded his father as editor, gaining for The Press a reputation as a crusading newspaper. "The Riverdale Press courted controversy and cast a tough, skeptical eye on local officials, who ignored the paper at their peril," wrote The New York Times The Press was the first newspaper to disclose corruption on the city's community school boards; its reporting on the construction of the largest medical waste incinerator in the state in the South Bronx led to the indictment of the chair of the local community board and, eventually, to shuttering the incinerator. For that effort, the paper earned the highest honor of the city's Deadline Club, the James Wright Brown Public Service Award, beating out Newsday and Forbes Magazine, the runners-up.Bernard Stein's brother Richard, the paper's general manager, was also responsible for its design, which won so many awards that the New York Press Association named its annual award for overall design excellence the Richard L. Stein Award The Press continues to win this award, most recently in 2018.On David Stein's death in 1982, the brothers became co-publishers of The PressSecond Cup
Second Cup Coffee Co. is a Canadian coffee retailer, operating more than 300 cafes across the country. Its headquarters are in Mississauga, Ontario. Its stores sell hot and cold beverages, pastries, snacks, pre-packaged food items, hot and cold sandwiches, and drinkware including mugs and tumblers. It competes with Starbucks, Tim Hortons and McDonald's, which also feature espresso-based specialty drinks.
Second Cup has expanded its franchises to the United States, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Angola, Ghana, Lithuania, Romania, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Philippines, Bangladesh and Poland.
Tassimo Second Cup beverages were launched in September 2012. Tassimo T65 are now sold at every Second Cup location.Siyatha TV
Siyatha TV is a private Sri Lankan 4K Ultra HD channel currently broadcasting in Sri Lanka in the Sinhala language. It is owned by the Voice of Asia Network (Pvt) Ltd, which also runs radio channels named Siyatha FM, Real Radio, Kiss FM and Vettri FM.Squamish Five
The Squamish Five (sometimes referred to as the Vancouver Five) were a group of self-styled "urban guerrillas" active in Canada during the early 1980s. Their chosen name was Direct Action.
The five were Ann Hansen, Brent Taylor, Juliet Caroline Belmas, Doug Stewart and Gerry Hannah. They were activists who had become disenchanted and frustrated with traditional methods of activism, believing that by engaging in semi-symbolic propaganda by the deed, they could jolt people into action themselves.The Emperor in August
The Emperor in August (日本のいちばん長い日 literally Japan's Longest Day) is a 2015 Japanese historical drama film directed by Masato Harada. It was released on August 8, 2015.An expanded remake of Japan's Longest Day, the movie depicts the chain of command of Imperial Japan's government military, and war council under Hirohito in the immediate period before the surrender of Japan in World War II between April 1945 to August 15, 1945, chronicling Kantarō Suzuki's term as the Prime Minister and the final months of War Minister Korechika Anami, the Allied firebombing of Tokyo on May 25, preparations for Operation Ketsugō, the leadership's response to the Potsdam Declaration and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a failed military coup intended to foil Japan's declaration of surrender.University of Washington firebombing incident
The University of Washington firebombing incident was an arson which took place in the early morning hours of May 21, 2001 when a firebomb was set off at Merrill Hall, a part of the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture, causing an estimated $1.5 to $4.1 million in damages. By 2012 four of five accused conspirators behind the attack admitted their guilt in plea bargains. A fifth committed suicide in federal detention while awaiting trial.