On April 18th, 1942, The U.S. made their first airstrike on Japan, known as the Doolittle Raid. The significance of the Doolittle Raid was two things: One, the Japanese were seen as an invincible foe. Two, the planes that did the bombing were huge and set off of naval ships (we’ll get to this in a second).
The Doolittle Raid wasn’t intended to be very effective, like the future bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but instead it was intended to confuse the Japanese. To make them realize they weren’t as well-protected as they thought, and hopefully it would force more of their armed forces to protect their country, rather than it’s surrounding territories.
As for the “planes being huge and set off on naval ships”, a U.S.S. Carrier is a large, yet thin ship. Usually jets are carried on them and set off on them. For the Doolittle Raid, B-25 bombers were used, and the bombers were so heavy, in fact, that in order to even allow them to get off of the ship and take flight, much of the armor had to first be removed.
All in all, the Doolittle Raid was a success, and Japan did end up taking out on of their naval carriers to protect their country and focus less on their territories.
However, when the Japanese learned of the Chinese aiding the Americans (they were going to set up beacons to refuel their planes and to help guide them home), they executed over 250,000 Chinese citizens as “punishment” for trying to assist the Americans…
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