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Air raids on Japan by the Allies in World War II caused extensive destruction and casualties; the most commonly cited estimates are 333,000 killed and 473,000 wounded. 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 starting in mid-1943. Strategic bombing raids began in June 1944 and were greatly expanded in November. The raids initially attempted to target industrial facilities, but from March 1945 onwards were generally directed against urban areas. Aircraft flying from aircraft carriers and the Ryukyu Islands also frequently struck targets in Japan during 1945 in preparation for an Allied invasion planned for October. In early August, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were struck and mostly destroyed b... Find out more →

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