World: Fire in the Night

Fire fell on Kagoshima in the night, as suddenly as an earthquake, but with far greater violence. Peacefully, Kagoshima's 200,000 Japanese citizens had gone to bed, leaving the city and naval anchorage brightly lighted. Then, at low level, the B-29s roared in. Two searchlights aimlessly fingered the sky and quickly paled into nothing as almost 1,000 tons of incendiary bombs turned the city into a flaming caldron. There was only one dark spot in the glowing mass: a baseball park.

Within a week, other secondary cities got the same treatment—Shizuoka, Toyohashi, Fukuoka, Kagamigahara. Small...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!