World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: Firebirds' Flight

A dream came true last week for U.S. Army aviators: they got their chance to loose avalanches of fire bombs on Tokyo and Nagoya, and they proved that, properly kindled, Japanese cities will burn like autumn leaves.

In Tokyo, where the main administrative and business section had been rebuilt in reinforced concrete after the 1923 earthquake, the B-29 firebirds' commanders selected a 10-sq.-mi. area of flimsier construction, east of the Imperial Palace. In Nagoya—which had suffered little from earthquakes, and so had not been modernized—it was a 5-sq.-mi. area in the heart...

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