World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF JAPAN: Bull's-Eye

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For the first time, Japan's home islands saw a U.S. fleet and felt the lightning strokes of its big guns. While a thousand carrier planes swirled over the homeland, battleships, cruisers and destroyers stood in toward shore.

There was nothing to stop them. Three miles from the beaches they squared off to subject Japan to an indignity without precedent. A great steel plant, only 275 miles from Tokyo, was hammered by the warships' guns. And that was only a be ginning; a day later the Americans struck again. Battleships sailed into...