Firebombing in WWII:
A Brief Introduction
World War brought more human lives to an end than any other conflict in the
history of mankind. In any light, the
numbers are staggering: 20 million
Russians killed on the Eastern Front; 11 million Chinese killed in the Pacific
War; 12 million in Nazi death camps.
This carnage was brought to a bloody end by the Allied victory in
It might reasonably be assumed that the deadliest weapons aimed at civilians were these atomic bombs; however, this is not the case. Massive firebombing raids in Japanese and German cities consistently killed more civilians than any contemporary nuclear weapon could have. Incendiary munitions, such as firebombs, couldwhen used in massive numbers over a small areacreate a raging inferno which destroyed life and property with greater rapidity than any technology under the control of man. Firebombs were the most devastating weapons of the Second World War.
The pages that
follow will examine the technical, ethical, and political aspects of World War
II firebombing. Specifically, you will
find a brief introduction to the history and science of military incendiary
weapons, a discussion of their use against civilian, industrial, political, and
military targets in