The Night Tokyo Burned

Hoito Edoin, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-312-01072-0
Since the end of World War II, the destruction of Dresden often has been cited as the most dreadful example of civilian-targeted firebombing, but this book amply demonstrates that several ""Dresdens'' were perpetrated against Japan even before the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Edoin (prolific American military historian Edwin P. Hoyt, author of The Bloody Road to Panmunjum, etc.) describes the development of the American bombing campaign under the no-quarter leadership of Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay and the effect on the ground as witnessed and suffered by Japanese city-dwellers while ``the fire dragon roamed the streets.'' The blast-and-burn aspect is only one element in the powerful narrative; Edoin includes the debate over the proper employment of the B-29 ``Superfortress,'' the hopeless civil-defense efforts and the varying attitudes of Emperor Hirohito, the military clique and the populace as the death toll mounted. Photos. (December 21)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-91385-4
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