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"Japanese Bombing Methods" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following military intelligence report on Japanese bombing and ground attack tactics was originally printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 1, June 18, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


A Japanese method in bombing operations is to send a fleet of bombers over the objective and drop no bombs at all. However, these are followed within a short period, from ten to fifteen minutes, by another fleet of bombers which do all the damage.

The Japanese also employ a method known as the "hidden fighter." This consists of an attack by a group of bombers which brings the British planes into the air. Then all but one of the Japanese bombers leave. The remaining bomber lurks in the vicinity behind hills until sufficient time has passed to allow the British fighters to land at their airfield, at which time the Japanese bomber comes out of the shadows and destroys the British planes on the ground. This deceptive method was used very effectively in Singapore, not only in the destruction of buildings but in causing great casualties among the people.

In a recent raid on Port Moresby, five Japanese fighters arrived 90 seconds prior to the appearance of bombers and traced a cross of white smoke. When the bombers appeared, they flew through the center of the smoke pattern and released their bombs approximately 12 seconds afterward.

(No. 363, M.I.S., Headquarters, U.S.F., S.W. Pacific.)


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