Bombing of Chinese Cities file photo

Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities

15 Aug 1937 - 23 Aug 1943

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Bombing of Nanjing
15 Aug 1937-31 Dec 1937

Bombing of Nanjing, the capital of China, began in late Aug 1937. On 21 Sep, the Japanese Army Air Service under Prince Naruhiko ordered a renewed aerial campaign against the city. The residential districts in southern Nanjing suffered heavy damage in late Sep, with the greatest loss on 25 Sep when Japanese bombers made 95 sorties between 0930 and 1630 hours, dropping 500 bombs and causing 600 civilian casualties. During this aerial campaign, power plants, water works, the radio station, and the Central Hospital were also targeted. Air raids on Nanjing began to cease as the Battle of Nanjing began in Dec 1937.

Bombing of Shanghai
23 Aug 1937-31 Oct 1937

During the First Battle of Shanghai, Chinese civilians had the first taste of terror bombing on 29 Jan 1932 when the eight square mile suburb of Chapei suffered 1,000 deaths. When WW2 began in 1937, however, significantly larger casualty numbers would be observed.

Bombing of Guangzhou
22 Sep 1937-31 Oct 1938

Bombing on the provincial capital of Guangzhou began early in the Second Sino-Japanese War, and ended in Oct 1938 as Japanese troops began the occupation of the city.

Bombing of Chongqing
18 Feb 1938-23 Aug 1943

The temporary Chinese capital Chongqing was the target of a long series of aerial attacks by both Japanese Army and Japanese Navy aircraft beginning in early 1938. These attacks were meant to serve two purposes: to destroy Chinese civilian morale, and to soften defenses for the planned offensive of Sichuan province. Of the many raids of various sizes, the larger ones were generally came in the spring of 1941, some of which killed thousands of civilians in single days. An estimated 11,000 bombs were dropped by the Japanese, most of which were incendiary bombs. Over 10,000 Chinese were killed, most of whom were civilians.

Sources: New York Times, Wikipedia.

Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities Interactive Map

Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities Timeline

14 Aug 1937 18 Type 96 G3M bombers of the Japanese Kanoya Air Group took off from the Matsuyama Airfield in Taihoku (now Songshan Airport in Taipei), Taiwan to bomb Jianqiao Airfield at Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province and Guangde Airfield in Anhui Province in China. Fighters of the Chinese 4th Pursuit Group, led by Captain Gao Zhihang, rose to intercept from Jianqiao and shot down 3 bombers without any losses. Cheng Xiaoyu's 22nd Squadron, also of the Chinese 4th Pursuit Group, rose to meet the other group attacking Guangde Airfield, shooting down another. Anti-aircraft crews claimed a further two bombers destroyed. Gao's downing was the first Republic of China Air Force victory of WW2. In 1939, the Chinese Nationalist government would declare 14 Aug as a holiday, Air Force Day, as an instrument to raise morale.
15 Aug 1937 Japanese bombers conducted a raid on the Chinese capital city of Nanjing; it was the very first time this city was subjected to aerial bombing.
26 Aug 1937 Japanese aircraft attacked a vehicle carrying the ambassador of United Kingdom during an air raid on Shanghai, China.
31 Aug 1937 The Japanese Navy Kanoya Air Group, based in Taiwan, launched 9 Type 96 G3M2 bombers to attack Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. 8 Hawk III fighters of Chinese 29th Independent Pursuit Squadron were scrambled to intercept; one G3M bomber was shot down, two Hawk III fighters were damaged.
25 Sep 1937 Japanese bombers flew 95 sorties over Nanjing, China between 0930 and 1630 hours, dropping 500 bombs which caused more than 600 mostly civilian casualties. The National Central Hospital, which had a large red cross painted on the roof, was also damaged by bombs.
18 Feb 1938 Japanese Army and Navy aircraft began a 6-month-long aerial bombardment campaign against the Chinese temporary capital city of Chongqing.
28 May 1938 Japanese bombers attacked Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, killing 750 and wounding 1,350.
4 Jun 1938 30 to 40 Japanese bombers attacked Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, causing an estimated 2,000 casualties (700 deaths).
8 Jun 1938 US Ambassador to Tokyo Joseph Grew issued a protest to the Japanese government for the bombing of Lingnan University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China; the French government also issued a protest for recent attacks on a French hospital in Guangzhou. In Shanghai, China, Rear Admiral Noda Kiyoshi, who was in charge of Japanese Navy's public relations, announced that "our aviators are doing their best to avoid hitting non-combatants."
18 Aug 1938 3 Chinese Hawk 75 and 7 Chinese I-15 fighters intercepted 27 Japanese bombers over Hengyang, Hunan, China, shooting down 1 Japanese bomber and damaging another but losing 1 Hawk 75 fighter. The remaining two Hawk 75 fighters crashed while landing.
26 Dec 1938 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China during the day; this was the first time the temporary capital was bombed during the daylight hours.
7 Jan 1939 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China during the day.
10 Jan 1939 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China during the day.
20 Feb 1939 40 Soviet volunteer and Chinese Air Force fighters intercepted 30 Japanese bombers near Lanzhou, Gansu, China, shooting down 9 Japanese bombers.
23 Feb 1939 A group of fighters flown by Soviet volunteers intercepted 57 Japanese bombers near Lanzhou, Gansu, China, shooting down 6 Japanese bombers and turning back the rest of the formation.
3 May 1939 Fighters of the Chinese 4th Air Group intercepted 54 Japanese bombers en route to attack Chongqing, China, shooting down 7 Japanese bombers.
4 May 1939 27 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China in the evening.
25 May 1939 26 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China in the evening; six Chinese fighters intercepted them over the junction of Jialing River and Yangtze River and claimed two bombers shot down.
5 Jun 1939 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China for three hours during the day; 4,400 people died of asphyxiation in a collapsed air raid tunnel during this bombing.
11 Jul 1939 27 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China; eight Chinese I-15bis fighters rose to intercept.
24 Jul 1939 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China; one of the I-15bis fighters of Chinese 21st Pursuit Squadron which rose to intercept claimed one bomber shot down.
8 Feb 1940 3 Hawk 75 fighters of the Chinese 18th Squadron intercepted 27 Japanese aircraft en route to Mengzi, Yunnan, China at 1505 hours. One of the Chinese fighters was heavily damaged and was forced to crash land, injuring pilot Yang Tzu-fan.
13 Feb 1940 3 Hawk 75 fighters of the Chinese 18th Squadron intercepted 27 Japanese bombers en route to bomb the bridge on the Xi River near Xiaolongtan, Yunnan, China. One bomber was claimed to be destroyed.
20 May 1940 24 Japanese bombers, en route for Chongqing, China, were intercepted by eight I-16 fighters of Chinese 24th Pursuit Squadron; the Chinese claimed three bombers and one reconnaissance aircraft shot down.
22 May 1940 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China.
27 May 1940 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China in three waves.
28 May 1940 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China in multiple waves.
6 Jun 1940 Japanese Army aircraft attacked Baishi Yi airfield near Chongqing, China; one of the I-15bis fighters of Chinese 21st Pursuit Squadron claimed one Japanese Ki-21 bomber shot down.
10 Jun 1940 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China at 1300 hours; Chinese fighters claimed 5 Japanese aircraft shot down in Bishan County west of the temporary capital, including one G3M bomber.
12 Jun 1940 154 Japanese aircraft attacked Chongqing, China at 1200 hours; Chinese fighters claimed 5 Japanese aircraft shot down.
16 Jun 1940 114 Japanese aircraft attacked Chongqing, China after sundown; four I-16 fighters of Chinese 24th Pursuit Squadron rose to intercept, shooting down one bomber near Fuling County near the city, with one fighter shot down by the Japanese.
4 Jul 1940 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China in multiple waves.
16 Jul 1940 54 Japanese aircraft based in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China attacked Chongqing, China in two waves; 31 Chinese fighters (I-15bis, I-16, and Hawk III models) rose to intercept, claiming damage on several bombers.
28 Jul 1940 More than 100 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China in five waves; 16 fighters from Chinese 4th Pursuit Group and 5th Pursuit Group rose to intercept, claiming one bomber shot down.
15 Sep 1940 B5N bombers of Japanese 12th Naval Air Group based in Yichang, Hubei Province, China attacked Chongqing, China.
4 Oct 1940 6 Hawk 75 fighters of the Chinese 18th Squadron were in transit when they came across 27 Japanese G3M bombers escorted by 8 A6M Zero fighters, en route to attack Chengdu, Sichuan, China. The Zero fighters shot down 1 and forcing 2 to crash land.
26 Oct 1940 Japanese aircraft raided the CAMCO factory at Loiwing (Leiyun), China, destroying recently arrived kits of CW-21 fighters.
21 May 1941 8 I-15 fighters of the Chinese 29th Squadron intercepted 27 Japanese G3M bombers over Lanzhou, Gansu, China, shooting down one and damaging another.
22 May 1941 7 I-16 fighters of the Chinese 24th Pursuit Squadron and 1 SB bomber of the Chinese 9th Bomb Squadron were ordered to intercept the incoming 25 Japanese G3M bombers at Lanzhou, Gansu, China. Bad weather forced the Chinese aircraft to land at Chung Chuan Chun Airfield, but upon sighting the Japanese bombers overhead the Chinese fighters were able to takeoff and shoot down one bomber and damaging another.
5 Jun 1941 Japanese aircraft flew more than 20 sorties against Chongqing, China over a 3-hour period, dropping bombs on civilian sections of the city. In the Jiaochangkou air raid shelter tunnel, more than 1,000 Chinese died from asphyxiation.
15 Jun 1941 US government criticized the Japanese raids on civilian sections of Chongqing, China. Meanwhile, unrelated to the US complaint, the Japanese air raid on Chongqing damaged the US embassy.
24 Jun 1941 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China, damaging the British Consulate among other buildings.
29 Jun 1941 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China; among the property damaged were the British Embassy in the city and American gunboat USS Tutuila at Lungmenhao lagoon.
20 Dec 1941 Fighters of the 1st and 2nd Squadrons of the American Volunteer Group intercepted 10 Japanese bombers over Kunming, Yunnan, China, shooting down 9 bombers while losing 1 P-40 fighter.
6 Jun 1943 8 Japanese light bombers escorted by 14 fighters attacked Liangshan Airfield in Chongqing, China, destroying 12 P-40 fighters and 1 other aircraft on the ground. Captain Chow Chin-kai, who had just landed in a P-40 fighters, commandeered a P-66 Vanguard fighter parked nearby and shot down 3 bombers. Chow was later awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun for this action.
23 Aug 1943 21 Japanese bombers escorted by 17 fighters took off from Hankou, Hubei, China to attack Chongqing in Sichuan Province, China; the formation was met with an additional 14 fighters en route. 10 P-40, 8 P-43, and 11 P-66 fighters of the Chinese Air Force rose to intercept. The Chinese lost one P-40 fighter, one P-43 fighter, and two P-66 fighters in the engagement while the Japanese lost one bomber and several damaged. This would become the final major aerial attack on Chongqing.

Photographs

Damaged shops at Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China after Japanese aerial bombing, 14 Aug 1937Chinese troops manning an Italian-made Breda Model 35 anti-aircraft gun, Shanghai, China, 1937Japanese bomber crew preparing bombs before a mission, 1930s; bomb on right of photo noted Japanese bombers flying over central China, circa 1938
See all 8 photographs of Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities



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Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities Photo Gallery
Damaged shops at Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China after Japanese aerial bombing, 14 Aug 1937
See all 8 photographs of Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities



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