138 - America Strikes Back - Tokyo in Flames - WW2 - April 18 1942

Originally published at: https://timeghost.tv/138-america-strikes-back-tokyo-in-flames-ww2-april-18-1942/

The Doolitte Raid is just a little bombing raid over Tokyo that doesn’t do that much physical damage. It does, however, have big repercussions- partly in terms of future offensive plans for the Japanese fleet, and partly in terms of the thousands of Chinese lives taken in reprisals for allowing the US bombers to land…


I am the only one who has been counting down to the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo?


World War Two
Allies: Albanian resistance, Andorra’, Australia+, Bahrain-, Belgium*+, Canada, China’’, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia*, Danish resistance, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Free France+’’’, Greece*, Greenland]], Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland]]], Iraq~, Korea, Luxembourg*, Nepal, Netherlands*+, New Zealand+, Nicaragua, Norway*+, Oman-, Panama, Philippines-, Poland*, Seri Thai, South Africa, Transjordan-, Tannu Tuva~, United Kingdom+, USA+, USSR, Yugoslav Partisans’’’’

Axis: Bulgaria, Chechnya-Ingushetia<, Croatia~’’’’, Finland<<< Germany+, Hungary, Italy +, Japan+^, Manchukuo~, Mengkukuo~, Ngolok Tibetans^^, Reorganized ROC~, Romania, Slovakia~, Thailand~, Ukrainian nationalists^^^, Vichy France+’’’,

3rd Parties: Denmark], Estonian resistance<<, Latvian resistance<<, Lithuanian resistance<<, Yugoslav Chetniks’’’’

Italics: Non-state forces
*occupied with a government-in-exile & resistance movement.
+Includes forces from the country’s colonies, overseas territories, or reichskommissariats
-self-governing protectorate or territory

‘Because Andorra & was not present at the Treaty of Versailles, they were still technically at war with Germany. SPOILER WARNING: While Andorra will act as & be treated as a neutral country for the duration of the war,

‘’The Kuomintang & Communist Parties have signed a truce to fight the Japanese as part of the Second United Front lead by Chiang Kai-shek, but coordination is minimal & both deeply mistrust the other.

‘’’When newly appointed Prime Minister Philippe Pétain announced his intentions to seek an armistice with the Axis powers, General Charles de Gaulle established a government-in-exile that would continue the war on the Allied side. French colonies had to decide whether to remain loyal to the Vichy Regime or join the Free French. Chad under Governor Félix Éboué was the first to join De Gaulle & soon all of French Equatorial Africa was in Free French hands, with its capital Brazzaville serving as headquarters for the movement. SPOILER WARNING: By late 1943, all French oversea possessions except in Indochina were controlled by Free France. Although the French government in Vichy is officially neutral, I have placed them with the Axis. The main reason being that Allied forces would continue to attack & occupy the territory it claimed throughout the war. At the same time, the Vichy government collaborated with Germany by providing war materials, allowing them use of their territory for strategic operations, & in implementing the Holocaust.

’’’’After Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis, the “Independent State of Croatia” was established as a puppet state made up of Croatians separatists opposed to the government’s centralization programs. In opposition to the invasion, resistance movements such as the Communist “National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia” & the Serbian/Royalist “Chetnik Detachments of the Yugoslav Army” formed. In late 1941, the movements would start to fight each other with the Chetniks at timea cooperating with the Germans & at other times fighting them. For that reason, I have placed them in the 3rd Parties.

<While many Chechens would serve in the Red Army during the war, the Provisional Popular Revolutionary Government of Chechnya-Ingushetia is currently engaged in a guerrilla war against the USSR for independence. Since I have the Soviets is now with the Allies, I‘m placing Chechnya-Ingushetia with the Axis.

<<The official governments of the Baltic States reluctantly accepted the USSR’s ultimatums, resulting in their occupation & the installation of new Soviet friendly regimes. This led to the creation of irregular national resistance movements.
Although some continue to collaborate with the Axis, others now fight against the domination of the Baltic States by both Germany & the USSR. For that reason, I have moved them to the 3rd Parties list.

<<<Although the Finish Government did not sign the Tripartite Pact, they did cooperate with the Germans in the Invasion of the USSR. SPOILER WARNING: With the end of the Continuation War & the beginning of the Lapland War in September 1944, I’ll move Finland back to the Allies.

^I’ve combined the European & Asian wars at this point because Japan has now officially joined a military alliance with Germany & Italy in the form of the Tripartite Pact & is occupying Northern French Indochina, which is land the Free French government recognizes as its own. Despite the government in Vichy agreeing to the occupation after months of pressure, impatient Japanese forces rushed across the border & clashed with their Vichy French counterparts in the first few days. Since the fighting is over, Vichy France & Japan are listed together as part of the Axis.

^^The Ngolok rebellions were a brutal ethnic conflict fought in Qinghai/Amdo between Ngolok Tibetans & the Hui dominated Ma clique who were loyal to the Kuomintang government of China. Despite having a common enemy in the Kuomintang, the Ngolok Tibetans & Japan were only co-belligerents as they didn’t have a formal alliance & didn’t coordinate in military planning.

^^^Some Ukrainians such as both factions of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists(OUN) aided the Axis invasion of the USSR in the hope of securing Ukrainian Independence. SPOILER WARNING: Later, they would start to fight the Axis as well when it became apparent Hitler had no intention of granting it.

]In the 2nd week of April, both Germany & the United Kingdom invaded & occupied parts of Danish territory(Germany occupied Denmark proper & the United Kingdom occupied the Faroe Islands) to “guarantee their independence & neutrality.” Everyday life went on mostly as before with Local authorities in both areas cooperating with the occupiers. Hitler hoped that Denmark would be “a model protectorate” that would aide his larger goals. Despite this, the Danish national government resisted calls by Germany for legal discrimination against Jewish Danes, the death penalty, & German military courts to have jurisdiction over Danish citizens. The Danish colony of Greenland(being de facto independent at the time) asked the neutral USA to protect them from invasion by the warring powers. Throughout this time, Denmark remained officially neutral despite having Axis & Allied forces on its soil. SPOILER WARNING: On August 29, 1943, after refusing to submit to any further German demands, the Danish government was dissolved & the German military took direct control of the country. At that point, I’ll take Denmark off the 3rd parties list & replace the Danish resistance with Denmark(with an occupied disclaimer).

]]Under his own initiative, Danish ambassador to the Henrik Kauffmann allowed American forces to occupy Greenland to protect it from invasion by belligerents of the 2nd World War. As Denmark proper had already been invaded, its government was in no position to rule the island, so administration fell to the Sheriffs or Landsfogeder.

]]]Although the Icelandic government issued a formal protest, the British invasion was not contested because Iceland lacked a military to fight back with & so told its people to treat the occupiers as guests. Even to this day, the “Lovely War” is controversial. Many Icelanders view the Allied occupation very negatively for the loss of their country’s sovereignty & for foreign troops fraternizing with local women. Others point to economic & infrastructural benefits the happened during the war. On July 7th, 1941, Iceland’s occupation was transferred to the Neutral United States.

/Operating out of Chungking, China, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea declared war on the Axis Powers on December 9th, 1941 in the hope of ending the Japanese rule of the Korean peninsula that has lasted since 1910.

MY POLICY ON COUNTRY PLACEMENT If a country declares war on or attacks another country & at least one of them is already involved in World War II, I’ll list the other as a part of the opposing faction. That is why the events of the Winter War were included in the main World War II list & the events of the War of ‘41(Ecuador vs. Peru) were not. The countries listed in the factions above are comprised of both official members & co-belligerents. The terms “Allies” & “Axis” are used for both kinds of belligerents as a convenient way to distill the world war & it’s adjoining conflicts, with disclaimers used to elaborate on some of the more complicated situations. If a country or resistance movement is at war with at least one country form both factions, I’ll add them to the 3rd Parties list with a disclaimer. The 3rd Parties list is not a faction, but a collection of warring parties who act independently of one another. Also, the many foreign volunteer units are not listed because they are fighting the war under the flag of a belligerent that is already involved. I have to consolidate factions along co-belligerency or else the number of factions will balloon out of control. Finally, each post only represents the factions as they were 79 years ago to the day. Many countries will join, leave, or switch sides before the war ends for various reasons & I strongly encourage you to look into the situation of each country for yourself.


I’am fascinated by this raid. Such a bold move that could have easily backfired!


The sad thing is that in that case a lot of historians would have written how stupid and ill prepared it was, thinking backwards.

What impresses me most that the US had prepared it for months and did bring 2 carriers close to Japan. The Big E Enterprise was there as well to provide fighter cover as the Hornet could not deploy fighters with the B-25s on deck.

I guess it was a calculated high risk move which worked with still brand new weapon systems. It is still amazing how they pulled it off.

This obviously propaganda vid probably captures the spirits including “Japanese friendship medals” being tied to bombs.

“We just dented your DEATH STAR” to put it anachronistically. (Hey I didn’t start the SW references”


The Doolittle raid was intended to ‘strike an offensive blow’ at the Emperor before America was ready for true offensive actions. It demonstrated to an anxious US nation that the military was both competent and preparing for a decisive war with Japan. I can imagine all the parents and spouses wondering if their warriors could win-the skillful Tokyo mission helped build the nations confidence that they could.

I remember watching an interview with Doolittle long after the war. He said that after he crash landed his plane in China, he sat on the wing with his head in his hands. One of his crew asked him ‘are you ok?’- to which he responded jokingly, ‘not really, I bet the army is going to make me pay for the damage to this plane’. He was a funny, humble and very brave leader.


Speech from the National WW2 museum by the granddaughter of Jimmy Doolittle with fascinating stories. E.g. he probably was the only 3 star :star: General who queued up and clean his own mess-kit.

Also he was a safe flyer after all, e.g. he developed his outside loop bit by and survived the GeeBee spotsters ( the most dangerous plane he flew) by testing it from a high altitude.

See vid



Thanks for the vid! I think he was almost too big a name and personality to risk harm on this daring mission.