West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday remembered the day in 1942, during World War II, the Japanese Air Force bombed Kolkata.
“On this day in 1942, during World War II, the Japanese Air Force bombed Kolkata,” Ms Banerjee tweeted. “Let the great suffering during the two World Wars be a lesson for the generations to come. Peace leads to prosperity,” she added.
On December 20, 1942, bombers of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF) bombed the city, damaging its infrastructure and bringing sorrow to the entire city of joy. The city was bombed several times over the next few days. This happened in doom of second world war which destroyed many cities around the globe.
The eastern Indian state of Calcutta (now Kolkata), because of its proximity to China and Burma, was as an important hub in execution of the military operations By May 1942, the Japanese had overrun Burma, having defeated the British and Chinese ground troops, and felt that Calcutta was well within their reach.The city was first “blacked out” from sunset to sunrise to make it harder for the bombers to accurately hit their targets.
Entire functioning of the city was under curfew — right from buildings to streets to houses. Calcutta boasted of a good air defence system which was respected by the Japanese fighter pilots who raided only at night and ensured they flew high.
Initially caught off guard by the skilful night-time attacks, the British responded swiftly. The British Air Force bomber pilots destroyed many Japanese fighter planes, including the Japanese flying boat base, thereby crippling the Japanese ability to launch long-range aerial attacks.
The Insides Speak.