Japanese Fugo Bombing Balloons on North America

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by spidge, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member


    Japanese Fugo Bombing Balloons

    Read more at the link: Japanese Fugo Bombing Balloons

    [SIZE=+2]I[/SIZE]n November, 1944, the Japanese began launching unmanned bomb-carrying balloons, which travelled on prevailing winds across the Pacific Ocean to North America. It was hoped that the balloons would start forest fires and cause general panic among the population.
    The balloons measured about 33 feet in diameter and 70 feet from the top of the balloon to the payload at the bottom. They were first made of paraffined paper, and later from latex and fabricated silk, and contained hydrogen gas. The payload consisted of 36 sand-filled paper bags for use as ballast, 4 incendiary bombs and 1 33-pound anti-personnel bomb.
  2. spidge

    spidge Active Member

  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

  4. Andy M

    Andy M New Member

    Hello There -

    I remember seeing something about this on TV a few years back. I think someone had found the remains on a ballon that had landed someplace on the west coast. Not sure if the bomb was still intact or not.

    A rather odd idea.

  5. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Japanese balloons brought death in 1945: World at War - Cleveland Metro News – The Latest Breaking News, Photos and Stories from The Plain Dealer

  6. war hawk

    war hawk New Member

    I also read that they carried diseases. I know that they were supposed to start fires. Good thread.:peep:
  7. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Not sure about the success of fire starting with the balloons, WH, but the seaplane launches from the submarines certainly dropped incendiaries on the NW forests in an attempt to draw US resources into fighting huge forest fires. The pilot of this aircraft was most experienced and had flown recces over southern Australia earlier in the war.
  8. war hawk

    war hawk New Member

    Good point I agree.
  9. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  10. Steed

    Steed Member

    Have you ever heard of the Japanese secret weapon, the I-400?

    It was amazingly a submarine that carried aircraft for an attack, possibly bilogical, on US West coast cities like LA and San Francisco. The idea was the brainchild of Admiral Yamamoto who was pondering how to launch a stealth attack on the US, but without carriers, as all the Jap carriers had been destroyed at Midway.
    For stability, the top secret I-400 had two hulls, like an underwater catamaran, and the mini hangar with capacity for 3 fighter planes resting on the top.

    Several were built and ready for attack, but Tokyo kept changing the possible target. The Suez Canal was analysed and discarded because the Allies were already onto Japanese soil at Okinawa and a mainland invasion was imminent. So the objective was the atoll where the US Navy was assembling for the invasion, code named Operation Downfall. As the subs were under way to attack in August 1945 news came through to them of first Hiroshima, then Nagasaki and the Japanese surrender.
    The attack was called off and the I-400 flotilla ordered back to port to surrender.
  11. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    I remember coming cross that information back when I was in a geology class in the college. The professor brought it up because the origin of those hot balloon bombs were determined by geologists by checking on the sand came with the balloons.

    Anyway, the bombs were quite ineffective. Only two people were killed from what I remember. Although one of the victims was a mayor.

    The U.S. government told the entire media to be blackout on the incident. Because the Japanese had no way to confirm if the bombs were working other than checking on the U.S. media reports. After no reports on bomb damage, the Japanese stopped sending hot balloon bombs.

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