How to stop worrying and love the firebomb


"I was on the island of Guam. In [chief of staff of the Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific during World War II General Curtis E. LeMay's] command, in March of 1945, in that single night, we burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo -- men, women, and children. I was part of a mechanism that in a sense recommended it. I analyzed bombing operations, and how to make them more efficient -- i.e. not more efficient in the sense of killing more but more efficient in weakening the advisary (sic.). ... I don't want to suggest that it was I that put into LeMay's mind that his operations were totally ineffecient ... but anyhow that's what he did ... he decided to bomb with firebombs. ... Fifty square miles of Tokyo were burned."

Robert McNamara

Firebomb: How to Stop Worrying And Love The Firebomb