Civilian Reaction to the Attack

Civilian Reaction to the Attack

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

13b. The War Experience: Soldiers, Officers, and Civilians

Before they could fight for independence, harsh winters during the Revolutionary War forced the Continental Army to fight for their very survival.

Americans remember the famous battles of the American Revolution such as Bunker Hill , Saratoga , and Yorktown, in part, because they were Patriot victories. But this apparent string of successes is misleading.

The Patriots lost more battles than they won and, like any war, the Revolution was filled with hard times, loss of life, and suffering. In fact, the Revolution had one of the highest casualty rates of any U.S. war only the Civil War was bloodier.

A battle flag carried by Revolutionary War soldiers. The banner reads "Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God."

In the early days of 1776, most Americans were naïve when assessing just how difficult the war would be. Great initial enthusiasm led many men to join local militias where they often served under officers of their own choosing. Yet, these volunteer forces were not strong enough to defeat the British Army , which was the most highly trained and best equipped in the world. Furthermore, because most men preferred serving in the militia, the Continental Congress had trouble getting volunteers for General George Washington's Continental Army . This was in part because, the Continental Army demanded longer terms and harsher discipline.

Washington correctly insisted on having a regular army as essential to any chance for victory. After a number of bad militia losses in battle, the Congress gradually developed a stricter military policy. It required each state to provide a larger quota of men, who would serve for longer terms, but who would be compensated by a signing bonus and the promise of free land after the war. This policy aimed to fill the ranks of the Continental Army, but was never fully successful. While the Congress authorized an army of 75,000, at its peak Washington's main force never had more than 18,000 men. The terms of service were such that only men with relatively few other options chose to join the Continental Army.

Part of the difficulty in raising a large and permanent fighting force was that many Americans feared the army as a threat to the liberty of the new republic. The ideals of the Revolution suggested that the militia , made up of local Patriotic volunteers, should be enough to win in a good cause against a corrupt enemy. Beyond this idealistic opposition to the army, there were also more pragmatic difficulties. If a wartime army camped near private homes, they often seized food and personal property. Exacerbating the situation was Congress inability to pay, feed, and equip the army.

When British General John Burgoyne surrendered to the Patriots at Saratoga on October 7, 1777 (illustrated above), colonists believed it would be proof enough to the French that American independence could be won. Benjamin Franklin immediately spread word to Louis XVI in hopes the king would offer support for the cause.

As a result, soldiers often resented civilians whom they saw as not sharing equally in the sacrifices of the Revolution. Several mutinies occurred toward the end of the war, with ordinary soldiers protesting their lack of pay and poor conditions. Not only were soldiers angry, but officers also felt that the country did not treat them well. Patriotic civilians and the Congress expected officers, who were mostly elite gentlemen, to be honorably self-sacrificing in their wartime service. When officers were denied a lifetime pension at the end of the war, some of them threatened to conspire against the Congress. General Washington, however, acted swiftly to halt this threat before it was put into action.

The Continental Army defeated the British, with the crucial help of French financial and military support, but the war ended with very mixed feelings about the usefulness of the army. Not only were civilians and those serving in the military mutually suspicious, but also even within the army soldiers and officers could harbor deep grudges against one another. The war against the British ended with the Patriot military victory at Yorktown in 1781. However, the meaning and consequences of the Revolution had not yet been decided.

Mass Executions and Torture

The Syrian government has summarily executed 5,000 to 13,000 people in mass hangings in just one of its many prisons since the start of the six-year-old uprising against Mr. Assad, Amnesty International said in a report in February.

Inmates are kept under conditions so dismal — including regular, severe beatings and deprivation of food, water, medicine and basic sanitation — that they amount to deliberate extermination, defined under international law as a crime against humanity, the report said.

‘They was killing black people’

The black city council member driving a black SUV came to a dead stop along a gravel road.

Vanessa Hall-Harper pointed to a grassy knoll in the potter’s field section of Oaklawn Cemetery. “This is where the mass graves are,” Hall-Harper declared.

She and others think bodies were dumped here after one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history: the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

For decades, few talked about what happened in this city when a white mob descended on Greenwood Avenue, a black business district so prosperous it was dubbed “the Negro Wall Street” by Booker T. Washington.

For two days beginning May 31, 1921, the mob set fire to hundreds of black-owned businesses and homes in Greenwood. More than 300 black people were killed. More than 10,000 black people were left homeless, and 40 blocks were left smoldering. Survivors recounted black bodies loaded on trains and dumped off bridges into the Arkansas River and, most frequently, tossed into mass graves.

Now, as Tulsa prepares to commemorate the massacre’s centennial in 2021, a community still haunted by its history is being transformed by a wave of new development in and around Greenwood.

There’s a minor-league baseball stadium and plans for a BMX motocross headquarters. There’s an arts district marketed to millennials, and a hip shopping complex constructed out of empty shipping containers. There’s a high-end apartment complex with a yoga studio and pub.

While almost two-thirds of the neighborhood’s residents are African American, the gentrification has surfaced tensions between the present and the past. Questions about the scope of the rampage have never been resolved. Even the description of the violence is a point of contention, with some calling it the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 and others referring to it as a massacre.

“Before my grandmother died, I asked her what happened,” said Hall-Harper, whose council district includes Greenwood. “She began to whisper. She said, ‘They was killing black people and running them out of the city.’ I didn’t even know about the massacre until I was an adult. And I was raised here. It wasn’t taught about in the schools. It was taboo to speak about it.”

Vanessa Hall-Harper, a Tulsa city council member, and local activist Kristi Williams visit Oaklawn Cemetery, where many think there is a mass grave for people killed during the rampage. (Shane Bevel/for The Washington Post)

Though Tulsa officials decided years ago not to excavate the site of the alleged mass grave, arguing that the evidence isn’t strong enough, Hall-Harper plans to ask the city to reconsider.

“In honor of the centennial,” she said, “I think we, as a city, should look into that and ensure those individuals are laid to rest properly.”

A century ago, Tulsa was racially segregated and reeling from a recent lynching when Dick Rowland, a 19-year-old shoeshiner, walked to the Drexel Building, which had the only toilet downtown available to black people. Rowland stepped into an elevator. Sarah Page, a white elevator operator, began to shriek.

“While it is still uncertain as to precisely what happened in the Drexel Building on May 30, 1921, the most common explanation is that Rowland stepped on Page’s foot as he entered the elevator, causing her to scream,” the Oklahoma Historical Society reported.

The Tulsa Tribune published a news story with the headline “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator” and ran an ominous editorial: “To Lynch Negro Tonight.”

Soon, a white mob gathered outside the Tulsa courthouse, where Rowland was taken after his arrest. They were confronted by black men, including World War I veterans, who wanted to protect Rowland.

A struggle ensued. A shot was fired. Then hundreds of white people marched on Greenwood in a murderous rage.

“They tried to kill all the black folks they could see,” a survivor, George Monroe, recalled in the 1999 documentary “The Night Tulsa Burned.”

There were reports that white men flew airplanes above Greenwood, dropping kerosene bombs. “Tulsa was likely the first city” in the United States “to be bombed from the air,” according to a 2001 report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

B.C. Franklin, a Greenwood lawyer and the father of famed historian John Hope Franklin, wrote a rare firsthand account of the massacre later donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“The sidewalk was literally covered with burning turpentine balls,” he wrote. “For fully forty-eight hours, the fires raged and burned everything in its path and it left nothing but ashes and burned safes and trunks and the like that were stored in beautiful houses and businesses.”

On June 1, 1921, martial law was declared. Troops rounded up black men, women and children and detained them for days.

Olivia Hooker was 6 years old in 1921 — the year she witnessed the massacre. (Family photo)

Olivia Hooker, now 103, is one of the last survivors of the massacre. Hooker was 6 when the violence erupted.

Her mother hid her and three of her siblings under their dining room table. “She said, ‘Keep quiet, and they won’t know you are under here.’ ”

From beneath the oak table, she and her siblings watched in horror.

“They took everything they thought was valuable. They smashed everything they couldn’t take,” Hooker said. “My mother had these [Enrico] Caruso records she loved. They smashed the Caruso records.”

Hooker, who later became one of the first black women to join the Coast Guard, has always lived with her memories of that racial terrorism.

“You don’t forget something like that,” said Hooker, who lives in New York. “I was a child who didn’t know about bias and prejudice. . . . It was quite a trauma to find out people hated you for your color. It took me a long time to get over my nightmares.”

I t wasn’t until 1998 that authorities began investigating the claims of mass graves. Investigators used electromagnetic induction and ground-penetrating radar to search for evidence at Newblock Park, which operated as a dump in 1921, Booker T. Washington Cemetery and Oaklawn Cemetery.

At each site, they found anomalies “that merited further investigation,” according to the commission’s report.

Then in 1999, a white man named Clyde Eddy, who was 10 at the time of the massacre, came forward and told officials he was playing in Oaklawn Cemetery in 1921 when he spotted white men digging a trench. When the men left, Eddy said, he peeked inside the wooden crates and saw corpses of black people.

Based on Eddy’s story, state archaeologists began investigating the section of the cemetery Eddy cited. The effort was led by Clyde Snow, one of the world’s foremost forensic anthropologists who had helped identify Nazi war criminals and had determined that more than 200 victims found in a mass grave in Yugoslavia had been killed in an execution style of ethnic cleansing.

Using ground-penetrating radar, they made a dramatic discovery: an anomaly bearing “all the characteristics of a dug pit or trench with vertical walls and an undefined object within the approximate center of the feature,” the commission concluded. “With Mr. Eddy’s testimony, this trench-like feature takes on the properties of a mass grave.”

The commission, created by the Oklahoma legislature in 1997 to establish a historical record of the massacre, recommended “a limited physical investigation of the feature be undertaken to clarify whether it indeed represents a mass grave.”

Susan Savage, who was mayor of Tulsa at the time of the proposed excavation, said in a recent interview that she had numerous discussions with officials and raised concerns about the excavation.

“Oaklawn Cemetery is a public lot,” Savage recalled. “I asked, ‘How do we do that without disturbing graves of family buried there?’ I wanted to know how we [could] protect and preserve the dignity of people there.”

A drone image of the Oaklawn Cemetery shows the southwestern corner of the property. (Shane Bevel/for The Washington Post)

Bob Blackburn, who is white and served on the commission, said he agreed with the decision not to dig at Oaklawn.

“Based on all the evidence Clyde Snow looked at, we never could pinpoint something,” he said. “In my mind that is not an unresolved issue. In terms of proving there was a mass grave, there will always be people thinking one way or the other.”

The refusal to excavate was a blow, Hall-Harper said, along with the city’s decision to ignore a recommendation for reparations to survivors and descendants of survivors.

She worries that the gentrification underway does not include efforts to resolve lingering questions about the violence.

“This is sacred ground,” Hall-Harper said. “As developers are making decisions about the Greenwood district, the history is being ignored, and I think it is intentional. They want to forget about it and move on.”

J. Kavin Ross, who wrote about the mass graves for the Oklahoma Eagle Newspaper, a black-owned publication that has been headquartered in Greenwood since 1936, said gentrification has pushed many black residents and descendants of massacre survivors out of Greenwood.

“With gentrification—we say, ‘Now you want to take an interest in Greenwood and pimp our history? And you are going to build these apartments down here, and you know darn well we are not going to spend $1,000 for a closet room,” Ross said. “We will never be able to afford to live in Greenwood.”

At Greenwood and Archer, in the heart of Negro Wall Street, sit 14 red brick buildings that were reconstructed soon after the 1921 massacre. They are all that’s left of the original Greenwood.

Tulsa Drillers fans head to the ballpark downtown. The stadium sits at the edge of the Greenwood Historic District. (Shane Bevel/Shane Bevel Photography)

On a hot summer afternoon, David Francis pushes open the door at Wanda J’s Cafe, a soul-food restaurant where black and white residents mingle.

Francis, 32, lives nearby and loves Wanda J’s chicken-fried steak and green beans. A white man born and raised in Tulsa said he first heard about the massacre when he was in high school.

“It’s unbelievable to think the genuine atrocity took place right here,” said Francis, looking outside the restaurant window onto Greenwood Avenue. “A white woman told me she remembered seeing bodies dumped into the Arkansas River off a bridge.”

The African American diners at Wanda J’s fear the changes in Greenwood, including OneOK Field, the minor-league ballpark that opened in 2010, and the luxury GreenArch apartment complex, which features a yoga and indoor cycling studio. The BMX headquarters and track are set to open next year on the edge of the historic district at Archer and Lansing.

Bobby Eaton Sr., 83, orders a cup of coffee and calls the influx of white businesses and residents “a tragedy.”

Junior Williams, 56, said gentrification is driven by the same forces that fueled the white mob nearly 100 years ago. “There was economic jealously that caused them to destroy Greenwood.”

At Lefty’s on Greenwood, where the crowd is overwhelmingly white, Nicci Atchoey said she moved into the GreenArch apartments because of its history. But Atchoey, a 39-year-old white Realtor who grew up in Tulsa, learned the details of the massacre only six years ago.

“It is really not something taught in schools,” said Atchoey, adding that many white people move to Greenwood oblivious about the history.

“I think that is unacceptable. People come to the area and go to the bars and ballgame,” she said. “The stadium is like building a Whole Foods at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.”

As evening falls, the crowds heading to the baseball game walk over the plaques in the sidewalk dedicated to businesses destroyed in the massacre.

Near the stadium’s entrance, under Interstate 244, a mural is signed “Tulsa Race Riot 1921.” Someone has crossed out “riot” and written “massacre.” Someone else has crossed out “massacre” and left a scribble of black spray paint.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, stunned virtually everyone in the United States military. Japan’s carrier-launched bombers found Pearl Harbor totally unprepared. President Franklin Roosevelt quickly addressed Congress to ask for a declaration of war. In the wake of the attack and Roosevelt’s speech, folklorists employed by the Library of Congress rushed out to the streets of Washington, D. C., to record public reaction. The selection of “man on the street” interviews showed a wide range of public responses to the attack and to FDR’s speech. Young servicemen seemed most concerned about canceled furloughs, while a Polish immigrant swore his undying loyalty to the United States. African Americans in a poolhall insisted on their people’s contribution to American history.

Interviewer: What was the first feeling you had—any of you fellas—about when you first . . .

Man #1: Might as well get it over with. We’re here, we gotta learn. And we might as well make use of it.

Interviewer: Are you fellas out at Mead or . . .

Man #1: We’re over at the Bellvoir.

Interviewer: Bellvoir.

Interviewer: Was there any change in the camp, I mean, any difference in the orders?

Man #1: Nah, except that the fellas were worried about paying and getting home. They were worried more about the fans than they were of the war.

Interviewer: So would you say a word? What’s your name?

Jay Noreski: Yes sir. My name is Noreski. Jay Noreski. I’m a World War veteran. 1917 and 18. The last time I went to fought for democracy. They told me to fight for democracy. And I went over. I volunteered. But next time, I’m going to fight. There’s hate in my heart. What’s in me, what’s in my veins. I’m gonna kill, slaughter those Nazi ones if I come across a wounded one, wouldn’t interest me. I’d kill my own father if he dared fight against this country. I’m an American, not by birth, but by choice. And I’m mighty damn proud of it. What are you going to do in this county to chase every damn skunk—German, Russian, Japanese, where they come from—and never bring them back in this country. If I had—I wish I was the President for about one year, I would—there’d be not a goddamn skunk left here in this country. And I’m gonna tell you something else—United States never lost a war yet and never gonna lose it because five guys, we might [inaudible] about our presidents, about our Congressmen, about our—what do you call it? in charge of a state?

Interviewer: Secretary of State?

Interviewer: Governors?

Noreski: Governors. But when they come to fight, dammit we’ll fight to the last breath. And I’m mighty damn proud I’m American. Only one thing hurts me, my heart is American, my thoughts are American, but my damn tongue, I never naturalized that. [Laughter]

Andrew Smith: My name’s Andrew Smith. And I tell you, what I feel about the war, they’ve been talking war long enough. And they’ve been talking long time that we should have been in it. Way I feel about it—if it’d been up to me we’d a been fighting a year ago. When Hitler first started they’d been fighting, see, they would have stopped him before he got as far as they are. They’d have stopped him, in fact, that’s what I think this one’s gonna come up to be to stop him. And that’s the good thing that this really started, I think. As far as Japan’s concerned, why it’s just like he just said, it’s a stab in the back. They started something that nobody else, nobody gonna start, you know, and the man was supposed to be here, supposed to’ve been talking peace to our President, and they starting war over there. Well, I don’t think it was justice. No justice there. Negro people would do their very best if they had a chance to do what they can, that they would do their very best to do what they can. See? But, if they have a chance to do it. All they want is a chance. Because if they don’t get a chance, that’s the only reason they don’t do it because they really don’t get a chance. See? But if they get a chance, why I really think they would do their very best, especially if they all feel like I feel.

From "The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945" by Ian Kershaw:

. Viewed from Germany, it was a different matter. Here, attitudes about the state of the war and Germany’s prospects varied widely, whether at the elite level, among the civilian and military Reich leadership, or among the public on the ‘home front’ and the millions of men under arms. Defeatism, reluctant acceptance that the war was lost, realistic acknowledgement of overwhelming enemy strength, waning belief in Hitler, and fears for the future were more evident by the day. On the other hand, support for the regime, not just among Nazi fanatics, was still widespread. . Among the mass of the population, however, the predominant feeling in mid-July 1944 was one of mounting worry and anxiety. Whatever their carefully couched criticisms of the regime’s leaders (including Hitler himself) and, in particular, of the Nazi Party and its representatives, the great majority of ordinary citizens were still unhesitatingly loyal in their support for the war effort. The mood was anxious, not rebellious. . Regional reports of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst Security Service) indicated an increasingly apprehensive mood, falling to ‘zero point’, producing ‘deep depression’, and amounting to an ‘anxiety psychosis’ and ‘creeping panic’, in the light of the Red Army’s advance in the east. Though overshadowed by events in the east, attitudes towards the western front were also gloomy, with widespread acknowledgement of the enemy’s overwhelming superiority in men and resources. There were still hopes of the promised ‘miracle weapons’, though earlier exaggerated expectations of the impact of the V1 missile in air raids on London had left disappointment and scepticism about propaganda claims. And the inability of the Luftwaffe to offer protection against the ‘terror raids’ which were taking place in broad daylight offered a constant source of anger, as well as constant and mounting anxiety.

Remark. Regarding events in the east mentioned above: Within two weeks after the allied landing in Normandy, German situation in the Eastern front became catastrophic: Essentially the entire German army group "Center" collapsed and by the end of August, Red Army moved about 600 km west, to Warsaw, where Wehrmacht (and Stalin) stopped the Soviet advance. (For comparison, the distance from Warsaw to Berlin is 570 km.)


By 1863, Kansas had long been the center of strife and warfare over the admission of slave versus free states.

In the summer of 1856, the first sacking of Lawrence sparked a guerrilla war in Kansas that lasted for years. John Brown might be the best known participant in the violence of the late 1850s participating on the abolitionist or Jayhawker side, but numerous groups fought for each side during the "Bleeding Kansas" period.

By the beginning of the American Civil War, Lawrence was already a target for pro-slavery ire, having been seen as the anti-slavery stronghold in the state and, more importantly, a staging area for Union and Jayhawker incursions into Missouri. Initially, the town and surrounding area were extremely vigilant and reacted strongly to any rumors that enemy forces might be advancing on the town. By the summer of 1863, none of the threats had materialized and so citizen fears had declined, and defense preparations were relaxed. [2]

Retaliation for Jayhawker attacks Edit

Lawrence was a headquarters for a band of Jayhawkers (sometimes called "Red Legs"), who had initiated a campaign in late March 1863 with the purported objective to eliminate civilian support for the Confederate guerrillas. In describing the activities of these soldiers, Union General Blunt stated, "A reign of terror was inaugurated, and no man's property was safe, nor was his life worth much if he opposed them in their schemes of plunder and robbery." [3] Indeed, many Jayhawker leaders like Charles "Doc" Jennison, James Montgomery, and George Henry Hoyt terrorized Western Missouri, angering both pro-southern and pro-Union civilians and politicians alike. [4] The historian Albert Castel thus concludes that revenge was the primary motive, followed by a desire to plunder. [5]

The retaliatory nature of the attack on Lawrence was confirmed by the survivors. According to Castel, "The universal testimony of all the ladies and others who talked with the butchers of the 21st ult. is that these demons claimed they were here to revenge the wrongs done their families by our men under Lane, Jennison, Anthony and Co." [6] Charles L. Robinson, the first Governor of Kansas and an eyewitness to the raid, also characterized the attack as an act of vengeance: "Before this raid the entire border counties of Missouri had experienced more terrible outrages than ever the Quantrill raid at Lawrence. There was no burning of feet and torture by hanging in Lawrence as there was in Missouri, neither were women and children outraged." [7] Robinson explained that Quantrill targeted Lawrence because Jayhawkers had attacked Missouri "as soon as war broke out" and Lawrence was "headquarters for the thieves and their plunder." [7]

Quantrill himself said that his motivation for the attack was "to plunder, and destroy the town in retaliation for Osceola." [5] That was a reference to the Union's attack on Osceola, Missouri in September 1861, led by Senator James H. Lane. Osceola was plundered and nine men were given a drumhead court-martial trial and executed. [8] [9]

Collapse of the Women's Prison in Kansas City Edit

The collapse of the Women's Prison in Kansas City is also often believed to have inspired some to join in on the attack. [10] In a bid to put down the Missouri guerrilla raiders operating in Kansas, General Thomas Ewing, Jr. issued in April 1863 "General Order No. 10," which ordered the arrest of anyone giving aid or comfort to Confederate guerrillas. [11] This meant chiefly women or girls who were relatives of the guerrillas. Ewing confined those arrested in a series of makeshift prisons in Kansas City. The women were sequentially housed in two buildings which were considered either too small or too unsanitary, before being moved to an empty property at 1425 Grand. [12] This structure was part of the estate of the deceased Robert S. Thomas, George Caleb Bingham's father-in-law. In 1861 Bingham and his family were living in the structure, but in early 1862 after being appointed treasurer of the state of Missouri, he and his family relocated to Jefferson City. Bingham had added a third story to the existing structure to use as a studio. [13]

At least ten women or girls, all under the age of 20, were incarcerated in the building when it collapsed August 13, 1863, killing four: Charity McCorkle Kerr, Susan Crawford Vandever, Armenia Crawford Selvey, and Josephine Anderson—the 15-year-old sister of William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson. A few days later, Nannie Harris died from her wounds. Survivors of the collapse included: Jenny Anderson (crippled by the accident), Susan Anne Mundy Womacks, Martha "Mattie" Mundy, Lucinda "Lou" Mundy Gray, Elizabeth Harris (later married to Deal), and Mollie Grindstaff. [14] [15] Anderson's 13-year-old sister, who was shackled to a ball-and-chain inside the jail, suffered multiple injuries including two broken legs. [16] Rumors circulated (later promulgated by Bingham who held a personal grudge against Ewing and who would seek financial compensation for the loss of the building) that the structure was undermined by the guards to cause its collapse. [17] A 1995 study of the events and affidavits surrounding the collapse concludes this is "the least plausible of the theories." Instead, testimony indicated that alterations to the first floor of the adjoining Cockrell structure for use as a barracks caused the common wall to buckle. The weight of the third story on the former Bingham residence contributed to the resultant collapse. [18]

Even before the collapse of the jail, the arrest and planned deportation of the girls had enraged Quantrill's guerrillas George Todd left a note for General Ewing threatening to burn Kansas City unless the girls were freed. [19] While Quantrill's raid on Lawrence was planned prior to the collapse of the jail, the deaths of the guerrillas' female relatives undoubtedly added to their thirst for revenge and blood lust during the raid. [20]

The attack was the product of careful planning. Quantrill had been able to gain the confidence of many of the leaders of independent Bushwhacker groups, and chose the day and time of the attack well in advance. The different groups of Missouri riders approached Lawrence from the east in several independent columns, and converged with well-timed precision in the final miles before Lawrence during the pre-dawn hours of the chosen day. Many of the men had been riding for over 24 hours to make the rendezvous and had lashed themselves to their saddles to keep riding if they fell asleep. Almost all were armed with multiple six-shot revolvers.

Henry Thompson, a black servant from Hesper, attempted to run on foot to Lawrence to warn the town of hundreds of raiders making their way towards Lawrence. Thompson made it as far as Eudora, Kansas before stopping from exhaustion. An unidentified man riding a chaise nearby rode by to ask Thompson if he needed help. Thompson replied by saying he had run all the way from Hesper and that he needed to warn Lawrence. While Thompson and the man on the chaise were able to gather some Eudorans to ride into Lawrence to warn the city to the west, none of them made it in time. [21]

Around 450 guerrillas arrived on the outskirts of Lawrence shortly after 5 a.m. A small squad was dispatched to the summit of Mount Oread to serve as lookouts, and the remainder rode into town. One of the first deaths was the pastor and lieutenant of the 2nd Kansas Colored Regiment, [22] Samuel S. Snyder, who was outside milking his cows when he was shot by the passing raiders, who were making their way into town. [23] [24] Snyder's death was witnessed by his longtime friend Reverend Hugh Fisher. Their initial focus was the Eldridge House, a large brick hotel in the heart of Lawrence. After gaining control of the building (which then served as Quantrill's headquarters during the raid), Quantrill's force broke into smaller groups that fanned out throughout the town. Over a four-hour period, the raiders pillaged and burned a quarter of the buildings in Lawrence, including all but two businesses. They looted most of the banks and stores in town, and killed over 150 people, all of them men and boys. [25] According to an 1897 account, among the dead were 18 of 23 unmustered army recruits. [26] By 9 a.m., the raiders were on their way out of town, evading the few units that came in pursuit, and eventually splitting up so as to avoid Union pursuit of a unified column into Missouri.

Some families attempted to make the run towards Mount Oread in a last ditch flight for safety.

The raid was less of a battle and more of a mass execution. Two weeks prior to the raid, a Lawrence newspaper had boasted, "Lawrence has ready for any emergency over five hundred fighting men. every one of who would like to see [Quantrill's raiders]". [27] However, a squad of soldiers temporarily stationed in Lawrence had returned to Fort Leavenworth, and due to the surprise, swiftness, and fury of the initial assault, the local militia was unable to assemble and mount a defense. In fact, most of those who were killed by Quantrill and his raiders were not carrying any sort of weapon. Before the Lawrence Massacre, a previous attack on Lawrence, the Sacking of Lawrence, saw the pro-slavery attackers, led by Samuel J. Jones, a pro-slavery Missourian who served as Sheriff of Douglas County, demanding that the citizens of Lawrence give up their firearms to the raiders. Many citizens initially refused, but by the end of the sacking itself, many in Lawrence were left without a weapon of any sort, which, along with the swiftness of the Lawrence massacre later on, saw Lawrence left defenseless against the attack.

Because revenge was a principal motive for the attack, Quantrill's raiders entered Lawrence with lists of men to be killed and buildings to be burned. Senator James H. Lane was at the top of the list. Lane was a military leader and chief political proponent of the jayhawking raids that had cut a swath of death, plundering, and arson through western Missouri (including the destruction of Osceola) in the early months of the Civil War. [28] Lane escaped death by racing through a cornfield in his nightshirt. John Speer had been put into the newspaper business by Lane, was one of Lane's chief political backers, and was also on the list. [29] Speer likewise escaped execution, but two of his sons were killed in the raid. (One of Speer's sons may have been the same John L. Speer that appeared on a list of Red Legs previously issued by the Union military. [30] ) Speer's youngest son, 15-year-old Billy, may have been included on the death lists, but he was released by Quantrill's men after giving them a false name. (Billy Speer later shot one of the raiders during their exit from Lawrence, causing one of the few casualties among Quantrill's command while in Lawrence.) [31] Charles L. Robinson, first governor of Kansas and a prominent abolitionist, may also have been on the list, although he was not killed. [32] This according to Richard Cordley, a minister in Lawrence and a survivor of the attack:

Ex-Governor Charles Robinson was an object of special search among them. He was one of the men they particularly wanted. During the whole time they were in town he was in his large stone barn on the hillside. He had just gone to the barn to get his team to drive out into the country, when he saw them come in and saw them make their first charge. He concluded to remain where he was. The barn overlooked the whole town, and he saw the affair from beginning to end. Gangs of raiders came by several times and looked at the barn and went round it, but it looked so much like a fort, that they kept out of range. [33]

Cordley was also on the list of men Quantrill wanted killed. Quantrill later, in some of his writings, lamented that he was unable to kill Cordley, "The Abolition Preacher." [ citation needed ]

While many of the victims had been specifically targeted beforehand, executions were more indiscriminate among segments of the raiders, particularly Todd's band that operated in the western part of Lawrence. [34] The men and boys riding with "Bloody Bill" Anderson also accounted for a disproportionate number of the Lawrence dead. The raid devolved into extreme brutality according to witnesses, the raiders murdered a group of men and their sons who had surrendered under assurances of safety, murdered a father who was in a field with his son, shot a defenseless man who was lying sick in bed, killed an injured man who was being held by his pleading wife, and bound a pair of men and forced them into a flaming building where they slowly burned to death. [35] [33] Another dramatic story was told in a letter written on September 7, 1863, by H.M. Simpson, whose entire family narrowly escaped death by hiding in a nearby cornfield as the massacre raged all around them:

My father was very slow to get into the cornfield. He was so indignant at the ruffians that he was unwilling to retreat before them. My little children were in the field three hours. They seemed to know that if they cried the noise would betray their parents whereabouts, and so they kept as still as mice. The baby was very hungry & I gave her an ear of raw green corn which she ate ravenously. [36]

Many have characterized Quantrill's decision to kill young boys alongside adult men as a particularly reprehensible aspect of the raid. [37] Bobbie Martin is generally cited as being the youngest victim some histories of the raid state he could have been as young as ten to twelve years old, [38] while others state he was fourteen. [39] Most accounts state he was wearing a Union soldier uniform or clothing made from his father's uniform some state he was carrying a musket and cartridges. [40] (For perspective on the age of participants in the conflict, it has been estimated that about 800,000 Union soldiers were seventeen years of age or younger, with about 100,000 of those being fifteen or younger.) [41] Most of Quantrill's guerrilla fighters were teenagers. One of the youngest was Riley Crawford, who was 13 when taken by his mother to Quantrill after her husband was shot and her home burned by Union soldiers. [42]

The Lawrence massacre was one of the bloodiest events in the history of Kansas. The Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence survived the attack, but a number of its members were killed and records destroyed. [43] Cordley, the pastor at Plymouth, said to his congregation a few days after the attack, "My friends, Lawrence may seem dead, but she will rise again in a more glorious resurrection. Our ranks have been thinned by death, but let us ‘close-up’ and hold the ground [of Kansas]. The conflict may not be ended, but the victory must be ours. We may perish but the principles for which we contend will live."

A day after the attack, some of the surviving citizens of Lawrence lynched a member of Quantrill's Raiders who was caught in the town. [44] On August 25, General Ewing authorized General Order No. 11 (not to be confused with Grant's infamous General Order of the same name) evicting thousands of Missourians in four counties from their homes near the Kansas border. Virtually everything in these counties was then systematically burned to the ground. The action was carried out by the infamous Jayhawker, Charles "Doc" Jennison. Jennison's raids into Missouri were thorough and indiscriminate, and left five counties in western Missouri wasted, save for the standing brick chimneys of the two-storey period houses, which are still called "Jennison Monuments" in those parts.

George Miller, a Missouri abolitionist and preacher, described the role of the Lawrence massacre in the region's descent into the horror of total war on the civilian populations of both eastern Kansas and western Missouri:

Viewed in any light, the Lawrence Raid will continue to be held, as the most infamous event of the uncivil war! The work of destruction did not stop in Kansas. The cowardly criminality of this spiteful reciprocity lay in the fact that each party knew, but did not care, that the consequences of their violent acts would fall most heavily upon their own helpless friends. Jenison in 1861 rushed into Missouri when there was no one to resist, and robbed and killed and sneaked away with his spoils and left the union people of Missouri to bear the vengeance of his crimes. Quantrell [sic] in 1863 rushed into Lawrence, Kansas, when there was no danger, and killed and robbed and sneaked off with his spoils, leaving helpless women and children of his own side to bear the dreadful vengeance invoked by that raid. So the Lawrence raid was followed by swift and cruel retribution, falling, as usual in this border warfare, upon the innocent and helpless, rather than the guilty ones. Quantrell [sic] left Kansas with the loss of one man. The Kansas troops followed him, at a respectful distance, and visited dire vengeance on all western Missouri. Unarmed old men and boys were accused and shot down, and homes with their now meagre comforts were burned, and helpless women and children turned out with no provision for the approaching winter. The number of those killed was never reported, as they were scattered all over western Missouri. [45]

After the attack, Quantrill led his men south to Texas for the winter. By the next year the raiders had disintegrated as a unified force, and so were unable to achieve similar successes. Quantrill himself died of wounds he received in Kentucky in 1865, with only a few staunch supporters left. Among those who remained by his side were Frank James and his younger brother, Jesse James. [46]

After Quantrill's attack, the Union erected several military posts on Mount Oread (of which a few were named Camp Ewing, Camp Lookout, and Fort Ulysses) to keep guard over the rebuilt city. No further attacks were made on Lawrence, and these installations were eventually abandoned and dismantled after the war. [47] [48]


A smaller campaign of insurgency in Saudi Arabia had begun in November 2000 when car bombings were carried out targeting and killing individual expatriates in Riyadh and other cities. As early as February 2003, the US State Department issued travel warnings that Westerners could be targeted by terrorists. The warnings followed an explosion at a private residence where weapons, explosives, cash, and false documents were subsequently discovered. In early May 2003, the US State Department warned that terrorists were in the final stages of planning terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government also warned of this, and issued an alert for 19 men believed to be members of Al-Qaeda planning attacks. [4]

Late on 12 May, several vehicles manned by heavily armed assault teams arrived at three Riyadh compounds: The Dorrat Al Jadawel, a compound owned by the London-based MBI International and Partners subsidiary Jadawel International, the Al Hamra Oasis Village, and the Vinnell Corporation Compound, occupied by a Virginia-based defense contractor that was training the Saudi National Guard. [1] All contained large numbers of Americans, Westerners, and non-Saudi Arabs.

Around 11:15 pm, multiple gunmen infiltrated the Al Hamra Oasis Village, a site inhabited mainly by Westerners. They killed the guards at the gate and proceeded to open fire at residents, killing Westerners, non-Saudi Arabs, and Saudis and the assailants then detonated a car bomb. [5] The next attack was at the Jadawel compound, though the assailants failed to gain access to the compound due to the prominent level of security. There was a shootout between security personnel and terrorists on approach to the front gates. The terrorists then detonated a two-ton truck bomb outside the area killing themselves, two security guards and injuring many others. [5]

The final target was the Vinnell compound. The terrorists approached the gate in a sedan, with a pickup truck carrying the explosives following. Those in the sedan shot the Saudi soldiers guarding the gate and then opened the gate for the pickup truck. The truck was driven to the front of one of the residential high rises on the compound, and detonated. At the time, many of the Vinnell employees were away from the compound, supporting an exercise for the National Guard. Seven Americans were killed or died of injuries the night of the attack, along with two Filipino employees. An eighth American died in hospital several days later. Some of the terrorists died when the truck bomb was detonated, and others escaped by climbing over the compound wall. [5]

Possibility of inside actors Edit

According to American intelligence sources, the bombers operation "depended on a significant level of 'insider' knowledge of the compounds." According to one American military official quoted by the Daily Telegraph, it took the bombers

(. ) 30 seconds to a minute to get from the gate to the housing block. They had to know where the switches were to operate the gates after attacking the guards. They then drove at breakneck speed with a bomb weighing nearly 200 kilograms to the most intensely populated location in the complex and blew it up.

"Several bombers" were wearing uniforms of the National Guard to help them get into the three bombed complexes. The intelligence officials believe that al-Qaeda has infiltrated even the elite National Guard, which is involved in compound security. [6]

Reaction Edit

In the immediate aftermath of the May bombing a large number of Western expatriates left Saudi Arabia. Airlines reported a "flood of bookings for flights from Saudi Arabia to Britain and America". There were also bomb scares and an evacuation of one compound near those attacked and at the landmark Faisaliya Tower. [6]

The attacks were denounced by then-US President George W. Bush as "ruthless murder" [7] and by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah as the work of "monsters." Abdullah vowed to destroy the terrorist group that ordered them, and the Saudi government began a harsh crackdown on the insurgency, arresting more than 600 terrorist suspects and seizing bomb-making materials, bomb belts, and thousands of weapons. [8]

On 7 June 2003, an official Saudi statement [9] identified twelve men as the perpetrators of this attack. According to that statement, the identification was based on DNA found at the scene. The names were Al-Qaeda member Khaled Muhammad bin Muslim Al-Arawi Al-Juhani, Muhammed Othman Abdullah Al-Walidi Al-Shehri, Hani Saeed Ahmad Al Abdul-Karim Al-Ghamdi, Jubran Ali Ahmad Hakami Khabrani, Khaled bin Ibrahim Mahmoud, Mehmas bin Muhammed Mehmas Al-Hawashleh Al-Dosari, Muhammed bin Shadhaf Ali Al-Mahzoum Al-Shehri, Hazem Muhammed Saeed Kashmiri, Majed Abdullah Sa'ad bin Okail, Bandar bin Abdul-Rahman Menawer Al-Rahimi Al-Mutairi, Abdul-Karim Muhammed Jubran Yazji, and Abdullah Farres bin Jufain Al-Rahimi Al-Mutairi.

Abdul Rahman Jabarah was killed in a gunfight with Saudi security forces, as was Zubayr Al-Rimi. Both men were believed to have had involvement in the attack.

Saif al-Adel and Saad bin Laden were implicated in the attacks. [10] According to Seth G. Jones, the bombings were planned by al Qaeda in Iran, with apparent Iranian complicity. [11] [12] In May 2003, then-State Department official Ryan Crocker provided information on the upcoming attack to Iranian officials, who apparently took no action. [13] However, according to an interrogation of former al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, al-Adel and Saad were being held prisoner in Iran when the attacks took place. [14] Saad was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan in 2009. [15]

Casualties Edit

In the compound bombings, reportedly at least 27 people died from several different countries: [16] [17]

Deaths by nationality
Country Number
United States 9
Saudi Arabia 7
Philippines 3
Jordan 2
United Kingdom 2
Australia 1
Ireland 1
Lebanon 1
Switzerland 1

In addition, twelve suicide bombers died, bringing the entire toll from the attacks to 39. More than 160 other people were injured, including more than two dozen Americans.

In October 2003, as-Sahab released the videotaped wills of the bombers Abu Umar al-Ta'ifi (also known as Hamza al-Ansari), Muhammad bin Shazzaf al-Shahri (also known as Abu Tareq al-Aswad) and Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab al-Maqit, recorded two weeks before the attacks. [18]

Casualties by nationality
Country Deaths [19] Injured [19]
Saudi Arabia 11 31
Egypt 4 17
India 1 1
Sudan 1 0
Lebanon 0 53
Canada 0 6
United States 0 4
Sri Lanka 0 1
Bangladesh 0 1
Romania 0 1
Indonesia [20] 0 1
Philippines 0 1
Syria 0 1
Pakistan 0 1
Turkey 0 1
Eritrea 0 1
Palestine 0 1
Total 17 122

On 8 November, a suicide truck bomb detonated outside the Al-Mohaya housing compound in Laban Valley, West of Riyadh, killing at least 17 people and wounding 122, among them 36 children. Those killed in the attack were mainly Arabs, many of them workers from countries such as Egypt and Lebanon. Among the injured were people from India, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Eritrea. [2] (The US State Department had warned of further attacks in the Kingdom on the day of the attack. [2] )

Questions about inside actors Edit

According to the Saudi Press Agency, suicide bombers posing as guards drove into the compound in a vehicle which "looked like a police car", [21] and after an exchange of gunfire with security forces blew themselves up—the compound allegedly chosen by them because those occupied by Western expatriates were too well guarded. However, journalist John R. Bradley [22] noted that none of the suicide bombers were identified by the government, and that despite official reports of gunfire before the bombing—and thus presumably casualties among security forces—there were no televised visits by Interior Minister Prince Naif to homes of members of those forces, as is customary when members are killed in an attack. [23]

Bradley reports that in an alternative version of the bombing—provided to him by Saudi opposition figures with sources among disgruntled members of the security forces and government—the police car was "in fact . a car belonging to the Saudi special security forces," [23] and that the bomb was not detonated in suicide but by remote control, its detonators escaping unharmed. Thus,

attackers dressed as policemen, driving a special security forces car, taking care not to kill any of those defending the compound, and apparently not themselves being fired upon with any degree of accuracy [meant that] There could not be greater evidence, if even only half of that proved true, that Al-Qaeda had infiltrated Saudi Arabia's military and security forces, including those entrusted with the protection of residential compounds. [23]

According to Bradley, surviving residents of the compound stated that three months before the bombing Saudi religious police accompanied by regular Saudi police, had visited them—a rare intrusion into the "refuge from Saudi morality that the compounds are supposed to provide". The police had warned the residents that their "Westernized lifestyle" was "under scrutiny". It was an "open secret", according to Bradley, that many of the religious police supported Osama bin Laden. [23]

Aftermath: How the Doolittle Raid Shook Japan

Chinese soldiers greet airmen from B-25 "Avenger": from left, bombardier Sergeant Robert C. Bourgeois, copilot Lieutenant Richard A. Knobloch, pilot Lieutenant Edgar E. McElroy, and navigator Lieutenant Clayton J. Campbell. They and gunner Sergeant Adam R. Williams (not shown) fought through the war in the China-Burma-India Theater.

The Doolittle attack generated more, and more violent, ripples than once thought.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL JIMMY DOOLITTLE at the controls of a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, zoomed low over northern Tokyo at midday on Saturday, April 18, 1942. He could see the high-rises crowding the Japanese capital’s business district as well as the imperial palace and even the muddy moat encircling Emperor Hirohito’s home.

“Approaching target,” the airman told his bombardier.

Doolittle pulled back on the yoke, climbing to 1,200 feet. The B-25’s bomb bay doors yawned.

“All ready, Colonel,” the bombardier said.

Amid antiaircraft fire from startled gunners on the ground, Doolittle leveled off over northern Tokyo. At 1:15 p.m. the red light on his instrument panel blinked as his first bomb plummeted. The light flashed again.

Four bombs—each packed with 128 four-pound incendiary bomblets—tumbled onto Tokyo as Doolittle dove to rooftop level and turned south, back toward the Pacific. The veteran airman had accomplished what four months earlier had seemed impossible. The United States had bombed the Japanese homeland, a feat of arms and daring aviation that would stiffen the resolve of a demoralized America.

For more than seven decades Americans have celebrated the Doolittle Raid largely for reasons that have little to do with the mission’s tactical impact. A handful of bombers, each carrying two tons of ordnance, after all, could hardly dent a war machine that dominated nearly a tenth of the globe. Rather, the focus has been on the ingenuity, grit, and heroism required to execute what amounted to a virtual suicide mission, which Vice Admiral William Halsey Jr. hailed in a personal letter to Doolittle. “I do not know of any more gallant deed in history than that performed by your squadron,” wrote Halsey, who commanded the task force that transported Doolittle and his men to Japan. “You have made history.”

But the raid did have a significant impact, some of those outcomes positive, some very dark. The American bomber squadron inflicted widespread damage in the target areas but also caused civilian deaths that included children at school. In retaliatory campaigns that went on for months, Japanese military units killed hundreds of thousands of Chinese. And in the years following the Japanese surrender, American occupation authorities sheltered a general suspected of war crimes against some of the aviators. All these facts have been illuminated only recently through declassified records and other previously untapped archival sources.

The new information in no way undermines the bravery of the first Americans to fly against Japan’s homeland. Rather it shows that after more than 70 years, one of the war’s best known and most iconic stories still has the power to reveal more about its intricacies and effectiveness.

EVEN AS CREWS were recovering American dead from Pearl Harbor’s oily waters, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was demanding that his senior military leaders take the fight to Tokyo. As Army Air Forces chief Lieutenant General Henry Arnold later wrote, “The president was insistent that we find ways and means of carrying home to Japan proper, in the form of a bombing raid, the real meaning of war.”

Thus the concept of a surprise attack on the Japanese capital was born. Within weeks, a plan emerged. An aircraft carrier protected by a 15-ship task force—including a second carrier, four cruisers, eight destroyers, and two oilers—would steam into striking distance of Tokyo. Taking off from the carrier—something never before attempted—16 B-25 medium bombers would assault Tokyo and the industrial cities of Yokohama, Nagoya, Kanagawa, Kobe, and Osaka. After spreading destruction across more than 200 miles, the airmen would fly to regions of China controlled by the Nationalists. Navy planners had the perfect vessel in mind—the USS Hornet, America’s newest flattop. The Tokyo raid would be the $32 million carrier’s first combat mission.

To oversee the Army Air Forces’ role, Arnold tapped his staff troubleshooter, Doolittle. The 45-year-old had chafed his way through World War I, forced because of his excellent flying skills to train others. “My students were going overseas and becoming heroes,” he later griped. “My job was to make more heroes.” What Doolittle lacked in combat experience, the airman with an ear-to-ear to grin—and MIT doctorate—more than made up for in intelligence and daring, character traits that would prove vital to the Tokyo raid’s success.

But where to bomb in Tokyo, and what? One Japanese in 10 lived there. The population was nearly seven million, making Japan’s capital the world’s third largest city after London and New York. In some areas population density exceeded 100,000 per square mile, with factories, homes, and stores jumbled together. Commercial workshops often doubled as private residences, even in areas classified as industrial.

As they studied maps, the colonel drilled his 79 volunteer pilots, navigators, and bombardiers on the need to hit only legitimate military targets. “Crews were repeatedly briefed to avoid any action that could possibly give the Japanese any ground to say that we had bombed or strafed indiscriminately,” he said. “Specifically, they were told to stay away from hospitals, schools, museums, and anything else that was not a military target.” But there was no guarantee. “It is quite impossible to bomb a military objective that has civilian residences near it without danger of harming the civilian residences as well,” Doolittle said. “That is a hazard of war.”

THE 16 BOMBERS ROARED OFF the Hornet’s deck on the morning of April 18, 1942. All bombed targets but one, whose pilot had to ditch his ordnance in the sea to outrun fighters. According to materials only lately brought to light, the raid obliterated 112 buildings and damaged 53, killing 87 men, women, and children. Among 151 civilians seriously injured, one was a woman shot through the face and thigh while gathering shellfish near Nagoya. At least 311 others suffered minor injuries.

In Tokyo, the raiders burned the Communication Ministry transformer station, as well as more than 50 buildings around the Asahi Electrical Manufacturing Corporation factory and 13 adjoining the National Hemp and Dressing Company. In Kanagawa Prefecture, just south of Tokyo, raiders targeted foundries, factories, and warehouses of the Japanese Steel Corporation and Showa Electric as well as the Yokosuka Naval Base. Robert Bourgeois, bombardier of the 13th plane, which attacked Yokosuka, later commented on the intensity of his preparation. “I had looked at the pictures on board the carrier so much that I knew where every shop was located at this naval base,” he recalled. “It was as if it were my own backyard.”

In Saitama Prefecture, to the north, bombardiers blasted Japan Diesel Corporation Manufacturing. At Nagoya, a massive Toho Gas Company storage tank burned completely. Bombs there also damaged a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries aircraft factory. Six wards of the army hospital went up in flames, along with a food warehouse and army arsenal.

The Japanese logged the results of the war’s first raid on their homeland in minute detail, records that largely survived the 1945 bombardment of Tokyo and the deliberate destruction of records that preceded Japan’s surrender. Pilot Edgar McElroy’s attack on the Yokosuka Naval Base ripped a 26-by-50-foot hole in submarine tender Taigei’s port side, delaying its conversion to an aircraft carrier for four months. One of pilot Harold Watson’s 500-pound demolition bombs penetrated a warehouse filled with gasoline, heavy oil, and volatile methyl chloride, only to bounce into the neighboring wooden building before exploding. Bombs left craters 10 feet deep and 30 feet across. A dud ripped through a house to bury itself in the clay beneath, forcing the military to set a 650-foot perimeter to excavate the projectile.

As Doolittle anticipated, the attack burned residences from Tokyo to Kobe. In 2003 Japanese historians Takehiko Shibata and Katsuhiro Hara revealed that pilot Travis Hoover alone destroyed 52 homes and damaged 14. One bomb blew a woman from the second floor of her house to land unhurt in the street atop a mat. In the same neighborhood 10 civilians died, some burning to death in collapsing houses. Pilots Hoover, Robert Gray, David Jones, and Richard Joyce accounted for 75 of the 87 fatalities. Jones’s attack claimed the most lives—27.

Gray strafed what he thought was a factory, complete with a rooftop air defense surveillance tower. But it was Mizumoto Primary School, where students, like many across Japan, attended half-day classes on Saturdays. After school let out at 11 a.m, many students had stayed to help clean classrooms one died in the strafing attack. At Waseda Middle School, one of Doolittle’s incendiaries killed fourth-grader Shigeru Kojima. Children’s deaths became a rallying point. A Japanese sergeant later captured by Allied forces described the furor that erupted from the raid. “One father wrote to a leading daily telling of the killing of his child in the bombing of the primary school,” his interrogation report stated. “He deplored the dastardly act and avowed his intention of avenging the child’s death by joining the army and dying a glorious death.”

ALL 16 CREWS made it out of Japan. Low on fuel, one pilot flew northwest across the Japanese mainland to Vladivostok, Russia, where authorities interned him and his crew for 13 months. The rest flew south along the Japanese coast, rounding Kyushu before crossing the East China Sea to mainland Asia. Aircrews bailed out or crash-landed along the Chinese coast, getting help from locals and missionaries. Bent on preventing further strikes, furious Japanese leaders tried in June to extend the nation’s defensive perimeter with a grab for Midway, triggering a disastrous naval battle that cost them four carriers and shifted the balance of power in the Pacific in favor of America.

But the raiders’ choice of haven revealed coastal China as another dangerous gap in the empire’s defense. Japan already had many troops in China. Within weeks, the Imperial General Headquarters sent the main force of the Thirteenth Army and elements of the Eleventh Army and the North China Area Army—a total force that would swell to 53 infantry battalions and as many as 16 artillery battalions—to destroy the airfields the Americans had hoped to use in the provinces of Chekiang and Kiangsi. “Airfields, military installations, and important lines of communication will be totally destroyed,” the order read. The unwritten command was to make the Chinese pay dearly for their part in the empire’s humiliation.

Details of the destruction emerged from previously unpublished records on file at Chicago’s DePaul University. Father Wendelin Dunker, a priest based in the village of Ihwang, fled the Japanese advance along with other clergy, teachers, and orphans under the church’s care, hiding in the mountains. He returned to find packs of dogs feasting on the dead. “What a scene of destruction and smells met us as we entered the city!” he wrote in an unpublished memoir.

The Japanese returned to Ihwang, forcing Dunker out again. Troops torched the town. “They shot any man, woman, child, cow, hog, or just about anything that moved,” Dunker wrote. “They raped any woman from the ages of 10–65.”

Ihwang’s destruction proved typical. Bishop William Charles Quinn, a California native, returned to Yukiang to find little more than rubble. “As many of the townspeople as the Japs had been able to capture had been killed,” he said. One of the worst hit was the walled city of Nancheng. Soldiers rounded up as many as 800 women, raping them day after day. Before leaving, troops looted hospitals, wrecked utilities, and torched the city. In Linchwan troops tossed families down wells. Soldiers in Sanmen sliced off noses and ears.

The Japanese were harshest on those who helped the raiders, as revealed in the diary of the Reverend Charles Meeus, who toured the devastated region afterward and interviewed survivors. In Nancheng, men had fed the Americans. The Japanese forced these Chinese to eat feces, then herded a group chest-to-back 10 deep for a “bullet contest,” to see how many bodies a slug pierced before stopping. In Ihwang, Ma Eng-lin had welcomed injured pilot Harold Watson into his home. Soldiers wrapped Ma Eng-lin in a blanket, tied him to a chair and soaked him in kerosene, then forced his wife to set her husband afire.

Canadian missionary Bill Mitchell traveled the region for the Church Committee for China Relief. Using local government data, Reverend Mitchell calculated that Japanese warplanes flew 1,131 raids against Chuchow—Doolittle’s destination—killing 10,246 people and leaving 27,456 destitute. Japanese soldiers destroyed 62,146 homes, stole 7,620 head of cattle, and burned a third of the district’s crops.

Japan saved the worst for last, unleashing secretive Unit 731, which specialized in bacteriological warfare. Spreading plague, anthrax, cholera, and typhoid by spray, fleas, and contamination, Japanese forces fouled wells, rivers, and fields. Journalist Yang Kang, reporting for newspaper Ta Kung Pao, visited the village of Peipo. “Those who returned to the village after the enemy had evacuated fell sick with no one spared,” she wrote in a September 8, 1942, article. Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett, who accompanied Kang, said disease had left entire cities off limits. “We avoided staying in towns overnight, because cholera had broken out and was spreading rapidly,” he wrote. “The magistrate assured us that every inhabited house in the city was stricken with some disease.”

Japan’s approximately three-month terror campaign infuriated the Chinese military, who recognized it as a byproduct of a raid meant to boost American morale. In a cable to the U.S. government, General Chiang Kai-shek claimed the Doolittle strike cost his nation 250,000 lives. “After they had been caught unawares by the falling of American bombs on Tokyo, Japanese troops attacked the coastal areas of China, where many of the American fliers had landed. These Japanese troops slaughtered every man, woman, and child in those areas,” Chiang wrote. “Let me repeat—these Japanese troops slaughtered every man, woman, and child in those areas.”

IN THEIR SWEEP through coastal China, Japanese forces captured eight Doolittle raiders. Accused of indiscriminately killing civilians, all were tried for war crimes and sentenced to death. The Japanese executed three in Shanghai in October 1942 but commuted the others’ sentences to life in prison, in part for fear that executing all of them might jeopardize Japanese residents in the United States. Of the surviving raiders, one flyer starved to death in prison while the other four languished for 40 months in POW camps. Upon Japan’s capitulation, Allied authorities arrested four Japanese who played a role in the imprisonment and execution of the raiders. Those included the former commander of the Thirteenth Army, Shigeru Sawada, the judge and the prosecutor who tried the raiders, and the executioner.

War crimes investigators weren’t satisfied justice would be served by prosecuting only those four. Investigators likewise doggedly pursued ex-general Sadamu Shimomura, who had replaced Sawada as commander of the Thirteenth Army on the eve of the raiders’ executions. Shimomura himself was said to have signed the order to kill the Americans. As the war was ending, Shimomura was elevated to be Japan’s war minister after the surrender, he worked closely with American authorities to demobilize the Imperial Army.

In December 1945, investigators following up on the executions of Doolittle raiders asked occupation authorities to arrest Shimomura. General Douglas MacArthur’s staff refused the former general was too valuable an asset in managing the conquered country. The investigators persisted. If Shimomura figured in raiders’ executions, they reasoned, he should be prosecuted. On January 11, 1946, they formally requested his arrest. MacArthur’s staff again balked, this time claiming the case would be considered from an “international standpoint,” alluding to Shimomura’s importance in postwar Japan. On January 23, the investigators again sought Shimomura’s arrest, then came to Japan, arousing international news coverage.

Shimomura was arrested and interned at Tokyo’s Sugamo Prison in early February 1946. In March the other four defendants went on trial. To keep Shimomura out of court, members of MacArthur’s staff did all they could, going so far as to elicit statements from witnesses that might exonerate the former general. In the end, MacArthur’s intelligence chief, Major General Charles Willoughby, played the following-orders card. “As the final decision for the execution of the fliers had been made by Imperial General Headquarters, Tokyo, on 10 October,” Willoughby wrote in a memo, “the signature of the Commanding General Thirteenth Army on the execution order was simply a matter of formality.”

The other four defendants made the same argument, but they were tried and convicted three were sentenced to five years hard labor and one received nine years. For Shimomura, however, the tactic worked—if only because it ran out the clock. Efforts by MacArthur’s staff on Shimomura’s behalf so delayed the legal process that there wasn’t time to prosecute him. “The War Crimes mission in China is about to close,” stated a concluding memo in September. “Further action by this Headquarters with respect to the trial of General Shimomura is no longer possible. Accordingly, this Headquarters is not disposed to take any action in the case.”

Willoughby orchestrated Shimomura’s secret release, including the stealthy elimination of his name from prison reports. A driver took him to his home on March 14, 1947, before officials sent him “to a quiet place for a few months.” The man who had allegedly inked his name to the execution order for Doolittle’s raiders never served another day in jail. Shimomura was later elected to the Japanese parliament before a 1968 traffic accident claimed his life at age 80.

Compared to 1945’s B-29 raids—when as many as 500 bombers flew nightly against Japan, leveling cities by the square mile—the Doolittle raid was a pinprick. But, as history has shown, those 16 bombers delivered a disproportionate punch—leading America to celebrate its first victory of the war, the Chinese to mourn a quarter-million dead, and the Japanese to blunder into defeat at Midway. Doolittle raider Robert Bourgeois summed up the story many years later.

“That Tokyo raid,” the old bombardier said. “That was the daddy of them all.”

Originally published in the May/June 2015 issue of World War II magazine. Subscribe here.

History Of U.S. Responses To Chemical Weapons Attacks In Syria

The USS Porter launches a tomahawk missile as part of the U.S. strikes in 2017 against the Syrian regime.

Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP

President Trump announced military action against Syria Friday as a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack April 7 in a Damascus suburb.

While the rebel-held town of Douma was under heavy government attack, dozens of civilians died in a strike that pro-opposition activists and rescue workers allege was a chemical attack.

Independent inspectors are attempting to assess the attack this weekend. Some analysts say chlorine could have been the substance used. It has been used repeatedly before by the regime but does not usually cause heavy casualties. It's also possible the chemical was chlorine mixed with another substance.

Syria denies it launched a chemical attack, though a U.N. panel has attributed more than two dozen such attacks to it over the course of the seven-year civil war.

Russia, which backs the Syrian government, called a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting Friday and warned against a possible U.S. military strike. Russian troops and aircraft are in Syria in combat against rebel-held parts of the country.

The U.S. counters it is certain Syria used chemical weapons, though it has not concluded which kind of chemical was used.

The U.S. strike on Syria is the second one by the Trump administration. Here's some of the background.

Trump attack in 2017

Last year on April 6, Trump ordered an attack on the Shayrat air base in central Syria. It was allegedly the base from which planes had launched chemical attacks on rebel-held areas.

The U.S. struck the base with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting runways and hangars. The strike killed several Syrians, according to local Syrian officials.

But Syria and an independent monitoring group said planes were able to take off from the base again within hours.

The chemical attack

The U.S. strike was in response to a chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held town in northeastern Syria just two days before, on April 4, 2017.

More than 80 people were killed, and images of adults gasping for air and babies on respirators drew world outrage.

The U.N.-backed Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded in June 2017 that sarin was the nerve agent used in the attack.

Several months later (and long after the U.S. missile strike), a U.N. panel concluded it was confident the Syrian government had carried out the attack.

The Obama "red line" and the chemical deal

Syria was long known to have large chemical weapons stockpiles.

In 2012, President Barack Obama said the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would not be tolerated. He said it would be "a red line for us."

In August 2013, a chemical attack in the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus killed more than 1,500 people, including hundreds of children. Horrific images circulated.

Obama gave a speech saying the U.S. should act against Syria. But he said Congress should authorize any military action.

Over the next month, it appeared there was little support in Congress or among the U.S. public for military intervention. The U.S. endorsed a Russian-backed plan to remove chemical stocks from Syria. More than 1,300 tons of chemical agents were removed.

Chlorine was not part of the deal, since it is commonly used for water treatment and other industrial purposes.

Last weekend, pro-opposition rescue workers in the Damascus suburb of Douma — in the eastern Ghouta district — said 43 people were killed in what they described as a chemical attack. The figure for the dead and the exact weapons used — and whether they were chemical weapons — have not been independently verified, though local medical workers say the symptoms indicate a chemical attack.

Many of those killed, activists say, were in the basement of a house, which could be where an intense concentration of the chemical settled.

The larger war

It's worth noting that more than a half million Syrians have died in the seven-year-old war (now entering its eighth year). Only a tiny percentage of those have been killed in chemical strikes. The vast majority have been killed by regime bombs, bullets, primitive barrel bombs (drums filled with explosives often dropped from helicopters) and other conventional weapons.

About half the country, some 12 million people, have been displaced -- 6.1 million inside Syria. Some 5.4 million have fled the country.

Watch the video: Της είπαν Έλα να μάθεις τώρα ποια είναι τα φασιστάκια 7 ομάδες Ακροδεξιών διερευνά η ΕΛΑΣ. MEGA (July 2022).


  1. Marvyn

    You are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM.

  2. Igasho

    I apologize, it's not up to me. Thanks for your help.

  3. Meshicage

    It is doubtful.

  4. Anouar

    I think, that you are mistaken. Write to me in PM.

  5. Faek

    If I were you, I would not do that.

Write a message