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3-1-2-4Intensified Air Raids on the Mainland

People tearing down houses to make a firebreak
Drawn by Yoshio Hamada

Japan's war position worsened. Beginning in 1944, air raids on the Japanese mainland intensified. The air defense system was developing rapidly. An evacuation program began sending city children to the safety of the countryside. Cities demolished buildings to create firebreaks to stop the spread of fires. In Hiroshima, thousands of middle school students were mobilized to assist with this building demolition. Even as Japan’s major cities were successively bombed, no major air raid was carried out against Hiroshima. To its residents, this seemed peculiar and made them anxious. Then came August 6, 1945.