Osaka Central Market

Osaka was attacked with high explosive 2,000-pound (907.2-kilogram) bombs in precision raids on June 7 and August 14, 1945. The Central Market used Allied prisoners to move goods in and out of the terminal and from the waterfront. The main objective was Osaka Army Arsenal (Osaka Rikugun Zoheisho) was designated Target Number 382. The largest in Japan, it developed many weapons systems, including tanks and aircraft. The plant was completely destroyed on August 14 in the last operations of the war. In its heyday, Osaka Army Arsenal had employed 60,000 workers, but with factory relocations, military conscription, and a false alarm that had delayed the commuter trains, only about 5,000 were on the job that noon, assembling cannon, anti-aircraft guns, shells, and suicide submarines for the Navy. The workers included schoolchildren and Korean conscripts, recalled Ishimura Torataro, a welder. Unskilled and using old machinery, they produced generally shoddy materiel. "Almost all the small machine shops and laboratories in central sections of arsenal were destroyed," concluded the 73rd Bomb Wing's Osaka mission report. "The large assembly type buildings and storage buildings in central and southern sections of plant were severely damaged or destroyed. Many direct hits visible on heavy machine shops at northern edge of arsenal." Nearly 95 percent of the bombs burst within 3,000 feet of the aiming point. The flak was heavy, damaging 28 Superfortresses over Osaka. "The Japanese Army made a brilliant success in hitting these planes," boasted a Japanese war communique, while admitting that the bombers had done great damage to the arsenal "and civilian residences." Over ten square miles (26 square kilometers) were burned out during the firebombing.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, August 14, 1945
Osaka Prefecture