Why Japan Bombed Kolkata’s Howrah Bridge During World War II


On December 1943,Japanese Army Air force bombed Howrah Bridge in Calcutta. This was on the eve of Christmas during World War II.

A total of 131 bombs was dropped between December 1942 and January 1943.

It is estimated that around 80,000 people were killed instantly when the bomb fell to the ground according to The Better India. Adding to it most of the people died due to radiations caused by the dropped bombs, the final death count was recorded as 135,000 in that incident.

During second world war, India was one of the Britain’s Western ally including US. India was a major aerial supply route for an American military mission which was known as ‘Flying over the Hump’. A route over Himalayas was the only way for allies to send supplies to China in support of its war against Japan. This route avoided the country Japan as it was occupied by Burma.

Calcutta which lies at eastern part of India was the nearest place to China and Burma, A major hub for the execution of military operations. In the year May 1942 the Japanese overtook Burma defeating the British and Chinese ground troops and blacked out the city Calcutta as it was within their reach. This destroyed most of its buildings and houses that led to a curfew.

Though the Calcutta had the best Air Defence system, The fighter pilots of Japan survived its attacks by flying high. This skillful act caught the attention of British and responded to it rapidly. The British Air Force pilots shattered Japanese fighter planes, including their flying boat base, which crashed launching of Japanese long-range missiles.Later in the year 1943, London sent Radar guided night fighters to India to strengthen Aerial defence.

The ace fighter pilots destroyed several Japanese planes and saved the architectural marvels of Calcutta.

In the Year 1943 Japanese ruined hundred people’s lives and most of the ships and warehouses were destroyed in this attack. Japanese Aerial Bombing infrequently continued until 1944 henceforth it stationed fighter planes elsewhere bringing World War II to an end the next year.


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