• 前三次B-29對台轟炸任務的規劃歷程 Planning First Three B-29 Raids Against Formosa

    Posted on April 21st, 2012 Administrator No comments

    以下文字節錄自Army Air Forces in World War II Volume 5: The Pacific Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945這本書。
    The following is adapted from Army Air Forces in World War II Volume 5: The Pacific Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945.

    原本美國陸軍第20航空隊對日攻擊的首要目標是煉鋼所需的焦碳工廠,但是到了1944年夏天,第20航空隊總部開始把目標轉移到日本的航空工業上。9月初,陸軍航空隊司令阿諾將軍(Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold)的幕僚通知第20轟炸司令部司令李梅將軍(Curtis LeMay),接下來會把日本帝國位於大村、奉天、渡邊、岡山的航空工業列為主要攻擊目標。這幾個地方的工廠並非日本航空工業的核心,但它們都位在從成都起飛的B-29的航程範圍內。這項指示在9月13日下達,幾天後,台灣的岡山就被指定為第20轟炸司令部下一次任務的轟炸目標。
    During the summer of 1944, opinion at Twentieth Air Force Headquarters had veered from coke toward the aircraft industry as the top-priority objective, and by early September staff planners had about decided to modify the bomber command’s target directive. The staff of Army Air Forces Commanding General Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold informed the Commander of XX Bomber Command, Major General Curtis LeMay of a possible shift in objectives which would give top priority to aircraft plants at Omura, Mukden, Watanabe (near Fukuoka), and Okayama. These were not the most important Japanese airplane plants, but they were the best within range of B-29’s at Chengtu. This message was dispatched on 13 September, and within a few days Okayama was scheduled as target for the command’s next mission.


    Source: NARA via Fold3.com

    9月22日,美國國防部的聯合參謀首長對各戰區指揮官發出一項文件,列出第20轟炸司令部支援反攻菲律賓雷伊泰(Leyte)的行動計畫,其中包括兩次緊密相連的大規模轟炸岡山任務,及支援太平洋戰區的超長程偵察任務。B-29的任務將與美國海軍米歇爾(Marc Mitscher)將軍領軍的快速航空母艦密切配合,在麥克阿瑟將軍反攻雷伊泰之際牽制日軍的空中增援。米歇爾的航空母艦群將於10月10日攻擊沖繩,再於12與13日對台灣發動攻擊,阿諾將軍則指示B-29在11與14日兩天進行轟炸。不過當氣象預報顯示10日當天的天氣不理想後,B-29的轟炸任務就延後到14與16日這兩天。
    On 22 September the JCS submitted to the several theater commanders concerned an outline plan for the bomber command’s effort in support of the Leyte show, two closely spaced maximum missions (170 sorties in all) against Okayama, plus VLR (Very Long Range) reconnaissance on request from Pacific commander. The B-29 missions were to be coordinated with strikes by Mitscher’s fast carriers, scheduled to attack Okinawa on 10 October and Formosa on the 12th and 13th. The combination of carrier and VHB (Very Heavy Bomber) attacks on air installations was designed to minimize air reinforcement of the Philippines as MacArthur closed on Leyte. At CINCPOA’s request, Mitscher was to go it alone on the two days of his sweep; Arnold ordered the B-29’s to attack on the 11th and 14th, but when 10 October weather forecasts were pessimistic, these strike dates were postponed to the 14th and 16th.


    This photo of Okayama Aircraft Plant was taken on October 13, 1943, during Task Force 38’s strike. Source: NARA via Fold3.com

    10月10日,米歇爾的第38特遣艦隊(Task Force 38)對琉球外圍300英哩的圓弧範圍發動攻擊,並在11日對呂宋島進行佯攻,之後就把目標對準台灣。在日軍頑強抵抗之下,這次為期兩天的大規模對台攻擊相當成功,不過也沒有讓後攻的李梅完全失去攻擊的對象:位於岡山的飛機修護與組裝工廠與機場並沒有遭受嚴重的破壞,仍然需要再徹底的掃蕩一番才能避免讓日軍做為支援菲律賓的基地。
    On 10 October Task Force 38 struck along a 300-mile arc centering on the Ryukyus, feinted with a fighter sweep over Luzon on the 11th, then turned on Formosa. The wide-ranging 2-day attack on the island failed to surprise the Japanese, who reacted vigorously, but it was highly successful. This might seem to have left poor gleaning for LeMay but his targets had not been spoiled. Mitscher’s planes had damaged Okayama, but not critically. The aircraft repair and assembly plant, with its adjacent air base, needed a more thorough working over to deny its use as a staging field to the Philippines.


    Close-up study of the photo above reveals that Okayama facilities had been only slightly damaged. Source: NARA via Fold3.com

    10月14日,130架B-29從成都附近的基地起飛,平均每架飛機攜帶了6.8噸的通用炸彈與燒夷彈。近午時分,104架飛機對岡山投下了650噸的炸彈。由於天氣良好,轟炸也順利進行,只是後到的飛機會被前面轟炸造成的黑煙影響到。由於岡山看來受損相當嚴重,李梅認為沒有必要在16日的第二次任務中投入所有的轟炸機對岡山再次轟炸。因此在16日的任務中,李梅只派第444及462轟炸大隊對岡山補行轟炸,第468大隊改炸屏東,第40大隊則於17日轟炸台南的飛機勤務廠。不過這兩次任務並不如14日的首次任務那般順利。
    On 14 October, 130 B-29 got off without incident, though carrying an average of 6.8 tons each of 500-pound GP’s and incendiaries. During the noon hour 104 bombers dropped about 650 tons on Okayama. Weather was good and so was the bombing, though late arrivals were hampered by smoke. The damage appeared so heavy that LeMay considered it unnecessary to send back all of the available planes for the mop-up on the 16th. At Washington’s suggestion, LeMay divided his forces: the 444th and 462nd Groups were to return to Okayama on 16 October while the 468th hit Heito. Next day the 40th Group was to bomb Einansho Air Depot near Tainan. Howeever, the twin mission went off less smoothly than that of the 14th.


    Source: NARA via Fold3.com

    後來拍攝的偵察照片顯示岡山受損嚴重,在經歷16日的二度空襲後,岡山飛機組裝廠有65座建築物全毀,9座受損,只有6座建築安然無恙。相鄰的空軍基地的兩座棚廠及16座建築被毀,9座受損。美國海軍與第20轟炸司令部總共摧毀了岡山的116架飛機。不過屏東與台南的轟炸成果因為沒有較佳的偵察照片可以佐證,也就沒那麼精彩。
    Damage assessment at Okayama made on the basis of photo reconnaissance confirmed enthusiastic reports by aircrews. XX Bomber Command had added vastly to the havoc, especially on the first mission. After 16 October only six small buildings at the assembly plant remained intact; nine had been damaged, sixty-five destroyed. At the air base the B-29’s had destroyed two hangars and sixteen buildings (out of thirty-two) and damaged nine. A total of 116 aircraft had been hit in the 2 areas by Navy and XX Bomber Command planes. Damage assessment at Heito and Einansho was less specific for want of good photos and was less spectacular. Elsewhere a number of other targets had been hit accurately but with little weight.


    This enlarged version of the above photo reveals that Major Scherck was pointing at Tainan. A line was drawn connecting Okayama and the island now named Chimei. Source: NARA via Fold3.com

    根據二次大戰結束後日本歷史學者的研究,這幾次轟炸對雷伊泰反攻行動的效益其實並非那麼理想。因為日軍的陸基飛機集中部署在九州、沖繩、台灣北部,所以岡山即使受創嚴重,對於日軍防衛菲律賓並無影響。而且因為岡山負責修護的主要是訓練用的飛機,美軍的轟炸影響的是飛行員的訓練。因此,第20轟炸司令部的對太平洋支援行動只能算是完美執行的小型戰略任務,對於美軍在太平洋地區的作戰行動助益不大。
    As to the effects of the strikes on the Leyte operations, the (post-war) Japanese historians were less reassuring. “Intercepting land-based aircraft,” they said, were deployed in Kyushu, Okinawa, and northern Formosa, and hence the Okayama attacks “had no direct effect on the defense of the Philippines.” But because the Okayama air depot performed maintenance for aircraft used for training, its destruction caused “a considerable hindrance . . . to training of airmen.” And so, ironically, PAC-AID (missions in direct support of Pacific operations) brought little aid to Pacific forces but accomplished a minor strategic job with admirable thoroughness.

    接下來的幾篇文章將會以第38特遣艦隊在1944年10月的對台攻擊行動為重點。
    The next series of posts will focus on the three-day strike on Formosa by US Navy’s Task Force 38 in October 1944. Stay tuned.

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