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Japanese Air Target Analyses

  • Conflict:   World War II
  • Records:   7,853
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Japanese Air Target Analyses

Overview Description

Contemporary analyses of the Allied bombing strategy in aerial attacks on Japanese targets during World War II. Tactical mission reports, aircraft action reports, tabulations of attack and bombing data, and photo intelligence reports detail effects on the Japanese infrastructure, including the petroleum, shipping, armament, and transportation industries. Hundreds of aerial photographs and many maps are found within the analyses sections and in the prolific "Target Photographs" section.

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Pictures & Records

Aerial Photo of Japanese Airplane Factory List of Bridges to be Destroyed Sample Sample


Publication Title:
Japanese Air Target Analyses
Content Source:
The National Archives logo The National Archives
Publication Number:
Published on Fold3:
Last Update:
October 11, 2007
NARA M1653. WWII Japanese air target analyses, objectives, and aerial photographs, 1942-45, from the records of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.


These images are from two multivolume sets of binders serving as air intelligence reference works in the war against Japan, published by the Joint Target Group (JTG) (composed of United States and British personnel) in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (AC/AS), Intelligence, Army Air Forces, for the use of Allied Forces. Air Target System Folders, designed for the use of operating air units in the field, were superseded on July 21, 1945, by Target Analysis by Areas. There is some duplication of information in the two sets.

More information is available in NARA's Archival Research Catalog (ARC) here.

Document types

The contents each set are as follows:

Air Target System Folders. Twelve binders of target material correspond to the following "system": petroleum; coke, iron, and steel; nonferrous metals; aircraft; shipping; armament; electrical equipment; machine-tool industry; road and rail transportation; electric power; and urban areas. Each volume is divided into three parts: a general analysis of the "system," its specific targets, and its vulnerability to aerial attack; a general location map of principal "system" targets; and individual target documentation, including information sheets, illustrations, photographs, and damage assessment reports. Target material relating to the Japanese chemical industry is sandwiched in with the "Air Target Index, Japanese War." This volume lists the targets by "system" and by objective area and includes copies of JTG memorandums and an analysis of "Typical Japanese Military Targets."

Target Analysis by Areas. A list of targets and a map locating targets within the objective area are at the beginning of each binder. Records, accompanied by illustrations and aerial photographs, include detailed information sheets describing the targets. The first binder in this set is "General Analysis, Volume I." It contains the opinions of the JTG with respect to the employment of the air effort against Japan and includes specific recommendations regarding targets. Following this binder is "Index, Volume I," which lists objective areas and targets with corresponding numbers and includes copies of JTG general and weapons memorandums.

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Search or browse the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific): Japanese Air Target Analyses, Objective Folders, and Aerial Photographs, 1942-45 here.