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The individual fires caused by the bombs joined to create a general conflagration, which would have been classified as a firestorm but for prevailing winds gusting at 17 to 28 mph (27 to 45 km/h).A grand total of 282 of the 339 B-29s launched for "Meetinghouse" made it to the target, 27 of which were lost due to being shot down by Japanese air defenses, mechanical failure, or being caught in updrafts caused by the massive fires.that on July 29, 1945, his crew bombed the Emperor's Palace.51 years later, Lineberger learned that President Harry Truman had ordered the mission.The mission was never logged, except in the personal log of the bomber's crew Captain, Harrison M. Harp always insisted afterward that they had hit the Palace due to "navigational error" and he stuck to this story until his death in 2000.

The high altitude bombing attacks using general purpose bombs were observed to be ineffective by USAAF leaders due to high winds—later discovered to be the jet stream—which carried the bombs off target.The M-69s punched through thin roofing material or landed on the ground; in either case they ignited 3–5 seconds later, throwing out a jet of flaming napalm globs.A lesser number of M-47 incendiaries was also dropped: the M-47 was a 100-pound (45 kg) jelled-gasoline and white phosphorus bomb which ignited upon impact.In the first two hours of the raid, 226 of the attacking aircraft unloaded their bombs to overwhelm the city's fire defenses.The first B-29s to arrive dropped bombs in a large X pattern centered in Tokyo's densely populated working class district near the docks in both Koto and Chuo city wards on the water; later aircraft simply aimed near this flaming X.

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