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Although the city of Numazu was not a major population center, it had a number of targets of military significance centered on its port facility, including a ship repair yard, and a number of small and medium-sized factories supplying military equipment and munitions. The T?kaid? Main Line railway connecting Tokyo with Osaka also ran through the city. Numazu was also located at the base of Mount Fuji, a prominent landmark used by bombers en route to Tokyo or Nagoya from the Mariana Islands, and thus often served as a secondary target for bombers unable to complete their primary mission assignment.
Numazu was bombed eight times during World War II, the largest air raid occurring on the night of July 17, 1945. During this attack, 130 B-29 Superfortress bombers of the USAAF20th Air Force, 58th Bombardment Wing dropped a total of 1,039 tons of incendiary bombs on the city, resulting in a firestorm which destroyed most of the city. The estimated civilian casualties were 274 people killed, and 9,523 homes destroyed in this raid; however, total casualties came to 322 killed, 634 severely injured, and 11,883 homes destroyed over the course of the war.