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As World War II was reaching it's bloody conclusion, Japan launched its Fu-go Campaign, deploying thousands of high-altitude hydrogen balloons armed with incendiary and high-explosive bombs designed to follow the westerly winds of the upper atmosphere and drift to the west coast of North America. After reaching the mainland, these Fu-go, the Japanese hoped, would terrorize American home front and ignite devastating forest fires across all the western states - ultimately causing the United States to divert wartime resources to deal with the domestic crisis. While the Fu-go offensive proved to be a complete tactical failure, six Americans lost their lives when one of the balloons exploded.

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Japan's War Against The Home Front (Newsweek Magazine, 1945)

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