Building Demolition

Building demolition works were conducted to create firebreaks to prevent fires from spreading by demolishing buildings, in preparation for intensified air raids in urban areas.
In Hiroshima City, building demolition works were initiated in November 1944. In August 1945, the 6th Building Demolition Works was conducted, for which members of the volunteer citizen corps and junior high school students were mobilized in great numbers.

Building demolition works

Artist’s comments:
Along the present-day Peace Boulevard, the central part of Hiroshima City, which became the center of Hiroshima City’s air defense system during the war, houses were rapidly being demolished under the consensus of military personnel, bureaucrats and civilians. Dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima destroyed precious human lives and hurt many people.

Around 1945 Near Takeya-cho Drawn by Yoshio Hamada (26 at the time of the bombing, 69 when he drew this picture)

Mobilization Status in Major Building Demolition Worksites

From the “War Damages in Hiroshima Prefecture” issued by Hiroshima Prefectural Government on March 25, 1988

Mobilization Orders for Volunteer Citizen Corps Members (replica)

The commander of Saeki County Association Volunteer Citizen Corps ordered the commanders of Hatsukaichi-cho Volunteer Citizen Corps and Miyauchi-mura Volunteer Citizen Corps to mobilize for building demolition in the Koami-cho District as of July 28, 1945.

From the Hatsukaichi Town Office’s document “Single File of Volunteer Citizen Corps” and the Miyauchi Village Office’s document “Miyauchi Village Volunteer Citizen Corps”
Collection of Hatsukaichi Board of Education

Hiroshima City with building demolition underway

This is a bird’s-eye-view, created based on an aerial photograph taken by U.S. military on July 25, 1945. The white area appearing at the center of this photograph is a firebreak created for the building demolition works. The present-day Peace Boulevard, which penetrates the center of Hiroshima City from east to west, was one of these firebreaks. Building demolition works not only were ineffective against the A-bombing but also caused many people who had been mobilized to the center of the Hiroshima City, from both inside and outside the city, to be exposed to the bomb.

Produced by Yoshihiko Takezaki of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum A-bomb Study Group