Did you know America briefly considered painting Mount Fuji black?

Boeing B-29 Superfortresses over Mount Fuji, definitely not carrying paint bombs
(Photo: U.S. Army Air Forces)
Every nation at war considers a wide range of plans to defeat the enemy, from the common to the farcical. Most of these plans are never put into practice, and that’s probably for the better. In World War II, the U.S. military considered painting the snow-covered Mount Fuji, Japan’s iconic mountain and something of a national shrine, to some unnatural color, possibly black or red. This would have been performed by dropping huge quantities of paint over the mountain’s 370 square mile surface from heavy bombers over the winter of 1944-45, and was intended to break the fighting spirit of the Japanese before the country’s eventual Allied invasion.
Mount Fuji in 2021
(Photo: Suicasmo / Wikipedia)
The plan never got off the ground, as the unknown planner’s superiors quickly poked holes into it. One, it snows over Fuji frequently over the winter, so the paint-dropping operation would have needed to be repeated after every snowfall to cover up the fresh snow. Two, the mountaintop is often covered in clouds during the winter, so only the closest locals would have even seen the desecration of the sacred mountain. And third, there was a concern that even if the operation was carried out, it might just incense the Japanese to fight all the harder.

Save 10% with our Independence Day promotion

An Independence Day-related propaganda poster from 1943
(Photo: Office of War Information)

On the occasion of the upcoming 247th anniversary of American independence, we are offering all our available tours, regardless of the year of departure, with a 10% discount until July 4, 2023. Book, pay in full and join us on any of our tours to let yourself be reminded on the battlefields of World War I and World War II that freedom is not for free and honor the sacrifice of the soldiers who fought and died for the noble principles we celebrate that day. Note that this offer applies only in case of new bookings, and it cannot be combined with other special promotions. If you have any questions related to this promotion or our tours, feel free to contact our travel consultants.

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