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The island of Iwo Jima stands between the American military force and the home islands of Japan. Therefore the Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. General Kuribayashi, however, does not favor the rigid traditional approach recommended by his subordinates, and resentment and resistance fester among his staff. In the lower echelons, a young soldier, Saigo, a poor baker in civilian life, strives with his friends to survive the harsh regime of the Japanese army itself, all the while knowing that a fierce battle looms. When the American invasion begins, both Kuribayashi and Saigo find strength, honor, courage, and horrors beyond imagination.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
During the discussion over dinner, the Battle of the Mariainas was mentioned, followed by a comment on how the military was being kept in the dark. On the Allied side, this battle was known as the Battle of the Philippine Sea. This was the most decisive battle of the war in the Pacific as, over the course of two days, it saw the destruction of hundreds of Japanese aircraft, the loss of a number of their capital ships and the loss of over 3,000 Japanese sailors and pilots. This was in addition to hundreds of soldiers, planes and pilots lost on supporting Japanese-held islands. The losses were such that, due to the loss of planes and pilots, from then on all but one Japanese carrier remained functional, with the others being used as nothing more than decoys. It had taken a full year for the Japanese to return to full strength during the year preceding Iwo Jima. The destruction of the battle of the Philippine Sea was so broad that Japan would never recover.
Meanwhile, the American losses in the battle were extremely light. Thanks to the technical advances on the American side, their more experienced pilots (with so many experienced Japanese pilots being killed earlier), and their superior training, the battle was described as a "turkey shoot". One American pilot actually shot down six planes on one mission. Not counting Japanese planes lost while on their destroyed carriers, the ratio of planes lost was roughly one American plane to eight Japanese planes.
The outcome of the Battle of the Philippines was so devastating to the Japanese that the fight to the death at Iwo Jima was only a delaying action. Due to the massive build-up of the American forces by this time, the battle for Iwo Jima, while extremely bloody, was to have little effect on the defense of Japan. See more »
They used a post-WWII Russian (Soviet) army vehicle. A Gaz 69, which was first produced in 1953 and was produced until 1972. See more »
He studied the Americans. So he knows how to beat them.
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I have watched this film twice already this week (first week of release here in Japan). I am an American living in Japan for the past twenty two years and have yet to see such a strong performance from an (almost) all-Japanese cast. This movie draws you into the caves and makes you a part of the Japanese soldier's life. The main characters all have an interesting story to tell. But in the end the message is clear. War is futile.
The strangest part of all. Clint Eastwood has made a Japanese movie that the Japanese should have made. There is almost no way to tell it was a "foriegn" production until you see the credits.
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