The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.
Adding more details over the largely described on the movie, the events happened of the following manner: Iwo Jima is a tiny island of volcanic rock and black sand. It has no natural water supply and covers just 8 square miles. Its capture was vital to the US war effort , however. It was one of the inner ring of islands protecting mainland Japan. It also lay almost halfway between the Japanese home island and the Marianas which had been occupied by US forces in mid-1944. The island was defended by 21.000 Japanese. The commander , Major General Kuribayashi had worked hard to add to the natural defenses , especially around Mount Suribachi and in the North. He had built one of the most formidable defensive complexes of the war. It had miles of tunnels and trenches , hundred of underground emplacements, antitank ditches and mini-fields. Kuribayashi knew that the garrison had no hope of any outside help and could not withdraw from the island. He ordered his men to fight and die in their trenches. They should kill as many enemy as possible, using the network of tunnels to get destruction squads, joining a squad meant almost certain death. Kuribayashi chose not to oppose the initial landings on the beaches. He would lure the US troops inland into the web of defensive positions in the interior. The US invasion was code-named operation detachment. When US bombers began attacking was bombed every day in what was the longest and heaviest aerial bombardment of the whole Pacific war. The landings involved 800 warships, manned by a total of 220.000 crew. About 110.000 troops were to take part in the initial assault of follow-on landings. The landings themselves were responsibility of three Marine Divisions under the command of Major General Harry Schmidt. US Marines took cover from Japanese fire on a beach of volcanic sand, March 5,1945 and Mount Suribachi rises behind them. The island was declared secure on March 26, the 36 days of fighting had taken a terrible toll on both sides. Some 5.931 Marines had been killed and 17.372 wounded. There were also about 2.800 naval casualties. The precise number of Japanese dead is not known. Only 216 men surrendered during the fighting, although another 900 or so surrendered later. The rest of the 21.000 troops died. The intensity of the fighting for Iwo Jima worried US commanders and politicians. The Japanese had been willing to die almost to a man to protect a tiny part of their homeland. They had inflicted severe losses on the US forces.
- Oct 28, 2008