The Battle of Iwo Jima

Published: 2021-06-29 07:04:12
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Category: History Other

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The Battle of Iwo Jima was supposed to take only five days according to U.S. military analysis. This invasion quickly became a killing field. Facing Japanese soldiers who were ordered to sacrifice their lives, the Americans fought a dedicated foe. Iwo Jima was a major battle in the Pacific Theater and a costly victory for the United States. The island became a base for bombers on their way to Japan and a refueling station for U.S. troops in the Pacific. The Battle of Iwo Jima was immortalized by the photo of six men raising an American flag atop Mount Suribachi, but of these men only three left the island and only one led a normal life. Over 6,800 Americans gave their lives, 27 earned medals of honor, and for those who went home, they would never forget the killing fields of Iwo Jima.

When U.S. military strategists planned the invasion of Iwo Jima, they estimated victory within five days. The United States did not anticipate the Japanese strategy of under-ground bunkers and suicidal soldiers that held off American forces for over a month and caused a devastating number of casualties. Iwo Jima was a strategic outpost for both the Japanese and the Americans. It was part of Japan, and, until then, Japanese soil had not been successfully invaded in over 5,000 years. The Japanese did not want to hold on to Iwo Jima simply for pride or tradition. Japan knew that if the Americans captured the tiny island, they could mercilessly bomb Tokyo and other Japanese strongholds. Japan no longer had the men and the supplies to fight a massive war. Therefore, the strategy in Iwo Jima was more about delay than men or victory.

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