Iwo Jima was known for one of the most bloody battles in not just the Marine but American history too. The battle began on February 19, 1945 as part of the campaign of the Pacific theatre, and lasted for thirty-six days. Around twenty six-thousand Marines were wounded, which caused Union losses during the battle at Gettysburg. Near the beginning of summer of 1944, American B-29 bombers were ruining the islands. “Iwo Jima proved itself an indispensable asset to the Pacific command.” “Thousands of fighters took off from its runways, and this ‘stepping stone’ served as a staging ground for countless Allied advances.”
Iwo Jima is an island in the Bonin chain, situated about 575 miles from Japan. It’s prominent feature is Mount Suribachi, a volcanic mountain on the southern tip of the island. Iwo Jima did not have a civilian population but was well protected by roughly 23,000 Japanese soldiers in caves, foxholes, and pillboxes (pillboxes were concrete boxes with small holes for shooting enemies). Before the land invasion, Iwo Jima endured a heavy bombardment by ships and planes, which, however, did very little to destroy the Japanese resistance.
Introduction. I chose this battle because I had been hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor, but I did not know much about it. This paper talks about the countries that fought in this battle, where the battle was fought, what the geography was like during the battle, what the weather was like, what happened during this battle, how many casualties occurred, other things I learned about the battle, who won the battle, and how the battle was important to WWII.
On February 19, 1945 five Marines and one Sailor participated in an event that would forever change the course of events for the Marine Corps. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful images of the 20th century is the flag raising atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The flag raising captured the courage, commitment and honor that these Marines held as they reached the top. These individuals were only doing what they were instructed to do, but it was the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph that was taken by Joe Rosenthal that turned this war time event into a world wide historical event. Behind the eagle, globe and anchor, the flag raising has taken the form of a second emblem for the Marine Corps.
In June of 1944, Lieutenant General Kuribayashi arrived on Iwo Jima to find discover a rivalry between the Army and the Navy. By late July, Kuribayashi had evacuated all civilians from the island and sent back officers he considered uncooperative. The civilians and the incorporating officers were no use to him and would only drain the water and food supplies. After these acts were completed, he began his act in building the fortress. Kuribayashi split Iwo Jima into five sectors. He would control the mountain area himself and would be leaving the volcano and its 200 men as an independent command under Colonel Atsuli. Kuribayashi's departure had been normal practice for the Japanese Imperial Army, but he predicted that American air and naval bombardments would destroy any defenses on the beaches.
Yamamoto had a complex invasion plan that included a second operation against the Aleutian Islands near Alaska, however, because of the damages sustained at the Battle of Coral Sea, his Carrier Strike Force consisted of only four aircraft carriers defended by only a handful of cruisers and destroyers (“HIGH NOON ON THE HIGH SEAS”). Even with the depleted fleet, the Japanese remained confident that the upcoming battle would be a swift victory for their advancement into the Pacific. Little did the Japanese know that U.S Intelligence was hard at work gathering intel to thwart an offensive on Midway.
World war two, is said to be the deadliest six years in the twentieth century. This war caused sixty million men to die and helped the United States to get out of the Great Depression.
the island of Iwo Jima, which is an island in Japan’s Volcano Islands south of Tokyo.12 The
“Thank you, thank you. As you all know that it is 1945 and there are still high tensions in the war that is going on but, I have devised a plan that will further help us. After Weeks of tough decisions me a the Generals beside me have come to a solution of over taking the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. From previous attempts to bomb Japan or take over smaller islands, some how the Japanese are prepared and we become defeated. More recent, yet very significant information has been said that the island of Iwo Jima is used as a pre warning station when our military is spotted. This is hard cold proof on why we keep losing to the Japanese. On other attempts many of our B-29 bombers have been shot down and more have been badly damaged, To many.
Part of the Japanese army in Okinawa was sent to China to fight the hostile Nationalists in China. After this, a majority of the energy and focus went towards Iwo Jima as many of the Japanese forces were sent to protect the island. Afterall, the Japanese were, “...aware of the strategic advantage the Allies would have if they were to succeed in Iwo Jima,” (“Battle of Okinawa: Summary...”). The Allies were to capture Iwo Jima so U.S. fighters could escort the B-29 bombers to mainland Japan.
These trenches would later be abandoned as General Kuribayashi chose to dig out caves instead. The majority of the film is spent in these underground caves. They’re shown to be remarkably resilient as they survive harsh shelling from bombers as well as artillery. In the actual battle, these caves allowed for the Japanese to hold out for over a month. Similar to the trench warfare of World War I, these caves caused the Japanese to be “dug in”. Over 16 kilometers of tunnel were dug along with 5000 cave entrances. These caves were also extremely hot due to the heat generated by Iwo Jima’s volcanoes. In addition to the heat, the sulfur levels on the island required the Japanese to dig many vents to make the cave environment tolerable. These underground passages allowed the Japanese to maintain a good defensive position against the US and it also allowed fast communication and movement around the island. The Japanese also used the cave system to move around the Marines and ambush them (Hays). Similarly, the soldiers in the movie use the caves to hold out. Before the caves, however, were the empty, but deadly,
After taking the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Japan was now vulnerable and weak enough for a direct attack.
In the exhibit on World War II, I learned about the battles that took place on the Pacific islands. Often referred to as the “Pacific War”, the series of island fighting took place between 1942-1945. I was able to directly observe soldiers’ possessions such as weapons, canteens, and documents. Also, I was able to better understand the strategy of “Island Hopping”, employed by the US military, because of the maps that clarified the term by depicting the movement of troops. Moreover, there were many data tables and charts that illustrate the numbers of soldiers on each side and the number of naval ships, which helped me gain a better understanding of the full extent of the war. Photographs and films captured by war-journalists were also presented to depict the extreme brutality and fierceness of war on those islands. The warfare
This battle was a turning point in Japanese military Strategy. The Japanese practice is to meet the invaders beachhead, and if unsuccessful, they proceed to launch suicidal Banzai charges at the enemy’s position in an attempt to drive them back to sea. The Americans started producing new planes; one of them was the Hellcat, which was one of the strongest planes made. The development of a new aircraft was not limited to fighters alone, there were other aircraft manufactured like the B – 29 which was the largest plane ever built. For self defense the plane was armed with a .50 caliber machine gun and a 20mm cannon. During 1943 Admiral Nimitz was prepared to take the next step in his planned recon quest of the islands leading to Japan, The first of these landings, called, Operation Galvanic, which was to take place in the Gilbert Island Chain, a former, New Zealand colony. The islands of Betio and Makin were designated as necessary to control the Gilberts, which stood directly athwart the American supplyroute to Australia. Galvanic was to be the first of the navy’s central pacific drives but the Japanese had begun reinforcement of the islands long before the
On December 7, 1941, Japanese airplanes filled with bombs attacked an American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In January of 1942, Japan began to invade the Burma, New Guinea, Manila, The Solomon Islands, and more territories in the Philippines. In March 1942, Japan began to claim the Philippines, a territory claimed by the United States. Douglas MacArthur, an allied commander who controlled the Philippines, was forced to retreat due to the Japanese invading and taking control over the Philippines. Years later, MacArthur, Chester Nimitz, and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt met in Honolulu, Hawaii for a conference to discuss plans on how to defeat Japan. They came up with an idea formed by MacArthur, which was “Island Hopping”. Island Hopping, a strategy developed by Douglas MacArthur, was one of the most effective ways the Allies won the Pacific War.