The Battle of Iwo Jima

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The battle of Iwo Jima occurred during the World War 2, the first major battle to happen during the World War 2 on Japanese homeland. The island of Iwo Jima was an important location because the US needed a place for fighter planes and bombers to land and take off when attacking Japan. The Japanese knew that the land was such an importance; they were determined to keep control of it. Iwo Jima is a small island located 750 miles south of Tokyo, Japan. It is mostly flat except for one mountain, Mount Suribachi. The battle took place during the end of the World War 2, on February 19, 1945 30,000 Marines landed on the shores of the island. The first soldiers that landed weren't attacked by the Japanese. They thought that the bombings from US planes and battleships may have killed the Japanese, but that was not the case. The Marines took heavy causalities, as the American bombings had not been effective. The generals who had planned the attack thought it would take about a week to take control of the island. They were wrong, it took 36 days. The bombs the American had sent out only made it easier for the Japanese. What it had done was to churn up the beaches and the immediate hinterland and had given the Japanese far more opportunities to find hiding-holes for snipers. They had dug all sorts of tunnels and hiding places all over the island. The Japanese waited patiently for more Marines to get on shore to attack, many Marines were killed using that tactic. The battle went on for days. On February 23, 1945 the fifth day of the war, the first US flag was raised at the top of Mount Suribachi . Lieutenant Colonel Chandler Johnson, the battalion commander, ordered Captain Dave Severance to send a platoon to take the mountain. The patrol re... ... middle of paper ... ... in the fighting for Iwo Jima are a subject of debate. Depending from 17,845, to as high as 21,570. During the battle only about 216 Japanese soldiers were captured. When the island was declared secured again, on March 26, there was approximately 3,000 Japanese remained alive in the tunnel system. American losses for the battle were 6,821 killed/missing and 19,217 wounded. In the end , Iwo Jima was not only by the fighting spirit of the Marines, but by the great planning and support provided by the Navy and Army through supply efforts, medical care, and air and naval gunfire. Twenty-seven Medal of Honor were awarded to Marines and sailors. Of the 27 awarded, 22 were awarded to Marines and five were awarded to United States Navy medics. Iwo Jima day is observed annually on February 19 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a ceremony at the State House.