The Battle of Iwo Jima

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Its black sand beaches are known worldwide by courageous fighting men and is home to one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Today it is still an icon of courage and sacrifice, a source of national pride. It is Iwo Jima. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 by the Japanese signaled the start of Japanese military control throughout the Pacific and the start of World War II. June of 1942 the Japanese Navy is defeated at the Battle of Midway and it is considered by most to be the turning point of the war. The American military began a campaign of island hoping to take control of strategic islands in the south pacific. Even with the islands they had already controlled Americans knew if they wanted to win they would have to capture the entire island of Iwo Jima, including its three airfields, to provide an area for damaged bombers and other aircrafts. Iwo Jima is needed to save the lives of the Americans flying the B-29 bombers to help prevent losing more Americans in the dangerous Pacific Ocean. The decision was quickly made to attack and take the island of Iwo Jima, code named operation detachment. June 1944, Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi was chosen as command of Iwo Jima (National Geographics). Kuribayashi had lived and trained in the United States so knew the only way to have a chance against the American’s superior fire power was to fight the battle from underground where they would be protected (Hickman). Iwo Jima was an important island for the Japanese because it provided an area of attack and functioned as a buffer zone for Americans attempting to bomb their homeland. Initial bombing raids against Iwo Jima began in June 1944 (Navy Department Library). The B-29’s and naval ships’ bombing destroyed ... ... middle of paper ... .... March 11th operation detachment entered the final phase. During this phase the Marines took out small section of enemy forces and by March 26 the island was officially secure. The “36-day assault resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead” and only “1,083” out of “20,000 Japanese survived” (Hickman). Iwo Jima was won by the relentless fighting spirit of the Marines, strategic planning and support provided by the Navy and Army. The Americans won this war with superior fire power and strategic fighting tactics planned days in advance; however, the Japanese put up a well fought battle considering the few resources they had. The Battle of Iwo Jima is a battle of sacrifice and one that will never be forgotten. It is a source of pride due to the strategic accomplishes made by the United States. The Battle of Iwo Jima will never be forgotten.

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