After the major series of island hopping in the Pacific, it came down to the decision to invade Okinawa to support the overall strategic plan of tightening the noose and strangling Japan with the ultimate goal of Japan’s unconditional surrender. The Ryukyu islands were an integral part of the Japanese defenses and the seizure and operationalization of the airfields on the islands would allow for the possibility to strike Japan’s homeland with strategic bombing campaigns. Although the US had material advantages over the Japanese throughout the Pacific theater there were no guarantees that the US would be successful without detailed planning and analysis of the Japanese forces in the Ryukyus. This paper will analyze the important operational elements as they relate to the planning and preparation for the landing on Okinawa (Operation Iceberg)
First, it is important to look at the time, space, force considerations of the Allied forces in the Pacific. The US wanted the unconditional surrender of Japan and in respect to time they preferred to end the war quickly. It was very important that the US forces continue to put continuous pressure on the Japanese and to maintain a constant blockade which gradually became tighter as the war continued. The US had plans to take both Luzon and Iwo Jima while leaping toward the Ryukyu island chain but must be able to give the forces enough time to regain composure and prepare the troops for another battle. The timeframe for the operation was set for March or early April which would give the troops adequate time to plan and prepare as well as mitigate possible weather concerns for the May typhoon season.
While looking at the space considerations, the two separate force...
... middle of paper ...
... distance, timeframes, and limited equipment in which to deliver the supplies across the AO. One of the most impressive pieces of the logistics planning is that the timeline for the supplies stretched out until 210 days after the initial landing.
It is clear to see that the efforts and time that was put into the planning process to invade Okinawa was a massive endeavor given the time, space and force constraints that were mentioned early in this paper. From the information gained from the readings and the outcomes from the battle of Okinawa, one can see that maximization of operational art in regards to all the planning was necessary to have a successful outcome.
Appleman, Roy E. 1948. Okinawa: The last battle. United States Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific. Washington, DC: Historical Division, Department of the Army
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