Iwo Jima

Read Complete Research Material

Iwo Jima


"Victory was never in doubt. Its cost was. What was in doubt was whether there would be any of us left to dedicate our cemetery at the end, or whether the last Marine would die knocking out the last Japanese gunner," Major General Graves Erskine, dedicating his 3rd Marine Division cemetery at Iwo Jima just after the battle.(Alexander 207)

The sea invasion of Iwo Jima was and still is the largest of any in all the years of the United States Marine Corps history. This invasion was also the most devastating. More than 26,000 Marines lost their lives while when trying to take over this small volcanic island. Pretty much all of the twenty-one thousand Japanese soldiers protecting the island were killed only two thousand were taken as prisoners. The rest were killed or missing. "Tokyo was just 650 miles to the North, less than three hours' flight time." (Alexander 208). On February 23, 1945 seventy-two thousand Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima with all their guns blazing. Dodging and weaving the heavy fire from the Japanese's m.g.s, they had mounted in the jagged rocks. But that was the least of the Marines worries they had heavy 320mm mortars and powerful rockets. And their wicked 25mm automatic machine cannons. That was just the landing these Marines went to hell and back before it was all over.

The landscape of Iwo Jima was hellish itself. From the large jagged volcanic mountains to the steamed it leaked that smelt like sulfur. The total area of this little hell is less than seven square miles. The island had many aspects that would favor the defender. The island had few beaches, which made it harder for enemies to invade and take the island over. Also it had a "lunar" like landscape with dusty ground. The ground really hurt the Marines because they could not dig fox holes. If they were able to dig the would have had more protection and would have been able to hold their position longer.

Company Level Tactics

Iwo Jima was crucial to the American assault on the Japanese. The US had decided that the isle was crucial to their achievement in the war, because they were to far away at that issue with their bombers to come to Japan effectively. Up to that point, they had to drive out long-range bombers like the B-29s from the Marianas for any kind of assault on Japan. The only way to escort the planes securely though was to drive short-range combatants with them. To do this required a closer groundwork to come to Japan more efficiently. Up to that point, the US bombers would be attacked by Japanese and generally beaten because of the need of combatant support. The US sensed that the isle was the key to their offense against Japan.

Americans knew what they were running theme selves into. But the reward was great so they did what was necessary. They were aiming for the airfields in Iwo Jima. With this airfield ...
Related Ads