The Battle of Iwo Jima

The Battle of Iwo Jima happened in February. America’s desire to capture Iwo Jima was because they wanted to destroy Japan’s food supplies that were coming from the island of Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima is a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean located at the southern side of the Japanese island of Honshu.

Despite being small in size Iwo Jima was of great tactical significance. The two air strips at the island were used by the Japanese fighter planes to target American fighter planes on their way to Japan. If the island of Iwo Jima was under the control of American s, they would have used it as a control base and an emergency landing for their fighter planes.

After realizing that the island was of great importance, Japanese had determination to retain the control of the island. More than 21,000 soldiers being led by Lieutenant- General Kuribayashi were put on standby. Their aim was to provide strong protection of the island. The Lieutenant was well aware that the size of the island limited the options of attack for his soldiers.

America on the other hand had numerous resources at their disposal. For four days before the attack of the Iwo Jima American battleships were strategically placed at vantage positions. The commander of the American soldiers was Admiral Chester Nimitz but the major attacks of the island were executed by the Marines.

The actual day for the attack was February 19th, 1945. The Bombings by the Americans were not very effective and hence resulted in many marines being injured. They had only concentrated more on the beaches and hence giving the Japanese opportunities to hide at strategic positions where they could attack the American snipers. Moving towards the inland of the island was a challenge to the American troops because of the extensive bombings that they had done.

By the end of the end of the first day, the Americans had more than 2,000 casualties. The Marines attacked Suribachi Mountain on day two of the battle but was only after three days of intensive fighting that Suribachi was taken over. Taking Iwo Jima proved to be a major challenge to the Americans but they advanced slowly everyday. The Japanese were eventually cornered at the extreme north of the Island at a place called Kitano Point and by March 26th Americans had taken over the control of the island.

It basically took the Americans more than one month to win the Battle of Iwo Jima. Their Marines had lost more than seven thousand lives with more than 18,000 of them being wounded. The American Marines managed to hold around two hundred Japanese Soldiers as prisoners out of 23,000 who were in the battle. The battle demonstrated that Japanese were ready to do anything to defend their country and this may have prompted the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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