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Transcript of Battle Analysis
Another reason was that the Japanese could launch aerial operations against Saipan from Iwo Jima. The Americans knew the Japanese were expecting them, but they were astonished by the numerous defenses, such as coastal defense guns, fox holes, artillery emplacements, anti-tank guns, blockhouses, and pillboxes. The bombings devastated the island, but the Japanese were not on this island. They were in a network of underground tunnels that was connected to every position. The naval bombardment stopped at 0857, and at 0902, the first of an eventual 30,000 marines of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions, under V Amphibious Corps, departed in their landing craft. They arrived at the beach 3 minutes later. It was uneventful. They were sure that optimists like Jim Buchanan must be right, there were no Japanese left to fight; the only casualties that occurred were to drownings caused by a powerful undertow. Several more waves of landing crafts hit the beach and dropped off their men, tanks, and supplies continuously in the next hour, and it was about then when the thunders of the Japanese guns hit. Under Kuribayashi's specific instructions, they waited an hour for the beach to crowd up before the guns sounded so that every shot fired would inflict maximum damage on the Americans. "Smoke and earsplitting noise suddenly filled the universe," and the Marines had nowhere to hide as the volcanic sand was too soft to dig a proper foxhole. All they could do was move forward; some of those who could not move forward were crushed by tanks that were trying to get off of the beach like the men. Navy Corpsman Roy Steinfort recalled that as he arrived on the beach, he was initially happy to see that countless Marines lay prone defending the beachhead. It did not take long to realize that the men were not in prone positions; they were all dead. Frantic radio calls reported back to the operations HQ: "All units pinned down by artillery and mortars", "casualties heavy", "taking heavy fire and forward movement stopped", and "artillery fire the heaviest ever seen". By sun down, the Americans had already incurred 2,420 casualties. The Allied forces suffered 25,000 casualties, with nearly 7,000 dead. Dan van der Vat commented about Iwo Jima operation:
"If the capture of Iwo Jima was necessary, some Americans surely had to suffer and die. But casualties need not have amounted to 30 percent among the landing forces, to no less than 75 percent in the infantry units of the Fourth and Fifth Marine divisions, to
4,900 killed on the island, and 1,900 missing or deceased later from wounds, and to 19,200 wounded American survivors." "The war I knew was totally savage ... The Japanese fought by a code they thought was right: bushido. The code of the warrior: no surrender. You don't really comprehend it until you get out there and fight people who are faced with a hopeless situation and will not give up. If you tried to help one of the Japanese, he'd usually detonate a grenade and kill himself as well as you. To be captured was a disgrace. To us, it was impossible, too, because we knew what happened in Bataan [Bataan Death March]."
"You developed an attitude of no mercy because they had no mercy on us. It was a no-quarter, savage kind of thing. At Peleliu, it was the first time I was close enough to see one of their faces. This Jap had been hit. One of my buddies was field-stripping him for souvenirs. I must admit it really bothered me, the guys dragging him around like a carcass. I was just horrified. This guy had been a human being. It didn't take me long to overcome that feeling. A lot of my buddies hit, the fatigue, the stress. After a while the veneer of civilization wore pretty thin."
"I've seen guys shoot Japanese wounded when it was not necessary and knock gold teeth out of their mouths."
— E.B. Sledge "After the main force had ... [retreated] over the gorge, they blew up the suspension bridge. The thousands who trailed behind were left to die. We were at the end of the line. Soldiers who had struggled along before us littered the sides of the trail. It was a dreadful sight. Some were already skeletons — it was so hot that they soon rotted — or their bodies were swollen and purple. What little they wore was removed by those who had less. Wearable boots were instantly taken, so most of the dead lay barefoot. The worms crawling over the more recently dead gave them a silver sheen. The whole mountain range was wreathed in the stench of death.
— Ogawa Masatsugu The green arrows shows how the US planned to invade Iwo Jima. The text tells which day each attack was planned and acted upon to achieve the objective. The duration, casualties, and consequences of the battle This caused Japanese opportunities to find hidden digouts for their snipers. The American movement into Iwo Jima was also hindered. The Japanese snipers, while in the digouts, were able to hold the American advance for hours There was a large number of casualties Most Japanese soldiers fought to the death. Of the 21,000 defenders, only 1,000 were taken prisoner. Significance of the Battle There were two airfields on the island that were used by the Japanese fighter planes to attack American bomber planes while they were on their flights to Japan.
If these airfields were under American control, they could be used as emergency landing bases for damaged aircrafts. The Initiators of the Battle and their Reasons The Americans initiated the battle of Iwo Jima There were many reasons why the capture of Iwo Jima would help the US win the war. Military Strategies The First Day of the Attack Trueman, Chris. "The Battle of Iwo Jima." History Learning Site. Chris Trueman, 2011. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/battle_of_iwo_jima.htm>. Bradley, John H. "The Battle of Iwo Jima." Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima, Inc., 2009. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://www.iwojima.com>. Chen, Peter. "Battle of Iwo Jima." World War II Database. Lava Development, LLC., 2011. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=12>. "Iwo Jima: The Battle, Reasons, and Strategy." World War II: Battles With No Boundaries. Novi Meadows Elementary, 2002. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215466/iwo_jima.htm>. "Soldiers' Stories." Military Channel. Discovery Communications, LLC., 2011. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://military.discovery.com/convergence/iwojima/soldiersstories/soldiersstories.html>. it's fine, it's a quote