Iwo Jima

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What are some interesting facts about the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa?

I have to make a scrapbook from that time period and I have to type a summary of those battles.
My notes from the book are very bland and I wanna spice them up with some cool facts.
Anything is appreciated,haha.
Thankyou (:

Operation Detachment
Reasons for the invasion of Iwo Jima
strategically the island of Iwo Jima was crucial to continue B-29 raid on mainland Japan.
The island contained 3 airstrips that the Japanese had been using for their Kamikaze attacks.
With this island captured the Kamikazes would have to operate from Okinawa or Kyushu.
The airfields would provide a base for escort planes on their raids with the B29s.
Iwo Jima would provide an emergency landing strip half way from Marianas island to mainland Japan
2/19 U.S Marines land on Iwo Jima at 8:59A.M.. This comes after 10 weeks of bombing from carrier based planes and medium bombers. The preliminary bombardment had been the heaviest up to that point in the war. A total of 70,000 U.S. Marines available for the invasion. Against 27,000 Japanese

The operation is under the overall command of Adm. R. A. Spruance, Commander Fifth Fleet. Vice Adm. R. K. Turner is the Joint Expeditionary Force Commander and Lt. Gen. H. M. Smith, UsmC, commands the Expeditionary Troops.

The Japanese tactics would be more of a defense in-depth. No suicide counter attacks.
The Japanese would have built 800 pillboxes and over 3 miles of tunnels on an island that was only 8 square miles in size.
Marines landings all but easy.
The volcanic ash impossible to climb through with 100 pound packs carried by the Marines.
The high angle of the slope made return fire very difficult during the initial landings.
The Japanese started a mortar barrage that began at 9:15A.M.
Beaches and slopes leading from the beaches all zeroed in by the Japanese gunners.
Anti-tank mines on the slopes effective against the LVT(landing Vechicle Tracked) that are being used to deliver the Marines ashore.
The first objective was Mt. Suribachi located on the southern end of the island.
Until Mt. Suribachi was taken the Japanese could fire on any position the Marines had established.
It would be the Seabees and other support units that would have high casualties in the early stages of the invasion.
By the end of the first day the Marines had not captured half of their original objective but they had over 30,000 troops ashore to begin moving in land with force.
Mt. Suribachi had been isolated and cut off and part of Airfield #1 had been captured.
2/20 Marines start their advance south to Mt. Suribachi and north to the airfields.
The fighting up the mountain some of the most intense during the war.
Japanese soldiers entrenched in the mountain and would have to be taken out by flame throwers and satchel charges.
Close air support by Naval and Marine pilots sometimes only a few hundred yards from advancing Marines.
Use of Cruisers and Destroyers for close bombardment on Japanese defenses.
No Banzai attacks by the Japanese. This would insure it to be a long drawn out battle.
Marines even have to resort to setting fire to the ravines with gasoline to force out Japanese.
2/21 Marines continuing their advance North and South on the island.
Intense Kamikaze attacks strike U.S. naval invasion ships.
The carrier Bismark Sea is sunk and carrier Saratoga is also damaged.
fighting on the island now a bitter frontal attack reminiscent of the trench warfare of WW I.
Daily gains are measured in yards with long bitter fighting for each objective.
2/22 Marines finally have Mt. Suribachi surrounded and begin to move up the face of the mountain.

2/23 First units of Marines now at the top of Mt. Suribachi after bitter fighting.

Patrol led by Lt. Harold Schreir raises a small flag on top of Mt. Suribachi. at 10:20 A.M.
Later a larger flag is brought from an LST(Landing Ship Tank) and raised.
Advancements to north now have advanced to the second airfield which is located in the center of the island.

2/24 4th and 5th Marines attack after a 76 minute naval bombardment. Followed by an airstrike and supporting artillery. It would be the tanks that led the way for both divisions.

The Japanese able to soon stop the tanks with ant-tank guns and mines.
By the end of the day the 5th had only gained 500 yards
3rd Marine division called in to lead the attack on the center of the Japanese line.
2/25 3rd Marine division begins attack on the center of the Japanese line at 9:30 A.M.

This area was the strongest point of the Japanese defenses.
Flame throwing tanks brought in to burn out the Japanese defenders in their pillboxes.
At high casualties the movement forward by the Marines was very slow.
2/28 Marines finally occupy the high ground over looking airfield #3.

The objectives had been achieved but a number of hills around airfield #3 were still occupied by Japanese.
2/31 Marines begin to attack hills 382 and 362A.

Both hills were much smaller than Mt. Suribachi. the size was very misleading
The hills had both been hollowed out and turned into huge blockhouses.
They contained pillboxes, antitank guns and concealed artillery.
The smaller hills bes

Download Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) Online

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The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.
Clint Eastwood
Iris Yamashita (screenplay), Iris Yamashita (story), and 3 more credits »
Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya and Tsuyoshi Ihara

In the second half of "Letters from Iwo Jima," a group of Japanese soldiers find an American who has been badly wounded and take him into their cave. Their general speaks English, so he begins talking to this soldier, whose name we later find out is Sam. Although the two men should be sworn to kill each other, they are able to have a connection in the one conversation they have. A while later, the general comes back into the room only to discover that Sam's wounds have killed him. He searches him for a while and discovers a letter written by his mother. The letter is full of words that truly come from the heart of this kid's mother, and by the time the general finishes reading the letter, every soldier in that cave has realized that Americans aren't these savages; these hate-driven murderers. No, they all realize that Americans are exactly like they are, and that they don't want to be there and want to return home safely just like their enemies. I believe the point that Clint Eastwood is making with his Iwo Jima saga is just this: these two enemies were far more alike than they had imagined and they were both fighting only in hopes of returning home safely to their family.

As for the specific film itself. In just about every way imaginable, this absolutely brilliant film is a step up from "Flags of our Fathers" (which is not something I say easily, as "Flags" is a terrific film in my opinion). From the acting of the incredible ensemble cast (most notably from Ken Watanabe's Oscar-worthy performance), to the film's delicate but powerful script, to the beautiful imagery of the film (the color distortion could not be any more brilliant than it is here), to Clint Eastwood's absolutely perfect knowledge of film and what works in a film like this.

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