Nations Involved

The Japanese and Americans were fighting over this small island. The Japanese had already built two airfields and were constructing a third.  The airbases would allow Japan to be able to intercept any B-29 bombers bombing Japan.  The United States wanted the island because it would provide them with a fighter base and emergency landing strips for crippled bombers.

Key Figures

Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi “Above all, we shall dedicate ourselves and our entire strength to the defense of the island.”  Kuribayashi was educated in Canada.

“You must not expect my survival,” General Kuribayashi wrote to his wife long before the invasion came.

Admiral Nimitz was one of main leaders of the U.S. Navy during the war on the Pacific. He had also fought in World War I.  He had stated Admiral Nimitz had stated that “among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, ncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Events of the Battle

On December 7, 1944, U.S. Marine planes began bombing. They attacked the island almost everyday. Some days, American warships would fire on the islands for hours at a time. These bombing raids took place from December 1944 until February 1945.

Before 2am on Feb. 19, 1945, the Navy attacked the Island

February 23, 1945 The U.S. Marines raised the flag on top of Mount Suribachi. Mount Suribachi was their one of their main steps to winning the war.

March 8, 1945 The Japanese launched the attack on the Marines who were lacking weaponry.

Strategy Relevant to the Outcome

The Americans had practiced the attack on a similar stretch of beach and had stormed a hill that resembled Mount Suribachi.  The Americans heavily bombed the island before landing their troops on the island.  The Navy also used aircraft to bomb and fired many rockets.  However, “the Japanese garrison cozily sat it out in their deep underground shelters.”  This was the U.S. Marine Corps most costly operation of in the history of the organization.

The Japanese strategy in the battle was to hide underground.  The Japanese had dug 1,500 rooms underground and connected with 16 miles of tunnels. The Japanese troops had planned not to survive.  Their objective was to kill 10 Americans before they killed themselves.

Technology Key to the Outcome of Battle

The Japanese tanks were no match for the American tanks. The Japanese tanks were positioned down in the gullies.  The sites were dug so that the weapons could only be seen at ground level.  These weapons were attached to the three tunnels spreading all around the island.

Winners and Casualties

The US had sent 110 000 Marines and 880 ships to Iwo Jima

The Americans won the battle of Iwo Jima at the cost of 6000 dead and 17 000 wounded.  The Japanese lost the battle, out of the 21000 of them fighting only 216 had been captured.

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