Superbly illustrated history detailing the strategies, tactics and battle experiences of the opposing forces. Full color battlescenes, 3-dimensional "bird's eye view" maps, photographs, and battle maps.
OKINAWA 1945. THE LAST BATTLE.
The final preliminary to the invasion of the Japanese mainland was possession of the Ryukyu island group, midway between Formosa and Kyushu, the southernmost island of the Japanese homeland. The target of Operation 'Iceberg' was Okinawa, the largest island in the group. In the largest and most complicated amphibious expedition undertaken in the Pacific, Admiral Spruance's Fifth Fleet would lift Lt.Gen. S.B. Buckner's Tenth Army, the XXIV Corps under Maj. Gen. John R. Hodge and III Marine Amphibious Corps (Maj. Gen R.S. Geiger). Defending Okinawa was the Japanese 32nd army of 130,000 men under Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima. The initial landings on 1-4 April 1945 met negligible ground opposition, 60,000 men establishing a beachhead at Hagushi. The Marines turned north and would meet little opposition in clearing the northern area of the island. XXIV Corps turned south and was halted by the Machinato line of prepared mountain defences.
The Japanese meanwhile decided on a co-ordinated air and naval suicide attack to halt the US advance against the mainland. The IJN Yamato the largest battleship in the world was filled with enough fuel for a one-way trip, packed with ammunition and despatched on her last mission. She was bombed into submission by repeated waves of US aircraft and went down with 2,488 officers and men. The bitter fighting continued on Okinawa until 22 June when organised resistance finally ceased. Japanese losses were probably in excess of 120,000 men killed with 7,400 taken prisoner. US losses were 12,374 killed and 26,656 wounded. Okinawa was the last campaign of the Pacific War. The Japanese mainland was never invaded, instead the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ushered in the Nuclear age.
The battle of Okinawa was the last and one of the most famous and bitterly fought battles of the Pacific War. The bitterness of the fighting on Okinawa helped persuade the US that an assault on the Japanese homeland would involve massive US casualties and led directly to the dropping of the atomic bomb.
This campaign also witnessed the destruction of the monstrous Yamato, the largest battlehsip ever built.
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