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The Importance of Iwo Jima to Japan:

The island was a warning beacon for approaching bombers that were going to bomb Tokyo. Underground strongholds, fortified caves and block houses protected Iwo Jima from an attack. Artillery and machine guns were set all on the island. On top of this 23,000 men under Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi were stationed on the island.



Lieutenant General

Tadamichi Kuribayashi  

Major General

Harry Schmidt


The Importance of Iwo Jima to U.S:

            Americans found the island a wanted treasure. The island provided fuel for bombers and would be a resort for damaged planes. The U.S had 74 consecutive days of bombing. On February 1, 1945 every plane in the pacific had a target to Iwo Jima. On the morning of February 19, 1945, 30,000 marines under Major General Harry Schmidt joined the warships. The marines had to fight upward over the hills and other barriers. On the first two days, 3,650 soldiers were killed. However the U.S controlled 1/3 of the island.

             For three days U.S Marines attempted to take Motoyama number 2 which was an airfield. The Marines destroyed 800 pill boxes with bazookas, grenades, flame throwers and guns. The Marines won the airfield, but had 5,000 casualties.    

            The 28th regiment marines went up the mountain. Then on February 23, 1945 the flag bearing patrol mounted the flag. The photographer's name who took the picture is Joe Rosenthal.

            American air forces pounded Iwo Jima in the longest sustained aerial offensive of the war. "No other island received as much preliminary pounding as did Iwo Jima." Admiral Nimitz, CINPAC

            Most intense, violent and costly battle  in terms of human casualties of combatants involved in WWII or any other war ever fought by Americans as the conquest of Iwo Jima. The island was 660 miles south of Tokyo and had value as an airfield. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The island was 5 ½ miles long and 2 ½ miles wide. It had two airfields where B-29 Super fortress bombers could make emergency landings. The 4th and 5th marine divisions landed on the beach.