S. combat tactics to the Japanese approach included the use of grenades and flamethrowers, which both had an immediate and direct impact on the Japanese forces inside the underground fortifications. The result was that by the end of the first day, about 30,000 troops had been successfully landed, about 760 soldiers had advanced a considerable distance and the relevant Japanese area of defense around Mount Suribachi had been isolated from the rest of the troops
In the battle over the island, the Japanese leadership (general Kuribayashi and general Nishi) had given up on some of the traditional Japanese fighting, such as the banzai attacks, which were deemed useless in the face of overwhelming fire power of the U.S. troops. Instead, the Japanese successfully used guerilla and surprise tactics, along with the fortified system already mentioned. The latter meant that no position that the Americans gained could be secured until the entire perimeter had been cleared. This was because the Japanese soldiers could, at any time, use the underground network to attack from behind the American lines
. Attacks on the U.S. troops became common during the night, with significant casualties inflicted. While the southern part of the island, including Mount Suribachi, was conquered in the first part of the attack, Japanese defense of the island continued with ferocity in the northern part and around the Motoyama Plateau, where similar defenses had been built. In this area, it was not until March 21 that the American troops destroyed the remaining defense posts on the northern part of the island. On March 25, the remaining 300 Japanese soldiers launched the final assault of this campaign.
In the aftermath of the battle, the American troops had conquered an island that was relevant, as mentioned in the introduction, in the subsequent assault on Japan itself. In terms of supply logistics, the island could now be used as a refueling zone for bombers aiming at industrial and urban centers in Japan. Despite the heavy casualties and losses that the...
troops had incurred, all Japanese defenses, including radar equipment, which could have an impact on the protection of the lines behind the front and on the final objective of defeating Japan had, been eliminated.
Finally, the symbolism of the battle cannot be overlooked. Other than the famous image of the U.S. Marines raising the American flag over the island, the battle for Iwo Jima showed the American determination in achieving the final victory. At the same time, it also showed the enormous casualties and losses that this incurred and the result of the Battle of Iwo Jima were most likely factored in when the final decision to launch the atomic bomb was made.
1. Lewis, Adrian R., the American Culture of War. The History of U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom. (New York 2007, p. 59)
2. Burrell, Robert S. The Ghosts of Iwo Jima. (TAMU Press; First Edition, 2006, p. 83)
3. Ogasawaras' mixed identity. Kyodo News. August 2008. On the Internet at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080821f1.html. Last retrieved on July 8, 2010
4. Garand, George W; Strobridge Truman R.. History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II. (Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1971).
5. Allen, Robert E. The First Battalion of the 28th Marines on Iwo Jima: A Day-by-Day History from Personal Accounts and Official Reports, with Complete Muster Rolls. (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2004)
6. Leckie, Robert. Delivered from Evil. (Harper & Row, 1987, New York, p870)
Lewis, Adrian R., the American Culture of War. The History of U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom. (New York 2007, p. 59)
Burrell, Robert S. The Ghosts of Iwo Jima. (TAMU Press; First Edition, 2006, p. 83)
Ogasawaras' mixed identity. Kyodo News. August 2008. On the Internet at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080821f1.html. Last retrieved on July 8, 2010
Garand, George W; Strobridge Truman R.. History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II. (Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1971).
Allen, Robert E. The First Battalion of the 28th Marines on Iwo Jima: A Day-by-Day History from Personal Accounts and Official Reports, with Complete Muster Rolls. (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2004)
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