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The Battle of Iwo Jima

Posted: Friday, Feb 22nd, 2013


COURTESY CARTOON


By VIRGINIA GIORGIS

Pioneer Editor

Another step in preserving freedom.



The Battle of Iwo Jima took place in February 1945. The capture of Iwo Jima was part of a three-point plan the Americans had for winning the war in the Far East.

By 1944, America and her allies in the Pacific War had the ascendancy. In the west, the Japanese were being turned back in Burma and island hopping had isolated Japanese forces in the eastern sector. Combined with the attacks on Iwo Jima, was America’s desire to finally destroy Japan’s merchant fleet so that the Japanese mainland could not be supplied from the food-rich sectors of South East Asia, which Japan still had control over. Linked to this, was the destruction of Japan’s remaining industrial base by the bombing of it by the American Air Force.

Iwo Jima is a very small Pacific island – just over 4.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, which lies at the foot of the Bonin chain of islands, south of the main Japanese island of Honshu.

Despite its size, Iwo Jima was considered to have great tactical importance. There were two airfields on the island – under Japan’s control. They could be used by Japanese fighter planes to attack American bombers on their flights to Japan. Under American control, the airfields could be used as emergency landing bases for damaged airplanes in the bombing raids. They could also be used for American fighter planes to escort the bombers, as they needed smaller runways for take-off.

Also known as Operation Detachment, the battle was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields, to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This month-long battle included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

What the battle did show the Americans was how far the Japanese would go to defend their country – a decision that was to influence the use of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For the complete article see the 02-22-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-22-2013 paper.











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