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Iwo Jima

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The Battle of Iwo Jima started on February 19th and ended March 26th 1945. The operation consisted of 110,000 U.S. Marines against heavy resistance. The U.S. sent more marines to Iwo Jima than any other battle. To transport 110,000 marines it took 880 ships and 40 days to sail from Hawaii to Iwo Jima. This was the largest invasion in the Pacific war.

The Japanese strategy was very unique. They didn't fight on land, but under it. They dug 1,500 rooms into the rock that was connected by 16 miles of tunnels. Another thing about the Japanese was that they didn't plan on surviving. They were to kill 10 American soldiers before they were to die.

Both the U.S. and Japan valued the island of Iwo Jima. The Japanese valued it as their homeland. But the U.S. needed the island because of its location. The U.S. had bomber bases in Marianas, and Iwo Jima was in the middle of marianas and Japan. The U.S. had new B-29 bombers that were long range bombers. They used the B-29's to bomb the home land of Japan. But these large air fortresses would often get shot down or crippled by the Japanese. The U.S didn't have any protective fighters with a long enough range to escort the bombers to Japan. Iwo Jima had 3 Airfields and made the island an ideal spot for the escorts needed for the B-29 bombers.

Before the U.S. sent its troops to Iwo Jima, they had the Air force pound the island with bombs to soften Japanese resistance. The Air raid was the longest sustained aerial attack of the war. But to U.S. surprise the attacks didn't do very much to the Japanese fortresses underground. The Japanese just sat in their underground rooms waiting for the American invaders.

On February 19th the battle of Iwo Jima began. Heavy fire from hidden Japanese soldiers made it almost impossible for U.S. marines to land on the island in an orderly fashion. This created a lot of confusion on the beaches. Over one hundred thousand men were



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