Just eight square miles in size, the Japanese island of Iwo Jima lies some 750 miles due south of Tokyo. Following a preparatory air and naval bombardment which lasted for many weeks, it was there, on the morning of Monday, 19 February 1945, that U.S. Marines launched Operation Detachment, their aim being the capture of the entire island and the three airfields that had been constructed on it.
The Japanese defenders, however, were prepared. The enemy garrison had heavily fortified Iwo Jima with a network of bunkers, caves and dugouts, hidden artillery positions and more than ten miles of underground tunnels that proved difficult to locate and destroy. The following thirty-six days saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the Pacific campaign, resulting in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead. Of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the assault, only 216 were taken prisoner during the battle.
The capture of Iwo Jima, revealed here through a remarkable collection of archive images, was declared complete on the morning of 26 March 1945. The battle also resulted in one of the most iconic images to emerge from World War II--the raising of the American flag on the summit of Mount Suribachi. The Battle of Iwo Jima features images from the initial landings through the bitter fighting that followed for each yard of the island.
About the Author
Mark Khan is a military historian, author, and researcher specializing in the technical aspects of 20th and 21st century warfare and conflict archaeology.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Island 1
Chapter 2 The Photographers 8
Chapter 3 Preparation 10
Chapter 4 The Preparatory Bombardment 17
Chapter 5 The Run-in 30
Chapter 6 On the Beach 35
Chapter 7 The Battle for the Island 44
Chapter 8 Consolidation 108
Chapter 9 The Human Cost 121
Chapter 10 Faces of Iwo Jima 137
Chapter 11 The Japanese 145
Chapter 12 Strike Base and Safe Haven 159
Chapter 13 Aftermath 167
Chapter 14 Iwo Jima Today 175
Appendix I Key Dates Relating to the Battle of Iwo Jima 183
Appendix II V Amphibious Corps Order of Battle 184
Appendix III Weapons: Number, Type and Calibre Used During the Assaut on Iwo Jima 191
Appendix IV Casualty Dedication 192
Appendix V Saved by Iwo jima 194