Battle of Iwo Jima

US Invasion of Japan

Overview

The Battle of Iwo Jima was an invasion of Japan by the United States during World War II. It took place on the island of Iwo Jima in Japan. The attack lasted from February 19, 1945 until March 26, 1945. America's goal in this attack was to capture the entire island and also get control of three Japanese airfields. With that land, the US was to use it as a staging area for attacks on main islands of Japan. The Japanese, however, fought hard to defend the island by having around 22,000 navy and army soldiers. Their defense strategy obviously did not work as the battle was quickly won by the Americans within almost a month. Unfortunately for the Japanese, most of the men defending Iwo Jima were killed in action except for the 1,083 men that were taken as prisoners and survived the battle. American casualties included 5,900 dead and 17,400 wounded. Following the Battle of Iwo Jima, the US used what they learned during that attack and strategically attacked Okinawa, another Japanese island, a month later.

Tactics and Strategies

Going into the Battle of Iwo Jima, the Americans knew exactly what they were going to do. Their strategy involved landing on the eastern side of the island and rapidly advance onto the island to capture it. The Japanese strategy was to not fire at the Americans until they had advanced at least five hundred meters. Once the soldiers got to that point, the Japanese tried to inflict maximum casualties on the Americans by firing many automatic weapons at them.

Impact of the Battle of Iwo Jima

The Battle of Iwo Jima had a lot of impact for later in the war and in American history. After the Americans captured the island, they used it to strategically attack other Japanese islands. The soldiers now had a place where stay to plan later attacks. In American history, the Battle of Iwo JIma is labled as an iconic battle since when the Americans won, an amazing image was taken of those soldiers raising the flag. There is also a memorial on top of Mount Suribachi in Japan.