The Battle of Okinawa



The Battle of Okinawa was pretty brutal in itself. Soldiers were dying back and forth; it was "the most ghastly corner of hell..." Japanese soldiers' tactics were very hostile and had no mercy. The battle took place at one of Japan's islands, Okinawa. On the ground, it lasted 81 days beginning on April 1, 1945. The 77th Infantry division was the first division of Americans to land on the Kerama Islands(tiny islands on the west of Okinawa island). The Naval battle was a gruesome one, also. Kamikazes sunk many US aircraft carriers and killed many soldiers. "We watched each plunging kamikaze...we groped hopelessly for the thoughts of that other man up there."(Vice Admiral C.R. Brown, U.S. Navy)


The Battle of Okinawa was " of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War..." Various technology and tactics were used during the grueling war, from planes to naval fleets, guns to huge bombs. Various divisions "...were supported by naval artillery and carrier-based aircraft."( A couple planes, for example. Both the SB2C Helldivers and F4U Corsairs fighter planes were used in battle. The SB2C Helldiver is a bombing aircraft. Because it was difficult to handle at low speeds, it was replaced by the SBD Dauntless. The F4U Corsair saw action in the Korean War as a carrier-based fighter aircraft. Some weapons that the Japanese used were some light tanks and semi automatic rifles.(on the ground battle). They often hid in caves and fired from there. A popular weapon/tactic they used were kamikazes. Kamikazes are aircrafts filled with explosives that are deliberately crashed(the pilot committing suicide) onto the enemy.

Casualties: Japan and the U.S.

"Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War."(
Japanese lost about 110,071 Japanese soldiers(and accidentally killed civilians) in the war. 16.346 soldiers were captured or surrendered. Japanese aircraft losses amount to 7,830, including 2,655 to operational accidents. 3,047 men were lost in the Navy and Marine Corps, and 558 due to B-29s on the ground.
The total American losses amounts to 82,000 including non-battle casualties. 12,500 of the mass were killed or missing. Navy deaths tally up to 4,907 while the Army lost 4,675. The Marines lost 2,938 men and "...several thousand service men died indirectly..."(

Civilian Suicides and Losses

In all, there was an estimated 300,000 civilians living in Okinawa. During e battle, "Between one tenth and one third died..." American soldiers became accustomed to shooting at Okinawan homes because some homes returned fire at them. They could not distinguish civilian homes from enemy hideouts. "It was a terrible thing not to distinguish between the enemy and women and children..." One infantry man wrote. When the battle was coming to an end and it was apparent that the U.S. won, many Okinawans committed suicide in belief that the Americans would capture, torture, and rape them. The Americans had no intention of doing this. Okinawans "we're often surprised at the comparatively humane treatment they received from the American enemy." (Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power by Mark Seldon) The Japanese often told civilians how Americans were barbarians committing mass murder and urged them to commit suicide. "There are also people who have testified that they were handed grenades by Japanese soldiers(to blow themselves up)" (Ryukyu Shimpo, 2007)

Many people threw their family members and themselves off the southern cliffs to avoid capture from Americans.


The Battle of Okinawa was supposed to be a foothold into mainland Japan for American soldiers; though because of the mass amount of men lost, The US decided to attack mainland Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki with 2 atomic bombs instead of invasion. On August 6, 1945, the "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima. Two days later on August 9, the "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki. The damage was devastating, killing 150,000-246,000 civilians.
Though after everything, world peace was restored, Nazis were eliminated, and Japanese culture was changed/westernized.