In 1945, US forces bounded forward in the main Pacific as combat got to ever bloodier crescendos.

You are watching: Why did the allies capture so few japanese soldiers when they attacked iwo jima?

Key Image: US Marines raise a 2nd flag apeak Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945. (Image: National Archives and also Records Administration, WC 1221.)

In 1945, US forces bounded forward in the central Pacific as combat got to ever before bloodier crescendos. On Iwo Jima, Marines achieved a costly victory as they grappled through tenacious Japanese defenders dug right into the island’s volcanic terrain. Americans faced even worse on Okinawa, the herbal springboard for an intrusion of Japan’s house islands. In Okinawa’s craggy southern reaches, US soldiers and also Marines battered a Japanese fortress as kamikaze aircraft rained dvery own on the invasion fleet. 

The Battle of Iwo Jima

On Iwo Jima, site of a strategic air base located between the Mariana Islands and Japan, the Japanese carved out a netoccupational of underground fortifications aimed at turning the small volcanic island right into a fatality trap for invading US Marines. When US Maritime departments got into on February 19, 1945, planners supposed a brief campaign. But for even more than five weeks, Japanese pressures mounted a fierce defense. The Japanese had actually to be rooted out of caves and other strongholds in merciless close-quarter attacks. The bloodbath horrified Allied armed forces planners and Amerihave the right to citizens, who feared a much higher slaughter in the time of an intrusion of Japan’s house islands. 

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, the Japanese commander on Iwo Jima, known that he could not defeat an Amerihave the right to landing. Instead, he planned a lengthy and also costly defensive battle to shake American fix to proceed the war and also attack the Japanese mainland also. The basic inserted weapons to rain deadly fire on the beaches, but focused his pressures in the north part of the island also within underground bunkers and also gun positions attached by miles of tunnels. This deadly isolationist web of defenses exacted a terrible toll. 

US Marines immortalized the bloodiest battles on Iwo Jima through names showing the brutal combat. The battles included “The Meat Grinder,” where almost 850 Marines passed away catching a Japanese stronghold, and “Bloody Gorge,” where Japanese defenders made their final stand. The US landing pressures experienced 6,821 eliminated and 19,217 wounded. Although a lot of in the 20,000-solid Japanese garrikid were draftees, they refused to surrender, fighting tenaciously till only a few hundred continued to be alive to be taken prisoner. 

The Flag Raising

Celebration erupted when the first Maritime patrol reached the summit of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945, and also elevated a small Amerideserve to flag. A brief while later on, one more detachment returned to the height to relocation the flag via a 2nd, bigger one. Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal caught the moment on film. Although the second flag raising was hardly noticed on Iwo Jima, Rosenthal’s dramatic photograph showed up on the front pperiods of newsrecords approximately the nation, and also has come to be one of World War II’s the majority of iconic imperiods and among the the majority of recreated photographs in history.

US Marines raise a 2nd flag apeak Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945. (Image: National Archives and also Records Administration, WC 1221.)

The Battle of Okinawa

On April 1, 1945, more than 60,000 soldiers and also US Marines of the US Tenth Army stormed ashore at Okinawa, in the last island battle before an anticipated intrusion of mainland Japan. After a greatly unopposed initial advance, US forces soon encountered a netoccupational of Japanese inland defenses. Savage fighting erupted at the island’s southerly finish. Heavy rains and also rugged terrain impeded basic movement, and also natural defense positions covered the island. A vicious land also, sea, and air battle raged for almost 3 months. Like the bloodburned on Iwo Jima, Okinawa’s savagery argued a destructive fatality toll could follow in the anticipated invasion of Japan’s house islands. 

While US Marines overcame Japanese defenses in northern Okinawa by April 18, opposition in the south confirmed formidable. The Japanese anchored their defenses at historical Shuri Castle, supported by a collection of well-protected high ridges. These defenses, and sparse Japanese counterattacks, held up the Amerihave the right to breakthrough. Finally, under relentmuch less assault by the Tenth Military, Shuri Castle dropped on May 29, and US Marines seized the airarea at Naha through an amphibious attack commencing June 4, 1945.  


The US aircraft carrier Bunker Hill burns after being hit by two kamikaze planes within 30 secs throughout the Battle of Okinawa, May 11, 1945. (Image: National Archives and Records Administration, 80-G-323712.)

Suicide aircraft assaults began during preliminary operations on March 26. Five days after the initial landing on April 1, a wave of 355 Japanese army and navy kamikaze aircraft struck the armada of Allied ships supporting the intrusion, and also further assaults ongoing right into June. By the finish of the campaign, Japan would certainly launch practically 2,000 self-destruction attacks against the invasion fleet, consisting of manned rocket-powered Ohka flying bombs. The strikes tested the nerves of even veteran sailors as 26 ships were sunk and one more 164 damaged. 

Like this article? Read even more in our virtual classroom.

From the Collection to the Classroom: Teaching History via The National WWII Museum

See more: What Is The Opposite Of Fear? ? What Is The Opposite Of Fear And Anxiety

Find Out More

Success at Okinawa price more than 49,000 Amerideserve to casualties, consisting of around 12,000 deaths. Amongst the dead was the Tenth Army’s commander, Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., killed on June 18 by a sniper during the final offensive. He was the highest ranking American basic killed in action in the time of World War II. About 90,000 Japanese combatants died in the fighting, but deaths among Okinawan civilians might have got to 150,000.