The Battle of Iwo Jima: 75 years ago

Operation Detachment - The Battle of Iwo Jima - Pictures

Seventy years before today, six United States Marines raised the American flag at Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima, during the end of World War II.

This classic Associated Press photo of Joe Rosenthal is the only photo to win a Pulitzer Prize that was taken the same year. Rosenthal denied the allegations of being “staged” until his death in 2006. Use this photo Washington, D.C. Was used as the base for the Marine Corps War Memorial, completed in 1954.

The US Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag above Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.

AP Photo / Joe Rosenthal


Battle of Iwo Jima

One of the Boin Islands, Iwo Jima, located about 750 miles from the Japanese mainland, has a strategic military establishment with three airspaces. There were about 21,000 Japanese soldiers on the island.

The Americans had controlled bases in the Mariana and Marshall Islands, and were raiding Japan, almost twice as long as Iwo Jima, which served as an early warning post for the mainland, and There was a launch pad for the attacks. US facilities

The Marine Assault, dubbed Operation Detachment, was aimed at the U.S. The island was to be secured as a refueling area for aircraft. The battle led to several months of American bombing raids and bombing of ships.

The first invasion forces to land on the island on 19 February included 74,000 Marines, Navy Seabases, Army and Coast Guard. The very ground of the island – volcanic ash – precipitated for the invaders, and as they began to move, the Japanese, opened in a huge system of heavy bunkers and tunnels, set fire.

Although a portion of the coastline was secured, the losses were extremely heavy. Frank Matthews, then an 18-year-old private, 900-man regiment, was part of a team providing relief for the 25th Marine’s 3rd Battalion, which was practically wiped out on the very first day of the fight.

“They lost 750 in a five-hour stretch,” Matthews said. Told CBS News’ David Martin in 2015. “Every inch of that beach and everything around it was pinned down and zeroed in by Japanese guns.”

Lawrence Snowden was a 23-year-old Marine captain: “When we landed, there were three colors: black and gray, all from the blast ordinance; the third color was red – blood,” he told Martin.

The battle would last for over a month, becoming one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War.

Japanese soldiers indulged in charges, often in the dark, or ambushing Americans from their tunnels. As the supply of Japanese forces ran away, some surrendered, but only two hundred prisoners were taken. The rest were killed in action or committed suicide.

On this day: American flag raised on Iwo Jima

By the time the fighting ended on March 26, nearly 7,000 Americans had been killed and more than 20,000 were injured. Total US casualties were higher than the Japanese – the only Marine Corps battle in the war where this was the case.

The island, with its maze of tunnels and large amounts of unexplained armaments, was largely untapped after the war. About 12,000 Japanese and about 200 Americans are still classified as missing, presumed murder. The remains continued to be recovered.

In 2018 it was announced that Ground-penetrating radar will be used to help find the remains.

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