In March 2013, Japanese textbook publisher Shimizu Shoin was permitted by MEXT to publish the statements that "Orders from Japanese soldiers led to Okinawans committing group suicide" and "The [Japanese] army caused many tragedies in Okinawa, killing local civilians and forcing them to commit mass suicide.". Some of them threw themselves and their family members from the southern cliffs where the Peace Museum now resides. The Battle of Okinawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest of World War II in the Pacific. Even with the female students acting mainly as nurses to Japanese soldiers they would still be exposed to the harsh conditions of war. While no major allied warships were lost, several fleet carriers were severely damaged. Locals were also pressed into service by the Japanese; used as human shields or suicide attackers. The 32nd Army was able to move nearly 30,000 personnel into its last defense line on the Kiyan Peninsula, which ultimately led to the greatest slaughter on Okinawa in the latter stages of the battle, including the deaths of thousands of civilians. Battleships, cruisers, and destroyers joined the bombardment, which was followed by 650 Navy and Marine planes attacking the enemy positions with napalm, rockets, bombs, and machine guns. The ordinances mobilized the students as volunteer soldiers for form's sake; in reality, the military authorities ordered schools to force almost all students to "volunteer" as soldiers; sometimes they counterfeited the necessary documents. One of the longest and costliest battles of the Pacific Theater, Okinawa saw American forces sustain 49,151 casualties (12,520 killed), while the Japanese incurred 117,472 (110,071 killed). Buckner, Simon Bolivar Jr. and Joseph Stilwell. The Battle of Okinawa is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War and World War II. Japanese air opposition had been relatively light during the first few days after the landings. The Japanese defenses were sited on reverse slopes, where the defenders waited out the artillery barrage and aerial attack in relative safety, emerging from the caves to rain mortar rounds and grenades upon the Americans advancing up the forward slope. We watched each plunging, Civilian losses, suicides, and atrocities. By doing so, they were able to fire 13,000 rounds in support, but effective American counter-battery fire destroyed dozens of Japanese artillery pieces. Upon assuming command, Geiger became the only US Marine to command a numbered army of the US Army in combat; he was relieved five days later by Joseph Stilwell. No Marine regiment in the history of the Corps has ever suffered such high casualties in a single battle as the 29th Marines did on Okinawa. HMS Formidable on fire after a kamikaze attack on May 4.  Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power by Mark Selden alleges that the Americans "did not pursue a policy of torture, rape, and murder of civilians as Japanese military officials had warned". They suffered over 1,500 battle casualties in the process, while killing or capturing about 4,500 Japanese. The Battle of Okinawa saw the deaths of up to 100,000 Japanese soldiers and 14,000 Allied casualties, with 65,000 more wounded. " In December 2007, MEXT partially admitted the role of the Japanese military in civilian mass suicides. Superbly researched and extraordinarily detailed, this masterpiece of military history is told at the level of the participants themselves, soldiers … About 95,000 killed. "The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won" p. 302. In addition, there were 9,000 IJN troops supported by 1,100 militia, with approximately 4,000 holed up at the underground headquarters on the hillside overlooking the Okinawa Naval Base in the Oroku Peninsula, east of the airfield. 14,009 Allied deaths (over 12,500 Americans killed or missing) and 77,166 Japanese soldiers. Meanwhile, the 77th Infantry Division assaulted Ie Island (Ie Shima)—a small island off the western end of the peninsula—on April 16. [page needed], In 1995, the Okinawa government erected a memorial monument named the Cornerstone of Peace in Mabuni, the site of the last fighting in southeastern Okinawa. Some of the other islands that saw major battles in World War II, such as Iwo Jima, were uninhabited or had been evacuated. In training for battle, Desmond told his commanding officer, Captain Glover, that he will not touch a rifle, however, he still wants to be a soldier. (Therefore, all military strategies on both sides which presupposed this apparently-inevitable next development were immediately rendered moot.). , In 2012, Korean-Japanese director Pak Su-nam announced her work on the documentary Nuchigafu (Okinawan for "only if one is alive") collecting living survivors' accounts to show "the truth of history to many people", alleging that "there were two types of orders for 'honorable deaths'—one for residents to kill each other and the other for the military to kill all residents". Knowing an invasion of Japan was America’s next move, Ushijima wanted to delay the attack on his homeland for as long as possible to give them time to prepare. The Japanese Surrender The 7th Infantry Division encountered similarly fierce Japanese opposition from a rocky pinnacle located about 1,000 yd (910 m) southwest of Arakachi (later dubbed "The Pinnacle"). Until April 27, a minimum of 14 and up to 18 escort carriers (CVEs) were in the area at all times. Between the American landing on April 1 and May 25, seven major kamikaze attacks were attempted, involving more than 1,500 planes. According to the account of the battle presented in Marine Corps Gazette: More mental health issues arose from the Battle of Okinawa than any other battle in the Pacific during World War II. " Yahara was the most senior officer to have survived the battle on the island, and he later authored a book titled The Battle for Okinawa. A final assault on April 14 was again repulsed. The Battle of Okinawa is a stunning account of the last major campaign of World War II and the largest land-sea-air engagement in history. It was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of World War II.  Marine Corps officials in Okinawa and Washington have said that they knew of no rapes by American personnel in Okinawa at the end of the war. Following the practice of changing the fleet designation with the change of commanders, US naval forces began the campaign as the US 5th Fleet under Admiral Raymond Spruance, but ended it as the 3rd Fleet under Admiral William Halsey.  When the American forces occupied the island, many Japanese soldiers put on Okinawan clothing to avoid capture, and some Okinawans would come to the Americans' aid by offering to identify these mainland Japanese. Medal of Honor recipients from Okinawa are: The US military estimates that 110,071 Japanese soldiers were killed during the battle. The United States needed a base to stage an invasion of mainland Japan. The 27th Infantry Division—which had landed on April 9—took over on the right, along the west coast of Okinawa. He was the highest-ranking US officer to be killed by enemy fire during the Second World War. Captain Dusenbury would later receive the Navy Cross for his actions.. After fierce close combat, the attackers retreated, only to repeat their offensive the following night.  In light of the weak opposition, General Buckner decided to proceed immediately with Phase II of his plan—the seizure of northern Okinawa. That dark history is still present today – and Japan and the US should study it before they decide what to do with next. Add to this the civilian death toll and the terrible cost of Okinawa becomes clear. Yahara advocated a defensive strategy, whilst Chō advocated an offensive one. On May 13, troops of the 96th Infantry Division and 763rd Tank Battalion captured Conical Hill. Ultimately, this was a factor in the approval of the use of atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The battle was between the … A new online only channel for history lovers, Forgotten Allies: The Search for Burma’s Lost Heroes, Hitler’s Pact with Stalin with Roger Moorhouse, Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess – Chapter One. Casualties and Deaths: Total: 84,570: Total: 105,755+ 12,513 killed 38,916 wounded, 33,096 non-combat losses: About 95,000+ killed 7,400–10,755 captured: Part of World War II: The Battle of Okinawa, also known as Operation Iceberg, formed a part of the Pacific War during World War II.  Okinawans "were often surprised at the comparatively humane treatment they received from the American enemy". The Japanese retreat, although harassed by artillery fire, was conducted with great skill at night and aided by the monsoon storms. , Significant US forces remain garrisoned on Okinawa as the United States Forces Japan, which the Japanese government sees as an important guarantee of regional stability, and Kadena remains the largest US air base in Asia. The protracted length of the campaign under stressful conditions forced Admiral Chester W. Nimitz to take the unprecedented step of relieving the principal naval commanders to rest and recuperate. Okinawa Prefecture's estimate is over 100,000 losses,. After the battle, Okinawa provided a fleet anchorage, troop staging areas, and airfields in proximity to Japan in preparation for a planned invasion of the Japanese home islands. , The United States Navy's Task Force 58, deployed to the east of Okinawa with a picket group of from 6 to 8 destroyers, kept 13 carriers (7 CVs and 6 CVLs) on duty from March 23 to April 27 and a smaller number thereafter. The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, with an estimated total of over 82,000 casualties on both sides. Anyone sliding down the greasy slopes could easily find their pockets full of maggots at the end of the journey. The ground advance began to resemble a World War I battlefield, as troops became mired in mud, and flooded roads greatly inhibited evacuation of wounded to the rear. This small task force had been ordered to fight through enemy naval forces, then beach Yamato and fight from shore, using her guns as coastal artillery and her crew as naval infantry. At the end of April, after Army forces had pushed through the Machinato defensive line, the 1st Marine Division relieved the 27th Infantry Division, and the 77th Infantry Division relieved the 96th. American personnel casualties included thousands of cases of mental breakdown. The Battle of Okinawa began on 1 April, 1945 with the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War. , There was a hypnotic fascination to the sight so alien to our Western philosophy. This means presented itself, with the advent of atomic bombs, which worked admirably in convincing the Japanese to sue for peace [unconditionally], without American casualties. In his 1955 memoirs… S. Nichols, Jr., USMC and Henry I. Shaw, Jr", "The Final Campaign: Marines in the Victory on Okinawa (Assault on Shuri)", "Battle of Okinawa: The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War", "The Cornerstone of Peace – names to be inscribed", "Okinawa marks 62nd anniversary of WWII battle", "Ernie Pyle, trail-blazing war correspondent—Brought home the tragedy of D-Day and the rest of WWII", United States Army Center of Military History, "Japan's Battle of Okinawa, April–June 1945", "The Basic Concept of the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum", "1945 suicide order still a trauma on Okinawa", "Japan's Textbooks Reflect Revised History", "EDITORIAL – Cornerstone of Peace: A Legacy of Bloodshed", "Military Intelligence Service Research Center: Okinawa", Defiant soldier saved lives of hundreds of civilians during Okinawa battle, "Pressure to prove loyalty paved way for mass suicides in Battle of Okinawa – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun", "3 Dead Marines and a Secret of Wartime Okinawa", "JAPAN Okinawa against Tokyo's attempts to rewrite history – Asia News", "110,000 protest history text revision order", Japan to amend textbook accounts of Okinawa suicides, Texts reinstate army's role in mass suicides: Okinawa prevails in history row, Oe testifies military behind Okinawa mass suicides, Director humanizes tragedy of Okinawan mass suicides, New high school texts say Japanese Imperial Army ordered WWII Okinawa suicides, "Second battle of Okinawa looms as China's naval ambition grows". The staff calculated that superior quality and numbers of weapons gave each US division five or six times the firepower of a Japanese division. The US cleared the surrounding waters of mines in Operation Zebra, occupied Okinawa, and set up the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, a form of military government, after the battle. Buckner launched another American attack on May 11. The Battle of Okinawa stands as the costliest engagement of World War II in the Pacific. Even students, some as young as 14, were mobilised. Primary resistance was to be led in the south by Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, his chief of staff, Lieutenant General Isamu Chō and his chief of operations, Colonel Hiromichi Yahara.  149,425 Okinawans were killed, died by suicide or went missing, roughly half of the estimated pre-war 300,000 local population.. Add to this the civilian death toll and the terrible cost of Okinawa becomes clear. The Art of Illustrating Medieval History and Warfare. There are also people who have testified that they were handed grenades by Japanese soldiers" to blow themselves up. Of 1500 students drafted into the Iron and Blood Imperial Corps (Tekketsu Kinnotai) 800 were killed during the fighting. By 1945, Japanese airpower was incapable of mounting any serious challenge one-on-one against their American counterparts. Japanese forces fought with the same fanaticism the Americans had witnessed in battles such as Iwo Jima. The Japanese would hold each line of defence until the last possible moment, expending great manpower in the process, but when it became untenable they would retreat to the next line and begin the process again. Among the Americans killed was Army Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., who was killed by Japanese artillery fire. The resolution stated, "It is an undeniable fact that the 'multiple suicides' would not have occurred without the involvement of the Japanese military and any deletion of or revision to (the descriptions) is a denial and distortion of the many testimonies by those people who survived the incidents. By the end of May, monsoon rains which had turned contested hills and roads into a morass exacerbated both the tactical and medical situations.  He was sued by revisionists, including a wartime commander during the battle, who disputed this and wanted to stop publication of the booklet. Okinawans suffered greatly during the battle, and Okinawa Prefecture estimates that 94,000 civilians were killed during the nearly three months of fighting. The official surrender ceremony was held on September 7, near Kadena airfield. In March 2007, the national Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) advised textbook publishers to reword descriptions that the embattled Imperial Japanese Army forced civilians to kill themselves in the war to avoid being taken prisoner. The last remnants of Japanese resistance ended on June 21, although some Japanese continued hiding, including the future governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Masahide Ōta. Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. At sea and in the air, the Navy reported 36 US ships sunk, 368 damaged, 763 aircraft lost to all causes, 4,907 seamen killed or missing in action and 4,824 wounded. In addition to conventional hazards, the 77th Infantry Division encountered kamikaze attacks, and even local women armed with spears. 300,000. According to various estimates, between a tenth and a third of them died during the battle, or between 30,000 and 100,000 people. Why Was Hereward the Wake Wanted by the Normans? ", On September 29, 2007, about 110,000 people held the biggest political rally in the history of Okinawa to demand that MEXT retract its order to textbook publishers regarding revising the account of the civilian suicides. There was heavy fighting before the Marines finally cleared Yae-Dake on April 18. Japanese soldiers also killed about 1,000 people who spoke in the Okinawan language to suppress spying. The 2nd Marine Division conducted a demonstration off the Minatoga beaches on the southeastern coast to deceive the Japanese about American intentions and delay movement of reserves from there. The capture of these two key positions exposed the Japanese around Shuri on both sides.  It was planned that General Buckner would report to Turner until the amphibious phase was completed, after which he would report directly to Spruance. They destroyed 70,000 US gallons (260,000 l) of fuel and nine planes before being killed by the defenders, who lost two men. The next American objective was Kakazu Ridge, two hills with a connecting saddle that formed part of Shuri's outer defenses. The Battle of Okinawa was a victory for the US but resulted in massive casualties on both sides.  Thousands of civilians, having been induced by Japanese propaganda to believe that American soldiers were barbarians who committed horrible atrocities, killed their families and themselves to avoid capture at the hands of the Americans. , There is ongoing disagreement between Okinawa's local government and Japan's national government over the role of the Japanese military in civilian mass suicides during the battle. Estimated 42,000–150,000 civilians killed. Some military historians believe that the Okinawa campaign led directly to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as a means of avoiding the planned ground invasion of the Japanese mainland. Okinawa also witnessed heavy civilian casualties, perhaps in excess of 100,000. March 26th marked the first landing on the Kerama Islands around Okinawa in the Ryukus by the 77th Division. On June 19, General Claudius Miller Easley, the commander of the US Army's 96th Infantry Division, was killed by Japanese machine gun fire, also while checking on the progress of his troops at the front. The first Americans ashore were soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division, who landed in the Kerama Islands, 15 mi (24 km) west of Okinawa on March 26. To avoid the mass number of fatality, Truman believed in order to save his military, the dropping of the atomic bomb was necessary. The 32nd Army initially consisted of the 9th, 24th, and 62nd Divisions, and the 44th Independent Mixed Brigade. Ten days of fierce fighting followed. The land battle took place over about 81 days beginning on April 1, 1945. (US torpedo bombers were instructed to aim for only one side to prevent effective counter flooding by the battleship's crew, and to aim for the bow or the stern, where armor was believed to be the thinnest.) Total aircraft in the American Navy, Marine, and Army Air Force exceeded 3000 over the course of the battle, including fighters, attack aircraft, scout planes, bombers and dive-bombers. Yet the battle had only begun, for it was now realized that "these were merely outposts," guarding the Shuri Line.  The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of Japanese kamikaze attacks, and the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. Ushijima based his forces in the hilly southern region of the island, in a heavily fortified system of caves, tunnels, bunkers and trenches. On the sea the U.S. had over 5,000 dead and over 4,500 wounded. Unburied Japanese and American bodies decayed, sank in the mud, and became part of a noxious stew.  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