Battle of Okinawa Facts

Battle of Okinawa Facts
The Battle of Okinawa was one of the final and most pivotal battles in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The battle, which was codenamed Operation Iceberg by the Allies, took place from April 1 to June 22, 1945 and ended up being the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater. The initial plan was to take the island to use for a later amphibious invasion of mainland Japan, but that idea was scrapped when the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war. The battle was extremely bloody with around 14,000 Americans killed and up to 100,000 Japanese, which included Okinawan boys conscripted to fight. The fierce Japanese defense of Okinawa may have been one of the factors that led President Truman to make the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan.
Interesting Battle of Okinawa Facts:
Although the Marines did the majority of the early fighting and led the amphibious assault, over 100,000 U.S. Army soldiers were involved in the battle. Nearly 40% of the Army personnel were noncombatants, though, which meant that more Marines saw combat than soldiers.
The Japanese used several kamikaze attacks in the Battle of Okinawa.
Okinawa is part of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan
As the American forces were fighting their way through the island, VE Day was declared on May 8, 1945.
Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner Junior died at the Battle of Okinawa from artillery shrapnel. He was the highest ranking American officer to die on the battlefield in World War II.
The Allied fleet at the Battle of Okinawa was the largest in history. The U.S. Navy combat ships included 132 destroyers, eighteen battleships, seventeen carries, and fourteen cruisers. They were joined by twenty-eight British ships, which included fourteen destroyers and five fleet carriers.
The Japanese battleship Yamato and nine other warships engaged the Allied fleet in what amounted to a suicide mission.
The Japanese lost what was left of their fleet, while the Allies lost several destroyers but none of their carriers, cruisers, or battleships.
Japanese commanders Mitsuru Ushijima and Isamu Cho both committed seppuku in a cave when the battle was lost. Seppuku involves disemboweling one's self with a samurai style sword.
Hiromichi Yahara was the only Japanese commander taken alive by the Allies. He wanted to commit seppuku with Ushijima and Cho, but Ushiijima ordered him to surrender so that the world would know the Japanese side of the battle.
Many Okinawans killed themselves because they believed that the American occupation would be worth than death. The Japanese government denies that the military forced any Okinawans to kill themselves.
The Americans never left Okinawa, establishing permanent naval and Marine bases on the island after the war.
Okinawa was known for being a naturally beautiful location, with pristine landscapes and Buddhist shrines. The invasion destroyed many of the beautiful sites for several years.

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