Tagged: 71years ago

The Battle for Iwo Jima begins tomorrow – 71 years ago.

unnamedThe battle for Iwo Jima officially begins tomorrow!! That would be tomorrow – 71 years ago. Why did it happen at all?
From: Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: It was because of the technology of the time. With the conquest of the Marianna Islands 6 months earlier, B-29s were now within range of the Japanese homeland. However the 1,400 mile flight from the Marianas to Japan permitted only minutes over the targets until the planes had to leave for the return trip. Complicating this problem were the fighters on Iwo Jima that met the B-29s coming and going and the radars that warned the homeland of their numbers and arrival times.
Iwo Jima lay almost exactly halfway between the Marianas and Japan. The B-29s (without escort)  had to fly directly past Iwo Jima on both legs of their missions to have enough fuel to return to the Marianas. They paid heavily for being in this situation. Japanese fighter aircraft on Iwo would meet the heavy bombers as they flew over the island, and try to shoot them down. Sometimes they succeeded in doing just that. It was clear that the threat of Japanese fighters on Iwo Jima had to be eliminated. Read more »