Tagged: Easter

Landing at Okinawa

                                                            

 

Landing at Okinawa



1 Apr-21 Jun 1945

From Peter Chen:

It was April 1st, 1945. April 1st was Easter. April 1st was April Fools day. April 1st was the beginning of the battle for Okinawa. It was under what was known as Operation Iceberg.

Operation Iceberg struck the island of Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands on that date of April 1st , 1945.  Okinawa was a relatively large island, 60 miles long and eight miles wide; it was the largest of the Ryukyu Archipelago situated between Taiwan and Japan. Immediately to its west was the small island of Ie Shima. Before the landing operation started, Allied bombers softened Okinawa of its defenses and morale, which resulted in the destruction of over 80% of the city of Naha and the sinking of over 65 boats. Admiral Richmond Turner, veteran commander of amphibious forces, delivered landing forces, with ships of the British Pacific Fleet among his vanguard. The amphibious vehicles landed the 96th and 7th Army Divisions on the left flank, and the 1st and 6th Marine Divisions were delivered on the right. Once on land, the combined forces of Chester Nimitz’s Marines and Douglas MacArthur’s soldiers, the first time their men fought side-by-side, were placed under the command of Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. The landing was not resisted, much to the surprise of the landers. There were no coastal guns, no mortars, and no machine guns; it was a scene very much unlike the previous landings elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Deep in the island, however, the 110,000-strong Japanese garrison led by Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, augmented by 20,000 volunteer Okinawan militiamen, awaited. Read more »