Iwo Jima Victory

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This paper explores various online and offline sources to complete a picture of the Battle of Iwo Jima, and further explores alternatives to the battle that actually took place in February and March, 1945. The significance of the island was overestimated, and the victory, while iconic, was also hollow. The intelligence gaps that were faulty on the Allied side was a lack of reliable Human Intelligence sources, and failure to properly assess the training and philosophies of the enemy commander. Had the Allies not decided to use overwhelming force, a Japanese victory was likely. THE TRAGEDY OF OPERATION DETACHMENT 3
The Tragedy of Operation Detachment: A Viewpoint on the
High Price of Victory in the Battle of Iwo Jima
If the intelligence
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The Japanese commander, Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi was a progressive military officer who had studied during exchange programs in the United States and Canada, which gave him wonderful insight into the tactics and resolve of the American fighting men. He knew that the United States would attack using overwhelming force. He knew there would be no re-supply or reinforcement from the Japanese homeland. He knew that the typical Japanese beach defense would not be effective, as it had not been effective since early on in the war. He decided to create a different defense; he connected 11 miles of tunnels to the various bunkers and pillboxes, so that a pillbox or bunker that had been cleared out by flamethrower or grenade could easily be reoccupied and manned, without anybody exposing themselves to enemy fire. He hid artillery and mortar positions in caves in Mount Suribachi, where they could fire for effect, then close steel blast doors to protect the artillery from a counter-strike. He meant to sell every Japanese life for a price dearer than the Allies had ever paid before. (Wright,…show more content…
Marines hit the beaches (see Appendix B), they were all allowed to dismount before they were hit with artillery and mortar shells, not to mention grenades and small-arms fire. The Japanese had buried numerous anti-personnel mines all over the island, and the heavy deposits of magnetite on the island made it impossible to use standard metal detectors to sweep for the mines. (Amphibious Operations: Capture of Iwo Jima)
“I watched from the deck of my transport ship as the flag went up on (Mount) Suribachi. Then it came down. Then another one went up, this time with a photographer there.” (Gehrlach, 2011)
The flag was raised twice on day 5 of the battle. (Appendix C) After Mount Suribachi was “cleared”, they still had the rest of the island to subdue. The battle that was anticipated to last only a week wound up lasting thirty-six days. The island was declared secure at 0900 hours on 26 March, 1945. Of the estimated 21,000 Japanese defenders, between 17,845 and 18,375 died either from fighting or by ritual suicide. On the American side, there were 6,800 dead and an additional 19,200 wounded, with American casualties outnumbering those of the enemy for the first and only time in the Pacific Theater during World War II. (Battle for Iwo Jima, 1945. Navy Department

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