Cover image for Okinawa 1945 : the last battle
Title:
Okinawa 1945 : the last battle
Author:
Rottman, Gordon L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
96 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 26 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: Oxford : Osprey, 2002.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780275982744
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

By the spring of 1945 the Allies were sweeping all before them in the Pacific War against Japan, and a series of victories had reclaimed many of the islands and territories seized by the Imperial Japanese forces in the early months of the war. The dark days of humiliating defeat were far behind the unstoppable Allied juggernaut--victory was now assured. The question was where the last battle would be fought. That place was the island of Okinawa. This book details the struggle for the island as U.S. Marines and Army units battled determined Japanese defenders in the last battle of World War II.

By the spring of 1945 the Allies were sweeping all before them in the Pacific War against Japan, and a series of victories had reclaimed many of the islands and territories seized by the Imperial Japanese forces in the early months of the war. The dark days of humiliating defeat were far behind the unstoppable Allied juggernaut--victory was now assured. The question was where the last battle would be fought. That place was the island of Okinawa. This book details the struggle for the island as U.S. Marines and Army units battled determined Japanese defenders in the last battle of World War II.

The key to the anticipated American invasion of the Japanese mainland was possession of Okinawa. In the largest and most complicated amphibious expedition undertaken in the Pacific, Admiral Spruance's Fifth Fleet would take in the Tenth Army, the XXIV Corps, and III Marine Amphibious Corps. Defending Okinawa was the Japanese 32nd army of 130,000 men. The initial landings on 1-4 April 1945 met negligible ground opposition, 60,000 men establishing a beachhead at Hagushi. The Marines turned north and would meet little opposition in clearing the northern area of the island. XXIV Corps turned south and was halted by the Machinato line of prepared mountain defenses. The Japanese meanwhile decided on a co-coordinated air and naval suicide attack to halt the U.S. advance against the mainland. The Yamato the largest battleship in the world was filled with enough fuel for a one-way trip, packed with ammunition and dispatched on her last mission. She was bombed into submission by repeated waves of U.S. aircraft and went down with 2,488 officers and men. The bitter fighting continued on Okinawa until 22 June when organized resistance finally ceased. Japanese losses were probably in excess of 120,000 men killed. U.S. losses were 12, 374 killed and 26,656 wounded. It was a high price to pay--the Japanese mainland was never invaded, instead the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ushered in the Nuclear age.


Author Notes

GORDON L. ROTTMAN Rottman entered the U.S. Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and served in Vietnam in 1969-70. A highly respected and established author, Gordon is now a civilian contract Special Operations Forces Intelligence Specialist at the Army's Joint Readiness Center, Ft. Polk.