Battle of Okinawa

Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa was the largest and bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. More ships, troops, supplies, bombs, and more naval guns were used in this battle than any battle during World War II. The death toll of this battle was greater than the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together. An estimated 34 allied ships had been sunk along with an estimated of 368 ships damaged by kamikazes. Overall the Japanese lost more lives, aircraft, and ships than the Americans, with an estimated of 7, 830 aircraft and 16 combat ships lost. The Okinawan residents fled into caves to try and survive, but there was still an estimated 42, 000 killed which equals about one-third of the population. The reason the Americans wanted Okinawa was because if they gained possesion of this territory it would enable the Americans with the Allies to cut Japan's sea lines out of communication and isolate it from its material sources in the south. For the defense of the Japanese, Okinawa was used for the location of the airbases. The farm land of the natives were excavated into the construction of airbases by the Imperial Japanese. The invasion of Okinawa began on April 1, 1945 with 60,000 troops on land by nightfall. In order to avoid Allied sea and air power the Japanese dug underground tunnels in the high ground away from the beaches. There were four phases to this battle: east coast advance, clearing of the northern part of the island, conquering outer islands, and the battle against the underground tunnels which was very difficult for the Allied powers. The Battle of Okinawa ended by the signing of a document on September 7, 1945 on Kadena Air Base.

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U.S. Marines taking a Japanese prisoner.

Okinawa, Battle of: U.S. Marines fighting near Naha, Okinawa, May 1945

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A soldier visiting thousands of graves after the battle.

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Works Cited:

“Battle of Okinawa”. Pike, John. 2000-2009. 12 Apr. 2009. <>.
"Battle of Okinawa." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 12 Apr. 2009 <>.

“Japan Focus”. The Asia-Pacific Journal Japan Focus. 2008. Data Momentum. 12 Apr. 2009. <>