Battle of Iwo Jima Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1412 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Battle of Iwo Jima (February 19 -- March 26, 1945) was fundamental in the U.S. advance towards the final invasion of Japan and the Japanese used every method in their capability to stall this advance. This explains, to some degree, both the overwhelming casualties on both sides (it is the only battle in the Pacific war where the American casualties were larger than the Japanese

) and the ferocity of the battle. The battle is also interesting from a strategic and tactical perspective: other than the strategic role of the island in the Japanese approach to defense, the Japanese troops built a large network of underground tunnels and carried most of the fighting from there. Although the island was reasonably small and the Japanese numbered at most 20,000 troops, it took the U.S. more than a month to completely overcome the resistance, with all but 216 of the Japanese soldiers being killed

. This paper will aim to examine the background of the battle, some of the strategic and tactical approaches of the U.S. And Japanese troops and the aftermath and consequences of the island's conquest and defeat of the Japanese in Iwo Jima.

As the U.S. troops progressed towards the Japanese archipelago, strategic locations such as the Caroline and the Mariana Islands gradually fell to the American troops throughout 1944. The island of Iwo Jima, part of the Ogasawara Archipelago, became part of what the Japanese perceives as a last line of defense before Japan itself would be invaded. The preparations that the Japanese troops undertook in the Ogasawaras, including in Iwo Jima, were emphasized by the evacuation of the entire population (close to 7,000 islandersGet full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Research Paper on Battle of Iwo Jima Assignment

), the fortification of key points and the creation, on Iwo Jima, of a complex network of underground tunnels for the Japanese troops. The strategic importance that the Japanese leadership awarded to Iwo Jima should not be underestimated: while they were convinced that the island itself could not be saved, the delaying and guerilla-like tactic were supposed to inflict massive casualties on the American troops, lengthening the timeframe before the invasion of Japan and allowing the preparation of a home defense. To some degree, heavy battle over Iwo Jima was also supposed to deter the Americans from the planned invasion of Japan, in view of prospective casualties. This can be seen from the statements of Japanese officers themselves: "that in order to gain time necessary for the preparation of the Homeland defence, our forces should rely solely upon the established defensive equipment in that area, checking the enemy by delaying tactics."

For the U.S. And allied troops, the island of Iwo Jima would provide the necessary support for a future attack on the Japanese mainland. At the same time, the island could prove an important strategic base for bombing campaigns of the main Japanese cities and industrial production centers. Finally, conquering the island of Iwo Jima would also eliminate existing Japanese troops defending the island and would ensure that the flanks and back of the U.S. advance would be protected.

The American invasion of the island was prepared beforehand by naval and aircraft artillery, as many as 100 bombers participating in the first round of attack

. However, as previously mentioned, the Japanese had worked through several months in order to get the defenses of the island organized. Most of these defenses were underground, including inside Mount Suribachi, on the southern tip of the island. As for the defenses above the ground, these had special protection against shelling and bombing. As a result, despite the heavy bombardment, there was little damage done to the Japanese defenses or troops.

The initial landing of Marines on the beach was met with overwhelming fire from the different Japanese defense fortifications on the beach and around Mount Suribachi. The Japanese had a delaying tactic, by which they waited for a large number of equipment and troops to be deployed on the beach before actually starting their machine gun and artillery attack. The extraordinary defenses that the Japanese had built, along with the difficult terrain, made it very difficult, initially, for the American troops to both advance through the Japanese lines and actually take a relevant toll on the Japanese army. The adaptation of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Battle of Iwo Jima."  Essaytown.com.  July 8, 2010.  Accessed February 26, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/battle-iwo-jima/1196.