The battle of Iwo Jima was characterized by a unique Japanese strategy and a bombardment of the strategically located island by the US forces. The Japanese had burrowed themselves in rocks underground and awaited the 110,000 Marines and Navy Corpsmen attacking the island. Japanese commander, General Kuribayashi, prepared his soldiers to die, expecting them to kill 10 Americans before they themselves were killed. There were no front lines, as the Japanese were hidden underground and the Marines were out in the open, above them, in clear view. The tenacity and bravery of the unheralded Marine infantrymen won the battle for the US, a battle of inches and persistence. Finally, after 36 days, and over 25,000 casualties, the Americans captured the island, with its strategically important airstrips, closing the distance between US islands and Japanese mainland.
On February 23, 1945, 4 days after the start of the battle, Easy Company took two US flags to be raised on Mt. Suribachi, the highest peak and mountain straddling the battlegrounds, so that “every Marine on this [Iwo Jima] cruddy island can see it.” It was here the iconic flag raising at Iwo Jima was photographed by Joe Rosenthal.
For more information please visit: The Battle of Iwo Jima – Iwo Jima
1. “The Flag Raising-Iwo Jima” 23 February 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.iwojima.com/raising/raisingb.htm”
2. Photo Credit – Rosenthal, Joe. “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” ( 23 February 2012) Retrieved from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Raising_the_Flag_on_Iwo_Jima.png
(LC Office of Public and External Affairs)