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Forum LockedBattles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 13:22
The same could have been done at Formosa which was also part of Japan. Iwo airfield was useless. Only 2000 landings took place on it.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 14:52
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like Red Clay says Iwo Jima was needed as an emergency landing strip for B-29s and it also based P-51s that escorted the bombers over Japan.
 
I am with Spartan on this.  With 20/20 hindsight, Iwo Jima should have been bypassed.  The drastically declining  ability of the Japanese to intercept the B-29s and their relatively few anti aircraft batteries led to only a small number of planes being damaged 
 
The use of Iwo Jima as an emergency landing strip and a base for escort fighters did save hundreds of air crew ( 2,000 at the very most?).  But close to 7,000 Marines died taking Iwo Jima.   A certain number of the aircrew could still have been rescued by using destroyer and submarine squadrons as designated rescue forces.  The Japanese abilty to find and hit U.S ships operating off Japan was also declining rapidly.
 


Edited by Cryptic - 19-Mar-2007 at 14:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 17:09
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

I thnk Iwo was a mistake. Far better to have gone to Formosa as the Army wanted.
 
As for Okinawa it was definatly necessary. And with about 20,000 KIA and over a 100,000 causlties a very expensive one.
 
I think politics came into play with the decision of where to base the B-29s. The Formosa operation would have come under MacArthurs control and there were many who thought he already had too much power.
 
Since they were flying out of the Marianas, Iwo Jima was the best solution for a forward emergency strip. It was a very costly operation though.


Edited by DukeC - 19-Mar-2007 at 17:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 19:00
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like Red Clay says Iwo Jima was needed as an emergency landing strip for B-29s and it also based P-51s that escorted the bombers over Japan.
 
I am with Spartan on this.  With 20/20 hindsight, Iwo Jima should have been bypassed.  The drastically declining  ability of the Japanese to intercept the B-29s and their relatively few anti aircraft batteries led to only a small number of planes being damaged 
 
The use of Iwo Jima as an emergency landing strip and a base for escort fighters did save hundreds of air crew ( 2,000 at the very most?).  But close to 7,000 Marines died taking Iwo Jima.   A certain number of the aircrew could still have been rescued by using destroyer and submarine squadrons as designated rescue forces.  The Japanese abilty to find and hit U.S ships operating off Japan was also declining rapidly.
 
 
Well, as said before, in 1945 the thinking was different.  I don't think the navy thought Iwo would be so costly.
 
The fact that Iwo was Japanese territory, and was fanatically defended, may have had an effect on the decision to use the bomb.
 
 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 19-Mar-2007 at 19:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 22:00
So, by combining the responses of many members we get the following picture of Iwo Jima.
 
A.  It should have been bypassed (20/20 hindsite)
B.  It had marginal military value / importance / use
C.  Skilled and determined resistance could have been expected more (Iwo Jima was Japan) 
D. There were other viable plans.  These should have been given more consideration
 
But....
 
A. Iwo Jima was a logical advance from the Marianas
B. Japanese resistance was heavier and more skilled than expected.  Iwo Jima could have been another Manilla 1944 where thousands of suicidal, but poorly equipped / trained Japanese Naval troops are killed with very few U.S. losses.
C. Nobody really knew how close Japan was to military collapse in February 1945 (Iwo's airfields could have been very important for operations against Japan until early 1946). 
D. There was a U.S. Navy verse U.S.  Army rivalry.  Both services wanted to deliver the "knock out campaign".   Shifting focus to Formosa would give more assests / importance to the Army effort.
 


Edited by Cryptic - 19-Mar-2007 at 22:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 23:18
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like Red Clay says Iwo Jima was needed as an emergency landing strip for B-29s and it also based P-51s that escorted the bombers over Japan.
 
I am with Spartan on this.  With 20/20 hindsight, Iwo Jima should have been bypassed.  The drastically declining  ability of the Japanese to intercept the B-29s and their relatively few anti aircraft batteries led to only a small number of planes being damaged 
 
The use of Iwo Jima as an emergency landing strip and a base for escort fighters did save hundreds of air crew ( 2,000 at the very most?).  But close to 7,000 Marines died taking Iwo Jima.   A certain number of the aircrew could still have been rescued by using destroyer and submarine squadrons as designated rescue forces.  The Japanese abilty to find and hit U.S ships operating off Japan was also declining rapidly.
 
 
Well, as said before, in 1945 the thinking was different.  I don't think the navy thought Iwo would be so costly.
 
The fact that Iwo was Japanese territory, and was fanatically defended, may have had an effect on the decision to use the bomb.
 
 
 
 
 
 
the original plan of battle allowed 72 hours for control of the island.  No, I don't think the Navy brass expected this kind of fight, on Iwo anyway.


Edited by red clay - 19-Mar-2007 at 23:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 23:25
Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like Red Clay says Iwo Jima was needed as an emergency landing strip for B-29s and it also based P-51s that escorted the bombers over Japan.
 
I am with Spartan on this.  With 20/20 hindsight, Iwo Jima should have been bypassed.  The drastically declining  ability of the Japanese to intercept the B-29s and their relatively few anti aircraft batteries led to only a small number of planes being damaged 
 
The use of Iwo Jima as an emergency landing strip and a base for escort fighters did save hundreds of air crew ( 2,000 at the very most?).  But close to 7,000 Marines died taking Iwo Jima.   A certain number of the aircrew could still have been rescued by using destroyer and submarine squadrons as designated rescue forces.  The Japanese abilty to find and hit U.S ships operating off Japan was also declining rapidly.
 
 
Yeah. They thought Japan would easily surrender, especially since America had air, sea supremacy... and Americans were better trained and armed even in land... Did Americans captured the island for airfield? To make air bombings more effetive and rapid? 
Well, as said before, in 1945 the thinking was different.  I don't think the navy thought Iwo would be so costly.
 
The fact that Iwo was Japanese territory, and was fanatically defended, may have had an effect on the decision to use the bomb.
 
 
 
 
 
 
the original plan of battle allowed 72 hours for control of the island.  No, I don't think the Navy brass expected this kind of fight, on Iwo anyway.
     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crusader3943 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 08:48
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like Red Clay says Iwo Jima was needed as an emergency landing strip for B-29s and it also based P-51s that escorted the bombers over Japan. The 25,000 Japanese on Iwo had years to prepare and the whole island was honey-combed by tunnels and strong-points. If the U.S. could have bypassed it they would have, they didn't lose 6,000 Marines there for the hell of it.
 

Okinawa was needed as a base for the planned invasion of Japan in the fall of 1945. It wasn't known if the Manhattan Project would be successful, and a forward base was needed close to the Japanese main islands. Okinawa was the best option.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 11:09
Originally posted by Crusader3943 Crusader3943 wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like Red Clay says Iwo Jima was needed as an emergency landing strip for B-29s and it also based P-51s that escorted the bombers over Japan. The 25,000 Japanese on Iwo had years to prepare and the whole island was honey-combed by tunnels and strong-points. If the U.S. could have bypassed it they would have, they didn't lose 6,000 Marines there for the hell of it. 


Right On!
 
Allowing for 20/20 hindsite regarding Iwo Jima, the argument above seems to very circular...
 
- The United States under took an action  (take Iwo Jima).
- This was the correct action.
Why was this the correct action?
- Because the United States undertook that action.
  


Edited by Cryptic - 23-Mar-2007 at 11:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 16:18
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by Crusader3943 Crusader3943 wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like Red Clay says Iwo Jima was needed as an emergency landing strip for B-29s and it also based P-51s that escorted the bombers over Japan. The 25,000 Japanese on Iwo had years to prepare and the whole island was honey-combed by tunnels and strong-points. If the U.S. could have bypassed it they would have, they didn't lose 6,000 Marines there for the hell of it. 


Right On!
 
Allowing for 20/20 hindsite regarding Iwo Jima, the argument above seems to very circular...
 
- The United States under took an action  (take Iwo Jima).
- This was the correct action.
Why was this the correct action?
- Because the United States undertook that action.
 
It was the correct decision because of an earlier decision to base the B-29s in the Marianas. Iwo Jima is in a direct line between the Marianas and the Japanese home islands at about the midpoint. B-29s and their crew were being lost at sea due to combat damage and mechanical failure and morale was beginning to suffer among the crews. Iwo Jima did provide an important forward airstrip for damaged bombers and did allow P-51s to operate much closer to Japan.
 
At the time it seemed to be the logical choice.
 
 


Edited by DukeC - 23-Mar-2007 at 16:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 18:57
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

B-29s and their crew were being lost at sea due to combat damage and mechanical failure and morale was beginning to suffer among the crews. Iwo Jima did provide an important forward airstrip for damaged bombers and did allow P-51s to operate much closer to Japan.
 
At the time it seemed to be the logical choice.
 
I agree, at the time it was a logical choice.  Many of the criticisms are due to the benefit of 20/20 hindsite.
 
It is ironic, however, that the close to 7,000 marine deaths on the island far exceed the number of aircrew saved by taking the island.  But then as other posters have mentioned, the Navy did not expect that kind of resistance.
 
I think the Navy was anticipating a Manila 1945 type situation where determined but very poorly trained and equipped Japanese Naval personnel turned infantry fought to the death but caused very few U.S casualties.


Edited by Cryptic - 23-Mar-2007 at 18:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 19:08
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

B-29s and their crew were being lost at sea due to combat damage and mechanical failure and morale was beginning to suffer among the crews. Iwo Jima did provide an important forward airstrip for damaged bombers and did allow P-51s to operate much closer to Japan.
 
At the time it seemed to be the logical choice.
 
I agree, at the time it was a logical choice.  Many of the criticisms are due to the benefit of 20/20 hindsite.
 
It is ironic, however, that the close to 7,000 marine deaths on the island far exceed the number of aircrew saved by taking the island.  But then as other posters have mentioned, the Navy did not expect that kind of resistance.
 
I think the Navy was anticipating a Manila 1945 type situation where determined but very poorly trained and equipped Japanese Naval personnel turned infantry fought to the death but caused very few U.S casualties.
 
As said before, the resistance on Iwo may have decided the issue on the use of the atomic bomb, once it was determined it worked.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 23-Mar-2007 at 19:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 20:01
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

B-29s and their crew were being lost at sea due to combat damage and mechanical failure and morale was beginning to suffer among the crews. Iwo Jima did provide an important forward airstrip for damaged bombers and did allow P-51s to operate much closer to Japan.
 
At the time it seemed to be the logical choice.
 
I agree, at the time it was a logical choice.  Many of the criticisms are due to the benefit of 20/20 hindsite.
 
It is ironic, however, that the close to 7,000 marine deaths on the island far exceed the number of aircrew saved by taking the island.  But then as other posters have mentioned, the Navy did not expect that kind of resistance.
 
I think the Navy was anticipating a Manila 1945 type situation where determined but very poorly trained and equipped Japanese Naval personnel turned infantry fought to the death but caused very few U.S casualties.
 
As said before, the resistance on Iwo may have decided the issue on the use of the atomic bomb, once it was determined it worked.
 
Plus the battles on the Marianas and Okinawa where many Japanese civilians committed suicide and most Japanese units fought to the last man.


Edited by DukeC - 23-Mar-2007 at 20:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 20:07
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

B-29s and their crew were being lost at sea due to combat damage and mechanical failure and morale was beginning to suffer among the crews. Iwo Jima did provide an important forward airstrip for damaged bombers and did allow P-51s to operate much closer to Japan.
 
At the time it seemed to be the logical choice.
 
I agree, at the time it was a logical choice.  Many of the criticisms are due to the benefit of 20/20 hindsite.
 
It is ironic, however, that the close to 7,000 marine deaths on the island far exceed the number of aircrew saved by taking the island.  But then as other posters have mentioned, the Navy did not expect that kind of resistance.
 
I think the Navy was anticipating a Manila 1945 type situation where determined but very poorly trained and equipped Japanese Naval personnel turned infantry fought to the death but caused very few U.S casualties.
 
I don't think anyone anticipated a six week battle, but once the Marines were on shore there was no real turning back. I still think the operation would have gone ahead if the true nature of defences had been known, another less costly way of reducing the island defence would have been found.
 
 


Edited by DukeC - 23-Mar-2007 at 20:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 20:57
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

B-29s and their crew were being lost at sea due to combat damage and mechanical failure and morale was beginning to suffer among the crews. Iwo Jima did provide an important forward airstrip for damaged bombers and did allow P-51s to operate much closer to Japan.
 
At the time it seemed to be the logical choice.
 
I agree, at the time it was a logical choice.  Many of the criticisms are due to the benefit of 20/20 hindsite.
 
It is ironic, however, that the close to 7,000 marine deaths on the island far exceed the number of aircrew saved by taking the island.  But then as other posters have mentioned, the Navy did not expect that kind of resistance.
 
I think the Navy was anticipating a Manila 1945 type situation where determined but very poorly trained and equipped Japanese Naval personnel turned infantry fought to the death but caused very few U.S casualties.
 
I don't think anyone anticipated a six week battle, but once the Marines were on shore there was no real turning back. I still think the operation would have gone ahead if the true nature of defences had been known, another less costly way of reducing the island defence would have been found.
 
 
 
Another approach would have taken too much time.  Truk and Rabaul could be isolated and bypassed without costly assaults.  Iwo was too critical geographically (1945 assessment) to bypass.  And as discussed, the navy did not forsee the extent of the casualties required to take Iwo.
 
You never know what you are in until you are in it. 
 
 
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