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Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa

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Topic: Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa
Posted By: tommy
Subject: Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa
Date Posted: 04-Mar-2007 at 11:45
In the battle of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, American had a heavy lost. But i think was it necessary to land.At that time, Japanese lost all of their fleet, no navy could crushed the Us fleet. So american could simply surrounded these islands, bombed them, then Japanese would lose their fighting power since running of food and clean water, no needed to land, what do you think?

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leung



Replies:
Posted By: hermeslyre
Date Posted: 04-Mar-2007 at 16:16
Well the United States must have had a reason to land... on Iwa Jima the Japanese had created deep bunkers to the surprise of the Americans.. And i'm sure We wanted a very quick end to the war in the pacific. The process of slowly bleeding the Japanese to surrender may have took to long in our leaders eyes.


Posted By: tommy
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2007 at 08:44
They feared that Russian would come to join the Pacific War and extended their power,So UNited States  wanted a quick end of the war?

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leung


Posted By: hermeslyre
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2007 at 11:36
There were probably other reasons but yes, The US probably predicted future conflict with The Soviet Union and wanted to call as much territory as possible theirs. 


Posted By: aghart
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2007 at 17:49
 Also there are problems in maintaining a fleet at sea for very long periods, even the USA with it's huge resources and superb logistical expertise would have found difficulty in maintaining a blockade of Okinawa in particular for a period of months.

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Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2007 at 18:23
Neither Iwo or Okinawa were about maintaining fleet facilities.  Neither had infrastructure nor room for substantial naval dockyards and logististics.  The use of these territories had to do with the assault on the Japanese mainland....by air and by invasion.
 
The invasion of the Japanese islands was scheduled for late 1945 (Kyushu) and March, 1946 (Honshu - Tokyo/Yokahama).  The continuing air assault on Japanese targets would benefit from both locations, and the preparation for invasion required a large land area to marshal and prepare forces sufficient for the task.  Similar to England's position in Europe.
 
Okinawa and Iwo Jima both could have hosted air forces for the Japanese that might be used for kamikaze attacks against US naval forces.  Ultimately, those kamikaze were less than decisive, but nobody knew that in 1945.
 
Anyway, that is my read on it.  The bomb, and the Russian redeployment to Asia after Germany's surrender changed the equation.  There has been some revisionist thinking that the invasion of (at least) Iwo was unnecessary, but in the context of 1945, that does not hold water.
 
  


Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2007 at 22:53

Note that American death rates and sunk ships increased after Japanese lost all their navy. Why? Kamakazi.



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Posted By: hermeslyre
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2007 at 23:50
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Note that American death rates and sunk ships increased after Japanese lost all their navy. Why? Kamakazi.



Yes but the devine wind wasnt near as successful as the japanese would have hoped...


Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2007 at 23:54

I meant the sucide aircraft fighters, not the natural disasters... (Though the name literally means as you have mentioned. It was, of course, not enough to stop the Americans to dominate the Pacific Ocean and dropping atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the message was clear. Japan would never surrender by foreigners, and Americans had to deploy atomic bombs to quickly end the war. To prevent more American deaths, and to prevent more excuses for Stalin to move the troops to Far East.



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Posted By: tommy
Date Posted: 06-Mar-2007 at 06:39
But how about using submarines to blockade these two islands

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leung


Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 06-Mar-2007 at 06:39
Iwo Jima was needed to have an emergency airfield on which to land B29s on their return trip.  The plans that were made did not include or account for the A bomb,  it was still top secret and not known if it would actually work.  So everything went as if we would be invading the Japanese mainland.


Posted By: Crusader3943
Date Posted: 12-Mar-2007 at 10:39
The US was always eager for a fight with the Japs.

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Crusader3943


Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 12-Mar-2007 at 19:39
Originally posted by Crusader3943 Crusader3943 wrote:

The US was always eager for a fight with the Japs.
 
 
I don't know where your information came from but, from 1918 to 1941 the US was almost totally isolationist.  The idea of getting into a fight with any country was, if not non existing, rare.
At the outbreak of WWII US Army was ranked 16th in size, weapons and general readiness.  The Navy was ranked 5-6, not exactly what you would expect from a country spoiling for a fight.   


Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 12-Mar-2007 at 21:30
Originally posted by Crusader3943 Crusader3943 wrote:

The US was always eager for a fight with the Japs.
 
Nope. Read more about Japanese-American relations before Pearl Harbour.


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Posted By: Crusader3943
Date Posted: 16-Mar-2007 at 14:55
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Originally posted by Crusader3943 Crusader3943 wrote:

The US was always eager for a fight with the Japs.

 

Nope. Read more about Japanese-American relations before Pearl Harbour.


sorry

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Crusader3943


Posted By: Timotheus
Date Posted: 17-Mar-2007 at 22:39
There are some people who say that Roosevelt wanted to join WWII to support the British but could not find a good excuse so ignored lots of evidence that the Japanese were planning an attack. I classify that with "Bush knew 9/11 was going to happen but he wanted to invade Iraq": probably not true. The evidence was there, but nobody could find it, correlate it, and make the right conclusions in time.

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Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 17-Mar-2007 at 22:51
Originally posted by Crusader3943 Crusader3943 wrote:

Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Originally posted by Crusader3943 Crusader3943 wrote:

The US was always eager for a fight with the Japs.

 

Nope. Read more about Japanese-American relations before Pearl Harbour.


sorry
 
No worries. You've got to see how many mistakes I end up with...EmbarrassedWink


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Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 18-Mar-2007 at 01:33
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.


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 04:03
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.
 


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Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 19-Mar-2007 at 08:48
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.

 




The wisdom of attacking Iwo will be debated forever, however the one aspect that can't be overlooked is that it was thought of as one of the Japanese home Islands, so for the first time we were actually attacking Japan itself.


Posted By: Sparten
Date 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.

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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Cryptic
Date 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.
 


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date 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.
 
 
 
 


Posted By: Cryptic
Date 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.
 


Posted By: red clay
Date 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.


Posted By: pekau
Date 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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Posted By: Crusader3943
Date 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.


Right On!

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Posted By: Cryptic
Date 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.
  


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.
 
 


Posted By: Cryptic
Date 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.


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date 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.
 
 


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.
 
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date 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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