Battle of Okinawa


The initial invasion of Okinawa on 1 April 1945, was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

The 98-day battle lasted from 26 March until 2 July 1945.

The Ten-Go force was spotted by submarines shortly after it left the Japanese home waters, and was intercepted by US carrier aircraft. Under attack from more than 300 aircraft over a two-hour span, the world's largest battleship sank on 7 April 1945, after a one-sided battle, long before she could reach Okinawa.

Several kamikaze attacks caused significant damage, but as the Royal Navy carriers had armoured flight decks, they experienced only a brief interruption to their force's operations. ==Land battle== The land battle took place over about 81 days beginning on 1 April 1945.

On 23 June a mopping-up operation commenced, which concluded on 30 June. On 15 August 1945, Admiral Matome Ugaki was killed while part of a kamikaze raid on Iheyajima island.

During the 1945 battle, the Imperial Japanese Army showed indifference to Okinawans' safety, and its soldiers even used civilians as human shields or just outright murdered them.


This view is explained by Victor Davis Hanson in his book Ripples of Battle: Meanwhile, many parties continue to debate the broader question of "why Japan surrendered", attributing the surrender to a number of possible reasons including: the atomic bombings, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and Japan's depleted resources. ===Memorial=== In 1995, the Okinawa government erected a memorial monument named the Cornerstone of Peace in Mabuni, the site of the last fighting in southeastern Okinawa.


Ryūkyū Shimpō, one of the two major Okinawan newspapers, wrote in 2007: "There are many Okinawans who have testified that the Japanese Army directed them to commit suicide.

In March 2007, the national Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) advised textbook publishers to reword descriptions that the embattled Imperial Japanese Army forced civilians to kill themselves in the war to avoid being taken prisoner.

The resolution stated, "It is an undeniable fact that the 'multiple suicides' would not have occurred without the involvement of the Japanese military and any deletion of or revision to (the descriptions) is a denial and distortion of the many testimonies by those people who survived the incidents." In December 2007, MEXT partially admitted the role of the Japanese military in civilian mass suicides.


As of June 2008, it contains 240,734 names including 382 Koreans. ===Modern US base=== Significant US forces remain garrisoned on Okinawa as the United States Forces Japan, which the Japanese government sees as an important guarantee of regional stability, and Kadena remains the largest US air base in Asia.


In 2011, one official of the prefectural government told David Hearst of The Guardian: ===Effect on the wider war=== Because the next major event following the Battle of Okinawa was "the total surrender of Japan," the "effect" of this battle is more difficult to consider.

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Page generated on 2021-08-05