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  #1  
Old Today, 03:18
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Okinawa: The last great strategic battle of WWII

This thread is to discuss/debate the battle of Okinawa. The last great battle of WWII, and one of the most costliest in terms of human lives of the Japanese and Allied forces and the civilians in a battle lasting 10 weeks which claimed the loss of lives of over 120,000 Japanese soldiers, 12,000 plus Allied Army, Marine, and Navy personnel, and 150,000 plus/minus Okinawan civilians.

Many do not know that this battle involved a Naval fleet larger then that used on D-Day Normandy, 1 year earlier, and in which the battle was still being waged after Germany's surrender.

Please feel free to contribute any and all info on this last great clash of a desperate and determined Imperial Japanese armed forces, determined to fight to the last in a last ditch battle before the ultimate defense of their homeland, which inevitably brought about the decision to use atomic bombs for the first and thus far only time in the history of mankind.

Regards,Kurt
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  #2  
Old Today, 04:38
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Many of the USN ships that bombarded Normandy were there to bombard Okinawa. Too bad the IJA had changed tactics and were making the Americans come to them.

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Old Today, 08:00
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One thing that was tragic and overlooked by many is that Okinawans were not considered true Japanese and was treated badly by the IJA. Many Okinawans were glad to go over to the Americans. This led to a tragedy when Okinawan civilians attempting to flee the Japanese troops at night triggered a fire fight when US troops thought it was IJA troops sneaking into the American lines. once the truth came out the American troops were horrified at this tragedy even though it was not their fault. But while looking for online confirmation of this story (I read it several times in different books) I came across this interesting article in The Japan Times: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/communi...-war-gone-bad/
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Old Today, 15:54
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Thanks Richard for the photo and link. I have read the book, Descent into Hell which is mentioned in the article from your link. It is a reasonably priced book still available on Amazons website.

An excerpt from the book:

Quote:
That our interviews encouraged so many Okinawans who had previously been reluctant to discuss their wartime experiences to finally talk about them was a major achievement in itself. In addition, that a project initiated by a newspaper [Ryukyu Shimpo] could create opportunities for so many displaced victims of the war to find each other again, was particularly pleasing.
The most dominating reason why so many civilians died during the battle was because they stayed in the caves with the Japanese soldiers during the daylight and were killed along with them by satchel charges, gasoline, flame throwers, and hand grenades. They looked toward the Japanese soldiers to protect them from the "American Barbarians", which, through propaganda, the Japanese instilled in them that if captured they would be tortured, mutilated, raped, and ultimately die a painful death. Of course the truth was the exact opposite.

At night the civilians would venture out of the caves in search of food and water. Many groups of them could be heard whispering and see their vague Silhouette's which to the Marines and G.I.'s in their forward foxhole positions, in the dark, could not make out whether they were civilians or enemy soldiers. Since every night was a living hell on Okinawa where no one could sleep because the Japanese made night assaults by stealth and silence into and behind the American forward lines, these civilians were often massacred in a hail of rifle and machine gun fire and in the morning the Americans would see the gruesome mess they made. Sometimes groups of almost 40 civilians of all ages from toddlers to 90 years old were mowed down and lay in twisted bloodied piles out front of the American lines.

Regards,Kurt
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