Battle of Okinawa

battle of Okinawa Japan
The battle of Okinawa is one of the most severe and brutal fights in the region near Japan during World War II. The battle is famous because it was fought scattered over several Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault of the war. The operation was called “Operation Iceberg” and took the Allied forces a stunning 82 days before they could claim their victory. In this time around 80.000 Japanese soldiers lost their lives, either by combat or in kamikaze attacks. The Allied forces suffered around 14.000 deaths but had many casualties and severely wounded soldiers. Japan was losing on its own territory in June 1945 and not long after the Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki they surrendered.

The Battle plan of Okinawa

The Battle of Okinawa lasted for around 82 days and both the US and Japanese government lost a lot of human lives and machinery. The Japanese defended their Islands with all they had. This is why the battle took longer than expected. The Allied forces tried to use a Blitzkrieg kind of attack to grab the islands as fast as possible. Nonetheless, the Japanese people defended and stopped the Blitzkrieg on Okinawa. To give an indication of the magnitude of the Allied forces; over 450 warships and 1000 fighter aircrafts took part in the battle. The smaller islands such as Kerama and Keise Shima were secured pretty fast but the main landing on Okinawa Island on April the first 1945 took much longer. This operation was called the L-Day since it was Easter Sunday and April Fools day.

The Allied forces quickly swept across the northern part and central part of Okinawa with some heavy resistance in the mountains around the Motobu Peninsula. One of the most severe battles fought was at the “The Pinnacle” just southwest of Arakachi, the US lost around 1.500 soldiers. Nonetheless, the greatest battle of Okiniwa was fought on the Kiyan Peninsula, which nowadays is known as the greatest place of slaughter on Okinawa. Around 4.000 Japanese soldiers including the famous admiral Minoru Ota committed suicide to prevent captivity by the Allied forces. The monsoon storms and dense jungles led to a hard fight for the invaders. The battle of Okinawa continued until the 21st of June 1945, although some Japanese soldiers continued to fight guerrilla style warfare. Many of the commanders committed suicide by Seppuku in their commanding office at the end of the battle of Okinawa. The official surrender ceremony was held on 7 September near the military airfield Kadena. The battle of Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific with great losses on both sides. The civilian losses, suicides and atrocities of the Japanese people and US soldiers were immense and are a grief part of history nowadays.

Remember the battle

After the battle of Okinawa the Island was totally destroyed, it is estimated that 90% of all the buildings were leveled with the ground. The cultural, natural and tropical treasures were vanquished of the earth in just a few months. The US kept control over the islands until 1972 and created an army navel/airbase on the island. They also helped with the rebuilding of the island but were never fully accepted by the Japanese, since they were always seen as invaders of the great Japan.