Introduction to Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima, a barren volcanic island midway between Saipan and Japan, was considered desirable as an emergency base for B-29's flying to and from Japan. Cancellation of plans to take Taiwan provided an opportunity for the Central Pacific forces to undertake the hitherto unscheduled conquest of Iwo Jima, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed Admiral Nimitz to take the island in February.
Two Marine divisions made the assault on February 19, touching off a month of as severe fighting as American forces experienced during World War II. A third Marine division evenly had to be thrown into the battle as 23,000 Japanese, firmly entrenched in terrain that gave every advantage to the defenders, exacted a price of some 20,000 American casualties for the tiny island.
The campaign came to an official end on March 16, 1945.
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See also: Pacific Theatre | European Theatre
Pearl Harbor | Bataan and Corregidor | Battle of the Coral Sea | Battle of Midway
Papua | The Solomons | Guadalcanal | New Georgia | Bougainville | New Guinea
Admiralties | Aleutians | Burma | China | Leyte | Luzon | Iwo Jima | Okinawa