1st Aid Station Set Up for 24th Army Corps on Okinawa
aerial view of beachhead Okinawa
Destroyed Japanese ships Okinawa 1945
USS West Virginia BB-48 Covers Troops in LVT B111 Heading for Okinawa
Troops on Captured Japanese 150 mm gun Type 89 Cannon on Okinawa
Soldiers Advance on Japanese Cave on Okinawa
Okinawa Invasion 1945
Gen. Shepherd and Gen. Buckner Watch Battle on Okinawa
LVT Buffalo Being Lowered into Water off Okinawa’s Orange Beach 1945
96th infantry division LVT Amtrac against seawall Okinawa 1945
Troops Establishing Beachhead on Okinawa 1945
Marines Hunt Japanese Sniper Shuri Castle Okinawa 1945
Okinawa Invasion landing forces
1878th Aviation Engineers Use Bulldozers to Build Road on Okinawa June 1945
Battle of Okinawa: 1 April 1945 – 22 June 1945.
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War Two. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan, and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 550 km away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of Japanese mainland (coded Operation Downfall). Four divisions of the US 10th Army (7th, 27th, 77th, and 96th) and two USMC Divisions (1st and 6th) fought on the island. Their invasion was supported by naval, amphibious, and tactical air forces.
The battle has been referred to as the “typhoon of steel” in English, and tetsu no ame (“rain of steel”) or tetsu no bōfū (“violent wind of steel”) in Japanese. The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of kamikaze attacks from the Japanese defenders, and to the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle resulted in the highest number of casualties in the Pacific Theater during World War 2. Based on Okinawan government sources, mainland Japan lost 77 166 soldiers, who were either killed or committed suicide, and the Allies suffered 14 009 deaths (with an estimated total of more than 65 000 casualties of all kinds). Simultaneously, 42 000 – 150 000 local civilians were killed or committed suicide, a significant proportion of the local population. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki together with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria caused Japan to surrender less than two months after the end of the fighting on Okinawa.