Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Okinawa Memories Part X

Suicide Cliff On Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa-
Some Things To Remember:
1. Over 250,000 people died in the battle
2. Among those 150,000 Okinawans died in the crossfire between the American
forces and the Japanese forces. About 1/3 of the population of the island.
And remember that Okinawa is only 13 miles long and about five miles wide.
A lot of dead bodies in a small area. In Germany I met a DOD middle school social studies teacher who as a 19 year old army G.I. was on the island in 1945. He said the entire island smelled of decomposing bodes. Can you imagine. This gentleman was Coleman Burke who taught at the Frankfurt American Middle School in the '70s. He is now deceased. The Okinawans lost the most people. So sad considering to this day the Japanese consider Okinawans as the second class citizens of Japan.
3. This was the largest lost of civilian life in any battle of World War II except for the Battle of Stalingrad.
4. The U.S. Navy lost the most ships ever in the Battle of Okinawa.
5. Over 100,000 Japanese forces fought to the end of their lives as kamikaze pilots, soldiers, and navy personnel. Many chose suicide instead of surrender.
6. The famous World War II war correspondent Ernie Pyle who was living and writing about the U. S. marines lost his life on one of the offshore Ryukyu Island, Ie Shima.
7. Over 10,000 American forces lost their lives in the Battle of Okinawa.
8. Over 50% of the American forces were wounded in some fashion.
9. The battle lasted from April 1, 1945 to June 21, 1945. In the midst of the battle President Roosevelt died and the first atomic bomb exploded in New Mexico.
10. The fiercest hand to hand combat was from May 12 to May 18 when the U.S. forces were fighting at the Shuri line.

Okinawa Peace Park
Yours Truly Standing By One Of The Many War Memorials For Okinawans and Japanese.

The Rock:
Memorial For U.S. General Simon Bolivar Buckner Who Was Killed By Shell Fire.

Why Is The Battle of Okinawa Overlooked In Military History?
Because The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Wiped It From America's Front Pages.
But Truman Allowed Hiroshima and Nagasaki To Happen Because of What Occured On Okinawa.

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