On today in 1945, after suffering the increased loss of 116 planes and harm to three aircraft carriers, 50,000 U.S. combat troops of the 10th Army, below the command of Lieutenant General Simon B. Buckner Jr., land on the southwest coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa, 350 miles south of Kyushu, the southern major island of Japan.
Determined to seize Okinawa as a base of operations for the army ground and air forces for a later assault on mainland Japan, a lot more than 1,300 ships converged on the island, lastly putting ashore 50,000 combat troops on April 1. The Americans swiftly seized two airfields and sophisticated inland to lessen the island’s waist. They battled practically 120,000 Japanese army, militia, and labor troops below the command of Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima.
The Japanese surprised the American forces with a modify in method, drawing them in to the mainland than confronting them at the water’s edge rather. While Americans landed without lack of males, they might suffer a lot more than 50,000 casualties, with a many more than 12,000 deaths, because the Japanese staged a desperate defense of the island, a defense that incorporated waves of kamikaze (“divine wind”) air attacks. Eventually, these suicide raids proved counterproductive, because the Japanese lastly ran out of planes and resolve, with some 4,000 ultimately surrendering. Japanese casualties numbered some 117,000.
Lieutenant Buckner, son of a Civil War basic, was on the list of casualties, killed by enemy artillery fire just 3 days right before the Japanese surrender. Japanese General Ushijima committed ritual suicide upon defeat of his forces.
The 1952 film Okinawa starring Pat O’Brien, is 1 of several movies to depict this decisive episode in the annals of the war.