Battle of Iwo Jima
The code name for Iwo Jima was “Hot Rock “ and so it was .The American plan was to approach the Japanese home islands in order to obtain bases for their tactical air forces and then to launch an all-out invasion. The first step was to capture the volcanic island of Iwo Jima in the Western Pacific where the Japanese had installed early-warning radar. Furthermore there were three airfields situated on the island with many Japanese interception aircraft. These threatened the B-29 heavy bombers on their way to, and, from Japan. The island was also of importance to serve as a base for the American fighter aircraft which escorted the bombers. Because of all this it was necessary to capture the island. The Americans launched a huge bombardment for 72 days, against massive blockhouses, hundreds of pillboxes and 1500 caves and an underground network of almost thirty miles. They burnt it with flamethrowers, and captured it after bloody face-to- face combat .The preparatory bombardment lasted 14 days with a further 3-day bombardment by naval guns, and only then on the 9th of February, did the Marines invade the island. They completed capture of the island on the 16th of February. Marine casualties were 5,563 dead and 17,343 wounded and 21,000 Japanese soldiers were killed in the battle of Iwo Jima. The battle was commemorated forever in the annals of military history by the photo made by combat photographer Joseph Rosenthal of the marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi .